Respect

by NaevEnya Moore

I-

Yes, however-

 

But thats the problem, isnt it?

I got into a debate once,
with someone in their late forties.
It started out as civil,
but it was over a topic that was extremely contentious.
And thats when I realized,
I am unable to be tendentious
because I will always be viewed as pretentious.
Because when I was finally able to form my thoughts into coherent sentences, back them up, and
make a compelling argument,
they just looked at me.
So then, to reinforce their superiority, they said,
I have been alive longer than you have. I have more life experience.
My voice was taken from me.

I read of a story where a young woman went on a date;
and whilst there, said jokingly,
What do I know? Im only a girl.
And the man sitting across the table from her smiled and said,
Thats what I like to hear.
Her voice was taken from her.
Will people ever understand that the new ideas come from the new generation?
We have things to offer,
you just have to allow us to offer them.
Its as if I am a piece of meat here for you to whistle at and demean.
As if my worth as a human being is somehow lesser due to my ability to literally birth a child
and inability to grow facial hair.
As though my brain is 98% staying in the kitchen, which leaves only 2% for math, science, and
literature.

I know I can be very naive.
I understand you learn things as you grow.
But the whole point in growing together and moving forward as a species is that we accept and
welcome new perspectives to change and improve the world around us.
These new perspectives will never come from the narrow-minded.

They
ll come from those who grew up in the modern world and consequently have experienced
its problems in a much more real and intense way.

Will people ever realize how much power we are given?
We have the ability to both amplify and silence the voices of others.

We can lift up or cast down.

 

I am more than my body.
My mind defines who I am.
How I treat the people around me defines who I am.
How I respond to the world around me defines who I am.
Not my measurements.

I don
t know how much longer I have until my voice is no longer heard,
so I will say this:
By taking our voices,
youre taking the voices of doctors
and revolutionaries.
You are taking the voices of the future.

Author Biography: 
NaevEnya grew up in a small town and has an intense love for reading and writing, music, and dogs. She enjoys the visual arts, as well as watching people attempt to pronounce her first name. She appreciates the support from her parents and her English teacher, Ms. Moss.