You're A Monster If You Teach Children To Be Homophobic

You're A Monster If You Teach Children To Be Homophobic

Jamel Myles should have never been driven to suicide.

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Elementary school should be a place where children feel safe to express themselves and start to figure out who they are as individuals. It should not be a place that fosters homophobia.

Jamel Myles, a nine-year-old boy from Denver, committed suicide a few days after sharing with his classmates that he was gay.

The proper response to his brave decision to come out would be to show support and compassion, but instead, he was met with bullies. Leia Pierce, Jamel's mother, explained that the same children that used to bully her son last year only bullied him even more once he came out.

Jamel first came out to his mother over the summer and her reaction was perfect. She saw that he was scared as he told her he was gay, and she reassured him and told him that she still loved him. Jamel then gained confidence and decided that he wanted to come out to his classmates at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School. Pierce stated,

"He went to school and said he was going tell people he's gay because he's proud of himself."

That is exactly how he should feel about himself, but the feeling was short-lived because his classmates told him to kill himself.

He was only at school for four days and the bullying he experienced in that time frame was enough for him to feel like ending his life was the only option.

Pierce feels that the parents of the children that bullied Jamel are responsible. She said,

"I think the parent should be held (accountable) because obviously the parents are either teaching them to be like that, or they're treating them like that."

I completely agree with Pierce, because children are naturally accepting people. Jamel's classmates must have thought that it was okay to bully him because they were being exposed to that kind of hatred at home. It does not excuse their actions, it just means that they are not the only ones at fault.

It is disheartening to know that as a parent, you can do everything right and give love to your children if they come out to you, but your positive actions might not be enough if they are faced with bullies at school. The parents of those children should be ashamed of themselves because their hatred for gay people caused the death of a nine-year-old boy. It is despicable to use your children as a means to spread your hateful agenda. It is a parent's job to teach their children to be kind and accepting and mold them into the best possible people they can be. Teaching your children to be homophobic is the exact opposite of nurturing them.

I hope that Jamel's death can serve as a lesson to those who believe that they are justified in teaching their children to hate gay people. If your ideologies make you believe that driving a gay child to suicide is okay, then you are a monster.

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I'm Not 'Spoiled,' I Just Won't Apologize For Having Great Parents

Having supportive parents is one of the best things that ever happened to me.

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When I tell people that I am the baby of my family, there is always a follow-up question asking if I am spoiled. As I was a child, perhaps the situation was a little different because I did not receive material things but instead got my way or rarely was punished. I was most likely spoiled rotten in that sense, especially by my grandparents. Fast forward to the age of 19 and I can say that my parents give me everything that I need, not necessarily everything that I want.

But I still don't think I'm spoiled.

I might legally be an adult, but my parents still provide for me. I may live at school during the semester, but my parents don't charge me rent or utilities when I am at home. My mom still does my laundry. They pay my phone bill monthly. When my mom goes grocery shopping, she doesn't have me chip in to help. She will make sure the bathroom is stocked with tampons or shampoo so I don't have to worry about it. The both of them make sure I have the sufficient needs to not be hungry, cold, or without shelter.

They do all of these things because they want what is best for me.

While they pay my student loans, I give them money to cover it as well as a little extra each month for different expenses. If we go out to eat, I do offer to pay but often get shut down and end up leaving the tip instead. I help around the house and sometimes make trips to the store for food or cleaning supplies, not asking for money to be paid back.

I have a job that gives me decent hours, but my parents understand that money for a college kid is tough.

I pay for my own luxuries such as makeup, cute clothes, even to get my hair cut. Spoiled is typically defined as "damaged by having been given everything they want." Do I want another dog? Yes. Do I have one? No. Do I want a swimming pool in my backyard? Yes. Do I have one? Again, no. That is because both my mother and father still believe in working for what you want and even their daughter doesn't get a free pass unless it's her birthday or Christmas. Do I still have everything I could ever need? Yes.

My parents do the exact same thing for my brother and sister who are older than I am.

I know if I have a problem, whether it be financial or crucial, I can turn to them for help. A lot of people my age don't have parents like I do and I am extremely grateful for them and everything that they do. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

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5 Harmful Things We Say To Our Daughters Without Even Realizing It

Nature versus nurture makes a huge difference.

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"Public issue or personal problem" was first coined by C. Wright Mills as the "sociological imagination." This basically means that often what we assume at first glance to be the individual's shortcomings actually point to a larger social issue. In other words, nature vs. nurture.

Today, the most common argument against feminism is that men and women are just made differently, plain and simple. And in some ways, this is true. Biologically, there are differences. But I think it is just wrong to say that generalized and umbrella stereotypes about women's personalities and emotions stem from something inherent in us that makes us inferior to men. I think a lot of it has to do to how we are raised in a society with rampant indoctrinated sexism.

I'll prove it: below, you'll see five common things that we say to our daughters (and, with slightly different wordings, to our sons) which completely form how girls see themselves and how they learn to behave.

1. "He's mean to you because he likes you."

This is a common explanation when little girls as young as 5 complain about boys bullying them on the playground. This may seem innocent enough, but actually, it teaches girls from a very young age to associate affection and love with violence or meanness. So, it's no surprise that women are assumed to be meek and men are supposed to be physically assertive! When you tell girls how to behave from a young age, in this case, to let a boy be mean to you and don't stand up for yourself, it's no surprise that society at large reflects these trends.

2. "One day you'll find your Prince Charming!"

This statement implies that something is missing from girls' lives, that they need someone else to make them whole! Basically, it implies that the kingdom cannot work without the prince. But girls are their own princesses, not damsels in distress, so we should be teaching them that one day, they will become their own queens, and that's enough.

3. "Calm down."

This is a popular joke and meme that serves even more to belittle women for having emotions. We've all seen (or most likely if you're a girl, been called) stories of "hysterical women." But the truth is, there is no shame in sharing emotions, and there is no embarrassment or hysteria in reacting to frustrating situations. Our society associates emotion with women and logic with men, but they should not be mutually exclusive.

4. Any reference ever to our biology.

If you're not a girl, you'd be shocked and dismayed at how many times a woman's period is brought up in conversation. But news flash, just because I disagree with you doesn't mean I'm hormonal. Since I can remember, my biology, my menstrual cycle, and other parts of my physique have been considered a downfall, a struggle, and a handicap. But why do we have to think of them this way? My physical body may be "nature" but the way people react to it, the discomfort that all men have when talking about periods and tampons (Also, why?) and many more situations like this are all instances of "nurture," of society's discriminatory perspective of the sexes.

5. "Boys will be boys."

This is again bad for girls because it tells them that boys get a free pass for everything they do wrong, while girls are expected to be in constant control. BUT, this is also really bad for boys; they are taught that they are incapable of self-control, and, like animals, rely on only instinct. We are stifling boys by keeping them from reaching their true capacity because we tell them and everyone around them that when it comes to girls, sex, etc., they just can't help but obey their biology. But let me ask you this: if society is right and there is something naturally different about men and women (that also makes men superior), why is it that they can't even be expected to respect "no means no'"?

Making change starts at the nuclear level. We have to start watching what we say to our daughters, because if we can correct the problem before it even starts if we can reroute patterns that haven't been created yet, it will start getting easier and easier to move toward equality.

Patriarchal systems are just as bad for men as they are for women, whether we realize that or not. And the truth is, there is a huge need for men to advocate for women's rights. One thing we don't realize is that equality isn't a finite value like a pizza — it's not as though if I, a girl, got a slice, my male counterpart wouldn't get one! We are one human race, and what is good for some of us is actually good for us all.

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