Voices to Remember

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.

Lu, just Lu

Modern Woman

I am told that I have it all

But the things I want

Didn’t come with my college education

or the career achievements

that I have worked so hard for

The mind I spent so much time cultivating

seems more of a detriment

Than an advantage

And the frivolous girls

who didn’t believe in feminism

or equal anything for plus sized me

The frivolous girls

Who criticized me in my youth

told me I had baby making hips

but never believed I used them

Have families and babies

And the dreams I wished for

But couldn’t be accomplished on my own

So I cry because I fell for a song and dance

That I am told I am too smart for

But the lofty dreams I dared to dream

And reached didn’t take away

my need for love

for someone to hold me in the night

And be there when the dawn breaks.

Theses dreams didn’t give me the family,

tradition told me I would have

promised me would be mine in Sunday school

now that I am not old or young

Somewhere in between

And not willing to settle for some fool

But still falling for a song and a dance

I am told I am too smart… for

all for a tickle and giggle that doesn’t last

until the dawn breaks leaving me cold and alone

with accomplishments and college diploma.