Will you listen to the voices of the past or merely repeat the words of the victory?
With girls and young women still lagging behind in the sciences and engineering professions. We need to remember that although the world has changed not everyone has come along for the ride. Even though of us that feel like we are progressive or modern, we need to think about the messages that we are sending to our youth. Because the world has changed, is change and will continue to change.
Voices that are often heard, but not listened, too.
On my Facebook Page, I asked people what advice they would give to a young woman growing up today.
Make friends who build people up, not knock people down. All of my best achievements have happened because I had support. – Michelle S.
Respect should go both ways. It doesn’t matter if you agree or not, as long as you respect the other person’s opinion. – Heather N.
Enjoy and love yourself. – Christina P.
Don’t give in because it’s easier. Fight for what you want and deserve. – Jade P.
Do NOT stay stuck somewhere that you aren’t happy in. You always have a choice. At least try. You might like it. – Melanie M.
Today in school I asked my seniors the same question.
Live & Explore – Amanda
Don’t wish your years away. You’re young, live and explore – Anonymous
Don’t mess up your freshman year. – Neysha
Don’t have sex ! (If you do wear a condom.) – Anonymous
No matter what, finish school! – E
They’re words are genuine and speak to their concerns. They may not seem profound, but they are truthful and that’s one thing I believe that more women need to have to truth in their lives. Recently on Facebook, I saw an invite to a page for Women against Feminism. And it made me wonder, why? Why make Feminism a bad word? And maybe they don’t want it, but millions of women world-wide still do. My students do. So long as there are men and even women out there that will openly say that they are flawed for having a baby out of wedlock, we need feminism. As for the feminist haters out there, I would invite you to consider this definition, one my father taught to me, feminism isn’t about hate, it is about being a woman and exploring what it means to be feminine and not letting others define you. And not saying that you can’t do something because you are a woman.
If you want to read something inspiring that also speaks to the need for feminism in this world as well gender equality then I suggest reading “I am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb. A little girl who was shot for speaking out in favor of education for girls and against the oppression of the Taliban.
Or “How To Be A Woman” by Caitlin Moran who tackles the anti-feminist movement with wit and humor. Check out her interview with Terry Gross on NPR.
Both have memorable voices.