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A series of horrible terrorist attacks across Paris left over a hundred innocent people dead, Friday, November 13. Historically, after tragedies like this, people would absorb all the information through one-way mediums. They would watch politicians taking stances on television or read the latest updates on the newspaper; either way, it was always someone talking at them with little room for discourse. Now with the Internet, that one-way street has been demolished and replaced with a 16-lane highway where people can now give their opinions the minute it reaches them. This has created a new culture in the way we deal with indelible events like the one this past weekend, which was demonstrated by the new French flag filter on Facebook. But if there is anything that the Internet has taught us, it is that there will always be disharmony among us even in the harshest of times. Shortly after the waves of hashtags, tweets and changed profile pictures hit the web, the backlash against these actions ensued.
When most girls are younger, even though they are not directly told be so, girls learn to be cute. They learn to be weak. They learn to let boys open doors for them and lift heavy objects. As girls get older, they are subliminally told that it is bad to be smart. Women are forced into tiny glass boxes in which they feel as uncomfortable as they feel unreasonable and illogical. This can cause so much cognitive dissonance in a young woman’s life that she is left not knowing what to do in many cases. She is stuck asking questions a man would never ask himself. Though I pride myself on being strong and independent, I ask myself questions like, “Will my boyfriend feel threatened by how much money I earn,” or “Will my husband feel like I don’t love him because of my devotion to medicine and my future career?”
In Paris Friday evening, in a half-dozen cooperated attacks, men with AK-47s, grenades, shotguns and suicide belts attacked a restaurant, a sold-out concert hall and bombed a stadium. French President François Hollande was evacuated from the stadium, a curfew imposed across Paris and the French borders closed.
We live in a violent age. People are killed daily for a variety of reasons and frequently, none of it makes much sense. But the reason that so many of us feel okay with this violence is because we normalize it.
We have all heard it before: “You’re [blank] for a girl”. You could put in anything from smart to funny. We have also heard, “You’re not like other girls.” It’s usually a man we’re talking to who wants to give us a compliment and really does have the best intentions. And in reality, he’s not trying to be sexist, offensive or damaging at all. But at the end of the day, it is not our intentions that define us, but the outcome of what we actually have done. And unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that when men give compliments to women at the expense of other women, it is damaging.
There’s a reason why more people seem to be interested in this particular presidential election. I’ve said before that many college students are caring more about the future of their country and government, thanks to the enthusiasm of Bernie Sanders and the liberal views he takes on issues that interest our demographic. But what is also interesting is the rise of non-career politicians who could very well make it into the White House. While several candidates on both sides have long histories as governors, House or Senate members, both Donald Trump and Ben Carson have recently jumped into the political system, feet first.
According to Mamamia, an independent Australian website focusing on women’s issues, women spend about 120 dollars a year on tampons and sanitary napkins alone every year. This is for a single woman. In my household, where we have three menstruating women, this would be 360 dollars and for the four girls living in my door room, this would be 480 dollars if we never share with anyone and we have relatively moderate periods. This doesn’t account for women who may have heavier menstrual periods or the times when we forget a tampon at home and have to ask a friend for one—it’s happened to the best of us. But even then, this is a lot of money. I know that when I get my paycheck from one job here on campus, I could only afford to buy pads and tampons for a year and have 60 dollars left over to take care of myself.
If you are sitting through Biology 120 with Dr. Cara Shillington this semester, like I am, you will learn that all mammals have mammary glands, those which allow the animal to produce milk. However, the only organisms within a mammalian species that have working mammary glands are females within the population. And somehow, people believe that breastfeeding, which is effectively just a female feeding her child, is somehow disgusting and unnatural, even though most mammalian animals will feed their children this way. There has been uproar over the years, that is decreasing with time, fortunately, that is removing the taboo of women who breastfeed their infants in public. But even so, everyone should be in favor of breastfeeding their children.
Most girls know what it’s like to play on a playground in elementary school. Most girls also know what it’s like to get hit by a boy. It’s not something we think of as domestic violence or intimate partner violence, because it isn’t happening at home and in elementary school, when most of us didn’t have intimate partners. But at the end of the day, no one likes to be punched and many girls do exactly what they should do when a boy punches them: they tell the teacher and when they get home they tell their parents. However, something extremely alarming that many parents, older siblings or even just older people in young girls’ lives may say in response is, “It means he likes you,” when the girl says that a boy at school hits them. We need to stop this right away.
