Author:

https://www.youthvoices.live/category/civic-engagement/gender-equity/gender/

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Who should be doing the domestic work in a household?

In the article ¨Who’s Still Doing The Housework¨ by Claire Cain Miller and Chrisanne Grise it says that the old norm and tradition was for women to stay at home, cook, clean, and take care of their children while the males worked. However the article explains how that norm has slowly changed since more and more women are employed and educated. The expectation is for there to be an equal share of tasks at home but yet the social change has been slow. A recent survey from Gallup elaborates that from ages 18-34 both females and males said it was okay for a woman to stay home while the husband worked but not okay if it was a stay at home dad.  A University of Maryland analysis found that boys ages 15 and 19 usually did barely half an hour of chores while a female did more than an hour. The argument is that beliefs and gender roles should be changed as a male and female are developing so we can change the ideology that women must be in charge of the domestic work at home only since the majority of women are educated so they have other responsibilities to handle.

I agree with the argument that a change must be made within a household and break those traditions and thoughts of women being in charge of domestic work. If both heads of the house work then they MUST both share the responsibility of domestic work. For example in my household everyone helps around in the house and both my parents cook, clean, and take care of us. My parents working together as a team makes everything more efficient and that’s how it should be. I also agree that parents must teach their children that gender   does not matter and they must learn domestic work as it’s a life skill they will both use later on. My parents also do not make a difference among me and my brothers either as we all take turns doing certain chores in the house. Overall I agree that the traditions of a women being obligated to domestic work only should be broken and in our society today both partners must share the responsibilities equally or if a female works rather than a male, that is okay too.


No looking back

 While listening to the song what i thought was equality. The message that the video tried to show is everybody is different and we love different things, but at the end of the day we are equal. You should do what you love and make you happy. The lyrics are deep in the sense of a very strong message. For example , “ Running through the fire, running through the flame

Running through the hatred, pushing through the blame ,Running through the hopelessness and shame” this line from the song shows the person is going through a hard moment of hate and he/she has to keep running not look back , keep pushing until you make it.  


Discrimination Surrounding Us

Prejudice and discrimination exist everywhere, and most of the people have experienced these before, or even in the current. Bias is that doing with the inflexible and irrational attitudes and opinions about another group, while discrimination is that behaviors directed against another group. In the article, American Psychological Association, it stated, “Nearly seven in 10 adults (69 percent) in the U.S. report having experienced any discrimination, with 61 percent reporting experiencing day-to-day discrimination, such as being treated with less courtesy or respect, receiving poorer service than others, and being threatened or harassed. Within this report, discrimination is reported across subgroups of adults, including age, race or ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”

In the beginning, the fundamental issue is on gender, which is especially deep-rooted in the old generation. In our society, females are doomed to be unequal to males in their lives; this thought has existed for a long time and pass on the next and next generation. Therefore, Women always suffer more prejudice and discrimination from this society and surrounding people, no matter in the past or the current. This situation has happened in most countries of the world. Fortunately, our community is gradually changing that women began to stand up and fight for their rights. They want to prove the statement “a male is always better than a female” is wrong by parading and protesting on the street then fixing the law for their rights. 

From the past until so far in the U.S., plenty of tracks except white, primarily black, have fought their rights, so do different faiths. In the article, All Discrimination Is Damaging, Regardless of Race, it mentioned, “Williams asked the participants about the types of discrimination they experienced and how they perceived this treatment. The majority, more than 90%, of all the participants clearly described their definition of unfair and unjust treatment and were quite confident that their past discrimination experiences were valid.” These discriminatory events caused frustrated emotional responses for all the participants, and this finding suggests that regardless of the intention or target of the discrimination, the psychological damage it causes is the same.

Although it becomes much better than in the past by marching, protest, and fixing the laws, prejudice and discrimination still exist in our society. The only thing we can do is to respect all the things surrounding us, even is unfamiliar to us, for we cannot compel others to insert our thoughts to them, which is too immoral. Therefore, we should make people aware of the inconsistencies in their own beliefs and direct them in the right way and thought to solve these contradictions and conflicts.


Gender neutral bathrooms project reflection

When we started our project, we didn’t really have a goal. We were just trying to get more gender neutral bathrooms in public places. Our project hasn’t been successful, because our petition only got 2 people who signed. Our blog got a couple of people to view it, but they didn’t do anything besides read the posts.

Our project wasn’t successful.

Our petition didn’t get many people who signed. We promoted it pretty well. We put the link to the petition on some of our blog posts and on our group Instagram account. We emailed it to the ninth grade at our school as well. 38 people viewed it, and 13 people shared it, but like I said above, only 2 people actually signed the petition. We didn’t get the attention of any social media influencers either, so the only people promoting the petition were in our group.

Our blog was slightly more successful, but the people who viewed it didn’t do anything else that would help promote our cause. Overall, 16 people viewed our blog. The most viewed post on our blog had 11 views, at last count. We have 3 followers, and one of them isn’t from our school.

Overall, we got people to look at our blog posts and listen to what we were saying, but we didn’t change anything. If we had to do our project over again, we would probably need more time to be successful. I feel like we also should have put more effort into creating our petition, because we just typed the first thing that came to mind and put in a picture that related to gender neutral bathrooms. Also, I think it would have helped if we had had time to put ourselves out there. For example, I think liking and commenting on blogs relating to ours might have helped. We should also have focused more on our Instagram account, because Instagram’s more popular and a lot of people are constantly on it.

Even though our project wasn’t successful, I learned a lot.

If you want to check out our blog (we have memes and informational posts on there) this is the link- https://genderneutralbathrooms564415170.wordpress.com


How people feel about gender neutral bathrooms

https://youtu.be/HAo8DluSaBo

Here’s the multimedia presentation I’ve been working on. Everyone in our group did one, but mine is about people’s views on gender neutral bathrooms around the world and how they compare to the United States.

I decided to focus on this particular topic for my presentation because I thought it would be interesting to research how different countries, in general, felt about gender neutral bathrooms. I knew that their opinions would probably vary widely, but I ended up being surprised at how much more inclusive certain countries were being when compared to the US. In the end, I enjoyed learning about the great things some people are doing around the world.

I’m hoping that this presentation will make people think more about how to make gender neutral bathrooms and other related concepts more common everywhere around the world, not just in a couple of different countries. Even though the video mainly focuses on the US, it still has information you might find interesting, even if you don’t live there. Gender neutral bathrooms should be spread out around the world to promote inclusiveness for everyone, regardless of who they are.

If you enjoyed this post, please check out our blog, where we post about gender neutral bathrooms every week. Here’s the link- https://genderneutralbathrooms564415170.wordpress.com


Equality and Justice


Gender Dysphoria is not just for Trans People

Over the last week, I found a very intriguing and insightful article about someone who experienced gender dysphoria for 8 years and considered herself transgender during that time. She explains how she spent a large part of her life trying to figure out whether or not she wanted to transition.

She’d give examples of people that she met. Some of the younger adults she met were very excited and wanted to push her to start transitioning medically. However, one older adult told her to take her time and not rush things.

There are many people who do not feel male or female. Just like sexual orientation, gender is a spectrum. Many people are not just gay or straight. There are often people somewhere in the middle with gender too. That’s where terms like non binary, gender neutral, gender queer, and gender fluid fall into play.

In the end of this article, the author explains how she began living as an androgynous woman, picking what to where based on whims. She explained how her confidence began to grow because she started feeling more comfortable in her body. My favorite quote from this article is, “Appraising myself in the mirror, I suddenly saw a woman-just stripped of the femininity normally expected of women. What’s more, I liked it. I knew other women who dressed and acted however they pleased, including in masculine ways, but I’d unconsciously written off that option for myself.”

I think that this article is very important because it shows how anybody can experience gender dysphoria and how that does not make you transgender. In a way, it can be empowering because it might help people realize that they can view their bodies differently and in a more positive light.

Anyone’s experience with gender dysphoria is valid and their stories matter because they can end up helping others navigate complicated emotions in the future.

https://nowcomment.com/documents/137442


What is Gender Dysphoria?

Something that is very present in my life is gender dysphoria. I experience it daily. I’ve noticed that nobody knows what it is or how to help people experiencing it. These are some articles that provide definitions and examples of how it feels to experience gender dysphoria. One of the main reasons trans people struggle in our world today is because of a lack of knowledge around them. Hopefully these sources can help others understand and spread important information regarding people who are transgender.

https://nowcomment.com/documents/135316

This is my now comment document that includes some annotations one the first article listed here.

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/gender-dysphoria/what-is-gender-dysphoria

This article goes over what exactly gender dysphoria is and what some symptoms of it may be. It describes how children and adults may show signs of gender dysphoria and that not everybody treats it the same way. I particularly liked this article because it provided a list of definitions at the end. Most people are not familiar with terms related to being transgender so this article is a great basic resource for someone not transgender trying to understand what it is. This article also has a section on challenges that people with gender dysphoria experience. For example they are at a much higher risk of depression, anxiety, and self harm. It also mentions their legal struggles with getting insurance and that they are at a higher risk of hate crimes.

https://www.webmd.com/sex/gender-dysphoria#1

This article is very similar to the last one however it goes into detail on different topics such as how the diagnosis is given. They say that to be diagnosed one must experience gender dysphoria for at least 6 months. It also provides a list of symptoms for children and adults. This article goes into detail on the treatment options and also asks hard questions such as, is it just a phase, which is a valid question for concerned parents to ask.

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/what-its-like-to-be-trans-and-live-with-gender-dysphoria

This article is a good resource for emotional help. It goes less into the medical side of things really talks about what gender dysphoria is like by using people who go through it everyday. It asks questions and then they all respond with how they feel. It is a good way for people to feel less alone by giving them the chance to see other people go through what they are going through, especially on a popular social platform like Teen Vogue. It also is a good way to show people who do not experience gender dysphoria what it is really like for people they may know who are trans.


The Pay Day Dilemma

Gender equality is at the forefront of national debates as politicians argue over how to go about creating equal pay and whether or not equal pay is really necessary. Proponents of equal pay claim that equal pay is a fundamental right and that equal pay ensures that women are likely to branch into all fields, not just the fields that are “for women.” Opponents of equal pay often claim that women are inherently less worthy than men or that paying men and women the same would lead to downturns in the economy. Regardless of what side a person falls on, it is hard to deny that, right now, pay is unequal along gender lines.

The gender wage gap, according to CNN, is now at 79%. This means that, on average, for every dollar a man makes, a woman only makes 79¢. While this statistic is still far from the goal of equal pay, it represents an improvement from the 59% that women were making in 1964. Race also affects how much women are paid. African American women only make 63% of what white men make. Education level is another factor that affects how much a woman’s salary will be in comparison to a man’s. As education level increases, so does the wage gap. Women with advanced degrees only make about 74% of what men make. Additionally, age plays a role in the wage gap. Older women (ages 55-64) also make only about 74% of what men the same age make. Finally, where women live also affects how large the wage gap will be. In New York, for example, women make about 87% of what men make. But in Louisiana, women only make 65% of what men make. Hence, when equal pay finally comes for white, moderately educated, middle-aged women who live in New York; it may still be far off for African American women who are highly educated, older, and live in Louisiana.

The wage gap also depends on what profession women work in. In the world of sports, the wage gap is massive. Among the 100 most paid athletes in the world, there is only one woman: Serena Williams comes in 51st. Many say that this statistic is because the public enjoys watching men’s sports more and hence there is simply more money involved. However, even if leagues and tournaments commit to equal pay, as the Grand Slams did in 2007, the wage gap persists as men get more money in sponsorship deals than women.

While sports may be the most unequal profession in terms of the wage gap, there are many other professions that suffer royally as well. Female financial advisors make only about 58% of what male financial advisors do. This massive wage gap extends to many jobs that involve money or technology. Commodity traders, real estate agents, credit counselors, and more all have wage gaps that leave women making under 70% of what their male counterparts make. However, there are some other jobs where women and men are essentially equal in terms of salaries. Jobs that involve caring for others such as nurses, counselors, or special education teachers have wage gaps that leave women making 99% to 96% of what men in the same professions make. This minuscule wage gap often leads women to choose these professions in an attempt to be paid fairly.

This has led many experts to advise S.T.E.M professions to require equal pay. In this way, S.T.E.M professions can encourage women to start careers in new professions which will give these professions new perspectives that could lead to breakthroughs. But for those people who genuinely believe that women are inherently less worthy than men, data will not change their minds. If we as a society decide that equal pay is necessary for societal progress, legislation must be passed so that equal pay is not an option but an obligation. Otherwise, equal pay may never come.

These articles helped me to become informed on the topic.

https://nowcomment.com/documents/116076/twopane#.W-H-jpNKjU1


How Has Conversion Therapy Evolved?

Throughout history, the practice of conversion therapy has been used as a way of “correcting” same-sex attraction and gender nonconformity. Same-sex attraction and transgenderism have long been considered deviant and abnormal behaviors. Up until 1973, The American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality as a mental disorder. This led many people to support different forms of conversion therapy. Many believe that there is scientific backing for conversion. Most of these methods involve inducing physical and emotional trauma in order to deter same-sex attraction or force people into gender reassignment. According to Kathy Baldock, an LGBT rights advocate, in an article from ABC News Australia, this therapy even includes “giving people drugs while they showed them gay porn so they’d throw up. Not giving them drugs while they showed them heterosexual porn so they wouldn’t throw up.” Conversion therapy was invented for one reason only – to eradicate homosexuality and correct a person’s sexuality or gender identity no matter the cost.

Despite what we may think, conversion therapy is still a very widely used practice. The majority of states have not yet banned conversion therapy for minors. There are some individual states, county, and cities that have banned it, but these constitute for very little in the wider scope of the United States. In addition, there is no state that has banned conversion therapy for adults. According to Victoria Brownworth in an article for Dame Magazine, A law banning conversion therapy for adults is pending in California. “If AB 2943 is passed, California would become the first state to completely ban the practice for both minors and adults.” This would involve conversion therapy only with respect to treatment from a licensed counselor, including mental hospitals, prescriptions, and more specific forms of aversion therapy. This would still allow for religious groups and families to perform individualized conversion therapy with no legal consequences.

More and more people are becoming opposed to the idea of conversion therapy. With more counties and states banning the practice for minors, our nation is moving toward a safer world or LGBT youth. Not only has conversion therapy proved to be ineffective, but it also brings serious emotional, physical, and mental harm to everyone who goes through it. By supporting legislation that would ban conversion therapy for minors, our country would become even closer to full protection for the LGBT community.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-21/gay-conversion-therapy-survivors-on-greg-hunt-comments/9679416

https://www.damemagazine.com/2018/07/31/why-is-gay-conversion-therapy-still-legal/


How Can Roe V. Wade Be Protected?

Roe V. Wade is one of the largest contemporary judicial controversies. It has spawned avid opposition and support throughout the American public for more than forty years from both genders, despite only concerning one. With the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, this court ruling is in significant danger of being overturned. What would this mean for the female American public? 

Roe V. Wade affirms the constitutional right to access safe and legal abortion. According to planned parenthood, 72% of Americans of all varieties of political parties support this constitutional affirmation or at least believe that there are more negatives to overturning it than positives. This Supreme Court decision to allow safe and legal abortions is more of a preventative measure to stop people from attempting to enact this medical procedure in an unprofessional environment or on their own. This act is about the safety of American women more than it is about the ability to get an abortion.

Overturning Roe V. Wade would be a violation of Women’s healthcare rights. According to  Refinery 29, state legislatures are already attacking women’s reproductive rights through various temporary bans on abortions as well as the general public’s violent attitude towards women who act on their right to choose. Also, according to  Refinery 29, 58% of reproductive-age women live in a state that provides a hostile environment regarding abortions and birth control. This article states that the best way to keep Roe V. Wade protected and intact is to vote. Keeping representatives on speed dial, donating to organizations like Planned Parenthood, becoming a clinic escort, and actively trying to dispel the stigma surrounding abortion by educating family members, peers, and coworkers on the reality surrounding this reproductive right are all listed as ways to help protect the supreme court decision.


The MeToo Movement

The MeToo movement sparked my interest because of how it is revolutionizing the way we talk about sexual violence as a whole. The MeToo movement was able to spread through the #metoo in which women from all over the world joined in to share their stories of sexual harassment. What made me so passionate about this issue is how it not only affects me but just about every woman I have ever met. Starting from the young age of 10, I have been getting cat-called my men that see my body as an object. There have also been situations in which I have been physically followed by men twice my age. Despite how bad these situations have been, there are still so many women who continue to experience so much worse due to the fact that society teaches us to place our worth in how men view us. Due to this, many women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted refuse to speak out because of the fear that they will be blamed for “provoking” the assault and that they won’t be taken seriously. However, things are finally beginning to change because many women today are coming forward with their stories of sexual violence. This movement is so inspirational because it is encouraging women to challenge societies views and start to take full control of their bodies. This movement has also done a great job in getting men to change their views on sexual assault and in changing the way men act towards women. When I first started this project, all I knew about this movement was that it opened up a platform aimed at getting women to speak up about their sexual harassment experiences. However, in delving deeper into the issue it is clear how this movement is truly about getting women to change a society that has oppressed our gender for too long. Through their stories, women are changing how we act on sexual harassment by making sure it is treated as the crime that it is. As of now, this movement needs to work on spreading to male-dominated fields in which women are treated like sexual objects. These environments are often times very toxic for women who try succeeding since the higher the position, the fewer women there are, making it very difficult to speak up in an area dominated by men. With these issues at hand, it is easy to see how far the MeToo movement still as to go, but it is still very comforting to see how far we have come.


