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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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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A Glimpse Of My Adventure In Germany & Poland

This why everyone should study abroad.

Learism
Learism
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Two days ago, I arrived back in the States from a two-week study abroad trip to Germany and Poland. This trip was entitled Experiences in International Justice. On this trip, we studied the Holocaust and its consequences through the lens of criminal justice. This trip changed my life in so many ways.

Firs, I really connected with all the other students on my trip, so I know that I can find friendship and understanding in them because we shared this experience.

Secondly, I discovered a newfound respect for life and need to work towards a more just world through learning more about Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and the Holocaust. We visited three infamous concentration camps: Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. I don't know if I can explain to you the emotions I experienced, but I would like to try since I think it is very important to share my experience with others. It was so surreal to be in a place where millions of innocent lives were taken away. Seeing where the many Jews, Roma, and many other groups slept, worked, suffered, and died really put my life into perspective.

It got me reflecting on what I have to be thankful for, and the problems that I feel are a too big deal to handle. Nothing I could ever go through can be compared to what those poor people went through. Because of this realization, I have become empowered to do what I can to help those who are suffering and who do not have anyone to stand up for them. I know I can't effect change all over the world, but I want to help others in any way I can, in my community and in my future career as a Forensic Psychologist, as well as with my friends and family.

I also have been inspired to be a torch-bearer for the memory of the victims as well as the Holocaust itself, so that something like it never happens again. Knowledge is power, and so being educated about what happened and how it happened can help us take a stand for what's right. Because not everyone has the privilege to travel to the concentration camps as I have so I have an obligation to share my experiences there with the world. I do not want the victims to disappear, from the Holocaust or any tragedy. From a criminal justice perspective, it was also very interesting to read more about the perpetrators, how normal people can be so violent and destroy fellow humans without remorse. I think it is beneficial to study them because it shows that anyone can become overwhelmed with power and let it go to their heads.

My trip to Germany and Poland was an amazing experience that expanded my mind and my world, inspired me to continue down my chosen career path, and gave me great friends. I hope that everyone has a chance to study abroad and always be curious and open-minded because it will do so much good for you.

Learism
Learism

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