Tag Archives: equality

The Biological Imperative

What does equality mean? Is it merely everyone having the same things, or is it everyone getting what they need? What about when the needs are so far out there that the government cannot legislate them into people’s possession? In an article published last year [6], there appears to be a certain measure of equality; men and women are stepping out of their marriages at roughly equal rates. Maybe it’s time we reevaluate the role marriage ought to play in our lives.

Perhaps it’s merely a timing concern [2]. The median age for the first marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men. It is interesting to note the article had to specify “first marriage.” In a sort of Hobbit-esque twist where the Tolkien characters have a meal more or less every hour they are awake, people seem to cycle through marriages not quite as quickly, but just about. 40% of people getting married today are not doing so for the first time [3], and 20% of marriages are both partners’ second (or more) marriage.

What does that tell us? Are people even meant to be bound together? Do we only need to get together to have sex and occasionally crank out another red-blooded tax-paying American, but for all intents and purposes live separate lives? White America, Black America, Male America, Female America, till death do we part, as long as we both shall live, so help us generic Deity/random quantum fluctuations? Much like an afterlife, it’d be real nice to think there’s something more to marriage than just a business arrangement and contractual obligations. Making a plan that does not account for reality has been, historically, a piss-poor recipe for success.

Is everyone getting what they want here? [4] Millennial women, as voiced by the author Jessica Jacobs, would seem to say they are not. Millennial men, as voiced by statistics [5] and anecdotal accounts [6] would also suggest a growing dissatisfaction with the way things are. All of us here in academia are free to debate the causes, but it’s clear that the vast majority are going to move on and find their own solutions whether we agree about why it’s happening or not. We’ll be unable to instill vital information in the latest crop of college entrants about the world the education system is self-tasked with preparing them for.

That’s a problem.

 

 

 

[1] http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/women-now-committing-adultery-same-rate-men

[2] http://www.bentley.edu/impact/articles/nowuknow-why-millennials-refuse-get-married

[3] http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/02/how-many-people-in-america-get-remarried.html

[4] https://acculturated.com/millennial-women/

[5] http://www.businessinsider.com/statistics-unemployed-men-drop-out-workforce-video-games-2017-3

[Featured Image] Huffington Post: The Five Best and Worst States for Getting a Divorce

Three ways to deal with political monsters

Do you live in an house, apartment, or dorm room where the people have different political views than you? Do you have trouble having conversation with them because everything they say is completely the opposite of what you believe? I have the same problem. I’m a freshman and live off campus with my family. Unfortunately, they are all republicans and I am a democrat. Here are the three ways to deal with living with people with opposing viewpoints.

         1.Be respectful

I know what if feels like to deal with people who, in my opinion, have stupid and ridiculous ideals. They believe that abortion should be illegal, gay marriage should be illegal because of “tax reasons,” and Donald Trump is a better candidate than Hillary Clinton. Yes, that is a real statement said in my household. They have values that are the exact opposite of mine and they don’t shy at voicing those views. However, I discovered that voicing my direct opposition to their statements can come off as rude and confrontational which, in the end, will only cause issues within my relationships. I learned that even though I think their beliefs are barbaric and promote inequality, that being respectful and trying to understand where they are coming from is more beneficial for my relationships and keeping the house peaceful and in order is more important than ranting and being vocal with my disapproval.  

Can't we all just get along? Photo from mintpressnews
Can’t we all just get along? Photo from mintpressnews

         2. You can be respectful without losing your own opinion

Finding a balance between being respectful and not losing or letting go of your own beliefs can be difficult, but not impossible. When one of your roommates, friends, or family members decides to bring up something political, you are allowed to voice your opinion, whether it be the same or the opposite of what the other person says. All you have to do is say phrases such as “I understand what you’re saying but here is what I think,” or “I respect your belief/opinion, but I have to disagree and here’s why.” Saying these statements will allow for respect to still exist but also ensure that you aren’t passive with your opinions and won’t leave you feeling like you don’t have a voice.

        3. Pick and choose your arguments

If you’re like me, you will have someone say something ridiculous almost everyday if not more than once a day or you will have someone bring up the same argument multiple times no matter how often you prove them wrong. This scenario is when you need to choose whether or not the argument is worth your time and effort. Sometime people will be stuck in their ways and no matter what you say, there beliefs won’t change. That is when you need to move and and decide to stop arguing the topic, there is no point. By picking and choosing your arguments, you will save your time and effort as well as keep peace in the house and in your mind.

These three points should make political issues and arguments easier to handle. I know some people are so ridiculous and stubborn that these point won’t work, so in that case, why even try anymore? Some people are simply not worth it and figuring out who those people are will make your life happier and more peaceful in the long run.

National Coming Out Day

October 11, 2015 is National Coming Out Day. National Coming Out Day is a day to celebrate those who have come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer or for those who haven’t come out yet and need to encouragement to continue to have the strength to be who they truly are, maybe giving them enough bravery to come out on this day.

Let the rainbow out. Graphic from Stop Homophobia
Let the rainbow out. Graphic from Stop Homophobia

The LGBTQ community has experienced violence, sexual assaults, oppression, and even murder simply because they of who they are. Coming out is a huge decision that could potentially change someone’s life forever and it isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly.

Three years ago, I came out to my mom and it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I remember thinking what if she kicks me out? What if she doesn’t love me anymore? What if she thinks I’m so disgusting that she can’t even look at me anymore?

I thought these things because of what was happening to gay people all over the world in the media. People were getting abused physically and sexually, kicked out of their own homes, and even murdered.

