It was decided a long time ago that women are less than men and that their voice needs to be quieter than a man's voice. Think about voting rights: "By the close of 1922, all the Canadian provinces, except Quebec, had granted full suffrage to white and black women." That means it's only been in the last 100 years that women were given a chance to express their opinion in politics. Even more shocking is that the Canadian Bill of Rights was not put into effect until August 10, 1960 (we are close to celebrating 60 years!).
There has been significant growth in these areas over the past 60 years for sure. The problem is that even though the Canadian Bill of Rights, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and other legislation have "declared" no discrimination based on sex, women have been living with the oppression of being a woman for thousands of years and, somehow, it is ingrained in us internally that we are somehow inferior. For decades, family and society taught the next generation how to treat women and taught women how they are supposed to act:
a step behind
in the shadows
being quiet in politics and church
not voicing an opinion, especially if it was different than the majority
in the kitchen and serving their family
subserviant to men
doing what men say
There has been significant growth in these areas over the past 60 years for sure. The problem is that even though the Canadian Bill of Rights, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and other legislation have "declared" no discrimination based on sex, women have been living with the oppression of being a women for thousands of years and, somehow, it is ingrained in us internally that we are somehow inferior.
That means that no matter how many men or pastors tell women they are equal, to us it sounds like men are giving us permission to be equal. Even when men go to the Bible and teach what God says, it's filtered through our belief that men are "allowing us" to feel equal. Yes, "feel." I "know" in my head that I am created equally, but the distance from my head to my heart is very, very long. And, it doesn't help when it is reinforced by culture - especially the religious/Christian culture. Women know we are not inferior, but on some level, we do feel that men are superior.
Men telling women to "speak up" is degrading. It boldly displays the superiority of men and is patronizing to women. Just as much as they don't have the right to tell us to be quiet, they also don't have a right to tell us to speak up.
When have you ever heard a motivational speech for men convincing them they have a voice or that their opinion matters? What makes men think they can put their hands on women or say inappropriate things to us? What makes men think they can write a woman off because she stands up for herself or she won't do what he wants her to do?
What makes a man think that he can beat a woman into submission?
Ladies, we do have a voice, and it was given to us by God at the beginning of creation. Women were created without limits. Limits come from society, culture, government, men, and even other women. The only limits we have are the ones we give ourselves based on something that was said to us or done to us. We have power and we can own that power.
I know that not all women are going to feel the way I do. I am looking through the lens of my own perception, which the experiences of my life have led me to. This is where I am at today and I hope there are women out there who are further developed in their understanding and freedom to speak up and own their womanhood. You are my examples and truly desire to get there someday.