Brett Kavanaugh Case

Toxic Masculinity Is Leading To Casualties, Both At Home And Abroad

Enough is enough.

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This past week has consisted of multiple accounts of reported violence and brutality against women across the globe. In the United States, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University, has opened up about her devastating high school encounter during the 1980s with attorney Brett Kavanaugh, who is currently being nominated by President Trump to replace the retiring Attorney Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

In her testimony, Dr. Ford went into explicit detail regarding the night in which she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh and the repercussions of the incident that have reverberated throughout her life following such a harrowing trial. Kavanaugh unequivocally denied that such an event occurred, and went on to claim that this accusation at a stage so close to his confirmation was nothing less than a smear campaign launched by Democrats to deny him of what he assumed to be his rightful seat, despite two other women coming forward to testify against him. His violent reactions to these proceedings, highlighted by his improper conduct, has various erstwhile Republicans wondering whether or not he's fit to assume the position of a Supreme Court Justice.

Despite the horrors of the current trial in the United States, it's important to note that women are being persecuted by men, regardless of cultural or religious adherence, throughout the world. On the other side of the planet, several high-profile Iraqi women have been killed in what appears to be a witch hunt against those who would dare oppose the conservative culture of the Middle East.

Most recently, Tara al-Fares was killed in broad daylight in Baghdad for choosing to disavow the traditional lifestyle expected of Iraqi women, in addition to three others — women's rights activist Suad al-Ali, and beauty clinic workers Rasha al-Hassan and Rafifi al-Yasiri. All four of the victims had been prominent on social media and had held a public presence that had unsettled the mainstream Iraqi society with their nerve to choose the lives that they wanted to live instead of ones that would typically be expected of them.

The link between the Dr. Ford case and these recent murders reveals a clear domination of toxic masculinity in societies worldwide, regardless of the difference in cultural context and religious justification. The very notion that men are the only ones who hold natural dominance and that women should automatically submit to this dominance without restraint is one factor responsible for why women choose to not report crimes of sexual violence, both in the United States and abroad.

The same anger and pent-up rage that Brett Kavanaugh, a self-proclaimed Christian, spews at his accuser is the same type of frustration that led to the deaths of these four women in a Muslim-majority country. In both cases, men believe that they have the right to control what a woman should do and that those women should not be allowed to rebel against the cultural stigmas and expectations of their people, lest they face dire consequences.

I'm no expert in social conflict or the history of oppression that women have faced throughout millennia of subjugation by men, and nor would I even begin to presume how women face misogyny on a daily basis in both professional and personal environments. But as a man, I find it infuriating that women in any country have to live in an environment where they are told to discard their ambitions for the sake of men and brush aside violence against them for the sake of men.

Instead of simply arguing that it's not all men, we must do better to eradicate our social stigma against women and their capabilities by calling out misogyny when we see it from other men (yes, including at your own expense, because it's better for us to be embarrassed than it is for a woman to face such discrimination), and also by denouncing sexual violence in whatever manner we see possible. For the sake of women worldwide, we must do better to destroy the toxic masculinity that attributes to these horrible instances of violence against women.

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'Unplanned' Is The Movie Of The Year

Abby Johnson's story is real, powerful, and deserves our attention.

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A suspended Twitter account, an R rating, and only 1,000 theaters showing it with an expected $3 million in sales. Flash forward to when "Unplanned" started showing...it's doubled in expected sales, beaten records left and right for views and money it's bringing in and is currently ranked #4 in the US. Besides unexpected and outstanding statistics, it's a movie about something new. Something Hollywood has never covered. Something that is raw and truthful, holding nothing back even if it's hard to watch.

Abby Johnson's story is real and powerful. She's seen every single side and hidden corner of the pro-life/pro-choice movement in her own personal life, which makes her the perfect voice for the unborn and unplanned.

You can't hear her story or watch "Unplanned" without relating to at least one part of it.

Is it graphic? Yes. But is it over dramatized? Nope. Everything within the first 30 minutes of "Unplanned" is what happens every hour of every day in America and we call it equal rights for women. Personally, I've always been pro-life. But after leaving that movie, I've never been more pro-women. I was angry watching it. Women are lied to about everything in Planned Parenthood. Women are coerced into killing their own children and then told that it's not even a child yet. These women are scared, hopeless, and looking for an instant solution and Planned Parenthood takes advantage of it and makes money off it. If you're a woman and reading this, why AREN'T you angry yet?

This movie was everything the world needed after New York dropped the ban on late-term abortions. This movie is everything this country needed to see. For once, someone took a risk and threw hard, real, truth out into the world and didn't sweep it under the rug.

Pro-life, pro-choice, whatever you are — this movie is the movie of the year. The only excuse for those who don't go and see it is that they too like to sweep things under the rug.

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It's Time To Start Standing Up For Yourself

A lot of people let others walk all over them but it's time to start standing up for how you feel.

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Whenever you've got into a confrontation or fight or anything that even resembles an argument, someone always says be the bigger person. What does that really mean? To some people, it means completely ignoring the whole situation and everyone's emotions and that isn't fair. Or maybe to some people it means letting them scream at you and you apologizing and just taking the blame.

Being the bigger person shouldn't mean these things. It should mean making sure no one is treating you poorly or taking advantage of you. Now maybe don't take it so far to become mean or a bully because that's just awful behavior.

Standing up for yourself is so empowering. If someone close to you is hurting you or taking advantage or anything you don't like, just a simple conversation can keep it from escalating. If you have a friend calling you names, even if it is just a joke, you can say something and not be a buzzkill or jerk. You 100% should feel comfortable and confident no matter who you're with.

So many times in my life I've wanted to save a friendship or relationship so I just ignored or took what other people were doing to me. This even happened and it led to an abusive relationship where I felt stuck and didn't see an out. It was an extremely eye-opening experience that taught me to never let any hurt me.

To say this is easier than doing it. Start small, if someone says something hurtful towards you just ask them not to do it again. If that person continues to hurt you leave the room or space. You need to take control of your own life and write your own story.

Life is a lot better when you live it free of worries and pain.

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