Before I proceed with my article, I would like to say that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Everyone is also entitled to sharing their opinion as long as it doesn't harm anyone. I also want to state that I will respect someone even if their opinion differs from mine.

This past week I attended my new student orientation for college. At orientation, not only did we partake in fun, team-building activities, but we also engaged in meaningful conversations such as about microaggression and the impact of language. While discussing, the phrase "like a girl" was brought up. "Run like a girl." "Walk like a girl." "Fight like a girl." This discussion about language soon turned into a discussion about women and their relationship to the media and societal expectations.

It was then, one man shared his thoughts and stated, "Women are losing their identity. Before. there used to be set gender roles. Women were like so and men were like so. But now women just try to act like men."

As this man was speaking almost every girl in the roomed gasped with shock, disgust, anger, and disappointment.

Although I am ashamed to admit it, I was also one of the girls who gasping with all the aforementioned emotions. I am ashamed because I think it is very important to completely listen to what the other person is trying to say. Let the person complete their thought before jumping to conclusions, preventing the person from finishing sharing his or her opinion. I think this is important because you always learn from others when you listen. It is extremely important, especially in today's culture, to not be close-minded, and the best way to avoid that is by listening to others.

In the real world, you will not always meet people you agree with. You can try explaining to the person why you think they are wrong and actually maybe change their minds, but there are many times where you just can not do anything. It is also important to let the other person finish for the simple reason of showing respect. You would want someone to let you finish talking and listen to what you have to say, right? Then do the same for the other person. You can't get respect from a person until are you respecting them too.

So boy from orientation who made that comment, if you are reading this, I would like to say that I am sorry I reacted first without hearing what you had to say to the end.

However, boy from orientation, that is not all I have to say to you. I know I said this during the discussion at orientation, and what I am about to say may not change your opinion at all, but I am not going to stay silent.

You say women are trying to become more like men. If exercising our birthright to be equal to a man is "trying to act like a man" then you are damn right. Women are finally, slowly getting freed from the suffocating and oppressive laws that came with being a woman. Yes, there were gender roles in the past. But those gender roles are outdated. They are from times when women weren't allowed to vote. They were from times when women weren't allowed to go to school. They were from times when a woman was completely and utterly dependent upon a man for providing them a comfortable life. They were from times when women weren't as human as a man.

So yes there were gender roles, and yes they are changing to something that may not be as clear yet. But this change is 1000% better than what was in the past. This change is for the better. Even today, women still face countless issues that prevent them from being equal to a man. But we are still fighting that. And we will keep on fighting until we are treated exactly like a man is... we will keep fighting till we are freed from the oppressive restrictions placed on women. We will fight till we are free.

Boy from orientation, women are not LOSING their identity. Hell, we are finally GAINING one.