Recalling from my first article: Girls might often say: “I have been brought up this way. I want to make a change but I am too scared to voice my opinion. I am afraid my parents won’t understand me and it would be difficult to fight against them”. There is either a way or an excuse. Pick one and take responsibility for it.
“To find a way”, the major milestone would be “taking the first step: the initiation”. The minute you choose to find a way, a bunch of negative thoughts will cross your mind – “What if I fail? What if the society mocks at me? What if I become an outcast?” – SSShhhhh! Stop for a minute. Why the hell are you concerned about the results even before you start? How can you possibly think you can succeed, if you are not ready to face failures? Fear of failure is natural. But, it is always better to try and fail than not trying at all. Let me tell you a small real-life story before I ramble upon this.
Sophie and Hans were siblings studying in the same school. Their school initially had a great management: the students were given great exposure and were allowed to pursue their interests. But all of a sudden, the school management went into the hands of an infamous person. He enforced too many restrictions, treated the students like slaves. All of their favorite activities were barred. There were unacceptable discrepancies between boys and girls. Boys had volumes of books to study but girls were not encouraged to study. All group activities were prohibited. Sophie and Hans got highly frustrated that they started to protest against the management. They did not protest by violent means. They vividly expressed their opinion in paper and distributed the leaflets to their fellow students as a sign of their disagreement with the management.
The story sounds pretty dumb, right? You might think – “The girl hasn’t done something amazing. I would do that. In fact, any person can do that. This story is a waste of time” What if I said that the school management was headed by Hitler? Does the same situation seem simple to you now? What would you do now?
I do not know what each one of you would do, but the fearful name: “Adolf Schickelgruber Hitler” did not stop Sophie from doing what she wanted to do. She, along with her brother Hans, actively leaded the White Rose Movement. They distributed leaflets to all of Germany voicing their opinion and calling on people who shared the same thought to protest against Hitler’s dictatorship. In total, they had published 6 leaflets and issued around 15,000 copies. They were clearly aware that this was an act of treason and that they would be punished with nothing less than a death penalty if they get caught. Sophie, as a girl, had concerns about her safety. Girls were treated as child bearing machines. In a nutshell, Sophie was “a female political activist during Hitler regime”. Definitely she was risking a lot more than you can ever imagine. All she knew was that, she could not, like millions of other countrymen, agree passively to this brutal Government, which was immoral to its core. The conversation between the SS Police and Sophie (after she was arrested for the treason) shows how much she was grounded in her beliefs:
SS Police (Herr Mohr) : There might be one last chance for you to escape the death penalty if you admit in the court that you weren’t fully aware of what you were doing but simply following your brother Hans and that you have realized your mistake now. Plead for forgiveness and promise to be better.
Sophie : It is not I, but you, Herr Mohr, who is wrong. I would do the same again
(Starting from the left: Hans, Sophie and Christopher Probst)
Even during her final court trial before she was guillotined, she said:
Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don’t dare express themselves as we did. She insisted: Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone.
All of this, coming from a 21 year old girl(1921-1943), is definitely astonishing. Her death meant the beginning of the downfall of the Nazis. What is ours going to mean?
Sophie and Hans were school students like how we were. But there’s just one difference though: they were ready to come out of their comfort zone. Standing out against the majority requires immense courage and confidence. Being an independent woman, necessitates this discomfort. You should have the courage to go up to people who control your life and say: “I have the rights to decide what I want to do with my life. I do not want you to decide for me”, to go up to your husband and say: “Taking care of the household is a shared responsibility. I want you to take half of the responsibility.”, to say to the society: “Mock all you want. I am not going to give a fuck to any of that. I am not going to restrain myself from doing something just because I am a girl.”
When you try to do something different from other girls, there would be a whole world out there just to oppose every single move of yours. In all such cases, remember what Mark Manson mentioned in his book (The subtle art of not giving a fuck).
If you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice – well, then you’re going to get fucked. If you find yourself giving too many fucks about trivial shit that bothers you, chances are you don’t have much going on in your life to give a legitimate fuck about
One last question:
Which one do you prefer? – Passive consent or truthful denial?