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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So What is Feminism?

It's Time to do Our Homework!
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In light of the Women's March on January 20th 2018, I find it pertinent that we just recap what feminism is.

Some of you might be groaning already:

"ugh why do we even need feminism? it’s like the 20th century women have rights already?"

"yea... some women just need to be better than men ....and that’s just not gonna happen"

(***eye roll with an extra healthy dose of sarcasm sprinkled on top***)

So what EXACTLY is Feminism?

Feminism is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as:

"The advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes."

and defined by Miriam Webster Dictionary as:

-"The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes"

- "Organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests"

"Woah woah woah! hold up... what’s all this "equality" mumbo jumbo?"

I am SO glad you asked!

Lets break this down: Feminism is actually a sociological term to describe the efforts to have equal rights, representation, wages, healthcare and education for ALL people.

“Once more for the people in the back!”

ALL PEOPLE.

So, if you believe that everyone, no matter their socio-economic background, ethnicity, religion, education but most importantly: their gender, should have access to basic human things such as

  • Access to healthcare
  • Access to equal education opportunities
  • Access to fair and equal wages
  • Access to housing
  • Access to healthy nutrition

Then congratulations, you’re a Feminist.

Now this doesn't mean that you need to break out your body paint and most glittery bra and join a social movement (but props to you if thats your thing!)

All it really means is that you care about other people sharing this space, this country and this world with you.

...and hey, maybe they deserve the opportunity to work just as hard as you do to earn the things that you have.

Recap: Feminism= rights for ALL PEOPLE.

Cover Image Credit: Samuel Corum, Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images

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Mass Shootings And Masculinity Go Hand In Hand

What we're not talking about.
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Nineteen mass shootings. Nineteen mass shootings have happened since January 2018 and we’re only in the middle of February. This past shooting at Parkland high school really hit me hard. As I saw the victims of the shooting they reminded me of the kids that I went to high school with. One of the victims was apart of her high school’s color guard and I thought about how much I loved guard when I was in high school. I connected with her.

I saw the videos posted on Snapchat of what the students actually experienced and shed tears with my hand covering my mouth from shock. I saw how insanely graphic the scene was and how being there physically can traumatize one for the rest of their life. No one should have to go through this.

The debates on tv include those of gun control and mental health. On social media, different countries are being thrown around as examples for both stricter gun control, and the allowance for more guns. I also see how the shooter was seen as “mentally ill”, and the stigmatization of those who have mental health issues are dangerous is furthered. The one issue that no one is talking about that plays a huge role in these mass shootings in masculinity.

A large majority of these shooters are white men. While these shootings are also a racial issue I’m going to focus on the gender issue. From a young age, men are exposed to what society deems as masculine. Media hypermasculinized everything to the point where it’s ridiculous. Don’t believe me? Look up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and see how ridiculously buff they are. They’re cartoon turtles, yet the societal standard of masculinity applies to them.

Even when it comes to toys the commercials for nerf and water guns show only males. Showing that guns are masculine. Young boys are raised to engage in masculine activities or they’re isolated socially and emotionally. Even when young men are engaging in “masculine” activities they still may not be good enough. Getting angry, being the bad boy, having a temper are seen as “cool” traits that males desire to have in order to give themselves an edge.

Now most young boys go through this, and masculinity is not the main factor in mass shootings but it is still a factor. It is a factor that we need to consider because eliminating any factor that helps to produce a mass shooter can help save lives.

Cover Image Credit: Brooke Cagle

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