Friday, July 23, 2010

Moving Forward

I started becoming more aware of feminism earlier this summer when I was taking my Women's Studies class for my school. The way this class has affected me has been positive. I have become more aware of sexism and such that I was never aware of before I started taking my class. I am proud of say that I am supportive of the feminist movement and any opinion I have now is positive. What do you all think of when you hear the word "feminist" or "feminism"? Do you all see a lesbian woman who is fighting for rights, or do you see an angry woman who shouldn't get her way? Well I don't and I think that stereotyping a feminist is ridiculous. Actually, many of you many not even know that Women's Studies is even a class, let alone the schools are allowed to even have a class based on studying the histories and struggles of women. Well, it certainly is a class, as the times have changed. I bet not many people are shocked at the fact that there are African American Studies, and that is a whole semester's worth of (you guessed it) a class based on the histories and struggles of Africans and African Americans in America. The most important aspect of being a feminist is having integrity, or a moral positioning about the distinction between right and wrong. If someone says "do as I say not as I do" chances are that person is not holding integrity, as integrity means that if you say something you have to practice that, so if you say "you shouldn't eat fast foods," then you can't eat fast foods. Feminists do their best to hold integrity, because there are a lot of stereotypes out there that are waiting to jump at the first sign of a woman not practicing or doing what they are fighting for. The times I have been blogging and such have opened my eyes to the world of feminism and the feminist movements, and I don't regret this one bit even if I am a guy. I've always believed in hearing what the other side has to say in an argument, so learning more about the feminist movements have been a whole new experience for me, something that I will never forget. So while I may not be a full-fledged feminist, I can say that I am happy to fight for feminist ideas as long as it is constructive. So no matter what you do with your life, always remember that there are two sides to an argument. Let's give both sides a chance to speak their mind, and let's try to come to an agreement. And above all, try to have a sense of humor when you are doing it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Never-Ending Debate on Abortion

Abortion. What does that word mean to you? Does it make you a person of pro-choice, or pro-life? Being pro-choice means that you believe that abortion should be left to the woman to decide, meaning that women should not be forced to have children. Being pro-life means that you believe that abortion is wrong, and that the fertilized ovum or fetus has as much right as a person, thus doing abortion would judge it as killing a person; those who believe in God like Christians or Muslims believe that abortion is a sin, especially Christians for one of the Ten Commandments states "You shall not murder." What does abortion mean to me? Well I remember back in my senior year of high school, I was doing a paper on abortion in my AP US Government class. I still believe in my belief that I had back in high school, and that is that I believe the women should be left with the decision. However, I do also believe that if that woman is married or with her boyfriend when she is pregnant, then the male should at least have his say in the matter. There are reasons women would want an abortion. In my opinion, women get an abortion if the baby was not planned, or the woman is in high school or college, the woman may have cheated on her boyfriend or husband and would want the abortion so that the baby will not be born. The list goes on. Men feel the same way, as maybe they are not in the economic or mental state to deal with a child. Whatever the case may be, I leave it up to a woman to decide, because the woman must bear with the child in her body, and if she knows what she is doing and is well aware of the consequences that may bring by having the abortion, then that is her decision. But as a believer in God and in Christ, I don't think I would be able to go through with having an abortion if I was a woman. But I am not a woman, thus I think my opinion is a little different than it is from a woman's opinion. Thus, the debate on abortion will probably never end, at least not during my lifetime.

Corrective Rape

On Tuesday night after playing some FIFA 10 on my PS3, I was locked in on something on ESPN. E:60, a show on ESPN, had a segment on corrective rape. I did not watch the entire video on corrective rape as I have heard about it during the winter of this past year. But this sort of thing came to mind, and I just had to write this down. For those of you who do not know what corrective rape is, here is the Wikipedia version of corrective rape: a criminal practice in South African culture, whereby men rape lesbian women, purportedly as a means of "curing" the woman of their sexual orientation. If you read my blog post from Sunday, you will see an article from BBC News about rape in South Africa. If you don't already know now, South Africa is one of the leading statistics of the practice of rape in the world, as women are more likely to be raped than it is to probably get a job in the United States (a bit of an over-exaggeration, but I think you all get the point). Rape is a horrible and frightening experience, something that I hope none of you (and myself) ever experience in our lifetime. But it does happen, and it does happen very often, more often than you actually think. There are many organizations that deal or talk about rape of both men and women, but the sad part is that authorities don't always know that rape could or have happened to a person, because either that person is traumatized by it and does not want to report it, or because of many other reasons such as the fear of being threatened, or because the person who raped you is a family member or spouse or boyfriend. Whatever the case may be, rape has been on the down-low (in other words, it is all hush-hush) and the authorities need to know. But if watching the video down below is not enough for you to do something about the fact that rape is happening more often than you think, then you should seriously start thinking now.

