I'm An American Woman That Should Be Enough

I'm An American Woman That Should Be Enough

I shouldn't have to define myself due to society's actions.

No, this is not a post bashing Feminist, nor is it a post destroying those that aren't. This is an article regarding the world in which we're currently living in.

A Women's March had taken place on January 21, 2017. This march led to numerous articles being written, some for and some against. A post titled "You Are Not Equal. I'm Sorry" was one of these said posts as a response to another woman's article describing her feelings of being equal to men.

Now, I fully support the Women's March and all that we as a whole are trying to overcome; however, I don't agree with this article that was written. It starts off by stating that the women before us "did not have better things to do than march and protest and rally." I am honored to be a woman. One born into these freedoms because of women such as Rosa Parks and Margaret Sanger. They were able to accomplish amazing milestones for our gender and for that I will always be thankful. What I'm not okay with is women that find it okay to discourage those which didn't walk.

No, I did not attend the Women's March, but this doesn't make me "wrapped up in my delusion of equality." What it makes me is a woman. A woman getting paid the same amount of money as men in the same line of work as me. I do not "sit on a pedestal and type," nor do I feel privileged or entitled.

I will always support women that march for our rights, but what I won't support is those that abuse their rights. Those with signs stating "My P*ssy Bites Back" and diminishing those which didn't walk.

We've been given the freedom of speech as a whole and we've taken that to extremes. Believing it's okay to hold up signs and posters with the words "A Vagina Brought You Into This World, A Vagina Will Vote You Out." These signs completely degrade us. Discussing our reproductive organs because it's okay for women to use that language, but not a man.

Together, we are women. All of us deal with "cat-calling" and "justifying our behavior." The women who marched are not the only ones which share these issues. Today alone, I had to zip up my jacket and keep my head down as a man had his eyes on everything except my face. I know this isn't right, but I also know I alone cannot stop it.

If we want equality, we have to realize that we objectify men the same way they objectify us. I understand we are not fully equal, but I feel our nation is more equal that it was before.

I am a woman and I am proud, but I'm not proud of some of our women with this mindset. The mindset that if we don't protest and rally for our gender, then we are not worthy. I am an American woman and this should be enough. I shouldn't have to label myself any further to please my own gender. We are one unit, whether we choose to honor it or not. We must respect one another's beliefs before we can ever gain respect from our male party.

These issues are nothing new for us.

An Inauguration took place Friday, January 20, 2017. The Women's March took place that Saturday. Where were you Thursday, January 19? Where were you two weeks ago, two months ago, two years ago? These are the same issues we've been dealing with for decades now. Are you marching for the rights of women or are you marching for a personal opinion against a man who is now our President?

Cover Image Credit: The Suffolk Voice

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Will Enough Ever Be Enough?

Yet another school shooting in America, still nothing done. We are dying.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018: We are all heartbroken to hear about another school shooting.

At Great Mills High School in Maryland, a 17-year-old male is pronounced dead at the scene after shooting two other students and a school resource officer. Just before their first period started, at 7:55 am, Austin Rollins shot one male and one female student with a handgun before being shot by the school's resource officer. While the 16-year-old female is in critical condition, the 14-year-old male is currently stable. This is the 17th school shooting in 2018. That's 17 days out of the past 80 that parents have gone to bed with their children in body bags as a result of gun violence.

I don't care what political party you associate with, gun violence is completely out of control. I am a registered Republican and completely agree with stricter gun laws. Learn the difference between a gun ban and sales control. Concerned citizens are not trying to take away your guns, but are trying to take away the rights from those that are risks.

Could you imagine legally having to send your child to school but never coming back? You've packed their lunch, maybe with a special note, and gave them a kiss before they left for school, not knowing that it was their last. No matter where we go, we are not safe. We can't go to malls, movie theaters, schools, or even churches without having to worry if it will be our last trip. Our homes, our places of worship, and our schools are supposed to be the places where we feel safest and, instead, our children are filled with fear. Instead of focusing on the political views that divide these groups, why don't we focus on what unites us? Why don't we focus on protecting our kin?

Everyone has had an opinion on the walkouts that have been happening around the country. Everyone has had an opinion on the 17 minutes of silence for the 17 children lost in the Florida shooting. I've seen people disgusted that Nickelodeon had 17 minutes of broadcast cut because it "interrupted the only program [I] let [my] children watch".

If your child was shot at school, you wouldn't have to worry about what programs they watch, but rather where to bury them and how to afford their memorial.

I've seen people saying that it's no wonder that Millenials are dumb. They "find any excuse to cut class". Have you thought about the fact that they are genuinely worried about going to school?

Personally, I've experienced both a shooting scare at my high school and a bomb threat at my college. I shouldn't have to worry about my life ending. I'm legally forced to go to high school and get an education or I'm putting myself into a lifetime of debt to get a degree.

We are all too young to stress about gun violence. Our school years are supposed to be the times our of lives, but they're being wasted on worrying about dying every day.

Rest in peace to all of those who have lost their lives in shootings, not only this year, but always. Hopes, thoughts, and prayers go out to their loved ones. One day, we will unite and find a solution.

We need to work together and forget the labels of parties and cliques in school and look out for one another instead. There is no kind but mankind.

Cover Image Credit: Boston Herald

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The Republican Versus Democrat Stigma Needs To Slow Down

We Need To Be Individual Again

We as a society have developed an unnecessary need to place people in a specific party based on what could be a single value out of many. This is a letter for those who do not define themselves as one or the other; for those whose values range between conservative and liberal, for those who feel the unfortunate pressure of society to choose one even though your values do not fit just one.

The political parties at one point generally just meant “these are my basic beliefs, so this is the candidate I will vote for because they most closely represent them.” Party affiliation was harmless. Republicans and Democrats could get along fine, differing opinions not getting in the way of relationships and alignment. More importantly, you did not have to be part of a specific political party to be an active member of society. Your opinions and principles were yours.

Over the years following the last two election races, political parties gained a much more significant and defining meaning in our lives as individuals and as members of society. There is a newly developed stigma behind political opinions. You are almost pressured to feel one way or another about every single topic. If a majority of your values are of the conservative agenda, you must be a heart-and-all Republican. In contrast, if you are more liberal-leaning you are docked as a set Democrat. We as citizens are being labeled according to what may be a few hard-values. And dishearteningly enough, can be ridiculed for what we value. Even if you might not value everything the same as your determined party.

There exists those of us that hold values from both parties. It is possible to value women’s rights and also value a traditional marriage. It is possible to be a gun owner and also active in keeping children safe in school. You do not have to just submit to every belief of one party. You can value aspects of different parties and still be a functioning member of the American society. Do not let the looming obligation to declare yourself as strictly one or the other. You do not have to pretend you agree with everything Democratic or everything Republican; you can have your own values. And you should. Our society is messed up in the way that values are pushed on citizens. We are meant to be free individuals with our private values.

It is not fair to those of us who value different things. Not every American is a to-the-bone Democrat or Republican. It is possible to hold liberal beliefs as a conservative person. And Vice-Versa. We need to stop labeling one another as one or the other, conservative or liberal. We need to stop silencing each other because we have differing views. We need to accept not everyone is perfectly one party, and diversity exists. Open mindedness exists in Americans, despite the seemingly growing generalizations. We need to be able to agree to disagree on certain topics.
Cover Image Credit: LexiHanna

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