I was speaking with a fellow female who was feeling down and out the other day about the pains of being a woman. She saw the curve of her hips and the shape of her breasts as a curse upon women everywhere. I couldn’t help but feel incredibly sad for my fellow female, not only because she felt hated that she hated being a woman in general, but because she hated herself. I had to respond with the kind of wisdom that had uplifted me so many times before. And so, of course, I turned my attention to Dr. Angelou.
I told my fellow phenomenal woman that “what makes us women is what makes us strong, what makes us powerfully enough to care, not only for ourselves but for our loved ones makes us unstoppable. You see, there are things that men mostly do better than women, and there are things that women mostly do better than men. But a man can never create a new life with his body and bare the pains of birth like a woman can. We are strong in our own way, and when you finally come around and see this and acknowledge all of the wonderful things that we can do, then you can do anything.”
I do, however, feel incredibly concerned for the fate of women, men, and children who may feel like outcasts in a sea of hate. Whether one is uncomfortable about their body because of misogynistic thinking in popular society, such as the case with my fellow female, or a member of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community who receives inequality with the law, or just anyone who is different or falls into the minority, everyone deserves to feel safe and confident about themselves everywhere they go.
Everyone is worthy of being treated fairly and with kindness, and no one should ever feel hate towards themselves because they are grouped into one community or another. In the meantime, while we still have ignorant and hateful people marginalizing groups of individuals and ostracizing people who are different from themselves, ignore what those people say about you. They are not you. They do not know what you are going through; they don’t know how you feel or what you can truly do. Prove these people wrong by doing what you want to do, and fight the battles that you would like to see being won.
When it comes down to the end, it’s your life—make of it what you will, and do so proudly by embracing the many elements and characteristics that have shaped your experience, and what has made you who you are.