Why is it so hard being a woman? This is a question for the ages, not just for the feminists. Frankly, I have no idea if men ask themselves the same question when it comes to being a man. However, I will touch upon this topic in an attempt to decipher the answer to placate my own mind and perhaps, YOUR minds. Why is it so difficult? It’s okay if you consider this “The Rants of a Pregnant Woman” because I am pregnant with baby no. 3 in addition to being an English teacher, author and Hayati Magazine writer. I remind myself every day that:
“ALLAH DOES NOT BURDEN A SOUL BEYOND THAT IT CAN BEAR.” (2:286)
Think about it. Women are expected to get married at a certain age; Allah forbid their ovaries die out by a certain age limit! Women are expected to have children, to bear them, to educate them within the home. Allah knows we have the innate patience and multi-tasking skills for it. I say “innate” because most of the women I have encountered in life are ultimate power women who manage to balance both work and home lives vigorously and fantastically. Yes, we are expected to do it “all.” So, these are expectations that we often feel obligated to live up to according to convention. And, somehow, we do! Still, it beckons the question, “Why is it so hard being a woman?” Because…ultimately, it is NOT a sail gliding across a wind. It is in fact, a ripped sail attempting to still soar with the wind, keeping the boat afloat.
We can first attempt to placate ourselves with the Quranic verses; surah 33:35 where “men and women” are considered equals on all levels of life, dunya and after-life. Women have been given a lot of respect in Islam, especially in the role of the “Mother.” The way to paradise lies beneath the mother’s feet and the daughter’s strength of belief in Allah. According to Islam, women have the right to divorce, to be educated and seek knowledge, to propose marriage and the list of liberties go on. The Muslim woman is the contemporary woman of today, in many ways. Although many may argue against that, just look at Khadijah, the wife or Prophet Muhammad ﷺ who was a widow, successful business woman and the one who proposed to the Prophet ﷺ of Islam.
Yes, women are capable of enduring all odds and achieving their dreams, while balancing home life. That is not to say that home life isn´t as much part of some women’s “dreams come true.” To be honest, I think we will keep asking the question, “Why is it so hard being a woman,” the same way any human being can ask, “Why is life so hard?” It’s okay to complain, it’s okay to seek answers, but know that the true answer only lies with the Creator:
“NO MISFORTUNE EVER BEFALLS EXCEPT BY PERMISSION OF ALLAH. AND WHOEVER HAS FAITH IN ALLAH – HE WILL GUIDE HIS HEART. AND ALLAH IS KNOWING OF ALL THINGS.” (64:11)
And the only answers you find for yourselves are the ones that just give you a kind of peace of mind:
“DO NOT LOSE HOPE NOR BE SAD. YOU WILL SURELY BE VICTORIOUS IF YOU ARE TRUE BELIEVERS.” (3:139)