The Biggest Risk I Ever Took Was...

The Biggest Risk I Ever Took Was...

I can honestly say, it was a risk worth taking
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For the past four semesters, I have been head over heels for this guy and I never really told him how I felt. That was until about two weeks ago. He is, well was (I’m actually not really sure where we stand at this moment) my best friend. I could say and do just about anything without any judgment. I mean anything, I have three stages of anger, and lets just say he survived phase three and handled it very gracefully.

I don’t think I am a shy person, I pretty much say whatever I’m thinking, but is very rare that I say what I’m feeling. If someone is doing something that I think is stupid or is a bad idea, I will say it. A lot of times people will say, “read the room” to kind of get a sense of what the right thing is to say, but I don’t do that. I’m the person who says what everyone else is thinking, but I’m also the one who gets in trouble for it since I’m the only one who said it. However, when it comes to feelings, I don’t really know what to say. When my grandmother passed, my roommate asked me how I was doing and I said, “I just think I’m going to have ramen”. It has been over a year since my grandmother has passed, and I can’t say that I have ever talked about how I feel about it. The point is, I just suck at expressing emotions.

As the semester winded down, I decided that I had waited to long to tell my friend that I had feelings for him. Since I lacked skill in expressing my emotions, when the time came, I froze up. Well, not exactly. When I get nervous, I do this thing where I just laugh, and that’s exactly what I did, for fifteen minutes straight. We were in a car, and the drive was fifteen minutes long. I laughed the entire drive.

Anyway, instead of telling him with words verbally, I wrote him a note telling him how I felt. I didn’t really talk to him about it, I kind of laughed and drove away. To this day we still haven’t talked about it, but that was the biggest risk I’ve ever taken.

I think it was a risk because I never tell people how I feel. If something bad happens, like my grandmother, I just don’t say anything. Even when good things happen, like when I joined my sorority, my mom asked me how I felt about it, and I said, “it’s cool” even though I was really nervous. It was a risk because for once I was putting myself out there instead of having my feelings locked up in a tower like Rapunzel.

Even though it was risk for me, I don’t regret it. Putting myself out there was the best thing I could have done because I let him know how I felt, and he could either feel the same, which would be good. And if not, oh well. It was the best risk because now I never have to wonder, “what if I had told him how I felt?”

Cover Image Credit: sfu.ca

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'Fifty Shades' Isn't A Love Story, It's An Abuse Story

Fifty Shades is not "empowering" or a "beautiful" love story, it is abuse.
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In the midst of all the buzz about #metoo, I find it surprising that many of these people who are standing up for women who have been sexually abused and exploited are also going to see "Fifty Shades Freed."

I have not and will never go see or read any of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Beyond my own standards of what visual content I think is right or wrong to watch, I won't watch it because I do not think I should take part in something that normalizes and romanticises abuse.

I'm not the only one who thinks this. Check out #fiftyshadesisabuse to see what other people are tweeting. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation considers Fifty Shades to be abusive. Cosmopolitan, Fight the New Drug, The Independent UK, and Huffington Post all have also published articles on the abusive nature of Fifty Shades.

Dawn Hawkins, the Executive Director for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, made this statement about 50 Shades:

"The popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey among women sends a message to men that this is what women really want. Even more dangerous, it also sends the message to women that they can “fix” violent, controlling men by being obedient and loving.

A warning to the women lining up to see this film: There is nothing empowering about whips and chains or humiliation and torture.

Women as a group will not gain power by collaborating with violent men. Women would be serving only as an agent to further their own sexual degradation, handing themselves on a silver platter to exactly the sort of men who want to use and abuse them, and take away their power."



