Tag Archives: Social Impact

Ask the USA: “How Did Donald Trump Win the Presidency?”

2 Mar

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Hello readers!

Early in February, I introduced a new series to my blog called “Ask the USA”. In that introduction, I explained the purpose of this series, what inspired this series, and why I feel qualified to answer these questions (to the best of my ability, of course).

With that being said, the first question I’ve been receiving from foreigners all over the internet is:

‘How did Trump Win the Presidency?’

Since Trump has been running for office, he has been a topic all around the world. The news media hasn’t died down yet about him. This question was bound to come up sooner or later.

If you’re an American conservative, the answer is simple; if you’re an American liberal, this question may even baffle you.

However, I’m pretty independent. I try to remain objective and see both sides of this coin.

Here’s the deal.

Much of the media has painted the picture that the majority of America hated Donald Trump, America’s newest president. Many newspapers would reveal the polls back in October and November showing Hillary Clinton in the lead with the popular vote. And there are many Americans that do dislike Trump, including the news media.

But let me inform you about American politics:  during a political campaign, especially very close to election, it is normal to see “political propaganda”, propaganda that’s usually meant to discredit one candidate in favor of another. Hillary’s team was very effective in painting a negative picture of Trump by pulling out his dirt. She didn’t have to try. It was no secret that Trump “distrusted” most news sources, so of course most of them would help Hillary. Trump dug his own name in the ground with his careless statements. Trump gave the media many reasons to discredit him and he left a bad history of carelessness that allowed the media to take advantage of it.

So Trump ended up looking like the villain. After observing the things he’s said, most foreigners can’t understand how he could have any fans. Don’t get it twisted. Trump has insulted and offended many people across the board, and it was once considered a joke to even consider him the president of the USA.

But let’s also remember that what we see in the media isn’t always going to reflect the opinions of all the people in the nation. Despite his rhetoric, there are many people who actually agree with his ideas. Most people are just quiet about it.

trump-as-president

I don’t think most of us took him seriously like we should have. People felt there was no way this guy could be a president. He’s not diplomatic, he’s not well-spoken, he’s a rich guy who cares nothing about the “little man”. He was underestimated. This allowed him to make an impact on politics and maneuver things in his favor. There are many ways he managed to take the presidency from his last opponent, Hillary, despite what was fed to the media.

For the past decade, despite the positive reception Obama and his family have received, the average American did not reap many benefits from Obama’s presidency. He seemed more like a celebrity than a president; a positive figure rather than a man of action. He was famous for being the “first president of color”. He was diplomatic with many nations, giving the USA a good name to even our enemies.

However, he didn’t do anything impactful for his own nation (as far as we could see). He didn’t make any strong changes to the economy, he didn’t make many efforts to improve our overall security, and he seemed to sleep on many other matters that many Americans felt required urgency. Of course, none of us can pretend to know what it takes to do the job of president. Even the current president Trump is starting to see the challenges that come with it.

Still, Trump has things very few other candidates before him had.

Trump, the Business Man, Not the Politician

Trump may be blunt, rude, ignorant, and bigoted. But guess what? In a country that has honored and upheld the “freedom of speech” portion of the Bill of Rights (the rights in the USA that make up the first ten amendments to the constitution, the nation or state’s fundamental set of laws), in a country that has come to distrust government, Trump seemed to be the Honest John some Americans were looking for. He didn’t sugarcoat or take back his opinions. In fact, he is the first president to be truly active on social media, connecting with a wide range of people. With social media becoming a major form of communication, Trump is better able to get his ideas across on many different platforms.

When did America become so leery of their government, enough to trust a man who has spoken badly of so many people, people he’s supposed to help and protect? I would say since the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, people have been looking for an honest man in office. Watergate refers to the incident where someone broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters, which was at the Watergate office complex. Richard Nixon, who was actually voted into office, tried to cover it up. An investigation exposed this and it lead to Nixon’s impeachment. Since then, most Americans have questioned their leaders, how their leaders are getting into office, and it even lead to people being more critical of the Republican party (the party Nixon was a part of).

But scandal from the Democratic president Bill Clinton in the 1990s, and little action during the Obama administration, has lead to a complete turnaround for the Republican party.

Trump has been super different from the “lying” politicians we’ve had before. Everyone doesn’t like what he has to say, but he says it anyway. I guess people figure if he was this honest about people as a candidate, what does he have to lie about as president?

Trump also became the hero or spokesperson for the “white, middle class, aged man” who has come under fire thanks to the “politically correct”. The politically correct far left have taken over media, politics in the last decade, and daily life. People have been slinging the word “privileged” around, which often refers to the white, middle class men in the USA, the people most assume never had to face prejudice and oppression, and the people who are assumed to actually have been and continue to be the oppressors. Our country has had a history of severe oppression, despite our “free” laws. This has been the reason many people are speaking out. I will go into more detail about America’s race and gender relations in future articles…

But people have been speaking out so fiercely in the last decade, white, middle class men have been fed up with being blamed for everything. They were tired for having to be apologetic to every sensitivity. Trump seemed to be the answer.

Before people began to really take Trump seriously, he was mostly funny, a celebrity, and a rich business man. His personality was definitely strong. But as propaganda began to reveal his derogatory statements, the media and the far left fought hard to keep him out of the white house.

It obviously didn’t work.

Trump is just too good of a salesman. Maybe it came from being a businessman for all of these years. Maybe he paid his way into the seat. Regardless, he was very clever throughout it all.

Speaking of businessman, because he was already a very rich man, he didn’t really need the charity of anyone to boost his campaign. Maybe that’s one of the reasons he had no reason to be so nice. He could pay off anyone he wanted, he could pay to run his own ads, and his name alone was promotion. He has had a book published, he’s spoken on several shows about the things he believes in, and he’s been a familiar figure in the entertainment world (and entertainment in the USA is a major industry). Really, there was nothing stopping him from being successful in this.

Hillary, on the other hand, was Clinton’s wife, and most people were done with the Clinton administration in the 1990s. Clinton seemed to be the same oily politician we’ve been seeing for years, the ones who lie and say nice things just to get the vote, just to let us all down by doing nothing remotely different. The only difference is she was trying to make history by being the first female president. But we learned that “different” doesn’t always make it better. Obama was a president that made history, but it didn’t make him a great president. He wasn’t bad, just not good enough. I think after Obama, we learned to pay closer attention to the campaigns. And frankly, Hillary’s campaign was weak.

Bernie Sanders, one of the original candidates during the early race, probably had a stronger chance with his campaign, but he doesn’t have a big name like Clinton or Trump. Most of the votes went to familiar names.

A Strong Campaign

That’s another thing. Trump had a really strong campaign. No, his ideas weren’t popular across the board. This is possibly why he didn’t quite take home the popular vote (though some argue he did, but if he had, it was definitely by a landslide). But he actually had ideas of his own. He wasn’t just mimicking politicians before him, like his opponent. He had real beliefs that he stood for, real solutions to these issues (even if they proved more difficult to implement than he planned), and the will to get there and make those changes.

In one interview, he said if he lost, all of this would’ve been a “waste of time”. You could say that he had a bad attitude about running for president, or you can say that shows how bad he really wanted it.  But it’s this will to win that has gotten him to the top every time.

He played into the sympathies of people. He reached out to those who felt victimized by terrorism. Since 9/11, many families of the victims’ of major attacks in the USA haven’t felt safe. They didn’t feel that true justice was served, not with the Bush or Obama administration. Media did have a hand in sensitizing these events, causing a “scare”. But the victims’ families, friends, and associates obviously didn’t need the media to feel angry, grief, or fear. And Trump offered strong solutions to this problem. It was a sure-fire way to gain the vote from those who would’ve otherwise voted for Hillary.

