You Should Pay Attention To Foreign Policy

You Should Pay Attention To Foreign Policy

And where to begin paying attention if you haven't before.
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The United States has come a long way from the isolated friend-of-all, enemy-of-none nation George Washington had implored we be in his Farewell Address. We are now (arguably) the only superpower nation, and our president is often named to be the most powerful man in the world.

For a lot of us in the United States, this idea can be taken for granted. I know I have always just thought it was the norm for the U.S. to be in a war. It felt like common sense that if there was anything going on in the world, the United State's Army would be there, they should be there. But now I'm left wondering, why does the United States do what it does, and perhaps more importantly, why should I care?

Well, there are a number of ways this can affect you. There is, of course, the most obvious way this affects U.S. citizens; war.

Military options are usually the last options when it comes to foreign policy, but they are on the table. From being drafted, having friends and loved ones serve in the military, and making sure that veterans are taken care of when they return, war can have huge consequences even on the individual level.

Also likely to affect us all; globalization. As the Huffington Post put it, "Globalization is here, and world economies are intertwined like never before. What happens overseas will affect us here at home." It matters how the economies of other countries are doing because that could help make or break our own economy. If other countries aren't able to buy our goods and services, then the people who provide those goods and services could be out of a job.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, it matters what's going on in the world. Just like ending World War II, when there is evil in the world, we all have an obligation to stop it. This last point gets tricky as you start trying to name actual people or actions as "evil" but let's put aside that for a moment, and I think we can all agree on the abstract level, stopping evil (like Nazi's) is a good idea.

Okay, so now we know why we should care, so let's see what is the US actually doing.

For one thing, the US is a part of various groups such as the United Nations (UN) and the National Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The point of the UN is to prevent war, and promote human rights, while the heart of NATO is "Article 5", if one country is attacked, all other members must come to their aid.

Although the US usually has some pretty important roles in these organizations (like being on the UN Security Council) it also has a history of not ratifying a lot of the treaties most other countries sign, such as the UN Convention on Human Rights. Not ratifying certain treaties can sometimes get in the way of the U.S. having as much influence as it potentially could have. Since the Senate is needed to ratify treaties, and some Senators feel that doing so would hurt our sovereignty, some people would argue that signing the treaties is what would get in the way of the U.S. from doing what it wants.

So what does the U.S. want to do?

Well, this is where Trump comes in. In his first year so far, with Twitter wars with North Korea and with his own Secretary of State, there is too much to go through it all in this article alone. But what the point of this all is that since we already showed that foreign policy affects individuals and that both the safety of our citizens and our economic opportunities are affected by decisions made on the global scale, we all need to pay attention to what is going on.

To name a few things that have happened so far, Trump has withdrawn from talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade deal that is now going on without America in it, meaning easier trading for those in it, and the U.S. potentially being left out.

He has also decertified the Iran Deal, which although doesn't kill it, does mean that it's up to Congress to do something, and doing something isn't what Congress is known for.

We need to decide if these actions are making Americans safer and providing them equal footing in the labor market. These decisions affect us, and whether you agree or disagree with them, we need to make sure that we are keeping up to date with them. This way, we can be better informed about what kind of world we're in, and what America's role and our own roles will look like in this world.

Cover Image Credit: Donald Trump Instagram

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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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