Every day I turn on the TV and avoid the news because of the sadness it brings me. A sadness felt by many other females around the world as we are forced to witness another injustice.
We are raised by society to be polite, to speak when spoken to, to please those around us, and bring pride to our family. Then we enter a world unprepared for the judgment and abuse waiting for us. You tell us how far we have come, how we should rejoice in the fact we have the vote but forget it was through the blood of our ancestors that we got it.
“Be thankful that you can make your own choices now. You can be an independent woman,” you tell us. But you don’t tell us how much of a lie that actually is.
You don’t tell us that our independence is something you allow us and something that can be snatched from under us at any moment.
Snatched by a stranger who can’t control their temper.
Snatched by those paid to protect us.
Snatched by those not wanting to get involved.
Snatched by a system that failed us.
Our biology is used as a weapon against us when we do speak up.
“Is it your time of the month?” You ask.
Yet, our biology makes us strong and allows us to bring life to the next generation. But only we see that. You see a weak individual to be controlled and played with like putty.
And when we scream so loud that the windows shake, we get a patronizing look matched only by the words, “stop being so emotional.”
Why must our emotions be seen as a weakness, something to mock and ridicule?
We know how society treats us, which is why we stay silent. We remain the poster-child we were raised to be. We are silent through your mockery. Silent through your jeers and your laughs. We are silent as society keeps us down and tells us how to think and feel.
Because of another lie society fed us from birth. Forced us to believe that in exchange for our compliance, our silence, society would protect us. We could sleep safe in the knowledge that we were nestled in the bosom of a caring world, one that would fight the demons for us.
We should trust you. Trust the lie.
And yet, when we really need you, you fail us.
You failed us to the point where all trust has gone. My eyes are no longer covered by the smoke you put in them. I blinked through the tears and saw clearly through the words you spewed. I now see that the easy smile I thought you wore was tight and forced. The arms society held me in were clenched fists as you squeezed the resistance out of me, but you didn’t press hard enough.
You left some fight in me, and for that, I am grateful. Grateful because it gave me the strength to remove the blindfold and see for myself the world you created. I joined martial arts classes and climbed the ranks, getting stronger and braver with each punch. I educated myself on my surroundings, so I always had an escape route, so I was always ready. I took steps that society promised I would never need to take.
Each injustice fuels me to hit harder, scream louder, be bolder. It becomes our rally cry, our call to action because it is our time.
I am tired.
We are all tired of being silenced because of something out of our control, something society defines as a characteristic of weakness.
The scars you leave have healed, and I became strong enough to join the fight. A fight we’ve been fighting for centuries already and centuries to come. Despite the odds, we will continue to march forward.