By Maya Hanck, TIWP College Program

“We socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.” — Audre Lorde

From a young age, we are taught to be quiet and cautious, polite and ladylike, and unproblematic and soft-spoken. From a young age, we are ingrained with the notion that we are to fear the consequences if these standards are not met. And while we did not know the consequences, we followed the rules. And then we started to break the rules.

I believe the world changed when women began to speak—not just chit chat, but the words and phrases that were taught to have consequences.

Civil rights, the wage gap, gender discrimination in the workplace, education, fashion, and independence – topics with controversial histories when it comes to their intersection with women. Recently women in America have been fighting for their civil right to do as they please with their bodies, while women in Saudi Arabia have just recently been granted the opportunity to obtain higher ranks in the military.

In the words of Audre Lorde, “We are not free while any of us are unfree, even if their shackles are very different from our own”.

Breaking one shackle off at a time, women across the world continue to stun the masses and reject their inherent respect for fear.

From a young age we were taught that there were consequences to be had if rules were broken, but they never told us the consequences could be positive. For a society that’s based upon the values of “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” little white lies are imparted as truth to little girls each and every day.

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