Five Women You Ought To Know In 2015

Five Women You Ought To Know In 2015

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There are many women that are considered influential in this day and age. Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Michelle Obama, and more are noted for their accomplishments and impact. However, there are many other women doing (dare I say it) more important and groundbreaking things for feminism and women around the world. Here are five women you should know in 2015!


1. Bree Newsome

Bree Newsome created waves and made headlines when she scaled the South Carolina capital flagpole and took down the confederate flag. After a confederate-flag-flying white man took the lives of nine black men and women in Charleston this summer, the conversation around the flag gained more momentum than ever before. Heritage or hate? Newsome, believing it was the latter, told the police, "You come against me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today!"


2. Malala Yousafzai




Eighteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai made headlines in 2012 when she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman and survived the attack. Yousafzai caused controversy in Pakistan when she began advocating for education for girls and women. She began blogging about the Taliban and their threats to deny her and other girls an education. Even after the shooting, Yousafzai continued (and continues) to speak out and was the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.


3. Danielle Tansino

Danielle Tansino started the non-profit organization and campaign Red My Lips in 2012 after she was sexually assaulted after she had been out drinking. The moment and hashtag has gained serious momentum this year that it has lacked in the past. When Tansino wanted to press chargers against her attacker, the female district attorney told her that they would not prosecute because the jurors "do not like girls who drink." Red My Lips has become an outlet for survivors of sexual assault and rape who did not receive justice and/or who have been blamed for their attack. Victim blaming is not uncommon in rape cases, especially if the woman had been drinking. Their mission statement reads, "Our mission is to transform our culture of sexual violence by educating, inspiring, and mobilizing a global community to red their lips, raise their voices, and create real change."


4. Emma Sulkowicz

After Columbia University did not offer Sulkowicz any assistance after her sexual assault, she decided to carry her mattress everywhere she went until her rapist was expelled. "Carry That Weight," the name of her senior performance art project and movement, received much support and publicity nationwide. Both Sulkowicz and her attacker graduated in May 2015, and she walked across the stage with the mattress, with the help of other female students. This project raised significant awareness about rape and sexual assault on the college campus and how, sadly, many attackers do not receive any repercussions for their actions.http://gazettereview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/mas_Malala1.jpg

5. Laverne Cox

Best known for her role on the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black, Cox has become a major player in the advocacy for transgender women. She was the first transgender women to be nominated for an Emmy award, and used this publicity to bring light to and help open doors for transgender individuals. Cox uses her fame to break down stereotypes surrounding her and other LGBT men and women. Along with this, she has also (knowingly or unknowingly) began to change the idea of what is considered beautiful in modern day media and society. “It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist."


Though the accomplishments of women, specifically women of color or LGBT women, do not receive the same publicity or recognition as the accomplishments of men, women like these five listed (and many more!) help pave the way for both male and female by creating a more feminist, and therefore more equal world.

Cover Image Credit: http://gazettereview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/mas_Malala1.jpg

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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 Revival Of The Coal Industry Is Unattainable

Clean beautiful coal will never be a reality. President Trump's backing of a declining industry is misguided and will have despairing environmental impacts.

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The coal industry and its workers were placed at the forefront of American politics during the 2016 election cycle. President Trump promised a revival of the coal industry and promised to secure the jobs of coal country. The President, halfway through his first term, has so far taken measures to do just that. Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, threw out Obama's Clean Power Plan, and did away with an Obama-era regulation that would prevent coal ash from entering streams and other bodies of water.

On one hand, it's quite extraordinary for a politician to do good on his campaign promises. On the other hand, is anyone considering whether or not the President is putting all his eggs into the wrong basket? Coal has been on the decline for about a decade now. Even without environmental regulations, the energy produced by coal is expected to reduce by 20% by 2030. Renewable energy such as wind and solar are replacing coal.


For an election campaign, it's easy to see why a candidate would align with coal. States like West Virginia and Pennsylvania are key when running a national campaign. The votes are there in those counties that support the coal industry. They will vote for any candidate who sides with their industry. But from an environmental standpoint, there's more on the line than just an election. It's about our clean air and water. Climate change is real and the effects of coal will only accelerate the process.

Coal ash that finds its way into water streams can damage that water supply for good. It could also impact the wildlife within the area. Coal also pollutes the air we breathe. Clean coal is a myth. Plain and simple. Coal is anything but clean. Clean coal sounds good in a stump speech, but we all know it's a fallacy.

Mountaintop mining also has a deep environmental impact. The Appalachian mountains have been destroyed from surface mining. West Virginia residents hold their beautiful mountains in high regard. Now, some of them look very different and the destruction is permanent. If the mining continues, the mountains of the Appalachia region will be gone. It would be a shame if you went to West Virginia to admire their mountains, and none were left.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt passed the American Antiquities Act of 1906. Roosevelt protected 230 million acres of land during his presidency. Roosevelt understood the importance of conservation and preserving our nation's natural beauty. The same natural beauty that God envisioned. We should not take that for granted. We should restore our mountains, forests, and lakes so that our children's children can reside in the richness of our natural environment.

President Roosevelt also ended the coal strike in 1902. The United States was much more dependent on coal in the 20th century than it is now. Roosevelt knew the coal strike had to be resolved because the cold winter would have been fatal. The change of the Republican party over a century later is quite intriguing to ponder. The party went from a strong conservationist in Roosevelt to Trump, who is willing to move mountains for a dying industry.

All of these facts surrounding the coal debate cannot be ignored. The rest of the western world will move on to new forms of renewable energy. While the United States will be stuck in neutral, reviving coal. Renewable energy should be strongly considered if we are to protect our water, air, and lands.

Disclaimer: I understand the risks coal miners make when they show up for work. I know that safety regulations are not always up to par and that coal mining is a very dangerous profession. I also understand the viewpoint of coal miners and their reasoning for disagreeing with me. I know they want to work and provide for their families. That's what we all want to do. As I write this, I wish not to offend coal miners, I only aim to critique the President and his policies about the coal industry.

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