Pink and Blue is NOT Very Patriotic.

Pink and Blue is NOT Very Patriotic.

Terms such as “Like a girl”, are used to degrade teens, promote gender roles, and undermine the differences children wish to have in opposition to the norm.
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Society has segregated the world between two worlds. Pink and blue sort the world by how it should think and behave. There are certain expectations set by society that dictate how each individual should live based upon their physical gender. Girls dream of getting married and are expected to do so by their late twenties, or early thirties. Boys are not chastised either way by their decision and are assumed to be “driven”, and “busy with work” if personal relationships do not interest them. If these gender roles were not so heavily taught in the lives of small children and teenagers, we could decrease the ever growing problem of hypermasculinity in the male community.

In 1848, the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY, several women wrote a list of grievances, most famously known for the desire for the right to vote. One of these grievances was also that women no longer wanted to be limited to the home. Female representation is much lower in math and science fields, as well as the political field, and other elected offices. This discouragement does not just take place upon the application for jobs, or college graduation with degrees, but begins in primary and secondary school levels. Society discourages women to pursue jobs that will make family building inconvenient. However, the opposite occurs for men. Males are not expected to consider this factor as heavily as women are. Men are traditionally the “bread winner”, the one who provides for the family financially, and are expected to be able to do so.

In the wise words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in reference to the political representation of women in the Judicial Branch, “People ask me sometimes, when do you think it will be enough? When will there be enough women on the court? And my answer is when there are nine”. People think this notion is overbearing and “feminazi-esque”, but Ruth Bader Ginsberg explains, “No one questioned anything when there were nine men”. Society makes being a woman harder than it is being a man.

Girls are held to a standard of what they’re “supposed” to be in life as far as appearance, occupation, and personal life. But, guys are not exempt from certain standards, either. In fact, on the opposite side of the spectrum, society will find the same symptoms to an equally pressing problem. This problem is called hyper-masculinity. Characteristics that are normally associated with masculinity are coldness, hostility, and complacency in personal feelings. Things that are encouraged to achieve “manhood”, usually marked by puberty and development in age, is what begins the process of perhaps brainwashing boys into thinking they need to fit a certain mold to justify their gender or sexuality.

Terms such as “Like a girl”, are used to degrade teens, promote gender roles, and undermine the differences children wish to have in opposition to the norm. The overuse of these terms, and the gender roles heavily influencing the young male demographic leads to a problem called hypermasculinity, which is when a community or family values men over women, which can lead to domestic violence disputes caused by the aggression men are expected to have. Domestic violence is the second leading cause of female homicide deaths in America. Gender roles are the cause for hypermasculinity, and hypermasculinity is the cause of most domestic violence disputes.

Gender roles are a highly debated topic in American society. Limiting our current society to these standardized molds of how humans should interact with each other is limiting the possibilities to do the unthinkable; to spark innovation and go places the human being has never gone before; for that is what American society is “supposed” to look like. These amazing steps for mankind are all being limited because men value dominance and women value presentation. By breaking down these walls, America is breaking down the obstacles that are preventing us from having a better, more productive and innovative America.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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37 Things Growing Up in the South Taught You

Where the tea is sweet, but the people are sweeter.
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1. The art of small talking.
2. The importance of calling your momma.
3. The beauty of sweet tea.
4. How to use the term “ma'am” or “sir” (that is, use it as much as possible).
5. Real flowers are way better than fake flowers.
6. Sometimes you only have two seasons instead of four.
7. Fried chicken is the best kind of chicken.
8. When it comes to food, always go for seconds.
9. It is better to overdress for Church than underdress.
10. Word travels fast.
11. Lake days are better than beach days.
12. Handwritten letters never go out of style.
13. If a man doesn’t open the door for you on the first date, dump him.
14. If a man won’t meet your family after four dates, dump him.
15. If your family doesn’t like your boyfriend, dump him.
16. Your occupation doesn’t matter as long as you're happy.
17. But you should always make sure you can support your family.
18. Rocking chairs are by far the best kind of chairs.
19. Cracker Barrel is more than a restaurant, it's a lifestyle.
20. Just 'cause you are from Florida and it is in the south does not make you Southern.
21. High School football is a big deal.
22. If you have a hair dresser for more than three years, never change. Trust her and only her.
23. The kids in your Sunday school class in third grade are also in your graduating class.
24. Makeup doesn’t work in the summer.
25. Laying out is a hobby.
26. Moms get more into high school drama than high schoolers.
27. Sororities are a family affair.
28. You never know how many adults you know 'til its time to get recommendation letters for rush.
29. SEC is the best, no question.
30. You can't go wrong buying a girl Kendra Scotts.
31. People will refer to you by your last name.
32. Biscuits and gravy are bae.
33. Sadie Robertson is a role model.
34. If it is game day you should be dressed nice.
35. If you pass by a child's lemonade stand you better buy lemonade from her. You're supporting capitalism.
36. You are never too old to go home for just a weekend… or just a meal.
37. You can’t imagine living anywhere but the South.



































