Who Run the World?

Who Run the World?

Girls
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I am proud to be a woman. I am proud to have overly wide hips, an uneven chest, dry hair, and saddlebags. Because despite what the media and TV shows I grew up watching told me, I learned I am beautiful. Every flaw, stretch mark, and curve makes me, ME. I am even prouder to now be a young woman in a society that exemplifies and celebrates women of all nationalities, size, and socioeconomic status. You are not honored for your fame or beauty, but there are women being honored for being strong mothers, citizens, and activists. The women who spend day in and day out behind the scenes single-handedly supporting a family or recovering rape victims who have finally found the strength to let down their walls and learn to love. These are the moments that make me proud to stand as a woman in society.

We are a movement. We represent the foundation of this nation, unity. We are a body of forces. A sea of cultures. A wall of women who have faced all odds and come out one way or the other. The voices to the silenced. I will not push aside my outrage over unequal pay or my body being objectified anytime I wear a shorter skirt to show off my legs that I have learned to love.

You may be reading this and say "oh great another psycho feminist article". Well, my friend, I have something to say to you. Fun fact, not all feminists are the same. However, we stand for the same cause. I like to define my views on feminism with a quote from Sophia Bush:

"I’m a woman. I would like to be judged on the quality of my work, I would like to be compensated fairly for my work. I would like to have just as much access to healthcare as any man. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I don’t know what the big fight is all about."

So what's all the fuss about? I as a woman, who will graduate college with a doctorate's degree and work the same hours as a man, have gone through the same education as a man, and could potentially have even more clients than my male co-workers, may still get paid less than a man? Now you tell me, how that is fair? Feminism is simple. It is about the equality of men and women. NOT about superiority.

If I ask any of my male peers what they think of feminism I've been flashed the middle finger, witnessed a number of eye rolls, and even heard the muffled giggles too. It is not a joke. Women are not a joke. Just because a movement does not include you, does NOT make it a joke. I am a young woman who stands in support and solidarity of equality of women all over our globe. I believe in the right for Muslim women to choose whether they want to wear hijab or full niqāb, not to be stripped of their individualism by a misogynistic government. I believe in the right for women to be educated in order to gain knowledge and degrees to earn their own paychecks instead of being forcefully confined to their household because of "tradition" when they long to achieve their own dreams. I believe in the equality of women.

I have been taking a literature course this semester that has opened my eyes to the crisis women outside of the U.S. face. Novels like I am Malala, Persepolis, and Cracking India have shown me the absolute terror women that do not have the same freedom, as us women in the United States, experience. Their everyday dress, identity, education, marriage, and sexuality is dictated by their government and their patriarchal families. I am blessed to be a young woman who has been granted an education, healthcare, a job, and the freedom to choose my sexuality and wardrobe. So I will not be silenced. I will use my advantageous position to fight for the women who cannot fight for themselves. Malala Yousafzai once said, "We cannot succeed when half of us are held back. We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave, to embrace the strength within themselves and realize their full potential." Women like Malala Yousafzai and Marjane Satrapi were not afraid to speak up in a country who threatened them with violence and jail time for fighting for women's freedom, so why should I be afraid or ashamed to speak out for the basic freedoms we as women deserve worldwide?

Now let me ask you, is feminism really so scary? No. Is equal pay, education, marriage, healthcare, and dress truly such a mind-boggling topic? I didn't think so. So I beg of you the next time you see a woman fighting for what she justly deserves, keep your misogynistic, sexist remarks to yourself. You may not understand, but if you knew, you would be an activist too.

So on International Women's Day, I celebrate the women like Malala Yousafzai who stood unwavering even when knocked down by a gunshot on the verge of death, she fought for women, their education and their freedom. For celebrities like Sophia Bush, Ashley Graham, and Beyoncé who publicly promote female equality for women of all size, ethnicity, and occupation. Today and every day, I am proud to be a woman.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.snopes.com/text-count-me-to-89800/

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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