Women Are Courageous

It takes a lot of strength to live as a woman in our society. We have to work harder for less recognition than men, we face condescension and harassment, and our rights have faced numerous threats throughout history. Yet we continue living in this turbulent world, and this act in and of itself is courageous.

For me, #MeToo serves as a reminder that an ordinary day in a woman’s life can be fraught with discomfort and disrespect. This has been the norm for far too long. But the fact that women continue to go about their business in spite of these awful circumstances proves how strong we really are. And our strength grows as we continue to speak out against this injustice.

Last week, I attended a performance at a theater that is not too far from campus. It’s only about a ten-minute walk. I didn’t have anybody to walk with, so I made the trek alone. It was just starting to get dark out, but daylight hadn’t completely faded. And even so, I felt anxious walking along the street, armed with my keys in one hand and mace in the other. My heart sped up every time I passed a dark alcove or side street. I made it to the theater just fine, and I stopped to reflect on my short journey. Was I stupid for walking alone, even though I’ve done it before? Was I brave for doing what I wanted in spite of potential dangers? Or was I just living normally? This walk was merely part of my plan for the day, something that I had to do. It struck me that I put myself at risk every time I walk alone, but I do it anyway. It takes a lot of courage to do that, and I didn’t even realize it until this journey at dusk.

As women, we show our strength every time we work towards what we want in this male-dominated society. The most obvious example is a woman working her way up the corporate ladder when the higher-ups are all men, but this courage is visible on short walks to get coffee and assertive responses to those who have wronged us. The patriarchy conditions us to be submissive, afraid, and apologetic. Every time we stand up for ourselves or pursue our desires, we defy these implicit rules. And since we’re all working toward reaching our goals, we all have this defiant strength within us.

It takes courage to express yourself, meet your needs, and carve your path in a world that is designed to throw obstacles in your path. Women do these things every single day, which is an incredible testament to our strength and resilience. Keep living boldly, collegiettes!