Posted by: silverliningsblog | March 9, 2016

The pros and cons of being a female

066I remember distinctly the day I realized men and women weren’t always considered equal.

My grade 6 teacher was talking about careers, and mentioned that women don’t make as much as men in the workforce. I raised my hand.

“What? Are you serious? Why?”

He explained that the work women did was often considered less important, and that even when women performed the same work as men, they typically earned less. He said that was just the way things were.

I remember thinking how unfair and arbitrary that was (it still is 30 years later), and wishing in that moment that I hadn’t been born a girl. I was 11.

Since then, while I’ve had moments when I’ve wished I was a guy (like during the searing pain of childbirth), for the most part I’ve embraced my femininity.

So in honour of International Women’s Day, which was yesterday, I would like to offer these top 10 challenges and gifts of being female.

Top 10 challenges of being female

0231. Hormonal mood swings – Guys may be surprised to learn that we’re not crazy about PMS either. 🙂

2. Menopause – Ah yes, after years of PMS fun, we get to look forward to menopause. (Does this word mean we should take a pause from men, lol? Or that men have good reason to pause when we’re approaching this phase of our lives? 🙂

3. Body image issues – Because our culture over-emphasizes looks and air brushes images, many females feel inadequate and think something is wrong with their body.

4. Over-sexualization – Our culture also over-emphasizes sexuality, making everything a woman does or wears sexual. (Really…can yoga just be about yoga, not about the “sexy poses” and yoga pants a woman is in?)

5. Lack of boundaries – Girls are taught from a young age to be “nice” and kind and giving. While that might seem like a good thing, it teaches girls to be passive and not set healthy boundaries with others.

6. Discouragement of strength – Girls aren’t supposed to be strong, or to get angry. So when a woman is strong, she’s often called a “bitch” or even a “dyke,” as if being strong is the very opposite of being female (which it’s not).

7. Discouragement of celebrating success – Because girls are taught to be modest and humble, they are not encouraged to celebrate their successes, especially publicly.

8. Wage inequality – Even in North America, there are still many fields where women just don’t earn the same as men, even for the same work.

9. “Women’s work” devalued – Many important careers traditionally held by women (like childcare, nursing, social work, etc.) continue to be underpaid because they’re considered “less important.”

10. Unequal rights – In many parts of the world, women still don’t even have basic rights, like being able to vote or decide what happens to their bodies.

Top 10 gifts of being female

Now lest we think that being female sucks, let’s talk about all the reasons being female is great!

1631. Bling! – We get to wear bright, shiny, sparkly things. J

2. Mani-pedis – While some brave guys now enjoy these too, it’s still largely women who fill the spas and get to enjoy the benefits of being pampered.

3. Collaboration – Females by nature tend to be more collaborative, realizing that “many hands make light work” and that lifting each other up is the best way to get ahead.

4. Sharing feelings – Because we’re emotional creatures, we are more encouraged by society to share our deeper feelings and express emotion, which keeps it from being pent up inside. Sharing with a compassionate listener helps us feel validated and understood.

5. Girl chats – More than just sharing feelings, talking with other women can cover everything from the deeper meaning of life, to what to make for dinner, to something funny we saw on TV in one conversation. It helps us feel we’re in this life together.

6. Open affection – Being able to openly and comfortably share affection with our own sex without being labelled gay is a definite plus.

7. Women’s intuition – To me, one of the greatest gifts of being female is the instinctive intuitiveness we have, particularly about our children and others around us. We just know something is up, even if no one says so! (While men have intuition too, it appears on average to be better developed in females.)

8. Ability to multi-task – That extra left-brain, right-brain connection we gals are blessed with certainly comes in handy when we need to hold a phone, make dinner, and soothe a distraught child at the same time!

9. Producing life – The ability to create life and feed children with our own bodies is certainly one of the most amazing things about being female.

10. Living longer – And let’s not forget that on average, women live several years longer than men…which as long as you’re healthy and financially secure, is a definite plus!

Do the positives outweigh the negatives?

053I will leave it to you to decide whether being male or female is better. I think there are pros and cons to each.

But since I was already born female, I guess I’ll stick with it, for this lifetime at least. 🙂 Truthfully, while I don’t love having periods and hormonal swings, and I dislike society’s emphasis on our bodies, I do mostly like being a girl. I particularly love the camaraderie I have with my girlfriends, who can laugh and cry with me in the same conversation.

So, to all you gals out there, happy Women’s Day! And to all you guys, I hope you’re equally happy to be male. I also hope you know that our world is better when we have healthy, strong women in it (as well as healthy, strong men). We need a balance of masculine and feminine energy.


What do you think it means to be a woman? If you’re a woman, are you happy that you are? I would love to hear your ideas! Please share your thoughts below, or email me at


Karen Strang AllenKaren Strang Allen helps single women who are tired of unhealthy relationships pinpoint what needs to change, design a sensational single life, and become a magnet for the man of their dreams! She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Learn more about Karen and check out her free empowering resources at

Contact Karen and ask for a free “Sensational and single” strategy session today!



  1. Awesome Karen!!

  2. Nice thoughts.

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