Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Five Reasons Why The United States Feminist Movement is Flawed

I am a 22 year old female. I can vote. I can run for office. I can receive equal pay. I can get an equal education. 

I do not feel oppressed. I'm not a victim. I carry a concealed weapon because it's my personal right and it makes me feel more safe. I do not feel as if i've been dealt an unfair hand in life in comparison to men. I'm confident in the fact that I can do anything a man can do in the job field that I have chosen. I do not feel like i'm objectified by men. I take responsibility for my own actions and do not blame the opposite sex for my own mistakes and insecurities. I'm not power hungry. I'm not a target for violence and there is no war against me. I respect men. I refuse to demonize them and blame them for my problems. Men are not the enemy. I'm not a modern day feminist. 

Five Reasons Why The United States Feminist Movement is Flawed

1. Feminism isn't about equality anymore. 
-the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

You see the dictionary definition, however, feminists have strayed so far from this simple concept. The "fem" in feminism means that it relates strictly to females. Feminists don't want to be equal with men, they want to overpower men. They constantly complain that women are oppressed in the educational system, yet this article shows that women outnumber men in the number of college degrees. Of course, you won't hear a single feminist complaining about the fact that men earn fewer college degrees. Feminists complain about men earning more money, but don't flinch when they are the ones earning a higher percentage for the same job, as cited here. Also, notice that feminists never encourage women to become construction workers or welders, but strictly CEO's, senators, or other high-powered jobs. Equality, huh? Feminism does not have a plan that includes men, and that is why equality will never come from it. We already have equal rights, so why is feminism still a thing in the United States?

I also feel the need to add in that my post is strictly related to the Feminist Movement in the United States. My heart hurts for women who live in countries that do not see it acceptable for them to vote or work outside the home. I feel sympathy for women who are beaten, stripped of their personal freedom, have acid thrown in their faces, and simply aren't as free as we are here. Women in the United States have it made, and have no right to complain. 

2. Feminism focuses on competing with men, rather than completing them.
Women were not created to have power battles with men. Men and women aren't equal. We were made this way on purpose. We are made for different things and different roles. Men and women were made FOR each other and to complement each other. Feminists: if you want "job equality," go to my dad's shipyard, put on long pants, a long shirt, steel toe boots, and welding gear. I want you to work an entire day without complaining about the heat or how bad your feet or back or boobs hurt. I want you to do just as much as any man can do out there, and if you can match his production, then you can get your equal pay. Let's see how long you last. You complain about men getting hired for certain jobs over women? Here is your perfect opportunity. Your welding job awaits you, and I can't wait to watch you thoroughly embarrass yourself. If you think you could weld, that's awesome. Congrats. But wait, you don't want to have the same job as this welder. No, you'd rather be above him and dictate his every move as CEO, because you're a power hungry, self righteous bitch. This isn't equality. If you can perform the exact same roles as a man in a particular job field, then you can get your equal pay and job opportunities. Until then, don't infantilize yourself and say you're being discriminated against. 

3. They degrade women who choose to stay home, raise children, or play the "housewife" role.
Men are stronger than women in terms of muscle mass and strength. Nature designed men and women for different roles. If we were living in the wild, for example, men would be the hunters; the providers; the "breadwinners." Women would be given the role of looking after the home and raising children, which, as most of you moms know, is a full time job in itself that is often undermined. Through a feminist's eyes, women who choose to stay at home are viewed as being victims of oppression. They believe women should be out campaigning for office while their kids are.... where? With their dad who is at home playing Mr. Mom? Most women are naturally repulsed by feminine men, so why are feminists trying to strip their masculinity? If feminists are all about "womanhood," why do they badmouth the things that feel natural to most women? Maybe some of us don't feel it necessary to walk around dominating every man into our submission. I'm not saying that women can't go to work while their husbands stay home with the children. Go for it. All i'm saying is to let them choose their lifestyle as a woman and leave them alone. I can't speak for anyone else, but i'll gladly do the dishes, laundry, cooking, and baby raising if you'll cut the grass, go to work, do the heavy lifting, put things together and hang things on the wall (because my idea of a screwdriver and a hammer is a butter knife and something heavy), and kill the spiders.

Also, random thought, but I saw a picture of feminists out protesting Robin Thicke's "blurred lines" song. Posters said things like "F*** you Robin Thicke!" "There are no blurred lines!" It's just a song that offended you, yet, you've found a way to play the victim again. This isn't oppression. It's a song. I'm offended by song lyrics all the time, but you won't see me on a street corner protesting Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, or Miley Cyrus. Turn the station and don't listen to it. It's that simple. 

