Why You Need To Stop Being Nice

Why You Need To Stop Being Nice

Try being honest; try being brave.
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My mother used to say, “If you cant’ say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” It wasn’t an original quote. She borrowed it from a rabbit named Thumper in the movie Bambi.

What that taught me was that being honest was wrong. And if you are a female raised in the South, it was doubly important to be “nice.” I was taught to mind my manners, keep my opinions to myself, and above all, be nice.

I just finished reading a book (The Ladies Room by Carolyn Brown) where the protagonist reminds everyone that she “is done being nice. What did being nice ever get me? I am going to be honest from here on out.”

Women who are honest about what they think or feel are often categorized as being bitches. I wish I had learned to be a bitch long ago. I swallowed my words. I ate my thoughts. Literally, I swallowed my words and ate my thoughts until I was over 300 pounds. What did that ever get me? I can’t think of one positive thing.

I am learning to be honest and brave. It takes courage to say what you believe. It doesn’t have to be said in a mean or hateful tone but it must be said. I first started saying the truth in the workplace. It wasn’t always met with approval, but it made me feel good on the inside. I felt as if I was becoming something like a superhero. I was discovering my power.

It is harder with family and friends. My friend and I made an agreement. The rules were simple. We could ask each other to help or do anything. The answer had to be the truth. There were three levels:

1. I would be happy to do that.

2. I am willing to do it, although it might be a challenge for me.

3. No, I can’t do that.

We also had to be honest about other things as well such as politics, other people in our lives, and men.

It is hard to be honest instead of nice when you disagree with a friend or family member. Let’s say someone close to you cancels plans at the last minute to do something with someone else. When they ask, “Is it OK? You don’t mind, do you?” You can give them the nice answer, “No, it’s fine.” You would then be fuming on the inside creating a resentment. Or you could be honest. Use an “I message.” “I feel hurt when you cancel plans with me to do something with someone else. I understand that it is important for you to go with … to …, and I hope you have an enjoyable time, but it makes me feel that our relationship isn’t important.”

That will open the door to a discussion and perhaps you might both learn something about each other and your relationship. You also run the risk of having the other person choose to be angry with you. But at least, you aren’t the one with the anger festering on the inside.

Just remember that you should be willing to hear honesty from your friends and family as well. You need honesty from them if you are going to have good relationships.

Thumper also said this: don’t let being scared keep you from being honest.

Just stop being nice!

Cover Image Credit: watt.pad poetic scriptophoiba

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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How Minorities Are Portrayed In Mainstream Media?

In our ever-changing modern world, the problems of inequality have developed in new ways and have become more visible in our society. Moreover, the topic of minorities in mainstream media has become a hot-button issue. With the inaccurate portrayal of women, racial, and ethnic minorities in ways that devalue and commodifies them, the potential dangers are abundant: racism, stereotyping, and a whole slew of other problems. We will address these issues with examples from various outlets to give a broad overview of the issues at hand.

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Women in the Media

Women have always been portrayed as a minority in the media. Early media sources and shows were dominated by male personas. Examples like Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, and Dick Cavett are major players in the early days of mainstream media. The media has always been saturated by male talent; it makes it difficult for women to have their voices heard and have a clear role in movies or films as they are under-represented. In an interview with TIME magazine, Rachel Maddow, the only female to host a prime-time cable news show said, "the industry is still very male, and when women host cable-news shows they are very often paired with men, because they're not allowed to do it on their own for some reason," (TIME). The lack of women in the mainstream news outlets is worrying as well as the lack of parity in the two genders in terms of a role as pointed out by Maddow. Women are also depicted as sexual objects, side characters, and inferior romantic interests in many films. They are often seen with slim curvy bodies. Rarely are women seen with physical flaws in movies, shows, etc. This image is very inaccurate and misleading to real life standards. This unrealistic image can hurt a young woman's mind.

The challenges faced by women are numerous. Misogyny, pay inequality, unequal standings, and higher expectations are all hurdles to pass for women attempting to integrate themselves in the workforce and in the media."Many stereotypes depicted by the media includes female alcohol consumption being judged more harshly than the male behavior of the same nature". In addition, "it is found that representation of drinking practice on YouTube seems to reflect the conventional double"; female drinking is mainly interpreted as a sign of sexual willingness and is strongly stigmatized.

Racial minorities in media

Other minorities have found it difficult to be heard. Minorities like African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans are all underrepresented in the mainstream, and can usually only be found in their niche markets. African American and Hispanic people in movies are often portrayed as thugs or gangsters which is not a fair way to represent them. The author of the book "Bad Feminist" supports this claim as she notices how the media depicts the African American community differently from reality since they are "mediated through the vision of white writers and directors" (Gay 218). Furthermore, "Latino characters have been relegated to a restricted set of roles including criminals, exotic lovers/sex objects, servants/blue-collar workers, and unintelligent objects of ridicule".

The way in which journalists report news about race and crime shapes the public's perception of those races. According to Journal-isms, white Americans' racial perceptions of crime, especially with the association of crime with racial minorities, are a result of news media skewing those perceptions (Prince). The article goes on to describe how 43% of homicide victims in local news are white; however, only 13% of homicide victims in crime reports are white. These statistics clearly indicate that the way in which journalists report the news creates a narrative that misrepresents racial minorities. This misrepresentation eventually finds its way into other forms of media.

For example, primetime television also leads to the development of stereotypes against Latino and Black minorities. According to an article written by Riva Tukachinsky, Dana Mastro, and Moran Yarchi, "Prior to the 1980s, Blacks were seen nearly exclusively in unflattering and largely disparaging roles on television, emphasizing criminality and idleness" (Tukachinsky, Mastro, Yarchi 540). The casting of Black actors in these demeaning roles further established and reinforced stereotypes about Black people. The researchers go on to state that even in recent media content, Blacks are more likely to be depicted as unemployed or blue-collar workers (Tukachinsky, Mastro, Yarchi 540). Decades later, stereotypes about Blacks as unskilled and uneducated people are still being reinforced and supported by their depiction in primetime television. Their study found that this negative representation of Black and Latino minorities in media poses a threat to the identity of ethnic minorities (Tukachinsky, Mastro, Yarchi 551). In other words, the misrepresentation of these minority groups in the media correlates to the creation and strengthening of stereotypes regarding those ethnic minorities.

The list of minorities being devalued in media is endless as the media also paves the road to stereotyping Native American Females, degrading their true culture and values. "It dives into the historical stereotypes of Native American females as drudges, princesses, and prostitutes that is highly saturated in media, movies, and literature"{Lajimodiere, 104}. This, of course, is different from reality where most Native American Females are different from what the media portrays them to be as.

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