How do we live in a world where this occurs? How do we stand it? How is it 2014 and society still doesn't have a firm handle on the idea that women's rights are human rights? How?
I am a law student. I live in Canada. I like reading for pleasure when I can find the spare time. I am deeply sarcastic. I'm not a fan of Meryl Streep. Tea makes me happy and I enjoy movies that make me cry. I prefer cats over dogs and graciously accept flak for it. I hate when people litter and I love new bed sheets. I am excited by fireworks and while most people scream, I laugh on roller coasters.
I'm also a girl. Actually, my name means "girl" in another language. I am fundamentally, whole-heartedly, unapologetically female. And damn proud of it.
Had I been born in a different place to different parents, there may have been a question about my life and its value. Not because of my affinity for orange pekoe and my distaste for environmental ignorance. But because of my gender. My sex.
This disgusts me. It's disgusting that I am here today, able to have likes and interests, perhaps owing to the fact that I was lucky enough to be born in Canada. It's disgusting that my life as a female could have been dramatically different (or non-existent?) were I born somewhere where "it's a girl" is equivalent to bankruptcy or a decrease in social status. In a sense, I won the birth lottery.
What's more atrocious is that many girls don't. They lose. Big time. They don't get the chance to develop personalities or discover love or feel fulfilled. Why? Because they were born without a penis. Because their parents lived in a society that told them to examine their baby's genitalia before looking into their face. Because the world in which we live still does not understand what women, girls, and all those who identify as such are people.
A girl, like any other person, is entitled to the most basic human right: the right to life. This right should be uncontested. If you are alive, you have the right to be that way. You have a right to a chance. You have a right to make something of yourself. To strive for your full potential. To advance your own objectives and to bring something to this world that it didn't have before you came along.
That "something" that every single person on this planet brings to the table has value. And that value ought to be gender-neutral. It ought to be based on something more than what's found between a person's legs. It ought to depend on something more than dowries and baby policies and the general lack of appreciation for the role women can and do play in this world.
These are simple notions, yet they are not widely recognized or accepted. I am deeply saddened and baffled by that fact. I am angry and I am motivated to pursue change.
Why? Because I am a