Your English-Only Mentality Is Damaging, So Please Stop

Your English-Only Mentality Is Damaging, So Please Stop

I'm #SorryNotSorry that you have to press one for English.

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"This is America! Speak English!"

From confrontational rants that go viral to movements to implement actual linguistic policy, a lot of my fellow Americans share this sentiment. Here's some reasons why I think English-only is so damaging.

1. Accessibility to services in different languages is an actual public health and safety concern.

In emergency situations, it's important that everyone knows what's going on. When I was studying abroad in Argentina, I came down with a gastrointestinal bug, which triggered vomiting and diarrhea. My host mom drove me to the local doctor. Now, I'm a Spanish major, and I was comfortable enough in my language skills to answer the doctor's questions. The doctor gave me an injection and she told me it would help stop the diarrhea. My host mom told me she had gotten it before, too, so that was good enough for me.

When I messaged my mom later about the situation, she told me I should've asked what was in that shot. I replied I didn't know how I could do that, or how I would even understand the explanation. Luckily, I got better quickly and didn't have to go to the hospital. What I want you to take from my anecdote is the following: Even though I spoke a decent amount of Spanish, I was not fully equipped to handle a health-related situation on my own. If I had had a more serious condition, or would've had to go to the hospital, I would have definitely needed an interpreter. The fear in these kinds of situations is already present; the fear that you won't even be to communicate important information doesn't need to be added.

2. Language is often a part of someone’s cultural identity.

We Americans who are native English speakers often take it for granted that English is widely spoken, even in other parts of the world. Thus, we don't necessarily "have to" learn another language, even if we travel. However, it is unfair to expect others to conform to our own language and culture for our own personal comfort, even if they are visiting or residing in our country. Yes, I agree that if that if someone wants to live and/or work in another country, it is in their best interest to learn the common language.

However, immigrants to the US already know it is to their social, professional, economic, etc. advantage to become proficient in English. Learning another language takes time, and our native language is still special to us. Language might make us feel closer to our family, our roots, our history, our religion and so on. Why would a person just "stop" using their native language upon learning another one?

3. How we view bilingualism is also tied to how we view race and class.

"Real" bilinguals do not necessarily 1. have equal and perfect knowledge of their languages, 2. speak with "no accent" or 3. have a bicultural identity.

Imagine an upper-middle class white family sending their daughter to France for the summer. The fact that she can utter some pretty-sounding sentence is, like, so cool, right? She's so cultured! Now imagine a working-class brown immigrant. His sometimes hesitant, "broken" English is not viewed in the same light, is it?

4. And finally, you aren’t always a part of the conversation.

U.S. lawyer Aaron Schlossberg yelling at Spanish-speaking employees.

Sure, if you're hanging around people who are all speaking a language that you don't and are basically ignoring you, it makes sense that you might feel excluded or that you're missing out on something. However, if two strangers in front of you are conversing about the weather in Swahili, why do you care? You aren't automatically entitled to know the content of other people's conversations. Even if you know a person and use English with them, they are fully within their right to use a different language with someone else, even if you happen to be nearby.

This is America, where we speak lots of different languages. So please, stop yelling because two people were speaking Spanish at the grocery store.

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Wikimedia Commons

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The Best Summer Job And Lobster Roll In Connecticut

It's truly the coolest summer job.

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I work at a restaurant on the Connecticut Shoreline called Lobster Landing. Lobster landing is located on the water in Clinton, CT. I work every day in the kitchen helping to serve food, take orders, and cook food. Having a summer job can be really boring at times, but not when you work at a place like this because there's always something going on. Deciding to apply and work at Lobster Landing was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Lobster Landing is owned by two amazing people, Enea and Cathie Bacci. The two of them have worked incredibly hard by devoting much of their time and energy into getting their business to be as successful as it is today. They always welcome their customers with a warm smile or even sometimes a big hug. Cathie and Enea make it an unforgettable and happy experience for everyone that comes to their restaurant. Lobster Landing is a home away from home for not only the customers but also for the staff. They have a very small staff of about 13 people who act like a close-knit family.

Lobster Landing is a very simple restaurant. There are only three things on the menu. Lobster Landing is most famous for their Lobster Rolls. Their Lobster Rolls could be considered to be the best in the state of Connecticut. Because I'm a little biased, I would say they're the best in the world. They also offer a sweet Italian sausage with peppers, onions, and a spicy mustard vinaigrette sauce and lastly, they offer all-beef hot dogs with cheese or sauerkraut. They are also BYO (bring your own.) You can bring anything they don't serve including wine, beer, French fries, side salads etc. For side's, they offer coleslaw, bags of potato chips and at the end, they have cups of gelato! I am definitely guilty of eating lots of gelato at work, but don't tell anybody!

So what makes the Lobster roll so amazing? Lobster Landing serves only hot lobster, not cold. They serve their lobster rolls European style, which means they don't have mayo on them. They use fresh lobster meat, steamed and cut that day in their roles. Each roll contains a quarter of a pound of heated lobster meat. After the lobster is put in the roll, fresh lemon is squeezed on it. Then, warm melted butter is poured over the top of the roll. Lobster Landing also offers a gluten-free option for those who need it!

Not only are the Lobster rolls the greatest of all time, the environment and view is also incredible. They have ocean side seating. The upper deck next to their famous building is built over the water. You can sit anywhere at the restaurant and have a beautiful view of Connecticut oceans. The breeze that comes off the water is perfect for a hot summer day. Lobster Landing is built right next to a marina so there's always boats passing by with eager people waving to their wonderful customers.

One of the main attractions of Lobster Landing is the building itself. The building has been here for a very long time and has survived large storms, hurricanes, floods etc. This rustic building is very beautiful and you'll often see people taking pictures of it or in front of it. I've even seen prom pictures, wedding pictures, and special occasion photos being taken in front of the building.

Lobster Landing offers such a nice environment for its employees and it is always so much fun to work there. The customers are always so nice and talkative, and it is always wonderful to see the regulars that are there almost every week! If you haven't tried a lobster roll here, you seriously need to, it's worth it!
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