Why Modern-Day Feminists Need to Stop Playing the Victim Card

Why Modern-Day Feminists Need to Stop Playing the Victim Card

I am a strong woman and don't feel the need to claim the title of "feminist".
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AH, feminism. What a topic. Wage gaps, the "war on women," and the fight for equality. There are the extremists who believe in women's dominance. And then there are the women who just feed on the agenda of feminism when there really is no point to labeling what this movement is.

I am a strong woman and don't feel the need to claim the title of "feminist."

Okay, now before all the feminists write about how "small-minded" or "uneducated" I am on the topic, why don't you broaden your horizons and let someone else explain their point of view without you shoving your beliefs down our throats? Why don't you take a breather and let the other side of the spectrum share their beliefs (like the first amendment gives you yours!) Okay? Great. Thank you.

Now, no, I don't claim to be a feminist. I was raised to be an independent, strong female who shouldn't need any other person to take care of me. That's how all girls should be raised, but not under the title of "feminist." I truly believe feminist is another way of playing the victim card, but that's just me. I guess I see the world differently than having to play my woman card on everything when it's unnecessary and serves no greater purpose other than back in the early 19th century when women had zero rights, but today? Please. Stop.

I know that feminism is the movement nowadays that doesn't fight for our right to vote since we have that right because of the real feminists back in 1920. Feminism today is somehow a movement for the equality of everyone, but if that's the true core of the cause, why isn't it called humanism? You can be a regular person who believes in the absolute equality of every person. I am not a feminist and I believe everyone should be treated fairly and respectfully, but I need a specific label for that? And I'm confused why feminists thought that it would be a good idea to title something with a female-oriented word? But anyway, next subject.

Feminism is now really just an agenda that liberals have come up with to make voters believe that life here in America is just so hard. Wake up, America! Since I am a woman, I can tell you that life, in general, isn't supposed to be easy, that's how life is, and inequalities can occur anywhere, but living in the United States is a piece of cake in comparison to other countries. There will always be discrimination and racism, not always from the same race of people or gender, but it will always exist because all humans are flawed. It's unfortunate, but that's just how life is. And there is still more good in the world than bad, so it's not good to generalize and make a bigger issue of these matters when it wasn't necessary to begin with.

As a woman, I have the right to vote in every election, to marry whenever and whomever I'd like, I can choose to have children, and how many, if I want any at all, and I can live anywhere I'd like. I can go to any college, work where I'd like, and I have all the rights as a man. I can be my own person and I don't need the title of "feminist" to do so. In other parts of the world, some cultures don't respect women at all. That's sad, yes. But before you criticize and say that we need to step in, remember, it's their culture and America has no right to police other nations on how they run their societies. I think men and women of all ethnicities, faiths, and sexualities are equal and should be treated so, but in other places, that's not the case. So instead of complaining about all the struggles we don't have, and really just makeup, why don't we appreciate our freedoms? Because if women really weren't equal to men in the U.S., would Hillary Clinton be a presidential candidate? Didn't think so.

The wage gap is an issue in some places, yes, I will agree to that. Everyone should be paid fairly based on their abilities. But all the reports claiming women don't get paid as much as men are wrong. In comparison to a male engineer and a female nurse, for example, the engineer would make more money based on his field. Now, there are plenty of women, my mother included, who make more money than her male co-workers. It just depends on the job. If you want more money, work hard, and negotiate with your employer for better compensation. It's not for the government to come in and dictate pay because that would be socialism, and America was based on having a small government (AP US History and AP US Government would tell you that.) No, it isn't fair if one gender gets paid better for the exact same work, but in many circumstances, that's not even the case. The wage gap is mostly determined by different fields and comparing them. Don't believe the media that every single job in this country is like that. And don't play the female victim card just so you can make some point about a made up issue that was made to pander to voters.

