Kaitlin Bennett

10 Of Kaitlin Bennett's Most Ridiculous Tweets And Why They Are Politically Problematic

This isn't about being a Democrat or Republican. It's about being a decent human being.

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Kaitlin Bennett received a lot of media attention in May when she posted a graduation picture with a rifle. Since then, she has received a lot of backlash. While I am horrified at all the nasty threats she receives on the Internet, I do find many of her tweets to be very toxic to society. Let's break down 10 of her most problematic statements to date.

1. Christopher Columbus was NOT a hero. 

Columbus was a rapist and enslaved indigenous people when he arrived in the Americas. The use of the word "civilized" creates an outdated mindset that before Europe came to the Americas the indigenous people were savages. Columbus never even made it to North America, so why does he have a holiday that is still celebrated in the United States?

2. #BelieveWomen wasn't meant to overpower #MeToo.

First off, Kavanaugh uses the pronouns (he, him,) so he identifies as a male. Secondly, liberals are about believing survivors, not just women. The #BelieveWomen hashtag was only created in the context of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing. Finally, if Kavanaugh needed to be believed so badly, he probably should have answered the questions instead of avoiding them.

3. Fake sexual assault allegations are fairly uncommon, so her "plan" is improbable. 

In this tweet, Kaitlin openly mocks survivors that come forward. By saying "35 years ago," she suggests that survivors just make up stories, since Kaitlin herself was not alive 35 years ago. The mindset that survivors make up their trauma for political gain or for fame is outdated. In fact, only about 2% of sexual assault reports are false.

4. Feminism is not what she thinks it is.  

In this video, Kaitlin shoots a pumpkin that is labeled "feminism" because she is trying to destroy feminism. However, feminism advocates for the equality of all sexes. People who believe that feminists are people who hate men or believe women are superior do not understand the meaning of feminism. Equally upsetting, Kaitlin shoots these pumpkins to celebrate Kavanaugh's "win." This shows that she saw the Kavanaugh hearing as a game, rather than Dr. Ford coming forward with her trauma.

5. Abortion saves women. 

People who want an abortion are going to get one whether it is legal or not. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, women will die from unsafe abortion attempts once again. Furthermore, what a women does to her body should be her choice. If you are against abortion, Kaitlin, do not have one yourself, but you do not own every other women's body in the United States and you can't make their decisions for them.

6. Parkland survivors deserve respect. 

It is one thing to advocate for concealed carry, but it is another thing to mock a community that has gone through a horrible tragedy and is still recovering from that trauma. You can craft a tweet that talks about how you disagree with the Parkland community without calling them "communists" and talking about them "walking on the graves of your dead classmates."

7. Feminism is not victimhood. 

If we want to generalize feminists into a group, I would say that most of them are against arming anyone with a gun, not just women. However, feminists are all about equality, so people can identify as a feminist and still believe in concealed carry. What really upsets me about this tweet, is that she focuses on how only women are "victims" of sexual assault. People who have experienced sexual violence are not exclusively female, and they do not make up their stories to gain sympathy. The fact is that a massive amount of sexual violence happens to people of all genders and that is not a narrative, that is a truth.

8. Body privilege is a thing. 

There are a lot of people who are considered to be "overweight," but they still live very healthy lives. Additionally, people's bodies are their bodies, and they should choose what they do with them. Fat shaming them for being "overweight" and comparing it to being shot against your will, is not a logical or healthy comparison.

9. Planned Parenthood is overly misunderstood.

Here, Kaitlin only focuses on one task Planned Parenthood performs: abortion. However, Planned Parenthood does so much more than perform abortions. They perform STD/STI testing and treatment, cancer screening and prevention, and provide other women's health services. Additionally, they've expanded access to birth control and are health educators throughout communities.

10. Rape culture won't be resolved with firearms. 

According to RAINN, 7 out of 10 rapes are committed by someone the survivor knows. This means that when a women or man is with their future rapist, they will feel comfortable with them. They won't be carrying a gun near them, waiting for someone to jump out of the bushes. Furthermore, the consequences of shooting the perpetrator may hurt the survivor more than help them. Finally, when a traumatic sexual act occurs, survivors will go into flight or freeze mode, so a gun would not stop the situation from occurring.

