Finding Your Voice (It DOES Matter)

I have historically been relatively inactive in the political activism department. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been politically opinionated, but I never saw a reason for me to openly display my beliefs. It wasn’t until this past year that I have finally changed my ways. Two major epiphanies helped me make this change: 1) the facts and 2) the realization that my voice does matter.

I recently came across some startling facts that served as a wakeup call. Despite being just shy of 51% of the population, women only represent 24% of Congress, as noted by the Center for American Progress. With issues as pertinent to women as abortion in the hands of the government, it is more important than ever that we are fairly represented in the government as well. This issue also carries into work. According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, as of 2017, for all full-time workers, women made 18.9% less than men. Beyond occupations, the “burden” of being a woman shows up in our shopping. Despite having just posted the pre-Superbowl ad ridiculing “toxic masculinity,” companies like Gillette have a “pink tax,” where their women’s razors are 20% more expensive than the men’s equivalent. As for feminine products, the Washington Post found that in California alone, the tax on these products adds up to over $20 million annually in taxes. It can be extremely discouraging to hear companies talk about equality for women, but not actually employ these practices. How then, is any change going to happen? As I have come to find out, the answer to this question is you.

A few weeks ago, I went to my local Women’s March. At first, I wasn’t sure if I should even go—what difference is one person going to make? But then I realized that if every person thought in that same way, no one would show up. One person does matter, one voice does make a sound.

Movements like #MeToo were started by a single person who inspired a revolution. Therefore, I argue, why can’t you be the spark in the ignition of a fire? Standing on the steps of the statehouse surrounded by a sea of women, I couldn’t help but feel empowered beyond belief. Each one of us there had the common understanding that our voice does matter.

So, here is my challenge for you: find your voice and make it matter. Whether it be standing up for yourself, attending marches, or anything else, whatever you do, make it count. We are blessed to have a voice that we can use. Use your voice today, not tomorrow, but today.

Ann Wong, Career Girls Contributor

Sources:
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2018/11/20/461273/womens-leadership-gap-2/
https://iwpr.org/publications/gender-wage-gap-occupation-2017-race-ethnicity/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/08/the-tampon-tax-explained/?utm_term=.da09590b05df