Are we really progressing into the new year?

I really want to say that we are progressing into the new year, I really do. I want to say that people have moved past all prejudices that have plagued the last few centuries. I want to believe that people who fought for equality for all races and gender, actually won. But I don't think I would ever be able to say that much less believe it. This year has been a year where the truths behind some peoples' smiling masks have been revealed. They were not what they seemed. The people who cheered these heroes were the ones who flung mud on them. Freedom of speech is not supposed to give you the freedom to voice your opinion, but the freedom to express spite against people who don't agree with us. We were all led to believe that religion, race and gender don't matter- what matters is how a person behaves with us and in any situation. That was never true. At the end, it all came down to who speaks the loudest, but not the truth and who can buy off people to agree with them. It is dangerous when people with money are able to influence others to partake in their hatred towards a particular gender and race. It is when more and more people agree with people in power and lose their ability to determine what is right and wrong, that is when the wrong people gain advantage. History was supposed to teach us mistakes of the past and beware the tyrants, but our fear of losing support is what keeps us mute. Then there are people, who are not in power, yet perform atrocious deeds and are pardoned for it. This is what examples are being set for future generations- that performing heinous deeds will give you minimum punishment and then a chance to live your life when they were the ones who had taken someone else's. Then it all comes down to gender bias. No matter how many articles are written, it will never be enough until there is actual evidence that people are ready to see that we all aren't much different from the other. Women are still not treated with respect, especially in small villages where even the children see domestic abuse as something that is habitual. When a husband beats or berates his wife in front of someone else, the son usually sees this as something that is accepted and imitable, and therefore mimics the act when he too gets married. Then there are the daughters, who are always seen as a burden. This isn't only limited in rural areas where education is lacking, but in cities as well where girls are treated differently and burdened with carrying responsibilities of both career and housework. If they lack in any one area, they are subjected to emotional abuse and sometimes even physical. And if that's not enough, they must make constant sacrifices and compromises at the cost of their own happiness. Women are not allowed to think about themselves, in any race or religion. They must at first make sacrifices for the family when they are growing up, then when they get older, they must excel in housework and then get married at a proper age so that they are not deemed a burden in their families. In most families, only the sons are given opportunities that make their lives comfortable. Daughters are rarely even thought about when parents plan the future. However, daughter must complete her duty and even be ridiculed if she makes a tiny mistake. So can I really say that we belong to a time where we are progressing? No. As long as women are treated like objects and those who mar them with crime and disregard them publicly, walk away freely, there could hardly be any progress. The next step would be to realize is that people shouldn't be discriminated because of their sect. What should be important is what they are capable of and what good they can achieve. I've always believed that as humans, we are here on this earth to achieve our potential, not waste time spreading hatred and fear against people who are different from us. Hopefully the next year will be a year where good and peace presides over all hatred. A fantasy, a dream- I know. But dreams do come true sometimes.

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