Why We Should Stand With Paris

Why We Should Stand With Paris

Because we have so much more in common than the colors in our flags.
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Bombs explode. Fire crackles. The cries of the innocent echo out into night. And then silence. The calm after the storm. The streets of the city of love, cluttered with debris while its people try to collect the pieces of their lives – shattered on that Friday the Thirteenth night.

The attacks are over, now. Yet, the scars and stains of the tragedy remain. A city so beautiful, so legendary, torn to bits by hatred and evil, leaving 352 injured and the families of 129 people feeling lost and hopeless, longing for their loved ones passed on.

Violence in the media, television, and movies have desensitized us to a disgusting extent. To so many, these numbers are just that, numbers of lives lost and people hurt. It is not real to them. It is just another statistic. Too many of us will go to bed tonight and the nights to come thinking that the terrorist attacks on Paris were just something that happened across the sea, without any effect on our lives, our families, or our country. But shouldn't it have an effect? Should we, as Americans, not be heartbroken with them? Of course we should. It is not a tragedy limited to France's borders or the borders of Europe for that matter.

For a moment, let us forget about the trickiness of foreign affairs and foreign politics. Attacks of terror and hatred on unsuspecting, innocent people is a world travesty. We should be standing with Paris, not just because of all of the positive affairs the United States and France have had over the centuries; not just because we as a country know how it feels to be attacked when we are vulnerable, but because we are human. We may not all share the same race, culture, gender - but we are all people, born with the same right to life as all others. Those attacks in Paris put that right to jeopardy. We should be standing with Paris out of common human decency, if nothing else. Because deep down, we know the difference between right and wrong, and should be upset when our fellow man is feeling a type of loss that no one should ever endure.

Standing for Paris, however, does not mean declaring war on their behalf. It does not mean placing blame or showing disrespect. It means showing the people of Paris that we are the same. We are humans with the same hearts, will, and capacity to love, regardless of our outsides. We want the same things they do; to live their lives to the fullest without fear of who or what is lurking around the corner. We need to show that love and support can come from anywhere, even if that just means changing the filter on your Facebook profile picture. We need to show them that the world is not just filled with people with malice in their hearts. That we are people, from all walks of life, who hope and pray they find justice, and most of all peace. That will we stand behind them, like we would for our own brothers and sisters. And that they can and will prevail, so the City of Lights may glow ever so radiantly yet again.

Cover Image Credit: beautidulplavestovisit.com

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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I Spoke With A Group Of DACA Recipients And Their Stories Moved Me To Tears

An experience that forever changed my perspective on "illegal" immigrants.

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I thought I was just filming about a club meeting for a project, but when I entered the art-filled room located in a corner of the student common area, I knew this experience would be much more than a grade for a class.

I was welcomed in by a handful of people wearing various Arizona State hoodies and T-shirts that were all around my age. They were college students, like myself, but something felt different when talking to them. They were comforting, shy at first, and more driven than the peers that I usually meet.

As I began to look around the room, I noticed a good amount of art, murals, religious pieces, and a poster that read, "WE STAND WITH DREAMERS." The club was meant for students at ASU that are either undocumented or DACA recipients.

Photo by Amanda Marvin

As a U.S. citizen college student, you typically tend to think about your GPA, money, and dating. As a DACA recipient college student, there are many more issues crowding your brain. When I sat down at a club meeting for students my age dealing with entirely different problems as me, my eyes were opened to bigger issues.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program allows for individuals that crossed the border as children to be protected from deportation and to go to school or work. Commonly known as DREAMers, these individuals are some of the most hard-working, goal-oriented and focused people I have met, and that's solely because they have to be.

In order to apply to be a DACA recipient, it is required that the applicant is attending school with a high school diploma, or a military veteran, as well as have a clean criminal record. While being a DACA recipient does not mean that you can become a permanent citizen of the United States, it allows for opportunities that may not be offered in their home country.

It's no secret that the United States has dealt with immigration in a number of ways. From forming new policies to building a wall on our nation's border, we see efforts to keep immigrants from entering the U.S. every day. But what about the people who are affected?

As the club members and I began a painting activity regarding where we came from and how we got to where we are today, I began to feel the urge to cry.

Photo by Amanda Marvin

One girl described the small Mexican town that she grew up in and the family that still resides there. She went on to talk about how important education is to her family and so much so that it was the cause of her family's move to the United States when she was still a child. Her voice wavered when she talked about the changing immigration policies that prevent her from seeing her family in Mexico.

Another member of the club, a boy with goals of becoming a journalist, talked of his depression and obstacles regarding growing up as an undocumented student. Once he was told by his father that he was illegal, he began to set himself apart from his peers and became someone he did not think he would ever be.

All of my worries seemed small in comparison to theirs, and I felt a pang of regret for realizing I take my own citizenship for granted every single day.

Terminating the policy would lead to the displacement of about 800,000 people. We tend to forget about the human aspect of all of this change, but it's the most important part.

For more information about this club, visit https://www.facebook.com/USEEASU/

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