Maslow And #BlackLivesMatter

Maslow And #BlackLivesMatter

What do Abraham Maslow and Black Lives Matter have to do with one another?
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During some of my undergraduate social work courses, I learned about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who developed this theory about what people need, and in a particular order, to achieve self-actualization, or fulfillment. A great picture of this is below:

In case this picture is hard to read, the order (from the bottom to the top) is physiological needs, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

Maslow's theory was that self-actualization cannot be achieved if things from the lower levels of the pyramid have not yet been met. So for example, someone who is hungry (think: Someone starving, maybe living in a food desert, and not sure where or when they will eat again) will not find the needs higher up in the pyramid (let's say, confidence and respect) to be a priority.

Now that we understand Maslow's hierarchy of needs, let's talk about some of the oppression Black Americans still face today.

1. There is still a significant pay gap between white families and black families.

According to this Pew Research article, a 2014 study found the white net worth is 13x higher than the black net worth. That comes out to a median white net worth of $144,200 and a median black net worth of $11,200.


2. 27 percent of African Americans (men, women, and children) live below the poverty level.

Just to give some perspective, the poverty level for a family of four is $24,250.

3. Education and poverty.

This is a bit of a chain reaction here, so follow along. Children living in poverty tend to have a higher rate of absenteeism and are 7x more likely to drop out of school altogether in order to work and take care of their families. For those who do drop out of school, it is much more likely they will continue to live in poverty.

4. Drop out rates.

About 8 percent of African American children drop out of school, while only 4 percent of Caucasian children drop out. (All of these education statistics can be found here).

So, what does this have to do with #BlackLivesMatter?

I'm glad you asked. Currently, about 40 percent of white people express support for the Black Lives Matter movement. As exhibited in the statistics above, white people come from a place of privilege. There is nothing wrong with being privileged. The problem is when white people view this world through their privileged-glasses and undermine the reality of black oppression. Black Lives Matter is about black people having opportunities to not only have similar opportunities as white people, but to have their basic needs met on this hierarchy so they can function and contribute to society as a whole.

It's time for white people to acknowledge that yes, all lives matter, but black lives are hurting right now and need support. Please stand with me in solidarity of those who are suffering because of the color of their skin. They deserve for these statistics to be changed for the better.

Cover Image Credit: haggadot.com

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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 Gillette Controversy: Should Companies Share Their Views?

"We Believe: The Best Men Can Be" by Gillette is about creating a conversation, whether you agree with the commercial or not.

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We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film) www.youtube.com

January 13, 2019, Gillette released a commercial that takes a new focus on their tagline "The Best a Man Can Get." The commercial weighs in on the Me Too movement and showcases different moments of toxic masculinity.

These moments include boys bullying another boy through cyberbullying, two young boys beating each other up while fathers are watching them saying that "boys will be boys", a set of a 1950s sitcom where a man grabs his maids butt to which the audience is encouraged to applause and laugh at his act, and a businessman laughing at his female colleague's statement and then says to the other male colleagues, "What I actually think she means…"

A voiceover in the ad says, "Is this the best a man can get? Is it? We can't hide from it, it's been going on far too long. We can't laugh it off, making the same old excuses. But something finally changed [implying the Me Too movement and people speaking up], and there will be no going back..."

The commercial then shifts to showing a man stepping in when another man tells a woman to smile, when a man stops another man from following a woman down the street, and video clips of men stopping fights and having two boys shake hands, as well as a father encouraging his daughter to say she is strong. There is also a moment when a father from the "boys will be boys" scene tells those kids fighting, "This is not how we treat each other."

The voiceover continues with "...Because we…We believe in the best in men. To say the right thing. To act the right way. Some already are, in ways big and small. But 'some' is not enough. Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow."

This commercial sparked controversy with people saying that not all men show toxic masculinity, many people saying that this commercial is anti-male, and people saying they will now boycott Gillette and their partner company. Whereas others are praising the commercial with many saying that, if you're offended by this commercial, then that is why it was made.

But regardless of what you think of the commercial as a whole, the big topic of discussion is whether or not it is okay if companies should be political and put their two cents in through marketing.

I say yes.

I believe it is very okay for companies to express their thoughts and concerns about political and social issues through marketing. When the Me Too movement first came into the light, many people wanted Hollywood to stay out of politics/social issues. The public did not want to hear about the sexual harassment allegations throughout Hollywood, however, because of these celebrities bringing light to this issue more and more people, celebrity or not, are coming forward and speaking their truths.

More and more people are realizing the signs of harassment and speaking up before it can get worse. Society is more aware of these social issues because people with a platform are talking about it. Unfortunately, many people still do not want to listen to people with platforms, but having the conversation is important, so how else can we keep the conversation going?

That is where commercial and other forms of advertisements can come in. The commercial did exactly what it intended to do: to create a conversation. Talk shows like "The View" or "The Talk" are talking about, news outlets are talking about it, people on YouTube are talking about it, and here I am writing an Odyssey article related to the topic.

The commercial created conversation. It got people thinking about and discussing their concerns, their feelings about the idea of toxic masculinity, as well as how this commercial could or could not be the new wave of change. It is important to have conversations, as it is the only way for things to change and for people to see that how things used to be are not the way they should be now.

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