13 Beliefs Feminists Do And Do Not Hold

13 Beliefs Feminists Do And Do Not Hold

Everyone is equal.
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Feminism is defined as the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. (Merriam-Webster.com) Many times the definition of the word has been misconstrued and manipulated to mean whatever people want it to mean at the time. Some people have a problem with the word because it starts with "fem" and they get the idea that it is some how only for women.

This is not the case, it does not need to be changed to humanist just to appease people because some words have masculine and feminine names... The human race is some times called "mankind." Women haven't whined about that! I think people would have less of a problem with the word if they knew what it actually meant and stopped making up definitions.

As a feminist, I think it is important to erase the taboo about the word and to embrace it's meaning so that more people can become feminists as well. Here are the ways to know whether or not you are a feminist.

1. You believe that men and women are equal.

2. You believe this equality extends to the workplace... EQUAL PAY!

3. You get angry when you hear that men in the government are deciding what women can and cannot do with THEIR bodies.

4. As a woman, you do not tear other women down. You lift them up because you know for us to rise, we have to rise together.

5. As a woman, you DO NOT tear men down. They are not the enemy.

6. As a man, you are not intimidated by a woman with power.

7. As a man, you do not assume that a woman who is a feminist is angry and man hating.

8. As a woman, you do not see men as a meal ticket or a financial savior because you can make your own money.

9. As a man, you know that a woman is not obligated to smile at you, sleep with you, give you anything.

10. As a man, you know that a woman isn't your property, your warm body, your lesser, but your partner and equal.

11. You do not subscribe to double standards. Both Men and Women should be held accountable.

12. You do not subscribe to gender normative behaviors. Men can love the arts, have emotions, wear nail polish and still be men. Women can watch sports, lift weights, not wear dresses and still be women.

13. You know that the fight for equal rights is important and should be fought until it is achieved. But also that it is a little redundant... Because you shouldn't have to fight for what you were born with.

If you read this list and thought... This is me. Congratulations you are a feminist. Now go forth and educate someone.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Trump's Clemson Dinner Is A Metaphor For America

Is McDonald's really gourmet?

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On day 23 of the government shutdown, Trump treated the winners of the College Football National Football Championship to a gourmet meal of fast food. It made for many jokes on the Internet to see the country's best college athletes dining on greasy plates of McDonald's. It was like a scene from Talladega Nights; packets of sauces were placed carefully in silver gravy boats while candles were lit to show the decorum of the dinner. Trump stood back, proud of his cheap meal, claiming that this was exactly what the players wanted.

It wasn't.

The dinner comes after a horrific Christmas season of penniless paychecks for government workers and destroyed national parks left without upkeep. As the American people want answers to why a man could be so selfish in his ventures that he would sacrifice the entire country's wellbeing, he chose to serve champions of a sport the lowest tier of American food. It was a slap in the face, honestly, and shows what an embarrassment the man is for the country.

Trump's fast food dinner for the Clemson players is essentially a metaphor for what America endures under his reign. He abuses the country like the sleazy businessman he is; choosing the cheapest options, whether it be slicing essential government programs that deal with food safety and national parks, or passing off fast food as catering.

Looking deeper, the fast food, in all its highly processed, fattening glory, parallels the standard at which Trump runs his country. Rather than having well-thought-out plans of action, transparent procedures, and beneficial ideas for the country, he resorts to the disgusting parts of our government to form his ideas. He practices xenophobia, racism, and sexism constantly, which attracts like-minded people to his government. He stubbornly holds on to an idea of a massive, costly wall, when so many other ills of our country could use the money.

He feeds the American people lies and deceit, constantly peddling the idea of the outspoken man who does not need to care for others.

But it's just a dinner, right?

It could be easy to fall into the pattern of believing even the simplest of Trump's actions are small and insignificant, but that kind of rhetoric distracts from the bigger picture. Trump chose to feed the players a smorgasbord of fast food because funding for the White House was little to nothing due to the government shutdown. That would mean the feast would come out of his own pocket, and that is just simply unimaginable for the businessman.

He essentially suffered from his own actions and decided the American people should suffer even more.

Those Clemson players got dressed in their nicest suits and traveled hours out of their way to be shown just how great their athleticism was. They went right before the first week of classes, forfeiting any preparing for their academics. They took time out of their way to meet the supposedly "leader of the free world," only to be served what they could get for four dollars down the street.

Regardless of your political and social views, is this really what you want?

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