On the other hand, despite a need for stronger national security from terrorism, many of these people didn’t want their gun rights taken from them. I think I explained how loyal most Americans are to their Bill of Rights, correct? After the recent mass shootings in the USA, many in the far left wing of politics offered a solution: stricter gun laws. This was a threat to gun owners. Those same people who wanted to better screen immigrants did not want to better screen guns. Most were fearing a ban. Trump seems like a free-spirited man. He doesn’t seem likely to ban guns. Hillary, on the other hand, openly promoted stricter gun control, which wasn’t really popular among moderate liberals or conservatives. Trump hasn’t really addressed the gun culture in America…

However, he has offered to send martial law in Chicago and other cities to rid it of gangs, guns, drugs, and violence in general. Possibly, this is his solution to America’s “violent” culture?

Last, Trump offered to bring and keep jobs in America, something many politicians have been promising but haven’t yet pulled through. Since the recession in the early 21st century, people have been concerned about the shortage of lucrative jobs. Trump seemed like the man to fix the problem. He is a businessman, after all. He seemed to many Americans to be the most qualified to handle the economy.

Despite Trump’s unpopular ideas, and his spontaneous actions, he actually has beliefs and stands by them. Though most people dislike the way he goes about his plans, he actually does go about them. And if there’s nothing left to respect about him, people can respect the fact that he has taken action the moment he was ushered in.

Clinton, on the other hand, has changed and rearranged her ideas, ping-ponging when it came to gay marriage, national security, and many other issues. This made her seem weaker and more motivated by the public pulse. She seemed to side with whoever would give her the vote, and she didn’t seem trustworthy. Most people knew what they were in for with Trump. With Hillary, it was difficult to know. She changed her mind too often, and that left some Americans insecure.

There are many other ideas Trump gave, many other ways his campaign was strong, but those were the most popular ideas. Though most people were skeptical about how these ideas would be tackled, many people were ready to take risks and give new, more direct, more assertive suggestions a try. The passive-aggressive manner of tackling issues haven’t worked in years. People wanted someone who could make America “strong” and “sure”. Trump seemed to represent a stronger and bolder American identity.

Some democratic supporters that voted for Bernie Sanders didn’t vote for Hillary, and that left a divide on the democratic side. This brought strength to Trump’s campaign.

Electoral College

The final thing I want the world to know about American politics is the system.

I already kind of touched on the Bill of Rights and the Constitution (I will go further into it in the future).

But our voting system can be a little confusing.

Americans pride themselves on their right to vote. It’s one of the most important forms of “freedom of speech”. But our election isn’t completely influenced by our individual votes.

In fact, the popular vote (the votes cast by the people) only makes up 1/3 of the overall “vote”. The other votes are based on Congress (our body of people who govern the land) and the Electoral College. Of the three, the Electoral College tends to have the most influence.

The Electoral College was designed to be a buffer between the people and Congress. They are supposed to be unbiased people who hardly meet with one another enough to influence each other. The Electoral College also gives power to the smaller states.

usa-map

America is divided by 50 states. Each state has its own governors, laws, representatives in Congress. If the popular vote had that much power over the vote, the smaller states’ views wouldn’t really matter. Bigger states, like California, obviously have a larger population. Their votes would make the biggest difference in the popular vote method (unless the people were divided). In this case, most of our laws would be influenced by California, California’s laws, and California’s culture. This wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the United States, especially to the smaller states whose opinions would matter the least. The popular vote is influenced by the population.

History Central explains that “the founding fathers were afraid of direct election to the Presidency. They feared a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power.”

Hamilton and the other founders believed that the electors would be able to insure that only a qualified person becomes President. They believed that with the Electoral College no one would be able to manipulate the citizenry. It would act as check on an electorate that might be duped. Hamilton and the other founders did not trust the population to make the right choice. The founders also believed that the Electoral College had the advantage of being a group that met only once and thus could not be manipulated over time by foreign governments or others.

The electoral college is also part of compromises made at the convention to satisfy the small states. Under the system of the Electoral College each state had the same number of electoral votes as they have representative in Congress, thus no state could have less then 3. The result of this system is that in this election the state of Wyoming cast about 210,000 votes, and thus each elector represented 70,000 votes, while in California approximately 9,700,000 votes were cast for 54 votes, thus representing 179,000 votes per electorate. Obviously this creates an unfair advantage to voters in the small states whose votes actually count more then those people living in medium and large states.

One aspect of the electoral system that is not mandated in the constitution is the fact that the winner takes all the votes in the state. Therefore it makes no difference if you win a state by 50.1% or by 80% of the vote you receive the same number of electoral votes. This can be a recipe for one individual to win some states by large pluralities and lose others by small number of votes, and thus this is an easy scenario for one candidate winning the popular vote while another winning the electoral vote. This winner take all methods used in picking electors has been decided by the states themselves. This trend took place over the course of the 19th century.

While there are clear problems with the Electoral College and there are some advantages to it, changing it is very unlikely. It would take a constitutional amendment ratified by 3/4 of states to change the system. It is hard to imagine the smaller states agreeing. One way of modifying the system s to eliminate the winner take all part of it. The method that the states vote for the electoral college is not mandated by the constitution but is decided by the states. Two states do not use the winner take all system, Maine and Nebraska. It would be difficult but not impossible to get other states to change their systems, unfortunately the party that has the advantage in the state is unlikely to agree to a unilateral change.

Trump has openly spoken against the Electoral College until it ruled in his favor. Despite him reaping the benefits of it, it has become pretty clear that the system isn’t perfect.

Even though Hillary may have gotten the popular vote, she couldn’t win over the “buffer” votes. Those votes added to the overall vote. So, for example, if Hillary was winning the popular vote because most of California and the rest of the west coast voted for her, a smaller state with the majority of Trump supporters wouldn’t stand a chance unless the Electoral College stepped in to supply them enough votes. These votes put all states, despite the population, on equal footing.

After the votes of the Electoral College, Trump won the vote. But this means he had to have been pretty popular to begin with as well in order for him to gain a complete win.

Should this system change? 3/4 of the states have to agree with the change and the amendment has to be ratified. Would Americans be so willing to change that?

I think at this point, times have changed since the days of our founding fathers. Because of all of these changes, it has become difficult for Americans to know which amendments should be analyzed, which amendments actually need amendments, and which should be left alone. Some people feel our constitution is outdated. Some people feel that the constitution was built to stand the test of time.

Throughout the decade, throughout the election race, and Trump’s new presidency, people have been paying close attention to the Bill of Rights, such as freedom of religion, freedom of the press (1st Amendment), the right to bear arms (2nd Amendment), and even questioning whether cruel or unusual punishments should be inflicted, especially regarding those who commit horrible felonies (8th Amendment). People have also been observing the constitution in general, our laws.

With the temporary immigration ban set up according to religion, it has brought up serious questions regarding our 1st Amendment. Is the ban against that Amendment? Or is this just one of the loopholes?

Trump has attacked the news press time and again. Many Trump supporters feel there needs to be restrictions regarding what comes out of media. This calls the 1st Amendment to question as well.

Since people have been victims of mass shootings in the last couple of years, the right to bear arms has come under fire.

And since we have some of those mass shooters and terrorists in custody, avoiding cruel punishments for these crimes is definitely coming under scrutiny (since it could conflict with the 8th Amendment).

People are also really skeptical about the Electoral College.

In our country, the minimum amount of years they can stay in office is four years per term. A president can get up to only two terms. We don’t know what kind of president Trump will be within the next four years (or up to eight years should he be reelected). We only know how his campaign went. So far, we see that he is assertive, but very rash. Hopefully, though, something good comes out of his presidency for everyone in unexpected ways.

If not, there’s always impeachment.

Leave me a comment and let me know if this answered any questions for you! Americans, if you have more to add, please feel free to add!

I hope it was answered as simply and as down-to-earth as possible.

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“Ask the USA”

11 Feb

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Hello readers, this is Gen Next talking to you straight.

