If 2016 Made New Year's Resolutions For Itself

If 2016 Made New Year's Resolutions For Itself

#3: Kill less gorillas.
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It's 2017 and we are all polishing up our New Year's Resolution list. However, as we are doing this ourselves, so is 2016. 2016 got a lot of crap this year, and is prepared to do better. Here are the resolutions that 2016 came up for itself.

1. Don't take as many celebrities

I guess taking David Bowie, Prince, and Carrie Fisher all in one year may have been a little much. Among others. I'm sorry.

2. Start combing somebody who is not horrible and 100% unbeatable for the 2020 presidency (Not Kanye West)

I will say that white Americans were more at fault for Trump being elected president than the year, but this really didn't help me look good. I'll start preparing somebody who can beat him easily.

3. Kill fewer gorillas

I only got one but damn were they pissed.

4. Create more plays about historical American figures

That one went really well.

5. Less death, overall

Less shootings and terror attacks and disease epidemics. I will do my best for this to not happen again.

6. Avoid anything like Brexit happening again

I don't even know what happened there but I won't let it happen again.

7. Stop allowing people to get famous for nothing

I'm so sorry for Damn, Daniel everyone. I'm so sorry it's been so long and when you say "damn" you still feel inclined to say "Daniel". I'm sorry if White Vans are ruined for you. That was on me. I'm sorry.

8. No more Nazis

I know this now sounds like the New Years Resolution in the 1940s, but unfortunately my reign somehow brought about Nazis. I was a bad year. I will do better.

9. More puppies

I will work every single day to bring more adorable puppies into your life in the form of pictures, a pet-able pup on the street or your very own pet.

10. More scientific breakthroughs

The Ice-Bucket challenge brought in enough money to make huge strides against ALS, and I will have more of these next year.

11. More animals off the endangered list

While a lot of death plagued my year, a lot of life did too. Many animals found their way off the endangered list and numbers are growing!

12. More Oscars for Leonardio DiCaprio

You waited for so long and unlikely me, 2016, let this finally happen. I did it.

13. Let Trump do well

I know the election was already referenced, but I feel it needs to be again. Trump is out of my 2016 hands but I promise to make sure only good things happen.

14. More crazy sports victories

Let next year be the year that many fans get to see the first championship for their team.

15. Have Beyoncé create more music

Lemonade was the saving grace of this year for many.

16. More love, more hugs, more happiness

I, 2016, realize I failed. But my largest New Year's Resolutions is to create more happiness in this world, and here's a little hint: I need your help to do so. So go out and be a good human and despite all the crap I brought you in 2016, 2017 will surely be lovely.

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'As A Woman,' I Don't Need To Fit Your Preconceived Political Assumptions About Women

I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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It is quite possible to say that the United States has never seen such a time of divisiveness, partisanship, and extreme animosity of those on different sides of the political spectrum. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are saturated with posts of political opinions and are matched with comments that express not only disagreement but too often, words of hatred. Many who cannot understand others' political beliefs rarely even respect them.

As a female, Republican, college student, I feel I receive the most confusion from others regarding my political opinions. Whenever I post or write something supporting a conservative or expressing my right-leaning beliefs and I see a comment has been left, I almost always know what words their comment will begin with. Or in conversation, if I make my beliefs known and someone begins to respond, I can practically hear the words before they leave their mouth.

"As a woman…"

This initial phrase is often followed by a question, generally surrounding how I could publicly support a Republican candidate or maintain conservative beliefs. "As a woman, how can you support Donald Trump?" or "As a woman, how can you support pro-life policies?" and, my personal favorite, "As a woman, how did you not want Hillary for president?"

Although I understand their sentiment, I cannot respect it. Yes, being a woman is a part of who I am, but it in no way determines who I am. My sex has not and will not adjudicate my goals, my passions, or my work. It will not influence the way in which I think or the way in which I express those thoughts. Further, your mention of my sex as the primary logic for condemning such expressions will not change my adherence to defending what I share. Nor should it.

To conduct your questioning of my politics by inferring that my sex should influence my ideology is not only offensive, it's sexist.

It disregards my other qualifications and renders them worthless. It disregards my work as a student of political science. It disregards my hours of research dedicated to writing about politics. It disregards my creativity as an author and my knowledge of the subjects I choose to discuss. It disregards the fundamental human right I possess to form my own opinion and my Constitutional right to express that opinion freely with others. And most notably, it disregards that I am an individual. An individual capable of forming my own opinions and being brave enough to share those with the world at the risk of receiving backlash and criticism. All I ask is for respect of that bravery and respect for my qualifications.

Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire, unite, and revolutionize. Yet, they can be abused, and too comfortably are. Opening a dialogue of political debate by confining me to my gender restricts the productivity of that debate from the start. Those simple but potent words overlook my identity and label me as a stereotype destined to fit into a mold. They indicate that in our debate, you cannot look past my sex. That you will not be receptive to what I have to say if it doesn't fit into what I should be saying, "as a woman."

That is the issue with politics today. The media and our politicians, those who are meant to encourage and protect democracy, divide us into these stereotypes. We are too often told that because we are female, because we are young adults, because we are a minority, because we are middle-aged males without college degrees, that we are meant to vote and to feel one way, and any other way is misguided. Before a conversation has begun, we are divided against our will. Too many of us fail to inform ourselves of the issues and construct opinions that are entirely our own, unencumbered by what the mainstream tells us we are meant to believe.

We, as a people, have become limited to these classifications. Are we not more than a demographic?

As a student of political science, seeking to enter a workforce dominated by men, yes, I am a woman, but foremost I am a scholar, I am a leader, and I am autonomous. I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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Sociolinguistics Series: Part 31

Language is a powerful tool.

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Hi there! Today, we will be shifting our focus from Australia to another continent--Asia. In addition to teleporting to a different area, we will also be going back in time.

Whoosh!

Here we are: August 14, 1947, in East Pakistan (or as it is now known, Bangladesh). This was the day Pakistan gained independence from British rule. Supposedly, this day promotes patriotism and national unity--which is what happens today, I'm sure, but back in 1947, there was anything but national unity in Pakistan.

Back then, Pakistan was divided into two separate regions: West Pakistan and East Pakistan. West Pakistan dominated the government and politics, even though it had a substantially smaller population than East Pakistan. Meanwhile, East Pakistan only held a few seats in the Constituent Assembly. The biggest disparity, however, was the fact that West Pakistan spoke Urdu, and East Pakistan spoke the Bengali language. The endonym (which is the name used for something in the language by the people who live there) for the Bengali language is called Bangla.

In 1948, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, announced that the country's official language would be Urdu and no other language. This was a problem, however, for the majority of Pakistan's population--over half of the people living in this country spoke Bangla. They were not happy to be suppressed like this, especially because it was just another form of oppression they felt come from West Pakistan.

From 1948 to 1952 (some argue that it started as early as 1947), the pot was brewing. Bangla script was eradicated currency and stamps. Bengalis saw this as a way of West Pakistan trying to stomp out the culture of East Pakistan. Finally, on February 21, 1952, the police fired shots on some Bengali students protesting. Several deaths ensued, and the Bengali Language Movement jumped into full-fledged action. This day, February 21, would later be known in Bangladesh as the Language Movement Day; in addition, it would later be recognized by UNESCO as International Mother Language Day.

To honor the martyrs, many Bengali students (from the Dhaka Medical College) constructed a monument called Shaheed Smritistombho, or "Monument of Martyrs." The monument was later destroyed by police. A year later, on February 21, 1953, Bengalis wore black badges as a sign of solidarity. Most businesses and schools across the region were closed to observe the day. Hundreds of thousands of people met to protest the oppression of their language. West Pakistani authorities felt threatened by just how many people were in support of the Bengali Language Movement, and they deemed that anyone who supported Bangla as an official language would be considered an enemy of the state.

Where did this butting-of-heads-of-languages come from? Since language is tied to all aspects of culture and religion, we should start unpacking there. Even though both West and East Pakistan practiced Islam, they differed in certain religious views. Just like there seems to be an infinite number of Christianity sectors, Bengali Muslims and Pakistani Muslims did not agree on certain things. The Islamist paradigm that West Pakistan had created went strongly against many Bengali Islamist views, and the Bengalis could see that religion was being used as the one common thread holding the two regions together.

The shame put on Bangla was one of the biggest reasons Bengalis could no longer accept being under Pakistani rule. Linguistic pride outweighed any common religion; Bengalis were extremely proud of their language and the culture that went along with it. However, Pakistanis did not enjoy the Bengali language because it had an Eastern Nagari script and Pali vocabulary. The Western Pakistani elite considered this to be a smack of their culture and deemed it unacceptable to be spoken or used in the nation.

44 million of the 69 million people living in West and East Pakistan spoke Bangla. There was no way that uproar would be suppressed for long. Already, we have seen how much tension there was in the region because of language and language oppression--there were protests, deaths, monuments, threats, and more. Next week, we will be talking about just what came out of all this. Will the Bengalis finally receive the language freedom they deserve?

Stay tuned. ;)

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