35 Things That Should Have Been Left In 2016

35 Things That Should Have Been Left In 2016

Why haven't these things gone away yet?
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I know we're already almost done with the first month of 2017, but I can't help but reconsider some things that I just wish would have stayed in 2016. There are just some things that need to go. Whether they're fads, memes, outfit trends, songs, makeup tricks, etc., I need them to go. 2016 was bad enough. I can't have any of these things continuing on into the remainder of 2017. It's a new year everyone, let's leave these bad habits behind. I'm begging you.

1. "Anotha one"

2. The song "Caroline"

3. Clowns causing way too many problems

4. Hover boards

5. Becoming vegan/vegetarian/gluten free because it's trendy

6. Terrorism

7. Evil Kermit

8. Emoji clothing, pillows, etc.

9. Overreacting to everything

10. Fur nails

11. Overdone eyebrows

12. Pokemon Go

13. Harley Quinn costumes

14. Instagram stories

15. Harambe

16. Joe Biden memes

17. My favorite celebrities dying

18. "Rain drop, drop top"

19. Any post with this caption honestly

20. Those "An Open Letter To The Boy Who..." articles

21. The Mannequin Challenge

22. Rob and Chyna beef

23. Being overly obsessed with mermaids

24. Drawing on your freckles

25. 100 coats of "whatever"

26. Saying "All Lives Matter" in response to "Black Lives Matter"

27. Girls overemphasizing how much black they have in their closets

28. Celebrities promoting weird teas

29. The Instagram caption: "The happiest of hours with this one"

30. Thinking it's trendy to be sad and hating your life

31. Wedge sneakers

32. Wearing hip glasses that don't have prescription lens in them (why are we doing this again?)

33. Juju On That Beat

34. Graphic tees that you see on a 13-year-old Tumblr with awful quotes like "not cute just psycho" or something with a pizza on it


35. Arguing whether pineapple should or shouldn't be on pizza

Cover Image Credit: blastr.com

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'As A Woman,' I Don't Need To Fit Your Preconceived Political Assumptions About Women

I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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It is quite possible to say that the United States has never seen such a time of divisiveness, partisanship, and extreme animosity of those on different sides of the political spectrum. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are saturated with posts of political opinions and are matched with comments that express not only disagreement but too often, words of hatred. Many who cannot understand others' political beliefs rarely even respect them.

As a female, Republican, college student, I feel I receive the most confusion from others regarding my political opinions. Whenever I post or write something supporting a conservative or expressing my right-leaning beliefs and I see a comment has been left, I almost always know what words their comment will begin with. Or in conversation, if I make my beliefs known and someone begins to respond, I can practically hear the words before they leave their mouth.

"As a woman…"

This initial phrase is often followed by a question, generally surrounding how I could publicly support a Republican candidate or maintain conservative beliefs. "As a woman, how can you support Donald Trump?" or "As a woman, how can you support pro-life policies?" and, my personal favorite, "As a woman, how did you not want Hillary for president?"

Although I understand their sentiment, I cannot respect it. Yes, being a woman is a part of who I am, but it in no way determines who I am. My sex has not and will not adjudicate my goals, my passions, or my work. It will not influence the way in which I think or the way in which I express those thoughts. Further, your mention of my sex as the primary logic for condemning such expressions will not change my adherence to defending what I share. Nor should it.

To conduct your questioning of my politics by inferring that my sex should influence my ideology is not only offensive, it's sexist.

It disregards my other qualifications and renders them worthless. It disregards my work as a student of political science. It disregards my hours of research dedicated to writing about politics. It disregards my creativity as an author and my knowledge of the subjects I choose to discuss. It disregards the fundamental human right I possess to form my own opinion and my Constitutional right to express that opinion freely with others. And most notably, it disregards that I am an individual. An individual capable of forming my own opinions and being brave enough to share those with the world at the risk of receiving backlash and criticism. All I ask is for respect of that bravery and respect for my qualifications.

Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire, unite, and revolutionize. Yet, they can be abused, and too comfortably are. Opening a dialogue of political debate by confining me to my gender restricts the productivity of that debate from the start. Those simple but potent words overlook my identity and label me as a stereotype destined to fit into a mold. They indicate that in our debate, you cannot look past my sex. That you will not be receptive to what I have to say if it doesn't fit into what I should be saying, "as a woman."

That is the issue with politics today. The media and our politicians, those who are meant to encourage and protect democracy, divide us into these stereotypes. We are too often told that because we are female, because we are young adults, because we are a minority, because we are middle-aged males without college degrees, that we are meant to vote and to feel one way, and any other way is misguided. Before a conversation has begun, we are divided against our will. Too many of us fail to inform ourselves of the issues and construct opinions that are entirely our own, unencumbered by what the mainstream tells us we are meant to believe.

We, as a people, have become limited to these classifications. Are we not more than a demographic?

As a student of political science, seeking to enter a workforce dominated by men, yes, I am a woman, but foremost I am a scholar, I am a leader, and I am autonomous. I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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