The Oscars: Celebrities And Politics

The Oscars: Celebrities And Politics

What controversy can we expect this year?
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The Oscars are almost guaranteed to attract some controversy each year. Usually, there's some disagreement over which film deserved best picture, or what movie is overrated. Given the current political climate, this year will likely prove more divisive than most.

Of course, politics have never been completely separate from entertainment and award shows. Most notably, there was Marlon Brando's boycott of the 1973 Oscars. Brando sent activist Sacheen Littlefeather in his place to deny his Best Actor Award, as protest for the film industry's treatment of Native Americans. More recently, the #OscarsSoWhite campaign of the last two years has inspired boycotts in reaction to the lack of diversity in the nominees. Whether this year's more diverse slate of nominees puts an end to the controversy remains to be seen, but the Academy must be hoping so.

If the Golden Globes are any indication, this year's Oscars are more likely to be primarily dominated by political, rather than racial, controversy (though the two can never be entirely separated). There's nothing new in artists and entertainers criticizing politicians, but few political figures have managed to unite the entertainment industry in opposition as Donald Trump has. After the Golden Globes, reactions were largely split into two camps: praising entertainers for taking a bold public stance, or arguing that celebrities should stay out of politics. This raises the question, can they really stay out of politics? Even if they can, should they?

We're living in a world in which an American Idol runner-up has been nominated for Congress by North Carolina Democrats. A world in which Michigan Republicans have suggested Kid Rock for Senate, and Ted Nugent has indicated he may run in the same state. A world in which the star of the Celebrity Apprentice is now the President of the United States. Surely, actors delivering politically-charged speeches at award shows pale in comparison.

For all their wealth and privilege, artists and entertainers are still people, not public property. They are not obligated to tailor their political views to those of their fans. They have every right to express their views, just as the public has the right to respond. Boycotting or criticizing people after they speak is a far better response than seeking to prevent them from speaking in the first place. That should go without saying, but this is apparently the present state of political discourse in America.

You may not want to tune into the Oscars just to hear four hours of political speeches (the alternative, however, is listening to celebrities thanking half the people they've ever met). Perhaps it's best to remember that they have the right to free speech, just as we all have the right to turn the channel. Besides, in the time it'll take to watch the Oscars, you could catch up on half a season of your favorite show.

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air this Sunday, February 26th.

Cover Image Credit: Getty Images

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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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Do Yourself A Favor And Stop Eating Beef

But I get it- they're so cute you want to eat them.

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Cattle continue to be one of the United States food supply chain's largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Cows emit methane from digestive processes, which contributes to the growing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, in addition to the emissions resulting from deforestation required to clear grazing areas for livestock and producing cattle feed. Additionally, emission result from the manufacturing and storage processes. Implementing dietary changes to substitute beef for beans, a high source of protein and a low source of greenhouse gases could cut the number of emissions enough to meet the U.S.' 2020 reduction target. While the research is informative and convincing, presenting it to the general public could be a challenge as Americans' food preferences are closely intertwined with socialized gender roles and culture.

A 2017 study headed by Helen Harwatt studied the environmental impacts and implications of Americans' cow-fueled diets, finding that substituting beans for beef would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 334 mmt and would prove to be an adequate protein source. Although the implications and findings of the study are significant, convincing Americans to substitute beans for beef would prove to be a challenge. The dietary choices of Americans are closely tied to their cultural, social, and economic attitudes, as well as the nutritional value of the food. These factors vary across populations and are also influenced by social stereotypes and marketing initiatives that either work to break these stereotypes or perpetuate them. Beans are far more affordable and provide just as much protein and even more dietary fiber than beef, however, meat is a staple of the American diet.

The average American will consume 71 pounds of red meat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and 56 percent of Americans consumed meat at least once per week in 2012. National Public Radio in partnership with Truven polled 3,000 Americans in 2015 and found there has been no significant change in how Americans consume meat, however, more Americans have expressed wanting to consume less meat for the health benefits and savings. This appears promising, however, in January 2018 the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service reported that Americans were expected to consume record amounts of livestock and dairy products throughout 2018.

Many people who consume red meat know the adverse health impacts that are associated with its consumption, however, many people continue to consume it and will continue to do so. A report from the Seattle Times found that despite growth in the plant, insect or cultured meat consumption, animal-product sales are predicted to outpace those products. In order to decrease the consumption of cattle, and meat in general, social marketing strategies with the aim of changing behaviors and perceptions are required. By looking at popular culture, it is not surprising that meat consumption is heavily intertwined with the social construction of masculinity, and in the media, the strongest men have been portrayed as lovers of meat, such as Ron Swanson in Parks and Rec. This linkage of meat consumption and masculinity has become so pervasive that an op-ed was written in The Guardian to empower men to choose vegetarian options at restaurants. According to the Huffington Post, 79 percent of vegans and 59 percent of vegetarians are women. Men comprise 41 percent of vegetarians. By analyzing why more women forego meat, these conclusions could be tailored to apply to the population as a whole, in addition to efforts promoting affordable and appetizing meatless products.

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