Now more than ever, we are seeing and experiencing acts of gender inequality and gender bias. One good thing that has come from this is that it has motivated people, and in particular women, to speak up and address these acts. Speaking out created movements, protests and change. It took one person to speak out and it created a ripple effect. Now you see so many people speaking out, fighting to create change and inspiring others.
One person that used her voice to speak out against gender bias was my softball coach. It was before a game, when we were warming up. Our coach went to talk to the umpire to establish ground rules, when suddenly the umpire said, ”We are teaching the future mothers of America.” My coach stood there shocked at the extremely biased comment made towards young women. She continued to stand there until she said, “What about future leaders, doctors, athletes or lawyers? Why is a woman’s only role in life to be a mother?” The umpire was taken aback by her comment, and apologized for what he had said. He didn’t realized how wrong he was for what he said, and how sexist it was towards women. He became very apologetic, and they left from the conversation to start the game. Experiencing this taught me how powerful your voice can be, and how it has a major influence on others. Without my coach not telling the umpire anything, he would continue to say these comments and not know the wrongful meaning behind it.
This incident taught me to use my voice to speak out against gender bias or any instances of injustice. I tend to not speak out when I hear people making ignorant comments because I become fearful. Fearful of what others might say or think of me. Them telling me I’m too soft or that it’s just a joke, but I tell myself, “Aren’t jokes supposed to be funny?” Then I realize that staying quiet will not help either. I am allowing these comments to be made even though I now they are wrong and hurtful. For me, when I don’t say anything it eats me up inside. I tell myself why didn’t I say anything and I constantly overthink. Especially when the comment affected or others. I know it can be hard to speak up because you are afraid of what others might say or have a fear of rejection, but speaking out can have a huge impact on others. Whether it be educating the person you’re speaking out against or inspiring others to use their voice, it has significance. If we don’t speak up, we will continue to witness people making ignorant comments. I encourage you to use your voice and speak out against any form of prejudice because you don’t know how much of an impact your voice has on others.
Laylah Outlaw, Lindblom Math & Science Academy
Cubs RBI Scholars Class of 2024