The Female Condition
IN CERTAIN WAYS the definition of the word “female” is being dismantled—a new generation has been challenging their elders to recognize way more than two genders—to a liberating effect. It’s increasingly understood that women won’t necessarily have babies, husbands, any particular kind of genitalia, or naturally submissive personalities. Yet women continue to contend with gender-based restrictions and persecution every day. Any of us could list dozens of examples, from the wage gap to sexual assault.
We asked women about what it means to be female. How has it shaped their lives, work, politics, and the stories they tell? Our respondents appear to navigate the contradictions gracefully—those who, to borrow a phrase from Vaclav Havel, seem to live as if they were already free.
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