Now, I need to give a big acknowledgment to Beyonce's "Flawless" performance. I had never actually heard the full song so it caught me by surprised when I heard a powerful voice talking about women equality?! I'm so in!! Instantly, I raised the volume and intently listened to the most well written feminist words:
'We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings, in the way that boys are. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We tell girls, "You can have ambition but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful other wise you will threaten the man." Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes'
I knew that Beyonce was advertising the words, but I couldn't help but wonder who actually said them?! After some research I found Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, the owner of these beautiful words. In April 2013 she did a 30-minute TED Talk on why we should ALL be feminists. Yes, I watched the entire thing and I advise you to do the same. Every single one of her points was so accurate, it was hard to fast forward or turn off. Instead I found myself rewatching it. I believed in it THAT much.
Watching yesterday's performance reminded me of a girl I met two weeks ago who was waiting for her friend to finish fixing her hair next to a line of girls. Now, she might have been a bit intoxicated but she was in that bathroom preaching to all the girls looking at themselves in the mirror. I can't remember the exact words of her monologue but I'll say some parts I couldn't forget: "You all look so beautiful (even though we were all very very sweaty and the hair frizz was real) stop trying to fix yourselves!! You'll miss all the fun if you keep spending your time in here. We are women and we are independent and we are beautiful simply because we have breasts and curves!". It was funny because all the girls agreed with her but everyone continued fixing their hair, wiping the sweat off their face, and applying more make up.
I think we all (men and women) need to stop simply agreeing with true words and start taking action. We need to all be leaders of gender equality and we can only do this through consistent example. We need to treat one another equally. It's true, you probably won't change the world in your lifetime but you could inspire others to follow your lead. We can't keep thinking, "this is just the way things are"; that's NOT true. Things change all the time. Why should this be any different? As Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche says in her TED Talk, "Culture doesn't make us, we make culture".