Women = Men

The issue of sexism is a very relevant issue today. It is a very broad issue, and there are many parts to it, spanning from the gender wage gap to rape and sexual abuse. I am very passionate about this issue because it is typically women that are affected by sexism. Being a girl and a future woman myself, I would hate to think that I am growing up in a world where I am being denied opportunities or suffering in any way due to my gender.

 

Before I began this project, I knew that sexism was a worldwide issue and that both men and women are victims of it. I knew that something major going on in America particularly, is the fight for equal pay and opportunities for both men and women. From my research, I have also learned that a part of sexism includes very, very serious issues, such as rape and sexual abuse, and that there are many advocates for gender equality, both men and women, who are willing to help bring about change within our world.

 


The Gender Pay Gap: Fact or Fiction?—The Misleading Truth

The gender wage gap is a controversial social issue that has constantly resurfaced throughout recent years. Even with the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women are still perceived to be at a disadvantage when comparing women’s yearly earnings to men’s yearly earnings. This not only applies to America, but seems to be a common issue in other countries (including Western countries) as well. Many people have heard the common statement that: “Women earn around 78 cents to a man’s dollar in the U.S.” Does this statement really hold true in today’s society, or is there something else that people have been overlooking these past few years?

My curiosity surrounding the gender pay gap sparked a lot of interest in me. I was always opened to the possibilities of there being an underlying stigma, gender discrimination, or sexism towards women of the workplace. Once I uncovered the possible, reasonable explanations of this wage gap, I came to a general consensus—yes, there is still a wage gap within society, but not in the way that the media portrays it to be. Rather, it is misleading a lot of people a majority of the time.

From prior knowledge, I already knew that the wage gap shown in the media was based off of “unadjusted” wage gap statistics, which is the average difference between women’s median salaries and men’s median salaries throughout the nation. The “unadjusted” wage gap does not take into account factors such as level of education, type of occupation, and hours worked. The reason why women were earning less as a whole was due to a majority of them dominating lower-paying jobs and working less hours. After recording this video, I learned that there is another specific type of wage gap: the “adjusted” wage gap, which takes into account many factors I mentioned previously. Statistics showed women earned anywhere from 93-96 cents/pence to a man dollar’s in multiple countries (including the U.S.). Women’s lack of negotiation skills and workplace incentives are the most possible explanations for this still-existing gap. There is a chance for discrimination to exist in the workplace as well, but going by statistics, there is little room for it to go unnoticed. There is no doubt that the wage gap might eventually come to a close in the near future with much support from thousands of organizations in America.


Middle East: The Opression of its Women

The issue that is discussed in the video is the oppression of women residing in the Middle East. I’m passionate about this issue because in western countries, such as America or the United Kingdom’s have made great strides changing age old laws to help women and have helped women achieve the same opportunities that men have. However, it’s infuriating to see that women aren’t treated as equals or even as human beings in Middle Eastern countries. That whole region is living in the dark ages. Many people usually ignore the serious injustices happening over in the Middle East, but it’s time to shine light on a problem that is only making small improvements.

      I knew about many of the horrible laws women in the Middle East are subjected to by their government. Saudi Arabia is notorious for keeping their women chained up and more or less as property. By law, women in Saudi Arabia must wear a burqa and hijab outside, they must be accompanied by their husbands or male relatives when outside, they aren’t allowed to own property by themselves, they must have permission from their ex-husbands if they want to marry again, when divorced they have no ownership of their kids, etc. If any of this happened in America, riots would be happening everyday. After I did my research and made that video, I learned how the oppression of women came to be so severe in the Middle East. I learned about how politics were the reason that the Middle East is in the state it is in today. The research opened my eyes to the many ways women are starting to fight back against their oppressors and what change they’ve been able to obtain so far.

Unit 3 Project Submission (Mar 27, 2018 at 9_15 PM) (1)


LGBTQIA+ : Respect is the Gay Agenda

The LGBTQIA+ movement has become more well known throughout America. This movement fights for more acceptance of those in the community, seeking for the right to be who they are and love however they want regardless of gender and sex. I have been passionate about this issue for a long while, especially more when I had heard that gay marriage was legal in 2015. That was when the LGBTQIA+ community gained much more support nationwide, but also much more outspoken hate nationwide. For me, there was a need to speak out for the community. As someone whose friends are all a part of the LGBTQIA+ —myself included—it became much more relevant to address the issue. I have known my own friends online whose last goodbye was when they had to go to conversion therapy, saying that their parents cannot accept that they “associate” themselves with “those” people. Friends who were (and still are) in pain because their parents said they felt uncomfortable with who they are. That should not happen, not today, not any day.

The movement has been going around in America for so long and has become so prevalent that it is impossible to ignore. As someone who grew up with social media and in a diverse part of the nation, I had already known some things about the topic before going into in-depth research. For instance, I knew most of the reasons why homophobia exists, and I knew what misunderstandings went into those reasons. There are reasons such as differing interpretations of religion, or growing up in a household that follows “traditions.” In addition, I have known of the hate crimes, the families disowning their children scenario, the discriminating work places, and the high suicide rates. But, I don’t just know of other people hating on the LGBTQIA+, but like in every group, there are those that create hate inside the community. I know that a handful of the LGBTQIA+ blame an entire religion for hate, which is also not right. There is even phobia in the community. The most prevalent is biphobia and ace erasure, in which they are always put into the spotlight as people who “cannot make up their minds” or “special.” Those is just the things that I had known from common knowledge and not from research.

As I went into the research, I began by going to LGBTQIA+ statistics. The percentage of people in America who are LGBT in 2017 was a lot smaller than I thought. However, it is ever growing in percentage as each year goes, and that percentage is growing exponentially. This is not counting those who have yet to come out of the closet or those who have not discovered themselves yet. Another thing is, I did not know that bisexuals are more likely to be sexually harassed than lesbians, gays, and heterosexuals. I compiled all of the information into the slides and combined it with all of the information I knew (and confirmed through research).

 

 


Gender Inequality

In the world of professional sports the inequality between male and female is astonishing especially when you take a look at the difference in salaries. Since the beginning of time males have always been the one who were depended. The Kings and Monarchs position of different societies filled by men.

In all sports across the board male athletes are paid significantly more than women. In an attempt to close the major gap many female athletes play in overseas leagues during their offseason in order to earn more money. They can typically earn 15 times more overseas than playing in the US.

Not only is this a huge issue regarding money however the attention that is put on Women’s sports are significantly less than their male counterparts. Young girls like me can be discouraged by the lack of equality leading to young promising athletes to give up on their dreams at one day becoming a professional athlete.

 


Discrimination in the Job Industry

 

The issue iIfocused on was discrimination in the job industry. The focus was more on pay and hiring as well as treatment of minorities. In my project, I discuss what rights women and employees of color have on top of possible solutions. I am passionate about this topic because as a female of color, I’d like to know what troubles i may face when i enter adulthood and go into a career.

 

Before i started this project, I was semi-aware of what groups get the short end of the stick when it came to wages and hiring. Women and people outside of the caucasian group were bound to face these instances. However, what id did not know is how little protection these minorities get from these instances. For example, a law was passed almost 30 years ago that protected women from lower wages than a man of the same job. Another this i learned is that there is no similar laws for people of different ethnicities.

 


Unequal Pay

Unequal pay has been a severe conflict since forever. Many people thought that by 2018, this would not be a problem. Yet, this is a problem many women are facing everyday. As a women, I hope this problem is solved soon. Which made me look into this topic even more. Before starting this project, I knew that women and men are seen unequally because of stereotypes. According to social norms, women are suppose to stay home and take care of the household and their children. However, men are supposed to be working and earning money for the family. Even though it is 2018 and women with the highest educations are getting jobs, there is injustice present because men and women are unequally paid despite having the same amount of education. Additionally, this is not a recent problem because this conflict/injustice has been occurring for so long that there are associations and ideology formed such as Feminism. After working on this project, I learned how laws were passed to ensure that men and women were getting paid the same at the same workplace. One of this law is called the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that was passed by John F. Kennedy.

 


Female Harassment in the Gaming Industry

Sexism is still present in today’s society, especially in video games. I have had encounters in which my teammates harass me for my gender. I’ll be discussing Gamergate, a movement that touches on the toxic community within the video game industry.

Upon looking up problems in the gaming community, I didn’t know about Gamergate–never even heard about it. But as I read more, I realized how passionate other people were about this topic and motivated me to focus my research on it.

Now, I know how severe the harassment women in the gaming industry still face. I want to address this and share the ways that would hopefully spread awareness and motivate others to take action.

 


GENDER PAY GAP: An Issue of Unfairness

I am passionate about the gender pay gap because it is an issue that affects the economic bridge between men and women. It is an aspect of injustice in the United States that has continued to be overlooked despite the efforts of movements and revolutionaries. If it is not addressed, the gender pay gap will stay a problem that places one sex above the other in terms of economic superiority.

I always knew about the pay gap between men and women, and that there is injustice concerning salaries within the workforce. I already knew that for various jobs, women are being paid less for performing the same tasks than their male counterparts. However, I never realized just how great of an extent the unfairness remains etched into society.

After looking up research, I learned that the gender pay gap exists for common beliefs among opposers to reforms. They claim that due to women taking time off of work to have and raise a baby, they should be paid less than men. I also learned of possible solutions to the gender pay gap, and hope for a better future for the economic situations of women within the United States.


Who Should Change?

        “Everyone is created equally”, is a quote that is dead in today’s world. Women in our world are treated like a doormat. They are used for one thing until they can’t be used again, and that is to pleasure a man. Why does our world think like that? Isn’t everyone created equally? They don’t even get the same pay men do and it’s 2018. This is obscured. “We live in a society that teaches don’t get raped, not don’t rape”.

         Why do men think that women need to change their ways for them? Maybe men could change their ways for women, or maybe men could have a little self control? Women are a gift, a beautiful gift. Men have no reason to take advantage of any woman in this world. It doesn’t matter if she’s sober or not. Leave her alone. If she’s passed out, maybe call an ambulance to help. Don’t call your buddy to help you rape her.

Let women dress how they want to dress. If they show a little cleavage or some extra leg or shoulder, who cares? It’s just another human being. They weren’t asking for it by how they dressed or how they looked. Women should be able to go out in public without being shamed, harassed, or raped by a so called man who doesn’t have self control. Women are not here to serve a man, they are here the same reason a man is here. To live life with happiness not fear and hatred. If you have ever verbally harassed, assaulted, sexually assaulted, raped or anything that is hurtful or harmful to a woman, then you don’t deserve to be living in this world. Let women live life to the fullest and anyone that doesn’t let them do that, let them rot in hell.


Diagnosing ADHD

A 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) found that 8.4% of children in the United States have a current diagnosis of ADHD. Based on this research, a survey was conducted in February of 2018 on 69 people ages 13 to 24 by the writer where 16.4% reported that they had been diagnosed with ADHD. The NSCH also found that 13.3% of boys and 5.6% of girls were diagnosed with ADHD. The eleven participants in the writer’s survey who were diagnosed with ADHD had a gender makeup of 63.6% male and 36.4% female, with 11.8% of the overall female population being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and 21.2% of the overall male population being diagnosed. These gender statistics are on par with national ADHD statistics, as according to CHADD: The National Resource on ADHD, “Boys continue to be more than twice as likely than girls to have current ADHD”. This could very well be due to the difference in symptoms shown by the opposite sexes.

According to Healthline, “Boys and girls can display very different ADHD symptoms, and boys are much more likely to be diagnosed with the attention disorder”. While boys tend to show more external symptoms of impulsivity, physical aggression, and hyperactivity, girls show more internal, less obvious signs that are “often easy to overlook because it’s not ‘typical’ ADHD behavior”. These behaviors include social withdrawal, anxiety, attention impairment, a tendency to daydream, and verbal aggression. Just as many girls may have ADHD as boys do, but their less obvious, atypical symptoms may cause them to continue to be undiagnosed.

While the differing in symptoms of ADHD in boys and girls may make it harder to diagnose in females, age plays an important role in the diagnosis of this disorder as well. 54.6% of the surveyed population with ADHD were diagnosed between the ages of six and twelve. 45.4% were diagnosed between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. None of those surveyed were diagnosed at or under the age of five. Children with ADHD are rarely diagnosed between the ages of four and five, as it is difficult to tell whether the symptoms they are expressing are signs of ADHD or merely just natural child behavior. According to pediatrician at Hillcrest Pediatrics and medical director of Intermountain Medical Group of the Central Salt Lake region, Dr. Neil Davis, “It is possible for kids to have that diagnosis [of ADHD] early, four years old, but that’s rare. Most four year olds are hyperactive and inattentive, So, being able to tease out that difference at age four is quite difficult”. This explains why the diagnoses of ADHD in this survey were all made after the age of five.
Photo by ming1967


Medical Specialty Discrimination

The only specialty that the number of women outweighed the number of men was pediatrics. This is stereotypical since women are often seen as ‘gentler’ and better with children, therefore they are pushed into this profession. The problem with being a pediatrician is you go to the same amount of medical school, pay the same amount of tuition, but get paid half the paycheck of any other specialty.

The two lowest paying medical specialties are pediatrics and OB/GYN. However, these are the two fields that people say women belong in. So by categorizing specialties by gender and giving some specialties lower pay based on the gender, we see discrimination.

Pediatricians average salary is $130,000 a year. While this is nothing to scoff at, it is a number to worry about debt wise. The average amount of debt a medical school student has is $173,000. With interest building on the debt, a family, mortgage, necessities, and bills to pay, it takes most pediatricians 15-20 years to pay back all debt. However, it takes other specialties on average 8-15 years to pay back debt. By the time all your debt is paid back, your in your mid 40’s.

OB/GYN doctors are paid on average $200,000. Again, while this is a pretty hefty paycheck, it is only a fraction of other specialties. For example, some cardiologists and neurologists get paid $600,000 a year, and you guess it, those fields are at least 70% male.

So why is it that the two lowest paid fields are the ones where women are encouraged to go? Is it ironic or intentional?  Its difficult to prove but, a study done by Harvard Medical School suggests that factoring in years of experience, schooling, and training, there is at least a $20,000 unexplainable gap within these two specialties. This means that even two identical people, one male and one female, who attended the same school and had the same experience in pediatrics or OB/GYN, would see a $20,000 difference in their paychecks. From this evidence, we can infer that there is a gender based wage gap.

Is it subconscious that women are encouraged to enter pediatrics and OB/GYN over other areas of study, or has it become the stereotype? The only evidence pointing to why women choose pediatrics over other specialties is because of the option to work part time is more accessible. However, with this being the only researched reason, and women are still practicing other areas of medicine, we can infer that the underlying reason is pressure from others to fall into this category.

Dr. Kathleen Beekman, an oncologist, was featured in a book called, Torn, by Samantha Parent Walravens. This book attempted to explain why women tend to be less career oriented. Dr. Beekmans essay tells the story of a time where she had just had a baby and been asked to head the tumor research during her second year of fellowship. After receiving this offer, a male colleague took her aside and said, “Don’t do it. You’ll be fodder for the department, and no one will take you seriously.” So she turned the position away out of fear of being inferior.

Discouragement, pay gap, and stereotyping specialties are a few of the reasons why women are discouraged from entering the medical field. The issues with promotions alone are enough to lead women away. Feeling inferior in any job is discouraging, especially when peers blatantly say that you are not fit for the job


Wage Gap in the Medical Field

Imagine going to school for 8 plus years, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so, finally graduating, getting a job, and find out your getting paid $50,000 less than someone who is your ‘equal’. This is an everyday occurance for women in the medical field. Though the schooling, intelligence, and job position are exactly the same, the pay gap ranges widely. It is obscure that this gap is present in every single specialty within medicine, except radiology. This raised my attention.

Radiologist, Julia Fielding, was concerned about the dropping number of female radiologists. She decided to raise some awareness in efforts to push more women towards this specialty. She did this in three ways. 1) informing first year medical students early on about radiology, instead of how they normally are exposed to radiology, in their third or fourth year. 2) Exposing women to the importance of radiology in finding breast cancer, something that many women feel is important due to personal risk and family history. 3) Paying female radiologists slightly more than male radiologists and promoting better leadership positions for women. This is something women struggle with in the medical field and in fact a reason many women don’t enter the field; it is extremely difficult to obtain a leadership position as a female.

Female radiologists get paid $2000 more on average than their male counterparts. However, this doesn’t seem significant when we see the $40,000 difference in cardiology, $60,000 difference in neurology, $80,000 difference in specialty surgery. So while Fielding is encouraging women to enter radiology because of the better pay, she isn’t recognizing the inequality.

So why is it that we are seeing differences from $20,000-$100,000+ in male and female paychecks? Dr. Anupam Jena from Harvard’s Medical School sums up the issue to be a “clear discrimination by department chairs in salary settings,” meaning the people hiring new doctors are often a group of men. This goes back to my first point of it being difficult for women to obtain leadership positions in the medical field. This hiring position is done usually by a board of doctors in a specialty, and since this board is elected by promotions, it is majorly male. So, as a female walks into a room of five men and asks for a job, they stereotype her into being less intelligence and unlike themselves, so they offer her a lower pay.

This is a major issue that can only be fixed by giving women leadership positions, like Fielding was attempting to do to make radiology more desirable. It is disappointing to begin a job and know that is the highest position you will ever obtain. People want to accomplish and move up  in their careers, and when opportunities are slim for this, people change careers.

