Yes, Representation Is Actually Important

Yes, Representation Is Actually Important

25% of Congress members are women. That's not a stat to be proud of.

A few days ago, I heard a young man on campus from out of country say that he was fine with the decisions our representatives in government were making, and that he didn't see a problem in who was representing him in the government. Even though he doesn't have anyone in government from the same background as him. Even though the breakdown of representation in the House looks like this:

Gender: Men: 248; Women: 83

Race: White: 339; Black: 46; Hispanic: 33; Asian: 10; Other: 3

and the breakdown of the representation in the Senate looks like this:

Gender: Men: 78; Women: 21

Race: White: 90; Black: 3; Hispanic: 4; Asian: 3

While the United States of America has a demographic breakdown of:

White alone, percent, July 1, 2016 76.90%
Black or African American alone, percent, July 1, 2016 13.30%
Hispanic or Latino, percent, July 1, 2016 17.80%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, July 1, 2016 1.30%
Asian alone, percent, July 1, 2016 5.70%

With women at 50.8% of the population in 2016.

But he's okay with it! He doesn't mind that his racial minority is underrepresented in his lawmaking bodies. He doesn't think it makes a difference that even though women make up half of this country's population, their representation in Congress is a stark 25%. One quarter.

On one hand, I guess I can understand where he's coming from. We did elect these people into office, because we trust that of all of the available candidates, they were the most qualified and most likely to vote with their demographic's best intentions in mind. Yes, we did pick them. But stop to consider that our choices were extremely limited. Women don't run for positions in Congress as much as men do. So, sure we picked the people we now ridicule in office, but our pickings were slim. Why don't more women run for government?

And it doesn't change the fact that an unrepresentative group is trying to make decisions about women, especially when we're talking about abortions and birth control, issues that disproportionately affect more women than men, yet men are the majority of people making these decisions. This issue with representation is that men can't make informed decisions for women. They just can not. There is a limit to the vicarious capacity of humans; sometimes, you can not learn everything about a situation just listening to it or watching it, you have to live it.

Take for example my experiences in college. Four years ago, my brother was exactly where I am as a college freshman, learning the ropes of an entirely new lifestyle. Everything he said, I listened to and thought that I understood what he meant. But I definitely did not. I did not know what he meant until I got there. I didn't understand when he said college was 1000 times more difficult than high school. I registered in my brain that yes, it's difficult, but I didn't understand the extent of it until I actually got here and lived it myself. (Peep my article on this very topic: 10 Things College Students Say That I Now Know To Be True).

Inherently, then, men can't make decisions about things they've never, ever experienced, like periods or pregnancy. There's the famous fallacy of men being extreme advocates for pro-life, anti-abortion, until their own significant others unexpectedly get pregnant, and then they want an abortion. Remember that episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia? Yeah, that's what this situation is exactly. You don't know what something is like until you live it yourself.

Given that, how can we expect an unrepresentative body of people to make fair decisions about our lives? We can't. It's about gaining empathy for people different from you, and often times it's not possible until you understand them and listen to their stories, even if you can't live them yourself. In order for that to work, you need to have voices in government that can represent those populations. So why aren't there more women in government? Why aren't there more minorities in government?

This is something we need to think more deeply about. This is an issue that needs more voices, more serious voices. Let's get more representation in government. Women like Hillary Clinton and Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) are going to bring about big change, as role models for younger women picking their career paths. We need more women like them. We need more people like them.

**Props to Always Sunny; we need more conversation like this. Sometimes satire is what it takes to get people talking.**

Cover Image Credit: unsplash.com

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He Changed Everything.

My soul is richer & my heart is fuller 

Sept 2013 I found myself writing to an evangelist Jennifer Beckham looking for more, looking for answers cause at the time I was in a dark place, and stuck no matter what I did. She wrote back! I cried as I read her respond. She sent me scriptures of who god is and what he wants for us. God says we are more than conquers and endurance develops strength and character. She encouraged me that I was on the right track. Not to give up and she would be praying for me. I saw Jennifer Beckham at a conference that year. I don't remember what she specifically talked about but I remember the feeling. The feeling of wanting to burst out crying, I could feel my eyes being filled with tears, and my heart racing but I wouldn't let out the tears. My pride was too big. I wanted to be strong so I did my best to hold it all in, and I did. At this conference they offered the audience who wanted to go up for prayer and dedicate their life to Jesus Christ. Surprisingly I went up, but I went up with other people that were seeking out salvation. I wasn’t sure if I was going up to support the other people or if it was truly for me. I was confused, even though I said the prayer. I became more confused as the days went on and I wasn't feeling a difference in my life. Nothing was changing. I started reading the bible and many books, listening to sermons, and surrounding myself with positive people. I gave my life to Jesus, but I didn't feel like I was set FREE! I continued feeling empty, lost, broken, guilty, and hurt from the past. There were so many days where I just wanted to give up. Almost felt pointless to fight for my life. At this point in my life I didn't know God very much, but I had just a little bit of faith. My faith was as big as a mustard seed and God took care of the rest. Day by day, year by year I started noticing my life changing. I noticed I was changing. I started feeling happy with who I was and where I was in life. I no longer questioned God about the things that happened to me. In my heart I was ok with the wounds, the hardships, and trials from the past because I now understood those wounds and trials. I realized I was SET FREE! not perfect but set free. I started understanding who I was as a child of our heavenly father. Now it’s Jan 2018 and I’m in awe of who I am and where I am in life, all because of Jesus. His so faithful! I think of the favor, the grace, his mercy, his love, his joy and blessing that he gives me even when I’m undeserving of it, it’s overwhelming. He has never left me nor forsake me. I can say Jesus you changed everything and my heart so forever thankful. 

Today, I encourage you like Jennifer Beckham encouraged me. Keep going and don't give up. No matter what your past looks like believe in your heart that you were created for greatness. Don't let your past determine your future, be the change you want in your life. You have it in you. There is so much more to life, don't miss out on it. It's time to take back your happiness, love, joy, freedom and so much more. It's time to take back EVERYTHING the enemy has taken from you. God has made you an overcomer. I speak it right now, that you will be victorious in 2018 and the years to come. Remember, God loves you! 

Psalm 136:26 (AMP) O give thanks to the God of heaven, for his mercy and loving-kindness endures forever!

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Oprah Winfrey Running For President?

Golden Globe speech sparking some ideas.

As of Sunday, January 7, 2018, Oprah Winfrey made a few remarks during her Golden Globe speech, hinting to her possibly running for president in 2020. Later, two of her friends, who wish to remain anonymous confirm this speculation. One of the friends said that this idea has been looming for months now but that Winfrey did not come to a conscience yet.

The main point of Winfrey's speech at the Golden Globes was the #MeToo movement. She also made a statement of, "A new day is on the horizon", which many liberal celebrities and viewers heard as a possible campaign cry.

At the moment, there is no serious talk right now about her running for president, but some of her fans have voiced their opinions through Twitter and Facebook after she had her speech. Along with her fans, her long time partner, Stedman Graham also mentioned that her running for president was a possibility

However what Winfrey does not have is political experience. When she needs political advice she looks to the Obamas and she fully endorsed Hillary Clinton. We may have our next Democratic candidate for the 2020 election. Although the race for president does not start until after the 2018 midterms, many candidates are getting a head start. Maybe this is her making her first move. What do you think? Will America choose another TV star as our president?

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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