by Dee Putri

I was alone in my room, thinking about what had just happened to me. I’d attending an event at my college when someone said to me, “Why do you want to go home now? You’re dressed up so nicely, I thought you were waiting for a boy.” He was my friend’s boyfriend, and he is almost 30 years old, by the way. It made me very angry. I didn’t want to be rude, so instead of getting mad at him, I was mad to myself. I was very mad. And I didn’t really know what to do. Earlier, my dad had been so worried that I was leaving home that night. “You should come home before 9pm, okay? Just tell them that your dad said so.” Okay. It was my destiny that I born as female. But, oh why can’t I wear what I want? Why do boys think that I dressed up for them?  Often I do think that life would be easier if I were a boy. But it would be never happen. Yes, I know. All I can do is ask you, God.

“Dear, God.
Could You say to my dad that it is okay to have a daughter rather than a son?
Could You say to him that I can protect myself when I’m out at night?
Could You tell him that I won’t get pregnant just because I’m away from home at night?
Could You tell him that it wouldn’t be my fault if a man were to attack me when I’m away from home at night?
Could You tell him that it wasn’t my fault that I am female?

Dearest God, why is it so complicated to be human? Especially when you’re a woman. Why is it so hard to tell people that it is okay to be female? Why it is so hard to tell them that women are as good as men? We could even do better at many things if we were given a fair shot at cultural equality. Or are men too afraid to accept this fact? Why God? Could you answer me?

Sometimes I’m afraid that men think about my body too much. It is not a compliment if they look at me as a sexual object. Is it okay, God, to be afraid of this? I’m just afraid that men only think about my body, not me as a human being, just the way I am. I’m afraid that men will only see me as baby-machine and house cleaner.

I have a brain that’s as good as theirs. But why it is so hard for a woman to be a leader? Is it a fault in my character when I want to lead? Could you tell me why men should be leaders and women can’t? It hurts me, God. A lot. Because I also want to be a president who makes this world a better place to live.

As Christine de Pizan said, “God, why did You not let me be born in the world as a man, so that all my inclinations would be to serve You better, and so that I would not stray in anything and would be as perfect as a man is said to be?” I also feel the same. I have had that question since I was a kid. Would You also answer this question, dear God?

I know that You’re so busy, God. But could You please answer my questions first? I really need it, God. Thank you for all the things that You give me. I do really love You.
You know who I am.”

Now, I’m trying to read everything, anything thatwould help. Often womendo not know what to do about sexual harassment—what can we do?    We should be well-informed about it. We shouldn’t be ashamed to report it if someone tries to assault or harass us, no matter who he is. 80% of sexual assaults reported by college age women and adult women were perpetrated by close friends or family members. What do we do with that?

Every time boys make rude comments I  want to say to them, “Do you still judge women by how they dress? Do you believe that women dress up only for you, not for themselves? Well, don’t think that. We don’t. Better that you go to the library, read a book, have positive hobbies, anything but think about how girls are dressing for you. Because we’re not.” And I’ll try to assure my dad that it is okay to have a daughter, and it doesn’t mean that he needs to be over protective of me. I mean, I always try to protect myself. And so far so good.