Feminism Way Down Under
I was first introduced to feminism in university in the land down under, Australia. One afternoon during a rather intense game of Call of Duty, I heard rhythmic chants and the mumbled voices of protest. Curious, I went down to see a group of women, both young and old, holding signs which read “Equal Pay, we won’t go away” and my personal favorite “Girls just wanna have FUNdamental rights.” My curiosity then took a sudden turn to intrigue as I had never seen a protest before. Scratch that. I HAD NEVER SEEN WOMEN PROTEST BEFORE.
It was then one of the ladies from the crowd, Natasha, who came up to me (I’m pretty sure due to the look of absolute bewilderment on my face) and started to explain the reason why they were protesting. They were protesting for equal pay in the workplace and to highlight the difference in the rights of men and women in the labor market as well as the society in general.
Natasha went on to explain in detail the various ways she personally, has been the subject of such inequality. The stories that were shared by her in the days that followed the protest left me with in disbelief and essentially created a void in me. It completely changed my outlook and essentially made me see the difficulties faced by the opposite sex on a daily basis.
I was fired up.
I had to do something.
I was committed to helping them make their voice heard by all those in power and deep down, in my heart of hearts, I wanted to change another person’s outlook just like Natasha had changed mine.
A couple of months and a few protests later, I felt the same frustration that group of women felt. We had our voices, our message was loud and clear but we weren’t being heard. The strength they had to carry on was inspiration. I was an ardent supporter of the feminist movement that day.
But, it was the last time I went to a protest. Instead, I did my little part. I went back to Call of Duty and started changing outlooks there, one battle at a time, just like my fellow sisters were doing.
I’d like to think I did my part. And even though I might never know the difference I made, I still gave it a shot and that is what matters.