by Nirupama Shivakumar
Teen Guest Blogger
Everyday, we stand down. Everyday, we are told that we are not sufficient. Everyday, we let boys tackle us. We stop battling for what we believe in. We sit in a dark tornado that circles around us and round the clock reminds us that we are not enough. The nightmares haunt us, the stories we read terrorize us. Why are we apprehensive?
Women have been seen as ‘less than’ for centuries. Though certain individuals may claim that this is a more progressive generation, Gen Z is still dealing with vast amounts of sexism. A toxic mindset has been passed on for generations, influencing women to think that they are inferior to men- and men to think they are superior to women.
Transfems have had to deal with the horrid face of society, as they have struggled to be accepted. Certain individuals calling them “he” purposefully is enough to make someone feel terrible, as that is not their gender identity. This mindset has also made men think they are superior to women and non-binary individuals has encouraged the dominating.
However, women have copious skills that allow us to have a strong and worthy impact on the world.
Recently, it was Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s birthday. Who was she?
RBG was an American Lawyer and was the second female jurist of the Supreme Court. Ruth attended Columbia and Cornell University, and was a huge women’s advocate and fought for women’s rights. She advocated for gender equality, and won many arguments against the Supreme Court, from such a powerful stand. She advocated as a volunteer attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsel in the 1970s.
“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent” and “I said on the equality side of it, that it is essential to a woman’s equality with man that she be the decision-maker, that her choice be controlling” are some of her influential quotes. RBG reminded us that women deserve the right to be in the lead, and that we deserve the right to make our own decisions.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Kamala Harris, she’s the current vice president of the United States of America.
She made history in November, since she is the first female vice president to be elected in office. Kamala is from Chennai, India, as well as me, and it continues to shock me that we have such a close connection. Kamala has influenced women around the world, but she has also been able to influence women of color. Being half African-American and being half Indian-American, Kamala represents both communities in many ways.
As a Tamilian, just like Kamala, watching her stand on the stage made me feel hope and pride, that many more Tamilian women, including me, can achieve what she has. Her post-election speech had an even deeper connection with me, as she went into more detail about her Indian roots, and recognized where she came from, in spite of her huge achievements. VP Harris has spoken out about her influence on young girls, and the inspiration she gave them that they can achieve anything. Her niece, Meena Harris, is also the founder of Phenomenal Women’s Action campaign.
Although feminism has a dark past, including segregation that led to white women being able to vote before women of color, the community has adapted in so many positive ways. There is always room for improvement in these terms, and I hope to see more recognition towards women in the future as well as women of color. I am a proud woman, and I am ecstatic to see what the future holds and how much more women can achieve.
About The Author
Hi! My name is Nirupama Shivakumar (she/her) and I’m from San Jose, California. I’m 13 years old and I love to read, write and row when I’m not in school. I am an advocate for women’s rights, and I hope to make the world a better and beautiful place, for everyone.