Nadia Goldman is no ordinary high school senior.
The 18-year-old dropped some serious knowledge about misogyny and sexism in a speech she made this past week at her St. Paul, Minnesota high school. The speech, which Goldman posted on YouTube, is a powerfully poetic commentary on rape culture and toxic masculinity.
"I’m angry that every girl I know has a creepy sex story, that teachers call questions of rape and sexual assault 'debates,' that the phrase 'implied consent' even exists," she says to a crowd of her fellow students.
"Why is anger not a legitimate form of communication? Cause woman plus voice plus emotion is embarrassing? Or is anger just your thing?" Goldman adds, referring to how toxic masculinity often encourages men to show no emotions but anger.
“I dedicate my speech to anyone who has ever been hurt... in the name of masculinity. This speech is a love poem to you, an appeal in hope of radical self-praise.”
Goldman described her speech to The Huffington Post as "a self-reflection" and "flow of consciousness." "I chose to speak about rape culture because I saw aspects of it in almost every part of my life," she said. "And it tied together a few things that were very important to me -- debate, policy and expression of emotion."
Towards the end of the speech, Goldman dedicates her poem to anyone who's ever been hurt by masculinity: "I dedicate my speech to anyone who has ever been hurt, de-prioritized, abused or forgotten about in the name of masculinity. This speech is a love poem to you, an appeal in hope of radical self-praise, an impossible demand on the structures of hetero-patriarchal rape culture."
It's both encouraging and frightening how aware high school students are of rape culture and sexism. Keep speaking up, Nadia.
Watch Goldman's full speech below, which begins at the 1:15 mark.