1. Your opinions matter!
What you have to say is important. No one in the world can think like you! Do everyone a favor and let them know what’s on your mind. You never know when your input could change the world.
2. History is often written by men, about men.
Of BookScan’s list of the 24 best-selling history books of 2014, 22 were authored by men. That’s 92%. So raise your hand—represent the point of view of the 8%. Bring a woman’s opinion to a largely male-dominated field. History repeats itself. And history is largely male-dominated. Don’t let men repeat their history of suppressing women.
3. Men are used to having their voices boom over women’s.
If a man and a woman say the same thing with the same tone, the man will reach more receiving ears. This unequal attention (or lack thereof) can be found in the workplace, the classroom, and the political stage (see any news source for criticisms of women politicians, i.e. of Hillary Clinton in recent Presidential debates).
4. If you have a male professor, challenge him.
Just like male-written textbooks, male-taught classes will often leave out details on women’s importance in the course. Ever heard of Watson and Crick? How about Rosalind Franklin?
5. Get good grades!
Raising your hand gets you major participation points with the prof. You might need these points in your Women and Gender studies class. Send that report card home. Make mama proud.
6. The power of one.
If one girl raises her hand, others will too. That’s the power of pine sol baby. Just kidding, it’s the power of peer pressure and mob mentality. Raise your hand in the air. Other girls will follow your example. And maybe high five? Girl power honestly.
7. It’s good practice for the workplace
Though school systems have invested a lot into enrolling equal number of women and men since the last generation, the workplace still remains largely male-dominated. Hence the rise of “Women in STEM” programs. Start raising your hand while at your desk now so it becomes easier surrounded by suits and ties and stern faces at the conference table later.
8. Girls are more likely to doubt themselves than men
In their study on confidence and gender, Cornell psychologist David Dunning and Washington State University psychologist Joyce Ehrlinger found that women tend to have less confidence in their abilities than men. Despite performing relatively equally on a scientific reasoning quiz given to them by Dunning and Ehrlinger, when asked to evaluate how well they answered, women gave themselves an average of 5.8 while men gave themselves a 7.1.
9. It brings valuable diverse experiences to the table
As a woman, you’ve experienced phenomenons that men might have not. This could range from shaving your legs to walking in groups at night. Because you come from a different background, you will react differently to new information. So share that info—people might appreciate that new insight they could not have reached without you bringing it up.
10. It’s good exercise
Lift your arm up and down a couple times. It’s better than just sitting for an hour and easier than hitting the gym. Fact.
11. You already paid tuition
Also known as a sunk cost if you’re taking economics for the first time ever and had to memorize all these terms that you’ve never heard before. Now go get your money’s worth.
12. Impress your professors
Teachers love when students raise their hands. Get on their good side!!
13. Practice public speaking
Speech!! Speaking in front of crowds can be hard, but practicing in a classroom is a lot easier than practicing at the podium.
14. Listen to your own voice!
It’s fun. Use new exciting words like onomatopoeia. Build confidence in your thoughts by forcing yourself to put them into a sentence that makes sense to other people, too.
How your arm moves up and down is interesting. Aerodynamics. Learn it
16. Class participation points.
Do well in school. Duh.
17. Engage in discussion!
Learn something new.
18. Make your class an active environment.
A quiet class is a boring class. Be that leader who makes class something people look forward to. Just because your professor might not be able to doesn’t mean you can’t.
19. CHALLENGE THE PATRIARCHY
It’s as easy as raising your hand. You don’t have to raise your hand to slap a rude boy in the bar who calls your outfit skanky and then tries to buy you a drink (see The Corner on a Thursday night). Just raise your hand and share your thoughts— because they matter. Let’s get the ball rolling (because balls have been ruling for far too long).