Feature Article
She Could if She Would – and She Should
May moves be made unapologetically, and may you smell the sweetness of life without the melancholy because you deserve that much. Fight for her as you fight yourself. Include!
Mar 19, 20243 min read
She Could if She Would – and She Should

Graphics: Thea Garay

There’s a silent humming in the air, like a breeze wanting to blow but could not do so. There’s a stillness around, not quite lazy but somehow, unmoving. There’s a sweet scent… sweet but mildly melancholic. There she was in the middle – clothed with beauty, armed with resilience, afraid, but fighting. She was unnerved but she dared not show. She liked the challenge, and she loves the feeling of fighting for herself. But she does not have to fight every battle, does she?

It all started when she carried the expectations of her parents and her community while growing up. She hunched her way through school, not minding the world revolving around her. She worked hard even when people already foretold her downfall. She cultivated her inner strengths and made her way through life. She laughed her heart out but was reprimanded for being too loud. She kept silent and was asked to speak more. She was flabbergasted by the hypocrisy. She was fed up with the double standards. Standards were too much to bear, and she wanted to break them. She tried to be heard, but no one listened.

Now, she became a mother and took care of her family every day. She cleaned, cooked, fed, and kept her house tidy. She was praised for this, but she was criticized for staying home – like it was a silly decision, like life did not depend on her. She was the best in her craft, being a mom, but the world still demands more from her. She was torn.

There’s a different woman, she remained single and with no child. She tried to live her life to the fullest, but people told her kids would make her life full, and it’s always a great thing to have someone to count on during rough days - that it was such a shame she does not have a family. There’s never a way out for her. People always have a thing to say. People are so noisy, and so full of opinions like living itself was not already a great feat. She had already proven herself in different aspects in life, fighting every battle thrown against her. Discriminations and underestimations. Even with that life, the standards were still haunting her.  She smirked while sipping a glass of wine. She might be single, but she was never alone. She had a family, not the one people wanted for her, but the family she chose for herself.

Looking around her, she realized, it was such a shame that most of the criticisms came from her fellow women. Always making her inferior for the life she chose, like theirs were much better. She now wishes for a way out. A way out of the shell the world created for her. She wishes to be respected for the ideas she has and the opinions she critically and carefully thinks of. She needed to be loved for who she is, and not only for what she has achieved. But she also wanted to be loved for the things she does for other people, and not only for what she accomplished. People’s belief in her may sometimes falter, but she only yearns for a good pat on the back every time she does a job well done. She does not ask for much. She only longs for acceptance for her strengths, and acknowledgment every time she does work better than the rest. After all, she works hard for it. She has a heart ready to take on the world, but she still needs support now and then. Criticisms were never even a problem, but dragging her name down and making sure she stays down especially when it was from her fellow women always felt more painful.

We demand equality and inclusivity for ourselves as women that we forget there are so many women out there too. They demand equality and inclusivity too. And that we, as women, owe it to ourselves to be supportive of one another. There should be no dragging of anyone down. We were so overwhelmed by our mission to feel included that we somehow, in some way, excluded our fellow women. This month, may we reflect on the things we fight for and see to it that we fight for it justly. We cannot demand equality from the other gender if we cannot practice it ourselves. We cannot successfully include anyone if we still try to drag others down.  

This Women’s Month, may the silent hums be loud songs. May moves be made unapologetically, and may you smell the sweetness of life without the melancholy because you deserve that much. Fight for her as you fight yourself. Include! Because as for her, she is still trying to break free from the strong webs of self-doubt and fear, and the constant need to prove herself. And may we be with her as she stands for inclusivity and equality, and may we be inclusive and equal too. Because it is time to really believe that she could if she would, and she should. And no one, and especially not her fellow women, should stand against that.

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