By How Han Ming
“We want man! We want man! We want man!” the unison voices of the male audience overpowered any other sound in the musical hall. The little girl remained silent with the stage lights focused on her. The men below began to shout at her to leave the auditorium, but she remained her calm posture as she finally lifted her violin.
“Gentlemen,” the little girl addressed the crowd, “I present you: Women as Agents of Change.”
The girl slowly closed her eyes, letting the sounds of the night to envelop her in her thoughts, feelings, and desires. Suddenly, her hand danced across the strings of the violin as the handle glided across the strands of the musical instrument. The music rose and fell in dramatic resonance, gushing over the audience, falling, rising, swirling. The beautiful sounds echoed around the room and bounced back, lingering in the air for a moment before shaping into colourful train of images that stretched across the hall. The irregular-shaped images slowly metamorphosed into humanoid forms of women as the girl began to tell her story.
One of the bright forms unfurled its rough strands to all directions as it wrapped itself to form a familiar shape of a middle-aged woman decked in formal attire. There was a hush, and the male audience was silent. The woman had airs of authority around her, and everyone knew that she was not someone that you would like to mess around with. When she spoke, everybody listened.
“Greetings, my fellow citizens. I stand before you today to highlight a very important issue that befalls our society. The freedom of women to be involved in politics – yes, you heard me right. I was one of the few females in the world of politics dominated by men. But I told myself that I could do it even though my predecessors were all males. I stood firm on my principles, and I became Britain’s first female Prime Minister. My name is Margaret Thatcher. I am a woman.”
Some of the men tried to avert from her stern gaze, but all of them were gripped by her iron scrutiny as she exerted an invisible force over them. An aura of light soon surrounded the figure of the fierce woman as she faced the audience and told them great stories of forgotten women who have played a major part in national development. Dubbed as the Iron Lady, Margaret has sparked hope and amazement in the hearts of women worldwide.
“The tides have changed… The dominion of Men shall come to an end… It is now time for the women to rise up as leaders and not followers. Women shall occupy the once exclusive posts of Presidents, Prime Ministers, CEOs and judges… No one can stop us – this is our moment. Women shall be the greatest rulers of all time.”
In the past, women have been ruled under a patriarchal system, continually denied the access to priceless opportunities for success. But the phenomenal female leaders of the century have proved that they were able to rise up and make it big in the political arena. As we looked into the future, women shall conjure ripples in nations that they rule; they shall be the front runners in upholding human rights; they will be performers, queens, prime ministers, business tycoons, philanthropists, healers, philosophers, authors, creators, etc. They shall leave an unprecedented mark in the political, economic and social landscape.
As the Iron Lady’s bright figure retreated into a corner, another humanoid form slowly moved towards the centre of the hall as it gradually took the shape of a slightly-bend nun. She has a white scarf that wrapped around her head, and the male audience felt warm and pleasant with the gentle smile that she flourished. The old nun slowly opened wide her frail arms, addressing the audience as if they were her own.
“Be contented, my children. I may not live a luxurious life, but I dedicated myself to serving the unfortunate. If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. I urge you now to go home and love your wife, your mother, and your daughter. I am Mother Teresa – a woman.”
The nun’s soft voice shone forth her nobility and it brought tears up in the audience’s eyes.
Mother Teresa became a legendary icon for selfless sacrifice to others as she cared for people dying in many parts of the world. Indeed, she lived in a time when women were exploited and treated as commodities, to be used by men, or to be set aside as tools but not as persons. For decades, women have been vulnerable victims of prostitution, human trafficking, slavery and abuse. Some of them were denied the opportunity to pursue education – which resulted in them remaining in illiteracy. Some of them could not afford to have access to basic medical facilities – which caused a high percentage of fatality among women in third-world countries. They were suppressed, they were told to remain silent, and they were told not to question but to fulfil men’s demands. Poverty, illiteracy, violence, hunger, sickness – these are mere examples of the various societal depravities that the female population has been submerged. This false inferiority of women shall be shattered in reality – as women are breaking the proverbial roof to be agents of change.
Brilliant streaks of light emanated from a silvery form in a dark cloak. As she became more visible to the audience, she lifted the cover off her head, and the audience knew that she was a conjuror of some sorts. Indeed. She was a conjuror of stories and words.
“I was divorced; I jumped straight into poverty and depression. But I believed in the existence of miracles and the magic of changing the world; and I succeeded. I have conquered Death with my story, for I shall live on forever in the hearts of my readers who laugh and cry with me as I shared with them my magical world. My pen name is J.K.Rowling. I am a woman,” the deep voice of the authoress penetrated through the minds of the male audience who remained silent throughout the whole musical performance.
Spanning across generations, Rowling has created the fantastical world of Harry Potter which has gained worldwide attention among the younger and even older readers. She remained as one of the most influential novelists and the impact of her works has reached to almost every household where youngsters could be seen burying their noses behind thick books. It is once again the dominion of stories – as the great conjuror of words has helped to pave the way for many budding writers to dream big and to never say never.
The beautiful melody continued to wash over the audience in absolute beauty. The enduring themes of women as prominent members of the society enabled the listeners to reflect on the past and look to the future with a new perception on women. With one beautiful melody after another, the girl has played the music of all ages – the music that will break hearts and mend hearts.
Soon, the three womanly forms drifted in the air and surrounded the little violin-girl in a plethora of colours and radiance. They circulated around her and the male audience watched in awe as each of them began to shine with brilliant luminescence.
“You turn if you want to, but this lady is not for turning…” the Iron Lady spoke in a crisp tone as her bright form diminished in thin air.
“It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving…” the bent figure of the old nun slowly blended with the little form of the girl as the music rose to presto.
“It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities…” the authoress sent off colourful sparks that lighted the hall with dazzling luster. Her figure seemed to radiate in vivid incandescence as she disintegrated into blots of light that scattered around the hall before dissipating into nothingness.
The music stopped. The gentle performer opened her eyes, gazing at the male assembly, seeming to observe their reactions. Then suddenly, there was a loud applause, and the little girl received a standing ovation. The men in the hall cheered for her, and the stage lights began to dim. Just as the curtain fell, the girl gave a last enigmatic smile to the audience – and faded out. And so she made her case…
How Han Ming is an A-Level student who wrote this piece a few years ago (when he was 17) in an attempt to submit it for a writing competition. Now, he is dedicating this to his mother and sister (and of course, all the women in the world.
Image taken from here