Another issue brought up by Jena is that women are often not as aggressive when asking for a raise or trying to reach a leadership position. This at times can be true, but is often a result of, you guessed it, stereotyping. Women are often seen as more docile than men, and hence given a soft spoken, gentle image, even in the workplace. And, women are accused of ‘vocal fry’, the quieter, shakier, higher pitched voice that most women have due to genetics and physical anatomy. So, as a man walks in and asks for a raise, he is likely to get it due to his booming low voice, inherent confidence, and larger size.

From the articles, we can infer that women are consciously or subconsciously paid less, not treated as equals, and not given as many leadership or promotional opportunities. Fieldings ideas about trying to equalize the playing field as well as introduce more women into a certain field is a great start. If we can give the same opportunities to both men and women and offer them comparable pay, then the women will feel less discouraged when trying to enter the medical field.

Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com


The Price of Being a Woman in Prison

In the United States of America, even the toughest criminals have basic rights protected by our country’s Constitution. The rights of prisoners include the right to humane facilities and conditions, right to be free from sexual crimes, right to be free from racial segregation, right to express condition complaints, and right to medical care and attention as needed, among others. Hearing that these rights exist may be shocking to some because it often seems as though prisoners are not able to express them and that their conditions are very clearly not supported by their rights. Far too many inmates are stripped of these rights or loopholes are found so they receive the absolute minimum. In specific, one of these rights was being violated for women prisoners.

In April 2017, the New York Times produced a story featuring 24-year-old Tara Oldfield Parker, a woman arrested for shoplifting. When arrested, she was on her period and requested a sanitary pad from the officers in her holding cell in Queens, New York. “Sure, they said. But they would need to call an ambulance to get one. After about an hour and a half, they produced a sterile gauze pad, apparently obtained from an ambulance. It was the kind of rectangular gauze used to bandage an arm, with no adhesive” (Greenberg, The New York Times). This is not an uncommon situation for incarcerated females. Although receiving menstrual supplies falls under the right to humane facilities and conditions and the right right to medical care and attention, it is constantly seen as a luxury rather than a basic right.

Prisons can make maintaining a healthy well-being and dignity a monthly struggle. In the New York prisons, women recount that pads were only accessible 70% of the time, and tampons were even harder to come by. Even then, they were only given to certain housing units and certain inmates, depending on their relationship with the officers. This affects not only health and hygiene, but also women’s self-esteem in a situation where their self-esteem cannot take another hit. They are constantly humiliated and start to despise their bodies because they are denied necessary items. Last June, New York passed the first menstrual equity law in America requiring city jails to provide free feminine hygiene products to inmates, but the supplies provided were nowhere near the needed amounts and the law made little difference.

In Arizona, they are in the midst of fighting to protect incarcerated women’s health. Currently, women are automatically given 12 thin pads a month and may possess up to 24 at a time. They also must purchase tampons and additional pads. The average menstruation occurs every 21 to 35 days for five days, and hygiene companies recommend changing pads every four to six hours to avoid infection. In accordance with these statistics and instructions, the average woman would need at least 20 pads or tampons. However, some women must use more than one pad at a time or have a longer or heavier period, which would require more supplies. The American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) clients in Arizona are forced to work 8-hour days with only a thin pad, often bleeding through their clothes and sheets without being allowed to change or bathe for days. The inmates will have to barter and beg for supplies and will only be given thin pads or even just toilet paper by the officers. Sometimes they will be simply denied.

Feminine hygiene products also come at a price for the inmates. In the Arizona prison system, a 16-count of thin pads cost $3.20. A 20-count box of tampons is $3.99. Base pay for prisoners starts at $0.15 an hour, which means a box of pads would require about 21 hours of work, and a box of tampons would require up to 27 hours.

Until women’s menstrual requirements are considered a luxury and not right, they can be taken away and used as a tool of power to humiliate inmates, and this harassment will continue in prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers nationwide. Despite having the basic rights of prisoners to humane facilities and conditions and right to medical care and attention as needed, incarcerated women are still stripped of these human dignities given to all. Every state needs menstrual equity laws for incarcerated women.


Stereotypes Leading Women Away from Health Care

Perhaps the most difficult and aggravating factor that discourages women from entering the medical field is stereotypes. Throughout the centuries, society as a whole has viewed women as wives, mothers, and domestic workers. Even during the women’s rights movement, the government was reluctant to give women the right to vote and allow them to work in the same places as men. As a result, women were allowed to work wherever they could, but would likely get paid significantly less. This stereotype still exists today, 2018, decades after the women’s rights era, and more specifically, in medicine.

A woman, graduating with a pre med degree in 2014 was told by her male academic advisor that she should not apply to medical school and to, “consider a profession easier than medicine.” It is common for women to be condescended to or believed to be less intelligent. This stems from the belief that women are often more emotional than men and cannot handle doing jobs that require focus and discipline.

Matthias Mehl from “Human Brain” was intrigued that the the greater number of dropouts in medical school and in medical careers were women. He decided to record daily life in the research department of university of Arizona. What he found destroyed any evidence that women in fact are more emotional, talk more, and less competent. One common stereotype associated with women is that they talk more than men do, thus making them less able to do a job and seemingly less competent. However, Mehl found that there was, “practically no difference-both men and women speak around 17,000 words a day, give or take a few hundred.” From this, we can eliminate any real evidence that women in fact are distracted from their work by talking more than men, and that others would see them as less competent due to their excessive chatter.

Another outcome found in this study suggests that when female scientists are confronted by male peers, they tend to sound less intelligent than when female scientists speak to female peers. This is interesting because it suggests an underlying factor of intimidation that is not necessarily present in the conversation, meaning the male scientists were not necessarily acting condescending while addressing the females, but prior interaction had led the females to be reluctant to speak in an intelligent matter out of fear of being rejected.

Aside from the common ‘less intelligent’ gender stereotype, there is the domestic stereotype. This means that women are commonly seen as mothers, wives, and house makers, and nothing more. This leads to women seeming unfit to work in a professional environment, or at the same level as a man. A larger percentage of women feel that they are put into this category who work in medicine. This is likely due to the majority of their peers being men, so the stereotype naturally exists as the men are not used to working alongside female peers, only above them. Many female doctors quit for this very reason. The lack of respect that women can hold the same job as men and are not required to stay home, have afamily, and take care of the children is present in environments that are majorly male.

The last point brought up was the inability for women to take a maternity leave and come back with the same respects. Often, if a woman requests maternity leave, she will come back to her job months later and be treated as less competent, more emotional, and less professional. This is confusing given that the overall feeling is that women should start a family, but if she does, she still won’t be treated as an equal. It seems as if there is no way to win this debate over equality, if a woman breaks out of her stereotype, she won’t be accepted, and if she fits into it, she won’t be treated as an equal.

Overall, stereotypical influences are perhaps the biggest boundary to women trying to pursue a career in medicine. From snide remarks from peers, advisors, and society, to questioning intelligence, women are discouraged from pursuing their dreams.

Works Cited:

“Gender Discrimination in Healthcare.” Gender Differences and Discrimination In the Workplace, sites.psu.edu/civic/2017/02/14/gender-discrimination-in-healthcare/#annotations:sJT7NAqvEeiO3OtvsffGkg.

Vedantam, Shankar. “How Stereotypes Can Drive Women To Quit Science.” NPR, NPR, 12 July 2012, www.npr.org/2012/07/12/156664337/stereotype-threat-why-women-quit-science-jobs.


Do school uniforms discriminate against girls?

There seems to be a lot of controversy about uniforms and the dress codes. I go to a private Catholic school so I understand what is happening around. Girls seem to get in trouble a lot more for the dress code than boys. I am not saying boys don’t get in trouble, but girls tend to get the shorter end of stick when it comes to what they wear whether their shorts are not to the knee, they wear yoga pants, or they wear a low cut shirt. They get in trouble because it “turns” the guy on research has said.

There is a documentary about a school called Woodford County High and shows the difference between the girls and boy when it comes to their dress code violations. Many girls were sent home and had to come back with different clothing. Sometimes the office would give the girls a different shirt that said “dress code violator.” Let alone girls are being body shamed for it saying they are going to become a slut later in life by wearing this now.

This is not fair. We need to stick up for other girls when we see it. We should be advocating for those and standing up for what is right in the school system. Teachers and principles have no right to treat boys and girls differently for their uniforms. Many parents do not know what is happening at these schools unless it is their child. We need to call this to action and step up for what is right.


Women in Medicine

An issue that I care about immensely is women’s rights in the workplace. In particular, women’s job opportunities in medical fields. As a woman who is interested in pursuing a career in medicine, I feel anxiety about these issues continuing. Some issues facing women in medical fields are salary discrepancies, opportunity loss, and societies standards.

In a study done by the American College of Cardiology, we found that only 10 percent of all practicing cardiologists are female, and face an $110,000 salary difference from their male counterparts. This gap alone makes women feel inferior then men in the same profession, with the same amount of schooling, and drives them away from pursuing a career in cardiology. The author, Pamela Douglas, says that “Most medical professions show a wage gap, there’s nothing unique to cardiology or brand new here,” which would be an example as to why women are not making up more numbers in any specialty, not just cardiology. Lets face it, would you want to work just as hard as someone, for just as long, be in the same amount of debt, but get paid a fraction as much?

Another issue with women pursuing medical proffessions is the opportunity just isn’t there. Many departments are run by a board of mostly men, perhaps a few women. While interviewing women to fill the positions they are to fill they often speak in a condescending matter and look to the women candidates as inferior. In an article on Forbes.com the author says, “If women make a mistake, they are seen as incompetent, if men make a mistake it is seen as bad luck.” This analogy implies the social pressure women may feel when suggesting answers to unsolved problems because they are afraid of being wrong. A lot of women are intimidated by this and choose not to enter fields where their everyday life consists of having to overcompensate for their ‘lack of competence’.

The last issue I will discuss is the pressure society puts on women to still form a family and work at home. Nearly 50 years after women rights movement we are still fighting to break gender stereotypes. When I tell people that I want to be a cardiologist, the first reply is usually, “wow, thats a lot of school.” and the second is, “how are you going to start a family while getting your degree and practicing?” I don’t think a lot of people would ask this same question to a man who was pursuing a degree in medicine. Our society still focus’ on the standards used many generations ago to determine who should ad who shouldn’t pursue a job.

Overall, the number of women in medicine is overdue to rise after years of mistreatment of women in medical fields, the wage gap discrepancy, and societal standards. While a near equal amount of men and women apply to medical school each year, only a small number of women fill each specialty. This lack of women actually practicing medicine is due to pressure making it difficult to not only get and hold a job in a specialty, but feel comfortable in doing so.


#MeToo

Recently, a stunning awareness to women’s sexual assault has taken over social media. At the Golden Globes this past Sunday, many people wore black to stand in solidarity against this problem, and have joined the #MeToo movement. This movement started on social media, when a young woman shared her sexual assault story, ending it with the hashtag “MeToo” and prompting other women to do the same, in order to provide a recognition of how dire the problem was. The phrase was spread “as part of an awareness campaign in order to reveal the ubiquity of the problem, tweeting: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” said Alyssa Milano, a prominent actress in the movement.

This spurred many people to post #MeToo on their social medias, showing how prominent and important this issue was.  The hashtag was used more than 500,000 times the first day it was found, and had been used by more than 4.7 million people within the first 24 hours. This issue has only grown. Due to it’s severity, the group Time’s Up was formed, which is  “is a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere. From movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike, we envision nationwide leadership that reflects the world in which we live.” Many prominent female figures in society have participated in the founding of this new group, such as Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon, among many others.

This issue has been around much longer than these women, yet only now is it being adressed. Our society has been disregarding women, and ignoring cries for help. This movement has unveiled a great problem in our society, and is one that needs to be changed. Women are not to be overlooked, or abused. This movement is one that will never die, or fade, and all we can do is fight for women’s rights, and equality.


Today’s Hook- Up Culture

In dystopian literature, things like procreation, passion, and love are viewed as threats towards society. Sex is viewed as meaningless, casual, and emotionless. It is strictly for pleasure and if it wasn’t, you would be considered a threat. This idea of meaningless sex can be greatly echoed in today’s world and our hook- up culture. The APA describes hooking up as “ brief uncommitted sexual encounters between individuals who are not romantic partners or dating each other.” Sex has become meaningless and casual, much like it is portrayed in dystopian literature. This social shift began in the late 1920’s when  automobiles became common. Young adults were able to go out instead of staying at home under their parent’s watchful eyes. This trend became even more apparent in the 60’s after the rise of feminism and the liberation of women. Birth control became much easier to obtain and sex- integrated college parties became much more common. The media also play an enormous role in the creation of this trend. Movies, books, and music portray unrealistic sexual scenes. The media suggests that sex can be fun and pleasurable with “no strings attached” which normalizes this behavior.

In an article published by Miranda Kulp, titled “The Hook-Up Culture: How An Entire Generation Forgot How To Actually Date Someone” the author talks about how  “Our generation needs to go back in time, put down the iPhone and get to know people by conversation instead of text. Delete Tinder and go out to meet people in your own town.” Our generation is living in a time where technology controls our lives. It control our lives so much that it is reflected in how we form relationships with other people. Technology and the media encourages this behavior of casual and emotionless sex. Kulp ends her article by stating “Once we dump our college dating habits and reinvent ourselves for the real world, our generation may find that under our heartless exteriors, the hopeless romantics we’re afraid to show do, indeed, exist.”


Adultification of Black Babes

Are Black Children Forced to Grow Up Faster Than White Children

YES Black kids are forced to grow up quicker than their white counterparts- that is, they are seen as adults much sooner than white children. Most societies afford children special qualities and privileges, innocence being chief among them-this is a privilege not extended to  black kids, This may sound absurd, after all, children are children and everyone ages at the same rate- no one is 18 until they’re 18. However society has forced black children into adulthood well before their time.

According to research published by the American Psychological Association, black boys are perceived as older and inherently less innocent than their white counterparts. This has huge and sometimes violent and deadly ramifications, when police show this same bias. In the study 264 mostly white female undergraduates rated the innocence of people- infants to 25 years old. When the kids were nine years or younger, no matter the race, the level of perceived innocence was the same. However when kids were 10 years old, the average age of black boys was overestimated by four and-a-half years (Phillip Atiba Goff PhD). They also were rated as less innocent. The reason that seeing kids as older than they are is harmful is that, society understands that adults can be held more responsible for their actions and that kids may not understand the extent of what they’re doing, or may not have been able to control themselves. When this same courtesy is not extended to black children, they are left looking more responsible. The special brand of understanding and compassion reserved for kids that doesn’t go to them, leaving  them vulnerable in the worst possible ways.      

The adultification of black children is also evident in the justice system by the amount of black children tried as adults. According to WNYC |New York Public Radio, about 68% of all the minors prosecuted in the state of New Jersey had their prosecutor request to try them as adults (Sarah Gonzales ).

Outside of black children being tried as adults, even when tried as the children they are, they are given harsher and longer sentences than their age mates of different races. They are also disciplined more harshly in school settings. Even in preschool, children aged around four year old, black kids, although they make up only 18% of the preschool population, make up nearly 50% of out of school suspensions(NPR). This again shows that even at tender preschool ages, black kids are somehow more responsible for their actions. That every infraction, no matter the size, committed by a black child had malicious intent behind it.

By not being afforded the luxury of innocence, black children are having their childhood effectively taken from them.  

 

Works Cited

“Black Girls Viewed As Less Innocent Than White Girls, Georgetown Law Research Finds.” Black Girls Viewed As Less Innocent Than White Girls, Georgetown Law Research Finds – Georgetown Law, https://www.law.georgetown.edu/news/press-releases/Black-Girls-Viewed-As-Less-Innocent-Than-White-Girls-Georgetown-Law-Research-Finds.cfm

 

“Kids in Prison: Getting Tried as An Adult Depends on Skin Color.” WNYC, www.wnyc.org/story/black-kids-more-likely-be-tried-adults-cant-be-explained/.

http://www.wnyc.org/story/black-kids-more-likely-be-tried-adults-cant-be-explained/

 

American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/03/black-boys-older.aspx.

http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/03/black-boys-older.as

 

“Racial Inequality in Youth Sentencing.” Working to end the practice of sentencing children to life in prison without the possibility of parole, fairsentencingofyouth.org/the-issue/advocacy-resource-bank/racial-inequality-in-youth-sentencing/.

http://fairsentencingofyouth.org/the-issue/advocacy-resource-bank/racial-inequality-in-youth-sentencing/

 

“Black Preschoolers Far More Likely To Be Suspended.” NPR, NPR, 21 Mar. 2014, www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/03/21/292456211/black-preschoolers-far-more-likely-to-be-suspended.


Is Monogamy Natural for Humans?

It seems strange to question this social norm we as human beings have conformed to for the majority of history.  However, I always do wonder if it is biologically natural for humans to be monogamous, that is, to be in a committed relationship with one single individual, in other words, “mating for life.”  I ask this question because I find it staggering that only 3-5% of species on the planet follow this model of monogamy.  In history, monogamous humans haven’t always been the majority.  Much research has been done in this particular article I found.  At one point in history, almost 80% of humans practiced a relationship model of polygamy, or multiple partners.  Although science can’t generalize the reasons for this shift towards monogamy, it is useful to look at similar practices emerging today.  Today, amidst the hundreds of sexual orientation types exploding all around the internet, one of the emerging popular orientations people have taken side with is something called polyamory.  This entails the ability to be in multiple committed serious relationships with multiple individuals at the same time.  I found another article which strongly claims that monogamy is not natural for humans.  This interests me that humans are still strictly monogamous when these rules only apply for such a small percentage of Earth’s species.  What makes us so different sexually from the other 95% of species that we abide by different rules?  I am very interested in this topic and I hope to find more out as I complete more research.


