I Don't Care If Pronouns Aren't Important To You, They Still Matter

I Don't Care If Pronouns Aren't Important To You, They Still Matter

It might be hard, but you need to be aware of pronouns.
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According to Merriam-Webster the definition of a pronoun is: any of a small set of words in a language that are used as substitutes for nouns or noun phrases and whose referents are named or understood in the context. Okay well what does that mean? It basically means that pronouns are a way people can identify themselves without using their name. She/her/hers and He/him/his are the common pronouns used for people who identify as male or female. However, it is 2018 and if you haven't heard that people can identify as a different gender or no gender at all-where have you been?

Gender (WHICH IS DIFFERENT THAN SEXUALITY-look it up) is a very complicated topic and if you were hoping for an article that would explain it, I'm sorry to disappoint. What this article is for is to explain what pronouns are, how important they are to an individual, and why they matter.

If you are born with female anatomy, identify as a female, and prefer the pronouns she/her/hers and don't plan on changing that, you're lucky. You fit into the boxes that society has made and you don't have to worry about grey area. But there are people who live their entire life in the grey area or are born in the wrong box completely. AND THATS OKAY. Society has made two genders but surprise! There are more than two genders(its a spectrum-again, look it up) and people can identify anywhere on the spectrum or not on the spectrum at all. But like I said, I am not here to give you a lesson on gender. I am here to talk about pronouns-the point of pride for those who live in the grey area or those who were born in the wrong box.

So lets say you are that lucky girl born with female anatomy, identify as a female, and prefer the pronouns she/her/hers and don't plan on changing that...and people you don't know and probably people you do know insist on using he/him/his pronouns for you? How would that make you feel? Would you question your gender or femininity? What would happen to your self confidence? Well there are people who have to worry about these things every day of their life.

Now lets say you don't identify as male or female. You might identify as gender fluid, non-binary, gender queer, omnigender, or another gender neutral title(and again, look it up). Individuals who identify as this for the most part prefer they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, or whatever else they'd like. One second rant: people are allowed to identify as whatever they'd like and they are allowed to prefer whatever pronouns they want and it doesn't affect your life in any way so you literally shouldn't have an opinion about it. If you are someone who doesn't identify as male or female, your pronouns are everything. They describe who you are. Your pronouns are how you showcase yourself to the world. And for those who live outside of societies boxes, pronouns are your way of happily expressing yourself.

Now lets say you identify as a male but you have female anatomy, your parents pushed the female gender on you, and maybe up until a certain point you identified as a female as well. This person, who has complete freedom to take their time discovering or rediscovering who they are, might identify as transgender. It is 2018, you really should know what transgender means. But if you don't, pretty please look it up! Another one second rant: again, people are allowed to identify as whatever they'd like and if you've never felt trapped in your own body then you have no right to judge or question the way someone identifies and surprise! It doesn't affect your life in any way so you literally shouldn't have an opinion about it.

Individuals who are trans are going through one of the most difficult transitions anyone could ever go through. But they are excited! They are happy, proud, and all the hardships are worth it because they are finally able to live their life like the person they've always been. Someone who is trans can go on hormones, change their hair, buy a new wardrobe, and can feel and look great! But that means nothing if you use the wrong pronoun for them. It is an adjustment if you're used to calling them one thing and then you have to change, but it is possible and I promise it means more to them than you know.

Yes, it is hard. It is hard to break the habit of saying 'she' and start saying 'he.' It is hard to remember to say 'they.' It is hard, we all know it. But guess what's harder? Living your life, trying to be happy, and trying to be who you are when society tells you not to. That's hard. Someone questioning if you're in the right bathroom. That's hard. Expressing yourself and being confident and then people taking all that away by purposely calling you the wrong thing. That's hard. No one is asking for perfection. No one is saying that you can't make mistakes. All I ask is that you try. Educate yourself. Start a dialogue. Because this life is hard enough, the least you could do is use someone's preferred pronouns.

Cover Image Credit: WIkimedia Commons

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47 Things All Female Athletes Have Said

Yes, I know I am sweating a lot. No, I do not enjoy practices. Yes, I have said all 47 of these.
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Whether you're a collegiate athlete, or a high school one, you have probably found yourself saying most of these phrases. Us athletes know that the athlete life isn't for everyone, and we often find ourselves questioning if it's still for us. So, this is for all my fellow athletes.

All my fellow athletes who know the struggle is undoubtedly real, and who find themselves saying these 47 phrases almost as often as I do.

