How Dierks Bentley Is Taking A Stand For Girls Everywhere

How Dierks Bentley Is Taking A Stand For Girls Everywhere

And it's not just because he took our side in the breakup.
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Whether you are a country fan or rap junkie there is no arguing that top hits are top hits. With big singles like “Come a Little Closer” and the newly adored “Somewhere on a Beach,” the name Dierks Bentley is one that has been tossed around top charts for years and likely one to have been spoken among most families in the country due to his knack for making good music. This past May, the country singer dropped a new album titled Black that is on the right track for following the successful footsteps of the artist’s other records. Critics are calling this album the best look at the emotions that make up Bentley and the way he connects to his songs.

The second track on the album is one that I specifically expect to be at the top of the leaderboards very soon. The melody titled “Different for Girls” featuring the amazing voice of alternative artist Elle King tenderly describes the ways that girls can’t handle a breakup like their boy counterparts. With lyrics that will no doubt have girls around the nation using the hashtags “preach” and “truth” and “I can’t even” it is sure to be one of the best breakup ballads of all time. I’ll go as far to say that it might even surpass some of T. Swift’s work in terms of the accuracy to which it relates to a girl’s feelings. To give you a taste of what I’m talking about, and some inspiration to give the song a listen, here are a few of the stunning lyrics:

“It's different for girls when their hearts get broke. They can't tape it back together with a whiskey and coke. They don't take someone home and act like it's nothing. They can't just switch it off every time they feel something.”

“She don't say, It's OK, I never loved him anyway. She don't scroll through her phone just looking for a Band-Aid”

“It's different for girls. Nobody said it was fair. When love disappears, they can't pretend it was never there”

“A guy gets drunk with his friends and he might hook up. Fast forward through the pain, pushing back when the tears come up, but it's different for girls”

While Dierks has not only almost perfectly pegged the college hookup culture that girls often find themselves victims of, he, in my opinion, has pointed out a far more relevant issue.

It’s different for girls.

Life is different for girls. Relationships are different for girls. Love is different for girls. Girls are different, and it is OK. In no way does Bentley mock the fragility of women. He doesn't sarcastically pity them or blame them for their tenderness. He admits with the most earnest, and honest tone there is that it’s different for girls. I think today more than ever there is such a push for girls to stop acting like girls. We often find ourselves unintentionally, and sometimes purposely, shamed for our desire to be womanly; and yes, I am somewhat looking at you feminism. It is almost a sin in this culture to be a girl and not be a feminist, but I have got to say it. The truth is, as much as we rally and campaign and advocate to be equal to men, we never will be because we aren’t. Does that mean we are beneath them? No. Does that mean we deserve less hourly pay? No. It means that we aren’t men, and that it’s OK because we are so much more than that.

We are women and I think sometimes we discriminate ourselves more so than a man ever could. I think sometimes we’re the only ones focusing on the differences between us because we’re the only ones that haven’t been able to see them as empowering. I think sometimes we forget that we weren’t made to do everything a man can, but instead to do everything he couldn't. I think we forget that men ignore and oppress us because they know all too well our power; and instead of taking hold of our abilities we sit and waste our energy arguing with them about our rights and proving that we are just as easy to distract as they envisioned. I think in pointing out all these problems we’ve admitted that we might just be a small fraction of it ourselves. I think we should embrace our differences and own them. I think we should stop trying to beat “the man” and be “the woman.”

So thank you Dierks Bentley, for reminding me that I am different and for instilling in me a new sense of pride for that difference and all of those “I thinks” from above, because I am thankful to be a girl. I’m thankful I can’t separate my emotions from my political views because it means I am empathetic. I’m thankful that sometimes I cry at the thought of war and death, even if it’s for the protection of a nation, because it means that I am compassionate. I’m thankful that I may be indecisive because it means I am considerate. I’m thankful for all of the fundamentally different characteristics that make my personality different from that of a man because I am a woman; and I am sick of gender roles and stereotypes making that a bad thing.

I am proud to be a girl, and even at my weakest I am no weaker than anyone else on this planet. We are different because we are unique. We are different because we were made for different tasks. We are different because we were designed to be the most beautiful divergence known to man. It is different for girls, because it should be and I am so glad that someone else understands.

Cover Image Credit: https://cbsradionews.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/dierks-bentley-courtesy-umg-nashville.jpg?w=640&h=360&crop=1

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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5 Thoughts You've Probably Had About The Government Shutdown If You, Like Cardi B, Are Paying Attention

I'm not sure if Trump thinks he's playing a real-life game of "The Sims," but I can assure you that a wall will not keep out those that are truly determined to get in.

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2019 — what a time to be alive, am I right? Normally I would use that phrase sarcastically, but each day I am more and more confused, transfixed, and curious (with just a dash of anticipation) about our current state as a society and the direction we're going. Even though most of the time the world seems like sh*t, you've got to admit that out of all the times in history, the current one we're in has a lot of cool perks. I mean, 70 years ago, who would've guessed that there'd be computers and a world wide web filled with endless information and apps that allow 125 million people to see cute pictures of Kim Kardashian's baby. And compared to life in the 1600s, an airplane seems just as extraordinary as the second coming of Jesus.

