11 Things Only People Will Understand

11 Things Only People Will Understand


Anyone who knows me knows that I am human. It's just an undeniable part of who I am. I'm not like other animals, and I never will be. Let's face it: Being a member of the homo sapiens species has its struggles, but through all its challenges, it's pretty rewarding.

1. Bipedalism.

Often I find that my upright stance is the first things that gets noticed about me. Who needs four legs when you can walk on two, am I right?

2. Opposable thumbs.

Hominids are almost the only ones with a digit that faces a different direction. I'm totally addicted... I literally could not imagine life without them.

3. Relative brain size.

I mean, we don't like to brag, but us people have pretty big brains compared to body mass. We don't let it go to our heads, though.

4. Written language.

It just seems like no one else feels the need to preserve records for posterity through time-biased methods of communication anymore! Only us people understand how to move pigment across tree slices into a series of mutually-recognized symbols to convey meaning to another person.

5. Consideration of cause and effect.

All the fellow people I've ever met agree: Rational thinking is where it's at. I absolutely love making decisions based on the final outcome in the long run, rather than on spur-of-the-moment instinct!

6. Agriculture.

If you are also a person, then you know that planting and cultivating food is basically the best way to assure that you and your family will survive the winter ever.

7. Art.

Okay, I'll admit it: us people are totally obsessed with beautifying the space we occupy and looking for things to occupy our time. I can't tell you how many times I've looked to film, theatre, or other humanity-borne media in order to fill the empty hours that other animals might spend finding food, shelter and mates.

8. Environmental damage.

From deforestation to oil drilling to greenhouse gasses to landfills, we're pretty good at devastating the earth and its natural resources. What other species would ever destroy the habitat in which they live in order to live a more comfortable lifestyle? Only we people have that kind of bold hubris!

9. Capitalism.

Humans are totally the best when it comes to the exchange of arbitrary values of wealth for goods and services.

10. Philosophy.

If you're a member of the human race like me, you totally understand the need to have answers to everything. What is our purpose? Does truth exist? What about free will or time? Others might be satisfied with the knowledge of simply being alive, but creatures like us for some reason need to know if there is such a thing as true knowledge before we can be satisfied.

11. Lists

There's no getting around it: People just love them! #JustHumanThings!

Cover Image Credit: good ol' Leo da Vinci

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So, What IS Modern Day Feminism?

We need to realize that we will have disagreements and different views. But through listening and understanding, we can achieve real change.

Feminism. A word that holds a lot of weight. There are a lot of emotions and mixed feelings attached to it. Many people have definitions of feminism. So I asked everyone I knew what feminism means to them and how they define it. The responses have been interesting. I have received the common expected answers and some unusual ones that have given me a new perspective.

The first wave of responses dealt with the usual perspectives. How feminism is an outdated concept, that is unnecessary for the time we live in. That it sets us back and makes every little thing some type of oppression, when it really isn't. The other typical perspective is, "Screw the patriarchy, women need to be in power and control." These are the perspectives we are used to and that are usually presented in the media. We don't usually see the views that meet in the middle or offer a unique take. Those were the views greater in number that took me by surprise and challenged my view.

A close friend of mine, who is not a stranger on Odyssey, is Aasha. She told me how she defines feminism as "the promotion and protection of equity for all women and their intersectional identities." Her definition stems from the fact she is someone who is the embodiment of kindness and wisdom. It also stems from her experience of living in India her freshmen year of high school and exposure to serious gender issues globally.

My other friend, who happens to be a male, shared with me that he believes in women coming together to support one another and gain equal opportunity. However, it can be taken into an extreme when it doesn't have to be. Men need to be open and accepting towards feminism, but as a society, these extreme measures undermine the real issues that need to be front and center.

Along those same lines, a friend of mine agreed but feels that the extreme measures taken overshadow the real issues at hand. Allowing for feminism to become something that is for the betterment of women and not equality. A view shared by many of the people who contacted me was that they were not a feminist or do not like to associate with the movement.

A person that I hold in high regard told me what they thought about the topic. They said, "to me, feminism is the understanding that all women deserve not just equality, but liberation. All women, as in women of color (black women in particular) and queer women and disabled women and transgender women and working-class women and women that fit more than one of these categories.

Feminism is not just showing up to one march or sharing articles on Facebook and calling it a day. It’s holding the people you love accountable when they say, “Oh, she looks like a man” or “She’s dressed like a slut.” It’s not necessarily the female CEO or solider.

After all, what about that CEO’s exploitation? Feminism shouldn’t seek to uphold existing oppressive structures, and it should be predicated on the idea of collective liberation. No one is free until everyone is free. By extension, no woman is free until every woman is free." I know it is a lot, but I think what they had to say was important and went beyond the general ideas that exist regarding feminism.

I wanted to explore this topic because I do not think it's something that is really discussed. I feel that there are two categories formed and people are placed into them. That should not be the case because there are never two sides. I know as human beings we are fascinated with making everything simple, but sometimes we just need to accept and embrace that things are complex and messy. There is a beauty to it and even when it's hard to confront, we should try to listen and understand. That should always be our goal.

I identify as a feminist and I define feminism as the support and respect for all women, their identities and to have the same equal opportunities as men. It does sting a bit when I hear other women say that they are not feminists or that they don't really support feminism, but I realized that it does not make them terrible people. They have valid reasons that I tried to listen to and understand. Although I have my own views and stand strongly by them, I recognize other views on this topic and give them the same respect and weight that I give to my own. Because for us as a society to make change, we need to realize there is not just one way or right way to do things.

We need to realize that we will have disagreements and different views. But through listening and understanding, we can achieve real change.

Cover Image Credit: American Life League / Flickr

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Let's Talk About The National School Walkout

The time for action is now.

Last week, students, faculty, and staff all over the country walked out of school to call for action regarding gun control in reaction to the Portland, Florida school shooting on February 14th. These individuals exercised their right to protest peacefully over the lack of progress being made on gun control in recent years from the government, and being assured there will never be an instance where schools have to be faced with a danger as a school shooter. A movement such as this is long overdue. I am pleased to see members of my generation taking a proactive stance that will make a mark in history.

It is important for those not too clear about what happened to know why the day carried so much weight. For these students, it gave them a voice to say “enough.” It is unimaginable what runs through a young teenager’s mind when they see their classmate with bullet holes in their bodies because someone used a weapon to do harm. To what extent do children have to go to school worrying if someone is going to pull out a gun? By going out today, students are saying they are no longer standing to see their classmates victimized and having to attend their funerals.

The conversation on guns has moved from interpretation of the second amendment to merely ensuring safety. Students are vying for immediate change to laws that guarantee that school shootings are never a prospect. As Parkland is a driving force in the call to place restrictions on guns, students today are paving the way forward to achieve the freedom to live where guns do not complicate that freedom. While I am set to graduate soon, it bothers me that there are probably children in this country who have to ask if they will get home safe from school. At this point, politicians have now listened to more than enough of this cry, and it is time to give us the solutions we desperately need to end the tragedy.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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