By Maria Dombaxi

The greatest thing about having an older sister is the fact that you can talk about everything and anything. In fact, the other day we had a rather interesting conversation. I was telling her how my best friend who is a guy kept on calling me a dude. I found that intriguing, what is so unearthly about my personality to be characterized as a guy? Naturally like every other doubt in my life I turned to my sister and asked her if her guy friends think she acts like a guy. Of course knowing her strong personality the answer to that question was HELL YES.

She tells me she’s been called crazy, troublesome, big mouth. Basically because she did what she wanted, dated who she wanted, spoke her mind regardless of who it was and usually was the go getter, independent, or over independent. So I wondered, how should I act to be characterized as a woman? Should I act like the woman, who thinks that she hasn’t accomplished anything until she’s in a relationship with a man who wants to marry her? Will I then be called a woman?

Personally I think this women vs. men topic is overrated, outdated and annoying. We’re always victimizing women, when we’re obviously not victims. The victim is the weaker in the story, how contradictory is that to being a woman?

“The Hindu call her goddess Durga, The aztech, Tonantzin, the Incas named her Pachamana. For the Chinese she was Hou Tu, the ancient Greek called her Gaia, Nut in ancient Egypt and Ala in Nigeria. All these representations of Mother Earth, of the woman portray the importance they have in this universe. They did not just give explanation to the unknown, they gave life, they embodied the source, the beginning of all things; they turned cells into human being, not because they sat and listened, but because they spoke to those different cultures and civilizations. They voiced themselves so they could not only acknowledge their role but feel it within. Women have been the representation of the Madonna and the whore, the protector and the seducer, the warrior, the mysterious and the enlightened, the wise and the sorceress. Woman, you have lived, and reached places beyond human comprehension. However, years have gone by and the woman has become the synonym of the victim, the weak, the protected, the fed, the oppressed and the voiceless, subjugated by the ways of this so called “man’s world”.

Do you truly believe there is such a world that is only the man’s? You must be sipping on the same syrup that is turning the head of all these Hollywood celebrities upside down. Do not dare answer the question! You live in a world where you find women and men of all ages, sizes, heights, the rest is ancient history. I am not ignoring all the experiences that women go through. What I’m saying is simple, you are not your past, nor your history, you are not the experiences of your mother nor your aunt’s or that of your second cousin, you are the present you make, stop identifying yourself to the nonsense and elevate your voice, speak up and be heard, and please don’t do it for the sake of the women, or to fight for “our” cause, to give voice to I don’t know who you’re thinking about. Do it for you. Nobody needs your voice more than yourself.

However let’s not get it twisted. When I say speak up, I don’t mean talk loud because you can, I don’t mean be the center of attention because you want people to hear your voice, this has absolutely nothing to do with it. That’s simply having a stupid attitude; if it’s just to waste our time, you rather remain quiet, because there is nothing wiser and more perfect than deserved silence. I asked a friend awhile ago why men like intimidating women. His answer was so simple that it made me feel like an imbecile. He told me that I used the word “like” for a reason. People do things that give them pleasure simply because it gives them pleasure, it feels good. He added that women are physically and mentality weaker than men, so they are intimidated because they let it happen. You, woman, make it possible for there to be a so called “man’s world”. You believe in the role the society has given you. The funny thing about the society is that it’s made of women and men, so who exactly is in charge?

Woman, you don’t live in a man’s world, you live in the world of fear. You let it consume you, you identify yourself to it, you cover yourself with it because it’s safe, but you experience the opposite every hour of your life, so why bother even considering it? Fear manifests itself differently. We all experience fear of failure, it has no sexual orientation whatsoever, if I can put it that way. Fear of loneliness, I have heard of that a lot. A friend of mine once told me that girls are so silly. The moment they hear a man is willing to marry them, they automatically start liking him more or seeing him differently. Fear of pain, physical and mental, so you tend to avoid confrontation? Fear of being offended, being taken for an unworthy woman, and so hide under covers? Once again you are letting others decide who you are. Misconceptions and misunderstanding of yourself is the real problem, you are afraid to be. Speaking loud is simply giving your opinion, a well structured logical opinion. It’s very easy to achieve.

Look around you, what is disturbing about the image you see of the world? You have sat and studied for sixteen, then five more years if you decided to go further, it is very unlikely that you have nothing to say. Don’t cover yourself with the illusion of safety, there is no such thing in the savanna. What comes today comes; it’s within your responsibility to be prepared for it. You are the lioness, act like one! Don’t be a woman, BE WOMAN! You are not a simple image; embody the wisdom, the intelligence, the motherhood, the love. Don’t just be strong; be strength itself, the essence within, turn the word into your reality. Open your mind, observe, analyze and react!”