I would like to tell a story in honor of this year’s International Women’s Day celebration, Breaking the Bias!
The forms were out for the application of the post of the Class Representative. Growing up and having to deal with an auditory memory and processing disability, I had little faith in myself and my abilities but this time around, I took a leap of faith and purchased a form. Historically, the class representative always had to be the smartest guy in the class.
It was the norm, so the girls didn’t bother to question it. We were asked to campaign, write a manifesto, and present it to the class. My campaign was a flop. Nobody was paying attention to me or what I had to say. My class teacher approached me and advised me to abandon the campaign and focus solely on my academics so that I could pass the class, but I was more determined than ever.
As the quiet girl always sitting at the back of the class, I had always taken the time to observe and study my classmates, so it came as no surprise that I knew what they lacked and what they desired. I drafted my manifesto with these points in mind and presented it to the class. The election proceeded, and the results were to be announced shortly thereafter. I was named Class Representative a few seconds later. My idea of a woman breaking the bias starts with a girl running for Class Representative regardless of the fact that it has never happened before.
Against All Odds
My idea of that woman is not a perfect woman who has everything figured out, but rather one who refuses to limit herself and her dreams. She has fears, but she does not dwell on them. She gets up after every fall, and her anthem is “Against All Odds.” She is one who admits to having emotions, understands that she can be hurt, and understands that it is okay to cry sometimes. She is independent but also understands that she needs people. She knows when she needs help and is confident enough to seek it without fear of criticism.
She is aware of her flaws and strengths, but she chooses to focus on her strengths and work on her flaws. She appreciates little wins as well as the big ones. She pursues her dreams unapologetically, but she is always open to correction. She understands when it is appropriate to be selfish and when she needs to be selfless.
She genuinely cares, as evidenced by her actions. When she disagrees with a cause, she fights it until it is changed. She is hard-working and goal oriented. She is one who loves and respects herself, yet is humble. She does not let adversity or other people’s opinions define her. She is a dream chaser and a resilient fighter. She challenges history and changes it. She makes a choice to be strong and she keeps to it. She believes in herself even if no one else does.
Breaking the Bias
My idea of a woman breaking the bias is me. Breaking the bias starts with the littlest things. I dared to challenge myself at that young age and change the narrative people had of me and now, it tells on the woman I am becoming. I dared to challenge social norm and do what no one else had ever done. I created a standard and now, people follow. My ambitions have grown, and I strive to achieve them every day, despite the odds.
The journey of a thousand miles, they say, begins with one step. I am living life every day with the consciousness that I can turn my dreams into plans and cant’s into can. This is my story of how that one little step of faith and courage and one little decision to defy an unjust social norm, changed everything. #BreakingTheBias