My mom told me that I’m strong

How did I speak out for the first time

This year I had a chance to compare Eastern and Western cultures. I stayed in Armenia, Belarus, Russia, Sweden, Austria, Indonesia, USA, Azerbaijan and Georgia. I saw how women act in these countries and realized the difference. Of course, the country, state, culture are the main factors, influencing girls’ development. But the family and mother are the most important ones. If each mother would tell to each daughter that she is strong and equal to men, we will have much more equal society.

My very personal speech at the European Forum Alpbach in Austria. It was a competition of speeches, where I won the second price. August, 2015

The text of the speech:

In 2 days I’m turning 23. To be a young Russian girl means to get a frequent question: “when are you getting married?”

It’s considered that girls are working hard to be the smartest pupil in a primary school and enter the best university for one single thing: to find a husband.

It’s considered that so-called “female duty” is to become a wife and a mother. Because “women should be women” and “men should be men”. All those who do not agree called a “crazy feminist”.

My mom is a feminist. She doesn’t know it. She thinks it’s a swear word.

She was born in the South of Russia and tried to get into the best school of engineers. She failed the exam and came back to her home town. Next year, she did her best at the exam and finally got accepted to school.

But at this point she met my dad and by the end of her studies she had me. My brother and I took her away from this career path … forever.

She now works as a chef in our kitchen.

She works as a cleaner in our 4-bedroomed flat.

And she works as an advisor for my dad, my brother and me.

According to Russian standards she is a happy woman.

But let’s look deeper. My mom hates cooking, cause she’s been doing that for 25 years every day.

She wants to be a top-manager, because she studied in the best Russian school for 5 years.

She wants to have her own friends, her own hobbies and her own schedule, because she is strong and a very social woman.

But she can’t.

Being unsatisfied with that, my mom made a change: she never taught me to cook and thankfully my boyfriend knows how.

She said “you can do it” and I studied all over the world.

She said “don’t hurry” and I don’t feel pressure to create a family.

My mom is a feminist, because she made a change by telling her daughter that she is strong.

By telling her daughter that there is no barriers, that she can get any job she likes and choose any path she wants.

Dear girls, now I tell you.

You are strong. You are not a “weak gender”. You are absolutely equal to man and there is no such a thing as a “female duty”.

When a man tells you “you’re beautiful”, say … “and smart”.

I don’t ask you to take a sword in your hand and fight man.

But I ask you to do what you want no matter if it’s a “male or female thing”.

You have right to wear what you want.

You have right to control your own body.

And you have right to be a feminist, as me and my mom.


2 thoughts on “My mom told me that I’m strong

  1. я очень рада, что судьба предоставила мне шанс познакомиться с таким замечательным, интересным и талантливым человеком. успеха тебе, Диана.


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