Letters of Youth


/ 11 March 2022

To those accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression. 

The streetlights at night start to blink as a cold wind passes by. A shiver runs down her spine when she hears slow, subtle footsteps following her from behind. 

“The enemy of feminism is not men. It’s the patriarchy, and the patriarchy is not men. It is a system, and women can support the system of the patriarchy just as men can support the fight for gender equality,” said Justine Murk. 

Patriarchy is the system of society in which men are the ones who hold the authority. It has been the root of inequality between men and women; it is part of the reason why women are belittled and seen as inferior when compared to the opposite gender. 

Around the world, women have always been perceived as weak. They have been objectified, invalidated, and disrespected for many years up until now. In several fields, male domination is evident. There are scenarios wherein either a woman is not allowed to lead, or her ideas are disregarded or taken for granted. To top it off, women also experience sexual assault and verbal abuse. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), there are approximately 463,634 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States. Two out of three of these assaults go unreported. In the Philippines, nearly 70% of sexually abused children are between 10 and 18 years old. Twenty percent of those victims are children under the age of six (Cameleon, n.d.).

Every single human being deserves respect, regardless of gender or sexuality. We must recognize that women can do more than be housewives and child-bearers. It must be stressed that they are more than what a patriarchal society allows them to be. 

As Meghan Markle said, “Women do not need to find a voice, they have a voice, and they need to feel empowered to use it, and people need to be encouraged to listen.” 

Fight for equality. End the social stigma.