What Feminism Means: How To Really Stand "With Her"

What Feminism Means: How To Really Stand "With Her"

Are you acting on your hashtag?

The United States of America just experienced a political season with a female presidential candidate. Many men and women alike took to standing "with her," recognizing the significance that this season played in gender equality. No matter your political viewpoint, seeing a woman run with the boys is pretty cool. Sure, we could've done better (understatement of the year?) but nonetheless, it was huge.

So you stood with her. You claimed the hashtag and you used the Election Day Snapchat filter. I'm as much a fan of gender equality as the next gal, but you won't be receiving a gold star from me. I challenge you -- I implore you, really -- to truly stand with her. Shift the focus off a woman in the spotlight and onto those who are experiencing extreme oppression elsewhere. Let's look to the women who are shackled and beat, who are not able to receive an education, who are years behind the United States.

There are women that are literally owned by men in the nations they reside. Sold into the sex trade, chained to a wall, and forced to obey, these women are not given another choice. The path for their life is already laid out for them based on the culture, and the location, that they are born into. Many nations do not recognize women as legitimate contributors to society, only seeing how they can be used instead of respected. A quarter of girls (aged 15-24) do not complete primary school. They are automatically set back -- no one is there to encourage them or help them towards a successful, much less independent, future. 80% of refugees and displaced people are women. Again, looked upon as a hassle instead of a human being, these women are struggling to survive -- they're worried about what tomorrow will hold in regards to meals and safety. 35% of women across the globe experience physical abuse and sexual violence, whether from spouses or elsewhere -- they are treated as things. The statistics go on, as the oppression of women is more and more obvious the further you dig.

Yes, the U.S. of A. is far from perfect, and as a college student I understand that my entry level job may pay me less than my male counterparts...and that sucks. Yet I wish for women in the United States to fight for the rights of women everywhere. To take the victories we've experienced and use them to better other parts of the world. No one's asking you to stop breaking the Glass Ceiling. Look to your left and you'll see me fighting alongside you. But instead of entirely thinking of yourself, look to others. Won't it be that much more powerful if women across nations fought together to halt inequality, instead of half the world in chains while American women don't turn and look around? There's power in numbers, and there is power in using the freedom you've gained to support your sisters who desperately need you.

Offer a hand to the woman on your left, on your right -- across the pond and in the jungles. Search the desert and cross borders. Open your eyes, and understand that the women who need you most are the ones who are unable to fight for themselves. Look at the undercover trafficking that is a normal part of life in many areas of the world. Look to the women who are never able to choose, married off at a young age -- their worth decided for them, receiving no education. But don't just acknowledge this truth -- act on it. See what you can personally do to aid these victims, stopping gender inequality on a global scale. Stand with her no matter where she's from, what race or religion she is, and help her gain the freedoms that women in the U.S.A. are so blessed to have. Get on your feet and find the organizations that need volunteers -- find ways to make things happen. When we start doing that -- when we start acting upon our hashtags -- then the people of the United States will truly have stood "with her," propelling a trend that is sure to change the course of time.

Cover Image Credit: www.authormedia.com

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.

It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.


There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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