Dress Codes Are Geared Towards Women!

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sexism photoThe dress code in high schools need to change. The dress code is mainly geared to limit what females wear. Dress codes in high school are more lenient to males than females. I feel like the administration sexualizes body parts that aren’t sexual.

 

My school has some rules I find unfair to females. If a male wears a beater or racerback tee or the like an official won’t say anything, but since females have breasts were unable to wear them. Breasts shouldn’t be viewed as a sexual object, it is a part of the female body.  I Honestly feel like “shoulder-less’ shirts should not be a problem. If showing a shoulder is deemed “distracting” to others, then maybe the student needs to be talked to. A shoulder shouldn’t distract anyone. I think my school is also very contradicting we have a rule of “no wrist bands” but yet they’ll reward a student or give you a wristband for a pep assembly; “Why give out an item that’s supposedly banned”. They honestly pick and chose what dress code they want to go by. From a personal experience, when I ran Cross Country we were allowed to run in sports bras, within a few weeks we weren’t able to because it’s “inappropriate” and “distracting” to males. BUT if a football player walks around shirtless after practice nothing is said to them. Also, last year there was a rule of no thick headbands because they “LOOK” like earmuffs. I don’t see the point of this rule if the headband looks like something it’s not you can’t wear it. Although, I do make very valid points there are some rules I understand like, no gang related insignia/clothing, no bare midriff, thin tank tops and pajamas.

 

I honestly understand why school’s have dress code so kids won’t come to school wearing anything but the dress code is too strict and geared towards females

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What Can We Do?

Terms like ‘race’, ‘gender’, and ‘religion’ have become increasingly controversial terms. With campaigns like ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Gender Equality’, many of these issues have come to higher light and are making progress in support. More recently–within the last year–there have been several accounts of peaceful protests, all following the lead of Colin Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the NFL San Fransisco 49ers. At the beginning of the 2016-2017 NFL season, Kaepernick sat on the bench during the national anthem. He later changed to kneeling because it was a higher sign of respect than sitting. He was removed from the NFL after explicit instructions from owners. However, this season (2017-2018), almost every Sunday, at least a few members–if not a whole time in some instances–kneel during the anthem. the difference between now and a year ago, is because there is a plethora of athletes, coaches, and team owners that have knelt during the anthem. This act is a way to peacefully protest the injustices happening in America, more closely in relation to the Black Lives Matter campaign.

In addition, there have been several less seemingly peaceful protests due to the content. Charlottesville, North Carolina was home to a protests by a group of people labeled ‘White Supremacists’. The rally was in protest of the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue (which was in honor of him as a Confederate general). Despite the way the rally was portrayed, white men in the south have been labeled under a certain social status which made others back lash at the purpose of their protest. While in the park where the protest took place, there was a group of African American people who held hands and made a ring to protest what the confederacy actually stood for. Those who initiated the original protest showed up with torches and while not using violence, were verbally abusive which made the protest take a dark turn.

Overall, the U.S seems to have made major project within the last twenty years in terms of accepting those who are different from the social norms in the U.S.


In America we say we value equal opportunity, but have we accomplished it?

    Americans believe that everyone is created equal.  Thomas Jefferson was the first person to use the phrase “all men are created equal” in the United States Declaration of Independence (US 1776) which was written during the beginning of the American Revolution.  This statement is one of the most important American values because it specifies that we hold it as truth that everyone is equal and shares the same basic rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.Why shouldn’t men and women be treated the same? To have equal rights and equal pay, that should really be our aim” (Perry).

    Historically, the word “man” or “men” was used to imply “humankind” so this statement was not intended to be sexually discriminatory.  It applies to women as well as men.  No matter what race or sex, all people are equal and are entitled to the same privileges.  Unfortunately, this has not always been the case.  During America’s early history, women were denied many of the key rights given to male citizens. Married women were not allowed to own property and had to give their husband any money they earned. No females had the right to vote. They were expected to focus on housework and motherhood. Since then progress has been made. In the 1920s an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted women the right to vote.  But still, in some southern states, African American women were unable to vote until the 1960s.

    The Women’s Rights Movement began in 1848. Fighting for their natural born rights.  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” (Mead). Margaret Mead made this statement after observing cultures around the world and how cultures develop, and how change is brought about.  Women fought for the right to vote.  A second wave began in the 1960’s to address other issues including equal employment opportunity which led to an equal rights amendment.

     It has taken decades for women to enter the workforce and be recognized as equal to their male coworkers. Still, there is  a large gender wage gap. Men’s salaries are higher than women’s.  The Washington Post published that, “the gender wage gap just shrank for the first time in a decade” (Paquette). The U.S. Census Bureau reported that women are closing the pay gap with men. White and Asian female workers have seen more income growth than men, but women still make less money as a group than men.  Wages for Hispanic women have remained stable, while pay for African American women has declined. The female to male earnings ratio is 80.5%, the highest ever and up from 80% in 2014 (Paquette).

    More women are working in the technology industry.  The New York Times reported that “the tech industry has made progress that is ‘good but not sufficient’ Satya Nadella, said the chief executive officer of Microsoft” (Hsu).  In addition to equal pay for equal work, there is the issue of equal opportunity for equal work.  In the technology industry, as in every other occupation,  there is still a long way to go.  

Citations:

1- Hsu, Tiffany. Microsoft C.E.O. Says Tech’s Progress on Gender Equality is Not Sufficient.  The New York Times. 26  Sept. 2017.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/business/satya-nadella-microsoft-gender-equality.html

2- Paquette, Danielle. The Gender Wage Gap Just Shrank for the First Time in a Decade. The Washington Post. 15 Sept. 2017.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/09/15/the-gender-wage-gap-just-shrank-for-the-first-time-in-a-decade/?utm_term=.073493002d9f

3- Perry, Shannon. Equality:  He for She.  2016.  https://hellopoetry.com/words/genderequality/.

4- Mead, Margaret. Earth Day Speech. 1970. https://todayinsci.com/M/Mead_Margaret/MeadMargaret-Quotations.htm

 


Do people congregate with people who are like them?

groups photo
The Telegraph states that, “
Earlier research revealed that the lower portion of a brain region called the “medial prefrontal cortex” (MPFC) is active when people consider themselves or people like them,” which potentially points to people choosing friends or groups is an innate human characteristic, rather than our own choice based on feelings of awkwardness. That means it’s something we are almost born with, something we are immediately drawn to do. A team from Tel Aviv University studied, “caucasian infants raised in Israel, African infants raised in Ethiopia, and Ethiopian infants raised in Israel.” were observed and, “The team found that when presented with photos on a screen, the white Israeli infants preferred looking at faces of their own race; African babies raised in Ethiopia preferred to look at African faces. But the Ethiopian-Israeli infants, who had been exposed since birth to people of both races, showed no preference.” Which again, supports the idea that where you were raised or how you were raised had nothing to do with the congregating phenomenon. Rather, it is innate in each individual’s brain to prefer people like themselves.

The Atlantic says that, “Human beings are capable of drawing amazingly subtle social distinctions and then shaping their lives around them.” There are neighborhoods, cities, and even states that are majorly one race, or one religion around the United States. This proves that it is no accident that these pockets of people exist. It is present in people from birth that they want to be with people that are most like them. It makes them feel more comfortable in themselves and while it is not required by any means, it naturally occurs everywhere.

Photos by enki22,

Photo by cortto

Photo by cortto

Photo by cortto


Could God be a woman?

Although there are countless religions around the world, something almost all of them have in common is God. God forms their daily lives and tells them what do, how to live, and who they are. God is at the center of religion and even though in many of religions Gods vary, they all are the root of their religion. My question about this subject would be, could God be a woman?

In Christianity God is said to be a man throughout the bible. God is often referred to as “father” or “him” and always as a masculine term, giving readers the idea that God is a male. Although it is a common trend and belief, if you look closely in John 4:12 it says, “no one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us”. The fact that no one has ever seen God leaves the subject open for speculation. Again in Exodus 33:20 God says, “You cannot see my face for no one may see me and live” meaning only when someone goes to heaven will he or she be able to see God. When looking at the bible closely I realized that nowhere does it say that God is a man, it says we are “made in man’s image” but that phrase of man just means humankind – both men and women.

Because it is not definite that God is a man he could just as easily be a woman. In the bible there a few reference that may suggest God is a woman. The Old and New Testament explore the feminine nature of God for example they have examples of god giving birth in Deuteronomy, examples of God breastfeeding in Isaiah and Psalms, and many where God demonstrates maternal kindness in Hosea, Isaiah, Deuteronomy. At one point in the bible God actually goes as far as to take on the role of a slave girl washing the feet of his disciples. These examples of a feminine aspect to God provide the reasoning that God is neither a man or a woman and could easily be both, one of them, neither or whichever we want God to be.


Conversion Therapy Should be Banned

Conversion Therapy Should be Banned
By Emily Rick & Ayla Tulette

Conversion therapy is a harmful and disgusting act. We believe that the U.S. government should pass legislation criminalizing conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy is also known as reparative therapy. Victims of it are referred to it as “patients that are sick”. Therapy practices can include aversion therapy, gender reinforcement, electric shock therapy to the genitals and sniffing human feces, and other sexual interactions (RWiki). These practices are forms of verbal and physical abuse, and can legally be used on children and adults in most of the United States.

Reputable places such as AACAP, (American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry), have undergone extensive research on conversion therapy and concluded, “ there is no evidence that sexual orientation can be altered..or prevented..through therapy, and that attempts to do so may be harmful (hrc).” Many religious institutions are against homosexuality, believing it to be a sin, and that it can be altered. Research has proven this is wrong.

The fact is, conversion therapy does not work and only causes harm. Many victims develop mental illnesses that can lead to suicide. The LGBTQ+ community are born the way they are, and should not be subject to this abuse.

Campaign, Human Rights. “The Lies and Dangers of “Conversion Therapy”.” Human Rights
Campaign. N.p., 2017. Web. 07 June 2017.

“Reparative Therapy.” Reparative Therapy – RationalWiki. N.p., 2017. Web. 07 June 2017.


FIghting for My Rights

Copy of Photo album

Photo by New York Public Library


Conversion Therapy

In a country based on freedom and liberty, citizens should be able to craft, and accept their own identities and be who they truly really are. So why does most of our country, including the vice president, attack the LGBT community?

Mike Pence is our current Vice President and he has spoken against LGBT issues in the past, like same-sex marriage, and anti-discrimination laws, both of which he opposed. He also explained on his website, “Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” HIV is commonly paired with the LGBT community, so it seems like an attack towards that group. The comment “those seeking to change their sexual behavior” is referring to conversion therapy.

I am a gay man who has many LGBT friends and family, and I want conversion therapy banned. It takes an exponential amount of emotion and energy to come out, and you have the fear of being rejected and you have the possibility of people loving and accepting you. I was lucky enough to be accepted by my loved ones. With the rejection, sometimes worse things happen. Sometimes you are thrown out of your house or you are forced into conversion therapy just to live at home afterwards. It is wrong to hurt people because of who they love. Conversion therapy should be banned because it has never worked, and only hurts the person physically and mentally.

Conversion therapy was first started in 1913, by Abraham Bill, he wrote a book about homosexuality, and developed techniques to “cure” homosexuality such as bladder washing, rectal massage, and castration, along with hypnosis, but referred approvingly to Freud and Sadger’s use of psychoanalysis to cure homosexuality. But it didn’t work, it can’t help people change, and there are no actual cases of people with changed sexuality. As stated by Brothers Road, a conversion therapy, “Heterosexuality alone can never guarantee happiness.” This is a quote from a conversion therapy organization. They would rather you be happy than straight. This should be a rule to live by. The U.S. Declaration of Independence includes “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as our “unalienable rights” that each human being has received from their creator. Conversion therapy takes away our happiness. If only some people have the right to happiness what makes us different from other countries?

Those who want to help individuals in the LGBT community should want you to be someone who is happy with yourself, not someone who is self loathing. Most conversion therapies teach you to hate yourself because you are “unclean.” This isn’t right in the world today, we should be teaching love, not hate. LGBT people are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide, 6 times as likely to report high levels of depression, more than 3 times as likely to use illegal drugs, and more than 3 times as likely to be at high risk for HIV and STDs. Suicide, depression, drug use, and increased STDs, these all can change if people become informed and are more accepting of LGBT people. Every major health, and mental health organization has released statements oppose conversion therapy and reparative therapy, including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Medical Association,  the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and a lot of others. That should mean something to even the most bigoted person. Don’t be a part of the problem.

 

Sincerely,

Hudson Hall


Equal Pay For Equal Work

Equal pay in the workforce is important to me, because I think this is one of the various aspects of gender equality. It is important that women receive an equal wage at work, because lower earnings make it harder for women to take care of their families, and it’s simply not fair. After researching about this issue, I learned that women in the United States earn around 80 cents for every dollar men earn, which doesn’t make any sense to me, because payments should be based on the experience and skills rather than gender. I decided to write about this topic, because my aunt who is a single mom raising two kids on her own is having a difficult time providing all the basic needs for her family, including food, education, and child care. According to the Institute For Women’s Policy Research, the increase in wage would “reduce levels of poverty for single mothers by over 50 percent and the income would rise by 13.4 percent.”  If there is no wage gap, my aunt wouldn’t have to work 24/7 harder than men to support her family, and I think the equal pay would definitely help her and other single moms in the U.S. As I research this topic, I notice that this issue has faded in our society as time goes along, but I hope this issue will soon be brought about. I would like to research more about this issue, because I believe that women have the same ability to support their families with fair and equal wages.

 

Sources

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/news/2009/01/15/5476/six-reasons-why-equal-pay-is-still-important/

http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/04/pf/equal-pay-day-gender-pay-gap/


MTV Movie and TV Awards 2017: a new light

 

On May 7th, Adam DeVine hosted the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards. The show commenced with a performance of Beauty and the Beast by the host himself along with a few other celebrities like Rebel Wilson and Hailee Seinfeld. There were a few other musical performances performed by Pitbull, Camila Cabello, J. Balvin. Then the popular Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” had the honor to award “Stranger Things” with the Show of the Year. But who really stole the show was Emma Watson who brought up that the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards was the first gender-neutral award category dedicated to movies, during her acceptance speech of Best Actor in a Movie.

I feel extremely lucky to be part of this generation where people are in support of gender and race equality. As shown above something as simple as an award show can mean breaking barriers and opening new perpectives on gender-neutral topics. Even though people say we are a gender-neutral world we still live in a world where people are being categorized by things they can’t change. I found the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards a great approach by taking one step closer to equality among different sexes. As Emma Watson said, “Wow. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Firstly, I feel I have to say something about the award itself. The first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex says something about how we perceive the human experience. MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone. But to me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. And that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories.” PREACH EMMA.


A Study on Feminism

While for some the word feminism brings up images of misandrists (people who are prejudiced against men) and feminazis, the term feminism is supposed to mean a good thing. It’s supposed to bring up images of the struggle people have gone through to reach the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. And it’s also about equality for all marginalized groups because it isn’t like one person is just female and that’s it (look up intersectionality if you’re interested in this). Just like the kinds of thing feminism represents changes from person to person, the types of feminism that exists have also changed over the eras. Below are some of them:

  • Liberal feminism – more broadly referred to as mainstream feminism, liberal feminism is traditionally known for gaining equality for the sexes through political and legal reform
    • White feminism – this is a result of liberal feminism prioritizing the experiences and voices of the privileged
  • Radical feminism – it holds the philosophy that the male-controlled capitalist hierarchy is the defining feature of women’s oppression
  • Marxist and Socialist Feminism – it connects the oppression of women to Marxist ideas of exploitation, oppression, and labor
  • Cultural Feminism – after a decline in radical feminism, cultural feminism utilized vanguardism, working instead to build a women’s culture
  • Eco-Feminism – links the domination of women to the domination of the environment

Which kind of feminism do you think is the best? I tend to prefer black feminism (not mentioned), which argues that sexism, class oppression, and racism are all connected.


Ingredients for the Perfect Sitcom

 

In Ancient Greece, people used to gather around an arena-like stage to watch actors tell stories. The word “tragedy” actually translates to “goat song” in Greek, expressing that these plays were originally religious ceremonies to different Gods (particularly Dionysus, the God of Wine and Merriment), in which they would tell stories and end the ceremony with a sacrifice of an animal (hence the “goat” part of “tragedy”). Most of these stories would end in the fall of a hero who came from noble blood and all that other stuff you can learn in your 10 Grade English Class. These stories usually ended up bumming the audience out too in a flood of pure, unadulterated xatharsis. But eventually, although people loved hearing about how Medea ate her own children and how Oedipus had sexual intercourse with his mother–it became a little tiring to see such upsetting material onstage every time you went to see a play. In light of this, a playwright named Euripides (see Media) decided to add elements of humor to a play called Alcestis, which would eventually be known as the first comedy. After that, comedies became more and more attractive to audience members. Jumping hundreds of years here, but check out William Shakespeare. To this day, his comedies are still regarded as hilarious, and his works are consistently referenced in modern media. Since storytelling began, humans have loved to feel catharsis through humor.

Since 1946, situational comedies (AKA: sitcoms) have become an integral part of how the western world gets their daily dosage of humor. My mother can recall watching MAS*H when she was younger, and my grandmother will tell me how much she loved Three’s Company as an adult. Tons of people tell me how much they love Friends, The Office, and Community. Sitcoms are something that people can enjoy together, something people can bond over. But what is it that makes a sitcom worth watching? What is the recipe for a good sitcom?

