If you think this is going to be an article about me screaming my beliefs and feministic ideals in your face, you're wrong. It's quite the opposite. I was inspired after reading the memoir "I am Malala" by the female education activist Malala Yousafszai this week. She is an extraordinary young woman who stood in defiance against one of the strongest and most terrifying forces in her country all for the cause of female education. She was brave enough to realize that something was wrong in her own hometown and even at the age of 10, made it her mission to make a change. Through prayer and courage, she fought for girls' education in Pakistan even when it came to her staring straight at the gun that would shoot her point blank in the head. She did not stop her fight.
This is a testimony and a lesson to all of those women who participated in the women's marches that took place this past weekend. Women united under the cause to fight for the inequalities and injustices that still plague our country. However, it is not just women of one color, one socioeconomic status, one neighborhood that faces inequality still to this day. The marchers seemed diversified even though their cause was equality. I was shocked when I saw signs of women pointing fingers at other women practically saying that their struggle was not the same as their own and they did not have a cause to march for. What classifies one person's struggle to be greater than the person standing next to them?
Malala was able to stand up in a society that told her to be silent and threatened to kill her for speaking out for her beliefs. We live in a country where we are granted freedom of speech and many rights that courageous woman like Malala in our past fought for us to have. Yet we sit here arguing with one another about whose situation is worse? With no guns pointed at our heads but our own fists raised at one another. You should be ashamed that you can objectify another woman simply because she may not be able to stand as boldly as you to fight for her own rights. Each woman is strong and empowered in her own way and will fight for her rights in any way she wants because some women even in this 21st century are silenced. Malala said herself, "we realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced."
Our country has come to a place where we have started to knit pick one another and place ourselves in an order of whose problems are superior. Where did this wrong sense of entitlement come from? If you are fighting a bigger power to stand united and fight for equality and are going to objectify the people fighting for the same cause, then you better redefine your definition of equal.
In her memoir, Malala talks about the battles she faces to stand up to theTaliban and her government to fight for girl's education. She talks about the freedom for women in the United States, but even then their bodies are used for marketing. This statement stood out to me because it showed that women all over the world face different forms of inequality. Instead of using these differences to further divide our world, we should use them to unite and fight for the bigger cause.
I do not define myself as a feminist, but I believe in equal pay, treatment, and the right to make decisions for the female body. I believe that women all over the world each face their own struggle of inequality and discrimination and should unite as one movement instead of further perpetuating the discrimination against each other.
"We should all consider each other as human beings, and we should respect each other." -Malala Yousafzai