Peaceful Protesting And U.C. Berkleley

Peaceful Protesting And U.C. Berkleley

Violence is not the answer.
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In light of the recent events that have occurred in America, we have been seeing a number of protests erupt across the country. These are in response to the Presidential election, women's rights, etc. The United States Constitution protects your right to peaceably protest the government. Let us not take this right for granted.

This past week, a protest was staged at U.C Berkeley after Republican speaker Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to the school by a Republican student group to give a speech. According to the New York Times, many students and faculty had petitioned for the university to cancel the event, but the chancellor declined, claiming it was free speech. This further angered the students and faculty who were protesting, so on the day of Milo's scheduled visit, they gathered outside of Berkeley's student union center in hopes that the event would be canceled.

The protest began creatively and peacefully but quickly turned violent. The demonstration allegedly caused over $100,000 worth of damage to Berkeley's campus. Two students were attacked, protesters threw Molotov cocktails to ignite flames and commercial-grade fireworks at police. The windows of the student union center were smashed, and the campus fell victim to vandalism. Not all of the protesters were Berkeley students; some of the protesters were part of a group known as "Black Bloc" that has allegedly been causing problems in the Oakland area for quite some time. (Read about it here.)

Students were pepper sprayed and hurt, Trump supporters and students alike. Mr. Yiannopoulos had to be evacuated from the area, out of concern for public safety. Even after the police dispersed the protesters from Berkeley's campus, a group that remained moved downtown and began smashing the windows of banks.

This chain of events begs the question: is this how we get things done? Some people have claimed that peaceful protesting would not have succeeded in canceling the event. Does this mean the violence was justified?

Can violence ever be justified?

The Constitution protects our right to peacefully protest - not smash windows or vandalize a campus.

How can we ask for the government to protect our right to freedom of speech if we shun those who disagree? Intolerance of speech and rhetoric that is different from your own does nothing to help this country. This is not how you "peacefully protest". Regardless of your personal opinion on the situation or your opinion of Yiannopoulos, this violent demonstration was an attack on the freedom of speech that the public has been trying so very hard to preserve.

Peaceful protests are non-violent and do not infringe on the rights of others. protest that blocks "vehicular or pedestrian traffic" is illegal without a permit, nor do you have the right to block the entrance of a building. You cannot advocate for peace while destroying property or infringing on other people's lives or rights.

In the words of Desmond Tutu, "Don't raise your voice, improve your argument."

This country has a history of peaceful protests, ones that have shaped society today. Through peaceful protesting, women gained the right to vote, made racial segregation unlawful in Alabama and later the rest of the country, and more. Peaceful protest often takes time to gain traction and for a difference to be made. Violence is not the way we bring about a more progressive society. Silencing other people's voices is not how we fight injustice.

Cover Image Credit: Google

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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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