Kaity Van Riper
Posted July 5, 2016 from United States


As a woman, I hear these messages in my head, playing over and over. It took me nearly thirty years to learn how to tell them to shut up.

I'm not sure who first said them to me. Was it the media? Was it my family? Was it my nation? Or was it me? Some internal dialogue that believed these words that were whispered in my ear at birth because of my gender. I don't know where they came from, and maybe that doesn't matter.

The problem is that I listened to them. I listened to these voices, as I listened to other voices of authority. Don't Speak. Your voice doesn't matter. You might be wrong. They know more than you. I listened to every voice but my own.

And then I became pregnant. My baby grew inside of me and heard MY voice: only MY voice. He could hear me mumble, sing, yell, and talk. He knew my voice before he was even born. He entered this world already knowing the sound of my voice.

Now, as he grows, he hears my voice from another room. He hears me laugh in the kitchen and cries so I can come hold him or nurse him. He loves me and my voice. His large, eyes, search me in wonderment and awe as I tell him things, as I sing him songs.

My voice matters to him. It matters to me. My voice can make a difference in one life.

So can yours.

This story was submitted in response to Share On Any Topic.

Comments 6

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Immaculate Amoit
Jul 06, 2016
Jul 06, 2016

Dear Kk,

The belief in our self is more important than others belief us. How true that once you affirm yourself then others will listen to your once you speak up.

Thank you for that nice piece.Pass my love to your son.


Chinyere Okoh
Jul 06, 2016
Jul 06, 2016

Thank you....this article touches a lot on the lives everyone goes through. What I particularly love about it is the courage to move on and forge ahead. It shows that its never too late to listen to your heart and voice out the pain...

Jul 06, 2016
Jul 06, 2016

Thanks for sharing about your voice.  God bless you and your baby and may you always share your voice!  All the Best, Katalina

Tamarack Verrall
Jul 06, 2016
Jul 06, 2016

It is a celebration every time a woman finds and believes in her own voice. I look forward to your ongoing voice here in WorldPulse.

In sisterhood,


Drew Dakessian
Jul 07, 2016
Jul 07, 2016

I am so glad that you shared your story with us here. It is short but sweet, and I think that part of what makes it so compelling is how simple you make everything seem. We tend to internalize destructive messages, regardless of their source, but the people we become as a result do not exist in a vacuum; we are bound by connections to others, like you are to your son. And so we have to strive to live truthfully, bravely, and lovingly.

Olaoluwa Abagun
Jul 11, 2016
Jul 11, 2016

Dear KKrompas,

I love how you have aptly told your story. I agree with you that it is not easy to particularly trace where all these voices of limitation come from. What is exciting is that we are able to block out those voices that entangle us in a web of silence and break out as free soaring eagles.

I celebrate your dynamic voice.