Here’s a question for my cis female followers. How much do you appreciate your gender? Do you think about it? Do you ever walk through the world and just marvel at the feminine characteristics of your own body?

I’m guessing that unless you’ve had reason to examine gender before, it’s probably not even something you’ve thought about. More likely you probably feel shame because you don’t fit into a perceived ideal, right?

What about the social benefits of womanhood? Do you think about how strong the friendships between women are? Do you have multiple friends who you feel you can talk to about anything at all, good or bad, who will listen to you and empathize without judgment or trying to solve your problem for you? How frequently have you had a conversation start up with a total stranger? Does it occur to you that men don’t experience that?

I love being a woman. I delight in my new body on a daily basis, drinking in just how good it feels, despite its flaws. I notice the sensation of my hips and butt swaying as I walk, and the way my arms brush against the side of my breasts when they swing forward. I relish the female friendships I have developed since transitioning, and the inherent sisterhood that happens when women gather in public spaces, instantly striking up conversations about all sorts of topics. Have you watched how men gather at parties? They stand around in a circle, holding a drink, looking kind of lost, moving from one bit of small talk to the next.

Yes, being a woman can suck a lot. The objectification, the sexualization, and the patronization from men. I’m frustrated at how much weaker I am now, and how afraid I am when alone in a public place. I can’t take my car to a mechanic without being treated like an idiot, but I wouldn’t trade my womanhood for any of that.

Would you? Do you take your womanhood for granted? The next time you are beating up on yourself for how your body looks, stop and think about the gift that was bestowed on you at birth. You are a woman, and you are beautiful.