The Unspoken Truth

The Unspoken Truth

#fightback
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It blows my mind that to this day people struggle with speaking about one of the most prevalent issues in our generation and society. And that word that so many people get choked up on is "rape." Say it with me, r-a-p-e, rape. It is defined as unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of a sex organ without the consent of the victim. The key words here that you need to grasp are "any sexual penetration" and "WITHOUT the consent of the victim."

I recently sat down to watch a documentary on Netflix called Audrie & Daisy and barely made it through the first half hour without tears welling up in my eyes. It absolutely disgusts me that we live in a world where women are still questioned about their encounters of sexual assault because legislators, mayors, and juries are concerned about "ruining a young man's future career."

Have you ever thought about how sexual assault affects the victim? Besides the fact that their insides have been forcibly penetrated and in most cases they have been physically abused? Do you have any idea the mental and psychological effects that has on a human? And especially a young person in today's day and age? A society where there is so much pressure to be nothing but "perfect" and happy day in and day out.

Roughly 31% of rape victims develop PTSD over their lifetime following their assault versus the 5% that non-victims of any other crime experience. That is a 26% difference. Some of the many other mental illnesses known to develop in rape victims include depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. All of which are debilitating illnesses that leave victims feeling hopeless, worthless, and greatly decreases their ability to function in their daily lives.

I'm not here to throw statistics at you; I'm here to give a voice to victims who are often so scared to share theirs. Rape isn't specific to just women, don't get me wrong. Many men have witnessed these horrific experiences as well. I'm here to get down to the nitty-gritty and that is the fact that you need to STOP criticizing victims and BLAMING them for what has happened to them.

Don't you think if your daughter, friend, neighbor, hallmate, cousin could have prevented being sexually assaulted against his/her own will and strength they would have? But see, she didn't have that option. They had another forcible human taking action against without their consent and sometimes without them even being coherent. And why? For their own pleasure. For them to be able to go back to the boys and say they got "laid." Or feed their own egos and desires at the expense of someone else's mental and physical well-being.

The even more concerning point is that so often these victims feel powerless because they have seen so many cases and reports been dropped simply because people chalk it up to "it's her fault she got that drunk", "you can't put a young man in jail when they have their whole lives ahead of them", "yes, I have seen the medical records but for right now it is merely here-say."

Well, here's my response. When a young woman with a torn hymen shaking from fear sitting in front of her assaulter with tears in her eyes tells you that she has been raped, LISTEN. God gave you ears for a purpose, use them. No human being should have to witness such horrific events just to be silenced because they're scared that they are going to be blamed for something they couldn't even control. They shouldn't have to be worried that their case will automatically be dismissed just because there isn't photographic evidence of her lying unconscious, naked in bed. She has to live with the memory of it for the rest of her life already.

I hope that this article makes you uncomfortable. I hope it makes you think. I hope it makes you aware. And I hope it helps you educate your sons, daughters, friends, and children that CONSENT is needed, rape is a CRIME, and that they have a VOICE. This unthinkable has been too prevalent in society and I have seen the direct effects of it too many times to sit back and not address it. I beg you to not be a bystander but take a stand and use your voice #fightback.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.publicbooks.org/rape-culture-syllabus/

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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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The Government Shutdown Is Impacting More People Than You Think

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history is affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

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January 16th, 2019 marks the 26th day of the United States government shut down. Not only are 800,000 federal workers and contract workers are going without pay, but their families are struggling too. January 21st marked the first missed paycheck for these workers, and many of them do not have enough savings to tide them over. Military members are also not being paid for the first time ever in U.S. history. According to the New York Times, a typical federal worker has missed $5,000 in pay from the shutdown so far. This money is used for mortgages, medical bills, house expenses and simply putting food on the table.

This is a bigger deal than just missing paychecks, though. This means that people are not going into work because the offices are closed. For example, employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) returned to work on Tuesday without pay. The employees were called back to work as the beginning of tax season approaches. The Food and Drug Administration has also been affected leaving about forty percent of its staff furloughed. Without the FDA up and running with full power, how will food be deemed safe? Under their original shutdown plan, most routine food-safety inspections were stopped. These are essential institutions that are unable to operate at full power and are unable to assist the American people with the issues they cover.

Federal agencies, their employees, and the families are facing hardship because of this government shutdown. The part that worries most Americans is that there is no foreseeable end in sight. If you know someone who is impacted by this shutdown, reach out and offer as much help as you can. Offer to assist them in contacting the correct agencies to find help and be there for them during this hard time.

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