Let's Talk About #YesAllWomen

Let's Talk About #YesAllWomen


The world we live in today is a scary place. If you talk to older relatives, they will tell you tales of biking into town, going to the movies with friends and running around the neighborhood until their parents called them in for dinner. The world was a different place now than it was 30, 20 and even ten years ago. Ten years ago, I was one of those kids who ran around her neighborhood until my mom said it was time to come in. 

But now, walking out of my front door and into the world, I am terrified. Every time I go to the movies, I look around and make sure I know where the exits are in case a gunman starts shooting. When I walk from the mall to my car I have pepper spray in my hand in case someone tries to attack me, and I would never let my seven-year old sister and 10-year old brother run around the neighborhood unless I was two feet behind them. Unfortunately, younger generations might never know the feeling of security that older ones have felt and come to miss.

I’ve come to miss this security as well. One of my favorite past times is sitting on my beautiful campus in the sun, something I had planned to do quite often before I graduated. However, every time I walk onto campus now or am laying in the sunshine reading a book I am going to be distracted; I will be too busy scrutinizing everyone that passes by. I will be too busy thinking if the guy I didn’t accept a drink or dance from will come running onto the mall waving a gun at me because I denied him. Or what about that guy that one of my sorority sisters cursed at because he pinched her butt, is he going to come running into our sorority house blaming women for all of his problems? Women have definitely gotten the short end of the stick here -- if we say yes, we are sluts, but if we say no, we get shot? Anyone else see anything wrong with this picture?

After the shooting at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where Elliot Rodger allegedly opened fire, killing six and wounding 13, the hashtag #YesAllWomen took off on Twitter. Rodger blamed his day of retribution on the cruelness of women, claiming that they denied him pleasure. The hashtag has been tweeted more than one million times, which shows just how much women are speaking up about what we have to face on a day-to-day basis. This hashtag does more than just speak about this college shooting; it brings to light the worldwide struggle women face each day in every corner of the world. 

“I think the #YesAllWomen movement was really important in showing people the true challenges and danger women face every day,” said Laura Cohen, a senior journalism and women’s and gender studies major. “We need to point out that men cannot feel entitled to women because it only leads to violence. A woman should be able to say 'yes' or 'no' to a man without fearing her safety.” 

How can we live in a world where we teach our daughters how not to get raped instead of teaching our sons how not to rape? To men I ask, how would you feel raising a daughter in a world where she is told to take it as a compliment when a stranger gropes her on the street? #YesAllWomen is not simply a hashtag, it is a wake-up call for people to see that in a society where people are more comfortable with telling jokes about rape than reporting that they have been raped, something has to change.

“The only way we can fix this huge cultural issue is to change the male perspective and make everyone understand how we all need to be a part of the solution,” Cohen added. 

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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.

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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News Flash: 'Building The Wall' Is Still A Dumb Idea And Always Will Be

The government is still partially shutdown because of funding for the wall. Really?


A man who is a strong supporter of building the wall told me this metaphor: If you don't want the wrong people walking into your backyard, you put a fence up. We don't want the wrong people coming to America, so we put a wall up. I respect people's political beliefs, and because of this, I want to share mine.

I believe that President Trump demanding money to build a border wall is dumb.

It's hard to believe so many people really think that this "build a wall" has everything to do about border security. It's just inhumane and wrong.

Literally, the most notorious drug lord of Mexico has shed light about how he smuggles the drug into the U.S. They have brought it through fishing boats, trucks going through the legal point of entry, underground tunnel, but not through unwalled parts. The half of million pounds of narcotics that were secured at the border? They were all al legal points of entry.

I'm saying this because I am a proud daughter of immigrants who crossed the border. The media has portrayed immigrants as these horrible people infiltrating our country. They just want somewhere safe to live to raise their kid.

The conditions of Latin American countries are inexplicable. Communist have risen from the ashes dominating these countries letting people rot on the street starving. There are little to no job opportunities. I haven't seen my family in three years because it is dangerous to go.

The media doesn't tell you this. They don't tell you how many people have gone to the border and returned to Mexico because ICE agents tear gas them.

They tell you that they throw babies over fences to distract border patrol agents. They tell you children are dying because of malnutrition of trekking thousands of miles to get the border. They don't tell you that those same children have been eating unmonitored food with thousands of microorganism some mal some good.

Not all immigrants are not bad people. The notions that all immigrants are criminals is "fake news." It has been a hook, line, and sinker for the Republican Party. There are studies such as one from the journal Criminology showing that places with high undocumented immigrant population does not equal high crime.

Should undocumented citizens attempt to become legal residents of the United States? Absolutely, and that is a problem if they are evading taxes and other legal notions with more consequences.

However, we should not lie to ourselves and act as a wall is to help border security against drugs and crime. It's just a physical quota like 1920s immigration laws. There is a better solution then sacrificing 5.7 billion dollars. Let me translate that: 5,700,000,000 dollars. That is our taxes. As a college student, I rather have those 5.7 billion dollars be translated to scholarship, grants, financial aid, and helping us, the future of this country become the best people we can be. Why build a wall when the future of America, who I personally think is more important can be helped.

I don't come from a rich family, and I don't have the means to afford a college education without loans, so when I hear that the Government can afford to give 5.7 billion dollars for a wall, I have the right to be upset. Tell me I'm wrong, and call me dumb, but this is my unpopular opinion.


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