Political divisions, which seem obvious today, were still ill-defined in 1912. Amid a still-ongoing political pole-shift, Woodrow Wilson was something of a novelty—a progressive Democrat. His greatest challenger, Theodore Roosevelt, a former Republican, was a capital-‘P’ Progressive. Third- and fourth-place candidates were the still-Republican William H. Taft and socialist Eugene V. Debbs. Within a matter of years, the political realignment was nearing completion and the last of the progressives had left the Republican Party and, after briefly creating their own party, found a new home in the Democratic Party.
When I watched the first Democratic debate, I was impressed yet again with democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. Though I will not vote for him, any American politician who openly identifies as a socialist rather than skirting around their beliefs, perhaps calling it “capitalism with American characteristics,” has my respect—if only for honesty.
Many men don’t know it, but they talk over women. They talk over them a lot. This doesn’t have to be a conscious action for it to be rude either. Even though, in the United States, most of us are socialized to believe that it is important to wait until someone else has finished speaking before we begin our sentence, it still happens. It continues to happen despite the fact that we are also socialized to listen to others when they speak.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, about 17 percent of women in the United States actually see a gynecologist for regular annual exams. This could be for a variety of reasons, including time constraints or, sadly, not having insurance to go see a gynecologist. However, I bet this number is much lower when looking at girls in college. Many girls in college are busy, some don’t have health insurance at all and many may not have a way of getting to see a gynecologist, even if it is just once a year. While there could be any number of reasons why a young woman may not see a gynecologist, every girl in college should see a gynecologist for a yearly exam.
I hope you all will be lined up at the Student Center for tonight’s 7:00pm showing of “V for Vendetta.” With its political themes as well as compelling thriller qualities, this dystopian film springs from a “What If?” perspective of a post-WWII world in favor of the Axis Powers. While I have always liked the film and its depiction of the rise of the common people against their government, I started wondering if our own “superpower” country were anything like that of the film’s oppressive government.
At Eastern Michigan University, we have a tendency to be very accepting and helpful to our LGBTQ youth. There are many campus organizations and centers, such as the LGBTQ Resource Center, which aid in making EMU a safe environment for our LGBTQ students. However, throughout the community surrounding the university, as well as in many communities that students commute from, health center for lesbians are few and far between.
The media frequently pushes the idea that—more than being smart, talented, funny or kind—little girls need to be cute. In television shows for kids, the most well-liked character is often the prettiest (much like in adult television, where the women are physically attractive). We all contribute to the growth of children and it is far better to help young girls to be the best person they can be early in life, rather than dismissing their potential because of their looks.
Next year there will be an English Literature student working at Taco Bell instead of dissecting “Madame Butterfly.” Next year a potential graduate student will enter the workforce instead of pursuing their dream. Next year there will be a chemistry major working in a factory instead of attending games at “the Factory.” Next year a random student at Eastern Michigan University will receive a year of free tuition for attending a football game.EMU announced that it will be awarding a random student attending the Western Michigan football game free tuition for a year. Why? Because CBS Sports will be televising the game and an empty stadium looks bad on national T.V. Because giving away a year of tuition is the only way to persuade students to waste a Thursday night in Rynearson Stadium.
With Halloween fast approaching and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” release coming, many people are excited to dress up as Star Wars characters. One costume, and character, that has always held my respect is Darth Vader, because he is, by far, the chief of the bad guys. Not to mention that swagger and that chic style.
As October starts to roll out, Halloween is upon us and we’re all riled up and in the spirit of spookiness. Whether we’ve been going to haunted houses, watching horror/thriller movies or helping our friend pick out a really creepy costume, we’re all in the mood to get a little scared. And it’s all for fun.
Too often, when people talk about sexual assault, they talk about the victim in terms of their relation to a man. They mention how the victim is “someone’s daughter” or “someone’s sister,” as if that somehow adds depth to the situation, when in reality it does the exact opposite.