“It’s because you have a uterus,” I said to one of my closest friends.
She was having a bad day, so we analyzed her life problems over the phone. It’s the same conversation that can be heard on cell phones or in coffee shops across North America, revolving around the four biggest issues of a young woman’s life: boys, school, friends and our nails.
“That’s the craziest thing I think I’ve ever heard you say,” she said.
Looking back at our conversation, I don’t think it was so crazy. As North American women, we have trials based on the sole fact that we are, well, women.
Some of these trials include, waiting in anguish for 30 minutes to see if the guy with the really big muscles will text you back. It can also mean having the urge to eat a dump truck of chocolate glazed donuts because it’s your time of the month.
Don’t get me wrong. Many of my fellow females are intelligent, confident and successful people. There are, however some challenges that can be hard for us to overcome on a daily basis.
Picking an outfit is one of them.
I never know what to wear to school. The hardest part of my day is dressing myself. Most of the time, I play it safe and stick with the usual-a pretty dress. I love dresses. My closet is full of them. I have black dresses, yellow dresses, red dresses, flowery dresses, and more flowery dresses. However, my favorite dress is pink-like Pepto-Bismol pink.
On Jan. 14, 2009 Malala Yousufzai from Swat Valley, Pakistan, didn’t know what to wear to school either. That day, she wasn’t allowed to dress in her typical uniform and she didn’t know if she’d be allowed back to school. So, like any girl, Malala scanned her closet. She too decided to wear a pretty pink dress.
Since then, Malala has returned to school. But the day-to-day trials she faces as a Pakistani girl are different than what I have to face as a girl living in North America.
When I go to school, I worry about what color highlighter to use when underlining the words in my textbook. When Malala goes to school, she worries about seeing beheaded bodies on the street. When I go to school, I worry about the five-day week ahead of me. When Malala goes to school, she worries about having a school to go to. When I go to school, I complain. When Mala goes to school, she rejoices. When I go to school, I worry about my next spare. When Malala goes to school, she worries about getting shot.
On Oct. 9, 2012…she was. Why? Because Malala is a girl. She’s a girl who’s fighting for peace, democracy and the right to an education.
Since 2009, Malala has been blogging under the pen name Gul Makai. In her blog she discusses the corruption in Swat Valley by the Taliban. Currently, the young girl is recovering at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
It really is a shame-a 14-year-old girl being silenced by the barrel of a gun. Who does that?
This girl doesn’t personally own a gun, she doesn’t wear camouflage, and she doesn’t drive an army tank. She’s a teenage girl who likes to shop, wear jewelry, hang out with girlfriends, and make a difference.
She’s a girl who’s going to fight for gender equality with her drive, passion, and education. She’s a girl who’s going to fight for justice, with an army of supporters behind her. She’s a girl who’s going to fight for peace, in a pretty pink dress. I’d be scared too.
Malala, you go girl.