An Urgent Open Letter From An EIC Of Odyssey

An Urgent Open Letter From An EIC Of Odyssey

To those who misunderstand the platform.

This last weekend, there was a march. More specifically, there were several marches, each of which was overflowing with marchers of different races, colors, religions, genders, sexual identities; it was like the Hilltop Coke commercial from the '70s only without any commercialization to screw it up. It was an entirely peaceful effort to call attention to women's rights.

Now, naturally, in the days since the march, there has been somewhat of a backlash. Spearheaded by women who feel invalidated by millions of marchers around the globe (allegedly) telling them that the choices they've made in life are wrong, the march has come under attack by scores of women. Some of these women have taken to the vast void of the internet to air their grievances. Some of these women are a part of Odyssey.

The articles featured on Odyssey are not in direct response to the march, yet they are recent enough to circulate around the internet in the days after the march and carry that same defensive (self-aggrandizing) tone that is dismissive of feminism. These articles demonstrate a glaring misunderstanding of the fundamental foundation of feminism (the first and only rule, if I'm not wrong) which is that you do not talk about feminism feminism is nothing more than a belief in and support of the equality of the sexes. If you don't subscribe to this particular school of thought, you're perfectly entitled to your system of beliefs. I'm not here to address the ethics of modern ideology.

I'm writing this to those who are slandering Odyssey:

In the last few days, I have encountered social media post after social media post attempting to shine a negative light on Odyssey as a whole, as opposed to the individual authors of the individual articles. And while I am an avid fan of public humiliation and mob mentality, as the Editor In Chief of the Allegheny community of Odyssey, the attention that these misinformed authors are garnering for all the wrong reasons is becoming a thorn in my side. Not for making the already imbecilic public even stupider, but for lowering the collateral of the articles I have listed on my résumé and taking away the modicum of dignity this position granted me, damn it.

Odyssey is a platform, not a publication. It was created to house many perspectives, perhaps perspectives that I and thousands of others don't agree with. Some people naturally seek out other points of view, but not everyone does. It's frustrating to read some of these posts, but it also starts an important conversation.

My name is Andrew Hopf. I'm a senior in college, and I don't have a lot of talents. I love to read, and I love to write, and all I can picture in my future is doing those two things until God takes what mental acuity and precious little eyesight I have left. How am I ever going to get a leg up in the current job market if you people keep trying to call attention to the seemingly deliberate spread of untruths?

Journalistic integrity is one of those tricky gray areas in life that no one can seem to come to a conclusive definition of; Barbara Walters probably never even picked each year's ten most interesting people herself. And so, if you see someone trying to completely refute feminism and set the clock back to 1960, when women couldn't have credit cards or apply for loans without a man's signature, just close the tab and smile with the knowledge that they'll be the ones picking up the shards from the glass ceilings you shatter.

For my sake and the sake of my future bank account.


- Andrew Hopf

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

Sorry, not sorry.


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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The Truth About Responsibility

Part three of a five-part series on leadership.


In this five-part series, I'm not going to give you a definition of leadership. I'm not even going to try to come up with one on my own, because your idea of leadership is exactly that, YOURS. My only hope is that my ideas can help you better understand your idea of leadership.

By now, you may have noticed that these articles are structured in a specific way. If you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, go check out the first two articles in this five-part series. I tell you why a respective trait, this week that trait is responsibility, is so much more than its definition. Then go on to explain why it's crucial for being a successful leader and leave you with something to ponder.

However, now and in the future, I am going to add a general example to help solidify my point and allow you to see the full picture. These examples are for your use. Interject characters or people you know into the scenarios to better illustrate it for yourself. Maybe you've been in one of these situations, I would love to hear about it.

Part 3: What is responsibility? And what does it have to do with leadership?

Responsibility is similar to leadership in that everyone you ask will probably explain it with a story rather than a definition. This makes sense because it is just too broad to be accurately defined in one statement. I could probably come up with some ideas for stories to illustrate my point about responsibility, but I don't think that would be helpful to you.

Google would tell you that responsibility is "the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something". I actually like this definition! But to better illustrate my point, try this little thought experiment. Think back to the last time you had "a duty to deal with something".

What was that something? Who charged you with that duty? Was it really yours to deal with?

Too often we think of responsibility in mundane terms. Some may say that responsibility is shown by getting an assignment done or showing up to an important meeting on time. I would generally agree that doing these mundane activities show responsibility, but only in a mundane sense. The completion of a duty that someone else charges you with is just too simple.

Think about responsibility. It is so much more than just getting things done. It is so much bigger than an assignment or a meeting.

Responsibility is a mentality. Responsibility is a way of life.

You should really be thinking about responsibility as an ideal which you strive for, not a box that you check. Welp, I was responsible today! I made all of my meetings, check! I finished all of my work, check! Guess I don't need to be responsible tomorrow!

See how well that works out.

Responsibility is about taking ownership of what you do, in all situations. Everything you say and everything you do. The things that you are proud of and those which make you feel ashamed. Each one of your successes, as well every single one of your failures and shortcomings. That last one isn't easy, I know.

Responsibility is also seeing things through to completion. If you start a project, you finish it. If you set a meeting, you make it there on time. If you say you will do something, you do it. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Responsibility is completing a duty which you charged yourself with, regardless of that duty.

But when you start thinking this way, day in and day out, responsibility becomes natural. It becomes the way of life you want it to be, ubiquitous and easy to see. This is when leadership comes into play.

Being more responsible in your everyday life will make you a better leader.

Regardless of the situation, responsibility will carry over. It will also spread. As more and more people see you taking ownership and seeing things through to completion, they will follow your example. Friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family will appreciate the fact that you actually care enough to do what you say you are going to do.

Leading by example, isn't that the best form of leadership?

Here is a scenario for you to view through your own eyes. You are part of a group which is charged with completing a project in a given amount of time. For simplicity, say your boss has appointed one person to be the "leader", charged with scheduling meetings and holding members accountable to the work they say they will do.

As time goes on, this "leader" is often late to meetings or doesn't show at all. This leader often forgets his duties and brings nothing of value to the meetings. This so-called leader is not being responsible, and the group is suffering. You are no closer to your goal then the day the group was formed.

This appointed leader is not showing leadership because he or she is not being responsible. Why should anyone else show up on time or complete what they said they were going to if the leader doesn't do the same? Change starts with you setting the example of responsibility.

Whether you are in the office, on the assembly line, or at home, being responsible will change you and those around you. It will make life better because it makes life easier. Just imagine how much better your life would be if every person who made a commitment to you, followed through on that commitment.

To end and to drive this point home, we will get a little meta. The next time someone breaks a promise or cancels a meeting, accept it for what it is: a lack of responsibility. Then, when it's your turn to keep a commitment, keep it. Don't be petty by saying "Well they did it to me, why can't I do it to them?". A cancellation for a cancellation makes the whole world uninformed.

Lead by example by taking ownership of your commitments and seeing them through to the end. People will respect your responsibility and return it in kind.

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