Roasting Myself

Roasting Myself

Of my very few talents, offending myself is one of them.
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It’s hard to remember a time when my hair wasn’t dyed some offbeat, quirky color (aside from now). Pink, blue, purple, green, or some ugly combination of these. This is a way to showcase my extreme individuality. It makes me special. It’s just as hard to remember a time when I wore something relatively normal looking. Whether it be an atrocious thrifted Alfred Dunner blazer, color blocked 80’s windbreakers, wedgie-giving mom jeans, or bright yellow clown-like Dr. Martens. I describe my personal style as “ugly pretty.” Others would say the same, sans “pretty.” At this point I’m used to being called a hipster, and used to enthusiastically denying it in an attempt to hide the fact that this makes me ecstatic. People say my appearance screams “offended millennial.” And I’m not even an offended millennial. I just like, can’t even believe you think that. Like I’m offended that you think I’m offended.

Shortly after my (very late) 18th birthday this year, I Uber-ed with some friends to a Tattoo and Piercing parlor not far from campus. I know what you’re thinking – that we got regrettable matching tattoos across our chests or un-matching but just as regrettable lower back stamps. Thankfully, you are mistaken. Instead I opted for a septum piercing, something few other liberal teenage girls have. My dad thinks I look like a bull, which is just so narrow-minded. Beauty standards are changing, old man. And besides – it makes me look absolutely unique.

I listen to a lot of alternative, indie music. Anyone with a real record label is a guilty pleasure. I tell people that I liked Neutral Milk Hotel before Will Grayson, Will Grayson came out, even though it isn’t true. My guitar pick from the Violent Femmes concert is my most valued possession. Similar to many Youtube comments on old music videos, I claim I was born in the wrong generation. Deep in my soul, I feel that I was also born in the wrong city. I belong in Portland, not Pittsburgh. I saw Jack White in concert and pretended that I understood why he chose not to play Seven Nation Army. He’s an artist, after all, and shouldn’t be defined by one incredible, amazing, astounding, iconic, awesome, hype song. He shouldn’t feel obliged to play the song that made him famous, for the people who pay his bills.

As you may have guessed, I am a vegetarian. I enjoy twelve dollar avocado toast topped with the weeds that grow in between cracks in the sidewalk from a hole-in-the-wall shop whose menu is written on a chalkboard wall. Kale and quinoa salads are a staple. I threatened to release the family dog back into the wild (where he belongs, even though he would die within six minutes) if they didn’t go vegetarian as well. My hippie mother has taken to this change well. I told her that her spirit guides are smiling upon her. My macho father really has no choice not to. I told him that muscle milk is vegetarian safe, even though I do not know this for sure. Everything else we buy is locally sourced, of course. Not only is it better for our bodies and the environment, but it supports small businesses! Corporations are evil, greedy, sinful, and essentially run by Sith lords.

When I signed the metaphorical offended millennial contract, I agreed to be “woke af," which, of course I am. Rachel Maddow is my queen and king and my sole source of news. Everyone else is wrong. I only trust Rachel. No news is valid until she tells me so. A man I once knew told me he called her “Rachel Mad-cow.” I pulled a few strings and he hasn’t been seen since. I also am a strong advocate for safe spaces, though I am actually quite unsure about what they are. I’m also Bernie or bust – obviously. This was a hard decision, not to support a woman. She was just too corporate. When someone says something I do not agree with, my best option is to retreat to an established bubble of liberalness. I fall asleep to Elizabeth Warren speeches to recover from the ideological attacks. Protesting is my favorite hobby. For DACA, for PETA, against circuses and zoos, for women’s rights, at bra burning rallies, against all beauty companies, against every celebrity who didn’t vote for Bernie, against the patriarchy in general. If I do not remain woke, I will most likely be sacrificed by my peers to Fox News.

To the liberals reading this – do not worry. I’m very liberal, honestly. But I’m also able to make fun of myself and my ideology, and take a roast at the expense of the left. And this is something I think we all need to work on.

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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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Gun Control: A Band-Aid Fix to a Grade-A Problem

An op-ed outlining why gun control merely skims the surface of a whole family of issues which all stem from violent tenets embedded in American society.

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Gun violence and gun legality have been vigorously debated in America by everyone from politicians to students. Shootings are horrific, inhumane acts, but many people focus more on the "gun" and less on the "violence" taking place inside the perpetrator of the horrific act. While tighter firearm regulation may reduce gun violence in the United States, I submit that this solution is a band-aid fix for a much graver problem plaguing American society.

Gun violence in America is a recent phenomenon. All of the 5 deadliest mass shootings in America have occurred since 2007, and 28 of the 35 deadliest shootings have occurred since 1990. It is also worth noting that assault rifles with the same capabilities as the ones around today became available with the production of the AK47 assault rifle back in 1947. This data suggests that gun violence as it exists today is not solely a product of gun availability or lax legislation, but rather a societal flaw present in America today that was not present pre-1990.

Any act of violence stems from aggression inside the perpetrator. Aggression itself is a natural emotion and is experienced quite often by humans, especially by men who have naturally higher testosterone levels and possess natural instincts to fight off anyone whom they deem a threat. But why do some manifest this aggression in the form of violence? Psychologists suppose that cultural shaping, peer relationships, and individual characteristics are responsible for a person's choice to act violently. These aspects of human character development have largely been influenced media exposure (and in particular electronic media exposure) over the past 20 years. Since 1998, consumption of television, video games, music, and other forms of e-media has increased exponentially.

Consuming media is not innately bad. For our purposes, it only becomes problematic when the media being consumed is violent. Exposure to violence increases aggression levels in humans, and thus increases the likelihood of those humans to perpetrate acts of violence, whether it be on a large or small scale. The reality is that Americans consume an uncanny amount of violent media on a daily basis. Whether it is earning extra points for a head-shot in Call of Duty, watching that body be dissected during an autopsy in Law and Order, or listening to the violent ideas promoted in contemporary rap music, Americans are barraged with more violent images than their brains can process.

Not only does exposure to violent media increase aggression levels, but it also has a numbing effect on those who consume it. Desensitization exists in various instances of our day-to-day lives. The bliss of finding a new song wears off with each additional listen. Doctors and soldiers become desensitized to the sight of flesh and blood. In a similar way, continual exposure to violent media dulls the natural, negative human reaction to violence. Violence in the minds of Americans has shifted from horrific to commonplace, which is frightening news. When violence is seen as commonplace, people have no reason to distance themselves from it, nor do they have a framework from which to deem it evil.

As melancholy as this article has sounded thus far, there is a solution to this abomination plaguing American culture. To content creators on all media platforms, for humanity's sake, please promote healthy, productive messages over the violent and destructive ones, even though they may not line your pockets as deeply. To all consumers of media, be mindful to consume only that which depicts behavior you wish to emulate. This is the only long-term solution and is the path to health, sanity, and the end to the violence afflicting America today.

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