I want to start a new series on this blog called ‘Ask the USA‘. This series will tackle questions about the USA asked by people from outside of the USA, questions coming from Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and on this blog.

What inspired this series? Much of American entertainment and news are available around the world thanks to the internet. The news media and internet have turned American issues into global ones. American topics are beginning to affect people around the globe. Because of that, many foreigners are watching and wondering about some of the things going on in the USA. American issues also affect the responses people of the world get from Americans on social media websites, chat rooms, news websites, and other places that provide an opportunity for comments.

As a result, I’ve heard so many different questions about the USA. I’ve heard some of the same questions about the USA so often, I feel compelled to respond.

It’s natural for people to be curious about other nations, especially if people plan to travel one day. I’m naturally curious about issues going on in other countries as well. With that being said, I think a lot of people around the world would benefit from reading the articles in this series.

People from the USA may find these articles interesting as well. Other Americans may even want to add to these articles in the “comment” section.

I felt the need to write these articles because I’ve been in discussions with people from different countries and they’ve come to me about many things they’ve heard or experienced in the country and online with the citizens.

As a natural-born citizen, an African American woman, an adult working citizen (I pay my taxes), I think I am fully qualified to answer some of the questions people around the world have. I also think I’ve improved on my writing well enough for most people to understand. Hopefully, my humor has improved as well. Forgive me if it hasn’t. XD I’m working on shortening my articles as well.

I planned on starting this series in January, but so much has been going on in my life and in the world, I just couldn’t start this series that soon. Hopefully, I can start the series sometime this month or next month.

If you’re from outside of the USA, and you have questions, you can leave me a comment with your question and I will try to answer it in this series. Of course, the priority questions will be the questions that more than one person asks. Please be patient for all other questions. I will try to get to everyone’s questions.

So far, the topics that have been of interest include:

  • Donald Trump’s presidency
  • Racism and Race relations in the USA
  • Native Americans
  • The Constitution and the Bill of Rights
  • American English versus British English
  • Americans’ Views on Women and Sexualization

These topics are just a starting point.

I am really excited about this series and I hope that I can answer everyone’s questions. Don’t be afraid to ask!

~From Generation Next

 

Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Different Approaches to Education Than The Traditional

17 Dec

nick news

Nick News on the Nickelodeon TV network aired a segment highlighting five different schools that decided to take less traditional approaches to schooling. It was quite an interesting segment because it highlighted how innovative and liberal people have become regarding education. In this Digital Revolution, education has become less important to children, as internet teaches people things on a daily basis, and it’s clear to see that modern-day children in the USA do not value a traditional education the way other nations do. In fact, most American children do not appreciate an education until they get to high school and realize they have to take care of themselves in a few years. Unfortunately, so many American children get dumped out in the world with limited job opportunities, yes, because of the economy, but also because they lack the basic skills to pass higher education courses or to get into trading courses that require particular technical knowledge. Not to mention, they lack the focus and discipline to deal with rigorous courses. I must admit, technology makes life fast, and it can stress children out. Everything is expected to be done in a timely manner. I can’t say it’s much different on a job, but you know, I suppose people are working to try to change that, too…

Well, the unfortunate part is that children who don’t appreciate school do not really learn. They also end up very disruptive and restless. They may also suffer from self-esteem because they just can’t seem to get into school. I was that kind of child.

I don’t want to go head-to-head with parents, but a lot of it has to do with parents. It’s not that most parents don’t care, (though some don’t, I’ve met many), but most parents just can’t seem to find the time to instill an appreciation for education in their kids. Then you have parents who really don’t appreciate education themselves or have felt inferior in an educated environment. They are more than likely to be negative about school. Especially if they were not the best behaved. And these same parents also do not instill a healthy dose of respect for authority. I understand some authority can be unjust, but some authority is there to keep things orderly and safe. Imagine schools without anyone keeping the behavior in check. Fights will break out and kids will be killed. End of discussion. Of course, we have parents who don’t see that far in advance or who can’t see their child as anything but precious “angels” or “babies”. But hey, kids have their home life, and they have a social school life that parents often don’t know about the way teachers and school staff does. In fact, from experience, most children live a double life, as early as 5 years old when they begin kindergarten.

Unfortunately, a parent who doesn’t instill a proper respect for authority in their child soon finds their child rebelling against the greatest authority figure in their own lives: Their parents. And physical discipline can straighten action, but not feelings and thoughts. Children can feel like they want to rebel even if they don’t actually do it. I was that kind of child myself.

My experience? Yes, I work in the education system. I was once a poor student in elementary school, and it greatly affected me in Middle School, High School, and even College! I was able to push through, but so many in my age group dropped out. We were the “test dummy” children put under the new system “No Child Left Behind”. So many programs focused on improving test scores, but little good did it do. We all just wanted to do what we wanted to do, and felt we shouldn’t be forced to do something we weren’t ready to do. Of course, we were children, so all we wanted to do was play. We had no work ethic. Might I add, many parents today also do not instill a work ethic in their children. I used to blame the school as a child, because well, I was a child. I used my mother as a scapegoat to get me out of situations in school that I felt were too challenging. Did it benefit me? At the time, but not in the long-run. This may not go for every child, but it’s just my experience…Which wasn’t too long ago, considering I’m still in my twenties…

The education system we know today is not without flaw, either. These declining test scores reveal serious problems in the established education system that aren’t all direct. There are teachers who seriously do not have the patience to truly deal with children. If you are a parent, imagine having thirty kids in your home for 6 to 8 hours a day…A whole work day…Some parents can barely deal with two to four children that long. That’s what teaching is like. Some teachers get so overwhelmed with their jobs, they want to give up and don’t give the students the proper attention they need. Some teachers get into the profession thinking it will be ideal and thinking it will be easy to deal with children. After all, they are just children, right? Right? Treat them with respect and they will love and respect you? Wrong. Children often don’t respect you just because they don’t want to. They sometimes think it’s funnier to tease the butt monkey, i.e. the teacher. Many times when you start off nice, it’s hard to be firm when you have to be, especially when they child is not used to being disciplined at home. And then there are teachers who let children provoke them, because they haven’t quite matured, and end up over-doing things…

In the high school, you have teachers who just don’t know their place…

With all of these issues, there could be several reasons why children are not performing in school, which are the basis for the founding of “new schools” mentioned in this news segment:

1) Children feel overloaded with work.

2) Schools have pushed on higher levels of stress upon modern children.

3) Some children are bullied, or fear being bullied, and can’t function in a hostile environment.

4) They are not challenged enough and are too advanced for the curriculum.

5) They can’t handle being told what to do.

6) The material is not presented to them in a way that is interesting and fun.

7) Parents have turned them off from liking school.

8) The teachers were too strict or impatient and not attentive to each child’s needs.

10) They may have a disability or another set-back and need extra help.

11) Parent did not instill discipline in a child so that they could endure long hour days and focus.

12) Children may not get any help for the problems they do not understand, not from teachers or parents.

13) No one at home or school cares about their successes or failures, and therefore, they have no real motivation for achieving aside from the fact it could give them a good job in the future…If they really care to think that far in advance. I think this is so sad, but is a true reality that I’ve seen. 😦

14) They live privileged lives and can’t see a future where they are not reliant on their parents. This can turn into a “Peter Pan” syndrome.

15) Awards are not earned. Children are either awarded during Christmas and birthdays, without having to behave, so they don’t see the importance of good behavior, or they are not particularly awarded when they do good in school, and are only awarded when they cry. Or not given any awards or attention at all. This often happens in families with many children.

16) Older children feel they already know what they want to do in the future and don’t see the need to learn various subjects they’re not interested in.

17)  Parents may not stick the children to a schedule in the home. Bedtimes are not enforced, so children are not getting enough sleep.

18) There are other severe issues with the home life, such as poverty or abuse.

