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Home » Rachel Wang: Gender Inequality is not a Standalone Issue at TEDxYouth@Edmonton (Transcript)

Rachel Wang: Gender Inequality is not a Standalone Issue at TEDxYouth@Edmonton (Transcript)

Rachel Wang – TRANSCRIPT

Imagine, imagine a world of constant peace, constant prosperity, constant justice, and constant equality. Impossible to imagine perhaps. That’s because we’ve yet to see a world like this. But this perfectly highlights why feminism exists. Feminism is the unified struggle for not only gender equality but equality in general. By the people of the people and for the people. Everyone gets the same equal chance regardless a few persons we cannot control.

This is what feminism is about: it’s about bringing people together, it’s about dealing with the unpleasant truths of inequality that plague us today and having the courage to deal with these truths. Now I know many individuals out there who think I’m talking too late. I don’t believe that to be the case because nobody, absolutely nobody deserves to be treated like a second class citizen.

And as youth, we can make a difference by speaking up and working together. It’s about bringing together Black and White, Asian, Latino, gay and straight, young and old, immigrants and locals. When we bring ourselves together, we can achieve great strides and the movement towards equality. Together, because only divided can we and will we fall. And by standing together, we become as Bernie Sanders artfully puts it: “the future to believe in”.

Change starts with you and me. But what makes me qualified to talk about the empowerment of people for equality? Simply because inequality exists. Just as you are qualified to talk about this issue as well. Sometimes I even catch myself succumbing to the gender stereotypes. But in these situations, I stop, think and ask myself: where are all these premises set? Media, popular culture and Hollywood.

These standards are drilled into us at a young age, but I’m not here to denounce pop culture either. Because goods things have come out of pop culture, one being the acknowledgement of the need to address the inequality that exists today. However, not only can we not blame pop culture, we also must blame society, which I know a lot of people do, for the inequality that exists today.

Well come to think of it, we might gain a short-term satisfaction in blaming society, but in the end, we are society. This means it’s not good enough to just identify as a feminist, but we have to act in ways that eliminate inequality to simple actions such as possessing a willingness to update our perspectives and reflect critically upon situations when other tell us that our actions, as feminists and as advocates for equality are harmful.

But we also must think critically because some people who feel these movements towards equality or oppression have only lived in lives without true oppression. You may have noticed that despite my strong identification as a feminist, I’ve only uses the word a few times. This is because gender inequality is not a standalone issue. We will never eradicate gender inequality if we don’t deal with other types of inequality that exist today. Because by allowing other forms of inequality to exist, we set the precedent that inequality in general can exist.

Never be afraid to speak up and fight for what you believe in. Because you guys here today have the capability to be a voice for those who are voiceless, a voice for yourself in the face of adversity and inequality. Something perhaps most exemplified by the words of one my favorite people, a self-identified feminist who advocates for equality, Tom Hiddleton “Never ever , let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do. Prove the cynics wrong. Pity them, for they have no imagination. The sky’s limit. Your sky, your limit. Now let’s dance.”

Thank you.


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