“Move in for the girl”

After graduating from college, my family sent me on a cross-country scavenger hunt. I completed several tasks along the way, but my brother and sister-in-law challenged me to break the law. Oral Roberts is known for its many rules, although some of those rules have relaxed since I left, but in light of my recent freedom, my brother wanted me to reclaim my desire to occasionally operate outside of the rules.

I hate limitation, and while many laws are in place for legitimate reasons, many other laws have historically limited the potential of many people. For example, the right to vote for women and minorities. The Atlantic published an article in November 2012 that discussed some bizarre reasons that were published during the early 1900s explaining why women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Here are some of my favorites, and by favorites I mean I hated them the most.

“BECAUSE 90% of the women either do not want it, or do not care.
BECAUSE 80% of the women eligible to vote are married and can only double or annul their husband’s votes.
BECAUSE it is unwise to risk the good we already have for the evil which may occur.”

Equally as ludicrous reasons were once argued for why women shouldn’t pursue a college degree.

Today, there was a lot of discussion about equal pay, and I could hardly stand comments about “women will be equally paid when they put in as much work or have as much skill.” I can’t believe people still believe that women lack some basic ability to be intelligent or put in a hard days work. Unfortunately, it is on days like today, individuals who are especially sexist seem to find their way out of the woodwork.

Here I am, writing at 12:34 a.m. because I am practicing discipline. I will go to work tomorrow, and just like my male colleagues, I will work hard writing news. I will also be calling legislators and local leaders, and I will not shy away from asking them tough questions. I write stories that are risky, and I pursue stories that are risky. I work ten hour days sometimes, and sometimes much longer. If I included my school work, podcast, and a full-time job, I easily invest 12 hours a day or more into work or school. However, some statistics tell me I am not worth the same as my male colleagues, and honestly, that makes me angry. That should make everybody angry. It should make us as angry as being excluded from voting or not being allowed to go to college.

However, I am thankful. In other parts of the world, females are fighting true and deep oppression. In some places women are not allowed to drive because the male leaders fear they will have trouble keeping track of them because you know, we are a piece of property that is supposed to be protected to maintain value or something.

I hate being reduced to a product, a commodity or simply an object to be admired or judged. For those who still struggle with this concept, I am a woman, I am strong, I am fierce, I am courageous, I am competitive, I am determined, I am a hard worker, I am not afraid of risk, and I have some pretty top-notch skills. I am not weak, generalized, I do not fit into a neat, perfect little box, and I will challenge adversaries regardless of their gender.

When I used to play co-ed softball, every time a woman was up to bat, some boys on the field would yell, “Move in for the girl.” You know what I did? I hit the ball over their heads, and I laughed that my hit, which should have been a double at most, turned into an in-the-park home run because I was underestimated. It made me angry at first, but then I enjoyed being underestimated because I could use it to my advantage. I dare my future adversaries to underestimate me. I will laugh while them as they scramble and fail to catch what I am hitting.

So, I guess I have to thank my brother and sister-in-law for awakening my desire to challenge social mores, and to courageously fight unjust laws.

On a more humorous note, the “laws” I broke were very funny, and I met a few interesting characters completing all the tasks. I won’t share the videos because that would be incriminating.