These are several issues I’ve experienced, but this may not even reveal ALL of the issues!

Now, back to the topic. The schools mentioned in this segment all seek to improve the above issues. Many of the schools seek to place children in environments deemed more “comfortable” for children. Many of the ideas of these schools are truly innovative, and I think should be implemented in all schools. But many of the ideas…don’t strike me as practical for the real world. I don’t want to bash a school’s head in. I encourage all education. Perhaps I will seem a little bias, though it won’t be intended. Still, I am entitled to have certain questions and comments when I feel that something is not considered in the grand scheme of things. This may spark a debate, but I’m no stranger to controversial subjects. I welcome all comments, even if I don’t agree with them.

Quest to Learn

Quest to learn

This school uses games to teach children. They are constantly using cards, computers, and other game tools to learn subjects. Some of the kids commented that they often “move so fast, they don’t realize they have learned something, but then later, they recall it all”. This school believes that children learn best when they are active and involved. They seek to make school fun and action-packed. They mentally challenge students to think on their toes.

One student comments: “I was really zoned out. I was like reading comics in class,” he says. “But now I’m not even considering touching a comic book because I’m so scared that I’m going to miss a subject.”

It seems like the goal is to get children so busy and mobile, they don’t have time to be distracted.

I like the idea that this school uses games and other tools to motivate students, though most schools have this included in their teaching strategies, but just not so extreme. This school seems well-suited to children who catch on to things quickly. It’s also suited to children who thrive well in a competitive environment and enjoy movement.

As a child, I was not that kind of little person. I’m sure there are other children who would feel nervous in this kind of environment. It struck a nerve when the child commented that “He’s so scared he’s going to miss a subject”. I’m not a firm believer in scaring a child. I think fear intensifies stress.

As a child, I needed a versatile environment that considered my needs. Established public schools have all kinds of teaching strategies for every kind of child. This school only provides the strategies that could appeal to a child that doesn’t feel challenged enough.

But hey, there is every kind of school for every kind of child. The only down-side is when these children move on to higher education, they may be so used to a fast-paced environment, they may be frustrated with how slow-paced college courses are. In college, there are no games, there are no quick lessons. These children may ultimately end up impatient with college, and may end up dropping out for quick employment.

Children who learn to get things quick are quick about getting things done. Learning to move quickly may not be bad when it comes to meeting deadlines and challenges on a job, but sometimes these actions can lead to impulsive decisions when choosing careers.

Trek North

Trek North

This school takes it’s students on wilderness trips to teach outdoor skills. It’s a bit like Boys and Girls Scouts. They take service trips, and often they take these week-long trips to help the homeless.  A student can get a high school diploma from this school just from completing tasks. This school seems designed to give children a hands-on approach to learning, which teaches skills that are beyond the range of modern society. These children learn survival skills, which can be useful if the whole system crashes.

This school seems like a lot of fun. This is a school I would’ve loved attending as a child, as I always appreciated the wilderness and volunteer work.

The only issue is that it doesn’t teach children various skills that can assist them in a modern, progressive society. It doesn’t help them properly compete in a GLOBAL economy. Getting a piece of paper is not as important as what you learned to get it. I think this school would be great if implemented as a mandatory after school program. But the main education? I think this leaves a child handicapped in the job force. They also won’t have many options with the skills they learn. Their experience may bring them to jobs that deal with the wilderness or some volunteer work, but if they decide they change their minds, they may not have any OTHER basic skills that could transfer them into another career. We learn various subjects to give our children various options in the world. We don’t want our children limited to one career field when there is much to learn in this world!

Durango Big Picture High School

Durango

I absolutely love this school’s ideas. One student said:  “I wanted to come here because I didn’t like sitting in the classroom listening to a lecture all day,” she says. “(Here) you’re creating a future that you want.”

This school may be just the ticket to help children appreciate school. I believe that children learn better when they understand that their education will benefit them and help them get jobs. In fact, I wish there was an elementary school like this. I wish I had enrolled in a school like this. The reason many of these children don’t appreciate school is because they don’t realize or don’t feel an education will help them get jobs in the future. It’s sad, but I’ve run into children who don’t see the benefit in learning how to even spell their name. But if someone emphasized how important this was in the world, it would motivate the children to do it. An internship, where a child experiences the working world first-hand, is just the ticket.

My only qualm is that it doesn’t consider the indecision of teens. I wanted to be a journalist as a teenager, and even did a program to help assist me. Of course, I changed my mind. But I had strengths in other subjects besides English (History), so I was able to transition into another career. Again, when a student doesn’t learn various skills, they limit themselves. A child may get work that fits their skills, but technology is taking over at a rapid pace, the business they are working in may close, and they will be forced to return to basics to learn a whole new set of skills!

Children need variety. I think this school lets children make decisions they are not half way mature enough to make yet. Heck, I know more than 20 of my friends who went to college “Undecided”, and a dozen of them who have changed majors about three times…And they were all adults! But at least they had basic skills in other areas to make that transition. It’s especially important to have reading and math as mandatory subjects, even if a kid thinks only one of those subjects are important, even if she says she only wants to be a book author. I mean, how is she going to count her money without knowing the value of a dollar?

Aside from all of that, a student can come out of this school working. They can adjust to a work environment easier. They can use that money from their job to pay for a higher education. It’s really a well-developed school with minor kinks.

Connections Academy

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A student said, “I learned that actually not having a lot of kids around me makes me thrive,” she says. “Now that all the distractions are removed, I’m a lot more focused.”

When I think of the future, I always think of online education. This is an online school. This is the modern home-schooling world. The goal of this school is to remove children out of distracting, and even hostile, environments.

My first taste of online classes was in college. In college, you had the option to work in a quiet environment and work at your own pace. It was a new thing for me and my family.

What I hated about it was the deadlines. You couldn’t get an extension or extra time unless you informed the teacher way ahead of time. Computers are impersonal, despite what anyone says. It’s often hard to get the help you need. In order to get help, you can chat with your teacher online, BUT it’s sometimes hard to tell them exactly what your issues are because they are not sitting next to you or watching to see if you’re doing everything correctly. When they correct your work, they correct it, and then forward it with instructions on how improve the assignment. But they never give that personal one-on-one attention. If you are a student that catches on to subjects quickly, online school is the school for you. But for me, it’s the reason I almost failed Chemistry.

You also need a lot of focus. Sometimes, computers can be distracting. Even when I was doing my Microsoft Word paper on the computer, I was distracted by Social networking, so it took longer to finish my assignments, and I was sloppy in my work in a rush to finish.

Home-schooling like this can help a child become a computer expert, as all of their work is done on the internet. The problem happens when a school is only online. Computers do break, and internet does go out. Some home-school programs offer books on the side and allow you to send the work by mail to a school. This home-school program is all-internet.

The other problem is that this schooling doesn’t put a child in social situations, therefore social problem-solving skills will not develop. When they do grow up, they will be weaker to peer pressure and will have a harder time deciphering the right healthy association, unless the parents warn children of this early on. Further, they will be more sensitive to insults and criticism, things they may not experience at home. If they experience it early on, believe it or not, they will expect it on the job and find ways to deal with it. Home shelters them.

They may also develop a mind-set where they expect the working environment to be “like home”. They may be disappointed that the world is not like home. On the plus side, if they become entrepreneurs, they may create a more comfortable working environment for people. Most children who have this schooling are some of the most well-behaved children because they don’t have the social pressure to be bad. Their only influences are their parents. On the same token, if they are only used to listening to their parents, they won’t get accustomed to listening to new ideas that may be more beneficial than what their parents are teaching them. These children carry the risk of not being able to think entirely for themselves. And it’s important for children to develop some individuality and independence from their parents.

