On Monday I’m having my graduation ceremony. I will be officially recognized as university graduate and I will gain Masters of Science in Humanitarian Action degree. I will join the group of people whose persistence and ambition got them through their studies and help them gain widely recognized qualifications that will impact on our future.
But all of this wouldn’t be possible without feminism. Of course, I did all of the work, I wrote the thesis, I endured everything that was there to endure during exams sessions. But at the same time, I cannot underestimate the impact that feminism had on this situation.
So this is the tribute to all of the feminists and human rights activists that worked hard and sacrificed their life so I (and many more girls and women) can had a better future.
I would like to thank every suffragette and feminist who worked so I can vote and who fought for equal access to education and admission to the university. If it wasn’t for you, not only I would have no say over my life, I wouldn’t be able to gain this degree and basically, I wouldn't be able to decide about the future of my country and my family.
I am eternally grateful to all of the feminists, who advocated and still advocate for equal pay, better employment opportunities for women and assessment of abilities based on merit not gender. Your hard work will make it easier for me to get a job that matches my skills and isn’t below my ambitions.
I take my hat off to all of the brave women who proved to the entire world that women are not whimsical, weak, emotional and vulnerable. Thanks to you I was not afraid to persist in following my dreams, tested my abilities in various settings and persevered even the most unsuspected situations. I am strong because I am a woman and being a woman means being strong.
I would like to also acknowledge the hard work of reproductive rights activists and feminists advocating for free love. Owing to you, I can make informed decision about my body, when to start (and later on expand) my family and at the same time enjoy amazing sex without worrying about unwanted pregnancy.
This tribute wouldn’t be complete without special thanks to my fellow blogger, Inanna. If we weren’t brave enough to speak our mind and admit to the world (and ourselves) that we are feminist, we wouldn’t have found out each other in the sea of bullshit on Facebook. Thanks to this special connection we now have a platform to share our thoughts, cogitations and interpretations of reality. Without you I wouldn’t be strong enough to endure all of the patriarchal, sexist and misogynistic content that keeps pouring out from everywhere. Without you I wouldn’t be willing to explain to people some basic truths about feminism, men and women.
Finally, I want to thank the three most amazing feminists from the bottom of my heart, who means world to me and are a great support and inspiration to me: my parents and my boyfriend.
My parents taught me the importance of always improving yourself. I was loved and I was allowed to find myself (not always without a protest or nagging) and pursue the education that I wanted. We had our fights, but once I made up my mind and chose the discipline I love, I could count on their endless support and assistance. They never denied me anything that could result in me being better person. For that, I am eternally grateful. Generally, my family is pretty awesome!
My boyfriend came a long way since we are together. I started to date a childish teenager (even though he was 24-years-old), who thought only about himself and didn’t have much perspective in life. Now I am desperately in love with a grown-up man, who has his dreams and ambitions, but who at the same time does everything in his power to help me in pursuit of my dreams. He understands my need for travel and freedom, so he gives me as much space as I want, but still he is always around to protect me from dangers that are beyond my capabilities to deal with them alone. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to mature as a woman and flourish as a superb and unique human being.
I always aimed at helping people. My particular interest encompass violence, especially sexual violence, its impact on victims (and survivors) and psychopathology of perpetrators and ways to prevent those crimes. And I am feminist.
So as the future masters graduate I pledge to continue the brilliant work of human rights, women rights and in general equal rights activists and try to improve the lives of women and girls around the world. I pledge to fight for equality and safety, I will do everything in my power to protect and ensure that every person lives with dignity and receives respect that everybody deserves. I will not rest until I make this world a slightly better place than it had been before I was born.
Written by Vespertilio