According to an article from The Atlantic, an episode of a sitcom consists of four elements: the “Teaser”, the “Trouble”, the “Muddle”, and the “Triumph/Failure”.  The “Teaser” is described as “A short, introductory sketch that often runs before the credits”.  This teaser is generally a very important part of an episode, because it generally draws the audience member in and creates a general tone for the episode. The “Trouble” is where we “meet the protagonist(s) and see that they’re just where we left them last episode, but a new problem or goal has come to their attention, which forms the main plot (Story A) of the episode,” which draws us into the story even more, hopefully by allowing us to relate to the characters. The “Muddle” is “another obstacle, a spanner in the works that requires an alternative plan or some amusing delay to the success of the initial strategy,” which creates more depth to the episode, and it meets a conclusion at the “Triumph/Failure” where (obviously), the characters either win or lose.

For example, let’s take a look at an episode of The Office. This particular episode is titled “Golden Ticket” and is the nineteenth episode of the fifth season of the show. The Office is a show based around a group of employees at a branch of a failing paper company (Dunder Mifflin) in the middle of Scranton, PA. Their workplace is filled with numerous quirky characters, and a boss named Michael (Steve Carell) who really has no idea what he’s doing. In this particular episode, Michael decides to repeat a gimmick done in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, where he provided company discounts to the clients who received the “golden tickets”, but when it all backfires, he blames it on his overly-literal assistant-to-the-regional-manager, Dwight. For this episode, the teaser would be a short clip of Michael running around the paper factory, sticking the golden tickets into boxes, and even getting yelled at by one of his employees for messing around in the warehouse when he wasn’t supposed to. Then, the theme song plays, signaling that the opening sketch (while still being relevant to the episode as a whole), is over. The Trouble shows its “ugly”, yet hilarious face when it is revealed that Michael only managed to put the tickets into boxes going to the most important client of the branch. He also managed to not specify that each ticket was limited to one customer. Since losing such a large amount of money would be detrimental to the company, Michael’s employees are naturally upset, and when Michael’s boss demands to know who came up with the idea, Michael threw Dwight under the proverbial bus. The Muddle turns out to be that the company actually loved Michael’s idea (which was now considered to be Dwight’s), and Dwight got all of the recognition. This, of course, makes Michael incredibly upset. After bickering between Dwight and Michael, Michael’s boss decides that he really doesn’t care enough to continue the battle, and ends it without either of them getting the recognition. This would be the Triumph/Fail scenario.

There are a few other sitcoms that could play into this theme. Episodes from Malcom in the Middle to Three’s Company could be used in this exact formula. However, even though it certainly seems plausible that there might be a recipe for the perfect sitcom episode, there still isn’t an exact recipe for the perfect sitcom. This article also suggests that a good episode of a sitcom will also have a subplot to coincide with the main plot of the episode. For example, in that episode of The Office, there is a romantic subplot where another one of the characters has troubles in his romantic relationship. This subplot helps ease the emotional efforts of the episode and makes it easier to watch for people. Multiple character plotlines also create more opportunities for comedic scenes. A good sitcom will have multiple characters who will have interesting chemistry. This chemistry should also grow and change throughout the entirety of a show–not just an episode.

An example of good character growth within a sitcom would be in the 1970’s hit, MASH. This show follows the life of Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce and his MASH unit (4077) during the Korean War. This show also follows the plot structure described earlier–each episode makes silly jokes, has caricatures and ongoing situations that are funny. However, MASH also takes serious situations within its light activity. Characters die in this show, and the audience feels pain. Even though it is a comedy, the struggles of war are not taken lightly. Characters in this particular sitcom grow in their relationships to one another. One of the greatest character relationships seen in sitcoms is the one between Radar (the clerk for the MASH unit) and Colonel Henry Blake. Blake and Radar have a typical boss-employee relationship, but it is clear that their friendship is one of the most important ones in the show. They develop it through goofy situations, but later on when Blake died in a plane accident on his way home, Radar never fully recovered. It was constantly evident that the loss of Blake weighed on him, and all of the other members of the unit.

Another show that uses character growth and development would be Parks and Recreation, a show about a government worker named Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) who is dedicated to her town, Pawnee, Indiana. This show is done in a similar mockumentary style to The Office, and has full length storylines undergoing the crazy situations. The characters in this show grow and change in many different ways, constantly developing their own story arcs. The cast of this particular sitcom is also very cohesive. A good friend of mine, David Jenny, once told me that the best characters are ones where you could completely change their gender, but they would be the same. This notion is incredibly true for this particular television show.

At the same time, an article from Bustle.com suggests that sitcoms have changed a lot since 1979. It notes that they have changed in their characters, plot lines, and overall development of the show. This article particularly examines the general themes of sitcoms, the cast type, the female presence, the “diversity check”, the relationship statuses of characters, the set locations, the family friendliness and the “lasting legacy” of the shows. This article mentions how in the beginning, shows were mostly about white American families, centered  mainly around a cis male. When examining shows like Cheers, Family Ties, and Growing Pains, this seems relatively accurate. Of course, there were shows like The Cosby Show and MAS*H as well. Regarding the overall female presence in these particular sitcoms, it is minimal and would not pass the Bechdel Test. However, these days, having LGBTQ characters, mixed diversity and female leads in sitcoms is a lot more evident. Modern Family and Community were particularly cutting edge, adding cohesiveness and diversity to the mix.

After examining these sitcoms and conducting personal research, I believe that “the perfect sitcom” would be one that follows a distinct recipe. Each character should have an overall beginning, middle and end of their stories–a beginning, middle and end for each episode, season and the show as a whole. There should be equal amounts of hilarity and seriousness, and relationship development. I also think that they are interesting when they have relationships of all different kinds–and lots of diversity and interesting female characters. Sitcoms should be a funny representation of our real lives–our real life struggles and romances, and our real life joy and pain. When I watch a sitcom, I want to simultaneously think and not think. Comedy is one of the only forms of art that can provide such catharsis for the human brain, making it so important to human culture. It is incredibly important to connect our humanity to the humanity of others, and it is also incredibly important to escape ourselves sometimes and go into a world where we can laugh about someone else freely.

 

Works Cited

Cracking the Sitcom Code

Noah Charney – https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/12/cracking-the-sitcom-code/384068/

BBC – Writing TV Sitcom – Writers Room

http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/writers-lab/genre-toolkits/writing-tv-sitcom

 

Evolution Of The Television Sitcom, From Studying 1980 To Predicting 2020

Mary Garis – https://www.bustle.com/articles/63052-evolution-of-the-television-sitcom-from-studying-1980-to-predicting-2020

 

Sitcom: What It Is, How It Works Conclusion

http://public.wsu.edu/~taflinge/sitcon.html

 

Who’s Laughing Now? The History of the Sitcom Laugh Track

Matt Schimkowitz – http://www.indiewire.com/2014/10/whos-laughing-now-the-history-of-the-sitcom-laugh-track-69284


The Importance of a Safe Space for Teens Finding Their Gender Identities

With a president in office that riles up everyone in the nation, many people let out their true feelings of discrimination. While many groups are targeted, I’ll be focusing on one topic, making LGBTQ+ feel safe in schools, focusing on transgender students. Transgender citizens across the United States are worried. They are worried about the future. Having this much worry is awful and to have it as a teen is even worse.

Being teen is hard enough. Most teens strive for good grades, great social life, and a sense of acceptance in themselves as they try to find out who they are. While teens don’t actually need to do soon, teens feel the need to define who they are and then choose to be proud of it or not. Transgender teens have the struggle of really finding out their gender identity and hoping that they are safe in their home, school, community. While some families can be accepting of their children, others are not, and that’s where the true discrimination begins. Families that are discriminatory teach their kids to be discriminatory. While I’m sure that no three year old is going to have a significant mindset to want to change genders, kids learn most of how they think at these ages. If acceptance and peacefulness was taught at a young age, at an older age, these kids would be more compassionate or at least not aggressively prejudiced towards minority groups. Having a safe environment at a young age is vital for any teen coming to terms with their identities. An example of a school that tried, and succeeded, to make their transgender students feel safe was at a school in Kentucky. Maddie Dalton, a transgender student, was coming to terms with her gender identity as a girl and it stirred up some problems at the school at first. Some parents did not want their girls to use the same bathroom as Maddie did. The school, Atherton High School, was trying to please both sides with the bathroom situation by giving a unisex bathroom for Maddie’s use, but Maddie informed them that that wasn’t what she was looking for. She just wanted to use the girls bathroom because she’s a girl and being told to use a different restroom lets her be an outlier and different and possibly makes her a target for harassment. The school eventually let Maddie use the bathroom of the gender she identified with, and while some people didn’t agree, they eventually just got over it and everyone just used the bathroom in peace. Maddie’s coming out and the whole bathroom situation led to more kids coming out as transgender because they felt like it was a safer environment.

It is vital that a safe environment is set and shown because even if it’s a safe place, some teens may not see it as one and that hinders their ability to make a move on their identities. In that story, the people with the most problems with transgender kids in certain bathrooms were the parents, and because of the intensity of discrimination, some people can’t win against it. An example of this is Mack Beggs, a transgender boy who loves to wrestle. By rules, he wasn’t allowed to wrestle against other boys, it was go with the rules or give up the sport, so he and his family went with the rules. But then Mack won the girls’ 110-pound category in a state tournament and people were not happy. Some people deemed it unfair, that because Mack was taking testosterone, he was cheating. Mack didn’t want to cheat or have an advantage so he took reasonable doses of testosterone. Some people forfeited matches because they didn’t think it was fair, well mainly their parents did. Mack did what he was told to do and still faced people being mad at what he does. In an environment where the odds are against you, it’s hard to win.

Teens absolutely need a safe place. Personally, I’ve had an amazing school and family to help me come to terms with my gender identity. Discovering I was pangender, meaning I identify as all genders and use pronouns he, she, and they, I had a easy time. While I can’t directly relate to a transgender teen as I can go into a bathroom labeled as my gender that’s on my birth certificate, I can understand that feeling of wanting to be accepted and safe. Without acceptance and safety, teens have a hard time. UCLA interviewed 6,000 people and 42% of trans women and 46% of trans men admitted to having attempted suicide in 2014. This isn’t even counting recent numbers as trans rights are being tampered with.

I think overall, my words I’d hope to be remembered are, “students need a safe environment to find themselves and need to be taught to accept others as they are.” As discrimination rises, we need to band together to fight it, and it starts with our youth.

 

Sincerely,

 

Joseph Morales


The fire on the 57 bus in Oakland, CA

This is a podcast about an A-gender teen from Oakland, CA. Sasha, the A-gender teen is from Berkeley, CA and on their way home from school Sasha was caught in the middle of a prank that got very out of hand.


The fire on the 57 bus in Oakland, CA

This podcast is about Sasha a Agender teen from Berkeley, CA. Sasha was on their way home from school on the 57 when a “funny prank” got very out of hand.


Matthew Shepards’ case

Photo by Elvert Barnes


Feminism: Research Question

When I was given this assignment, all I knew was that I wanted to write about feminism, but I didn’t really know exactly what about it. So, I started thinking, and I started researching. As I dug deeper, I realized just how wide of an issue feminism really is. There are people on both sides of it, those very for it and those very against it. However, as I was digging, I realized that “feminism” really doesn’t have just one definition. There are so many different facets to it, so many different understandings of what the word actually means. Ultimately, it is the notion that women and men should have exactly the same standing. Most people would not disagree with that idea. Why, then, is feminism considered such a radical thing? Because of the different meanings people give it.

So, my research question has become this: What really is Feminism, what should it be in today’s modern society, and how do we de-stigmatize the notion that women and men are equal?

Photo by Gigi Ibrahim


Pioneer Research: Gender Policing and Spatial Agency Bias

Traditionally and culturally gender has been defined by one’s anatomical gender. As we grow up we learn about a gender that is opposite to what we are “suppose” to be. “Gender itself [as] a kind of becoming or activity, and that gender ought not to be conceived as a noun or a substantial thing or a static cultural marker, but rather as an incessant and repeated action of some sort (p. 112, Butler 1990).” Each gender has been specified characteristics on how they should act, what they should look like, and what activities they should be a part of. Our society even presses us with these gender norms through gender policing, which is an attempt to regulate “appropriate” behaviors of genders. Those who do not conform to gender expectations receive a negative reaction from gender policing.

Gender roles affect the perceptions that people have of you and how you view yourself. In a study on spatial agency bias (SAB) and gender, it was determined that pairs of couples where the male had a high status role in the workplace and the female had a low status role in the workplace was favored more than if the roles were reversed. The best result was when both the male and the female had a high status role in the workplace. These results prove that even though our society has progressed in gender equality that traditional gender roles still do affect how men and women are perceived.  

Gender Policing: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=9a75d2d3-64d6-4e16-be24-69e0c6570095%40sessionmgr4009&vid=6&hid=4107

 

Spatial Agency Bias and Gender:

http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=4&sid=c51b71fa-a4f3-41bd-b1ef-152711921640%40sessionmgr120&hid=115&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=94420405&db=pbh

 

Photo by amboo who?


NE OH Takes on the Women’s March on Washington (updated with videos I shot that day)

Hi, Youth Voices! My name is Abby Henry, and I am a Senior at Jackson High School in Massillon, Ohio (1 hour South of Cleveland). I went to the Women’s March on Washington and I would like to share about my experience.

I worked on the Hillary Clinton Campaign for the Ohio Democratic Party for about 11 months. Everything you could imagine a campaign doing, I did it! I phone banked (calling supporters to get them to vote/volunteer and calling undecided voters to share why I was supporting Hillary), I canvassed (going door to door to supporter and undecided voters’ homes to make sure they voted), I registered thousands of voters, I organized a fellow team of students in my area, I housed a Regional Organizer of the Campaign (who became like my brother), and I worked on social media outreach. I tirelessly dedicated hours upon hours to the campaign, so naturally, it was devastating when we didn’t win the electoral college. Being a woman (sex-wise), a girl (gender-wise), an animal rights advocate, an environmentalist, and an ally for those of different sexualities, nationalities, races, and religious backgrounds I knew I had to continue being heard. About a week after the election, I participated in a local #NotMyPresident March and felt empowered. Thus, when I heard about the women’s March I jumped on the opportunity.

On January 20, 2017, my Mom, Andi (my middle sister), Isaac, Ted, Tumas (my best friends), and I crammed ourselves into our car and road tripped 7 hours to Washington DC. After a quite uncomfortable car ride, being squished in the back seat with all of the luggage, we arrived in DC around 11 pm. We stayed with a student at the Catholic University of America, Meghan, who had taken a semester off of her studies to be an organizer for the Ohio Campaign. She lived with my Grandmother, and we worked endless hours together so we got pretty close. For the march the next day we all took the metro to Union Station, which was packed with clever signs and pink hats. My group attempted to meet up with the organizer of the campaign who lived with me but had no such luck. Still feeling inspired in the face of our defeat, we listened to speakers before the march. If you watch the videos below, you can tell that in the earlier videos we were farther away but we were able to keep creeping up closer to the stage. There were big names like Gloria Steinem, American Ferrera, Scarlett Johanson, Katy Perry, Michael Moore, etc. There were also many organizers speaking. My favorite was Ashley Judd’s powerful poem:

My favorite was Ashley Judd’s powerful poem:

and Sophie Cruz.

The speakers went a little longer than intended, so people were getting a little tired of standing and not marching. We personally stood for the speakers from 9 am ET to 2 pm ET, and we didn’t even hear all of them. At around 2 pm, we pushed out of the standing crowd to get to the marching crowd. The streets of DC were completely closed and filled with marchers, it was a truly amazing sight to see. My favorite chants were “this is what democracy looks like,” “this is what a feminist looks like,” and “welcome to your first day, we will not go away.” I was amazed at how peaceful the whole march was and a number of people that showed up, from everywhere. In addition to the DC March, there was at least 1 march in every US state and around 100 marches outside of the US. The world was united under one cause, I have never been more proud to be a part of something.

For those who don’t know, the pink hats you see are pussy hats. They are pink hats with cat ears on the top. The aim was to unite everyone, even if they couldn’t make it to the march and to send a message that rape culture will not be accepted.

I was personally marching because I did not agree with the rhetoric normalized by Donald Trump in the 2016 Election. My main motives were reproductive rights and equality for all people.

One thing about the march that I didn’t particularly enjoy was the lack of organization. A lot of the speakers felt repetitive and ineffective. During a lot of speeches, the people on the ground felt talked at and not with. A lot of the speakers were reiterating the same issues in society, but that’s precisely why we all showed up. Sometimes we felt belittled by the speakers. I feel as though when the march became massive, it almost became too commercialized. That’s not necessarily something the march organizers could have helped, but it was a bit frustrating.

Despite the negative of the march, it was a great cause and it mobilized so many people. My favorite thing about the march was how inclusionary it was, the march wasn’t just for women. Men were also showing up for their support of women’s rights. Additionally, the march wasn’t just for liberals or solely anti-trump people either. I was reading stories about people that voted for Trump showing up for the march. They liked Trump’s policies but wanted to let him know that his rhetoric wasn’t appreciated. The inclusion and acceptance were amazing.

March on!

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  2. Pink Hats on the Metro
  3. Gloria Steinem
  4. Michael Moore
  5. Scarlett Johanson
  6. Alicia Keys
  7. Janelle Monae
  8. This is what a Feminist looks like
  9. In front of the White House barricades
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(I’m)Perfect

Using Gale to find information on what I was studying was somewhat difficult. At first, I wasn’t specific enough, then I was too specific. Finally, after a few tries, I found it.

