Yen's Blog

Yen Thu Nguyen - A 14 year-old feminist and HeForShe supporter. Photo: Yen Thu Nguyen

Nothing can stop you from getting what you want

Dated: 2 Nov 2015

When Emma Watson gave us her inspirational speech at the UN conference, I only watched it because I like her, not because I believed in solving gender inequality; I thought it was pointless instead. After a few months, I experienced/witnessed sexism myself. And since then, I became a feminist, a HeForShe supporter and decided to write as much as I can to spread awareness; actually two of my pieces have been read by the HeForShe team!

Living in a family of three women and one man, I was raised as a confident girl who can express her feelings and her thoughts openly. Sexism should not happen in our society; however, gender inequality still occurs continuously: Once I talked to a friend on Facebook, and he told me that girls are not as good as boys, and if we are, we might just quit. I turned off my phone immediately and tried to calm myself down, it was offensive. At that time I actually experienced the real deal of gender inequality. I kept thinking: “Are people still that conservative? Why can’t women and men be equal?” Many questions came to my mind and I’m still trying to answer them slowly by myself. I’m not saying we should be all against men or treat women differently, I just want everyone to be treated EQUALLY! I want all genders to have a voice in different fields (Politics, Economy, Military).

Once I was underestimated by a boy. He said I acted ‘like a girl’. What does that even mean? What is the problem with that? It happened at the same time Jennifer Lawrence wrote her essay and when I heard that she was suffering from this problem, especially when it's because of the men she works with, I felt mad. I was mad because she had to back out from many activities, because of sexism. I was mad because some people think we have achieved gender equality, but we actually haven't, and we will never do if we keep treating women like this.

I turn into a mad-dog whenever I listen to Emma Watson, Rowan Blanchard and many other women’s speeches about this problem. I hope I can be able to listen to many confident girls’ voices around the world who want to share their experiences, make a difference, spread knowledge and get to be treated in a better way.

Men and boys out there: Let women and girls do what they want. You don’t have the right to beat us, abuse us or stop us! We are human beings like you and we deserve to be treated with respect. Girls: be brave, be confident, nothing can stop you from getting what you want and what we are fighting for: Gender Equality!

Yen Thu Nguyen, is a 14 year-old Vietnamese student and volunteer living in Hanoi. She is the President of Friends of Pets, a student organization working to save animals. See more on her blog at "RANDOMANY by Riley" and her Instagram: @yeesnrealleyz