The Girl Who Always Asked Why

There was once a girl who always asked the question “Why?” For every instruction that was given to her, she always sought to understand the reason for it.  Her inquisitiveness led her down the path of seeking knowledge and she joined an Academy.  There she learned several hymns, and poems and acquired knowledge from tutors who had traveled all over the world. She asked questions and learned even more. One day, an invitation arrived from the King calling for the brightest scholar in the academy to join a panel of the brightest scholars in the land. The king desired to gather all the knowledge in the world into books and pen new hymns.

On the first day of the panel, she showed up to the conference and took a seat. There was a great uproar among the men at the presence of a woman in their midst. The male scholars demanded that the King send her out. The King questioned her as to why she came to the conference. She answered, “You sent an invitation for the brightest scholar in my academy to join the conference. I am the brightest in my academy.” This caused another uproar. One of the oldest and wisest scholars stood up and demanded that she be sent out.

The girl requested to ask him a question and the King gave her permission to do so. She asked him a simple question, “Why?”

The old man answered, “Greater knowledge is not for women.”

“Why?” She asked again.

“Because the female intellect is weaker than men.”

“Why?” She asked.

The man sputtered, unsure how to answer the question. “It is just so. It has always been like that!”

“Says who?” She spoke. “Who made that determination?”

“Our forefathers who wrote the books we read today,” he answered.

She smiled. “When you say, ‘our forefathers’, you mean our male forefathers, right?”

“Of course,” he answered.

“How would they know if they never bothered to ask any women?” She asked.

“You ask too many questions, girl!” shouted the elderly scholar. He was furious.

“If no one ever bothered to ask any women, then I don’t see how their opinions can be factual,” she concluded.

Everyone was astonished by the great amount of wisdom that the girl displayed in dealing with the situation. The King declared that she could stay on the panel. Days passed and the girl took part in several discussions, asked many questions, and answered several others. The other scholars were astonished by her brilliance.

When the final drafts of the books were compiled, the girl composed many of the hymns. Nobody knows for sure what happened to the girl thereafter. Some say that she wrote her book of hymns. Others say that she opened an academy for girls. But everyone agrees that the girl “who asked why” became the first female scholar.

Call to action: do we ask questions and challenge stereotypes? Your opinions matter. Do not be afraid to take a seat at the table. Be confident and assertive! Remember, there is something in you that the world needs!