I cannot describe any other words aside from gentle and powerful whenever I think about women. I have met many incredible women throughout my life, even though they come from totally different backgrounds and cultures, they share similar traits as women; they could be both graceful and capable in whatever they do.
Nowadays, nothing makes me happier than seeing young girls who believe in themselves and do their best to make their dreams come true and create the future they want, because this type of spirit will take them places to become the women of the future.
Growing up in Indonesia where patriarchy is part of the culture, I was often confused for being strong-headed instead of being mistaken as strong-willed or to be authentically myself without being labelled as rebellious. In my culture, women are continually told they should be obedient, yet it does not stop me from being the woman I am, as long as I continue to push the boundaries whilst being respectful.
I learned a lot about feminism during my time in University where I studied Geological Engineering that was dominated by male students. I had no idea what feminism was until I got very indignant when one of the boys told me that men would do better than women in engineering due to the physical strength and the ability to work in the field.
All I knew was he was wrong. No men in the world with real confidence would think or say such things. Men with confidence see women as their equal, as capable human beings with no feelings of intimidation by women in power.
Feminism is not about women desperately wanting to be recognised and diminishing men, yet, feminism is about men and women who believe that both genders are equally powerful, capable and equitable.
Luckily, most of the men in my life are feminists and they clearly understand the differences between loving and treating women equally. Men can love women wholly but they still don’t see their partners as their equal whilst feminists can love women wholly and see their partners as their equals.
Women should believe that they can be anything and do anything, as long as they continue to push boundaries with solidarity. Don’t let gender stereotypes and cultural biases stop you from living the life you want to live, and the good news is women are beginning to enter more and more male-dominated professions.
Our future as women gets brighter every day with our determinations to conquer the world, to be the person, to have the careers, and to be in places we want to be.
Stay unapologetically you.