The video of E:60's segment on corrective rape can be seen here:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Poverty and Marriage

There was talk sometime ago about how America can decrease the poverty rate by increasing marriage. Today, successful marriages are hard to come by, as statistics show that marriage ends in divorce more so than it does with marriage lasting for life. So the question I must ask you, fellow readers, is this: should poverty and marriage even be in the same sentence? Before answering that, start with this question: should we marry someone just so we can get out of poverty, or will that lead to more poverty? To me, it doesn't really matter if the marriage can make someone get out of debt or not, because isn't the whole point in marrying someone is because you love that person and that you don't want to be with anyone else? At least that's why my parents got married. It wasn't to rid one another of debt (they never told me they were poor) so why would the topic of getting married to decrease the poverty rate be brought up. Poverty could increase in marriage if it isn't handled correctly and responsibly. Poverty often starts with how much money the parents had when they were growing up. Poverty also befalls on someone who doesn't use their money wisely, doesn't have a job, or gets robbed and all their money is gone. Okay so the last thing is a little much, but the first two are prime examples as to why we have poverty. Thus if a person is to marry someone, they shouldn't act as a, according to Kayne West, "gold digger" but because they love that person more than a fat kid loves cake. So back to my first question: should poverty and marriage even be in the same question? To me, it is a big, fat NO! Poverty and marriage should be dealt separately, although poverty could befall a family if they are not careful.

Let's Give Our Moms (and Dads) a Hand

Think for a moment about who does the most work in your home? If you remember your childhood, who did the most house work, your mom or your dad? Or maybe it was you? Regardless, it is estimated that women do two-thirds of the world's work, yet they receive only 5% of the world's income. If you think about it, women mostly do the housework, like doing the laundry, or cleaning the house, or doing gardening. In my house, my parents split the amount of work, although my mom tends to clean when she believes something is dirty because that is just who she is. But when I was younger, my dad and my mom cleaned the house, while I sat on my backside and did nothing (of course, now I am helping around the house and doing my part to help clean). But that's just it: people have this tendency to "help" with the labor in the house. My mom would ask me when I was younger, "Can you clean your room for me?" Of course I would huff and puff and walk my way upstairs to do it, but I am only doing, probably, 5-6% of the house cleaning. There's the hallways, bathrooms, kitchen, family room, living room, basement if you have one, and the yard work. In reality, we don't know just how much our moms (or our dads because they could be doing more too) work to maintain the house, and we sit here and take things for granted. Now the point in what I am trying to say is that we shouldn't feel obligated to help the women with the cleaning, we should do it because we want to and before the women even think about doing it. Sure that may sound like helping, but it would be better than other "helping" which is assuming that it is someone else's responsibility. So let's give our moms and dads a hand, and not just for clapping our patting their backs saying "good job" but use those hands to get a duster, or a sponge, a mop, vacuum, lawn mower, gardening gloves, and so on, and do our part in the unpaid labor that goes on in our own household.

Wife Beating in Africa

In Stephen D. Levitt's book Freakonomics, there was a survey taken by women in Africa on the subject of wife beating. According to the survey taken in 13 African countries, between the years 1999 and 2004, 52% of women said that they think wife-beating is justified if she neglects the children; around 45% think it is justified if she goes out without telling the husband or argues with him; 36% if she refuses sex, and 30% if she burns the food. Remember, the key part of this survey is that the women took the survey. Think to yourself as a United States citizen about the talk about domestic violence. In this country, is it not clear that if you beat your husband or, in this case, you beat your wife, chances are things will NOT go well for you if you are taken to court? Yeah try to get out of that one alive. But here, women, yes WOMEN, say that it is all good to be beaten for this and that. I mean, really, if she burns the food it is okay to be beaten? Look I have no idea what is going on in these countries, but if a woman burns the food, that means she will get kicked around? I look at this in disgust, but I also remember that some African countries may not have a strong government as other countries do. They may also be ruled by men, and whatever the men say is what will happen; any back talk and, you guessed it, the women will be beaten. This fear that is displayed in Africa can be seen almost anywhere. Here is another example I will share with you that will better help my argument on women living in fear and the men having absolute control: In a 2009 BBC News report, one of four South African men were surveyed, and they reported that they have raped someone, and more than half of them have done it more than once. That's not where the horror ends: The study also found that three our of four who admitted raping someone said that their first rape was in their teens. It is already clear that the upbringings of a child in African countries is frightening. Although that doesn't exclude countries such as our own, it is evident that African countries have promoted this fear that is instilled into the hearts and minds of any child growing up in these countries.

For more on the BBC News report, here is the link:

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Homophobia, or an aversion or hatred of homosexuals and their lifestyles, along with behavior based on such aversion, is something that many people, both men and women, deal with during their lives. It is this hatred that lead homosexuals to become outcasts of society, being forced to be seen as a threat, or something that is tarnished or tainted. Of course, that is all just in a person's head, but it is something that is part of the every day culture in which this country (and this world) is going through. Personally, I see nothing wrong with someone being gay, because it is their choice, and I am all good with that. I don't freak out if someone is gay, because not all homosexuals will hit on you if they know you are straight. Of course, some homosexuals don't always look or act gay, for they may be look to be as straight as you (if you are straight of course). The problem I have is that, like the race struggle, is something that I just can't understand. I am not like everyone, and everyone is not like me, so not everyone can be as open to another person's lifestyle (I have a large mixture of friends, with many being black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and Middle Eastern, and I also have a friend who is gay). When I look at homophobia, I think about the song "Why Can't We Be Friends" by the band War. Why can't we all be friends? That is the question I would like someone to answer. The problem with homophobia, in my opinion, is that the people who have this fear or hatred towards homosexuals is because they don't want to take the time to get to know them, or at least try to understand their lifestyles or who they are. Just because someone isn't like you doesn't mean that you should just hate them, that would be ridiculous. Plus whose right do you have to hate someone just because they aren't the same as you. Everyone is unique, that is a given. Homophobia will probably be around for a long time, just like the race struggle, the culture struggle, you name it. In the meantime, I will continue to accept people for who they are while humming "Why Can't We Be Friends?"