Soap box activity

Tuesday 26 of October 2017, we had a soap box activity. This means that we had 10 minutes to write about any subject we cared about and then, if we wanted, we had one minute to talk about it in front of the class. 

The first subject that came into my mind was gender inequality. Nevertheless, I did not want to talk about the facts such as “62 million girls are denied an education all over the world, 4 out of 5 victims of human trafficking are girls and women with full-time jobs still earn only about 77 percent of their male counterparts’ earnings”. The reason for that is because I feel everyone knows about that as we are exposed to all this information at school (we are generally very open about it).

So, here is my speech:

“I am not here to talk about the fact that women and men are not equal, that men should back up and women should step forward, but I am here to ask you to change your mindset. As a 16 year old girl, I have never experienced any limitations due to my gender but I know this problem exists. I hear and read every week about this subject: whether it’s a comment on youtube, a meme on Facebook or in mentor time. This can effect our mindset as we may not set our goals as high as we could if we weren’t exposed to this information as much. For example, if a girl might want to become the leader of a company, she might back off from her hopes and dreams because of this inequality without even trying. So I hope this little speech will change what you think about your future: aim high, and you will get there! At least try your best to get what you want so you won’t have any regrets in the future! Don’t let the “idea” of this inequality stop you from trying. It may be harder for you to get there than men, but it will make you even prouder! In my opinion, this could help improve the inequality problem.”

At first, when one of the teachers explained the activity to us I felt a little stressed out as I am not confident in front of an audience (ironic because I do drama). Nevertheless, I regret not saying this in front of the class even though I did not feel confident enough to share it. I was too shy. This taught me a lesson as I now know that I should put myself forward more and not think about it too much. If I had to do it again, I would definitely do it.

Lastly, I was also very impressed with the number of people who shared their personal experience. There was this girl who was very scared but she still went and did an amazing speech. As she is very timid, I admired her as she did something that I couldn’t do even though it looked like she was more frightened than me.