I Am A True Feminist

I Am A True Feminist

I am a Feminist hear me ROAR.
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A true feminist is something different to everyone, but to me this is what a feminist looks like. Not once has a bra of mine been burn but yes I am a feminist. I believe in the equality of all persons, no matter the race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, or sexuality. I am 100 percent not a "man-hater." The stereotypical feminist is a radical bra-burning, man hating machine, and that is not me. I have plenty of male friends and love them all, I just do not love the way in which our society has been structured to follow old, outdated, misogynistic beliefs about women and the positions and lifestyle they can have. I am just going to tell you about my how I believe I am a feminist as well as how I became one.

When I was growing up, I was in a household with more women than men. My dad has always been the main source of income for our family, and that is because my mom chose to be a teacher and when I was born decided to stay home for a little while. Growing up, I played with the gendered toys but since my brother is my closest sibling in age I would end up playing various "boy" games with him. I would play house and pretend to be a teacher, but never did I feel these were my only options. I was a weird child in that I liked chores I loved to sweep and wash windows. When I was younger I sometimes thought about being a window washer, which is a male dominated career. When I was really young I did not realize or notice the male dominated professions, they don't have a picture book for that. But as I got a little older in middle school I really wanted to do something that is a male dominated field. I never seriously considered this since I do not have the heart for it, but I did think about being in the military. I thought especially since I am under 5 feet that it would be nice to prove people wrong, as well as just increase the female population in the military.

So yes, my childhood did slightly reinforce some gender roles, but never was I told I could not do something. I know that some day I do want to be a mother that has always been something I wanted to be when I "grow" up. Although I want this job as a mother I know this is not my only purpose in life and it also is OK for other women not to want a child. There is nothing wrong with wanting or not wanting a child, and ultimately it is the woman's choice and everyone must respect that fact! Understanding this is often a struggle, even for me. I have known that I want to be a mother, and others not wanting that is confusing — but it also confuses me when others do not like ice cream. The fact is that although you may not understand you must respect what people choose with their life, no matter if ice cream is the most amazing thing in your life, know that it is not for everyone!

Being a feminist does not make me a crazy man hater. It makes me a woman who understands her rights and believes in protecting them not only for herself but for others. She believes in fighting for all equality across the spectrum and proving to those who believe I may be too emotional that I can get my job done.

Call me bossy, and I will take it as a compliment — I know you meant assertive and strong, like you would call any man. Call me a floozy, and I'll give you a high five like you would give your guy friends you call a player. Ask me to smile, and I'll ask you to tell me a joke because when you want your guy friend to smile you'd tell him a joke. Yes, I know my place but it is not under a man.

Cover Image Credit: Mary Holden

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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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