Persuasion I I am a woman. I am proud of being a woman. But it’s not easy to survive in a world where women are still considered inferior or less than men. It is not easy when growing up, my parents taught me to go home before it got dark or to wear more clothes so that I won’t be eyed by anyone I see on the street. It’s not easy when women like me are still taught to ‘sit more feminine’ or to act more feminine, or to carry pepper sprays just to make it safer. It’s 2018 and women are taught that they should be cautious instead of teaching men that they shouldn’t rape. I am a woman and I am scared. I am scared that I am continuously living in a world with a rape schedule and most people aren’t even aware of it. It became normal to walk fast when you’re alone in the middle of a dark street. It became normal to refer to any man on the street as strange when you’re alone, and you try to hold on to something that may protect you if there is something to happen. It’s so scary to think that I am a citizen of a country with a president who thinks rape jokes are okay, as if it’s a compliment that someone will be so fond of you that much. It makes me sad to know that women are being raped everyday and that most countries are still not paying attention to it. Phrases like “boys will be boys” are still considered normal and funny in a boy talk. I am scared of those people who pay more attention to blaming rape victims more than blaming the rapists. I feel my blood run cold when they make fun of rape victims because they deserve it, just because they’re wearing something short or revealing as if they’re not supposed to enjoy what they wear and should pay more attention to protecting themselves like it’s the normal thing to do instead of pointing fingers at those people who sexualize them. I feel like throwing up when people still blame the way women dress even though girls wearing hijabs are raped too, or when infants and children are continued to be sexualized, or when publicly breastfeeding a baby is considered weird. It gets on my nerves to know that women all around the world can’t get the same amount of pay for the same amount of work, or that girls my age in different countries are still fighting for their education and escaping their families just so they can’t be married of to some family without achieving what they want in life. Years and years and years of these and some people are still making fun of rape and “boys will be boys” is still an excuse to make fun of things that they think is okay even though it’s not. This needs to stop. We need to think about how this society made us think that it’s okay to blame the victims more than the suspects. It’s 2018 and I don’t want to live in this kind of world anymore. So I want to use my words to make people aware that this isn’t right, that rape isn’t funny, and that I don’t want to be scared anymore. I want to live in a world where I can feel safe and a world that will make girls like me feel free and stopped from being shamed about their choices—be it clothing, their lifestyle, and even their education. I want to be a part of a world that feels like home.