I Am A Woman, You Are A Woman, We Are Women

I Am A Woman, You Are A Woman, We Are Women

"We should all consider each other as human beings, and we should respect each other." -Malala Yousafzai
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If you think this is going to be an article about me screaming my beliefs and feministic ideals in your face, you're wrong. It's quite the opposite. I was inspired after reading the memoir "I am Malala" by the female education activist Malala Yousafszai this week. She is an extraordinary young woman who stood in defiance against one of the strongest and most terrifying forces in her country all for the cause of female education. She was brave enough to realize that something was wrong in her own hometown and even at the age of 10, made it her mission to make a change. Through prayer and courage, she fought for girls' education in Pakistan even when it came to her staring straight at the gun that would shoot her point blank in the head. She did not stop her fight.

This is a testimony and a lesson to all of those women who participated in the women's marches that took place this past weekend. Women united under the cause to fight for the inequalities and injustices that still plague our country. However, it is not just women of one color, one socioeconomic status, one neighborhood that faces inequality still to this day. The marchers seemed diversified even though their cause was equality. I was shocked when I saw signs of women pointing fingers at other women practically saying that their struggle was not the same as their own and they did not have a cause to march for. What classifies one person's struggle to be greater than the person standing next to them?

Malala was able to stand up in a society that told her to be silent and threatened to kill her for speaking out for her beliefs. We live in a country where we are granted freedom of speech and many rights that courageous woman like Malala in our past fought for us to have. Yet we sit here arguing with one another about whose situation is worse? With no guns pointed at our heads but our own fists raised at one another. You should be ashamed that you can objectify another woman simply because she may not be able to stand as boldly as you to fight for her own rights. Each woman is strong and empowered in her own way and will fight for her rights in any way she wants because some women even in this 21st century are silenced. Malala said herself, "we realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced."

Our country has come to a place where we have started to knit pick one another and place ourselves in an order of whose problems are superior. Where did this wrong sense of entitlement come from? If you are fighting a bigger power to stand united and fight for equality and are going to objectify the people fighting for the same cause, then you better redefine your definition of equal.

In her memoir, Malala talks about the battles she faces to stand up to theTaliban and her government to fight for girl's education. She talks about the freedom for women in the United States, but even then their bodies are used for marketing. This statement stood out to me because it showed that women all over the world face different forms of inequality. Instead of using these differences to further divide our world, we should use them to unite and fight for the bigger cause.

I do not define myself as a feminist, but I believe in equal pay, treatment, and the right to make decisions for the female body. I believe that women all over the world each face their own struggle of inequality and discrimination and should unite as one movement instead of further perpetuating the discrimination against each other.

"We should all consider each other as human beings, and we should respect each other." -Malala Yousafzai

Cover Image Credit: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/womens-march-heads-washington-day-trumps-inauguration/story?id=44936042

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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