I Am A Feminist And I Am Not Ashamed

I Am A Feminist And I Am Not Ashamed

Because feminism is important.
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I am a feminist. I think that little girls should be told exactly how tough, strong and capable they are. I think that girls should be able to fix cars, but I also think that boys should be able to play with dolls. Being a feminist is about the equality of both genders in the sense that each is treated with respect and given the same opportunities despite being born a boy or a girl.

That being said, there are certain privileges that are only made available to men. I do not wish for these privileges be taken away from men but simply offered to women as well.

When I discuss the unfair advantages of being born a girl, I am bombarded with phrases like, “If you were an equalist, you’d see that men have it rough too.” Equality is what I strive to promote; therefore having the word “equalist” thrown in my face is hurtful. When someone says the word “equalist” I can’t help but think of “#AllLivesMatter.” Of course every life regardless of gender is important deserving of respect and dignity but it is important to realize that some people face struggles and discrimination that others do not. In no way does this mean that the people with privilege are bad people, and I am not attacking you because you have done nothing wrong. However, you can make the wrong decision to ignore the particular difficulties of certain groups of people. Therefore, when I write about the discrimination against women, I am not blaming or attacking men.

I am a feminist and I am what some would call "girly;" I like to wear dresses and in no way does that make me less of a feminist than someone who does not. Being a feminist, I never discriminate against another woman fighting for the same ideals and goals. I believe that women should work together to achieve the power and respect we deserve. I am tired of being told that I don’t look or act like a feminist because I am; and I believe that feminism should not have a specified “look” because it fights for all women.

I am a feminist and I am not ashamed. I should not be ashamed for wanting to change the world and the way women are viewed. I am a feminist because I have women close to me who play video games, and they should be allowed to do so without it being “odd for a girl” or receiving harassment. I am a feminist because I have women close to me in STEM fields, and they should be allowed to do so without being constantly doubted and questioned on their abilities. I am a feminist because I have women close to me who live an exuberant, independent life without children or a husband, and they should be allowed to do so without being pitied or seen as selfish. I am a feminist because when I went to high school I was pulled out of class for disturbing my male peer’s education with my shorts; and then when I went to college I carried my keys between my fingers so that they wouldn’t disturb mine.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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10 Deadliest School Shootings in U.S. History

These are ten of the most savage attacks on American innocence.
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School shootings in America trace back as early as the Settlers and Indians .

Over the years, attacks on schools have gotten progressively more brutal, senseless and deadly. Motives behind such occurrences are often blamed on social cliques and bullying or the perpetrators often suffer from mental illnesses or addiction.

Here are the 10 deadliest school shootings in American history:

10. West Nickel Mines Shooting

On October 2, 2006, milk-tank truck driver Charles Carl Roberts opened fire on a small Amish schoolhouse in Bart Township, Pennsylvania. Prior to going to the school, Roberts left a suicide note at home for his wife and children.

Roberts entered the one-room schoolhouse and ordered all the boys to leave, as well as one pregnant woman and three parents with infants. He ordered the remaining ten girls against the wall and held them hostage.

Sisters Mariah and Barbara Fisher, ages 13 and 11, courageously asked to be shot first in exchange for the lives of the other young girls; some were as young as six years old. Roberts killed Mariah and wounded Barbara. In addition, he shot eight out of the 10 girls, killing five of them.

9. Oikos University Shooting

43-year-old One L. Goh committed Oakland, California's deadliest mass killing on April 2, 2012, at the Korean Christian college Oikos University. Witnesses testify Goh stood up in his nursing class and ordered everyone against the wall at gun point.

One student recalls him yelling, "Get in line..I'm going to kill you all!" before firing. He killed seven people and wounded three others.

8. California State Fullerton Massacre

Custodian Edward Charles Allaway was reported as going "postal" on July 12, 1976 at California State University in Fullerton, California. The 37-year-old employee of the institute had a history of violence and mental illness, and was later diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.

