Advice

Being a woman at university

Photo credit: Guardian Cardiff

by Holly Chesterton

I have asked myself multiple times these past two weeks, just what does it mean to be a woman? I only have to open my Twitter to find an abundance of inspiration; motivating pictures, witty comebacks and images of strength. But, what saddens me most is that it has come to this. Women are having to prove themselves as humans; they have reached a low where they must explain that they have the right to exist. How did it come to this?

In a lecture last week, our professor asked ‘Who here is a feminist?’, to which every single hand was raised. And as I glided my eyes over my classmates, a feeling welled in my chest which I could only label as one thing. I was proud. Honestly and completely proud to be surrounded by men and women alike, who just wanted to be equal.

Living in the UK, I know our current struggle is nothing like what women in the USA are experiencing right now. But as a world, we must come together now, and stand for what we believe in. I know full well this has been said before, and I feel as an individual it is difficult to feel that these words will have much impact. But this is not a rant, nor a petition nor piece of propaganda of any sort, but a message to the world. It starts in the little things; we may not be able to change laws, but we can go against them in our own way. ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’, has never rang more true. You can give us equal opportunities, allow us equal pay, speak to us and treat us the same. If you are one of those people who can make this change, then do it. Because right now the world needs you to stand up for us.All these little changes will soon add up. When we all come together and start making these changes, we form a unit, and we finally fulfil what it is to be human. Humans have lost sight of what it is to live. How can we live when not just our bodies, but our chances are being taken away?

As a member of the female gender, I feel saddened. But keep standing, men and women. Give every ounce of charity, compassion and strength you have. We should not have to, but we do, not through violence, but through humanity. Whoever is listening, this is not the end of the battle. When someone asks if you’re a feminist, male or female, I hope you say yes, because I hope you stand for equality and don’t feel afraid to tell people. Ignore the stigma associated with such a title, because you should never be embarrassed or ashamed to stand up for something. As a community, we can make the change.

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