Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

There is a Universal Declaration of International Human Rights, why didn't we learn about it in school though?


During my time learning about international law, I came across something that I wish I was taught in High School; the UN Declaration of Human Rights. That's right, the United Nations put forward a Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has 30 articles, each of which outlines a human right that the UN set forward as part of international human rights laws dictated by the Humans Rights Council. Given that these are my given human rights by the United Nations, I find it interesting that we were never taught about this in public school. Most of the human rights listed have been violated by one country or another (yes the US has violated multiple Human Rights Laws even though we are one of the most powerful countries in the UN and we fund most of the UN). So here is a quick summary of the 30 human rights as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

1. That everyone is born free and equal.

2. Everyone is entitled to everything outlined within the this Universal Declaration of Human Rights

3. Rights of life, liberty, and security (sound familiar?)

4. No one will be held as a slave

5. No one is to be tortured or punished in a cruel and inhumane fashion

6. Legal right to be treated as a person before the law EVERYWHERE

7. Everyone is equal before the law and have rights to equal protection without discrimination

8. Rights to an effective remedy for violation of rights granted by law or constitution

9. No unlawful arrest, detention, exile

10. Everyone has the right for a fair and public hearing

11. Everyone is to be assumed innocent until proven guilty

12. Everyone has rights to privacy (family, home, etc)

13. Everyone has the freedom to move to and from their country of origin (cannot be detained unlawfully)

14. EVERYONE is entitled to rights to asylum (this can't be taken away EVEN in the case of non-political crimes)

15. Rights to a nationality (and the right to change it)

16. EVERYONE has the right to marry at full age (no matter race, nationality, religion)

17. Everyone has the right to property (own by themselves or shared)

18. Freedom of religion and thought

19. Freedom of opinion and expression

20. Freedom of assembly and association (chosen freely)

21. Rights to participate in their government (directly or through chosen officials), access to public service

22. Rights to social security

23. Rights to work (freedom to chose where to work) without discrimination of any kind with proper reimbursement, the rights to create unions

24. Rights to time off (rest/leisure)

25. Rights to the standard of living (this includes mothers and children getting special care and assistance)

26. Everyone is entitled to free education and the parents have the right to chose their child's educations

27. Rights to freely participate in cultural life and the right to protection of this life

28. Everyone has the right for these rights to be FULLY recognized

29. Everyone must follow these rights and participate in their duties to their community

30. Everything set forward must be followed fully and to the letter by all nations

If I have piqued your interest, I highly encourage you to read all about it here: http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-r...

It's important to stay alert and stay educated about the world we live in, both on a domestic level and an international level.

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No, I Don't Have To Tell You I'm Trans Before Dating You

Demanding trans people come out to potential partners is transphobic.

In 2014, Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old Filipina woman, was brutally murdered after having sex with a U.S. marine. The marine in question, Joseph Scott Pemberton, strangled her until she was unconscious and then proceeded to drown her in a toilet bowl.

Understandably, this crime triggered a lot of outrage. But while some were outraged over the horrific nature of the crime, many others were outraged by a different detail in the story. That was because Jennifer Laude had done the unspeakable. She was a trans woman and had not disclosed that information before having sex with Pemberton. So in the minds of many cis people, her death was the price she paid for not disclosing her trans status. Here are some of the comments on CNN's Facebook page when the story broke.

As a trans person, I run into this attitude all the time. I constantly hear cis people raging about how a trans person is "lying" if they don't come out to a potential partner before dating them. Pemberton himself claimed that he felt like he was "raped" because Laude did not come out to him. Even cis people that fashion themselves as "allies" tend to feel similar.

Their argument is that they aren't attracted to trans people, so they should have a right to know if a potential partner is trans before dating them. These people view transness as a mere physical quality that they just aren't attracted to.

The issue with this logic is that the person in question is obviously attracted to trans people, or else they wouldn't be worried about accidentally going out with one. So these people aren't attracted to trans people because of some physical quality, they aren't attracted to trans people because they are disgusted by the very idea of transness.

Disgust towards trans people is ingrained in all of us from a very early age. The gender binary forms the basis of European societies. It establishes that there are men and there are women, and each has a specific role. For the gender binary to have power, it has to be rigid and inflexible. Thus, from the day we are born, we are taught to believe in a very static and strict form of gender. We learn that if you have a penis, you are a man, and if you have a vagina, you are a woman. Trans people are walking refutations of this concept of gender. Our very existence threatens to undermine the gender binary itself. And for that, we are constantly demonized. For example, trans people, mainly women of color, continue to be slaughtered in droves for being trans.

