Women and Girls Will Change the World, No Act of Terror Can Stop Us

It's hard to find any type of rhyme or reason to what happened in Manchester this week. Probably because under normal circumstances, neither of those things can be applied to events as horrific as these.

There is no sense, no logic, no regular lens we can look through.

But for some reason or another, the 22-year-old terrorist who walked into Manchester Arena on Monday evening and detonated a nail bomb decided that evening and that concert and that crowd above all others was to be the one in which he made his statement to the world.

He decided that instead of attending an event filled predominantly with adults, a stadium filled with little girls, young women, mothers, aunts, fathers collecting their daughters, and young men enjoying the work of an inimitable 23-year-old woman would make for a better political statement. That people experiencing a night of unadulterated fun and energetic joy would shout his message to the world.

In some ways, he succeeded. His destruction wreaked the havoc he surely hoped for; his message of hatred broadcast across all corners of the globe.

Listen: Podcast Mamamia Out Loud from our Australian sister site Mamamia, discusses the need to talk about the Manchester attack. Post continues... 

But perhaps what he didn't account for on that final day of his life was that his last message to the world was actually this: that of the 7.5 billion people on earth, he was most afraid of 21,000 people attending an Ariana Grande concert.

He was most afraid of those people, and the 22 people he killed, and 112 he injured. Of the girls and women who were happy, confident, loving, energetic, and perhaps most significantly, part of something: a community.

And you know what? He was right to be afraid of those girls, those daughters and nieces and cousins and mothers and aunts and friends and coworkers and bosses.

He, along with all other terrorists out there who have ambitions of wreaking havoc and inciting violence, should be scared of little girls and young women—both those who were at Monday night's concert, and all of the others around the world that now stand in solidarity against them.

They are right to be afraid of those who were, who did and who will continue to change the world; who will make this place we live in more inclusive, more intelligent, more caring and compassionate and equal and fierce.

Those girls and women are the people who will respond by fighting smart, by channelling their anger and heartbreak into something bigger than homemade devices and chat rooms.

They are the people who will throw sunlight on the dark and dingy corners in which hatred breeds and not let this lone act of vitriol win.

They are the ones to be feared in all of this, not the young men who give their lives for senseless causes.

He had no right to do what he did. There will never be anything acceptable about his actions. There will never be any winners to come out of this.

But at the very, very least there is this. The people he made his targets on Monday? They are the ones who will overcome. Who will push forward. Who will defy.

If you'd like to support the victims of the attack and their families, you can donate to the Manchester attack victims fund here.

This post originally appeared on Mamamia, Spring.St's Australian sister site. You can read it here.