What you can do at 16 in the UK: You can buy premium bonds. You can sell scrap metal. You can join a Trade Union. You can join the Armed Forces but cannot go into a war zone. You can choose your own doctor. You can claim social security benefit. You can work full time. You can leave home with your parents' consent. You can get married with one parents' consent. You can drink wine or beer with a meal in a restaurant.You can have heterosexual sex. You can have homosexual sex. You can hold a licence to drive a moped. You can apply for a passport.
What you apparently cannot do according to the general consensus of people my age is form and express developed opinions on matters important to yourself. If, like I made the mistake of doing, you decide to open your mouth and debate with your fellow class mates it will soon get turned into a reputation and be used as a twisted insult against you. My main cause for expressing my opinion was my passion for feminism. The other day I was told that "feminism" was a phase attention seeking teenage girls go through.
Evidently the entire feminist movement currently going through its 'third wave' has been made entirely from hormonal young girls wanting to impress someone. Fighting for equality is something I will get over eventually. When I grow up into a woman I will lose this passion and become willing to be a slave to the patriarchy and give up every hope and dream I ever had. I will forget about the terrible injustice women are facing in places like Afghanistan once I have finished puberty. I will discover that it's awfully uncool to believe in absolute equality for men, women, homosexuals, and any other 'minority' dealing with prejudice. I will simply grow out of this phase like I will grow out of wanting to dye my hair blue. It's a trivial, teenage interest of mine.
Also, the male gender is completely incapable of sharing the same feminist views as me as
it is actually a specific hormone that makes me desire equality.
Really, it saddens me greatly that so many still feel threatened by the word 'feminism' and fail to understand what it means in this day and age. It also frustrates me that I am often thought of as strange for having conveyed an interest in gender politics at an age that is apparently 'too young'. I struggle to comprehend what I should be doing instead. Perhaps I should close my mouth to please the majority of my peers. Although, I shall probably continue to perplex and aggravate them by debating and expressing my opinion until I am blue in the face and they finally, finally understand. Yes, I believe that is my preferred option.