Amazing Female Activists Who Should be Going on Campus Tours (Instead of Brock Turner)

Amazing Female Activists Who Should be Going on Campus Tours (Instead of Brock Turner)

Let's put the rumors of a Brock Turner campus tour to rest and invite these empowering young women to our campuses instead.
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When a rumor that Stanford rapist Brock Turner would be embarking on a tour of college campuses to speak about the dangers involved with drinking and college party culture, the internet was (rightfully) equal parts shocked and outraged at the prospect of a young man who had committed a heinous sexual assault becoming a symbol of a safe college lifestyle, meanwhile shifting the blame for his crime off of himself and onto the fact that he was drinking and therefore "could not control" his actions. Although the idea is merely a rumor and no definitive proof exists of the tour being a real possibility, campuses across the country could definitely benefit from a speaking tour-- by one of these empowering and qualified young female activists or groups.

1. Nicole Maines

Nineteen-year-old Nicole Maines was named one of Glamour Magazine’s “50 Phenomenal Women of the Year Who Are Making a Difference” in 2014. Nicole, who has identified as female since the age of two, faced discrimination in fifth grade when she was banned from using her Maine middle school’s girls’ bathroom. Her family then worked with the Maine Human Rights Commission to file a discrimination lawsuit. In 2014 the verdict was announced: according to the state’s Supreme Court, Nicole’s rights under Maine’s Human Rights Act had been violated when her school denied her the right to use the bathroom for the gender she identified with. Not only is her case a landmark case for transgender rights (the first time a state court deemed it unlawful to ban transgender students from the bathroom they feel comfortable using), but Maines has since spoken out about trans rights in a TEDx Talk, a campus visit to the University of Maine, and various interviews for various media outlets such as Good Morning America, ABC News, and the Huffington Post. She has also been the subject of a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning Amy Ellis Nutt, entitled “Becoming Nicole,” about her experiences as a young transgender woman.

2. Jules Spector

In December of 2013, then thirteen-year-old Jules Spector launched a blog called Teen Feminist, on which she has since written a plethora of posts such as “Why Do Women Have to Be Funny in Journalism?,” “The Art of Saying Sorry,” and “6 Women-Run Companies For Women and Girls,” among posts about heavier topics like child prostitution, abortion, and body-shaming. Her blog has gained media attention as several of her posts have gone viral and been shared by celebrities. Says Spector, “I want to get teenagers more involved in learning about who they are and not being ashamed of being a woman.” Spector has also been involved in the United Nations Foundation “Girl Up,” promoting women’s education and health in developing countries, volunteered with the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, and interviewed Malala Yousafzai for an ABC documentary.

3. Rowan Blanchard

Best known as Riley Matthews on Disney show "Girl Meets World," fourteen-year-old Rowan Blanchard established herself as a young feminist role model when her Instagram post about the importance of intersectionality and inclusive feminism went viral last year. Blanchard later spoke at the UN Women and US National Committee's 2016 conference, addressing gender stereotypes, objectification of women in the media, and the lack of women in STEM fields. Said Blanchard, "When I was in preschool, I played catch with the other kids and I was told I threw like a girl. I've identified as a feminist ever since."

4. "The Arts Effect NYC" Theater Company

The Arts Effect NYC is an all-girls theater group founded in 2007 with the purpose of empowering young women through theater and creating a space in the male-dominated theater industry for nine to eighteen-year old girls to “utilize the power of the theater arts to share their voices, challenge their communities, and inspire their peers." At the 2013 New York City Fringe Festival, the theater company performed "SLUT The Play," described by the company as "A play and guidebook for combating sexism and sexual violence." The play, written by Katie Capiello, earned the theater group recognition from New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and Gloria Steinem, and has since been performed across the country and on tour in Nova Scotia, Sydney, and Mexico City.

Cover Image Credit: Entertainment Weekly

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why Getting Financially Stable is Too Difficult

Becoming 18 and having freedom is every kid's dream, but the reality of it hits you hard. The problem is not the laziness of people, but the system is set up in a bad way.

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Turning 18 is a big deal in life because you are finally a legal adult and your about to graduate from high school. It is a new experience for young adults because now all the pressure is on and you in control of your own life. The freedom and ability to choose your own path is a great problem to have because the opportunities are endless on what a person wants. The problem that kids do not realize and I think need to be changed is the cost of trying to get comfortable living in life.

One major problem is the number of bills that young people have to start paying for themselves. A car is a necessity to get a person to school or work and car insurance is the most expensive at a younger age due to the lack of inexperience and the increased risk of a child participating in poor behavior while operating the vehicle. Most people need a cell phone for many uses and that is another expensive bill. The more people on a plan the cheaper it is, but most people only get their own.

Some parents expect children to pay their own bills and get a job while they attend college or tech schools to learn responsibilities and start supporting themselves. Although some parents make children pay rent and utilities or ask them to get their own place and that is had to do when only working a minimum wage job without school experience. Getting a college degree or certified in a tech school can take 2 years, but if the student has to work a lot to support themselves then it takes longer to just get their basic knowledge for their job.

Establishing credit is something that many young adults struggle with because no place wants to give you the first chance to do it which makes no sense. People will apply for loans and credit cards and be denied because they have no credit, but you can't get any because you are not given the fair chance to work hard at making your payments on time and avoiding falling into a huge amount of debt. Credit cards can help teenagers with emergency situations and can help them attempt to establish their future credit when they need to make a purchase on a home or car. These are necessities in everyday life and the fact that nobody wants to be the first to trust you is extremely annoying and not fair.

The responsibility of learning to budget money and make the payments on time would be great if they were affordable for students. They should have small set limits to start out to teach them how to budget their credit card. Credit cards can be dangerous if you spend too much that is not within your financial means, but they are a good way to get established for the future. Buying a house is a big deal and if a younger adult does not have any credit they will easily be denied if they do not have good credit with tons of experience in paying their debt back.

Obtaining school loans is the hardest task I have ever had to deal with. I have struggled to get approved due to our absurd system of needing a cosigner to sign for the student. Most college kids are pretty responsible because they typically are maturing and gaining plenty of responsibilities and they have gained knowledge from their parents to become better. Parents have their own finances to worry about and being an adult at 18 or older we wanted to take the responsibility on ourselves to take out the loans. Taking out the loans in your own name can make a person feel good that they have been given the opportunity and work harder knowing you're doing this all by yourself and becoming a full adult.

The way the world is set up is a little too difficult for a younger adult to get established in their career and schooling to ensure they live a happy and healthy life. The key to a persons success is finding what they want to do and making sure they have the right schooling or certification to get in the career field they choose. People will all need to have money and credit to get necessities like houses and cars in their lives in order to provide for their families to ensure they are happy and healthy. Young adults have a lot of stress and change happening in their lives and they are still trying to gain the knowledge, experience, and opportunities they need to become stable with their money so they can enjoy their job and come home to their family and be happy.

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