Sexism In Other Countries Doesn't Make Sexism In America OK

Women In Other Countries Having Fewer Rights Doesn't Make Sexism In America Any Less Problematic

Women should never be told to just accept that their society is sexist because conditions are worse elsewhere, and it's important to keep making steps toward equality.

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Lately, I've seen many complaints about feminism in the United States and a plethora of reasons why people don't support it. There has been no shortage of articles like this on Odyssey. In many cases, it is specific issues related to feminism that deter people from considering themselves feminists, or sometimes it is a misunderstanding of feminism and assuming that feminists think women should be superior to men. These reasons aren't anything new and tend to not have any effect on me. What has been bothering me is when people try to point out that women have much less freedom in other countries.

Yes, I am well aware that women in many other countries have it much worse.

I am aware that there are places where women aren't allowed to go to school, and I know that there are countries like Saudi Arabia, where the ban on women driving has just recently been lifted.

I know that in the United States, women have much more freedom in comparison to these countries.

That doesn't mean that sexism doesn't exist in the United States, and it certainly doesn't mean that sexism in the United States should be ignored.

Everyone is different and has had different experiences, and it's unfair to judge someone by the experiences of someone else. Women should never be told to just accept that their society is sexist because conditions are worse elsewhere, and it's important to keep making steps toward equality.

Furthermore, people are allowed to be concerned about more than one issue at a time. Women can address sexism in the United States while simultaneously opposing the oppression of women elsewhere. Some argue that there are bigger issues that need to be acknowledged, but there is no reason for sexism to be brushed aside in order to address those issues.

The experiences of American women aren't any less valid than those of women in other countries, and women shouldn't be told to settle just because someone has it worse. If there's a problem, it needs to be addressed, and with issues such as the wage gap, slut-shaming, and rape culture still being major concerns among American women, there is still plenty to address with sexism in the United States.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's Assault On The Second Amendment Will Hit Marginalized Groups The Most

The second amendment is under attack in New Jersey, and the state's low-income, black, and Hispanic communities have the most to lose.

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The second amendment, or the right to "keep and bear arms," is the hallmark of freedom here in the United States. The existence of the second amendment is what preserves the first amendment. This constitutional recognition of the right to bear arms is based on the inherent human right of self-preservation. Without it, Americans have no defense against tyranny. This right was recognized by the founders for a reason, and infringing upon it would prompt history to repeat itself.

New Jersey, according to a study conducted between 2005 and 2011, is in the top 10 states with the most restrictive gun laws. Governor Phil Murphy, however, does not think this is enough. He now wants to effectively restrict gun ownership to only wealthy individuals.

Here is a brief walkthrough of the path to gun ownership in New Jersey: The process to apply for, purchase, and legally own a firearm in New Jersey is arguably already infringing upon the rights of citizens. This process begins with an application to your local police department. The requirements outlined in N.J.A.C. 13:54-1.5 are broad and leave room for discriminatory discretion.

It is then required to complete an STS-33 form, be fingerprinted, and consent to a release of your mental health records. You must also provide two references, who vouch for character and that your application reflects the truth. Upon completion and acceptance, a Firearms Purchaser's ID will be issued. This is supposed to be issued within 30 days following acceptance, however, it has been reported to take longer, even up to six months on some occasions. If you wish to purchase a handgun, you must complete a separate application. You must also be over the age of 21. You may only purchase one handgun per month, and each handgun must have its own permit as well.

Upon receipt of a Firearms Purchaser's ID, the next step takes place at the firearm retailer. You are required to fill out an ATF form and be subject to a background check through NJ NICS. Results following the background check may take up to two extra weeks.

For comparison, the national background check used in many other states yields results in about 20 minutes.

As if these weren't enough, in order to purchase ammunition — a rather normal additional purchase — you're required to present a driver's license. Separately, to purchase ammunition for a handgun, you must either present a driver's license or copy of Handgun Purchaser's ID.

(It should be noted that the same people who denounce the requirement of a driver's license or ID to vote as "racist" support the enforcement of such a requirement for another constitutional right. This argument is inconsistent. An ID must be furnished in order to show that one is legally able to purchase a firearm or ammunition, just like it must be furnished in order to vote.)

The above mentioned are the current hoops that aspiring gun owners must jump through, simply to express a right which is supposed to be protected.

We've covered what this process costs in amounts of time, but now we move on to costs in money — and what Governor Phil Murphy wants to do to raise it. Depending on where you live, the average cost of a handgun is between 500-600 dollars. On top of that, ammunition is between 100-200 dollars. For reference, this is more than I pay in monthly rent for my house.

Despite these hefty costs that gun owners already face, Governor Murphy doesn't think it's enough. He wants legal gun owners to pay up to 2,000% more in permit and carrying fees. There is no explanation for this, besides making it more difficult for citizens to access their constitutional right.

Would it be OK to charge $100 in order to vote? Of course not.

Large fees do not curb gun violence. They forcibly curb legal gun ownership, and they place an undue burden on citizens in lower economic classes, who happen to be disproportionately minorities.

Currently, A firearm identification card costs $5, while a permit to own a firearm is $2. A permit to carry a gun costs $20. These are reasonable prices that citizens of every socioeconomic class can feasibly afford. Under Governor Murphy's proposal, "An identification card would cost $100, an owner's permit would be $50 and a carry permit $400." These, however, are not something everyone, who can otherwise legally purchase a firearm, can afford. This is discrimination.

Not only is Murphy's proposal classist, but it is indirectly racially discriminatory.

In 2017, New Jersey reported that the poverty rates among both black and Hispanic families were more than double the rate of poverty among white families. Because of Murphy's proposal, these groups will be less likely to be capable of affording something that is a protected and guaranteed right.

In a city like Newark, black and Hispanic citizens make up about 73% of the population. In 2017, the poverty rate for the city was 28.3%. Compare this to New Jersey's overall 10.4% poverty rate in the same year. The rate of violent crime in Newark is more than triple that of New Jersey overall.

In fact, New Jersey's top three cities with the largest populations are all more than half minority. All three have higher crime rates than New Jersey overall. Last but not least, all three have higher poverty rates than the state average.

It should be clear that Murphy's proposals discriminate against lower-income individuals. Minorities, like black and Hispanic families, are more likely to experience poverty than white families. Minorities also make up more of the population in New Jersey cities. These cities have much higher crime rates than more suburban and rural areas of the state. Minorities, because of this, are more often at risk of danger and crime and could benefit from being allowed to express their constitutional right to protection.

The people who need access to firearms for protection arguably the most are being unfairly restricted based on class and, indirectly, race. The rights of law-abiding citizens are being infringed, and we must fight against it.

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