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Making Your Voice Heard as a Woman

March has been annually declared as Women’s History Month. To celebrate their accomplishments and passion for standing up for what they believed, women should know how to speak up for themselves freely. It took time for women to fight for their right to stand alongside others in the workplace, schools, or even serve in the military. The Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal,” but were women included in that? 

Speaking up for yourself can often be hard and stressful when you only want to hear one answer. Setting the tone is extremely important when wanting your voice to be heard. Women are stereotypically seen as more sensitive and fragile compared to men. There is a difference between being straightforward and being rude. Instead of being harsh, think more about talking in an assertive tone. Although some people won’t admit it, there are a variety of voices we use in our everyday lives. At work, formal language is often preferred, whereas in school, most kids speak freely. I don’t talk to my siblings the same way I would to a professor after class. The way you exert yourself into conversations will determine how you portray yourself to others when you speak. 

Original Illustration by Gina Escandon for Her Campus Media

Confidence is a major key in proving you know exactly what you want. Explaining yourself in situations where you don’t feel heard enough is necessary to let others know what they need to fix. Though it’s understandable, it can be hard to say how you feel if you’re afraid of what others think, self-assurance helps diminish that. Be sure you know exactly what the possible outcomes are and be prepared to argue for what you think is right. Growing up, I’ve learned that if you are nervous, it shows in your voice. You have to know what you want in order to obtain it. Emotions play a huge role in what people say to one another. If I have assurance in what I believe, I know to say it with pride to myself and what I stand for. 

I find myself often over-explaining myself when I don’t need to. It’s become a bad habit, and I’ve learned that the only way to stop doing that is to keep conversations simple. I get off track a lot and forget what the topic was in the first place. Deciding how you will communicate your point is important, so you don’t overshare or seem unorganized. Stand behind your words. Be thoughtful of who your audience is and the setting where you are speaking. If you don’t believe in yourself, it will make it easier for others to see through you. Making your voice heard is important to not only women but everyone that struggles to find the right words to say. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and tell people how you feel; after all, that is what open communication should be about!

Victoria grew up in Northern Virginia and is a Junior at VCU this year. She is majoring in Mass Communications with a concentration in Digital Journalism and dreams of pursuing a career involved in Fashion Editing. She loves traveling, listening to music 24/7, and learning about new cultures.
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