Ignoring women of color
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Dear Women Of Color, Your Voice Matters

I hear you, even when they don't.

67
Dear Women Of Color, Your Voice Matters

It's an abnormally hot, October Tuesday. I sit in the corner, as I normally do, in all of my classes. As most of my classes are discussion based, we always circle up to create a more inviting space. Even in this circle, I find a corner.

This is a gender and sexuality course so we are discussing something along the lines of reproductive rights. I open my mouth to speak, but the voice of another student brings any sound to a halting stop. After they've finished their thought, I try once again to voice my opinion but find my voice muted by the control of other students.

After a few rounds of this, I give in and raise my hand. Still, it seems everyone is called on but me.

It is Friday of that same week and a student enters the writing center where I work weekdays. Her body language tells me that she is scared. I ask if she's there for an appointment to find out she is my client.

She comes to the center for help brainstorming and creating a thesis. As she speaks her ideas, she is so well spoken. Even her less developed thoughts are so eloquently spoken. Yet, she stops every so often and doubts herself. Most of her thoughts are followed by a, "but I don't know."

I try telling her that her ideas are outstanding. I tell her to stop doubting her abilities because she is exceeding expectations. Her chin drops to her chest. I see her trying to make herself small and suddenly tears begin to form.


Two weeks have now passed and I can't stop thinking about the tutoring session I had with that young woman of color. Just writing about it makes my eyes well up. I realize now, we are the same. I sat there telling her how much her voice matters, how intelligent she is, but we both know that's not how others see us. I am fooling myself by thinking my one-hour session with her will change over a decade of societal silencing.

Each time I mention how I constantly feel walked over by those around me, I am told I must take more control. I am told that I must make my voice heard. Every time I voice frustration the blame is put on me, but I refuse to believe that I alone can make my voice matter.

It has taken years, but I have pushed myself well beyond my comfort zone. I have made an extrovert out of a die-hard introvert. And what has that gotten me? Yet, when I make myself larger, when I turn my "thinks" into "knows" I am told to make myself smaller. I am told that I am being too abrasive.


I don't think my experience is uncommon. For generations, voices of many communities have been unheard and ignored. The story I told of my tutoring session is not limited to one occurrence. Week after week I see the same hesitations transpire. Even in my classes that preach about all the voices that go unheard, the ones that emphasize inclusion, I still observe myself and other women of color placed on the back burner.

More than anything, this is for the women much like me. This is for the women that scream but cannot be heard, the women that continue to doubt their own worth. I am listening. I hear you. You do matter, even though you might be told you do not.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Ford Cars That We Love

There's a good chance we've all driven a Ford or spent a lot of time at Ford, but what are some of the best cars they've ever made?

4862
Ford Cars That We Love
Photo by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

There are arguably few bigger automakers than Ford. They are a company that shaped the auto industry as we know it today and with a solid reputation in the industry, our wide range of Ford leases has always been a popular choice among drivers.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Prose: One Call

What if you had one call, but you could not say anything other than what you were told to say? In this short excerpt, Bethany finds herself at odds with her jailers and with the one she was told to call, the one she loves. What would you do when the conversation takes a turn off script?

5081
Prose: One Call
https://unsplash.com/s/photos/jail

With each incessant numbing ring of the phone call, I could feel the betrayal coiling around me like the phone line, squeezing me tighter.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review

Solid animation can't raise the newest entry in Sony's colorful monster series beyond the basics

68027
'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review
Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6suJohjIvfo

I take a slight issue with the idea that Adam Sandler didn’t have a good dramatic role until ‘Uncut Gems,’ what about ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (he says semi-seriously)?’

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

Are some people just not meant to be together? Is there any way to prevent an impending divorce?

91285
4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

We've all heard the statistics. Roughly 50% of married couples eventually end up divorced. This can lead to complications, problems with your children, financial issues, and no small amount of negative emotions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

​Pets are Good for the Soul

Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

84564
Good for the Soul
Pets are Good for the Soul

America is going through a mental health crisis. This crisis predates the global pandemic, but has in many ways been dramatically exacerbated by it. In 2019, 19.86% of adults, or 50 million Americans, reported suffering from a mental illness. The emotional toll of the pandemic has been heavy, with over half of U.S. adults saying that they have experienced stress and worry related to Covid-19. Anxieties over work, uncertainty about the future and other triggers have intensified the mental health crisis. Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments