The Silence Breakers Should Have Been The 'Person Of The Year' Years Ago

The Silence Breakers Should Have Been The 'Person Of The Year' Years Ago

We owe it to the survivors and to everyone out there who hasn’t been the victim of sexual violence to make a change, now.

Don’t get me wrong, I am more than thrilled that the Silence Breakers were named TIME’s 2017 Person of the Year. When I woke up Wednesday morning and saw the video, I watched it three times all the way through because I was just so happy that these women were given a platform to speak out about what they went through.

I am so happy that people are finally being forced to listen.

Hearing them talk about how they were doubted and made to feel like the person who was in the wrong absolutely broke my heart. How can we live in a world where sexual violence is so carelessly written off?

Megyn Kelly’s quote struck me the hardest, “I thought maybe things could change for my daughter. I never thought things could change for me.”

It made me so sad to hear her say that. The way sexual assault victims have been treated in the past led her to believe that there was no way anything would change for her generation.

2017 has been filled with sexual assault victims coming forward and speaking out against what happened to them. Not only have celebrities come forward about sexual assault in Hollywood but the #MeToo movement allowed anyone with a social media handle to come forward and share their story. I was saddened to see so many of my friends sharing the hashtag.

Finally, the world is shining a light on the epidemic of sexual assault… if only we could have done this sooner. Maybe if sexual assault and harassment victims were believed years ago when they came forward then maybe we could have stopped some of the recent incidents from happening at all.

1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

99% of perpetrators of sexual violence will walk free.

Women ages 16-19 are four times more likely to be the victims of sexual violence.

1 in 6 women have survived an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

Those statistics are alarming and there are more where that came from. I haven’t even touched on the disturbing facts about sexual violence on college campuses (I highly recommend the documentary “The Hunting Ground” if you would like to learn more about the way sexual assault runs rampant on college campuses across the country).

As a woman, as a college student, as a friend of many people who posted #MeToo, I vow to do whatever I can to change those statistics I listed above. I’d be lying to you if I said I’m not worried about my safety, or about my sister’s safety, or about the safety of my friends and family.

I am beyond thrilled that the Silence Breakers were named TIME’s 2017 Person of the Year. I’m glad that we are finally shining a harsh light on the epidemic of sexual violence. I truly believe we are working towards changing those statistics. It won’t be smooth sailing but if we stand together we can make a change.

I wish the Silence Breakers were the Person of the Year years ago.

I wish I didn’t see so many #MeToo’s on my timeline that day. I wish the survivors of sexual violence were believed instead of being written off or treated like it was their fault.

It is years too late to save the Silence Breakers and to save some of my friends. We waited too long. Now we owe it to the survivors and to everyone out there who hasn’t been the victim of sexual violence to make a change. Now.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram @time

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Dear Kaitlin Bennet, If The U.S. Had Common Sense Gun Control, You Would Not Be Allowed To Carry

You can't threaten to shoot someone just because they disagree with you.


As most people know by now, Kaitlin Bennet is a recent graduate from Kent State University who tweeted a photo of herself with an AR-10 strapped to her back, and a graduation cap that said: "Come And Take It." Since then, she's obnoxiously been making herself more known through stunts like dangerously firing buckshot straight into the air at a gun range after shooting pumpkins in order to show her love of Brett Kavanaugh and her dislike of feminism, going to an anti-Trump rally and threatening the protestors, and "disguising herself" while asking Kent State University students what they thought of her.

One of the most infuriating things about Bennet is that she doesn't seem to understand what feminism is. She often rants about how feminism needs to be destroyed. She doesn't seem to understand that the literal definition of feminism is, "The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes." I'm not sure why Bennet wouldn't want equal rights, but that's on her. When a Twitter user pointed out that feminism gave Bennet the right to have a voice and to vote, Bennet tweeted back "Feminism didn't give me the right to vote. Men did. But ok." This is truly frightening, Bennet must think that her oppressors are actually her liberators when they give her just a little of what should be rightfully hers (i.e. equal rights). Bennet goes as far as to say that feminists don't actually want equal rights, but that we would rather be victims so that we can turn sympathy into democratic votes.

I'd like to remind Bennet that feminism is the reason that she is able to speak about her beliefs so publicly. Feminism is the reason that she is allowed to vote, allowed to own property, allowed to apply for a credit card. The list goes on. I can only hope that one day, Kaitlin Bennet will be willing to open her eyes and learn that she should be thanking feminist leaders for her freedom.

The fact that Bennet believes that feminism opposes the right for a woman to protect herself shows how delusional she really is. Common sense gun regulation is not about taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, it's about making sure that only those responsible enough to use a gun safely can own one. Personally, I think Bennet knows that she probably wouldn't be allowed to carry a gun if these regulations were put into place, as she regularly threatens people who disagree with her by letting them know that she carries, going as far as to threaten protestors at a recent anti-Trump rally and saying, "That will deter them." She proceeded to insult the protestors by making fun of their clothes and their weight, even looking into the camera and saying: "She's gonna eat it" after a protestor spoke into Bennet's microphone.

On October 13th, Bennet posted a video on Twitter, stating, "Just wanted to remind all the violent feminists that have sent me death threats this week that it's not a good idea to threaten an armed woman." People like Bennet that use firearms as a threat only strengthen the argument for gun control.

Kaitlin, I want you to know that I pity you. The fact that you carry doesn't scare me. It is very clear that you don't want your gun for protection. You want your gun to make a statement. You want your gun to say, "I have permission to be rude and offensive and to instill fear in others." It is clear that you only feel powerful and important when you're able to hide behind a weapon and threaten to shoot anyone who has an opinion that differs from yours. You are advocating for your cause in all the wrong ways. You are giving us every reason to oppose you. Good luck, and wake up.

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