Reflection Paper

1204 Words 5 Pages
Born in America, I am an eighteen-year-old girl from a middle-class, white family located in Kentucky. Full of promise and a passion for learning, I felt that university would be a utopia. Much like Dorothy leaving Kansas for Oz, I was escaping the dull, bland world into a cornucopia of unbridled intelligence and ideas. Maybe I saw a bit too much promise. Despite my hopes, my gender has led to cracks in my utopian vision. Before even setting foot on campus, my parents armed me with three cans of mace and told it would be best if I took on a self-defense class “just to be on the safe side.” This frustrated me. I don’t mean to overgeneralize, but I have not seen one male student with a can of mace strapped onto his backpack or chained to …show more content…
Here, among the newly refurbished halls and great institutions of higher learning, I had discovered—as so many do—an ancient hierarchy built on sexism and an unseen hate. In it, a male was superior to a female simply due to the fact that she was not male. I was, understandably, disgusted. As a woman, I am expected to silence myself, unless it was to agree with a point I did not create. My mere presence amongst these educated young men was enough to warrant concern laced with “oh, sweetheart”’s and “you wouldn’t understand”’s. However, this twisted ideology does not start at birth. Rather, it is taught through our parents and the world we live in. Within movies, television shows, and advertisements, men are generally viewed as the protagonist, helping the damsel in distress. Outside of media, parents unknowingly perpetuate that a boy must be strong while a girl must be dainty and feminine. Young boys are given toy guns and army men to play with, while young girls are required to play dress up and carry fashionable Barbie …show more content…
I would have been too afraid to do anything, yet disgusted at the discriminator’s actions and my lack thereof. The biting words of sexism could still ring out without protest simply due to my fear or, more so, my lack of understanding. During my seemingly short three weeks here, I have noticed what silence does. It solidifies twisted ideologies and lets it fester—something I had not seen in my own small town but now see and experience daily on a casual Tuesday walk. Simply walking back from my dorm warrants cars to slow down and the men inside to give “compliments” I did not ask for or want. Silence against my own discriminators opens the door for more of their discrimination; in their view, silence is the equivalence to “this is fine.” Now, I would not hesitate to snap back at a comment that oozed superiority and echoed remarks that should’ve long since passed, as I understand that my voice matters. My understanding that I have achieved as much as them, that I am as worthy as them, came from being surrounded by such intelligent women who not only understood their worth but flaunted it as if it were a prized jewel. I’ve come to see that that’s

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