By Kate Ruberti, 11th Grade Student at Sacred Heart High School
1848: First women’s rights movement. 1920: 19th Amendment was added to the United States constitution granting women the right to vote. Before and during the 18th century, women were not valued as equal to men, and were not provided with, or offered the same opportunities and experiences. There were many women who were avid and determined to create tremendous strides in achieving equality for women, and accordingly, there have been great gains and changes over the years. However, I still do not believe there has been enough change.
I am an ardent supporter of equality. I am a girl. I am a young woman, a young woman in society who wants her voice to be heard. I do not want to be denied of rights due to my sex. What is the difference after all, I mean, male or female? At the end of the day, aren’t we all just human beings striving for success, happiness, and achievement? Aren’t we all pursuing our personal potential, promise, progress, passion, and purpose? Men continuously result back to their previous human nature, believing they are superior to women. Nonetheless, this is not the case. Men are not superior, they are simply acting arrogant when they believe a woman’s voice is not important, when they believe women themselves are not important, rather objects.
Women are important. It is women who keep our world spinning, population growing, and humanity advancing. Simply, a world without women, is a world without human beings. It is women who reproduce to bring children into our world, additionally providing them with the necessary means to continue a legacy, the greatest legacy of all, the legacy of life. To grow and to live in an atmosphere of diversity, acceptance, and equality. A utopia that sounds simple, a utopia I am striving to achieve; however, how can a goal that sounds so simple be so distant to reach?
Feminism, the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men, continues to be an issue that is either overlooked or shot down entirely. It is necessary to educate ignorant people about equality. I am fortunate to attend an independent school for girls where we are instilled from an early age that all women are strong, individualistic, and have all qualities to live a successful life, just as men do. However, not many girls around the world are educated with these values. They either do not receive an education, or simply are not being taught that women are equal to men in every way, shape, and form. However, I strongly encourage all humankind to boldly and purposefully challenge social structures that propose a threat to their individuality. In order for us to discover our promise in life, we must break from previous tradition and pursue our individual potentials, where both male and female are seen on the same playing field.
On a beautiful hot summer day, I heard a song, and immediately began to cry. My day had suddenly turned cloudy. The lyrics had said: “Women are good for three things. Cooking, cleaning, [and reproducing, which was stated in a derogatory manner with harsh word choice.]” This song has over 73,007,254 views on YouTube, therefore, influencing the ignorant with incorrect philosophy. Accordingly, the advent of technology and social media are partially to blame for the negativity surrounding women and feminism.
Truly, the only way to further develop society is to obtain different ideas, thoughts, morals, and traditions, from both genders while letting all coexist harmoniously, for that reason giving all lives meaning. Additionally, 2016 is uniquely situated in our human history with regard to change in the way women are perceived, yet a question remains proposed to all humankind. Do we choose to embrace change, and progress in women’s favor? Or do we react and deny, and close ourselves from the realities we must confront? Simply, we must embrace the future of change, the future of women as equals, and seek not to isolate ourselves and to fear what is new and intimidating.
This blog post was an entry into Young Women Rising’s annual essay contest in which 11th grade students were asked, “What is one of the most important issues facing young women today and how do you see yourself having an impact on that issue?”