PROJECT: Speech for the 2018 – Future.World.Teens Convention

Hello everyone!

I feel very honoured to be here and to have the opportunity to be a part of the ”2018 – Future.World.Teens” convention.

Before I am going to talk about 2018 and the hopes I have for our future, I want to look back upon 2017 and what happened there.

2017 was a very eventful year: On the one side, it was very revolutionary: Same-sex marriage was legalized in Finland, Australia and Germany. Third gender discussions were very present in many countries and resulted in the introduction of a third gender option on IDs in countries such as Canada and Germany. Furthermore, a worldwide discussion about sexual harassment and gender roles emerged due to the hashtag #MeToo.

However, the events described in the #MeToo campaign also showed that we still live in a world defined by gender roles and inequality. And not to forget, 2017 was also the year you could hear the President of the United States say: “Grab her by the pussy”.

So what do we learn from 2017 and what has to change?

First of all, we really have to start internalising that sex and gender are not the same thing and need to be treated as such. Gender equality is not about denying that there is a difference between the sexes. It is not about suppressing men for the benefit of women. It is more about saying everyone is different rather than saying everyone is equal.

You can’t define a human being by their sex – just as you can’t define someone by their name.

This concept is something we should not leave in 2017, but continue to talk about in 2018 because it is far from being completely elaborated.

In my opinion, demonising gender stereotypes and completely reversing them won’t lead to gender equality because that also restricts the sexes. If girls start to change their behaviour because they are afraid of being judged for being “too girly” or “such a typical girl”, I cannot see any improvement to the initial situation.

For me, the only way out is to stop setting boundaries. If you want to wear pink clothes, wear pink clothes regardless of your sex. Why should we restrict ourselves by always putting a label on something like a certain colour or sport? Why don’t we accept that everyone is different and cannot be put in a category with everyone else who has the same sex?

Thank you for your attention!

Luise B. (student of the 1st semester)

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