Dear Domna: Where are girls’ opinions?

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Contact CU Independent Opinion Staff Writer Domna Dali at domna.dali@colorado.edu.

Often, I have heard guys tell me: “It’s nice to hear a girl with an opinion. Most girls don’t have one.”

At first, it sounds like a compliment. But no one should feel complimented as someone else is being put down. It’s not that girls don’t have opinions, it’s that girls are taught to be submissive — that they shouldn’t be the voice of reason and that they are probably wrong. Girls are taught to stay quiet, be polite, keep their legs crossed and voices down.

A recent, prime example would be the interaction between Republican candidates Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump. During the fourth Republican presidential debate in November, Donald Trump asked, “Why does she keep interrupting everybody?” Mind you, this was an event where participants were supposed to cast their opinion and speak their mind, yet on live television a man shushed the only woman there.

It’s not that women don’t have opinions, it’s that women lack the confidence to voice their opinions — and that is society’s fault. If a woman does speak up, she is deemed incorrect, dumb, psycho, loud, obnoxious and so on. People are intimidated by a woman with an opinion. A woman with the confidence to voice her own stance is intimidating because it means she can’t be controlled. In such a patriarchal society, where even the institution of marriage roots from the literal possession of women, of course the idea of a woman being independent and uncontrollable is going to frighten a man.

I have my own opinion column in an online publication. Obviously, I’m very opinionated, which is something I take a lot of pride in. Yet, I have literally had a guy tell me that he couldn’t be with me because I am “too independent” for him. I didn’t really know how to take that at first, but after some thought I realized that he was just a coward.

He couldn’t handle a woman who was strong-willed, who held her own and who wasn’t afraid to stick up for what she believed was right. This was because he was a dependent person who most likely wanted to control a woman he considers himself romantically affiliated with. He most likely wanted “his girl” to be his little puppy that he could hold to and control in the palm of his hand at his every request. Why would someone as unsure of themselves as he was want to voluntarily spend his time with someone who would challenge him?

Women need to get their power back — whether that’s in Congress, in the household or in conversation. Women need to feel more empowered. Be outspoken! Don’t just smile and be polite when someone is doing or saying something you disagree with. Argue, disagree, back up your argument and prove someone wrong (abiding to the morals of the circumstance you are in, of course). There is no shame in being your own person. Don’t be scared. Scare them! You will always attract the right people if you are owning your own opinion instead of fabricating one to please others.

About Domna Dali

Domna Dali writes relatable, anecdotal advice under the column “Dear Domna.” She is studying journalism and digital media. Originally from the East Coast, she loves the mountains as much as she loves the ocean and New York City.

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