The "war on women" is a joke. I am a woman and I don't feel attacked at all. I have the right to get an abortion if I find myself pregnant and don't want the child. But abortion will never become illegal again so it's a non-issue. I don't see why so many women throw this argument into the mix when our reproductive rights are our own and no one is going to be able to take them away from us by law. So why make a bigger issue out of nothing? It's simply irritating. Get an abortion and no one will actually be able to stop you. Yes, there will always be people who try to stop abortions and protest the Roe v. Wade ruling, but by law, it's up to the woman. SO whatever your views are on abortion, you still have the right to do whatever you want with your body. Whether you "accidentally" get pregnant because of unprotected sex or in the unfortunate circumstances of rape, you have the choice. And no one will ever be able to take that away from you. So feminists, stop being rude and putting those bumper stickers on your cars that say "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries." That's annoying. By doing that, you're only making the issue bigger when it doesn't even exist. No devout religious person will ever agree with abortion, but don't be rude about their faith, just because some of you don't know how to have protected sex in 2016. (Side note: there's no need for abortions nowadays when birth control and condoms are a lot more accessible than back in 1950. So unless you have gotten raped or need one for a medical reason, there's no excuse for an "accidental" pregnancy and abortion anymore. Stop with the stupid excuses if you're not responsible enough to handle the consequences of sex.)

I am a strong woman who doesn't need the label of "feminist." I've never heard of a strong male describing himself as a "masculinist" and that also would cause issues among the feminist society because then men are the cause of inequality and a million other issues would come about with men labeling themselves as such. But it's somehow okay for women to do so? Just never men because they're men and that's not okay for them to blah blah blah because they're men. Someone explain how that's okay, but whatever.

Feminism in today's age isn't useful, it isn't pushing us forward, and it's actually keeping us back from uniting as a nation. Has anyone realized that feminism is really dividing us more and more with every single claim the feminist society brings forth? Has anyone realized that by claiming men hold too much power or that things aren't equal really causes more issues that don't exist in the first place? There is no "war on women" and if you truly believe there is, I feel sorry for you. I am so sorry that you feel the need to be a victim when you have an unbelievable amount of rights in this nation that other women on the other side of the world can only dream of having. Again, if there was such a strong inequality among the two genders, I really don't see how the (somehow) beloved (to some) Hillary would be running for the presidency as a woman! If gender inequality truly existed as much as feminists claimed it did, now wouldn't she be unable to run a campaign because biologically she is a female? Crazy.

So thank you, if you read all the way down. Thank you for letting me express my opinion, even if it's different than yours. Thank you for letting me use my first amendment right to speak my mind. And thank you for respecting my thoughts on the matter, without name-calling or telling me that I'm uneducated. I'm glad you took your time out to see another perspective and that you may not truly know what your cause is actually about.

This country has many beautiful freedoms for all of its citizens (the experience is what YOU do with it) and I hope you see that a little more clearly.

Cover Image Credit: telegraph.co.uk

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Evidence, The Most Important Foundation

A real world example of why data rather than emotion should be used in an argument
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As I was thinking of relevant topics to write about, I figured this is one of the most controversial as it is so necessary, yet it is not used to the degree we need to. Of course, one could claim that as I am someone studying the sciences; I have a bias and what I say in this article should be taken with a grain of sand. In an effort to show that evidence really is an unbiased issue, I will provide real life examples.

