What is a Woman?
Updated: Apr 26, 2022
Is this literally the question we are asking ourselves in one of the most modernized, high-teched, academically advanced societies of our times? Unfortunately, we are. How is something, that is so straight forward so confusing? Easy, our world is filled with misguided people that base decisions on feelings and not facts. I know what you're thinking..."No way that's not possible! Decisions are made based on facts!" I totally agree, but the question of what is consdired a "fact" is up for debate...Let's Talk!
Lets review some definitions to see if we can either clear up the air or come toa consensus:
From www.dictionary.com - a woman is defined as "an adult female person." Hmm, looks like we need to break this down a little more and see what the definition of a "female" is. Female, "a person bearing two X chromosomes in the cell nuclei and normally having a vagina, a uterus and ovaries, and developing at puberty a relatively rounded body and enlarged breasts, and retaining a beardless face; a girl or woman"
Okay, well, clearly from this definition, a woman is a female which consists of a person bearing two X chromosomes and normally having a vagina, uterus and overaries. Sounds like a fair, baseline definition of a woman. Of course one could go off on tangents as to the descriptions of these physical traits, but overall, not hard to decipher what a woman is.
Great, now lets go onward to another source...a more scientific one from a biological standpoint:
From Martin, Elizabeth; Hine, Robert (2015). A Dictionary of Biology. Oxford University Press. p. 222: Female - "Denoting the gamete (sex cell) that, during sexual reproduction, fuses with a male gamete in the process of fertilization. Female gametes are generally larger than the male gametes and are usually immotile."
So from a biological standpoint, we are looking at the production of sex cells or gametes. From this defintion alone, it requires us to look into what a gamete is and from what type of gamete that can be produced from a person would show the female or male designation. To clarify things a little bit, we should differentiate terms here. An ovum (egg) is a female gamete, and a sperm is a male gamete. Knowing this will help you understand the following definition:
Ovum - "The female gamete; the haploid, unfertilized egg, which is usually a relatively large, nonmotile cell" - Campbell, N. A., & Reece, J. B. (2004). Biology, 7th Edition (Book & CD-ROM) (7th ed.). Benjamin Cummings.
Gamete - "A haploid cell, such as an egg or sperm. Gametes unite during sexual reproduction to produce a diploid zygote" - Campbell, N. A., & Reece, J. B. (2004). Biology, 7th Edition (Book & CD-ROM) (7th ed.). Benjamin Cummings.
From these definitions, we can see that a female produces a certain gamete and a male produces a certain gamete. And only when these two gametes come together, do we have sexual reproduction and produce a zygote. Could this be why the fertility industry is booming right now? Regardless of your "identity", only a female can produce an egg and only a male can produce a sperm. That's why a couple would need a sample from a male and a female to produce a baby. And this also proves that life begins at conception, when an egg and sperm meet...but that's another topic.
At this point, when we combine the definition from the dictionary and a respectable biology textbook, is it safe to say that a woman is a female? And that a woman, who is a female, produces female gametes? Are you convinced yet? Oh and if you're wondering, yes, I do have a college degree in biology and love studying science and development through scientific articles and studies.
Now, if your'e still thinking, "No...there are still so many variations. Things change over time and we are always out there proving things false or that evolution is happening." Okay, fair enough. But what if I told you the OLDEST book in history still agrees on what the foundation of a man and woman is? All we have to do is look at the Bible. The earliest writings were found to be from 250 BC, but of course, we have all learned that the ability to write things down are a rather newer development of history keeping. But for now, since we are sticking to facts, we will start with this date.
The Bible has several verses that indicate God created a man and a woman. In Genesis, the first chapter in the bible states:
"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”" - Genesis 1:27-28 (NASB).
"So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. Then the man said,“At last this is bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called ‘woman,’ Because she was taken out of man” - Genesis 2:21-23 (NASB).
"This is the book of the generations of Adam. On the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them “mankind” on the day when they were created." - Genesis 5:1-2 (NASB).
We could go through the whole backstory of Adam and Eve (the male and female that God created) but for now, we shall focus on the distinct difference between a male and female (also known as man and woman). Now you're probably thinking, "we already knew there is a male and female, but we are focused on the identity of a man and woman. That's different." Okay...wait, there's more. When Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, God clearly pointed out who would be the carriers of future children and the difficulty in the process:
"To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth,in pain you shall deliver children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, and he shall rule over you”" - Genesis 3:16 (NASB).
Notice how God did not give the chidbearing role to Adam (the man/male) in the story. This was strictly given to the woman/female. The biblical stories continue to show more reference to the reproduction differences of a man and woman:
"This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised" - Genesis 17:10 (NASB).
"Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. On this very same day Abraham was circumcised, as well as his son Ishmael. And all the men of his household, those who were born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him" - Genesis 17:24-27 (NASB).
"I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man a hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, give birth to a child?” And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” But God said, “No, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him"- Genesis 17:16-19 (NASB).
"Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world" - John 16:21 (NASB).
From these examples, you can clearly see that men experience the circumcision and women go through childbirth. If a book from thousands of years ago is clarifying the foundation of what a man and woman is, how different is it from what we have going on today? If you take out the idea of a person can identify themselves based on how they feel, lets look at the factual truths listed. The factual truths have not changed, but obviously the feelings or mental thoughts of what these definitions means has. In a way, we humans may be the only ones living in this world of going against nature and what is natural, and all other living creatures (be it the animals, amphibians, reptiles, even the plant life) carry on their lives as what they were created to be rather than questioning and over-analyzing a far-fetched thought.
What do you think? Do your definitions of things keep changing dependent on how you feels? Do you keep changing your mind or wavering on ideologies that you are not sure about? Are you heavily influenced by others that have to keep reminding why your thought process is wrong? In the end, you can't deny what a woman or man is. If you feel that you might be more masculine or more feminine, I think that's totally fine. But to change that you are not a woman because you mentally think you are a man (or vice versa) or to not know how to describe a woman versus a man seems a bit silly. Plus, if there wasn't a physical difference between a man and woman, why does the pharmaceutical companies and medical industry profit so much to provide medications or surgeries for this change? Why alter what you are if everyone else got it wrong to just fit society's "idealogy" of what a man or a woman is? Let's talk about it.
In James 1;5-8 (NASB) it is written: "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that person ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."
When I seek wisdom, I turn to God and the Bible. When you seek wisdom, who do you turn to?