We're making a lot of wonderful and exciting progress, like our advancements in medicine, but for some reason, we've hit an impasse in terms of social improvement. Not even three years ago would I have guessed that the U.S. would elect an unqualified, most likely racist, reality TV star as president, but alas, here we are, which brings me to his latest antics.

The government shutdown.

Despite how bleak the future seems, a little part of me is just a tad grateful that I'm alive to see this all go down. Like everyone else, however, I've had quite a few thoughts about it all over the past few weeks...

1. So we're screwed, right?

We briefly had a government shutdown in 2013, but for some reason, I have absolutely no recollection of it (my 14-year-old self was probably too preoccupied with who was posted on my high school's Instagram "thot page." Spoiler alert: I was), so this is like my first experience dealing with one. There have been more than a dozen in U.S. history, but the current shutdown is the longest out of the list. My first thought when hearing about the news was "what the hell does THIS mean?" I immediately jumped to the conclusion that we were in a total state of anarchy, but of course, that isn't even partially true. According to The Balance, a government shutdown is "when non-essential discretionary federal programs close." The shutdown doesn't affect state social services, like the Department of Public Safety, and thankfully for us broke college students, funding for financial aid was approved last September, meaning there's no current effect on student financial aid programs.

However, federal services and agencies like the IRS (don't get too excited... you still have to pay taxes), Department of Labor, Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Institute of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration are completely shut down while the budget process is in limbo. With no current end in sight, this is bound to get very bad, very soon.

Already, hundreds of thousands of government employees have been sent home without pay and will continue to not be paid as long as the shutdown is in effect. People living in low-income housing may be evicted as HUD freezes funds for programs. Without funding, all of these services very well may close. Not only that, but the shut down is costing us money: approximately $1.2 billion every week. I wouldn't normally be worried, but Trump is the exact type of immature and petty to where he'll keep this going until he gets his way (or he's impeached, whichever comes first). His attitude firmly suggests that he's not backing down, and if services do close, there will be terrible effects on affected departments and citizen well-being.

Should we just drink the kool-aid now?

2. All of this over... a wall?

Out of all of the things that a president could request funding for, the one we currently have wants $5 billion for a damn steel wall? I'm not sure if he thinks he's playing a real-life game of The Sims, but I can assure you that real humans are much more crafty than we give each other credit for and that a wall will not keep out those that are truly determined to get in. Trump has said that the wall is the "only solution for a growing security and humanitarian crisis at the border," yet common sense and many politicians/organizations can tell you that that's complete and utter bullsh*t. Not only that, but Trump's whole presidency has revolved around quelling illegal immigration, but no one has stopped to ask why he's only focusing on the border.

How would a wall decrease the number of people who overstay their visas? How would it decrease the number of illegal immigrants who aren't even crossing the border?!

While I am not well-versed in how much of a threat illegal immigration presents to the U.S. people and government, I still am convinced that there are way more important issues that the president should be concerned with. F*** global warming and renewable energy, let's build a wall, right?!?

Trump's obsession with his wall is a pathetic attempt to flex his self-professed prowess and a way to appease his hate-filled fanatics who only voted for him because he promised he could get it done.

What happened to Mexico paying for it? Oh right, that was just more bullsh*t.

3. People actually donated to this sh*t?

I just... People's stupidity and callousness never cease to amaze me. Before GoFundMe rightfully shut this fundraiser down, over 345,000 people actually donated $20 million dollars for a (wait for it) steel wall. Why is this the thing that people feel their money is worthy of being spent on? Imagine if we all banded together to raise $20 million dollars to help end homelessness or food insecurity. Or better yet, pay the federal employees who are getting screwed over by this whole ordeal.

4. How do Trump supporters feel about all of this?

I know that die-hard fans can take a lot of sh"t from their idols, but I think that after a while it's only natural for them to get fed up. Out of the 62 million people who voted for Trump, there's probably a good portion of them who are significantly affected by the shutdown. The ones who are government employees are feeling the brunt of it now, but if this continues on for months or even years like Trump is threatening, then we're all going to feel it and I can't think of any good excuses that someone could come up with in order to justify such a foolish and reckless decision made by the president. To a federally-employed Trump supporter, I can't imagine how it feels to go 26 days without a paycheck because the president you voted for is desperately trying to propose funding for a wall that you want to be built. It's got to be a catch-22, but hell, I feel like almost all Trump supporters are delusional anyway, so they're probably thinking they're undergoing some grand act of martyrdom.

5. Even Cardi B is worried... Now you know we're screwed.

Cardi B took to Instagram recently to post a video of her addressing her worries about the government shutdown. While not eloquently put, the rap princess is really only just voicing the thoughts and opinions of a lot of us out here. If Cardi B is taking the time out of her day to stop popping off at her haters and fantasizing about Offset's peen, then you know that this issue is a pretty big deal. The self-proclaimed gang member and boss bit** has admitted that she's scared. I think that warrants us to all be.

Well, there you have it, folks. Five of my most pressing thoughts about the government shutdown. As it continues, I'm sure they'll be thousands more that pop into all of our heads. But hey, let's look on the bright side -- we've made history; now's the only time we can say the government has been shut down all year.

Hopefully, we won't be able to say it for much longer.

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