I didn’t truly know what I was looking for until I read it and something clicked in my brain.

The article I found was from Science Mag, titled Self-esteem in a 2007 issue of the World of Health.

It stated that “all people have a mental picture of themselves, their strengths and weaknesses … [refered to as] self-concept or self-image.” Forming through learned experiences from birth, “self-esteem is the value judgment or degree of worth a person attributes to his or her self-image.”

Beginning in the 1980’s, the idea that self-esteem and self-image connected to how people behaved in society, performed in school, reacted to peer pressure, and interacted with others, received a great deal of attention from experts in countless fields.

“No one is born with a self-image.”

Through one’s experiences and interactions, younger children tend to develop an internal picture of themselves with a determined value. A parent’s influence on their children’s self-esteem can be catastrophic. “Supportive parental behavior, including expressing realistic, age-appropriate expectations, encouraging children to try new things, praising their efforts, and refraining from comparing a child to siblings or other children are powerful factors in the development of high self-esteem in early childhood.”

On the other hand, it can be assumed that a mother or father who criticizes themselves or their children can ultimately result with a negative effect, for example, a lower self-esteem.

 

http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/scic/ReferenceDetailsPage/ReferenceDetailsWindow?disableHighlighting=false&displayGroupName=Reference&currPage=&scanId=&query=&source=&prodId=SCIC&search_within_results=&p=SCIC&mode=view&catId=&u=salt89600&limiter=&display-query=&displayGroups=&contentModules=&action=e&sortBy=&documentId=GALE%7CCV2191501157&windowstate=normal&activityType=&failOverType=&commentary=


Lowering of Breast Cancer Mortality Rate

For my research project I have been researching why the mortality rate for breast cancer has lowered so much. From 1975-2010, the mortality of breast cancer declined from 32 per 100,000 per year to 21 per 100,000 per year. Now, in 2017, the mortality rate is expected to drop even more. To clarify, since 1991, deaths due to breast cancer have decreased 25%, meaning 2.1 million fewer people died from breast cancer.

After doing some research on gale, I found that the cure rate is higher than ever at around 90%. There have been many recent improvements in diagnosing breast cancer and treating it. Of course, it is still a potentially lethal disease, researchers are doing better than ever before with all different subtypes of breast cancer. Now, they can look at a woman and her individual tumor and try to customize and personalize treatments for her particular case.

However, it is said that the decline in breast cancer mortality is not likely due to advances in prevention and screening, it is most likely due to the drastic improvements in treatments. It is also said that there is a possibility that the breast cancers themselves are changing as a consequence of evolving changing patterns.

 

http://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T005&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=MultiTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=1&docId=GALE%7CA430329324&docType=Audio+file%2C+Broadcast+transcript%2C+Interview&sort=RELEVANCE&contentSegment=&prodId=LitRC&contentSet=GALE%7CA430329324&searchId=R4&userGroupName=salt89600&inPS=true


What does feminism do for youth today?

My research topic is feminism. I know, “feminism” is a very broad topic; I’m trying to narrow it down. The idea is to focus on feminism in young men and women in first-world America, although as I continue my research I will most likely pin down the topic to a finer point. The goal of the paper is to explore and argue why feminism is still necessary, and to analyze whether or not young people think so or have an accurate idea of what feminism is.

I plan to create a survey to collect local data about students’ opinions of feminism to get a general understanding of the ideas that permeate our school. The results of this will guide the final course of my paper. It’s a rough scope right now, soon to be honed down.Photo by shimmishimmi


The Effect of Gender Roles on the Workplace and Behavior

I have done more extensive research into how gender roles affect the workplace and aggressive behavior. According to a study on Work Family Conflict and Social Undermining (Scott, Ingram, Zagenczky, and Shoss), women experience more social undermining in the workplace from work family conflicts than men. ”When the demands of one’s work role encroach upon one’s family role, [this is] defined as work–family conflict.” Women are also more likely to blame the workplace for work family conflict (Shockley & Singla, 2011). This is because women are traditionally supposed to be the managers of the household and raise children. These expectations haven’t changed since women have entered the workforce. Women tend to balance work and family roles to a greater extent than men (Parasuraman & Greenhaus, 1993). Women are more expected to sacrifice their jobs for their family while men are expected to sacrifice their family for greater success in their career (Tenbrunsel, Brett, Maoz, Stroh, & Reilly, 1995).

In the same study, the authors present gender role theory which states that men and women unconsciously engage in social and cultural norms and expectations about their gender and carry out behaviors associated with their gender. “Cultural and societal norms portray men as more agentic, assertive, independent, and achievement-orientated, whereas women are more communal, friendly, unselfish, interdependent, expressive, and relationship-oriented (Eagly & Mladinic, 1989).” These stereotypes lead to gender divided labor and what work is appropriate for men and women, because these gender roles are strongly influential in society men and women identify themselves with these roles (Kidder, 2002; Wood & Eagly, 2012).  

Another aspect of gender inequality that I studied was aggressive behavior because it is a stereotyped behavior of men. The study Sex Differences in Aggression among Children of Low and High Gender Inequality Backgrounds (Nivette, Eisner, Malti, Ribeaud), compared two theories. One was the sexual selection theory which focuses on sex differences that are rooted in biological processes which shape greater male than female reproductive competition during human evolution (Archer, 2006, 2009). The other theory is social role theory which argues that “sex differences in aggression are culturally determined and emerge from differential socialization into gender roles; males are taught to be aggressive and competitive, whereas females are taught to be domestic and compassionate (Eagly, 1997).” Social role theory would expect to see sex differences in aggression in societies that have more gender inequality. Men are taught to be competitive and aggressive while women are taught to be compassionate and nurturing. Sexual selection theory argues that sex differences in aggression is attributed to greater evolutionary pressures on males toward reproductive success. The opposing theories are similar to nature versus nurture as to why men would exhibit more aggressive behavior.

 

Sources:

Work Family Conflict: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=16&sid=399ca679-60d7-4d11-9300-9476ac856ba6%40sessionmgr4010&hid=4201&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=100576752&db=pbh
Social Role Theory vs. Sexual Selection Theory: http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=5&sid=0e22d3df-9712-45f1-bed4-b10c583d7210%40sessionmgr120&hid=129&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=97501225&db=pbh


My Body

Boys will judge a girl just by her body not her personality,attitude,or the way she carry herself . Most of the time they don’t even care how you look as long as your body is good enough your good enough but sometimes this makes most girl very insecure about their body thinking my body isn’t good enough and they never know their worth. Most outcomes are starvation, trying to weight gain , suicide , and depression. So Ladies know your worth and never let a boy make you think your body isn’t good enough.


A Look into How Gender Roles are Affecting our Society?

I am researching gender roles in American society, and focusing my research on how our society is negatively impacted by them. Gender roles are societal norms that dictate the behaviors that are associated with biological gender. Traditionally women are suppose to be feminine and the traits they are associated with are passivity, nurturing, and subordination. Men are suppose to be masculine and have traits of strength, aggression, and dominance. Both genders are also more likely to have careers that correlate with those characteristics. These roles are relevant in many parts of life including: family, education, peer groups, mass media, religion, and workplace.” I have concluded that the main problems with gender norms are that people can’t reach their true potential because they are told who to be, those who do not follow the status quo are discriminated against, and gender inequality arises.

 

https://www.boundless.com/psychology/textbooks/boundless-psychology-textbook/gender-and-sexuality-15/gender-414/gender-and-sociology-296-12831/

http://talkitover.in/self/gender-stereotypes


Join The Pussyhat Project!

Right now, getting involved in politics is more important than ever! On the 21st, women will be meeting across the country, and all will be wearing pink hats with cat ears. I’ve been working on hats to pass out at my school (I even have my pattern featured on their website!). In their final stretch before the march, The Pussyhat Project needs your help more than ever! If you’re crafty, or even if you’re not, try to whip out a few of these hats! Check out their website, find a march in your area, and join the movement here: https://www.pussyhatproject.com/
Best of luck to everyone planning on attending an event on the 20th or the surrounding dates!
Celia 🙂


Attention youth activists!

The Women’s March is looking for youth activists under the age of 18 to apply for the #WomensMarch Youth Ambassador program
DEADLINE for submission: December 31, 2016
 
(The Women’s March on January 21 is a movement to “stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.
 
The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
 
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”)


Why Trigger Warnings Are Important

((This post contains mentions of basically everything triggering))

If you spend any time on social media, you’ve probably heard of ‘trigger warnings’. Discourse aside, trigger warnings are simply warnings put on content to prevent someone from looking at something that would trigger a negative mental response, often caused by PTSD. For example, an abuse survivor would avoid content tagged with ‘abuse’. A previously suicidal person would block all mentions of ‘suicide’ on their social media feed to prevent them from relapsing. Trigger warnings are used on a wide array of content, and in real life, too, from mentions food to mentions of hate crimes. Despite trigger warnings being completely harmless and helpful to many people, they’re gathered some negative attention.

When someone is making an argument against trigger warnings, their biggest claim is ‘There are no trigger warnings in the real world!’ That may be true, but trigger warnings can actually help people adapt to the ‘real world’. In fact, trigger warning-less content can actually set people back in their recovery. Let’s use self harm as an example. A tumblr user, who use to self harm but has been clean for 7 months, is scrolling down their timeline (I say tumblr because the website allows you to hide all posts tagged with trigger warnings) and they see an image of fresh self inflicted wounds. The shock of seeing the image could easily cause them a panic attack, or even cause them to relapse. They are now back to ground zero.

That situation could have gone a different way. The tumblr user is, once again, scrolling through their timeline. This time, the post has been tagged with ‘self harm’. They see, in the place of the post, a notice that a post had been blocked. They choose to unblock the post. They are still looking at the exact same picture of self inflicted wounds, but this time without the shock. They feel in control of the situation, and are a step closer to coming to terms with their past problems.

Avoiding altogether content that is triggering is completely valid, but trigger warnings are also necessary to help build an immunity to content you can’t handle seeing. And trigger warnings are not just important online. Your precious ‘real world’ can often make accommodations for people who suffer from PTSD ect. In health education class, I felt extremely uncomfortable when watching an overly-graphic movie on mental disorders. The movie depicted awful and realistic looking self harm that came as a shock to my whole class. I can handle that kind of stuff without extreme trauma, but not everyone can. If the teacher had told students what was coming, a student could excuse themself from the classroom for the day. Instead of watching a triggering video, they could go into the hall or library and research the topic, proving they did work by writing a short paragraph or emailing the teacher a link to the article they used. There are pretty easy alternatives to forcing someone to do or see something triggering.

What is my last argument for why we should respect people’s triggers? It’s the right thing to do. It takes about five seconds to say “Hey, heads up, if you’re triggered by X, this is not the place for you to be.” Tagging a post on social media takes less time than that. You are not affected in any way by trigger warnings, but if you don’t give someone a chance to avoid a trigger, it could ruin their entire day. Realizing that some people are more sensitive to certain things than you are costs 0 dollars and 0 cents.

In conclusion: If you are intentionally opposed to trigger warnings, make jokes about being ‘triggered’, or make jokes or comments that are purposefully triggering, you are a dirt heap.


Have you ever thought: Why are things happening to me?

I have and I have a lot to talk about, like even stories that I don’t want to talk about.

Have you ever liked a guy when you were younger, like in elementary school, and you try to walk all cute in front of the boys that you thought was cute, then next thing you know the boys start laughing?

It’s so embarrassing.

Next, there was this one time when I was talking to my friend. His name was Kashwan. We were walking down the hall and we were talking about what if someone fell down the stairs?

When we got to the main staircase of RHS we walked down the stairs and I slip and fell down, but I fell on my butt and slid down. When I turned around, he was laughing at me and couple of others down the stairs were laughing too.

So embarrassing.

Photo by Pexels (Pixabay)


The tale of the ice cream man

The Tale of the Ice Cream Man is a deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep and rich story about an ice cream man who misuses his privilege as a rich ice cream man to steal and harass the general public.

With more than 20 assets, this is a truly polished story. This can be easily seen when we look into the inside of the sprites of the man characters:

inside1

And another character’s insides (to a lesser extent):

inside2


Should Women be Paid Equal to Men?

For years, women have been treated at a lesser level than men. Thinking back on our country’s history, women only just received the right to vote within the last century. If we look at the last century compared to the amount of time that civilization has existed, 96 years is not very long ago. There is no reason that women should be treated differently than men. This is the same argument as when civil rights were debated. African Americans are equal to caucasians and all other races, so why shouldn’t women be treated as equals to men? The only difference between the two is their gender, which does not affect their intelligence, work ethic, or physical abilities. In a workplace setting, women are able to perform the same quality work as men, therefore they should be paid an equal amount.

According to an article from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), which works to achieve gender equality, called “The Simple Truth About The Gender Pay Gap,” Kevin Miller discusses some of the astonishing statistics dealing with the gender pay gap taken as recently as 2015. The article states that “women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid” in 2015 (Miller). Unfortunately, the gender pay gap was even larger for women of color, minority women, and elderly women. This statistic greatly upset me. How could women not make an equal amount compared to men when there is truly no difference between the ability of work they do?

Some people might argue that women shouldn’t make as much money as men because their place belongs in the home, or that women should take care of the family and therefore be paid less. Women have long been able to do the same quality work as men. They are physically and mentally able to produce an equal contribution to the workplace, so they should be paid equally. It’s simple.

Miller addresses some possible solutions to help close the gender pay gap in his article as well. He stated that women can not simply sit back and wait for equality to occur, they must take action and do something about this issue if they would like to see results. If women voice their opinion and stand up for what they believe in, they will have a better shot at achieving gender equality in the workplace. The AAUW offers workshops and helpful tips to encourage women to fight for equal pay.

Another possible solution would be for the government to pass legislation with “stronger incentives” for CEOs to abide by the law that requires men and women to be paid equal for the same job (Miller). If the Paycheck Fairness Act, an act to attempt to close the gender pay gap, was updated, the wage gap between men and women would also have a better shot at being closed. The piece of legislation “hasn’t been updated since 1963” (Miller).  The current generation of women in the workplace could greatly benefit from changes to the current legislation, but the real benefit would be in the generations to come.

 

Miller, Kevin. “The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap.” AAUW, Sep. 2016. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.


Why Donald Trump could destroy America

We have now just finished the last debate for this presidential election.

Now more than ever I am very afraid of and disgusted by Donald Trump.

I feel like every day the news is informing us about his horrible acts and words. The craziest part is that people are still willing to vote for him. Even if he turns out to be a serial killer, some people will still vote for him.

Not only is he racist and sexist, he is straight up rude.


A research thesis in the making

Dear Youth Voices Community,

My name is Bernadette Tril I am currently doing my senior capstone and I am feeling overwhelmed by it all.

This is my current thesis statement:

In a society where media is shaping our cultural youth, the message that young women and men face is that a woman’s value and power is based on their youth, beauty, and sexuality and not their capacity or leadership. I am determined to begin a women’s support group by first creating my own website for women support.

Fremont High School seniors are now writing preliminary thesis statements to help guide how they read their sources. I would greatly appreciate your feedback and help on my preliminary thesis statement. If you could score my thesis statement using this rubric, that would be even more helpful!!!

Sincerely,

Bernadette Tril

Fremont High School

 

o-black-women-military-facebook

 

 


Her Sacrifice of Dreams

There was a shadow. It haunted cities all over the world.  Caused by a little girls nightmares. Her name was Nadeje. She dreamt of an unknown figure flashing from one place to the next. Like when a flickering street lamp is the only light on the street, and a person is walking closer. You can only see some of their movements until they disappear into the dark and come back a foot closer when the light returns. None of the other children had dreams like this. There were no dreams of dark in this city of light. The shadow could use the indecision of souls to jump between places. Nadeje was the only one who hadn’t decided. The other Angels had. They had decided whether to serve Heaven or Hell on Earth. She had not. She was standing on the tip of a needle, trying to find a safe way down.

Heaven and Hell had equal numbers now, but whichever she chose would give one of them the upper hand. That was what she was. Hope. Hope for the side she chose and destruction for the other. Her full name was Nadeje A Zničení. Hope And Destruction. She knew she couldn’t decide. If she decided, then war would rage around the human world. So she decided, she wouldn’t decide. The human killings would stop. All angels were charged with protecting them and their world. If the war went on, the human plane of reality would be forgotten.

She flew high into the sky above the human world. And screamed. It was terrifying and raw. Every angel heard it and put aside their disputes to come to the human lands. They remembered that after all this time, their purpose was to protect humans, the creators favored child. When they hear a scream so sad, like all life had ended, like death was the only option now. Two lieutenants, Láska of Heaven, and Milost of Hell found Nadeje on the ground. It was unheard of for an angel to die. There was only one way. To break your wings. To break what holds your position as an angel. Letting time catch up in the mortal world. Nadeje had flown so in the sky she almost touched the wispy clouds. She had brought and iron bar which she pushed against her wings until she felt red hot and ice cold pain shoot through her. Crack. Her wings were broken. She had fallen. Her tears lifting of her cheeks into the air. She has smiled, completely content. Nadeje had sacrificed her immortal life, so not only the humans would live, but all of the Angels who would have fought and died in the war. Láska and Milost reported to their generals about this. The generals reported to God and Lucifer. The two rulers ended their war and became one people, it’s only purpose: to serve and protect mankind.


Problems with romantic relationships in schools

Schools should not encourage romantic relationships at young ages, because they distract from school work, confuse children, and cause extra problems.