Within the last year and a half or so, during Trump’s presidency, Kellyanne Conway referenced “Alternative Facts” while discussing a topic of importance. This quickly became a fast spreading joke as people recognized the foolishness that is no two opposing statements can really be true in light of facts. This was laughed off, but it really shows the state of where we are as a society. Regardless of the evidence that provides truth, people still hold on to their beliefs. They even cite examples of exceptions as a reason to disprove an entire argument. Let me provide a crystal clear example of why that is not an acceptable retort. Gravity is something we experience all the time. It is what keeps us on the ground and ensures that we will not float into space where we would simultaneously freeze and burn at the same time. However, one of the most well known exceptions to the rule is helium. Helium is less dense than air and because of that, it floats to the top of the substance that is more dense - air. Now, because the balloon filled helium does not mean that the entire law of gravity is wrong. It simply means that other scientific forces create that exception to the law. This same logic, for example, applies to the immigrant/DACA/Dreamer issue today. Now, I am not going to go into explicit detail, but I will provide references below. Broadly speaking, those part of the Republican party and the President believe that immigrants simply come into the country to kill, steal, and “mooch” off of our welfare system. Data shows the opposite of those claims, however. Those in the DACA program, for example, actually contribute quite a bit to the economy. Greater than 90% in the program actually have jobs and there are immigrants that have become military members to fight for the country they seek refuge in. Now I am sure there are exceptions to those rules such as Mexicans who are part of the drug cartel or even people who come from countries of muslim origin who commit terrorist attacks. The reality is much different in that there have been significantly more domestic terror attacks by whites in this country than people of color. A person is actually more likely to be killed by a falling vending machine, shark, or even falling down stairs than being killed in a foreign terror attack. This relates back to the Law of Gravity example because even though there are exceptions to the reasons to the (primarily democrat) effort to keep immigrants safe in the country, that is not a viable reason to enact such radical policies to keep them out. Now of course, the issue of illegal immigrants is certainly prominent but arguably that is more a problem with the system itself and many of those people have been proving immigration policies futile. I am not saying I think illegal immigration is justified, but I think the data needs to be looked at and incorporated into any future improved policies.

The real point of this article is to tell people of this country that before you decide to get into a debate over a controversial topic, think about the facts first before letting your emotions guide your argument. Evidence has done wonders for the field of science ( science, engineering, mathematics, astronomy, etc.) and has gotten us where we are today. Try using it in your everyday life instead of reacting with emotion to something. Who knows, you may just change your position on an issue.

Cover Image Credit: les Inrockuptibles

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Forget Professional Neutrality: It's Time to Post Politics

When we're walking the wire, it's not unprofessional to tweet politics - it's necessary citizenship.
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For those of us that grew up in the information age, the memory of someone in our lives warning of the dangers of speaking your mind too freely online isn't too distant. Now more than ever, our social media has become self-branding, networking, proof of our relevance and ability to behave with tact in an adjacent public sphere, and an archive for which others can do quiet research on us with or without our full knowledge.

As a result, teachers, advisers, and guidance counselors tell us to keep vulgarity and base humor out of the picture and follow the rules of "polite company": if you won't say it around children or in front of your grandmother, keep it off public profiles. The idea is our social queues of whose immediately present don't extend into an entire friend's list past, present, and future anymore than it covers the college applications, interviewers, or even future in-laws that might be scouring the web for an insight into you as a human being. There are real-life consequences for slipping up - missing out on a scholarship, losing a job, or even offending a potential friend or networking contact without realizing the first thing that comes up with your name on Google is a heinous tweet from 2010 or a less-flattering photo that you should have never been tagged in. What's appropriate on a Saturday night with peers might not be so great at 9am on a Monday in an office when an assistant does a quick reputation-check before your meeting with a hiring manager. Or how a revenge post of intimate photos from your ex can turn into a career-ruining nightmare.

When posting, many of us know better than to post without considering the broadest possible audience that could potentially see it. When thinking of this "polite company" rule, however, does it extend into all social graces? What about the controversies your mother begs you to dodge at family reunions, like politics and religion?

