It is 2015. I am a modern day woman.

The world is my audience: expecting everything of me, expecting nothing from me. There is a quiet, understated acknowledgement that maybe, I can do something. Maybe. When I fail, I am dismissed. There is a slight eye roll, a small scoff and an acceptance that I could not have done it anyway. Why did they even bother to hold hope?

In 2015, I am held back by all the stereotypes that have come before me and growing into the new ones that are set out for me. I am every archetype ever studied. I have the kindness of the mother, the virtue of a virgin, the allure of the slut and coldness of the shrew.

But above all, I am helpless. I could be the result of the events in life that I choose to affect me, but instead I am the tragedy of everything that happens to me anyways. I am weaker, because years and years ago someone placed me in a box, and told me to stay. Now, I am trying to escape, but constantly being pushed back in.


It is 2015. I still can’t get out. Not without a husband. Not without a boyfriend. Not without a man by my side. Without a husband, my life is not truly fulfilling. I am only lying to myself and the world if I stay single. A boyfriend would protect me from wandering eyes at the bar. I can shake my head and say “no” all I want. It means nothing unless he steps in to claim me.

I am taught to stay in at night. To keep quiet because I couldn’t possibly be correct. I am led to a life full of children and dirty dishes. I am told to be conservative. I am told to be careful because it will be my fault. Everything is on me. It is ingrained that I can only rise so far by myself, only protect my body to a certain point, before the situation is completely lost from my hands.

It is 2015. I need something else. I demand more. I cannot be watching over my shoulder at every night. I cannot control every boy at a party or dictate when the drugs fall in my drink. Covered up in Saudi Arabia or stripped down in New York City, eyes will always follow me, jeers will always taunt me. So why is this my responsibility?

Why am I to blame for every switched drink? Why am I so cautious, when the world around me continues on with reckless abandonment? Why isn’t he smarter? How does he not realize that changing my drink, silently bringing me back to his room, forcing me against my drunken will—is anything but appropriate? Who began to think that because of my sex, I can be dominated, taken control over and ruined?


Why are there still people who see me, the modern day woman, in the same light?

I am told that boys and men can protect me. I see that those boys and men can hurt me. And I am watching as the people who could help me, ignore me. I feel my own pain, bear through it with a strong face, only to get it thrown in my face in the name of “justice.” I am lead on with empty promises of help, only to be dismissed, to be neglected, to be marginalized. Suddenly, I am something to be hidden, to not speak of, to not acknowledge. Suddenly, I am placed back in a box.

It is 2015. I am a modern day woman.

The world is my audience: expecting everything of me, expecting nothing from me.

But I am casting the judgment this time.


And I am watching as the world continues to fail me.

Niveditha Obla

Niveditha Obla is a senior studying Chemical and Molecular Engineering at Stony Brook University. She joined the Statesman during her sophomore year and ran the Opinions section from 2014-2015. Contact Nivi at: [email protected]


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