First, romantic relationships at young ages distract students. One example of how distracting these relationships can be when students get distracted by trying to keep track of who’s with who. Also, romantic relationships in school might cause some “young couples” to get fresh during school.

Second, romantic relationships would produce extra confusion. When you have romantic relationships you get the homosexual aspect where some young people feel they are attracted to the same gender thing when they are not even old enough for romantic relationships. Also, the homosexual aspect just opens up a world of confusion.

Third, romantic relationships cause extra problems and stress for students. Dating is not meant for sport, as the society says it is. Dating is for when you are trying to find a marriage mate, and at middle school level people are WAY to young to get married. Also, dating and romantic relationships can cause teen pregnancy.

Here are some examples of how schools are encouraging romantic relationships at young ages and suggestions of how schools can discourage romantic relationships at young ages. Schools are encouraging romantic relationships at young ages by holding dances. An example at my school is my ELA teacher has us reading short stories that encourage romantic relationships at young ages. Schools can discourage romantic relationships at young ages, by not having socials or dances and by not encouraging stories that support romantic relationships at young ages.

As I expressed in this post, encouraging romantic relationships in schools can lead to distractions from school work, confusion, and extra problems.

In comments, please share problems in your school!


A Day in a Girl’s Life from Bumpe, Sierra Leone

See us on the “A Day in a Girl’s Life” map, and see other links under the Call to Action link on the menu bar.


My thoughts on Political Correctness

Political correctness seems to be a larger issue now than it ever was. 

The definition of political correctness is “the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.” 

People nowadays are way too careful about what they say in fear of offending someone. For example, some people avoid calling another person a boy or girl because they don’t want to offend them or ASSUME their GENDER, which is stupid because there are only two genders. 

Some Police officers are somewhat afraid of pulling over or arresting African-American citizens in fear of being called racist. 

Overall, political correctness is being taken way too far and is out of control.   

Photo by KAZVorpal


Feminism and my thoughts about it

 

Feminism is classified as the rights of political, social, and economic rights as opposed to men.

Feminism used to be a group for women so they can gain rights that they didn’t have but men did. Now feminism is just women that complaining about really foolish topics.

Feminists have now become known as public hate figures that make false claims. They are also saying that games that are rated 18 have graphic content, are revealing women, and that they are objectifying women even though it’s rated 18 for a reason.

Many youtubers, celebrities , etc hate people involved with feminism because feminism is now just looked at like its a big joke. Overall, feminism groups should start changing their thoughts and claims and actually bring in evidence rather than making up lies for the public.


Afghan Girl

Farah is now in Quetta with her mom and once they arrived at her aunt’s house they went out and tried to find any news of her brothers but there was no sign of them that at least they came through Quetta.

Later on, she and her mom got out of her aunt’s house since they were overcrowded so they went to a refugee camp where they seek for help. It wasn’t a good living environment but at least they didn’t have to pay or share the house with another family.

Farah noticed that her mom’s asthma had gotten worse and a visit to the hospital was a daily thing. A couple of days passed and her mom had gotten better so they took them out of the hospital since they needed the bed for someone that actually needs it.

Farah had found a job in order to help her mom with the medicines and a safe shelter instead of a tent as a house, but the job she found was to be a slave for a wealthy.

Photo by ♣♦♥♠


New beginnings

In the book Stand Tall , Tree is at school. He isn’t really the social type so he sits in the back at lunch. 

There is a new girl at school, and she doesn’t really have any friends, but she is not afraid to speak her mind. She is picked on by these other girls, and Tree notices it, so he does something he’s never done before. 

He invites a girl to sit with them and through this, he starts to make a new friend, getting to know her and how she feels 

They’re both kind of similar.

Photo by stuad70


Can solar lanterns change girls’ lives in Sierra Leone?

I’m a co-founder of Connected. United. 4Change, and Bumpe, Sierra Leone, is C.U.4C‘s first international partner school. The school in Bumpe had a lot of amenities and was a very integral part of the community until the rebel war (1991-2002) destroyed it. Now the school has a lack of electricity, technology, bathrooms, staff, and general resources. Currently, the school is running off of a diesel power generator which is very difficult and costly to use. The Bumpe people’s two biggest concerns are the lack of sustainable power and the high early marriage and teenage pregnancy rates.

Hindo Kposowa, from Bumpe, Sierra Leone, explains the issue and the root cause,

“Poverty, especially in rural Sierra Leone, has caused many girls to drop out of school as a result of teenage pregnancy and early marriage. Children in our local communities are obliged to join their parents in the farms after school to help with farm work. Hence, the only time for students to study and do their homework is at night. Bumpe is without electricity supply! Only 1% of the population (mostly business centers) own generators. Many families can only afford one flashlight for the entire household – powered with non-rechargeable batteries which are not sustainable and at times difficult for parents to purchase. During exams, students go out unwillingly to study by business centers powered with a generator. Girls in such situation are many times sexually abused – leading to teenage pregnancy and trauma.”

Hindo came up with a solution that encompasses both issues,

“One solar lantern will help a girl to study at home. This will prevent sexual abuses against girls going out at night in search of generator power supply to study or sexually trade their body to afford candles or non-rechargeable batteries for solar lanterns.” Additionally, there are countless studies that link high early marriage and teen pregnancy rates to a lack of education. If we can keep girls in school, we can help them receive a higher education and decrease the need for them to marry early- whether it’s because they feel the need to have someone to provide for them or because they get pregnant early and have no choice. While the whole infrastructure of the school won’t have electricity, the solar lanterns benefit the school immensely. They give each individual student the ability to study at their home, instead of the school having to use a generator on nights before a big test. The school can then save their generators and money for emergencies.

Our project will have a long lasting impact. Hindo explains, “One solar lantern will serve a girl throughout her secondary school education. Helping or capacitating the girls in this situation will prevent and reduce girl’s vulnerability from teenage pregnancy and sexual harassment. Many girls will make it to college and after college, it will help boost a nation’s economy, increase life expectancy rate, provide room for healthy families and lavage gender equality.”

Help us raise money at our gofundme “Connected. United. 4 Change.” There are lots of other ways to get involved as well. Check out our Call to Action on the menu bar.

 


The Transgender/Bathroom Debate

Last weekend I attended a wedding, and one of the brides made an announcement that drew my attention. She said that the guests were free to use either bathroom, based on which one they were comfortable with. And what struck me even more was she said, “And if you’re uncomfortable, deal with it, because transgender people are uncomfortable facing this issue every day.” As a non-transgender person, she’s right: I never have to think about that when I walk into a bathroom, but for the thousands of transgender people out there, they do.

The article, “Transgender people should use bathroom of gender they identify as, US urges” says, “A person who identifies as a man should be permitted to use men’s bathrooms, and a person who identifies as a woman should be permitted to use women’s restrooms.” I completely agree. In my opinion, this topic should simply be common sense. Everyone deserves to live freely without discrimination. Why do we deserve the authority to restrict people from being comfortable living as the gender they choose?

On the other hand the article, “The imaginary predator in America’s transgender bathroom war” quotes those on the opposing side who say: “Male perverts and pedophiles disguised as women (faux transgender people) will troll women’s bathrooms and sexually assault our wives and daughters.” Frankly, I find this thought to be absurd. If someone is actually a pervert, they’re not going to let those tiny bathroom signs determine if they’re going to be a pervert or not. Transgender people aren’t entering bathrooms in an attempt to assault people, they’re entering bathrooms to use the bathroom as the gender they’re comfortable with. If you still disagree with me and find it uncomfortable to share bathrooms with transgender people, then the only advice I have for you is to just maybe not use public restrooms.


Transgender Inequality

40% of trans kids including myself have attempted suicide. Why is this? Some people may argue that transgender people have the exact same rights as others but that is NOT the case. I am a transgender male myself and they’re are many things that I feel scared or can’t do because of my gender identity. Since I do not pass a male all the time I feel so scared and threatened to go into the bathroom in fear of being beat up.

If you don’t already know, several states have proposed the ‘Bathroom Bill’ forcing people who were born as one sex but identify as the other have to use the bathroom of their biological sex. This was especially scary for me because I live in a state that wants to pass this bill. People are still fighting to stop it.

Transgender people have to go through so much just to get a sex change or hormone replacement therapy. Why do we have to go through so much just to feel content with our selves? In the US it costs lots of money for this stuff and insurance usually doesn’t pay for all of this.

So what can we do to help? Just be accepting! If you know someone who you think might be gender fluid or transgender, ask their pronouns and be respectful. They’re trying to go about the world normally, so don’t go out of your way to criticize them.


It’s okay. They’re married.

Gone With The Wind is one of the best books in American literature–that’s something that’s pretty much undisputed among avid readers in our country. And not only is it a great work of literature, many can remember falling in love with Vivian Lee during the movie version, with her green eyes and dark hair. Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara are one of the most prominent literary couples, right up there with Romeo and Juliet, Eleanor and Park, and Harry and Ginny.

However, even through their well-developed relationship, there is a darker underlying theme…it seems that Rhett’s not giving a damn goes just a little too far in their physical relationship. As it is seen multiple times during the movie and book, he is both physically and verbally abusive to Scarlett at many different points. And how are they possibly still so “perfect for one another?”

It’s certainly not because they’re married.

It’s certainly not because what he does is consensual based solely on the fact because they’re married.

Rape is an act of violence–not an act of love, sex, or desire. Unless, of course, that desire is to act violently. Consensual sex is something where both partners are alright with the act that is occurring–rape is when it is non-consensual. Rape can lead to sexual injuries and dangerous situations and is usually used as an act of dominance against another person.

Marital rape is something that is currently being debated in the United States–large numbers of people from all across the nation are debating on whether marital rape is really considered “rape”. Some believe that violent and non-consensual sex is alright once a couple is married. Personally, I find that it is still an act of violence and should therefore still be illegal. Is domestic violence okay? Is verbal abuse okay? I don’t think so. And if rape is an act of violence, even the marital kind should be illegal.

Here’s an interesting article.

Photo by Lucy Maude Ellis


Gender Wage Gap

One of the political issue that has been reiterated many times recently, especially during the 2016 presidential election, has been the gender wage gap. Gender equality has been ever more present as well with the nomination of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president this year, becoming a pioneer that has cracked that “high glass ceiling” and become a heroine for many girls across the country. However, even with those advances, the wage for a woman doing the same job as a man (same quality, etc), is making around 80 cents to the man’s dollar. The question becomes, what is the reason for this?

Currently, “there’s no country in the entire world where a woman earns as much as a man for doing the same job” (http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/27/news/economy/global-gender-pay-gap/). And, according to the World Economic Forum, it is predicted to take a little over 80 years for this gap to close (new report by the World Economic Forum). While the United States is certainly no the worst in the world, where in some countries women make less than 50% than men, it placed 65th in the world at the end of 2014, meaning that it is behind many other industrialized countries (http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/27/news/economy/global-gender-pay-gap/). The wage gap is getting smaller, too, yet is seems “to have plateaued in the mid-1990s” (http://www.nber.org/papers/w7732.pdf). It has become a more pressing issue now, though, because of how different fields are becoming less stratified, and the sex composition becomes more equal in higher paying jobs. Before, women were paid less because they tended to “accumulate less labor market experience than men….and they anticipate shorter and more discontinuous work lives than men” because many begin to create and raise families (http://www.nber.org/papers/w7732.pdf). Thus, many companies began to see men as a more reliable investment in the long run, receiving higher wages and on-the-job training, and climbing higher up the ladder simply because of the longer amount of time they spent in the work force. Today, however, a greater number of women are entering the workforce that requires higher education, such as law, medicine, and engineering, and are working for a longer amount of time as the average age at which women are starting to have their first child is older than ever (as well as the average number of children they bear is going down in many industrialized countries), so now the gap is more obvious as women are now doing the same higher-paying jobs as many men and are being paid a fraction of their annuals income.

Photos by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com,

Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com


Opinions of Abortion

Abortion is one of the most widely disputed topics in America today. People are either for it or against it. Those who have opinions over the subject usually feel very strong in that way.

Those who are pro-choice say that the US Supreme Court has declared abortion to be a fundamental right guaranteed by the US Constitution. They say that it is the woman’s choice and they have every right to what happens to their bodies. Also, those who are pro-choice say that nearly all abortions take place in the first trimester, the state when a fetus cannot exist without it’s mother.

Abortion is a safe medical procedure and they have less than a 0.5% risk of serious complications and do not actually affect a woman’s health or future ability to become pregnant. They also say that those who were raped, or in cases of incest, that having the baby would cause further psychological harm to the victim. Another thing they say is that teenage mothers have less of a chance of a good future if they are forced to keep their baby.

Those who are pro-life say that “since life begins at conception, abortion is akin to murder as it is the act of taking a human life” http://womensissues.about.com/od/reproductiverights/a/AbortionArgumen.htm. They also say that no civilized society permits one human to intentionally harm or take the life of another human without punishment, and abortion is no different. Adoption is always an option and it will accomplish the same result without killing the child.

They claim that abortions can cause medical complications later in life. They say that in the instance of rape and incest, proper medical care can ensure that a woman will not get pregnant. Many Americans who pay taxes are opposed to abortion, therefore it’s morally wrong to use tax dollars to fund abortion. They also say Those who choose abortions are often minors or young women with insufficient life experience to understand fully what they are doing. Many have lifelong regrets afterwards.
Photo by Elvert Barnes


Both Sides to Abortion

Here’s some compelling information I found about this controversial subject.

http://abortion.procon.org

Pros:

  • The US Supreme Court has declared abortion to be a “fundamental right” guaranteed by the US Constitution. (1)
  • Reproductive choice empowers women by giving them control over their own bodies. (2)
  • Personhood begins after a fetus becomes “viable” (able to survive outside the womb) or after birth, not at conception. (3)
  • Fetuses are incapable of feeling pain when most abortions are performed. (4)
  • Access to legal, professionally-performed abortions reduces maternal injury and death caused by unsafe, illegal abortions. (5)
  • Modern abortion procedures are safe and do not cause lasting health issues such as cancer and infertility. (6)
  • Women who receive abortions are less likely to suffer mental health problems than women denied abortions. (7)

Cons:

  • Abortion is murder. (1)
  • Life begins at conception, so unborn babies are human beings with a right to life. (2)
  • Fetuses feel pain during the abortion procedure. (3)
  • Abortion is the killing of a human being, which defies the word of God. (4)
  • The decision in Roe v. Wade was wrong and should be overturned. (5)
  • Abortions cause psychological damage. (6)
  • Abortions reduce the number of adoptable babies. (7)

With all these back and forth arguments about abortion, there is still much debate as to the actual law on abortion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States

The current judicial interpretation of the U.S. Constitution regarding abortion in the United States, following the Supreme Court of the United States‘s 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, and subsequent companion decisions, is that abortion is legal but may be restricted by the states to varying degrees. States have passed laws to restrict late term abortions, require parental notification for minors, and mandate the disclosure of abortion risk information to patients prior to the procedure.”

 

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/states-banned-abortions/story?id=18703520

“Before 2010, no states banned abortions outright at any stage of pregnancy. Nebraska started the trend with a 20-week abortion ban in April 2010. In 2011, Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, and Oklahoma followed suit, and in 2012, Arizona, Georgia, and Louisiana passed curbs of their own. Last week, Arkansas became the first state to approve an abortion ban this year.”

Many of these states that have tried to enact many limits on a women’s rights, have seen many republican governors, senators, and legislative leaders. A decrease in democratic politicians in these states is no coincidence, especially as the people vie for stricter laws regarding abortions and pro-life.


Violence Towards the LGBTQ Community

Even though the legalization of same sex marriage has been ground breaking, there are still complications that are facing those in the LGBTQ community. The first issue this community has been faced with is violence.

According to Rolling Stone Magazine, “lesbian, gay and transgender people, especially those of color, experience violence at disproportionately high rates compared to straight cisgender people.

According to the FBI, bias against sexual orientation and gender identity accounted for more than 21 percent of hate crimes reported in 2013, with sexuality the second most common single-bias category following race.” This demonstrates that even though there is a law permitting same-sex marriage, people still aren’t respectful of others and their rights as a human being.

Additionally, we can see that the implementation of a law does not produce results, so if we are going to truly make a difference within our society regarding LGBTQ rights we are going to have to do a lot more than create some laws.


Living in a Non-LGBTQA Society

I currently teach an intro to LGBTQ course at Michigan State University. The discussions we have in nearly every class revolve around gender, what it is, how we know it, how other’s see it, etc. These discussions never get old, simply because there are no clear-cut answers to any of these questions. We know that most of our society sees gender as the sex we are assigned at birth. And from that moment forward, society expects us to act a certain way, talk a certain way, interact with others a certain way. But the really big questions we talk about are how do we change any of this.

And there we have it. The crux of the situation if you will. How do we, as a community, begin to change the perceptions of a society? How do we convince them that gender is something completely unrelated to the male/female binary we currently work under? For some, they are perfectly comfortable performing the gender that matches the sex they were born as. For others, it’s simply not that easy. And it’s not just a matter of someone feeling as if they were born into the wrong body, although that clearly happens as well. What about the person who wants to present/perform more in line with a male one day (still with hints of femininity), and as a completely feminine female the next. What box do we put this person into? What labels do we place on them?

The reality is that the only way to change how our society works is by changing the way people think one person at a time. And yes, that can be fear inducing. Anyone who identifies as something other than what people expect knows the reactions people can have. But only through talking and communicating will anything ever change.


What will a woman do?

Dear Mrs. President Hillary Clinton,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write you a letter. I’m happy that the next president will be a female. Mrs. Clinton, you represent respect, justice, honesty, courage and hope for all Americans.

