If someone asks my favorite word, I would answer ‘Valiant’ without any hesitation. Being ‘valiant’ means to act with bravery or boldness when things are difficult and the situation gives no cause for hope. Curiously, the meaning of this brief word has worked as a strong driving force for me to get back on my feet and go forward during the past year.
If you’re a fan of the series <The Chronicles of Narnia> written by C. S. Lewis as much as myself, you might have noticed that ‘The Valiant’ is the name that Lucy, the youngest of the Pevensies receives from Aslan when she is ascended to the throne. Ever since I was young, I have always found this part especially exciting among all the scenes. Lucy, the youngest and seemingly weakest girl turns out to be the most proactive person to successfully lead her siblings and people. I believe this character implicates the importance of why we, as women, have to become ‘The Valiants’ of today.
A video clip on Youtube, “Always, #LikeAGirl” delivers a very important message to us. This project gathers men and women of various ages and gives instructions to run like a girl. Regardless of gender, people show a strangely similar look and behavior. They run helplessly, caressing their hair and trying to cover their faces. Then, the project gives the same instruction to a couple of young girls and asks what it means to run like a "girl". In contrast to the behaviors we have seen in the previous subjects, these young girls do their best, run as fast as they can and say “To run like a girl means to run as fast as you can.” After this, the above-mentioned men and women are asked the same question and suggested to take action again. Now they show a completely different behavior: they try to run as hard as they can. So, since when did “like a girl” mean feebleness? And, most importantly why do we take this for granted?
Living this society as a woman is not easy at all. We face situations and people that make us give up and fall before the wall of gender. To this day, women had to pour a couple of times more effort to gain the same voice as men and unfortunately that still holds for today. Women who raise questions with legitimate purposes have always been excessively, strictly assessed. In a lot of areas, women are still regarded weak-willed and unstable, just like Lucy was regarded too young and inexperienced by her siblings. However, we have to remember if it weren’t for Lucy, her brothers and sister would never know Narnia and furthermore be a part of the adventure. So like her, let’s not put ourselves in a box when we encounter situations that seem to limit our ability and values. Let’s become a bold and daring person who ceaselessly tries to go beyond difficulties. Like the last words of the video I mentioned, let's make #LikeAGirl mean amazing things.
To wrap up, the more I study here at Ewha, the more I get to notice social gender problems that were less noticeable in the past. Some might ask why bother about such trivial matters, however, the most valuable thing I have learned here in Ewha so far is that I must not forget what I believe is right. The simple fact that there are a number of people who share the same idea and value with me is one good enough reason to keep carrying out what I believe is justice. So, let’s be proud of being a woman and let’s try to be brave, challenging and bold. Let’s become ‘The Valiants’ of today.