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My Voice

My Voice

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My entire life I’ve been opinionated; I always felt the need to tell everyone in my path exactly what I thought and how I felt.

Even as I child I remember having a strong sense of self. I’ve changed throughout my life; things such as beliefs and opinions have shifted or dissolved, however, my essence has remained the same.

I’ve always been especially vocal about the things I deemed “unfair”. I couldn’t understand why I was made to do all these things and behave a certain way when none of the rules made sense to me.

Why did I have to be careful and hide my underwear when I wore a dress and my male counterparts where running around in their briefs?
So, what did I do? I changed my wardrobe of course, and only wore pants and jumpers henceforth, but what about the big things?

What do I do about the big things that bother me? I can’t very well change the entire world like my wardrobe, now can I?

During the five-minute walk from my house to the bus stop I am harassed by men at least three times. It vexes me.

All I want to do is walk to the bus stop and be on my way, instead, I must tolerate their verbal garbage. I remind myself to keep my head down, be polite, but not too friendly; as I don’t want them taking that as an invitation to follow me.

Even when I do all these things, sometimes they still try to follow me. Sometimes I see grown men harassing school girls who couldn’t be older than 14. It disgusts me, and I try to speak up whenever I see them. Unfortunately, I cannot stop them all.

I cannot make every man in my country understand that their crude comments and whistling at women is harassment and makes us uncomfortable.
I wish I had the power to change all the injustices in my country, but I do not, and it frustrates me.

I wish I could reason with every Vincentian and open their mind to the possibility of a better world, a more equal world. Someone told me a quote a long time ago, I can’t remember the exact words, but in essence it said, “change starts with an idea, once you plant a seed it will grow”.

At that moment I realized that my greatest weapon was my voice. I do not have money and I don’t have power, I only have my voice.

Another quote that I love to remember is from the great Harriet Tubman; “I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.”

Although, my life is not comparable to that of a slave, I related to her. I have resolved within myself that I will always fight for what I think is my right to true equality and equity, or the life I live will be no life at all.

The fire in me will always burn, and I will continue to use my voice and my words to advocate for the change I believe in.

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