And again, while they are in school, they are usually not influenced by peer pressure. But when they graduate, step out into the working world,  they will not be used to peer pressure. They won’t be able to avoid peer pressure. We learn how to deal with this pressure in school, especially in high school. Though home-schooling is meant to protect the child from peer pressure, it doesn’t help them learn to deal with this pressure. And no, bullying and negative peer pressure is not good. I understand that some parents would rather protect their children. In schools outside of the home, not only do children make friends, but they learn to deal with peers. Traditional schools don’t just teach reading and math, but the purpose of a school is to teach you how to deal with other people. In the real working world, they will end up experiencing people they don’t get along with, questionable friendships, and bullies. Daddy and Mommy will not be around to tell them to quit a job and home-job them. Some may work from home, but most will end up working outside of the home. How will they deal with this issue? Will they quit every job they feel is hard, which is every job? Will they let people get under their skin?

These children can become more impressionable than the average person when they become adults. This is not to say this is every child who is home-schooled, but from my experience, it’s a risk. Justin Bieber would be an example.

The upside is that when a child is alone with their work, they have the ability to develop all kinds of skills. When there are no distractions, a strong curiosity can develop. From my experience, home-schooled children acquire skills that most children learn when they are older, like the ability to sew. Many develop talents. They often learn to become excellent cooks and often eat healthy diets. They stay children much longer. They are least likely to be pregnant teens and will more than likely plan their lives.

Yet, the strong curiosity can lead them into danger as they get older. They may wish to do all the things they missed out on,and they may live wild lives in an attempt to do all they missed out on.

Diablo Valley School

Diablo

This school doesn’t have a curriculum, doesn’t give homework, tests, or grades. When we think about this ideally, we can see that this school has good intentions. They want children to be comfortable in their learning environment. The school setting is more like a house, where there are couches and the staff cooks lunch for the kids. They allow children to attend board meetings, voice an opinion, vote, and help with school-wide decisions. This school’s goal is to encourage children to be confident in themselves. This school wants children to develop their own identity, and be proud of who they are. It’s a school that wants children to recognize that everyone has individual strengths, and it minimizes the idea that any child has a weakness. The goal is truly ideal.

One student said, “I’ve become a lot more confident with myself,” she says. “And I think the best thing about this school is that there is no pressure to be anyone other than yourself.”

Many of their ideas are so out-of-the-box in both excellent ways and debatable ways. I like that they let the children have a voice on what goes on in the school, and I like that they let those children take leadership roles. This helps them move their school and learn the importance of responsibility. This school is great for students who don’t feel confident in a regular school. This is also a good school for students who need a little more intimate attention from their teacher. This is also good for students who want to have fun. The children did seem happy in the segment. What child would not want to go to a school like this? This is a school where kids rule. To add, the food probably tastes better than the food at any school around the nation…

But there are a few things that I think was not considered in the greater scheme of things.

This school seeks to “protect” or “nurture” children by giving children what they emotionally need and want, but it doesn’t prepare them for the harsh realities of the real working world.

This school allows children to begin learning basic skills such as reading and writing…whenever the child feels like learning it. Yes, they decide what they want to learn and when they want to learn it. They feel this helps the children develop a natural interest in subjects. If a child wants to learn something, they ask, and the staff there helps them learn it. And it doesn’t have to be basic skills, like reading or math. It can be something like sewing. I understand this school was designed to make children feel more confident in what they are learning.

But I feel this school treats the children like babies. While the school provides a comfortable learning environment, it doesn’t teach them how to adjust to working environments that are not ideal when they get older. In traditional education, at least a child learns to adapt to various working styles. This actually teaches them how to endure in many different kinds of jobs. It gives them the discipline to deal with the working world. When a child becomes use to this environment, a real job becomes a cinch. They learn that each job has it’s own rules and it’s own code of dress and many other similarities to their school.

A comfortable environment makes the children feel at home, but gives them unrealistic expectations about the job life. These children will grow up with the attitude that on a job “They will work when they are good and ready”. They will not know how to do something they don’t want to do. But guess what? No one wants to work, but we have to. Otherwise, who will eat?

Sometimes, it may ultimately make them less confident as adults as they begin to compare how much they know with the other adults around them who have learned so much. Some children may not even acquire the curiosity to read until they are teenagers. By then, many teenagers their age would’ve learned so much more, even the students that are considered “struggling” in traditional schools! I asked one child, who was struggling in 5th grade, to spell her name out for me as fast as she could. She spelled it so fast, you can tell that she had written that name a thousand times. She knew it by heart, even though she was struggling with her school subjects. I told her that’s how I knew she was in 5th grade. I could tell that she had spent five years practicing that name. A student who decides when they are going to learn this in teen years will be way behind…

Children with mental disabilities often never acquire an interest in learning because of their set-backs, so this school would leave them empty-handed. I’ve had to push (not shove, of course) many students with disabilities to learn subjects. They may not have liked it as children, but when they get older, they often felt confident. When they are not pushed, they don’t learn, and are left to feel odd or as mentally disabled as people make them feel when they become adults.

Also in a subject like history, this school will put the kids behind. There are certain things children should know about history by the time they are in 8th grade. We learn history so we can avoid making the same social mistakes and so we can borrow inspiration to create a more progressive future. That’s how we were able to make many of the inventions we have today, on the basis of what people did. Most children do not acquire a natural curiosity to learn history. I know this from experience.

Instead of helping them compete with a global economy, this school will still put them behind. This school stated they are focused on improving test scores in the nation, but without…testing the children. It sounds like they are only about the numbers, not the education. Or rather, they seem to be all about the numbers they decide to put in. But without a curriculum guide, they don’t really seem to care if the child can truly compete with other children globally on an intellectual level. The students may not feel these debilities as children or teens, but they will feel it as adults.

The school also doesn’t prepare the students for a higher education. In college, while they do get to choose the subjects they want to study, and what time they want to take the courses, they have to sit for long hours in lecture halls, complete homework assignments, and deal with stressful exams. How does this school prepare them for a higher education should a child want to pursue that path? This school, in my honest opinion, is for the pampered and babied. In fact, without a test, how could they monitor a child’s progress or really know whether they have learned something in the school? How can they know if a child has even learned to count? By letting the child monitor their OWN progress? Children just want to play, and may say anything just to get work out of their hair.

The upside to this kind of schooling is that these children may grow up remembering that they don’t have to work at something they don’t like. That’s the privilege of living in the USA. This may thus help them push for more creative freedom in a work environment. But making that kind of difference takes time. And they still need to learn to work at a stable job. But then there are those moments where the lack of various skills limits them to odd-end jobs…

What really disturbs me is the fact that none of the “teachers” are required to be certified. The children learn from random people who share their “experiences”. Again, this is ideal, but not at all realistic. The school seems to be lacking in a little historical education themselves, and are doomed to repeat the same mistakes of the past. In the past, teachers were not required to have any more than a 8th grade education. Soon after, women were usually married off and men began working. But how could a student be confident in a teacher they are not sure has been to school or learned anything themselves? Would you want a certified Doctor operating on you or your family? Or some random person who came into the hospital saying they know a little bit about medicine? I know a college degree doesn’t make a person smarter than someone without one, but at least you know they have acquired the knowledge to attend to the job at hand. The certificate is confirmation that it has been a field of study for 4 or more years. When someone is not certified, you can’t really know if you are being taught lies or not. You may not know with a certified teacher either, but at least you know they have studied the facts before.

Then, there are things personal experience cannot teach you. There are some subjects that can’t be understood in-depth without consistency and an expert. For instance, there are hundreds of countries around the world. It is not only beneficial to talk about the country the child lives in, but also about other countries. This not only broadens their world view, increases compassion in a child, but it also teaches them to think about someone other than themselves. A random teacher can’t teach a child about correct geography or how to read a map correctly. These “teachers” are also probably not equipped to deal with mentally disabled people, either. I mean, the school isn’t bad, but is it really on the same quality-level as a traditional school? Or should I think it’s better just because it’s free and new?

