The author made a request to remain anonymous.

When I was growing up I was so excited to finally ‘enter’ the adult world- I seriously couldn’t wait and spent hours fantasizing about what that life would be like. The thought of finally getting a voice was gratifying, yet strange because of how I was raised. However, the reality of the situation was a lot harsher- fast forward about twenty years and you find an adult wishing for those childhood times back. The freedom of spending hours finding enjoyment in the small things, the learning of life lessons as one grows older… none of these lessons, however, taught me how hard I would have to fight or how loud I would have to get. The ability to walk up to anyone and engage in an exchange of opinions is much different now than it was in the past. Now I fear sharing my own opinions with this cruel world; I fear being shunned, ridiculed, my feelings getting tossed aside as if they are meaningless. 

Is this due to my shyness and my living in fear because I am voiceless? Must I remain silent even when unjust situations shake me to the core, or am I allowed the right to freedom of speech? Does being a woman affect how people read this or view my opinions? Of course it does- everything I do is judged on the fact that I am a woman, a strong independent woman trying to find her voice in a man’s world. Yet I keep asking myself how to find that inner voice, how to accurately portray it and share it to the entire world without fear. 

It’s funny how though in school they taught us about our constitutional rights, they never educated us on how to advocate for them. Now, as an adult, I feel that on the rare occasion I share my thoughts I am laughed at or ridiculed. I grew up thinking family was thicker than blood; however, over time, I realized family is who you make it. It consists of individuals who support you, stand by your side and who love you endlessly; they do not cast you aside or project their anger out on you over how you feel about basic human rights. 

To say the future seems uncertain at this point in time would be an understatement. When one feels and sees the future as increasingly shaken and unstable,  horrifying thoughts begin to take root and one begins to question every plan they’ve ever made. You question your path, the future generations, and the future relationships and interactions that will take place between you and people you’ve known your entire life. It is admittedly the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it is my new reality as much as it breaks my heart. It is now 2022, and social media has essentially taken over how we keep up with our loved ones, communicate and build relationships with strangers, and keep up with the things happening around us.

I’ve used social media before I was technically allowed to, as per the sites’ requirements. However, this long period of usage did not illuminate a truth to me that I had only just recently realized: that is, how much I have been ignoring things that have been happening around me, that are often highlighted on social media. If they do not affect me directly I find myself turning my attention away, whereas when I do feel strongly about a particular topic I tend to provide some opinions only to log off after. Over time, these strong feelings and responses have also gradually dissipated, floating away into the abyss (‘out of mind, out of sight’ is what I like to say). But today marks something different- I have feelings so strong that I feel as if I could turn the world upside down & shake it to its core. I want to understand why things happen, what is to be expected, and how a world can become so fallen back in time. 

I woke up thinking today was just another day. However, on this day my rights, probably the first of many, have been utterly stripped away from me without my getting the slightest say. I can only sit back and bear the fact that monumental changes- on female bodies no less- have been made at the hand of a group of individuals, mostly men. At what point do we draw the line as females? Would we continue taking punches at the hands of men or would we stand up and fight for our basic rights? 

If you think you are a woman who does not have to fight for your rights I pray for you and your future generations. If you are a man who thinks that these absurd rulings do not affect you, it will, at some point or the other, affect the women you love and cherish. Women are not safe, they are not protected, and they are barely heard. Females have been treated as the lesser species for ages and indoctrinated to just accept that they will never be more. I will not be categorized into this misogynistic ideal of how women should behave any longer; I will not stay quiet in the shadows while the world makes our choices for us. I will not allow my future generations to be these females, or for future males to have any lesser view of women. If you do not advocate for your rights, no one will. 

The Roe v. Wade ruling marks the beginning of a female revolution. Throughout many periods in history, women have fought for themselves and this cannot be the final destination.  Speak loudly for the things you believe in, speak loudly for the little girls who do not yet have a voice, speak loudly for your ancestors who fought for your rights as women, and importantly, speak loudly for YOURSELF. 

[Featured image sourced from SkyNews]

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