As you can see, the Fifty Shades trilogy is no love story. It makes abuse seem normal and puts women into a submissive, weak, and degraded place. According to Fight the New Drug, Fifty Shades does these things, as compared to healthy relationships:

The Journal of Women's Health says, "Emotional abuse is present in nearly every interaction " in Fifty Shades and that Anastasia reacted like a typical abused woman. These abusive instances include:

1. Stalking

2. Intimidation

3. Isolation

4. Sexual Violence

Not only does Fifty Shades normalize abuse, it correlates to having negative effects on consumers.

In fact, there was a study done that traced the effects of reading Fifty Shades to young women's health. They found that women who had read Fifty Shades were more likely to have a verbally abusive partner, fast/diet, have more than five sexual partners, and binge drink.

Fifty Shades also teaches some pretty bad lessons, such as:

In light of the #metoo movement where women are standing up against sexually abusive and manipulative relationships, rape, and other forms of sexual harassment, "Fifty Shades Freed" should have sold zero tickets at the box office.

But that is not what is happening. People are flocking to the movie. In fact, as of right now, it is the #1 movie in the world.

It's not OK to view abuse through this movie or other forms, and then post about standing up against it through the use of #metoo. Either you are fine with domestic and sexual abuse, or you are not. If you want sexual abuse to stop, stop giving money to people or organizations like the Fifty Shades franchise who normalize it.

Fifty Shades is not "empowering" or a "beautiful" love story. It is abuse.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Help, I Haven't Left The Couch Since The Olympics Started

Like any addiction, the first step is admitting you have a problem.
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There were many strange things about my upbringing, but one of the strangest is that I did not grow up watching commercial television. I’ve never seen an episode of "Spongebob." I never watched the Disney Channel or Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon. My TV experience came in the form of episodes of PBS Kids shows, lovingly taped by my grandfather. My first encounter with reality TV came in the form of "The Biggest Loser" when I was 14. My family’s cable TV blackout was total — in all respects except one. Every two years, for two weeks, I glue my ass to the couch and my eyes to the screen to watch impossibly athletic humans perform feats of speed and skill in order to earn disks on ribbons made of precious metals. Yes, I’m talking about the Olympics. The Olympics have ruined me.

The Summer Olympics are fine, for the most part, since they’re in the summer and I’m usually free of responsibility at that time of year. During those two weeks, I cease to leave the house, leaving the couch only to go to the bathroom and to obtain more food. If my Summer Olympics watching habits were a sport, it would be Extreme Couch-Potatoing, with points awarded for the longest time elapsed between shifts in position and the largest drops in resting heart rate. I have a system for the Summer Olympics. The system works. The Winter Olympics, however…

With the 2014 Games, I got lucky, as my typically temperate hometown was snowed in for a decent portion of them. Not compelled to leave the house for school, I entombed myself on the couch and watched them almost straight through. This year I’m not so lucky. I’m hovering on the edge of real adulthood. I have school, and worse than school, I have work. There are myriad responsibilities preventing me from achieving my ultimate goal: to become one with the furniture as I cheer on whichever country seems likely to win a particular event. There’s no such thing as country loyalty for me when it comes to watching the Olympics. Patriotism is nonexistent in my attempt to consume as many sports as possible over two weeks to make up for the rest of the time when I consume no sports at all.

We’re not even a week into the Winter Olympics, and the cracks in my respectable public façade are already beginning to show. My eyes twitch unnervingly. I steer clear of social media, living in fear of spoilers for events that haven’t even happened yet. Instead of asking my coworkers and classmates if they had a good weekend or how their classes are going, I demand “Did you see _____ event at the Olympics last night?” and shake my head and cluck my tongue when they say no. I am a purist. I am obsessed. I make other people nervous.

Like all true and good things, however, the Winter Olympics will come to an end at some point — most likely in two weeks, at which time I will lurk around my apartment in varying stages of withdrawal. In time, the symptoms will fade. But the disease will lurk somewhere in the back of my mind, ready to spring out in summer 2020.

I am a marathon Olympics watcher. I am unstoppable.

Cover Image Credit: BLazarus / Pixabay

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