Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2018 Finalists

What Matters 2018 Finalists

2018 What Matters? NSW/ACT Year 9/10 Runner Up




Castle Hill High School

International Women's Day is an annual celebration on March 8th. It is a time for the world to come together in recognition of all the phenomenal women in this world who achieve extraordinary, remarkable things. International Women's Day received so much excitement this year, with almost everyone celebrating femininity and women in general. International Women's Day is so crucial to females in this day and age, because of sexism and bigotry towards women, but will International Men's day receive this same build-up? No, probably not, and this is because men are recognised every day, what with men generally being in higher positions than women in the job situation, men being seen as the ones who support the family, men being seen as the superior sex. But this is wrong. Women should not have to live up to the standards of being a housewife, or not being good enough to do the same jobs as men. Women should not be getting a lesser pay for the same jobs as men; in Australia, a woman earns 83 cents for every dollar a man makes, and in America, it is 77 cents for one dollar, a shocking statistic. So why do women need a whole day about them, one that honestly needs more recognition than it even has?

Because F. Scott Fitzgerald plagiarised Zelda, his wife's work, using it in The Great Gatsby, and other books. Because no women are aware of the contributions of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson towards NASA. Because, both men and women, doctors are only just realising that treatments based on males cannot be used on women. Because feminine hygiene products get taxed. Because Marsha P Johnson, an African-American drag queen, was essentially removed from a movie about the Stonewall riots. Because most young aspiring ballerinas do not know that Maria Tallchief was America's first major prima ballerina, someone who founded the Chicago ballet and who wanted "to be appreciated as a prima ballerina who happened to be a Native American, never as someone who was an American Indian ballerina". Because the American president, Donald Trump, is a self-proclaimed "pussy grabber". Because I cannot discuss my period in public for fear or being ungraceful and causing discomfort, because the biology of my body is too existent. Because it is deemed unladylike if a girl has hair on any part of her body. Because society's concept of feminine beauty means exclusion of others.  Because men still get to determine how and when the female body, MY female body should be used. Because I want not only our generation, but every generation to come to realise the importance of women in society, how badly we need gender equality, how women need to be respected and held in the same light as men.

I do not want my future children, my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren, so on, to experience what this generation does. I do not want it to be acceptable for people to get away with sexist remarks towards women - or men, for that matter. I want equality for myself, for my children, for every woman who has ever existed. I want women to not be afraid to show their femininity, their braveness, their softness, heartache. I do not want women to be afraid to show themselves. Future generations deserve better than a sexist society which believes the female body's functional nature is ugly, but its recreational use is beautiful. Women deserve to be equals to men, not as a physical body which has the main use of pleasure.

Women deserve better. We deserve better.

Women matter too.


2018 What Matters?Jenna Beck