Sometimes I’ll be left to my own thoughts in the spiraling business of college, and I can’t help but think of the women in my life. I’ll think about a roommate who is out and wonder, “Is she safe? Is she alone? Will she be OK when she comes back?” Or I’ll think about my sister who resides in Australia, wondering, “Is she safe? Is her ex bothering her again? When she goes out at night, does she go alone?” I’ll think about all the mothers who make my DNA, and I’ll have tears in my eyes when I think of the trauma, forced marriages, hardships and anguish the world has put them through just because they are women. I’ll think about my mother, a vivacious woman who has lost her smile and confidence over the years. I’ll think about my aunts, their former bubbly personalities now eroded from the constant emotional and physical abuse they've had to endure. I’ll think about myself, and everything the world has put me through already and what it will put me through in the future.
The world is hard on its daughters. We cannot walk down a street alone without feeling a sense of trepidation. We cannot approach a group of men without feeling like we may be in danger. We cannot be assertive without being seen as a bitch. We cannot be sweet without being seen as a pushover. We are called both selfless and vain. We are called both prude and slut. We live in a reality of contradictions that thread us into a web of impossible standards, judgments and misguided lessons.
The world tells lies about its daughters. You see women stereotyped as catty, bitchy or manipulative in the media. You’ll see magazines, reality television shows and movies pit women against each other for the attention of men. You’ll see it, and you’ll devour the stereotype once you have a taste. But the taste is so foreign from true life. Every woman I have met has always been capable and wise, no matter the age. I have never seen a woman pit herself against another women. I have always formed a sisterhood with women. Women raise each other up in real life, love each other, protect each other and rely on each other. Because we inherently know if we do not do it for each other, no one else will.
Sisterhood doesn’t have arbitrary boundaries. It transcends position, class and even cliques.
I have found this to be true in high school, where the cliques would not prevent one girl from defending or supporting another. I have found this to be true in college, where my own bond with my sisters in the Mass Media is stronger than any other; it is a pure bond where we relate how the world has treated us, how we have coped, and how we are always here for each other. We raise each other up, because we see in each other qualities that are unparalleled and unique. We love each other.
And so I say to the world, enough with your misguided and misogynistic lessons. Enough with the trauma you make women go through every day simply for being women. Enough with the lies you spread about us, attempting to create divisions in truth by showing divisions in media. We will not yield to you. We will not yield to the lies. We will not yield under your hard shoes. We are stronger than you. We have triumphed, excelled and achieved, all while holding on to our sisters and guiding them to do the same. And so we shall continue to do so.