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Eshet Cahyil

I remember coming into a room, full of men. I looked around nervously, 2 male judges, 23 male representatives. My heart dropped, and I couldn't stop shaking. I sat down nervously, and waited. When all of the sudden the door opened, and a woman stepped in, I could breathe somewhat.

The ideal women. What does it even mean? I repeat that sentence in my head over and over again. I am a young woman, new to this world. Never thought, never knew how much of a difference we as women have from men. The issue is that it's not really anybody's fault, it's just the way society puts it that way, and as life passes, we make choices to either try to prevent such differences or simply let it be.

I was born into a society that is trying to repair. All those movements, the new rights, the acts, and the strength people of different beliefs possess. I am proud of this generation, the new society of repair, to stand up for what's right. Maybe, but just maybe I am not proud, yet I am inspired, inspired to make a change.

Though what is the ideal woman? What am I set to do? I am confused, in the bible women were to stay in the tents, cook for the hungry men when they return from hunting. I am confused, because women were to stop going to school, and learn from their mother how to clean the house, I am confused because the definition of the ideal woman changes. Changes in each day, month, year, and parts of the world. Does it mean that there is no set definition? Then why in my debate competition in November, did the guy in the back tell me that instead of standing up here and embarrassing myself about bills that only men can pass, I need to go to the kitchen and cook him a sandwich. I am confused, I am confused, I am confused.

Two years ago, I joined the debate team in my school. I was naive, and determined. I had a lot of thoughts and questions in my little head, I wanted to explore. “Lu...you know this form of debate, congress as you say, it's a harsh, and competitive debate…” a senior in the school said. “yes, I know...And I don't care.” “Look, Lu, I am a man, I saw how girls, like you, are treated there. It's harsh, there are hardly any girls in congress debate.” He replied back. “Well...I am no girl; I am a woman. I have a passion and I will not let some boy take me down. I will wear a neon pink suit, bright red lipstick, and a huge smile on my face. I am a woman. A strong one, I am a woman of valor, I am powerful.” And that is exactly what I did. I walked into that room, my first competition ever, with a bright neon pink suit, a big smile, and passion. During our recess, a boy came up to my desk, and told me that I was very “out there”, I said thank you and kept writing notes, he then said, “you know you talk loud, and way too fast.” and so I said thank you and moved on, “ and you know, you have an accent, some words you say are not understandable.” This time I did not say thank you. I just sat there looking at him until he went away. I was honestly hurt, and scared, is that what the judges think, did I mess up and ruin my all hard work?

When the rounds were over, I came to shake the judges’ hand, it was two men and a woman. The women shook my hand, and said, “ I heard what he told you, that boy, he is just jealous, don't listen to people like that, congress is a harsh debate, not a lot of woman are able to show their true strength, today you showed me what I want my daughters to be when they are your age. Don't let a jealous boy push you down, push even harder.'' Those words by the judge inspired me, I will never forget what she told me. I left that debate, my first one ever, holding a first-place trophy, as I walked up the stage to receive the award the judge winked and whispered, “Remember, that's all yours!”

Woman Of Valor T Shirt

On that day I realized how beautiful it feels to push against the stereotype, to defy what some boy told me I couldn't do. I pushed against all the stereotypes of debate, against discrimination of my religion, against my own failure, and thrived for a change. Some people will push you down, but some will pull you right back up. The judge in that room changed the way I view the world, the way I view myself. She inspired me to do the best I could, and to always try to defy. I learned to inspire others, and to be a puller and not a pusher, I thrive to be Lu, a proud woman, with a passion, to be myself, and I tell myself, like my mom did, and her mom did, and so on, we are women of valor. The hymn to the ideal woman, a hymn that then men sing to their ideal women during sabbath, a tradition from the Bible, to respect the women. King Solomon wrote this hymn that ended the book of proverbs, the hymn to the women.

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