Reality Check

Reality Check

Do you stand for what you are fighting for?
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First article was a bit personal, so let’s make this one about a certain topic, do not want everyone learning everything about me yet. March 8th was International Women’s Day, awesome, women were acknowledged for all the hard work they do and they get a day to pamper themselves about it. Now before I go further I want to make this very clear, I do support women and their advancements in everyday life, in no way would I ever degrade their improvements nor their right to express themselves but there has been an aspect of this “feminist” era that has tweaked me the wrong way a few times.

So it’s the 21st century, women work in offices, are no longer forced to be housewives, receive the same education opportunity as men, you get the picture. Yet they still seem to be treated as if they are less than men in some areas of society in the US as well as in the world. From lower wages, sexist comments, “cat-calling”, etc., women in the US definitely still have a battle when it comes to their rights. Just like many women today, I myself am appalled at how women are sometimes treated and looked at. Women should be able to walk down the street without being stared at in a creepy manner, women should be able to go out with their friends and not have to be terrified some guy is going to drug and rape them that they do not even have a good time. But those issues are actually of small significance.

You’re a feminist, you believe in equal rights for everyone, right? So those women in the Middle East who still have to wear clothing that covers every part of their skin up, you’re fighting for them, right? The women whose genitals are mutilated, you got them, too, right? These questions and many other serious problems not even mentioned may sound pointless because it is not happening in your home, community, country so why should you care? Trust me I get it, being concerned that you might have to pay the bill when out with your boyfriend is a much bigger issue. Getting paid a few dollars less is much larger than being abused by your “husband” and it being okay. I’m not saying that there are not problems here in the US that need fixing regarding women, I am simply stating there’s a bigger problem and bigger picture that needs to be looked at and studied. And if we are going to be honest, a good majority of the problems here in the US could be solved by simply treating each other with respect, kindness, and compassion. Women like to make themselves seem as if they are the most perfect beings on the Earth and that every man is out to get them and I cannot express how awful of a thought process that is. Personally I’ve had my fair share of nasty men within my life, two of them being father figures, yet I still have trouble grasping the idea that every man means harm. I’ve met plenty of men and even young men who have congratulated me on my success and wish only the best for me.

If you’re a feminist and you victimize yourself you will not solve anything nor will it help men have a reason to respect us if women continue to act as damsels in distress. As a former classmate mentioned in her Facebook video about feminism, we are not damsels in distress, strong women are more than happy to pay the bill occasionally, we do not mind doing things for the men we care about, we know how to get things done when we need them done, and we do not need saving. Of course support equal rights, but focus on more than just yourself, there is more out there than that pretty Michael Kors purse and bank of a boyfriend.

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A Letter To My Humans On Our Last Day Together

We never thought this day would come.
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I didn't sleep much last night after I saw your tears. I would have gotten up to snuggle you, but I am just too weak. We both know my time with you is coming close to its end, and I just can't believe it how fast it has happened.

I remember the first time I saw you like it was yesterday.

You guys were squealing and jumping all around, because you were going home with a new dog. Dad, I can still feel your strong hands lifting me from the crate where the rest of my puppy brothers and sisters were snuggled around my warm, comforting puppy Momma. You held me up so that my chunky belly and floppy wrinkles squished my face together, and looked me right in the eyes, grinning, “She's the one."

I was so nervous on the way to my new home, I really didn't know what to expect.

But now, 12 years later as I sit in the sun on the front porch, trying to keep my wise, old eyes open, I am so grateful for you. We have been through it all together.

Twelve “First Days of School." Losing your first teeth. Watching Mom hang great tests on the refrigerator. Letting you guys use my fur as a tissue for your tears. Sneaking Halloween candy from your pillowcases.

Keeping quiet while Santa put your gifts under the tree each year. Never telling Mom and Dad when everyone started sneaking around. Being at the door to greet you no matter how long you were gone. Getting to be in senior pictures. Waking you up with big, sloppy kisses despite the sun not even being up.

Always going to the basement first, to make sure there wasn't anything scary. Catching your first fish. First dates. Every birthday. Prom pictures. Happily watching dad as he taught the boys how to throw every kind of ball. Chasing the sticks you threw, even though it got harder over the years.

Cuddling every time any of you weren't feeling well. Running in the sprinkler all summer long. Claiming the title “Shotgun Rider" when you guys finally learned how to drive. Watching you cry in mom and dads arms before your graduation. Feeling lost every time you went on vacation without me.

Witnessing the awkward years that you magically all overcame. Hearing my siblings learn to read. Comforting you when you lost grandma and grandpa. Listening to your phone conversations. Celebrating new jobs. Licking your scraped knees when you would fall.

Hearing your shower singing. Sidewalk chalk and bubbles in the sun. New pets. Family reunions. Sleepovers. Watching you wave goodbye to me as the jam-packed car sped up the driveway to drop you off at college. So many memories in what feels like so little time.

When the time comes today, we will all be crying. We won't want to say goodbye. My eyes might look glossy, but just know that I feel your love and I see you hugging each other. I love that, I love when we are all together.

I want you to remember the times we shared, every milestone that I got to be a part of.

I won't be waiting for you at the door anymore and my fur will slowly stop covering your clothes. It will be different, and the house will feel empty. But I will be there in spirit.

No matter how bad of a game you played, how terrible your work day was, how ugly your outfit is, how bad you smell, how much money you have, I could go on; I will always love you just the way you are. You cared for me and I cared for you. We are companions, partners in crime.

To you, I was simply a part of your life, but to me, you were my entire life.

Thank you for letting me grow up with you.

Love always,

Your family dog

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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