You Are Not Entitled To My Respect!

You Are Not Entitled To My Respect!

But I'll tell you what you are entitled to...
Tate
Tate
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You read that title right, boo.

And I know what you're thinking!


If you've read my past articles you know my favorite drink is tea (cold, sweet, with light ice) so it is only right that I make a little for y'all.

I was sitting in a sorority informal meeting one night with my girls. We're having some heart to hearts and it's pretty great to get to know the ladies outside of business. As we're discussing our POVs someone inevitably brings up respect. She said everyone deserves respect, especially from younger sisters. Not an unusual thought. One of my roommates at the time and sister, Kim O., made such a profound statement that honestly still has me REELING! Kim said something that stuck with me to this day:

"I don't think everyone deserves my respect. I do think everyone deserves my common courtesy."

BLOOP. Who missed it? Everyone was a little shocked. Kim really snatched us! Without a beat, the disapproval swept across the ladies' faces. It's been maybe 2 years since I heard it and I have to say I agree.

The REAL definition:

We tend to think respect is simply reduced to being kind and "nice". That is far from correct! At least when talking about people.

Admiration? Sis. Who deserves my admiration? Who deserves yours? We don't throw that word around lightly! Admire means to "regard with wonder and high approval." That means someone has to DO something admirable, ACHIEVE something worth your wonder. No shade but existence on this Earth does not warrant my highest regards. Am I wrong? Respect is far more than being "nice" and cracking a smile.

What Do We Really Mean?

Like I said before we use respect in the place of kindness like they're interchangeable. They aren't. Kim said everyone deserves her common courtesy. What does that mean?


What we mean to say is people deserve your good manners and politeness. Not your deep admiration. Sure, we see respect as a synonym here. Say, maybe respect requires courtesy but courtesy does not require respect. You saw above that courtesy was not a synonym for respect. The same way that a square is a type of rectangle but not every rectangle is a square. Make sense?

Who's Entitled to What?

You're entitled to live this life and die. I'm kidding.. sort of. You are deserving of common courtesy, even on your worst days. Why? I personally believe that I should give my common courtesy regardless because that stems from my values. Even when someone is being rude - I don't have to be rude back. I'm human and might snatch you here and there, but I try to keep it cute. So, I would say people deserve your courtesy at least. That entails politeness, acknowledgement of personal space/agency, and the right to emotional processing.

TL;DR

Look up the word respect and YOU decide if everyone deserves that from you. Or, if you deserve that from everyone else. Shoutout to Kim O for dropping gems for y'all.



Pack light, y'all.

Cover Image Credit: Pop Sugar

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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Double Standards Towards Straight Males Are Harmful To Both Men And Women

There's an unfair double standard that while straight women can have fun with their sexuality, straight men aren't allowed to.

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I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline a few days ago and came across an article that intrigued me. It was about a video of Ezra Miller's band Sons of an Illustrious Father, covering "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls. The cover was interesting and the video was very artistic. However, it was something else lit up a fire of extreme annoyance within me.

Towards the end of the article, bandmate Lilah Larson said the original song has a "very destructive, dated, distinctly heterosexual male perspective on women and discourses of desire."

It got me thinking about the way male heterosexuality is viewed in today's culture. There seems to be an unfair double standard when it comes to straight men and straight women. When straight women are confident in their sexuality and have fun with it, they're often viewed as empowering. When straight men do the same, they're often viewed as predatory.

In recent years, much of this attitude can be stemmed from the growth of the #MeToo movement. I would hope it's clear that you can't judge a group of people based on the bad actions of some. Not to mention the fact that there's a big difference between sexual harassment and men simply having fun with their sexuality.

Don't get me wrong, I believe sexual harassment and assault is wrong. It's a horrible crime that nobody should have to experience or endure. However, the obvious gender disparity in terms of representation is helping nobody. When Harvey Weinstein's female accusers come forward, nobody can escape the headlines. Yet, when Asia Argento was accused of the same thing by Jimmy Bennett, the story came and went fairly quickly. There was even a photo of the two in bed and texts Rose McGowan's partner provided where Argento admitted the whole thing. There's also the untrue perception that if it's a male victim, he must've wanted it and should've enjoyed it. It's no wonder so many men don't come forward about these sorts of incidents.

My point being that men shouldn't be treated as predators while women are treated as angelic creatures who can do no wrong. I don't think it should be the other way around, either. And I don't think we should treat both as predators, because that will only bring us to a place of prudishness. We should be able to recognize when something is harassment and when it isn't. We also need to recognize when objectification is harmful and when it isn't.

Not all women like to be objectified, but there are some women (and men) who get off on it. Some women even sign up for it, like in the adult entertainment industry. In that case, they might not be getting off on it, but there's an understanding and it's consensual.

We also can't assume that a man is objectifying a woman just because he likes the way she looks. Especially if it's just a woman in a magazine or someone walking down the street. What else does he know about her? At that point, all he knows is her looks. You can be sexually attracted to someone in a solely physical way and still think of them as a human being.

I grew up in a time when women were starting to take ownership of their sexuality and express it more in their art. It was a new shift that some people weren't used to. However, the place it's evolved to doesn't seem to be a fair one. I believe that what was meant to be a push for equality moved into a place of replaced superiority. While the pop music world is currently ruled by women, men come secondary, if at all.

We see it in the imagery as well. A female pop star can have a bunch of shirtless guys bumping and grinding behind her. But if a man were to do the same thing, we would claim he's objectifying those women. Look at the controversy surrounding Robin Thicke's song, "Blurred Lines." People called the song "rapey" and demeaning to women. They took particular issue with the line, "I know you want it."

Yet, when Jessie J released her song "Bang Bang" shortly afterward, it included the same lyric. Even "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls included this line as well. However, nobody was batting an eye. It was given a pass, if not completely ignored.

When you look into what these critics say, it comes across as pretty insulting to the women they're trying to defend. Most people missed the fact that the "Blurred Lines" music video was directed by a woman. They also don't seem interested in the perspectives of the female models who appear in the video. Do the models think they're being demeaned? Why would they appear in such a video if they did?

Women still have to fight this battle of being able to prove they can own their sexuality. It's only acceptable if it's done in a way that falls in line with the status quo. But if you dare participate in something outside of that, you're seen as someone who couldn't possibly think for yourself. Look at the straight porn industry, for instance. Many people view porn as degrading to women and look at female porn stars as being objectified by men.

What many fail to realize, is that women in porn make the choice to get into the industry. People aren't forcing these women to make porn films. Female porn stars get to choose their male scene partners. They also make more money than their male co-stars. In straight porn, women make more money than men for the same hours worked in the same job at the same company. Think about that. Why aren't feminists getting angry over a gender pay gap that underpays men?

What has become clear to me is that this double standard is harmful to both men and women. Straight men should be allowed to have fun and enjoy the opposite sex the same way women can. Women should be able to take control of their sexuality whichever way they choose. The lesson everyone should learn from this is to lighten up. Male heterosexuality isn't inherently harmful or scary. Women have a mind of their own. If people really believed in gender equality, they would accept those two things.

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