By Rossana G. D’Antonio
Many say we are currently living the third wave of feminism. I agree, although this time around we seem to be moving in slow motion and more quietly. Long gone are the days when housewives and mothers fought against all odds for our right to be heard through an electoral vote. The activists of the 1960s marched loudly, keeping our voice alive by tackling issues of gender inequality and discrimination. Yet, modern-day feminism seems to have lost its momentum, and there’s a tinge of apathy in the air.
In this 21st century, we are still facing off-base opinions of those who absurdly conclude that the way we dress invites rape, attacks on our reproductive rights and the unresolved issue of pay inequity. Is it me, or does it seem like we are regressing? Have we forgotten the courageous and outspoken women of yesteryear who fought long and hard against all odds for a better future for all of us? What happened to us?
I’m not proposing setting ourselves on fire, radical demonstrations or hunger strikes. We can be more creative than that. Perhaps it’s unfair to ask that we act on behalf of all women. That’s a heavy burden to bear. But each one of us has a moral responsibility to ourselves first. If we cannot speak out for what is right for our individual self, then how can we demand equality as a group?
We can no longer sit on the sidelines as passive bystanders, waiting for others to take action, nor can we rely on the Hillarys of the world to bring about change. We must be that change. Silence is no longer golden. Until we learn to exercise our responsibility to speak out, sit at the table, raise our hand, lean in or simply use our voice to proclaim, “Enough!,” progress will continue to inch along. Only when we amplify our voices can we experience the cataclysmic wave of change we’ve been awaiting. Only then.
Rossana G. D’Antonio is a civil and geotechnical engineer who, up until recently, had limited herself to technical writing. Most recently, she discovered the unexplored potential of her right brain through memoir, personal essays, poetry and short fiction. Along this journey, Rossana embraced the healing power of writing as she completed her memoir, Tailspin, the heart-wrenching experience of losing her younger brother in a tragic airplane accident. She finds peace in Malibu, where she lives with her husband, Freddie.