The school would then have to place value on what THEY deem is more important to learn, which means they would be belittling the subjects they feel are not so important. I’d like to think that each subject has a use. If we belittle a subject, we belittle a job and therefore limit what our children could do in the future.

So, this is my spin on the “new school” education. Share your comments on the matter. Do you think the schools have the right answer to combat declining test scores in the USA?

My Frustrations with the “Modern Woman” and Her Feminist BS (Inspired from “Ladies First” by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel)

13 Oct

ladies-first

The other day, I got a hold of a VERY inspirational book called Ladies First: 40 Daring American Women Who Were Second To None. This book is for intermediate learning, and I think it’s good for girls of tween-to-teen age to read. It’s just as impressive, if not more-so, than the American Girl book series. The real gem is that this book introduces girls to adult female figures who have done great things. This helps girls to realize their possibilities. And I just don’t want to say this to preach to girls about them thinking about their “future”. I literally think the book will inspire girls to “think” rather than “dream”.

I’m not the first to jump on the feminist brigade, but I have touched this base before:

To read more articles on feminism:

Frozen-A feminist movie?

Feminism, Chaivinism, and Misandry: The difference?

One thing I can agree with this book about is the fact that many of women’s achievements have been greatly ignored or scoffed at. As I flipped through this book, I recalled great forgotten figures in my own memory. This book focuses on 40 women who have been the “first” to do something. All of these women are of different races and social backgrounds, which makes the book even more appealing for me. As a woman and an African American, the book sparked my interest immediately. Some of my favorite female role models showed up. Wilma Rudolph, the “fastest woman in the world”. Madam C.J. Walker, the first African American self-made millionaire. Carrie Catt, lead woman suffragist at the Turn of the 20th Century. Hellen Keller, the first blind and deaf person to achieve a higher education. But then there were so many other women I knew nothing about that did so many exciting things!

It seems the only women recognized in the world are Amelia Earhart and Susan B. Anthony. Beyond those two, the other women fall behind. I like that this book brought out the record-breaking Nellie Bly, and her two major dares: She went undercover as a mentally insane person, enrolled in an asylum, and wrote about her experiences. She also took up a dare based off of the fictional book Around the World in 80 Days…and made it around the world in 72 days! Nellie Bly was determined to be a ground-breaking reporter, and was a great inspiration to me as a writer.

The other woman that struck my interest was a more modern hero: Katherine Switzer. She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon at a time where women were considered too weak to run. She hid in a bush, and secretly ran with other men. She also dressed in “gender-neutral” clothing, signed herself up, which was against the rules, ran a race and won it. When she revealed she was a woman, she caused quite a raucous that proved women were capable of doing daring stunts.

Wilma Mankiller got a lot of heat for being the first female Chief of her tribe. I respect her so much. Despite living with racial prejudices, she had to deal with sexism and many other challenges.

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree. Her story is a bit funny. She tried to enroll in several colleges and was rejected. Colleges usually had a board of members, usually consisting of staff, decide who enters. But one college in particular let the students vote. When she signed up for their college, the students, being young, thought it was a prank. So they accepted her for laughs. Soon, they realized she wasn’t joking!  She became the first woman who could legally practice medicine.

So many stories, all entertaining and beautiful. I can’t begin to capture them all in this article.

Despite the beautiful stories and wonderful achievements of these women, something was missing. These women were the “first” of their kinds, true enough. But there was something I was looking for…and sadly, I only found that in one woman in this book. I was looking for ingenuity…INNOVATION. Basically, a female INVENTOR. We need more “Tinkerbells”.

The only female in this book that invented something was Madame C.J. Walker. She was the ONLY woman who took up something that was not championed by men first. And what she created was exclusively interesting to women alone and not everyone. To add, it held so much controversy because the Black Community at the time claimed she was trying to make black girls’ hair “feel more like white girls”. Many of her products helped tame and straighten black girls’ hair, and many black people felt it was an invention that promoted “self-hate”. Sure, Harriet Quimby was the first female to receive her piloting license, but did she invent the airplane? No. Sure, Nellie Bly wanted to be an exciting reporter (and she did invent Investigative Reporting, something never done before), but did she invent newspapers? No. Of course, we know that many women have been excluded from history books, even when they did invent something. Though what’s stopping us now, I can’t imagine…

What I was looking for was the recognition of females who really “broke ground” in something that had never been thought of. I was hoping that old stereotype of women not being able to think outside of the box, of being too “scared” to dream up new things, would be broken with this book. But sadly, it was not. It was my only disappointment with this book.

I’ve been trying to find books of female inventors as a project. Sadly, I have come up short. I have been looking for women who invented great things, not just for maternal needs (like Kitchen items, baby items, food, fashion, cosmetics, and other things that only interest traditional women and no one else), but something scientific, electrical, tech: things that interest all age groups, genders, and backgrounds. Things that are “cutting-edge”. Two women showed up: Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar, a rod-like molecule that is used on bullet-proof vests, skis, radial tires, break pads, suspension bridge cables, helmets, and hiking gear. Another woman was Mary Anderson, inventor of the windshield wiper. Thank you, Mary! These are women that MEN can respect because they invented things that even MEN use today!

These women are hardly recognized for their achievements, and I thought it necessary to note them here. I am so tired of women being associated with only child-birth and the kitchen. Aren’t women capable of so much more? Maybe. Who knows. Maybe not…

Another thing that was sorely missing in this book was the list of YOUNG women. No one in the book was under the age of 50. Or even rather 60! It was almost as if progress stopped after a certain generation, and a new generation of dim-witted females rose to bring physical pleasure to men on television and movie screens. The large number of females became movie stars, models, and famous singers. In fact, the field is over-populated with women. The glam and glitz of everyone treating a female like a Goddess, her having to be lazy and taken care of by someone else, and the fact that she gets to wear so many “cute outfits” drew in women…and returned them to their traditional state-of-mind, though with modern masks. Then the rise in teen pregnancy outside of wedlock, which sadly stifled many young girls’ progress…Oh yes, and now the rise of dead-beats, since women can now “take care of themselves”.

I’m not here to scoff at these achievements. Being an actress, model, and singer is hard-work, and there are men there, too. But I find men to stretch themselves among a variety of talents (Sports, acting, music, science, etc), whereas women tend to limit themselves and follow each other…or rather, MEN. They are attracted to a life of ease, not a life of excitement, thrill, adventure. Men are naturally more curious about the world and our existence today, and it almost seems that all women are interested in is their boyfriend, his life, their social life, and what outfits they are wearing to so-and-so’s party. Don’t we think that the world of the celebrity is a little too over-populated with women? Perhaps, just maybe, we might be able to find women who, I dunno, want to try other things. Maybe I’m hoping for too much…Isn’t it fun to be both a celebrity and a scientist? With the money these celebrities make, I’m shocked none of them have truly taken advantage of this. No wait, I’m not shocked.

My big question is: Where are our modern women? Our modern women are a large consumer crowd, buying Galaxy and Apple phones and other products, spending hours on video games, and wearing fashions invented by WHO? MEN. There are more male fashion designers! What? But what have women contributed to the modern world? Modern women can no longer live on the breath of the women of the past. What are WE doing today? Are we progressing into greater women, becoming stronger feminists or…digressing from the main point of feminism?

When I look at women today, talking all of their feminist bull-crap, which usually surrounds how men look at them, I laugh to myself. Feminism today is nothing but a bluff. It’s a bunch of butt-hurt women, who before their precious hearts were broken by their “boyfriends”, they hardly thought of women empowerment. What they really become are female chauvinists and/or misandrists. You know why men today don’t respect women? Because women don’t respect themselves. They talk the “female game” after they have already burned their bridges. In fact, all of these women are just…TALK. What HAVE these women done to prove themselves? What amazing feats have they conquered? And I’m not scoffing at the small contributions that are not any less significant. After all, I’m a small contributor, as an educator (that’s how I’m able to get a hold of books). But maybe that’s just it. We women have been thinking too small. We’ve been too satisfied with our “small” efforts. We lack insight. We want to force men to respect us through loud words and open minds, but we have not applied anything to action. Are we too afraid to go against the grain? Are we too shallow to achieve a larger brain capacity?

