To My Mother, Who Gave Up Her Career For Me

To My Mother, Who Gave Up Her Career For Me

My mom’s sacrifice and honest hard work have motivated me to respect women in general and fight for gender equality.
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Since the U.S. Congress designated March as National Women’s History (NWH) Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, I want to dedicate this article to a Wonder Woman of my life. The NWH month has given an exceptional opportunity in our society, schools, and workplaces, to appreciate and honor the tangible accomplishments of women which have frequently been disregarded, or even altered out of history. I believe that every human being should do their best to end the discrimination against women and girls. Also, we should have a gender-neutral society, workplaces, and schools. I am so lucky and fortunate to have my mom in my life. She has not just raised me to become a good human being, but she also taught me to respect women. She often says, “man can only succeed in his life if he respects a woman.”

My mom grew up in the typical middle-class family where woman's duty is to take care of her children and her family even though she is educated. She wanted to pursue her career in social sciences, but she had lack of support from her family. One might have observed from the history that many women have been discouraged to get further education or pursue their dreams due to typical gender norms. In fact, society has assigned women as the weaker sex who need men’s support. Here, this myth constrained people to believe women cannot handle the similar task as men since they are 'women.' In other words, one is disrespecting a woman indirectly by misjudging her capabilities. My mom’s capabilities also have been misjudged by her family. Her family did not stop her pursuing her dream, but they did not encourage her and expected her to take care of their home. She sacrificed her life and decided to further move on in her life as a housewife because her parents were happy that she is married now. Her family became her most priority.

I have seen my mom spending most of her time in the kitchen, cooking food for us. Sometimes I thought my mom is a MasterChef because she was the best at what she was doing with a smile on her face. When I asked her, how can you cook so fast for that many of people (about 10)? She replied, she learned from experience. Yes, she had more than ten years of experience. As you might have heard, “A Light Cannot Be Hidden,” the time has arrived when we moved to the U.S. four years ago. To provide financial support to me and my sister, my father and mother both had to work. She got an opportunity to prove herself that she has been waiting for years. She was excited to work in the U.S. but had so many questions in her mind. However, after tons of ups and downs, she succeeds wherever she worked in last four years through her abilities to learn new things without any hesitation. Her work was appreciated by her colleagues which made her proud of herself and us. She had faith in herself, and thus she is achieving it all.

Many women have faced gender discrimination either indirectly or directly but they should never chose to give up on their dreams. I always want to express my gratitude to her, to what she has done for us beyond her limit like most of the mothers do on this planet. I have seen her struggle, a loss of confidence along with disappointment throughout my childhood but I have learned a lot from it. My mom’s sacrifice and honest hard work have motivated me to respect women in general and fight for gender equality. You and I can observe this gender gap, but often we disregard it. Maybe you want to do something about gender inequality but you don’t know where to start. I would like to tell you that you can share your story to the world with #HerStoryOurStory which will motivate other people to make gender neutral nation. All in all, I want to see a gender neutral society instead of male or female dominated one because there should exist a balance in between to have equal opportunities for both sexes. See you next week!

Cover Image Credit: Dhruvil Patel

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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