It is the 21st century and women are in the best position we've ever been in. We have come a long way since the suffrage movement, and although there is still more work to be done, it is a great time to be a woman.

Yet, it somehow seems that it is still not a good time to be loud, assertive or passionate as a woman.

I have done public speaking and debate competitions since high school and continued to do so in college. I am not going to lie. I get loud, assertive and passionate. I tend to have the same attitude as my male counterparts, but I never get the same feedback as they do.

When a guy becomes loud, passionate and assertive, it's great. The comments are, "You are confident, strong and have a no-nonsense attitude." Now when I do or another female does the exact same thing, a different tune is sung. In fact, these are some of the comments I have received, "You should tone down a bit. I like your confidence, but you got way too aggressive. Be careful at the end because your passion just became rage."

The sad part is that most of those comments have come from female judges.

Why is it that I can't be loud? Why is it that when I become passionate, it is taken as aggression? Why can't I?

There are many possible answers to this question, but none will ever satisfy me. I try to ignore this question, but it sneaks back into my mind. Creeping back like that childhood nightmare you thought you outgrew.

I do not want to answer this question, instead, I want to stop asking it. I want each and every girl to stop asking this question.

I am not saying that as females, we need to try to act like men or try to become super aggressive. No, what I am saying is that we need to be true to ourselves. And if that is loud, assertive and passionate, then so be it. We should never change ourselves to fit someone's box view.

No more "Why Can't I?" Instead, "Yes I Can!"