I Am a Young Woman
I am a young woman, and I live in a world that believes my youth makes me incapable and my womanhood makes me weak. I am a young woman, and I live in a body that others assume is a dull, unintellectual thing. I am a young woman, and all my life, the world has tried to convince me that I am lesser than. But I’ve got a secret weapon.
I am a young woman, and I have grown up with GenerationW. In many ways, I have grown up on this stage. Since I was thirteen years old, GenerationW has been my secret weapon. It has given me a voice. It has given me confidence, joy, empowerment, knowledge, empathy, and passion. Its message has pushed me and its community has inspired me. From the first moment I sat down as a GenWOW panelist four years ago, to last year’s discussion of the evolution of feminism towards true inclusion and intersectionality, to the historic march on January 21st, and now, to this moment, when I stand here for the last time as a child before moving towards adulthood—all this time, the incredible people here and those who are here in spirit have been silent and persistent reminders that I am enough.
I am a young woman, and I’ve learned that my youth makes me inventive and my womanhood makes me strong. I am a young woman, and I know that my body is beautiful and it is mine. I am a young woman, and I know that I still have certain privileges and that it is my duty to listen and to learn from those whose experiences are different from my own. I am a young woman, and I know that I am better for it.
I know these things because I am lucky enough to have lived a life surrounded by intelligent, strong, powerful, inspired, unapologetically awesome women. As a young woman, there will be times when I find the world to be daunting, and there will be times when I feel small, but if there’s anything I’ve learned lately, it’s that even giants feel small sometimes. And so, as a young woman, it is my duty to draw from the inspiration in this room; to stand taller, to reach higher, and to think bigger, because GenerationW is a reminder that I can.
This post was originally shared by Amanda on the stage of Generation W 2017.
by Amanda Mickelson