I was at a career talk in 2016. I was supposed to speak with high school boys and girls on the best career choice; what career is good for the boys and what career is better for the girls. I knew that’s what the young students were expecting from me going by the theme of the program. But I asked myself, how can we grow if we have boundaries and limitations set before us.
Before I was called upon to speak, I asked a female student to write in her own note, “Girls are never right”. She looked at me with a big surprise on her face. At first she was reluctant, but what can she do, I’m a guest speaker and she want to be of good behavior to a stranger.
When I got up the podium, the first thing I said was, “Girls are never right.” “Do you know, no woman has ever been right? None have ever made right choices and decisions; they are full of mistakes? So you know?”
There was a cold room instantly. The first speaker was a female and she did justice to the theme by telling the students that anyone can take up any career as long as they have the power and intellectual capacity to do so. But there was so much noise as she spoke and a lot of time she had to calm the arguing boys and girls.
The female speaker looked straight to my eyes, perhaps she thought I was about to antagonize her, the students also resumed their noisey argument.
So I cut them short at a point, I shew forth the note I collect from the female student and I asked them to read it out loud, and so they read – “Girls are never right.” Then I asked all the boys to stand up. I said, “If you believe this written statement sit down. If you don’t please remain standing.” All standing boys sat down.
Then I went straight to my lecture,
“Do you know this was written by a girl and all of you just believed she is right to have said that. Meanwhile, your idea was that girls are never right, but fortunately and unconsciously you have just proved that girls can be right. The reason we think there should be gender discrimination is because we have set our minds to it that girls are inferior gender. We see weaker vessels when we talk about a girl child. We think they are not as human as the male and that they are meant for insignificant purposes. But if only we can clear our minds off that ideology, we will be able to give a girl child equal opportunity as we have given to the boys. There is not a single thing a girl can’t do, trust her and try her. Gender discrimination is as bad as a spiritual sin. Gender discrimination is as bad as breaking the law. Gender discrimination is as bad as very bad. Do away with it. Thank you.”
I hope I have been able to pass a message and that you have learnt something from this.