Dava Krause is an Identity Staff Writer, but a comedian first. She has dedicated her time to provide Identity readers some laughter in their lives. We don’t always have to be serious, so unwind with a laugh from time to time with Dava and Identity.
I’m not sure I’m a woman. I mean, I know I am physically a woman and I have woman parts, but my identity as a woman? What it means to be a woman? I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure that out.
I attended an all girls’ school from kindergarten through twelfth grade. It was an extremely competitive environment in which academic achievement was not encouraged- it was expected. We were taught to break glass ceilings and excel in the most prestigious professions. Real women don’t marry doctors, they become doctors.
And then there was my mother. She did marry a doctor. She would tell me that all she ever wanted was to become a mother. Because of medical complications, she had brain surgery to have me and then adopted my sister. Her identity as a woman was grounded in being a mother. She was the ultimate nurturer. She was the office manager at my father’s medical practice. While my dad would examine patients she would comfort the patients and give them advice. Then she was home every night to make dinner, do the dishes, help me with my homework, and have my dreaded uniform neatly pressed and ready to go for the morning. That’s the kind of woman she was.
So here I am. A grown woman. A comedian of all things. Not exactly the profession you expect your child to pursue after thirteen years of prep school and college. Have I committed treason against my sisters of academia? I don’t think so. I work as hard as any doctor or lawyer, and comedy is as much of a male dominated field as any.
Do I want to be a mother? Maybe. But it’s not my priority. I am a wife. But I proposed to my husband, not the other way around. I even offered to get the ring. I certainly don’t do the things my mother did as a wife. I can count the times I’ve made dinner for my husband. I’m out most nights of the week telling jokes to strangers. Plus, I’m a terrible cook. One night watching “Nightline” the story was entitled, “Recipe for a Murder.” My husband turned to me and said, “I guess they tried your shrimp.”
So how do I identify as a woman? I don’t know. As I get older I try to pick apart and untangle the definition of “woman” and figure out which most feel like me. So far I’ve come up with this: I have boobs and a vagina. Other than that, everything is up for grabs.