Why I Value Feminism

Over the decades, many efforts have been exerted to rid the world of prejudice. We’ve witnessed how prejudice, in its extreme, can cause the greatest horrors. History has shown us that you’re on its unfortunate end if you happen to be a Jew or if your skin is black. And since then up until now, it may happen to you if you’re a girl.

Whenever I hear someone say “She can’t do it because she’s a girl”, I cannot help feeling mad. You’ll be tagged as incapable or weak just because you’re a girl. It’s not even because of failing after trying. It’s not being given the chance to even try.

It’s being paid less for the same job a man does. It’s people telling you that you’re supposed to be at home cooking food and looking after the kids. It’s people thinking that a woman cannot decide for the family, that what the wife has to say isn’t as important as the husband’s.

It’s when they think that if you try to look nice, it’s because you’re trying to get a man’s attention. It’s when they believe that everything a woman does is for the benefit of a man.

It’s them continuously reminding you to “act like a lady”. It’s also telling you that being raped is your fault. It’s telling you that you were raped because you wore skimpy clothes instead of telling men not to rape. It’s teaching you how to defend yourself instead of teaching men how to control themselves.

What’s worse is that in other parts of the globe, it’s denying you education. It’s making you cover your face. It’s telling you that you have no voice. It’s taking away many freedoms, including the freedom to choose who to love and what kind of life to live. It’s teaching you to know your place, and that is behind a man.

It’s all these injustices just because you’re a girl.

I value feminism because of one simple truth- we are all created equal.

I value feminism because even until today, being a woman means being the weaker sex. Because even until today, being a woman means being less competent. Because even until today, being a woman means never being strong enough.

I value feminism because girls should be treated with respect not because a boy has a mother or a sister. Girls deserve respect as much as boys do because just like boys, girls are human beings.

I value feminism because I want to live in a world where we don’t even have to talk about feminism anymore because we have ceased needing it, because women are already valued just as much as men.

I value feminism because it means valuing equal rights. Many of our brothers and sisters who came before us have died fighting against discrimination. Feminism is not allowing their deaths to be in vain because feminism is battling the very same thing they have fought against.

I value feminism because it is a testament to my being human. Because feminism recognizes how all people are the same instead of how they differ.

I value feminism because by doing so, I can help change lives, change destinies, and change minds.

I value feminism because I believe that someone is important regardless if that person is a he or a she. A person matters simply because that person is someone. Humanity’s progress includes everyone, and it all begins with the realization that “everyone” does not exclude anyone.

Let me end this with a powerful thought from Malala Yousafzai- the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, a Pakistani activist, a human rights advocate, a woman. “We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”

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