The justification of transphobic oppression is often that transness is inherently disgusting. For example, the "trans panic" defense still exists to this day. This defense involves the defendant asking for a lesser sentence after killing a trans person because they contend that when they found out the victim was trans, they freaked out and couldn't control themselves. This defense is still legal in every state but California.

And our culture constantly reinforces the notion that transness is undesirable. For example, there is the common trope in fictional media in which a male protagonist is "tricked" into sleeping with a trans woman. The character's disgust after finding out is often used as a punchline.

Thus, not being attracted to trans people is deeply transphobic. The entire notion that someone isn't attracted to a group of very physically diverse group of people because they are trans is built on fear and disgust of trans people. None of this means it is transphobic to not be attracted to individual trans people. Nor is it transphobic to not be attracted to specific genitals. But it is transphobic to claim to not be attracted to all trans, people. For example, there is a difference between saying you won't go out with someone for having a penis and saying you won't go out with someone because they're trans.

So when a cis person argues that a trans person has an obligation to come out to someone before dating them, they are saying trans people have an obligation to accommodate their transphobia. Plus, claiming that trans people are obligated to come out reinforces the idea that not being attracted to trans people is reasonable. But as I've pointed out, not being attracted to trans people supports the idea that transness is disgusting which is the basis for transphobic oppression.

The one scenario in which I would say a trans person should disclose their trans status is if they are going to have sex with someone and are unsure if their partner is attracted to whatever genitals they may have. In that case, I think it's courteous for a trans person to come out to avoid any awkwardness during sex. But even then, a trans person isn't "lying" if they don't come out and their partner is certainly not being "raped."

It is easy to look at the story of Jennifer Laude and claim that her death was due to the actions of one bigot. But it's more complicated than that. Pemberton was the product of a society that told him that disgust towards trans people was reasonable and natural. So when he found out that he accidentally slept with a trans woman, he killed her.

Every single cis person that says that trans people have to come out because they aren't attracted to trans people feeds into the system that caused Jennifer Laude's death. And until those cis people acknowledge their complicity in that system, there will only be more like Jennifer Laude.

SEE ALSO: Yes, You Absolutely Need To Tell Someone You're Trans Before Dating

Cover Image Credit: Nats Getty / Instagram

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There Are Several Different Arguments On Abortion, But I Think It Boils Down To The Fact Abortion Is Murder

I believe abortion is abhorrent. One of the few social issues I support the right on is abortion.


Abortion is a popular issue with both sides of the spectrum. Liberals generally support it, while conservatives generally are against it. I believe there is truth to both sides of the argument, however, the underlying issue is whether or not a fetus is a person.

Why should the fetus be considered a person? I believe a fetus is a person from conception. To me, there seem to be no other criteria that match well with a person than this. Many arguments stating when it is a person comes from different milestones from pregnancy. The first of which I will discuss is the first heartbeat. While at first, this seems viable, it isn't. If personhood is considered the heartbeat, then people with pacemakers are not people. They lose their personhood just by having a smaller or not developed heart.

The second of these arguments is the first breath. Once again, seems viable, but is not. If a person is in an iron lung, are they dead? Or were they never living? Can I kill them and not be faced with murder? This argument falls flat and does not work in any capacity.

And the final of these types of arguments is the birth of a child. This one is just completely ridiculous. The same people who argue that this is not a person will argue that the murder of a pregnant woman isn't double homicide. I agree that is in fact double homicide because I believe that a fetus is a person.

The biggest argument, however, does not have anything to do with the fetus. My body, my choice. The belief that since it is a woman's body that they have the choice to abort the fetus. However when she is pregnant, she's sharing her body with another being, so it's not solely hers anymore. It all comes down to where you stand on the argument. Either you stand for the developing human or the pregnant woman.

The argument breaks down into an "if this, then that" argument. If it is my body, then it is my choice. But this does not take into account other people besides the woman. The fetus, first of all, is being murdered then never given the opportunity to live. There have been several studies by Pew that men have long periods of grieving, loss of sexual activity, and even erectile dysfunction from an abortion committed by a woman he impregnated.

I believe abortion is abhorrent. One of the few social issues I support the right on is abortion. I believe abortion is murder and I hope I have changed a few minds.


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