Victoria Aveyard Versus Xenophobia

Victoria Aveyard Versus Xenophobia

This "New York Times" bestselling author isn't having it.
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I started following Victoria Aveyard after reading through her Young Adult fiction "Red Queen" sometime last year. As an avid reader and English major, I've taken a distinct interest in some of the newer literary phenomenon that has come up in the past ten years or so, especially the YA dystopian genre. While the dystopia has been around for a very long time, newer books like "The Hunger Games," "Divergent" and "Maze Runner" have formed a sort of category of their own in recent years. Somewhere around this genre is where we find Aveyard and "Red Queen." At this point, you might be expecting me to summarize the book, maybe provide some feedback or tell you my experience. Not happening. There are plenty of places where you can learn more about that kind of thing elsewhere.

Aveyard's Twitter account is a world of its own, always full of lively (even heated) conversation about current events. Lately there's been a lot of political commentary and thoughts on "The Bachelor." Sometime since Donald Trump began his political tirades Aveyard came out in open protest against his various prejudices, especially taking on his statements about Islam and immigration. It wasn't long before the Trump crowd found out and began bombarding her account with anti-Muslim / anti-immigrant tweets. During these exchanges Aveyard made some crucial points that, I believe, represented the beliefs of many of her Millennial peers and fan base. If the Bernie Sanders campaign has taught us anything, it's that social justice and equality are incredibly important to our generation. Increased conversation across cultural boundaries has made it more and more evident that racial, economic and religious equality has not yet been achieved and that we must take purposeful action if we want to fix it.

Point 1.

This opinion becomes more popular as more Americans actually begin to interact with Muslims, many of whom are American themselves. In an open letter to Donald Trump on his Facebook page, Humans of New York photographer / journalist stated:

"I’ve watched you compare refugees to ‘snakes,’ and claim that ‘Islam hates us.’ I am a journalist, Mr. Trump. And over the last two years, I have conducted extensive interviews with hundreds of Muslims, chosen at random, on the streets of Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan. I’ve also interviewed hundreds of Syrian and Iraqi refugees across seven different countries. And I can confirm -- the hateful one is you."

So we have these two major Millennial voices saying, "We do not hate people for being Muslim," and people who actually do have it out for Muslims begin to pour in (check out the Humans of New York visitor posts on Facebook). Millennial fans see two very different opinions exhibited. On one hand you have all these claims that Islam consists of a bunch of dangerous, conniving criminals and on the other hand you have people saying, "Hey, doesn't your own culture have some of the same types of people?" I know mine does. While I am openly Christian, I desperately hope that I will not be grouped with Christian radical hate groups like the Westboro Baptist Church, the Puritans of the Salem Witch Trials, the massacres of Muslims during the Crusades, etc. Even with all of that aside, it really just takes getting to know a little bit about the Islamic community in your own area to see the distinct difference between murderers and the majority of people at your local mosque.

Point 2 (or maybe 1.5).

Hating an enormous, complex group of people is not the way to retain a Millennial or Generation Z fan base. Aveyard is a YA author -- that stands for Young Adult. And who do we see advocating for equality and standing against prejudice? Young adults. By openly condemning xenophobia (the irrational fear of people from other countries) Aveyard may alienate a few, but I would venture to guess that she will entice far more readers than she lost. We want to hear strong voices speaking out and standing up for other people. Millennials may be the poorest generation financially, but I think we are far more likely to throw whatever support we have behind efforts for cultural equality.

Cover Image Credit: www.hypable.com

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything
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They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.


Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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8 Types Of People Fetuses Grow Into That 'Pro-Lifers' Don't Give 2.5 Shits About

It is easy to fight for the life of someone who isn't born, and then forget that you wanted them to be alive when you decide to hate their existence.

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For those in support of the #AbortionBans happening all over the United States, please remember that the unborn will not always be a fetus — he or she may grow up to be just another person whose existence you don't support.

The fetus may grow up to be transgender — they may wear clothes you deem "not for them" and identify in a way you don't agree with, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them a mentally unstable perv for trying to use the bathroom.

The fetus may grow up to be gay — they may find happiness and love in the arms of someone of the same gender, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them "vile" and shield your children's eyes when they kiss their partner.

The fetus may grow up and go to school — to get shot by someone carrying a gun they should have never been able to acquire, and their life will mean nothing to you when your right to bear arms is on the line.

The fetus may be black — they may wear baggy pants and "look like a thug", and their life will mean nothing to you when you defend the police officer who had no reason to shoot.

The fetus may grow up to be a criminal — he might live on death row for a heinous crime, and his life will mean nothing to you when you fight for the use of lethal injection to end it.

The fetus may end up poor — living off of a minimum wage job and food stamps to survive, and their life will mean nothing to you when they ask for assistance and you call them a "freeloader" and refuse.

The fetus may end up addicted to drugs — an experimentation gone wrong that has led to a lifetime of getting high and their life will mean nothing to you when you see a report that they OD'd and you make a fuss about the availability of Narcan.

The fetus may one day need an abortion — from trauma or simply not being ready, and her life will mean nothing to you as you wave "murderer" and "God hates you" signs as she walks into the office for the procedure.

* * *

Do not tell me that you are pro-life when all of the above people could lose their lives in any way OUTSIDE of abortion and you wouldn't give 2.5 shits.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is gay or trans, you will berate them for who they are or not support them for who they love.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is poor or addicted, you will refuse the help they desperately need or consider their death a betterment of society.

You fight for the baby to be born, but when the used-to-be-classroom-of-fetuses is shot, you care more about your access to firearms than their lives.

It is easy to pretend you care about someone before they are even born, and easy to forget their birth was something you fought for when they are anything other than what you consider an ideal person.

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