The Women's March: What It Really Was

The Women's March: What It Really Was

We aren't trying to create divisions. We are trying to start a conversation.
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In 1920 when the 19th Amendment was instated it was seen as a significant achievement for women. On January 22, 1973 when Roe v Wade was decided women finally seemed to have some say in the care of their bodies when it came to pregnancy. And now, on January 21, 2017 women have taken to marching on Washington to protect the rights we have fought so hard to gain.

Through the election season, honestly in 2016 in general, we witnessed the man who was elected our Commander in Chief tell us that he wanted to defund Planned Parenthood, say that he just "grabbed women by the p***y", and we learned that he had been involved in sexual assault cases of his own. We watched as a Stanford swimmer get away with raping a girl, and she was expected to serve as much time in jail as he was for "annoying the police." And we listened to Betsy DeVos not commit to enforcing the mandatory reporting of sexual assaults that happen on college campuses.

What was the Women's March really about?

The Women's March was started to create a sense of unity. We are not trying to create divisions. It was meant to be a civil action for women, no matter who you voted for, to start a discussion. Showing that we no longer want to be complacent in society. We care about what is going on in the world. We don't just want to be entertained by Hollywood.

Trump getting elected was probably a good thing in the way that it has created civil action. It has caused millions of Americans to get up off the couch and to share their voice. To get into contact with our representatives and to make our voices heard. We have always had this privilege. The right voice our concerns and opinions. But it was in the fear if it being taken away that millions got up and done something instead of bitching about what is wrong with our nation.

Why did I support the Women's March and those who participated in it?

Because I support Planned Parenthood and the service they provide. Planned Parenthood doesn't simply provide abortions for unwanted pregnancy, but it provides sex ed classes for teenagers. They provide testing for STDs. They don't promote abortion. They give a woman her options. But they don't only help women. They help men as well.

Because I understand that women are not property. I am not a piece of land you can buy and treat however you wish. I do not deserve that kind of treatment, nor will sit back and let it happen. Women do not like to be, in President Trump's words, "grabbed by the p***y". We are just as human as you! Even more so if you believe that it's okay to treat a woman like an object.

Because I understand the trauma of a sexual assault. I understand the fear of coming forward after being attacked. I understand that you don't want to feel judged, or to hear someone tell you that you "got what was coming to you." 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are raped every year on college campuses. 90% of those cases go unreported. If DeVos would have had her way, colleges would not be required to report a sexual assault or to punish those involved. How dare you tell me that we do not even have the right to protection, and to justice.

The biggest reason I am a supporter of those who participated in the Women's March? Because I believe that all people of all genders, races, nationalities, sexualities, and classes deserve equal treatment. Because I believe that women of all kinds deserve to be respected, cared for, and protected. I will always support those fighting for those things.

What are we going to do about this?

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm going to use my voice. I am going to use the privilege that I have as a white, middle class, and educated woman and I will not stay silent. For too long have I stood back and not had a say or a voice or even an understanding of what is going on in our world. Enough is enough.

I hope you take the time to even just think about what these things could do. About the reality that the loss of our rights is a fear. If you can, no matter your age, race, nationality, sexuality, gender, or class, use your voice. Show America and the people laughing at those people who marched today across our nation that all of us are people. All of us have the right to health care, to protection, to justice, and to equality.

I don't know if our rights will ever come close to being taken away again. I don't know that the promotion of rape culture will ever completely die. But I do know that if we stand quiet that nothing will change. That this will get worse. That next time it may be more than a sexual assault.

Cover Image Credit: Deborah Lynn Coble

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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