I recently asked a question about women inventors on Yahoo Answers, as I was trying my project. One response I got was from a male. He answered: “The extreme lack of female open source programmers proves women’s brains are different. [There] is no discrimination in that work at home field.. Women just aren’t interested in tech.” Could I get angry at such a bold statement? Could I rant and rave that he is wrong to judge women, or that he is wrong about our minds being different? No. I couldn’t. You know why? Because logically, I have no modern examples to prove him wrong. Have women created I-pads, XBox games and consoles, or touch-screen cell-phones? Have women created social networking websites like facebook, youtube, and twitter? Are women today even INTERESTED in technology? NO. And yet, we use these things more than men do. Are we doomed to follow men the rest of our lives without inventing anything that interests the consumer world? Or are men truly the “greater” part of our species as humans?

Women hold on to child-birth as the beauty of their gender, but it is the very thing that links them to animals, not to a greater species more intelligent than a horse, cow, rabbit, or fish. Whereas men can say that their inventions and intelligence have proven them to be greater than any living male species on the planet. Have women thus shown men that they are inferior? This has to change.

It’s ignorant to say that men have bigger imaginations than women. But it appears that men are more than likely to follow through with their dreams and make it a reality. Women will only invent things that are practical for everyday living…but not usually something for entertainment, like video games. BORING.

Come to think of it, as much as women shop, I’m surprised that there haven’t been any women who have created major department stores or super markets, such as Walmart…But I’m a little more relieved that women haven’t fallen into that stereotype. Still, it just further proves that women have hardly invented anything noteworthy outside of items that are exclusively used in the home, and have just ridden on the success of men.

The goal of this article is to bring new thoughts on women’s progress to the plate, and inspire a stronger future for women.

My Experiences with Woman-hood and My Push for a Better Female Experience

If I sound like a self-hating female to you, you might be on to something. Currently, I can’t psycho-analyze myself and expect to be objective, but I can tell you that my experiences with the women in my life and my own womanhood have been nasty.

I grew up with a mother who was girlish on the outside (into fashion, make-up, etc) , but not fond of the main fundamental points of woman-hood: child-birth. My mother did not plan to have me. When she was pregnant with me, she was in her early twenties. I know, many women have had children much younger than that. But the thing is, my mother was not ready to have children. She wanted to have fun and live life. My mother even told me she thought of dropping herself down a flight of stairs so she could miscarry. I know, who would tell their children this? She says that I have grown to be a blessing in her life as an adult, but she always discouraged pregnancy. Not only does my mother suffer from a “youth syndrome”, where she never wants to be called grandmother, but my mother also wants to live her life and has made it perfectly clear she will not support me by baby-sitting or taking care of any child I accidentally have. At first I thought to myself, “All parents say that at first”. But then I think about how she’s always treated children…She really always felt children were holding her back. She got rid of the two children who came after me. She just couldn’t be pregnant. My mother was into her looks and having fun. She always dumped me and my sibling with baby-sitters. I never bonded with her. You know how mothers usually hold their newborns in their arms once they have them? Not my mother. She refused to look at me until later. This is what she told me from her mouth. My mother went out partying the day after I was born and stuck me with a baby-sitter. I’ve never had a mother who “bonded” with me. I don’t even understand mother-daughter bonds. I always think, “Won’t they get sick of each other after awhile?”

Thus, she instilled her own ideas in me. She thought of pregnancy as a curse that would end a young woman’s life. She thought of pregnancy as something miserable, something to mourn about. Well, for her, it was. She was always deathly ill. She almost died having me. She was always tired, and everything was expensive. She felt she lost herself as she felt she had to take care of someone else. It always felt like obligation rather than love…I grew up hating woman-hood.

Eventually, I began to form the same thoughts. However, I would always think to myself. I would always say, “If pregnancy is this horrible, and having children is such misery, why was I born a woman?” I used to be so jealous of men. I was jealous of how they could have sex with anyone and never get pregnant. They wouldn’t need “protection”. Men could have many children and never know them by name. And it wouldn’t matter if the men accepted responsibility, except to the women stuck with the children. I grew up thinking that men lived a lucky life. Nothing could ever hold a man back from living life. In this way, I envied the fact that this made men young forever. They never had to take responsibility if they didn’t want to. And of all the moral BS you can throw at them, it was still their choice. For women, it never felt like they had a choice. It just felt so limited. With men, life was just pleasure. With women, it seemed pleasure always came with pain.

I didn’t grow up viewing babies as humans with feelings. Women would tell me how beautiful it was, but due to my upbringing, I just couldn’t understand it. Child-birth is beautiful? It seemed stressful, hard, and limiting to me.

Even as I grew up, this up-bringing has stayed with me. But now I’m older. I no longer believe that everything my mother taught me was right. My relationship with my mother grew very tense as the beliefs I developed began to differ greatly from my mother’s. First, I grew into a tomboy, which was a far cry from my prissy mother who just wished I would wear a dress and heels sometimes. My appearance was the only thing she paid attention to when it came to me. And at these times, she found many moments to look down on me and execute her critical judgment. Thus, I ended up resenting all the glitz and glamour that most women were into. Fashion was not fun or a way for me to value myself. It was just another chore. So no, I don’t believe in dressing up to impress men. If I liked a guy, I would just tell him. If he likes me for who I am, just like I to him, then he’s worth my time. When I sense superficiality, I’m gone…I’ve been taught all men are superficial…So, I just stopped caring altogether. This was a far cry from my mother. It was her only expectation of me, and it was the one expectation I had a hard time meeting.

Second, I began to work with children. I’ve seen that children are a responsibility, but I’ve also learned that they can be your best friends. Like any human, it is about how you treat them. Children know when they are loved. Through examples of some good mothers, I’ve seen that children haven’t limited them, but helped their mothers in many ways. Still, that in-born fear stays with me, and I just can’t have children.

Well, literally. My doctor told me that if I had children, I wouldn’t live. I’m frail. Woman-hood has cursed me. My own menstrual cycle has been monstrous. It has been so severe, that I become extremely ill. I’ve fainted twice in public during my school days. I’ve…gruesomely…puked. It was also these moments that I envied men. Why were women stuck with such awful bodies? My self-hatred grew. Why couldn’t we share the pain?

My own hatred with the women in my life and with my own woman-hood has put distance between me and other women. It caused me to distrust women greatly. It’s the main reason I can’t be a lesbian, even if I tried.

Don’t worry. It’s no better with men. Though I’ve always gotten along with men better than women (which is why I enjoy their company more), I never trust men, so it’s hard for me to be deeply involved. I’ve hurt some feelings. None of the father-figures in my life have been trust-worthy, from my father on down. They have all been liars and cheaters. I was even told that “All men cheat” by several men. At one time, this made me question why any woman would want to deal with men at all. But in my family, I have found some good men and bad. This was more than I could say about the women in me life…

However, as I grow into a mature adult, I realize there are ways to resolve my relationships with the genders, and thus humanity. I’ve thrown myself into studying the genders. I’ve found that both genders have a lot to work on in order to iron out the kinks created by the ignorance of our ancestors.

I am determined to create a brighter future for women who want more out of life, who want to strengthen their self-esteem and confidence. I am determined to look at woman-hood as something to be proud of. What I wanted to know most, what I needed to resolve in my heart, is whether our bodies limit us truly, or whether we are as capable as men?

Through the Ladies First book, I’ve seen women with large families…and yet they have still done great things. Many of these women have had husbands, have lived hard, simple lives, and have had much opposition. Did it stop them? No. If they didn’t let anything stop them, what stopped my mother? What is stopping women now? Nothing.