4. They believe that the freedom of being able to have an abortion is "empowering."
If feminism is all about empowering women, why are they not focused on all of the amazing things surrounding childbirth? Look at the pain that women go through during pregnancy and childbirth. There is a strong belief that women withstand pain much better than men, and this is a huge example of that. Why do they not embrace pregnancy and labor and the amount of pain they must overcome to bring this new being into the world? Procreation is beautiful. The fact that I can carry a child for nine months, go through labor, and provide nutrition for it as an infant using my own body parts.. THAT is empowering. I don't need to have a baby scraped out of my uterus to feel empowered. Oh, and if you want "equality" with males, allow them to have an equal say in whether or not you abort the child that equally belongs to both of you.

5. They blame men for things that are actually their own responsibility.
Feminists are all about playing the victim. They believe that if a woman is drunk, she cannot "properly" consent to sex, and can claim she was raped afterwards (even if SHE initiated the sex). They also say that men objectify women (aka, see them as a piece of meat), but that a woman should be able to dress however she desires without being stared down or lusted after by men. If a woman is dressed slutty, she's going to be portrayed that way by men. That's just how a man's brain is wired. Telling them to stop objectifying a woman dressed in a skimpy skirt and low cut top is like telling a woman to stop PMSing. It won't happen because it's natural. Dress in a way that shows you respect yourself and your body, and this won't happen.

Feminists also say that a woman should be able to explore her sexuality and sleep with whoever she wants, whenever she wants, without being judged. Alright, fine. But don't complain when those men start "objectifying you" again because they know you sleep around. Feminists are good at being inconsistent. They treat the drunk woman as a helpless victim, but treat the drunk man as if he should "know better." Males are not invincible from the effects of alcohol. Feminists love to repeat that "one in four women are raped" during her lifetime. The actual statistic is that "one in four women claims sexual assault," which can mean anything a woman wants it to mean. It can be anything from rape, to kissing, touching, or even comments. But of course, feminists only select the most shocking aspect of the statistic and dramatize it as usual to get their way. I'm not downplaying rape. I'm simply pointing out the fact that feminist views and influences are based on manipulated statistics. Getting drunk at a party and having sex with a stranger is irresponsibility, not rape.

My parents have been married for almost 30 years, and in that time period, my dad has never stopped courting my mother. They are not weak. In fact, they are both two equally strong individuals. Their marriage has been successful not because my mother feels oppressed or forced to be the "stay at home mom," but because they fill in each other's missing pieces. They don't have to compete with each other. My mother doesn't want to take over my father's business and be the CEO of Rodriguez Ship Buiding. My family has a healthy balance. I was raised by a father who loved me, protected me, and showed me what true masculinity was. I was raised to be strong woman without feeling the need to compete with the opposite sex. Over my 22 years of life, i've learned to work for what I want. I do not feel entitled or demand special treatment in the workforce because I was born with a certain body part between my legs. I know that I am beneficial to this world and the man I decide to marry. Men and women were made to work together, not against each other. 

So, United States feminists, defend your ideas. The truth is, you can't. Anytime someone questions your theory, your response is that they "just don't understand feminism." Feminism is just your personal opinions and preferences dressed up and made to look like some huge movement. Feminism won us our rights a long time ago. We have equal rights. What are you still fighting for? Just because you have a certain body part does not make you superior. 

Women are so much stronger than you give us credit for. I don't need some feminist telling me how I should dress, act, shave, think, vote, educate myself, and work. I can speak for myself. Despite your beliefs, i'm not helpless. I'm not fragile. I'm a woman, and i'm not jealous of, bitter toward, or trying to overpower men. I know this post will be a hard one to swallow for some people, but the world is a land mine of opposing beliefs. Get used to it. It's time that someone stood up for the men. Females: sit down and be ladies so that males can rise up and be gentlemen. It's a little difficult to treat you like a lady when you're simultaneously trying to overpower them. Men, I know that you are not the enemy. I was raised to love you and respect you as long as you do the same for me.

