27 May Who run the world?
“We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls,
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man.”
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
In the way that boys are
Feminist: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes”
It’s no secret that juan.com.ph is run by extremely powerful women. We’re not saying this to degrade the very pro-female men in our team but we’re simply stating the fact and the fact is, in Juan’s world, it’s Sisa who runs the show. The women of Juan are not ashamed to be who we really are and what’s amazing is the fact that none of the women on the team are cut from the same cookie sheet. We’re different from each other, we have divergent opinions, and yet we get along and run this web magazine just fine. And the best part about it is the fact that as women, we don’t battle against each other but rather celebrate our victories, our differences and that is possibly why Juan works well.
This was all in my head as I began to unravel the true definition of feminism. My younger brother would be quick to point out that I was feminist long before Beyonce sang about it. I recall not attending my senior prom because I didn’t believe that girls should be subjected to having dates. There was also a time I quit reading magazines because I didn’t believe that women should just look one way to attract men. I also long believed that the things I do for myself: going to the gym, dressing nicely, and getting a new haircut has nothing to do with the “men” I wanted to attract because I was doing it solely for me. Without knowing it, I have embarked on a life of feminism but today, with the rise of the Taylor Swifts, Lena Dunhams, and Mindy Kalings, it has taken the world by a storm. And while some women may not appreciate feminism (because they mistakenly think that being a feminist means you’re anti-men (read it here) when in fact you’re just pro-women and equality), I believe that the rise of it is for the ultimate betterment of the world.
I’ve long had an issue with women who think that being a feminist had everything to do with being anti-men. Like being a feminist meant that you would never date a man, marry a man, or even look at a man. The truth is, feminism has nothing to do with being better than men, in fact for once in our lives it has nothing to do with men but who we are us strong women of the world. It also solidifies the fact that it’s okay for a woman to not want to be a mother or a wife while at the same time also celebrating women who are mothers and wives. It’s all about equality and understanding that women can pretty much be whoever they want to be without being ostracized for it.
A woman can choose to stay at home and be a mother and still be considered a feminist while at the same time a woman can also run a company and not care for having a family and still earn the same respect. It’s all about breaking the barriers that have bounded women before of how we should look, how we should speak, what we should study, where we should work, how we dress, how we should play the dating game, and most importantly, when we would settle down.
Today, there are no boundaries to what women can do and while it’s true that there are still some countries who are still not used to women taking over, I believe that there is no greater time to be a woman than today. There is so much good we can do in the world if we just tap into our potential and stop being limited by our culture that celebrates men alone.
And this is for all the women in the world. Most of the time we think that the only way we can be feminists is if our faces are on the covers of magazines when in truth you can fight for equality right where you are. It all begins with the little things like challenging the ideals your family may have for you (might as well shut down the constant iha, kelan ka ba ikakasal tirade) or finally speaking up in that testosterone filled meeting that you have every week by remembering that just because you’re not in a suit doesn’t mean your opinions are not valid. Feminism begins with how we view and respect ourselves. As women, we keep complaining about how men only want us for our looks but in truth is this because this is what we reflect on them? We say we constantly get played, but my question is, why are you even playing the game? We constantly say we don’t get enough respect in the workplace, is it because we don’t make an effort to say opinions that matter? As women in the 21st century, we’re given the wonderful privilege to finally speak up, something that not everyone was comfortable in a few years ago so take advantage of it.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be pretty or wanting to be in a deep and meaningful relationship but in reality you were made for more than that. You are created to have an opinion and to change the world with it. Don’t waste your time being defined by your relationship status because darling, you were made to be more than just someone’s trophy girlfriend. You were made to excel and to shine, don’t take for granted a privilege not given to women in other parts of the world.
Wouldn’t it be grander to be known for what you do and what you put out in the world than your likes on Instagram and that “fresh” athlete you are dating? Wouldn’t it be nicer to be known for your own achievements rather than constantly hanging on to your man’s?
Build who you are. Be more than your selfie. Take a stand. Make a Difference darling, you are not an ornament.