'Afraid' Is Not Knowing If You Can Openly Be Yourself, NOT Whether You Can State Your Political Opinion

'Afraid' Is Not Knowing If You Can Openly Be Yourself, NOT Whether You Can State Your Political Opinion

You choose your political support. I can't choose what I am.

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Apparently, Republicans and Trump supporters feel "afraid" or "uncomfortable" expressing their opinions and political affiliations in a "liberal" world. I've certainly read quite a few articles on here from college-age Republicans who've stated so.

And it's laughable because they don't really know what it feels like to be afraid.

"Afraid" is not feeling like you can publicly be yourself. That you can't fully own your identity and embrace it, because there are people out there who hate you for everything you are and would harm you without feeling guilty.

"Afraid" is not knowing if it's safe to tell someone your religious identity.

"Afraid" is not feeling like you can come out on your sexuality because people, possibly even your own family, may hate you.

"Afraid" is knowing that you could be hurt or killed because your skin color isn't white. And that would be the only reason. And your assaulter might not even get properly punished for it.

I once had a coworker tell me if I ever came out as bisexual, he'd never speak to me again. Like that was his breaking point. Speaks volumes about this world we live in, huh?

I am Jewish. I fear being attacked for my religion. And considering the rise in anti-Semitic events lately, even on my own college campus, that's an increasingly valid fear. It's currently Hannukah, and I'm scared to have my family's lights visible from the street because someone might decide to attack us since we're openly signally we're Jewish. I work in a kosher coffee place and fear someone may come in with a gun. My sisters attend Jewish day schools and my mother works in one; I fear a school shooting could take place. My father wears a yarmulke and I fear that someone could see and choose to hurt him.

I'm a woman. I live in fear of being sexually assaulted everywhere I go. I'm afraid to go places alone, even if it's the 5-minute walk from campus to the parking garage, because it doesn't take long for something to happen.

I have trans friends. They fear discrimination, hate, physical attacks, and being written out of existence by our transphobic president and politicians. They are goddamn good people who shouldn't have to worry about doing literally anything because someone may hate who they are.

I'm bisexual. I and everyone else in the LGBTQ community are faced with homophobia and hate. We're afraid for our lives, afraid to come out because sometimes we don't know if our own families would be okay with us. I'm blessed enough to have a Jewish family that is okay with LGBTQ, but others are not as fortunate.

I watch my classmates, my white, cisgender, straight classmates, move through life only worrying about college and work. They're not affected by the shit I deal with. They will never fully understand how it feels to live your life in fear of being hurt, attacked, or even killed for your identity.

Because even if they're allies, they may never truly understand.

So to all you Trump supporters and Republicans out there who claim to be afraid to express themselves? You have no idea what fear truly feels like.

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I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists

I believe that I am a strong woman, but I also believe in a strong man.
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Beliefs are beliefs, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm all about girl power, but in today's world, it's getting shoved down our throats. Relax feminists, we're OK.

My inspiration actually came from a man (God forbid, a man has ideas these days). One afternoon my boyfriend was telling me about a discussion his class had regarding female sports and how TV stations air fewer female competitions than that of males. In a room where he and his other male classmate were completely outnumbered, he didn't have much say in the discussion.

Apparently, it was getting pretty heated in the room, and the women in the class were going on and on about how society is unfair to women in this aspect and that respect for the female population is shrinking relative to the male population.

If we're being frank here, it's a load of bull.

SEE ALSO: To The Women Who Hate Feminism

First of all, this is the 21st century. Women have never been more respected. Women have more rights in the United States than ever before. As far as sports go, TV stations are going to air the sports that get the most ratings. On a realistic level, how many women are turning on Sports Center in the middle of the day? Not enough for TV stations to make money. It's a business, not a boycott against female athletics.

Whatever happened to chivalry? Why is it so “old fashioned" to allow a man to do the dirty work or pay for meals? Feminists claim that this is a sign of disrespect, yet when a man offers to pick up the check or help fix a flat tire (aka being a gentleman), they become offended. It seems like a bit of a double standard to me. There is a distinct divide between both the mental and physical makeup of a male and female body. There is a reason for this. We are not equals. The male is made of more muscle mass, and the woman has a more efficient brain (I mean, I think that's pretty freaking awesome).

The male body is meant to endure more physical while the female is more delicate. So, quite frankly, at a certain point in life, there need to be restrictions on integrating the two. For example, during that same class discussion that I mentioned before, one of the young ladies in the room complained about how the NFL doesn't have female athletes. I mean, really? Can you imagine being tackled by a 220-pound linebacker? Of course not. Our bodies are different. It's not “inequality," it's just science.

