Troubled Leadership Is NOT Helping the Women's March's Fight for Change

Troubled Leadership Is NOT Helping The Women's March Make Any Political Impact

It's just making a less-than-desirable situation worse.


We're coming up on the third annual Women's March in January. I still remember when the first one occurred: seeing it on the news, watching friends share pictures and posts about attending and how impactful it was, seeing the stories of millions of women WORLDWIDE turning out to march with the women of America. It was absolutely amazing


As I said, we're on the third annual march. And to date, these marches have had zero political impact.

Don't get me wrong. I think the Women's March is an amazing idea that's been absolutely revolutionary. It's been one of the biggest displays of women standing up for themselves and saying "no more" possibly since suffrage. The fact that millions of women not just in the United States, but in numerous countries worldwide marched to make a point and take a major stand against the various issues facing women (and yeah, against Trump and his sexist existence), is amazing, inspiring, and eye-opening.

But take a look at what's happened since the first march in the political world: absolutely nothing.

Nothing has changed politically because of the marches. No new rules protecting women. Planned Parenthood is still at risk. There's still a possibility that health insurance coverage for birth control could be rolled back.

The justice system isn't fairly prosecuting rapists and sexual assaulters, still blaming women as much as they can for what happened. If anything, it's gotten worse, even with the #MeToo movement. Harassment still is rampant, and nowhere near enough is being done about it on any level of politics.

And one of the worst parts: the leaders of the march have been exposed as problematic.

One of the chief supporters of the Women's March, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has been outed as an openly hostile anti-Semite. And what have the march leaders done to distance themselves from him? Absolutely nothing. Because co-chairs Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, both women of color and Muslims, are both closely connected to him, and they're the key people who should be cutting off connections to someone like Farrakhan...and aren't. Ironic, considering the Islamic faith faces its more than fair share of hate and prejudice, just like Judaism. And yet, these women who should understand the struggle are staying quiet regarding Farrakhan. This makes the Women's March feel like a less-than-safe place for Jewish women, as the very leaders who spout inclusivity and togetherness won't renounce the support of a man who is for hate.

Sarsour released a statement in November claiming that they should have been "faster and clearer in helping people understand our values and our commitment to fighting anti-semitism...Every member of our movement matters to us — including our incredible Jewish and LGBTQ members. We are deeply sorry for the harm we have caused, but we see you, we love you, and we are fighting with you." That's great and all, but considering the Farrakhan situation has dated back to MARCH? Too little, too late.

Even Teresa Shook, the woman who launched the Women's March, wrote a Facebook post calling for the removal of certain leaders, as they allowed anti-Semitism, homophobia, and "hateful, racist rhetoric" to "become a part of the platform."

Because of the problematic leadership, the entire march and its purpose are undermined. People can turn and say, "How can you protest hate and bias when the leaders of your big march act in the same ways?"

I wish the race had more impact. I really do. I wish it wasn't quickly becoming a way for women (and men! Shout-out to the allies) to come together and just walk around D.C. with clever signs. But unfortunately, that's what it's turning into.

Until our political leadership wakes the hell up and opens their eyes to reality, to everything these marches are working so hard to fight for and fight against, these marches are doing nothing. And it will take more than one march a year to make an impact.

I wish, god I really do wish, that marches as massive as these had more of an impact than they currently do.

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.


I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

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A Little Skepticism Goes A Long Way

Be informed citizens and verify what you see and hear.


These days more than ever before we are being bombarded constantly by a lot of news and information, a considerable amount of which is inaccurate. Sometimes there's an agenda behind it to mislead people and other times its just rumors or distortion of the facts. So, how do you sift through all this and get accurate information? How can you avoid being misled or brainwashed?

This is an important topic because the decisions each of us make can affect others. And if you are a responsible citizen your decisions can affect large numbers of people, hopefully positively, but negatively as well.

It's been said that common sense is not something that can be taught, but I am going to disagree. I think with the right training, teaching the fundamentals behind common sense can get people to have a better sense of what it is and start practicing it. All you will need is to improve your general knowledge and gain some experience, college is a good place for that, then add a little skepticism and you are on your way to start making sensible decisions.

One of the fundamental things to remember is not to believe a statement at face value, you must first verify. Even if you believe it's from a trusted source, they may have gotten their info from a questionable one. There's a saying that journalists like to use: "if your mother said, 'I love you' you should verify it.'" While this is taking it a bit too far, you get the idea.

If you feel that something is not adding up, or doesn't make sense then you are probably right. This is all the more reason to check something out further. In the past, if someone showed a picture or video of something that was sufficient proof. But nowadays with so many videos and picture editing software, it would have to go through more verification to prove its authenticity. That's not the case with everything but that's something that often needs to be done.

One way of checking if something sounds fishy is to look at all the parties involved and what do they have to gain and lose. This sometimes is easier to use when you're dealing with a politics-related issue, but it can work for other things where more than one person/group is involved. For example, most people and countries as well will not do something that is self-destructive, so if one party is accusing the other of doing something self-destructive or disadvantageous then it's likely that there is something inaccurate about the account. Perhaps the accusing party is setting the other one up or trying to gain some praise they don't deserve.

A lot of times all it takes is a little skepticism and some digging to get to the truth. So please don't be that one which retweets rumors or helps spread misinformation. Verify before you report it.


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