My problem with Kaitlin's tweets are not that they support conservative laws or ideals, my issue is that these tweets target specific groups of people and make uneducated statements. I just wish people of all political orientations would be decent human beings.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Sociolinguistics Series: Part 50

Language is a powerful tool.

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It's part 50--halfway to 100! I'm so glad to still be here writing! In this section, we will talk about Dr. Shikaki's findings on how Palestinians view the state of Israel.

25 years ago, 85% of Palestinians supported a two-state solution. 10 years ago, this number decreased to 70%. Dr. Shikaki believes this was due to an increase in the prominence of Islamism in Palestinian society during the second intifada; Islamists were opposed to the two-state solution. In the most recent survey, the December 2018 one, only 43% of Palestinians supported the two state solution.

In 2000, American President Bill Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat at the Camp David Summit to come up with a solution to the conflict. It ended without an agreement, but in December of 2000, Clinton once again proposed a resolution: the Clinton Parameters.

The content of the Parameters basically allowed Israel to annex settlements while Palestine to take 94-96% of the West Bank, as well as Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. There were other guidelines regarding territory, refugees, security, and the end of the conflict. Essentially, the West Bank would have been split up by Israeli roads and settlements--which is kind of the reality today.

Both the Israeli government and Arafat accepted the terms with reservations, and Arafat wrote to Clinton a letter asking for clarifications on the terms. Clinton and Dennis Ross, an envoy of the Parameters, publicized that Arafat had refused to accept the terms; they painted Palestinians in a negative light, saying that Israel wanted to accept the peace negotiations but Palestine did not.

American Lawyer Robert Malley was at the Camp David Summit and oversaw parts of the Clinton Parameters. In 2001, he said that three myths had come out of the failure of both negotiations, and that these three myths were dangerous to any future peace processes if people kept believing in them.

These myths are as follows: "Camp David was an ideal test of Mr. Arafat's intentions," "Israel's offer met most if not all of the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations," and "The Palestinians made no concession of their own."

He said that these three statements were not true but very heavily publicized by America and Israel after the negotiations failed; rather, there is more nuance to each of these issues, and America and Israel have just as much responsibility in the failure of the Summit and Parameters as Palestine did. Malley wrote, "If peace is to be achieved, the parties cannot afford to tolerate the growing acceptance of these myths as reality."

Anyway, what does this have to do with Dr. Shikaki? He polled Palestinians not only on the their attitudes to the two-state solution, but the Clinton Parameters as well. 25 years ago, there was 60% support for the Clinton Parameters by Palestinians, but the June 2018 poll showed that the number had gone down to 37%.

The last ten years shows a significant decrease in public support for both the two-state solution and the Clinton Parameters, and it could be a result of disagreeing with specific parts of the proposals (such as how the Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock or Jerusalem is delegated).

I did some further digging when I got home, and I found this data from the UN Division for Palestinian Rights website:

"A 25 December [2000] published poll found that 48% of the 501 Israelis questioned were opposed to the proposals; 57% would object to Palestinian control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound; 72% were against even a limited return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. A 29 December published poll found that 56% of the Israelis would oppose a peace agreement reached on the basis of the Parameters."

This shows that though public media--especially Western media--may have painted the Palestinian government as the villain (and Israel and America as the "victims"), the proposals accepted by either government had varied support among its people.

The Israeli civilian population did not want to accept the Clinton Parameters because of the way certain things would be resolved; their reservations lie with the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa Mosque because the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in the world for Jews, would have been given to Palestine, while Jews would have control of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount (which is the status quo).

In addition, there was a section in the Clinton Parameters that dealt with the right of return for Palestinians, where there would be a certain number of Palestinian refugees who settled in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while other Palestinians either would become citizens of their host countries, move to a third-party country, or settle back into the land that is Israel Proper (with permission from the Israeli government, of course); many Israelis did not support this.

That was the public opinion years ago. Today, there is even less support for these proposals. Dr. Shikaki outlined three issues as reasons for a decrease in support of compromise, which we will cover in the next section. Stay tuned!

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