He was found insane by the judge of his trial for the murders. He called the police after killing seven people and wounding two others, and turned himself in. His motives behind the mass murder included him believing the university library was screening pornographic movies his wife was forced to appear in.

He is currently receiving medical treatment for his condition at the Patton State Hospital.

7. Red Lake Shootings

The Red Lake Indian Reservation in Red Lake, Minnesota will never quite be the same after events which occurred at the senior high school on March 21, 2005.

16-year-old Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather (a tribal police officer) and his girlfriend. He then robbed his grandfather of police weapons and bullet proof vest, before ultimately driving to Red Lake Senior High School where he killed seven people and wounded five others.

Weise took a total of 10 lives that day, including himself. He committed suicide in a classroom after exchanging fire with police.

Witnesses reported Weise smiled while shooting his victims and questioned multiple students about their faith before firing.

6. Umpqua Community College Shooting

On October 1, 2015, 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer committed the deadliest mass shooting in Oregon history. He killed nine people and injured seven others at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

He spared one person in the classroom he opened fire in, only to deliver a message to the police for him. Mercer was described as "hate filled" by those who knew him. In addition, he identified himself as a White Supremacist, anti religious and suffered from long term mental health issues.

Some theories behind the mass shooting were Mercer falling below a C average, putting him at risk for suspension, as well as him not being able to pay the tuition bill due.

He ultimately committed suicide after the attack.

5. Enoch Brown School Massacre

The Enoch Brown School Massacre is one of the first documented school shootings in U.S. history. On July 26, 1794, four Lenape Indians entered a Settler's schoolhouse in Delaware where they massacred school master Enoch Brown and nine children; they were shot and scalped.

Two children survived the attack and four others were kidnapped and taken as prisoners. This event is considered one of the most notorious incidents of the Pontiac War.

4. Columbine High School Massacre

High school seniors Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, may have not committed the deadliest school shooting in the U.S., but their killing spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado is considered one of the most infamous attacks in history.

It sparked numerous debates, including gun control, anti-depressant drugs and the influence social cliques, violent video games and bullying have on the mental health of high school students.

Harris and Klebold spent countless hours preparing for the events on April 20, 1999, which were documented in their "Basement Tapes." The tapes contained footage of the two boys having target practice with illegally obtained firearms, as well as a suicide message and apology to their parents.

Their ultimate goal was to be responsible for more victims than the Oklahoma City bombing, an event the boys idolized. The morning of the shootings, Harris and Klebold encountered one of their few friends Brooks Brown in the school parking lot.

Brown was one of the few students the shooters considered a friend; they told him to leave campus immediately because "something bad was about to happen."

Reports claim the boys targeted jocks, taunted people for their belief in Christianity and made jokes with each other while they killed their peers. Harris and Klebold took the lives of 13 people and injured 24.

They committed suicide in the library together.

3. UT Tower Shooting

On August 1, 1966, former Marine sharp-shooter Charles Whitman unleashed havoc on the campus of University of Texas in Austin, Texas.

Whitman positioned himself on the observation deck at the very top of the U.T. Tower; it was the perfect place for a sniper to have his pick of targets, considering you could see the entire campus from his vantage point.

He killed 14 people and wounded 31 others. Prior to his attack on campus, Whitman killed his wife and mother.

Post autopsy, it was theorized that Whitman's behavior might have been caused by a tumor found in his brain. Doctors and psychologists attribute the tumor to his impulsive, irrational behavior and his lack of a conscience.

This theory was supported by records of Whitman seeking professional help prior to the shooting for "overwhelming, violent impulses" he felt he couldn't control.

2. Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting

20-year-old Adam Peter Lanza is responsible for arguably the most senseless and brutal attack on a school in U.S. history.

On December 14, 2012 Lanza shook the town of Newtown, Connecticut when he attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza killed his mother, before entering the school where he killed 26 people and inured two others; the majority of his victims were children aging from five to 10 years old.