And while I can understand the concern in regard to money and women making statistically less than men do, let's consider some historical facts. If we think about it, women branching out into the workforce is still relatively new in terms of history. Up until about the '80s or so, many women didn't work as much as they do now (no disrespect to the women that did work to provide for themselves and their families — you go ladies!). We are still climbing the charts in 2016.

Though there is still considered to be a glass ceiling for the working female, it's being shattered by the perseverance and strong mentality of women everywhere. So, let's stop blaming men and society for how we continue to “struggle" and praise the female gender for working hard to make a mark in today's workforce. We're doing a kick-ass job, let's stop the complaining.

I consider myself to be a very strong and independent female. But that doesn't mean that I feel the need to put down the opposite gender for every problem I endure. Not everything is a man's fault. Let's be realistic ladies, just as much as they are boneheads from time to time, we have the tendency to be a real pain in the tush.

It's a lot of give and take. We don't have to pretend we don't need our men every once in a while. It's OK to be vulnerable. Men and women are meant to complement one another—not to be equal or to over-power. The genders are meant to balance each other out. There's nothing wrong with it.

I am all for being a proud woman and having confidence in what I say and do. I believe in myself as a powerful female and human being. However, I don't believe that being a female entitles me to put down men and claim to be the “dominant" gender. There is no “dominant" gender. There's just men and women. Women and men. We coincide with each other, that's that. Time to embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: chrisjohnbeckett / Flickr

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Even As A Feminist, I Can't Deny That Feminism Can Be Toxic Sometimes

Claiming to be a "feminist" these days doesn't just entail supporting women for what they choose to do.

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I was at a Starbucks a few weeks ago, meeting up with my best friend after months of separation. The college atmosphere was fairly new to both of us, him being an art school student while I attended one of the most liberal universities in the country. We were talking about our day-to-day activities and lives when he popped one of the questions I've come to dread over the months.

"Aren't you a political science major? Ugh, please don't bring up politics, it's such an annoying thing these days."

I wasn't surprised. Myself and other political science students have been told this many times. Politics have evolved over the decades. There used to be a time when people with different ideologies could engage in civil discussions about current events. Now it's turned into an ongoing debate of what is right and what is wrong. People don't put aside their differences as easily to find their happy medium.

I asked my best friend why he thought of politics in that way when his answer took me by surprise.

"It's all of this feminist talk. I'm sick of it. Since when did some feminists find it okay to blatantly hate men as part of "supporting women?"

I couldn't find myself disagreeing. That's when I knew that feminism isn't always what it strives to be. Claiming to be a "feminist" these days doesn't just entail supporting women for what they choose to do. Many feminists have changed that definition to include degrading the majority of men for the actions of a select few. It's not uncommon for people to claim that all men are rapists, for example. Good men exist too. It's unfair that this thinking extremely present in feminist ideology, and often causes many feminists to debate their stances using flawed arguments.

What many feminists fail to realize, is that equal opportunity does not always relate to equal outcome. Just because women are given the ability to do something men do does not mean they will be treated exactly the same for those things. This is the sad reality that we live in. Look at promiscuity, for example. Why is it that when a man is promiscuous, he is awarded for his behavior? A man could have had many sexual partners in his past and still find it possible to settle down with a female at some point. Look at it from a female's perspective, however. If a woman has had multiple sexual partners and tries to settle down with a man, why is it that many of these women are looked down on? They've only done what men do, after all. This is what I'm arguing. Feminists need to realize that it's a huge step in itself to be able to do the same things men have been doing for years. A woman wasn't even allowed to go to work at one point. Now, the CEO of PepsiCo is a woman! However, it will still take more time for women to be able to elicit the same responses and outcomes as men.

Some feminists also need to understand that just because someone doesn't believe in something they do, it doesn't make that person their enemy. Feminism isn't about just believing what you think is right. Just because a feminist believes that a woman can have sexual intercourse with as many partners as she wants doesn't make it right in everyone's eyes. Yes, that woman has been granted sexual freedom but it is wrong of people to assume that everyone should be okay with it. I certainly believe that a woman can have sexual freedom. Free the nipple! Do I necessarily believe that it's right or do I partake in it? No. But this is what feminism should be about. It's about understanding that different people have different opinions but that it's okay. As long as women are focused on progressing and creating change, that's what is important.

In no way am I undermining the effects of feminism or the strength of feminism in this article; I believe that feminism is a unified force that has allowed for a lot of change to take place. More women are making themselves visible in political affairs as are women in the workforce. It's wonderful, really. Feminism is what has empowered me to write this article. I'm writing this in hopes that feminist ideology will change, that it will become more inclusive. Here's to hoping that when a male calls himself a feminist, he isn't made fun of for it.

Here's to hoping that when people declare themselves a feminist, they aren't looked down for it.

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