Hope Rodriguez

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

7 Gentlemanly Behaviors That Seem Extinct

The other day I had just finished up a long day of studying at the library and I was riding the elevator down to the first floor. A guy probably a year or two older than me got on the elevator, and after we reached the first floor, he barged off, nearly knocking me over with his backpack. My first thought of course was "wow..who raised you?!" Throughout my entire drive home, I thought about all of the things that most men have apparently stopped doing when it comes to being a gentleman. 

1. Elevator etiquette
I don't care how big of a hurry you're in, or how slow she may walk, if there is a female or five on the elevator with you, you hold your arm in the door and let them off first.

2. R-E-S-P-E-C-T (sing it to the tune of Aretha Franklin)
If a female walks past you, for God's sake, do not turn your head and stare at her behind. If she is talking to you, don't stare down her shirt. If you're driving down the road, don't honk or yell "hey sexy!!!!" Gross. Undressing a girl with your eyes is one of the most disgusting and degrading things you could possibly do to her. Don't worry about getting a date, you've already ruined it by being a pig.

3. Give up your seat.
I see a lack of this all the time. The other day I watched two guys get up and offer their seats to women, and one remained seating. I could tell which ones were raised correctly. Whether she is old, young, pregnant, active, fat, skinny, whatever; if the bus, classroom, etc. is full, get up from your chair and offer your seat to a female who is standing. If you chose to stay in your seat and force ladies to remain standing, make sure you remember to take off your maxi pad on the way out. (oops, did I just say that?!)

4. Pay attention to the fact that the world is more threatening for females
We are automatic targets everywhere we go, especially at night. I don't need to get into the subject of rape. Walk your female coworkers to their cars at night. Just watch out for the women around you, they'll definitely appreciate it.

5. Be polite.
Being polite covers a pretty wide range of things. For example, if you see someone struggling to reach something on the top shelf, grab it for her. If she's struggling while trying to carry a flat screen television through Best Buy, offer to help. Even if she declines, at least you've been polite. A smile and a "good morning" can go a long way. Trust me, after we've had a rough morning of waking up late, rushing to work/class, and forgetting things at home, we do appreciate a little bit of random kindness. About a month ago I was literally having the worst day possible. There was a guy in the elevator with me in the library (why am I always here?) and he asked how my day was going. Of course, I took this one minute opportunity to complain about nursing school and how much I had to study that day. He wished me good luck on my upcoming tests and to have a much better day. I didn't even know his name but it made my WEEK.. and I still remember it. Compliment a lady today. They aren't going to automatically assume that you want to have babies with them just because you said they look nice today. You would be surprised by what can make a woman smile. Little things, men. Little things. 

6. Hold the door.
This subject is really difficult for me because i've had super awkward experiences. I'm one of those girls who always ends up having to sprint to the door because I feel bad that this guy is having to stand there and hold it open for me while I sluggishly walk to the door carrying two books, a binder, and a laptop. If we are pretty far behind, we don't expect you to hold the door open for us. It makes us feel like we need to hurry to the door. However, if there is a woman walking behind you or relatively close behind you, do NOT let a door shut on her. 

7. Driveway etiquette
I can already tell that I'm going to be one of those moms who is a stickler to this with her children. My son will know that he will NOT drive up to a female's house and honk the horn or shoot her a text that says "i'm here, come get in the car." If a guy comes to pick my future daughter up for a date, and he honks the horn or texts her to pick her up, i'm going to walk outside and tell him to go home. Walk up to the door, knock on the door, and then walk her to your car. At the end of the night, walk her back to her door. I don't care if you're just friends or you're married. It's what you're supposed to do. 

Guys: man up. Bring back gentlemanly behaviors. It would definitely be appreciated. 

Hope Rodriguez

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I can't see our relationship, your phone is in the way.

I can't see our relationship, your phone is in the way.

Every single one of us is guilty of it. Whether you Facebook, tweet, Instagram, crush candy, flap birds, or water your farm. At some point, you've ignored someone much more important than your cell phone. This blog is serving as a rant/intervention for those who need it, including myself. Yes, technology is so awesome and so advanced, but at the same time it's jeopardizing relationships and most people don't realize it.

Your phone may be negatively influencing your relationship if:

You have to ask "what?" after someone just spoke to you while you were on your phone.
I don't know about you, but I absolutely hate repeating myself. It makes me feel like i'm not worth your time or attention. For the android users out there, my boyfriend is obsessed with "Reddit." If I say something while he's scrolling through looking at the latest news story or crazy picture, and he says "what did you say?" I don't repeat myself. It's bratty, I know, but it's a pretty good little process i've got going, and he does the same thing to me if I ignore him for my phone. So far, it's working. If someone is talking to you, pay attention. Make eye contact. These are the common courtesies of conversation that are as old as time.