* * *

1. Do you have an extra hair tie?

2. What if we just said no? What if we just didn't run when the whistle is blown?

3. I, like, really, am not feeling practice today.

4. Do these pants make my quads look big?

5. Are you going to eat before or after practice?

6. I'm so sore.

7. Want to get McDonald's after practice?

8. Did you see that she wore makeup to a preseason practice?

9. I actually looked like a girl today.

10. I wonder what college would be like if I wasn't an athlete.

11. We're up before the sun way too often.

12. Is it gross if I don't shower after weights?

13. How hard do you think practice will be today?

14. Coach is literally crazy.

15. I ate like 20 minutes ago, so there's a 50% chance I puke during this practice.

16. I'm not going to drink the protein shake they gave us because it's going to make me gain weight.

17. I think my legs are bigger than his, so I can't date him.

18. I think my arms are bigger than his, so I can't date him.

19. Today in class a non-athlete was talking about how busy her schedule is. It was so annoying.

20. Thinking about preseason makes me want to cry.

21. Is it even healthy for us to have this many practices in one day?

22. I'll be right back, I'm having PGD (pre-game dumps).

23. I think I'm going to throw up.

24. I should have worked out more on my own.

25. How do other girls have the energy to put makeup on for class every day?

26. My legs are dead.

27. Why did we think being a college athlete was a good idea?

28. Do you think coach will be mad if I have to go pee?

29. I think I peed my pants a little bit during conditioning.

30. Should I wear my hair in a pony-tail, or in a bun?

31. I should probably start eating healthy soon.

32. Only six more practices until the weekend, we can do this.

33. I'd rather be sore for a week straight than climb into this ice bath.

34. They might have beat us, but at least we're still pretty.

35. I can't wait to celebrate our win this weekend.

36. How many hours of sleep did you get? I got 6, it was crazy, I feel so refreshed.

37. I look like such a boy right now.

38. Will you braid my hair?

39. That referee totally rigged the game. We should have won.

40. I think I'd hate being a reg (regular student).

41. It's OK if I eat this since we had conditioning this morning, right?

42. If you're not doing homework, get off the bus Wi-Fi, everybody.

43. These pants fit my legs perfectly but are huge on my waist.

44. I smell so bad right now that I can smell myself.

45. I bet my grades would be so much better if I wasn't an athlete.

46. Coach only gave us, like, one water break during practice. It was horrible.

47. I am so happy that I'm an athlete.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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​'When They See Us' Is The Tough Show Nobody Wants To Watch But Everyone Needs To

Justice was not served.

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Netflix just released a limited series called "When They See Us." The series is based on the Central Park Five. The Central Park Five were five young boys who were convicted of raping a woman jogging in Central Park on April 19, 1989. These young boys did not commit the crime they were convicted of though, they were set up by the prosecutor on the case, Linda Fairstein, along with her fellow detectives.

On April 19, 1989, a huge group of boys went out to Central Park one night "wilding." Cops came and arrested a bunch of the boys who were out. Linda Fairstein came to the scene where the rape happened, with the women attacked hanging on for her life. When Fairstein got to the precinct, immediately she said the boys in the park were the perpetrators. She had the police go out into the neighborhoods and find every young, black/Hispanic male who fit a description they drew up and brought them in for questioning.

What the detectives then did was extremely illegal.

They questioned these 14, 15 and 16-year-old boys without their parents. These boys were minors. These detectives took these boys in the rooms for questioning and started to plot a story in their head, making them say they committed the horrific crime. The boys were saying it wasn't them but the detectives would not let down. They started beating the kids until they "admitted" to this act of rape. One of the boys, Antron McCray, was with his mom and dad when they started to question him. Kevin Richardson was questioned without his mom until his sister came and was basically forced to sign the statement the detectives wrote for him so he could go home.

Yusef Salaam's mother came and got her son just before he signed his Miranda rights away. Raymond Santana was coerced by detectives for hours and hours, along with the others. Korey Wise, who was not in the police's interest at first, was taken and beaten by a detective until he agreed to the story they drew up. These boys didn't even know each other, except Yusef and Korey, and were pinning the crimes on one another because they were forced.

Donald Trump was even supportive of bringing back the death penalty for this case. He wanted the death penalty for five teenage boys. Teenagers. The boys were barely in high school and were being attacked with the death penalty.

At the trial, the lead prosecutor, Elizabeth Lederer, called in the victim of the attack, Trisha Meili. Meili had no recollection of the night after being in a coma for several days. The DNA evidence that was presented at trial did not match any of the defendants. There were no eyewitnesses. They showed the recordings of the interviews of the boys, but they were forced into telling false stories, which none of were merely similar. The case had no supporting evidence whatsoever. But the jury still convicted all five boys, who had to serve out their sentences.

The charges were exonerated in 2002 after the real rapist confessed. But exoneration does not make up for what these young boys had to go through. They were tried as adults at the ages of 14, 15 and 16. Korey Wise was in a maximum security prison at the age of 16. These boys went through something they should have never gone through at such a young age. There was no justice served for the boys or the victim. The detectives pinned a crime on five innocent young boys. These boys had been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead of actually working to find the real rapist, Linda Fairstein pinned it on five boys and did not do anything by the book while the boys were in question.

The show has brought back outcries about the case, even causing Linda Fairstein to step down from her charity boards. Our justice system still isn't what it should be today, and this show helps with showing us that.

The Netflix series shines a light on the racism of these detectives and the injustice that was served. Ava DuVernay did a tremendous job with this show. It is moving. The four episodes are very hard to watch, but it is so important that you do.

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