Time Is Giving Power To Survivors, As We All Should

Time Is Giving Power To Survivors, As We All Should

This is a watershed moment in history, hopefully changing for the positive what your workforce will look like.
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In the wake of the allegations brought forth against Matt Lauer last week, my little sister and I were hurt and confused. Here was a man we had watched so frequently throughout our childhood hosting the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, hosting our mom's favorite morning show. Here he was, revealed to be a serial sexual predator throughout the entirety of our childhood.

In the midst of our shock, my mom sent a text to the two of us: "But my dears, this is a watershed moment in history, hopefully changing for the positive what your workforce will look like." While it is unsettling to watch so many public figures we have put up on pedestals fall, what makes it all worth it is not only that they are being held accountable for their horrific actions, but that we now have the opportunity to change how we raise future generations. No longer will "nothing be done" as it was for so long.

Today, Time Magazine named the #MeToo Movement 2017's Person of the Year. In doing so, the magazine spotlighted a seismic shift in our culture by promoting those fighting for advocacy and change rather than those who continue to perpetrate or support assault. One of the most powerful messages conveyed by the cover and its partnering story is that assault is not something limited to one workforce, one institution, or one person. This is a wide-spanning, persisting problem that now has an opposition force with faces, names, and -most critically- voices.

The some of the faces chosen to represent the #MeToo Movement. The cover story spotlights individuals from every walk of life, from celebrities to hotel employees, from women to men. The intention of the variety is to convey how sexual assault can affect us all, but the individuals the story focuses on have all shown us that silence is no longer to be expected or even accepted.


Accountability in assault cases and allegations has for so long been unnecessarily forced upon survivors: in recent years, there has been more and more backlash against the trend of victim-shaming, of saying a survivor was "asking for it", or that they didn't explicitly say no, or that they were too intoxicated so they are to blame; even now in the shifting climate surrounding sexual assault, convicted assailant Brock Turner means to appeal partially on account of how intoxicated Emily Doe had been the night of the assault.

However, a new New York Times article was released further detailing the decade-long extent of Harvey Weinstein's predatory behavior. The five writers conducted extensive research to discover how deep the acts and cover-ups went. In doing so, they cast a harsh light not simply on Weinstein himself, but those around him who allowed the acts, slander, and degradation to continue for so long. The Time cover and the newest NYT article are incredibly significant and powerful as, for what seems like the first time, the perpetrators are the ones being forced to analyzed their actions, giving power back to the survivors - where it belongs. But this is only the first step, and we need to continue this validating and productive trend lest we regress back to silence and suffering.

It doesn't have to go back to the way it was. It doesn't have to feel as though there is no safe avenue for women or anyone in schools, workplaces, or homes. If we don't begin educating our youth that assault is not a display of power or control, instead explaining that it is vile, senseless, and punishable; if we don't begin conditioning them to see the magnitude of pain inflicted on survivors in the stories we read, witness, experience; if we don't start changing the world's perspective to place the blame fairly on the perpetrators instead of on the survivors now, this cyclical system of suffering will never end.

It is just as my mom said, just as Taylor Swift said, just as everyone who has been watching and waiting for justice to be served to those with the intention to harm others: this is a watershed moment in history. This is our watershed moment in history, and it is time to act.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Believe It Or Not, Being The 'Model Minority' Is Not A Privilege

Asian-American history is not something that is widely known or talked about, and for that, Asian-Americans are perceived as more privileged than other minorities.

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The topic of racism is one that is very much prevalent in the United States. However, in conversations about racism and marginalized groups, it seems that Asian-Americans are often excluded. The Asian-American experience is different from that of other minorities, with the model minority myth being a major contributing factor. While being viewed as a "model minority" may not seem like such a bad thing for Asians upon first glance, being a model minority does not equate to privilege.

There is a notion that Asian-Americans have suffered less from racism, and that they are privileged compared to other minorities. From elementary school, American students learn about Native American genocide and the history of racism against African Americans, but Asian-Americans rarely appear in any US history courses. They are not shown to have suffered a long history of systematic racism in the United States as other minorities have. Asian-American history is not something that is widely known or talked about, and for that, Asian-Americans are perceived as more privileged than other minorities.

Here's the issue: just because it isn't talked about, just because it isn't taught in school, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Discrimination against Asian-Americans is a part of American history, from the Chinese Exclusion Act, which was the first immigration law to target a specific ethnic group, in 1882, to the Japanese internment camps in the 1940s, to the murder of Vincent Chin in 1982, in which the murderers served no jail time, to the issues of media representation that still exist now. This is a history that has seemingly been erased and brushed to the side so that Asians can be used as the model minority.

I'm not asking that everyone become an expert on Asian-American history. It's enough to know that it exists, and that Asian-Americans are still a racial minority in the United States and still suffer from racism. Instead of dismissing them as privileged, acknowledge that Asian-Americans have faced discrimination and include them in conversations about racism.

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