Your phone improves your mood.
"A text message!" "My tweet just got 10 favorites!" "Oh my gosh look who retweeted me!" "I put 12 hashtags on this picture and it got 102 likes!" "Oh look, someone just re-pinned my blueberry muffin recipe on Pinterest!" "I got 52 likes on my status today!"
If any of the above things are sources of your daily happiness, repeat after me "I have a problem." If you have to seek validity or recognition from your 1,383 Facebook friends, it's just sad. Don't lose the important connections to the real world around you and real people.

Your child says "watch this mommy/daddy" and you have to say "hold on."
Your children are only that age once. Put your phone down and watch her twirl around the living room. Leave your phone in your purse during your son's tee ball game. They are so much more important than the latest Facebook drama or you Instagramming a picture of yet another sunset.

You have your phone out at the lunch/dinner table.
It doesn't matter if you're eating with your loved one, your family, your friends, or your co-workers. Put your phone in your purse or your pocket. It's so rude. If you're eating with someone and all they can see is the apple on the back of your iphone, they probably will not enjoy spending their lunch/dinner with you. Instagram can go without seeing your plate of pasta with a valencia filter applied to it.

You cling to your phone like it's a newborn baby.
It's a cell phone. A PHONE. If you carry it to the bathroom, to the kitchen, back to the bedroom, sleep with it right next to you, and freak out and think the world is ending when you can't find it (and God forbid if it's on silent.. what will you DO?!) you have a problem. Think about it this way: our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and so on survived without a cell phone glued to their palm at all times. Believe it or not, you can too.

Your significant other, friends, or family have told you "you're on your phone too much."
Self explanatory. If someone else has noticed how bad your addiction is, it's obvious that it needs to be fixed.

You broadcast all of your dirty laundry via social media.
Girls: If your boyfriend/husband/etc pisses you off, please, for all of our sakes who have to read it and watch you take it back tomorrow, do NOT post all of your boyfriend or baby daddy issues all over Facebook and Twitter. Not only does it look bad, but no one actually cares to read it. I usually just do a nice sassy eye roll, hide your posts, and keep scrolling. Keep your personal business between you and the guy. Plus, he's going to feel like crap when he sees that you told all 1,382 of your Facebook friends that he stood you up for dinner last night. Arguments should be kept private. If you make up minutes, hours, or days later.. that status still happened and it's embarrassing for both of you.
Guys, you're guilty of this too, but it usually involves posting pictures of your money stacks, talking about how much swag you have, or telling all of social media how many beers you funneled last night. So. Attractive.
*Also, studies show that people talk more about their relationships on Facebook than they do face to face with their significant other. So embarrassing.

You password protect everything 
There isn't much to say about this one. I'm huge on honesty. I want someone to know that they can go through my text messages, Facebook messages, phone calls, pictures, and not find anything unbecoming. If you password protect your phone, text messages, pictures, etc.. what message is that sending to your significant other? It says "there's something in here that I don't really want anyone to see."

You have almost hit a mailbox, a pedestrian, a car, or any other object because of your phone.
Since the first day I got my phone, my mom has always told me "your phone is there for YOUR convenience, not the person on the other line." The text can wait. If your phone has fallen on the floor or between the seats, leave it. Don't risk your life or someone else's for your cell phone. It's pathetic how many people have their lives taken due to one text message, phone call, or social media post. IT CAN WAIT. I'm sure your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, or best friend would much rather you be alive and well than to become paralyzed or dead from trying to respond. Yes, Facebook and Twitter can go without knowing how bad that car on Airport Blvd just pissed you off when they slammed on breaks in front of you, or what you just picked up at Target to cook for dinner tonight. I can't even tell you how many girls i've seen (while driving) trying to take pictures of their Starbucks cups.

Stop making your cell phone such a huge priority. Turn off your phone for a few hours and go outside. Play with your children. Read your bible. Have a nice evening with a loved one. Do your homework or study for your test. Do something other than tap on a touchscreen. Not only will everyone else thank you for it, you'll be thankful too.

And one of my favorite quotes by Albert Einstein.. "I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots." I think this day is quickly approaching if it hasn't already.

From one smart phone addict to another,
Hope Rodriguez