I've personally given this consideration a great deal of thought this past year. All of my core values, personal research, sense of humanity and ethics, ideological views, and belief in human decency feel strongly opposed to the Trump administration. As a man proud of prejudice, a long history of mistreating people, and the ability to make absolutely anything and everything extremely personal (one look at his Twitter account makes it clear his world is distorted into an extreme worship-Trump or "losers-that-despise-Trump" binary), he brings up more than traditional platform debates. Is it talking politics to say "grab them by the p****" is offensive, predatory, evidence that counts towards a horrifying amount of sexual assault accusations, and misogynistic? Is it talking politics to say that his first campaign speech was full of unfounded racism? Is it talking politics to say we should be horrified that he is stealing national money to fund golf trips and keep his wife living in partially-estranged luxury in New York City? Is it talking politics to say that him insulting another nation for whom we have been on the brink of nuclear war for decades is terrifying, dangerous, and one of many acts of a mad man?

If he himself refuses to behave with professionalism and the usual boundaries of political rhetoric, and as I would argue, refuses to act presidential while being entirely unfit for office, is it talking politics to return that same lack of decorum?

After a certain point, is it even ethical that I'm concerned about retweeting a damning post from a meaningful and qualified contributor because I'm a senior wondering if a potential future employer will like Trump, or the absence of objectivity will harm a chance at professional or graduate-study journalistic pursuits? Is that not selling out? When is it bad judgement or poor manners to speak your mind, and when does it become blatantly unethical not to?

Well, now. We've crossed that line.

The amount of tongue-biting it takes to be polite and professional, particularly online, is more difficult some nights more than others under this administration for me. The State of the Union address was one of them.

It is a national tragedy is that I'm a 20-something studying in nowhere, Massachusetts with no presently immediate impact on global affairs and I have exerted more self-control and impulse-tweet-filtering in the last 24 hours than POTUS during his entire campaign.

Which is saying a great deal, because about 3 hours ago the words "orange devil" (only a conservative step down from my usual quip of 'cheeto demon' and some timely Oscar Wilde quotes) found their way to a Facebook post. It's not as though I slipped on my keyboard - creativity is coping, and disoriented rage is the fallback for those of us running on fumes. Presuming we survive the next three years and find a replacement that doesn't continue the constant threat of an impending reign of terror (I'll take anything closer to 44 than 45 at this point), the nation will need a time of healing and rest after. (Not to mention, the challenges ahead for presidential predecessors in damage repair are mounting daily.)

It's alarmingly easy to open-mouth-insert-foot in the land of eternal records, where history cannot die - only haunt you - and everything you say lasts forever: the internet. Sometimes, though, you have to say something. Sometimes the world is too strange, extreme, and exaggerated for satire to wrap its mind around, and our traditional civility is bought out, chewed up, or banned from the White House press room. There's a call to action and the rules don't apply as they used to.

Tweets. Picketing. Marching. Praying. Donating. Something to speak up and speak out. It's a moral imperative, a personal compulsion, and a coping mechanism - a matter of sanity,a question of the right side of history, and a need those of us staring in horror to have a solidarity as a band aid restoration over lost faith in humanity.

It's why we're all asking the same questions:

Anyone else seeing this? Anyone else HEARING this?

Anyone else crossing themselves every time they update themselves on breaking news and the global state of the affairs?

It's not just me right?

Is existential dread just a sign of the times?

If it feels like you're on thin ice, can we really afford not to be deliberately political? We're living in slippery-slope times where everything we say and do and are becomes inherently political. Some people are more conscious of this designation than others - particularly those whose personal lives can be destroyed, frayed, threatened, or even ended because of a powerful rich stranger's opinions - the kind that become legislation - on their rights to live and exist.

We can't be distant from politics now, even those of us who don't feel wired for those conversations and lack general interest. Those with certain privileges have the luxury of being theoretical about it - they live bulletproof lives and can walk through political battlefields unscathed, treating policy like hobbyist ideology with nothing on the line. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should ignore what's happening and affecting those around you. Just because you're here doesn't mean you relate to drafted boots on the ground.

Refusing to make a meaningful, ethical contradiction to the world you don't want to see isn't just keeping your head down or not taking a stand -- it's pure complacency. If you don't understand now, after all this time, why that's the most dangerous thing you can do, take a walk to the library. Pick up Elie Wiesel.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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