Cover Image Credit: Grace Valentine

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Louis Walsh Groping Mel B On Live TV Proves Rape Culture Is Alive and Well

Allowing perpetrators to get away with "minor" sexual harassment like this allows the Brock Turners of the world to get away with their crimes, too.

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Recently a clip from an Xtra Factor UK interview from 2014 has resurfaced on Twitter. The clip shows Louis Walsh groping Mel B's butt and, after being called out on it by her, laughing the whole situation off.

You can see his hand slowly travel downward, then tapping her bottom before finally squeezing it while laughing at a conversation going on. Mel B notices it and is visibly uncomfortable. She stops the interview and asks him why he's grabbing her butt, and while he excuses his behavior as "looking out for her" and Simon assures her she's "safe," she insists that it's inappropriate and scoots further away from him.

In turn, he and Simon laugh off the entire exchange, he scoots closer to her, and the interviewer, Sarah Jane Crawford, continues the interview. We never get to see how Mel B's female co-star, Cheryl Cole, reacts to the whole situation.

This exchange was cut from the final clip posted by the X Factor UK, but a Twitter user recorded the exchange, presumably from a recording of the live broadcast, and posted it. It has since divided Twitter users.

Some say Mel B was completely justified while others insist that because Louis Walsh is gay, he meant no harm by his fondling and Mel B calling him out only served to embarrass him.

Good. I hope so.

One Twitter user pointed out that his sexual orientation is irrelevant:

tweet

Nothing rings truer than "sexual assault isn't about sex, it's about asserting power and dominance." It doesn't matter if he didn't intend to derive any kind of pleasure from the encounter. What matters is that, in a sexual situation, Mel B was uncomfortable and it was Louis's fault.

People rushing to Louis's defense is symptomatic of a deeper problem in our culture. They're quick to disbelieve and blame the woman, the victim, instead of the perpetrator.

The eagerness to sweep the instance under the carpet allows perpetrators to feel more confident, knowing they won't be punished for their actions. When a man gets away with groping a woman on live TV, men and women in places of power everywhere will be emboldened to touch and speak to others however they please.

It may sound extreme at first, but this whole situation is rape culture.

These small allowances plant the seeds to turn a blind eye to bigger, more awful situations—until we're at the point where a man can rape an unconscious woman and only get three months of jail time because his bright and promising future shouldn't be marred by "20 minutes of action."

We can't allow instances like this. We have to come down hard on any and all forms of sexual harassment, with the punishment fitting the crime (PSA: sexual harassment is an actual crime, not "something that just happens").

Obviously, Louis Walsh shouldn't be treated like Brock Turner. But his actions should've been punished, probably more than just by simply calling him out on live TV, an exchange ultimately cut from the final posted clip anyway.

If Mel B had waited until they were no longer on live TV and his hand was no longer touching her, it would've been slightly out of place to bring it up. It's much like how when a child does something wrong or dangerous, you point it out right then; you don't wait. She could've still talked to him about it in private, but in addition to having called him out on it right when it was happening.

Not only was Mel B justified in calling out Louis Walsh, but any person in a similar situation is as well.

If you're ever in a situation that's even slightly sexual and you feel uncomfortable, say something. Don't let the other person get away with it. And if they're not ill-intentioned and truly didn't mean to make you uneasy, then they can learn from you voicing your discomfort.

It doesn't matter the situation or who's doing or saying something sexual that makes you feel uncomfortable. The voice of shame and self-blaming will find any way to justify their actions and keep you silent. Don't let it.

No matter how big or small the instance may seem to you, it's worth speaking up about.

Cover Image Credit:

The X Factor UK

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