Don't Tell Me To Man Up

Don't Tell Me To Man Up

How To Not Be sexist.
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As a woman, but even more so as a human, certain things in the world are really bothering me. Ignorance, apathy, poverty, inequality and every time the cafeteria runs out of soft serve ice cream, to name a few. I can't tackle all the world's problems in one article, so today I'm honing in on just one. Women have made leaps and bounds, but calling what we have perfect would be akin to saying "Yes this cyanide will still kill you, but at least its not as noticeable as before!" I for one am done with poison. It tastes bad and I'd much prefer ice cream. If you too would prefer a vanilla cone over the patriarchy, read on and figure out how to stop encouraging sexism.

1. Stop slut-shaming.

Tidbit: As long as it’s not murder or rape and the person of interest is over 18 years old, women can do whatever they want with their vaginas.

That being said, having sex, dreaming of sex, or abstaining from sex doesn’t actually determine anything about a person's character or morality and you aren’t necessarily an immoral axe murder for sleeping with the entire football team. People are more than their sexuality. So, stop making it such a big deal.

2. Don't Blame The Victim.

A woman could be wearing nothing but underwear and phrases like, “she was asking for it," would still be completely uncalled for. A woman (or man in any case) isn’t asking for sex unless they’re asking for sex. If they didn’t say something along the lines of “Hey, I want to have sex with you,” they didn’t want to have sex with you. Despite what they are wearing, where they are walking or what time of night they happen to do their walking, there is no excuse for rape and no reason to blame the victim.

3. Don't Assume

Don’t assume girls will like pink, don’t assume boys will like trucks. Don’t assume a girl can’t lift that box or that a boy can. People are individuals with different abilities and the fact of the matter is that everyone is a special little snowflake. Assumptions generally end in awkward moments and in my case, since my favorite color is yellow and I don’t really like pink, a childhood of unpleasant room decor.

4. Don't Make Femininity a Bad Thing

In this incredibly sexist world,more often than not the worst thing you can be is a woman. If p**sy, little b**ch, and girly are your go to insults, stop that. Demonizing women and the stereotypical images of femininity doesn’t put the female sect of humanity in a particularly good place. It doesn’t put us in a place that deems respect or a place that merits equal rights. In fact, it leads to exactly the kind of world where it’s perfectly okay to punch, rape or otherwise demean a person who is feminine.

5. Don't Make Masculinity the Best Thing

No, being a man is not the best thing you can be in the world. Everyone knows the best thing you can be is narwhal, so stop telling everyone to man up, grow a pair or be a man. Let's all agree to stop pretending like having a penis is the greatest gift in the world and stop being so sexist.

6. Open Up To Equality

Consider for a moment the startling idea that women might also want to have sex, fend for themselves and pursue fulfilling jobs. Consider the idea that they might want to make choices for their bodies without the need for approval from anyone else. Consider that differing genitalia doesn’t necessarily change the human urges for pleasure, happiness and survival. Variations in what pleases them, what causes happiness and how they survive are to be expected because variation is a human thing, not a gender thing. I know it's all a little mind-blowing, but it's true and women might have many of the same desires as a man because they are in fact human beings. Amazing, I know.

7. Make Friends.

With all this equality going around, it should come as no surprise that these equal sects of humanity can be friends. Just friends, more than friends, whatever.If you can recall from tip number one, humans are more than their ability to have sex so it isn’t wrong to talk to someone of the opposite sex without the intention of making babies. That being said, don’t assume every member of the opposite sex talking to you wants to make babies and then consider yourself “friend-zoned” when it doesn’t happen. I sympathize—honestly, I do—but you can’t make people love you, no matter how great you are.

Congratulations!

There is a good chance that you, beloved reader, already knew not to do some of these things. There is also a good chance that you have been doing one or more of them. That’s okay. You learn something new every day and today, you learned how to be less sexist. Now get out there and make the world a better place.

Cover Image Credit: reformattedmind.com

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.

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This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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