Sexism Is Always Wrong

A Sexist Decision Made A Fool Of My Camp Counselor

He thought some random boys would be better at the job than seasoned female campers.

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Let me tell you about the strangely sexist thing I encountered at camp a few years ago. Every fall and spring, the youth group at my church would take a trip to a camp to help open and close it for a season. Each trip would last a weekend and everyone was welcome to come. The camp was very labor intensive, so the jobs would often be divided based on strength. Obviously, that usually meant the boys and the girls worked separately. Typically, the older boys would work on getting the boats onto the lake and preparing docks. The girls and younger boys would usually take on odd jobs on the shore.

This particular year, we had a new gentleman join our group. He was new to our church and wanted to get involved with the youth group, so he was invited to come to camp with us. He was an older man with older values, but I generally found him to be nice. He would often talk about his daughter and how proud he was of her. I can't remember his name, so for the sake of the story, let's call him Bill.

Like every trip, we started our work early in the morning and divided into our groups. Bill asked a few of my friends and I if we could help clear out the boathouse, as the floors were going to be repainted. Happily, we obliged. Once that was finished, he came back with some paint and brushes and instructed us to prep the floor by sweeping, moping, and painting the edges of the walls and posts. We were not, however, responsible for the whole floor. That job went to two strapping young men from another church that was at the camp for a different purpose. They were to be given rollers on extenders so the job would be quick and easy. We, on the other hand, had to get on our hands and knees and really get those edges perfect.

The job was time-consuming and probably one of the most painful things I've done at that camp. The boathouse hosted parties and other events, so we agonized over getting the floor just right. When we were finally finished, we went off to do another job and left the two young men to it.

A few hours later, as everyone is wrapping up to go to lunch, Bill comes up to my friend and me in a panic. He tells us that we have to return to the boathouse and paint the floors. Both of us are extremely confused, so he takes us in and shows us the terrific job the young men did. The floor was beyond patchy. I cannot even fathom how they managed to mess up such an easy task.

So, instead of calling in the boys to come and redo their mess, Bill hands my friend and I the rollers. He tries to set us up by pouring out some paint before I stop and tell him that he should mix it first. As I mix, I casually mention that I know the paint is nice and mixed when I lift the stick and the paint that drips off into the rest doesn't lay on top. Bill proceeds to look at me with astonishment and asks me how on earth I knew that. I guess he just didn't think my girly brain could handle that information.

Anyway, we paint the floor, it looks great, and that's that. Is this the most sexist experience one could have? Absolutely not. But it is something that still bothers me to this day. First and foremost, it bothered me that he didn't just let us paint the entire floor in the first place? We had already done the back-breaking work of edging the walls and posts. Secondly, why did he go out of his way to ask the other church if he could borrow some of their men? He had a plethora of able-bodied women waiting to be placed into jobs from his own church. Lastly, why did my friend and I have to fix the sloppy work the young men left behind? It was their responsibility to paint the floor properly and they failed.

I wish I had been more vocal about this stupidity back then. There was literally no reason for that whole scenario to play out as it did. Bill assumed that the young men would paint the floor perfectly. He even made sure to make it extra easy for them by making us to the edging. It would have been much easier to have us knock the painting out in a span of two hours instead of six, which halted many other jobs that required access to the boathouse.

There was no reason for Bill to assume the young men he'd never met before would do a better job than female seasoned camp laborers, yet he did. I wish I could go back in time and refuse to redo the floor just to make him go in and paint it himself since it was his genius idea to treat painting like its a man's job.

Moral of the story; don't be like Bill, or you're gonna end up with a patchy paint job.

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20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.
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Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

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Netflix's 'Special' Is A Groundbreaking Series About A Gay Man With Cerebral Palsy

Based off his memoir "I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves" Ryan O'Connell reimagines his journey in this witty 15-minute comedy.

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Ryan O'Connell is a gay man with cerebral palsy, and he's here to showcase his story in a must-see eight episode series. O'Connell navigates his world behind sexuality and disability in a coming-of-age twentysomething comedy, that's extremely important in today's society. When it comes to the topic of representation, O'Connell exceeds expectations as he shines a light on internalized ableism, being a fish out of water in his own community, and even the topic of gay sex. This series has a significant amount of charm, it's almost like a rated-R Disney show with its quirky music, fast-paced story and it's a success in making everyone's heart melt.

"Special" is about Ryan Hayes (Ryan O'Connell) a charismatic and shy gay man with mild cerebral palsy who's "28 and hasn't done a goddamn thing." Therefore, he takes the initiative of becoming an unpaid intern at an online magazine titled "Eggwoke" and begins his journey in soul-searching for his identity. His boss Olivia (Marla Mindelle), a chaotic Anna Wintour-type, expresses that most articles going viral right now are confessional ones. This allows Ryan to have his moment, as he writes an anecdote about getting hit by a car and inflates it from a minor injury to a traumatic piece, which allows him to use it as a cover story for his limp and to keep his condition a secret from his peers.

Ryan befriends one of his peers, a South-Asian American woman named Kim (Punam Patel) whose professional niche involves body positivity, the empowerment of being a person of color and a curvy girl. Her constant confidence helps paint her as the motivating friend that helps Ryan get more comfortable with himself. They share a moment at Olivia's pool party in a room when Ryan refuses to take off his clothes and she coerces him into taking off his clothes and appreciating his body. Kim might be a bit of a push towards Ryan, but she's only leading him in the right direction.

"Special" is extremely self-aware, especially within the first scenes of the first episode which explain what mild cerebral palsy is and in response a child screams in fear and runs away, leaving Ryan confused but humored. There even is a complex relationship between Ryan and his mother, Karen (Jessica Hecht). Karen's an overprotective mother who only wants the best for her child, but when she's at that point of finally letting him be free she's put into a place of loneliness. The show tackles a very specific mother/son relationship, as Ryan tries not to rely on his mother for help all the time, Karen does not mind any hassle regarding her son... especially with his condition. The two butt heads at multiple occasions, but their love for one another prevails.

"Special" has eight episodes that you can watch on Netflix right now, it's binge-worthy especially with each episode being around 15 minutes and it's also an eye-opener. This show helps strive for self-revelation and self-evaluation, it's a reflective process on identity and what categories we put ourselves in. Ryan O'Connell has made such a marvelous show, with a charming cast, multiple important messages, and a motive to help normalize disabilities and homosexuality to the public through a unique and specific perspective. It's a personal experience that everyone should watch, learn and love from.

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