I’m really fascinated by the fact that you will be supporting all individuals equally, all citizens and non-citizens as well as outstanding females, providing more jobs, proper and affordable health insurance, new ways of managing one’s life and time-wise.

I’m proud to see that you will be making it to the White House because I surely know that your four term presidential years will work effectively in our republic. I believe you will bring in jobs to make our community a better and safer place, our economy will improve and I really hope you will help America fix many issues such as infrastructure, merchandise, jobs, health care, terrorism and conflicts within our country.

Above anything else you should prioritize crime rate and police brutality. I suggest to reduce crime by educating more people and providing them a decent job so that they have something to live off. In the other hand, police brutality must end, a good way to end it is by regulating their duties and if they use unnecessary force against anyone they should be charged for brutality.


Prejudice and Judgement

The book From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun consists about a young boy who is 13 years old, ever since he could remember it has always been his mother and him.

This boy’s name is Melanin , his father disappeared when he was just a little boy. Melanin and his friends have always made fun of “fags” or “gays” as they like to call them.

His mother has a friend named Kristin, Kristin is a “white woman”. One day Melanin’s mother confesses to him that she was “in love with Kristin.”

Right now Melanin is in shock, because he doesn’t want his mom to be a “Dyke”. They are now both stuck between prejudice and embarrassment. Melanin is not ok with this because he knows that his friends will make fun of him, but he also has to think about his mother’s happiness.

His mother, however wants the best for Melanin and she is willing to push her feelings to the side just so Melanin would be content and happy, but she wants him to also have consideration with her . She hopes he’ll one day understand it’s her right to be happy and feel loved once again.

 

Photo by SanFranAnnie


Poverty

Dear Mr. President,
Poverty is an issue that is taking place all over our country. It is an extremely harmful issue in that it is effecting children, tennager, adults, and seniors. This should be a concern of your because the children now are going to be the future of our society and with them struggling through their whole lives with nothing, they are going to have kids with nothing and then we will never make it out of poverty as a whole.

Poverty is envisioned as homeless people on the streets and others that have no money. In our society today people think that the worst poverty is in the large cities like NYC, Detroit, and Chicago. Why yes it horrible there but there are cities that are at an extremely worse point. Some of these cities are Las Vegas, Phoenix, Las Angeles, and Buffalo.

So many factors are in play with poverty. But the most significant would be the cost of living. Our US government has been trying to raise the minimum wage so people struggling can start to stand back up on their feet and start living the life that they have always dreamed of living.

To get over the US facing poverty we are going to have to start creating more and more social programs and cut down the cost of living. As o f July 2016, the rate of unemployment is 4.9% . The obvious way to fix this problem would be for someone to create jobs.

With you being the next and upcoming president I believe that it is in your best interest to start to create jobs. There are plenty of things that could use more help. For an idea, you could create jobs that have to do with fixing/repairing roads, sidewalks, and bridges. In the city that I live in the roads could use some fixing!

 

Image result for poverty

http://www.123rf.com/photo_6292783_poverty.html


Transgender Equality – My Perspective

         Hi, my name is Ben Crino. I am a straight white male who lives in the beautiful town of Okemos with a school district rated in the top ten of Michigan. I am the definition of having it easy in America. I have been fortunate enough though to have many diverse friends and a family that is not afraid to show me what the world really looks like. In my adventures through highschool, I have gained a passion for the meaning of equality. To me equality is not the forced rule of everything fair, but the understanding and acceptance of all people and who they are. One type of equality I would like to focus on with you is Transgender equality.

         I first learned what the word transgender meant when a family member of mine introduced me to twins named MK and Ash. Mk and Ash are one of the only twins to both be transgender ever recorded in America. They are currently doing many interviews and may be getting on Ellen to share their voices in what they have to say about the hardships of growing up transgender. After discussion and listening to their stories of growing up, it is necessary that all teens, no matter privileged or not, and adults are aware and take steps to full equality.

          The first topic I was aware of was the bathroom rights. I that you should ensure that whatever the person I identifies with is what bathroom they can use. Maybe if questioned they can show a slip or id of some sort verifying they are transgender, though that could spur up problems also. Which brings me to my next wish. I think that during sex ed in schools, it would be best that kids learn at least what being transgender is. No matter what their opinion about it, at least they have a knowledge that it exists and then it will become normal in the future. Maybe someday we can put it as a medical necessity that people who want that physical switch get it at no cost! All lives matter, and even as someone who has everything they could ever need, I believe that we all deserve the best, and starting at Transgender equality isn’t a bad way to go. 

shutterstock_104403011-310x415


Letter to our future President

Dear Mr./Mrs. Future President,

I am against the notion of gender neutral bathrooms in the United States. First of all, I want to reiterate that I am NOT against LGBT rights. I believe that they should have the same rights as the other people of the United States and should be given an equal chance to succeed. But, having gender neutral bathrooms is a waste of money and is a bad investment in my opinion.

With having gender neutral bathrooms, you are basing bathrooms on what a person identifies themselves as, not what they were born as, a male or a female. Bathrooms are for either if you are a male or female, not if you identify/say that you are a male or female. Also, if you have gender neutral bathrooms, I feel that it could lead to someone being subjected to bullying. Think about it, if one was to enter a gender neutral bathroom in let’s say a high school, there are likely to be jerks around school to harass kids for going into one of those bathrooms if seen, thinking they identify differently the others. Another example is that what if there is a woman who collapses in a gender neutral bathroom in a bar early in the morning? Would you want the next person to walk in to be a potentially intoxicated male? Maybe it wouldn’t be as likely at a bar, but would you be comfortable to use a public gender neutral bathroom as a female if another male was in there? The idea of gender neutral bathrooms is a good idea, but the way that is implemented just won’t work out and will end up wasting money. It’s unnecessary and I don’t believe it will help people who are bisexual or gender neutral, but end up doing possibly more damage to others.

Sincerely,

Sid

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Time for a revolution

My shoulders clench and my hand tightens around the blunt sides of keys, the little grocery store card digging its plastic edges into my palm and fingers

He isn’t even on the same side of the street as me

I remember the few self defense moves I know and remind myself that my asthma is weakened and affects me less when adrenaline is running through my system.

He’s looking at soup cans and hasn’t even looked my way

I hear a van coming down the road and immediately identify exit routes and reach to put my cell phone in a place where I can access it with my hands bound

It turns the corner

I look around and pick out every store and person I can go to if I need to start running, safe places that can hide me from harm

They laugh and continue drinking soda while sitting on the park bench

These reactions aren’t natural

I have never been abused verbally or physically, but society makes me feel as though I have been

I am conditioned to fear men and strangers from stories of rape, kidnapping, sex trade, and killings

Fear has become my perpetual underlying emotion

Society has turned women into victims, even though I am not the main target and I am less likely to be one

This is not just in America

This is in India, in China, in Scotland, in France, in Haiti, in Ghana, in Nigeria, in Argentina, in Israel, in Iran, in Peru, in Jamaica, in Malaysia, in Guatemala, in Brazil, it is EVERYWHERE

This fear that I have is ingrained in every woman around the world, a majority made to feel like a minority

We are fetishized into damsels and demons, prizes to won by the strongest man, sold to the highest bidder, or killed for representing lust, envy, and other supposed sins

Female sexuality is both a commodity and taboo, used to sell vegetarianism and soda but at the same time women are shamed for wearing skirts that show off their thighs and tops that make them feel empowered

Women are killed for not meeting the standards of others or for not giving into the desires of men or not being born into the gender that is female

It is time for a revolution

Because I do not wish to teach my daughters when they are five that people should not touch them if they don’t want to be touched or that if they are in trouble they should look only for the police or women with baby carriages

I don’t want to be scared of partying in college because someone may try to roofie me and use me as a point in a game of who can have the most sex in a year, consensually and not

Because I don’t want any sons I have to be the only male friend that carries pads and tampons around in case someone needs one or be made fun of by their guy friends for defending the girls and his own ‘girly’ habits

I shouldn’t have to worry on dates if the man across from me wants to kill me if I don’t do exactly what he wants

We have to change society into a place where I can walk home at night without constantly looking over my shoulder

Into a place where all women are considered women, embracing the differences between each of them

A society in which women make up more than just 4.4% of powerful CEOs and earn the same amount of money as a man, expanding the economic opportunity for women

Where motherhood is respected and so is the ambition of women striving to be president

Where walking down the street is not considered an acceptable time or place to catcall at girls and eye women like pieces of meat in a butcher shop window

Where little girls are not sexuallized in their dresses and hair ribbons and where bathing suits are not considered invitations to look at a women’s breasts

Where fear is not taught from birth

Photo by new 1lluminati


Juvenile Justice

 

Dear President,

 

Congratulations on the election. We hope that you can pay attention and solve many of the problems we suffer from in our country. I’m a seventeen year old African-American female, from Oakland, California, who has been sexually abused at a young age and who’s witnessed, and suffered from racial profiling and discrimination.

 

When my brother was 15 years old, he got sentenced to 32 years in prison for slapping an old white women on camera. The video was posted on YouTube and it went viral across the United States. I researched another story where this caucasian 17 year old girl poisoned her parents every night at dinner, for 3 months until they died, and she was only sentenced to 5 years in prison.

 

We must remember that the ultimate goal of the juvenile system is not to punish, but to rehabilitate. These young adults, particularly African-Americans, are placed in the corrections facility for a long time, and treated like they’re nothing. They’re then thrown in their rooms, with no free time. They’re treated poorly, beaten, abused, sexually assaulted, etc. They think that jail is helping them, but it’s only destroying them more, causing them to lash out, which can cause more danger for themselves and others, than people think, especially if they’re being harmed in any physical way.

 

One issue we face as African-American youth incarcerated is sexual abuse. According to a survey from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1 in 10, nearly 10% of youth in state juvenile corrections facilities report being victimized sexually. Georgia’s juvenile corrections facilities has the highest sexual abuse rates in the country, according to a 2013 federal study. That percentage has tripled in 2016 and no one has tried to stop it. The system is home to 140 unresolved cases of alleged sexual abuse and harassment.

 

Another issue we survive as colored youth incarcerated, is racial profiling and discrimination. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Individuals of color have an unfair number of encounters with law enforcement, this leads me to conclude that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched, during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police. Students of color face severer punishments in school than their white peers resulting in a higher number of colored youth incarcerated. Black and Hispanic students represent more than 70 percent of those involved in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement. Currently, African Americans make up two-fifths and Hispanics one-fifth of confined youth today.

 

So we say the goal of incarceration is to rehabilitate , but are we really habilitating? The increased and unnecessary use of secure, strict detention exposes troubled young people to an environment that more closely resembles adult prisons and jails, than the kinds of community and family-based interventions proven to be most effective. Detained youth, who are often pre-sentenced and awaiting their court date, or sometimes waiting for their placement in another facility or community-based program, can spend anywhere from a few days to a few months locked in custody. Detained youth are physically and emotionally separated from the families who are the most invested in their recovery and success. Frequently, detained youth are housed in overcrowded, understaffed facilities, an environment that often breeds neglect and violence.

 

So here’s what we have to do. We have to stand up for our juveniles, and empower them in their time of need. We all make mistakes, but it’s not fair that when colored youth commit a crime, they get an unfair punishment or has to suffer more impenetrable than others. It’s not right that when someone gets sexually assaulted in jail it just goes by like a feather in the wind. They are people too and it’s imperative that we stop this from happening. It’s bad enough that we lash out because we are in prison. Let’s work together to stop the abuse and discrimination. We are one. We all bleed and hurt the same. So what makes us so different? The pigmentation in our skin? We are who we are, and that’s what scares people in society.

 

Sincerely,

Ajalyn

 

Photo by Daniel Arauz


Gender Equality

Dear President,

A lot of people are discriminated every day because of gender, and this is preventing a lot of people from moving on in life, holding them back and preventing opportunities. Please help us make a difference.

Here are some problems that people, male and female,  face in their daily life that they would like to change.

I (a male) have been in a lot of areas over time as I grew up, and almost no matter where I go, girls and women are mistreated. This really pains me because the only real difference between a man and a woman is the fact that they of opposite sex, and they are judged heavily on this. This really hurts me as a male to see women mistreated, and I would hope that they all had equal chances just like males, is all fields and in all financial assets. The reason it pains me so much is because a female has just as much potential as a male, but it is us males that don’t give women the power to prove this little fact that could change everyone forever. Females are so underestimated and they want to make a difference, an impact on society. But instead, in the work world even if it is women that dominated the job, men will still get paid more. What is justice, fairness, and equality?

 

From growing up in a male-dominated family, I(male) had never seen the two gender as equal. When the house needed cleaning or when the floor needed to be mopped, I have notice that the chores will always fall on my sister. To getting a girlfriend/boyfriend or even getting married was a very different conversation depending on your gender. For males, it’s always “make sure to get a wife that doesn’t talk that much” or “get a wife that clean the house and is obedient”. This backward way of thinking was embedded so deep in my parents that it’s beginning to rub off on my family.

 

Gender equality is a human right that everyone should have. At the end of the day, we (male and female) are humans. Women should live their lives in dignity and have the freedom they deserved. It’s also a precondition that advances the development and helps reduce poverty. “By showing examples from around the globe, applying interactive ways of sharing knowledge and working with renowned experts in this field, participants will gain a deeper understanding of gender dynamics and strategies for addressing the different needs and priorities of women, men, young girls, and boys.”

 

The gender pay gap is a statistical indicator of women’s and men’s earnings that compare the difference between the two wages. Women are labeled to be housewives and are stereotyped to do tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and taking care of  children.  Men are the foundation of the household and are labeled as hard working money makers. Today men and women can both get a higher education by attending college and working just as hard to work towards a degree in a specific field and yet when they graduate with the same degree and enter the workforce, they earn 5%  less than the other gender. For example, male registered nurses make more than $5,000 per year than female registered nurses. If progress continues at its current rate, it will take 45 years to eradicate the wage gap. When women’s wages are lowered due to gender discrimination, their families’ incomes are often significantly lowered as well.

 

Sincerely,

Corbin Meier,  Maizong Lor,  Johnny Thao,  Jose Quintana, Nataly Llamas, Sophia Montalvo

Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com


Why Gender Norms Should Be Demolished

Dear future President,

First of all, congratulations, the people of America has spoken up and put their opinions to great use.  But, you have such responsibility now keeping us under your wing.  I have many concerns for you as far as you doing your job. It has come to my attention that gender stereotypes are all over the world to this day.  Girls and boys should act and do things a certain way that is socially acceptable; and if they defy it, then they are considered a “freak” or they get ignored.  Girls should have pink as their favorite color, boys, blue.  Girls, long flowy hair, boys short.  Boys get trucks for presents and girls get dolls.  These are the most common ones and I know I find them very offensive; we need to educate the people.

Gender stereotypes encourages others to judge people based off of gender norms. You hear it a lot from little kids, the youth. You walk past a girl with a pixie haircut and she is wearing a black T-shirt, and your son or daughter asks you if that person is a boy. These stereotypes are started at an early age and proceed through the teenage years. This is when some are starting to realize that boys and girls are not what was perceived when growing up.

Personally, I have been accused of being gay, by what I have bought at a store. I went to the mall once, and I came into this one store that both provided men’s and women’s clothes. I saw this California Republic T-shirt that I really wanted, but I felt discouraged to get it because it was in the men’s section. I ended up getting it, because the colors just looked really good. I went to go pay for it and the cashier said, “Would you like to buy a four ounce of cologne for only 10 dollars?” I felt so embarrassed, I just said no and ran out of the store.  

Stereotypes push `people into categories, invisible boxes that group you up. Gender norms are not only by how one looks but what they say.  If a girl says no, they are classified as “mean,” I have seen  this one more often than you think.  Girls are supposed to be “nice”, meaning lenient and obedient, not assertive and firm.  If men are not in charge and the decision-makers, they are considered weak and if this role ever gets switched its always looked down upon.  Strong women around the world are described as aggressive and most of the time, it has to do with stereotypes of how women should behave, and what obedient looks like.

Another stereotype that pushes people to think that women don’t do hard work because they are frail.  This “norm” effects a women’s health, self-esteem and social status.  Women that go to the gym and go to the weights section are looked down upon, men giving them a hard time to shoo them away. More women than men participate in cardio workouts.  As opposed to men, who “dominate” the weight room.  I volunteered my time and worked with them last summer as a custodian.  Up to my knowledge, I have seen people do this on a daily basis.  People who defy that gender norm do get stared at and try to indirectly belittle them by challenging their skills. Women’s health magazines merely focus on how to lose weight and tone up while men’s dial in on how to gain muscle and make protein shakes.

As a society, we shouldn’t group people, in other words, put an invisible box around them, we all are equal, and deserve to be an individual.  Stereotypes get in the way and block the true colors of people based off of the information you gathered about gender norms. It makes you think you already know what the person is about.

This is something that you can’t fix, but your influence can change the way people and media perceive ideas.  Fixing these norms, we need to have more protests out there to get the point across.  Having community events once a month encouraging others to break the perceived normality of these stereotypes.  Standing up today against society is the only way to get this problem fixed.  You have to start somewhere like a community park, a city monument, somewhere that is “famous” around you.  Coordinating an event for this problem is a wonderful start to get your voice heard.  It then moves to bigger places like getting the mayor involved and soon around the state, talking at an event as far as state fair.  You will open up people’s eyes, and group companions.

Gender norms are harmful, limiting choices and passions for boys and girls.  Changing the way society thinks cannot happen overnight, but with the ideas above, it will create different perspectives and spark proposals, especially with your help, President.

 

Justine Yarbrough