I was petrified at the thought of any of that happening to me. One of my friends came out to his parents as transgender and they kicked him out, taking away his phone, his car, and basically everything he had. He had to grow up very quickly, getting a job and finding a place to stay. 40 percent of homeless youth are part of the LGBTQ community. I thought to myself if he was turned away by his parents, completely abandoned by the people who were supposed to love him the most, how do I know my parents won’t do the same?

I realized after three years of holding in this secret, that it was tearing me apart inside, and I had to tell my mom. I felt that it was unfair of me to keep this from her, to not allow her to support me in a way that I really needed at the time.

 

“I told her as we were waiting at a stop light, just blurted it out and she laughed and told me that she already knew.”

 

She told me that she loved me and that it doesn’t change anything, and she was right. I was one of the lucky ones, to have supportive parents who didn’t care who I loved or how I loved. I’m grateful every day for the way the allow me to by myself, to talk to them about my love life and have them not feel uncomfortable or have me feel uncomfortable. Love should be unconditional and unfortunately not everyone is built or mature enough to feel the same.

Being gay is not accepted in most parts of the country, although there has been amazing progression on the topic, with gay marriage becoming legal in 37 states. There is still so much progress that needs to be done and so much acceptance that needs to occur for the LGBTQ community to truly feel normal in society. National coming out day is a day that should be celebrated but not to be taken lightly.

Come out when you want to and when you feel is safe and right for you.

How is a man supposed to be feminist?

To men, feminism can sometimes be a scary word. It sometimes brings up the imagery of bra-burning, man-hating, all-around terrifying display of female dominance. In a male society where being girly is social suicide, it can be hard for a man to actually consider himself a feminist, but it happens.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Aziz Ansari, and John Legend have all recently come out as feminists despite being men. While this isn’t evidence of a trend that men are starting to understand the importance of feminism, it has sparked a lot of discussion about the need for men in the feminism movement.

In a recent article posted in mic.com , and shared via Huffington Post, writer Derrick Clifton lists 11 simple rules to follow if you want to be a male feminist. By the end of the article, any male would come out of it thinking the entire purpose of that article was to tell men to shut up and keep quiet while the women are talking. It says that men don’t decide if they are “allies” to the feminist movement, women do.

I am an ally of the feminist movement. I don’t do it to get “ally cookies” as the article suggests, and I don’t do it so women will like me. I consider myself a feminist because treating women as equals is the human thing to do. No one, male or female, gets to tell a person they have to be accepted into this role of supporting equality for women. Similarly, if you’re greatly outnumbered in war and you have allies that want to help you, you don’t tell them that they have to be accepted first. That’s a good way to lose the feminism battle.

Feminism isn’t the same as man-hating, but it seems like the loudest feminist voices in media are out to shame all men because of the sexist pigs among us. It isn’t fair to the people who genuinely want to help. True, I’ll never know what it’s like to go through a pregnancy, a period, or a paycheck that’s less than a male of the same job, but that doesn’t mean I can’t add my voice to the feminist cause. It’s time to do away with the concept of male privilege and start working together to make real progress on gender equality.

It would be nice to think that women can win equality without the help of men. It would also be unrealistic, seeing as men equal about half of the population. Feminism wouldn’t survive without the help of men telling other men why sexism is wrong. It’s an unfortunate truth that some men will only listen to men, but it’s the truth nonetheless. It doesn’t make men inherently bad because of it, but it’s a system that will take time to break down.

Unfortunately, as long as feminism has the reputation of man-hating and shaming, it won’t get far. No minds can ever be changed when the entire demographic of ‘oppressors’ is antagonized the way they’ve been. Men have a real stake in feminism, and shutting up and listening isn’t the right way to make progress happen.

The LGBT double standard

The following is a conversation I recently had with a friend of mine.

“What do you think about guys kissing?” I asked.

“That’s f–king nasty. I don’t want to see that s–t,” he replied.

“What about two women?”

“Now we’re talking. That’s fine, it’s different,” he said.

I’m sure you’ve heard things like this several times. Someone voicing the opinion that gay women are fine, while gay men are not. I do not have a problem with many opinions. Although I am gay, if you do not

A image standing for "equality" took over Facebook not long ago. Image from abc News.
A image standing for “equality” took over Facebook not long ago for supporters of gay rights. Image from abc News.

believe homosexuality is right or moral, I’m completely fine with your view and respect your right to have it.

However, you have to pick one side.

Continue reading The LGBT double standard

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Slacktivism

Remember when being an activist meant you would go out in public and advocate an issue that’s important to you? It was something you could take pride in because it takes time and effort to push social change. Now that Facebook is in the picture, people are able to reach many people without needing to get out of their seat. This is both a good and bad thing for the state of activism as we know it. Continue reading Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Slacktivism

Boy Scouts consider changing ban on homosexuality

Last semester I wrote an article about a young man named Ryan Andresen who was denied his Eagle Scout Award after he came forward about his homosexuality. The Boy Scouts of America have a long standing policy of excluding openly homosexual boys and male leaders from participating in scouting.

That policy may now be changing. After six months of public pressure from inside and outside the organization, the national office is meeting to discuss abandoning its exclusionary policy toward homosexuality. It seems the conclusion is foregone and the official announcement is expected soon. It’s expected that the national office will be abandoning the explicit exclusion of gay boys and leaders from troops. Continue reading Boy Scouts consider changing ban on homosexuality

Pursuit of happiness: Love for all

If you could, would you allow two people to be purely happy? Or would you stop them because of society’s values? Same-sex marriage has been a largely debated issue for our generation. According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, there are an estimated 9 million Americans that identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender in 2011. Continue reading Pursuit of happiness: Love for all