You Need To Be Worried About Net Neutality

You Need To Be Worried About Net Neutality

Open internet is vital to our society.
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We all depend on the internet for access to information, goods, and services. I’m sure that most of us take for granted the fact that we have a free internet that does not block us from seeing anything online. A few weeks from now, that could all change.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Pai is currently trying to repeal net neutrality. You may want to click off this article and think that this will not affect you because the internet will always stay the same. If we ignore the issue at hand, then Pai will succeed.

Net neutrality is

“the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked.”

If Pai gets his way, then the internet could be split into a slow and a fast lane. Only those who could afford the prices of high-speed internet would be able to still have the entirety of the internet at their disposal, and everyone else would be stuck in a slower and lower quality lane. In Portugal, where they have already repealed net neutrality, internet service providers have created packages of different internet services that each have their own fee for high-speed internet.

Cable and phone companies would also be in charge of what type of information you see when you roam the internet. If you want to access information about a political party they do not agree with, or you want access to a service that is competing with theirs, you could be blocked.

The internet has become a vital instrument for people to inform themselves on world issues and also for others to inform others about injustices that are currently happening. The freedom of the internet we know today is what has allowed people to be held accountable for their actions, whether it is someone who has sexually harassed another person, or whether it is a police officer that has wrongfully killed a person of color. The open internet gives marginalized people a voice. Without net neutrality, their stories will fall through the cracks and the victims will not be able to receive the justice they deserve.

New businesses would also suffer from net neutrality being repealed because they would no longer be able to use the internet to jump-start their businesses. Many startups use social media to promote their business and are able to reach their target audience by doing so. If they still wanted to do that in an internet without net neutrality, they would have to pay fees to access high-speed internet. It is likely that since they are a new business, they would not be able to afford to pay those fees, and thus would be unable to have their business grow online.

We all have to take action now. The FCC will be voting on Pai’s proposal on December 14th, so now is the time for us all to reach out to our members of Congress and tell them that we oppose Pai’s plan to get rid of net neutrality. The ACLU has uploaded a feature that will automatically connect you to your members of Congress by giving them your phone number, and they also have a script telling you exactly what to say. If you do not want to speak to your representatives by phone, you can also use the Resistbot to write a letter to them. I will have a link below to both websites, and I strongly encourage all of you to demand that the internet stay free.

ACLU

Resistbot

Cover Image Credit: Sergey Zolkin

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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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Gillette Is Not The First Polarizing Company, And It Will Certainly Not Be The Last

There is a never-ending push and pull between how companies spend their advertising dollars and cultivating customer support. Why should we be surprised when a company takes a social or political stance?

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I don't think it's too far of a stretch to say that political activism is at one of it's highest points in recent years. As with most things, social media has not only amplified activism but made avenues of activism more accessible. There are so many accounts out there tackling some of the most complicated and nuanced issues in our society today. I think over the last decade, we as a society have spent a lot of time reflecting internally and reprioritizing our values.

Somewhere along the line, I think people also began to think more about where their money goes, what products they buy and which companies they support. People nowadays choose their products not only for functionality or quality but what that product is intended to express.

Essentially, when we buy a product or wear a certain brand it's often in an attempt to express some sort of value.

So I think it's only natural that brands are now more aware of not only where they're advertising but the messages they choose to express. For instance, if you wear Patagonia it could get an expression that you enjoy more expensive, high-quality clothes but that you also support fighting climate change of some sorts.

Companies have already begun to think more about their messaging and who they support with their advertising dollars. Keurig at one point pulled their advertising from Sean Hannity, much to the ire of his fans. Most recently, Roku removed the infamous InfoWars channel from their platform, following suit of other platforms such as Facebook and Spotify.

Ultimately, corporations essentially act and are treated as private citizens. They've been influencing politics for so long that it's almost a natural progression that they then begin to influence and make statements on public opinion. Since the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision, spending money on political causes is protected by the First Amendment under free speech. Companies can then give money freely in politics, so long as it wasn't going directly to any politicians. Many companies have already spent hundreds of millions of "dark money" to secretly fund campaigns and political parties.

Gillette wasn't the first company to make a statement/advertisement that comes off as polarizing, and it certainly won't be the last. If anything, these past few years have proven that companies can say such things without fear of greatly damaging their businesses. For instance, Nike's sales increased by 31 percent following their Kaepernick ad. As we become more socially aware, so will the companies that we purchase from.

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