He committed suicide upon completion of the attack. This shooting in particular confused both the media and authorities, because Lanza never offered a motive or reasoning behind the murder of his mother nor the horrendous mass slaying of innocent children.

1. Virginia Tech Massacre


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia came under attack on April 16, 2007. Senior student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured 17 more in two attacks – one in a co-ed dormitory, the other in the Engineering, Science and Mechanics building.

He is noted as committing the deadliest attack on a school in U.S. history.

Cho was previously diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder; among the tapes he personally mailed to NBC news, Cho expressed his hatred for the wealthy, compared himself to Jesus Christ and explained that he was forced to commit the mass shooting due to voices in his head.

Virginia Tech has held the number one spot as deadliest school shooting for five years.

Holocaust survivor Liviu Librescu was a professor in the Engineering, Science and Mechanics department at the school, who was famously remembered for using his body as a barricade against the door during the attack; Librescu was killed during the attack but managed to hold the door closed long enough for all of his students to escape out the window.

Cho ultimately committed suicide following the shooting.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Who Boko Haram Is, And Why YOU Should Care

The terrorist group you don't read about in the headlines.
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Who is Boko Haram?

Boko Haram is a terrorist group which has been steadily taking over the country of Nigeria for the past several years. It has killed more people than terrorist groups such as ISIS (from 2010 to 2016 Boko Haram killed 29,360 people compared to ISIS killing 18,070.)

As a radical terrorist group, Boko Haram categorizes itself as “Muslim” but follows ideals starkly different than any religious laws Islam prescribes. They disregard “Western ideals” such as women’s rights, education, and voting. They target civilians, especially women and children, and were responsible for the kidnapping of the 300 schoolgirls in 2014.

Why should you care?

If they are allowed to take control of the entire country, inflicting terror and destruction in the process, they might expand outside of Nigeria, and potentially take over other African countries. At the rate they are growing, there may be little hope for the nation’s future. Nigeria has been fighting Boko Haram since 2002 and has been unable to defeat them. Clearly, the Nigerian military needs significant help in order to achieve this goal.

In February, the United States sent a dozen troops to Nigeria to train soldiers, and in a recent phone call with the Nigerian President, President Trump promised to reopen negotiations on the sale of attack planes to Nigeria, which are valued at around $600 million. However, this sale has been criticized as an empty gesture by the US to put down criticism that the US hasn’t done enough to fight Boko Haram, by people like Matthew Page a former State Department expert on Nigeria.

It’s appalling and unbelievable that this situation has gone on for 16 years with no end in sight and no solution for the problems that Nigeria faces against Boko Haram. Few people know who Boko Haram is, or that they are taking over an entire country. The scale of the problem in Nigeria is not consistent to the degree of which it is reported on. Why?

The answer to this question is the lack of focus on issues that matter by the mainstream media. The media largely controls the world’s knowledge of pressing issues. They have the liberty of not publishing stories about nations being overthrown but publishing stories about the Kardashians instead.

The fact that the mainstream media has enough power to contribute to mass amounts of people not knowing about such an important topic in the world is distressing, because if the media has control over the news of Boko Haram not being spread, what else do they have control over and are we not aware of?

Two important questions we have to ask are, why is this issue not being covered to the degree that it should be, and what other global issues are not being solved because of the lack of knowledge people have on these topics?

There may not be a way to force the powerful nations of the world into doing more than enforcing economic sanctions in Nigeria and withholding weapons from them, but there is a way to control the knowledge of the people.

People fighter global issues they are most passionate every day: religious freedom, the rights of women, racism, the basic human rights of people across the world. What would happen if the number of people that knew about Boko Haram doubled, or trip? How many people would stand up and say something, do something, to change this problem? What would powerful leaders of the world see this change and this movement, not just surrounding Boko Haram but other global issues, and decide to use their power to fight for these causes?

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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