I’ve realized that all of woman’s obstacles has made woman a strong gender. She is responsible, driven, and practical. She is capable of many things, despite her own weaknesses. I realize that this marginalized position gives women the chance to do great things. Where a white man will just be labeled the first person if he is, a woman can be the first person and the first WOMAN. Men will only be recognized if they are first. But if a woman does it first, and a man does it second, he won’t be recognized as the first man to do anything. I know this sounds unfair, but it just shows us that maybe men are not so lucky after all, even if most of them feel lucky. Her obstacles truly makes her worthy of respect when she achieves something because we know how hard it must have been for her. 😉 So much so when this woman is of a marginalized ethnicity. This is why I now appreciate my woman-hood.

But there is always room for improvement. Perhaps there is more women could be doing.

What is Stopping Women Today?

1) Child-birth

The greatest excuse women have is having children. Many women give up their goals when they begin to start a family. And hey, some women choose a new passion in life. And that’s alright. But why is it that men always continue their careers after they have families? This doesn’t apply to all women, but a good number. I will give an example. Lacy from the band Flyleaf was the lead vocalist. She made the band as great as it is today. The moment she got pregnant, what did she do? She quit the band. She gave up her career. If she’d have been a man, a new baby wouldn’t have stopped her. And heck, there are a lot of celebrities who have children, but still continue their careers, like Beyonce. I know raising children is a hard job as it is. But I don’t think it’s any harder for women than men. Men have it built in their mind-sets that they have to provide for their families. That should be built in a woman’s mind-set, too. Even if you have a husband who takes care of you, you have to think of “eventualities”. I know it’s scary to think about, but sudden deaths and lay-offs occur. If you haven’t developed a skill, how will you continue to help your family survive when the Mr. can’t? It’s something to think about. Single mothers, you are capable of so much. It’s amazing that you are the main provider as it is. Still, ladies, don’t let it limit you from shooting for great.

2) Physical Appeal

Ladies, I know appearance is important to a certain degree, but it isn’t everything. Women need to actually stop focusing on their appearance, and yes, risk losing the interest of their partner. We were not born glamorous. We were not born fake. Don’t take away the beauty you were born with by obsessing over looks. You will expose the real man when you show the real you. These music celebrities focus so much on their appearance. They dress up in glamorous clothes and make-up and this influences young girls to think that appearances are important. It’s alright to do this. It’s not wrong, it just doesn’t give girls many options in the world. I think other professions should be promoted more in the home, on the internet, and on t.v. screens.

3) Traditional Viewpoints

There are still women out here who believe that a woman’s place is at home, taking care of babies, and in the kitchen. I was watching Wife Swap on Lifetime the other day, and I just couldn’t believe there were so many women who believed women should be at home, while the man should be a “man” and work. Well, in my opinion, a man who stays home with the kids has just as much of a job as a man working with the public. And I feel if it makes a man less valuable, it should make a woman less valuable if she sits on her butt all day, too. After all, a human at home is no different, no matter the gender. If you belittle a man who stays at home, wouldn’t that mean you are belittling most women who stay at home? But that’s a subject for another day…

There are also women out here who throw me the bull-crap that women are more nurturing, and thus they have to give up their careers when they have children. They believe it’s the woman’s job to bond with the kids. I disagree. It’s BOTH parents responsibility to bond with the children, but it’s also BOTH parents’ responsibility to house, clothe, and feed their children. Some women want to be spoiled and pampered like children while men never get to experience such privileges. And many of these women don’t appreciate their “servants” aka men. This is coming from one episode on Mom Swap that sickened me. This spoiled rich lady had her husband bring her breakfast in bed. He did all the cooking, all the cleaning, and he worked. And all she did was shop, whine, and boss her husband around! She acted like a child! I couldn’t even believe she was an adult! And she thought her life was so hard because she had to spend time with her daughters…

4) Laziness

This brings up my next point. Some of these women today are just plain lazy. They would rather let the men invent everything and they just enjoy the ride. Women are too tired to work their brains.

OVERALL,

What’s missing in our world are women who have the guts that the women in this book have. The ability to dare. As modern as it’s supposed to be, feminism has only been an idea. I have yet to see any women today stepping up and trying to push the envelope. Where are our inventors? Where are our modern women who have an imagination that thinks larger than our existence? Where are our women who push for the respect of the world?

Hopefully, in the future, we see a female topping Apple products. I hope to see a woman create a major video game title. I hope to see a woman burst out her “inner child” and create a more advanced future. Perhaps that woman could be me. I want to do more, just as I’m encouraging others to.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about modern feminism and progress. If you know any modern women who have made the same differences, please tell me them and I will take back what I have said. Though I’m still pushing for more women to do great things. Walk the walk, don’t be about talk.

Is Frozen a Feminist Movie or a Sexist Movie?

12 Jun

frozen

I know. It has been, what, six months since Frozen arrived in theaters? And yes, people are still talking about this movie. I recently just heard “Let it go” on the radio.

Frozen has received surprisingly positive reception and has walked away with an Academy, Golden Globe, and Oscar Award, despite the severe plot holes, unintelligent lyrics, and half-done character development. What’s going on with today’s critics? Did Disney promise them a piece of the pie? Or did the beautiful animation blind them to the fact that this was a poorly written story? It’s no wonder we put little faith in any of these award shows anymore…

https://soratothamax.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/disneys-frozen/

That aside…

Frozen is also getting all kinds of attention for being a modern iconic movie that promotes feminism. This movie is getting all kinds of attention for doing something “different for women and Disney” when it is just that: different…as in, the first sexist movie ever to come out for female children. And different isn’t always good.

Here were some of the reasons some people have claimed this movie to be a symbol of “feminism” in comparison to Disney’s former movies:

1) There are two strong female characters in the movie who have goals and dreams, unlike Disney’s other characters.

2) Anna bravely searches for her sister instead of sitting back letting a man save her sister.

3) Elsa becomes queen without having to marry a man.

4) Anna decides who she truly wants to marry instead of being betrothed.

5) Frozen teaches girls not to fall in love with the first idiot (usually in the form of man) that comes along.

6) Frozen shows the world that women don’t need a lover (usually a man) to provide their icky kisses in order to save the day. The “day” can be saved by someone else who loves her (preferably a woman, and preferably a family member).

While many of these ideas are good in theory, and encourage girls to be smarter in choosing boyfriends in the future, or rather, not to date so soon at all, this movie doesn’t exactly push REAL feminist values.

Though I do think it’s important for all children to be a little more realistic when choosing mates…That also includes boys.

To add, many of these points just aren’t valid. Disney has only had two, yes TWO, Disney heroines who relied on a kiss to wake them up. The other heroines worked hard. In fact, Cinderella worked harder than Anna and Elsa ever could. She wasn’t born into nobility. Sure, she seemed to rely on a man to get out of her poor situation, but Anna relied on Kristoff to get up an ice mountain…

The other heroines like Belle, Princess Jasmine, Esmeralda, Kida, and even Meg were all feisty, brave, and intelligent. All of them were independent. Esmeralda saved Quasimodo. Meg was a bit of an anti-heroine, which Elsa failed to be…Belle read books (which Anna seemed to do little of). Princess Jasmine was much more cautious in love than Anna was. And Esmeralda, Meg, and Jasmine both conveyed as much sex appeal as Elsa did when she decided to “slit” up her dress…

Tiana worked hard and helped her Prince out of financial debt. In exchange, he helped her get her restaurant. It was a fair exchange. Mulan was never saved by anyone! Neither was Ariel! Ariel was bright, intelligent, and curious. To add, she also saved her prince. So what are people talking about?

I think it’s because Elsa is the first “emo” character. Maybe that’s what it is.

What is feminism?

Feminism has been misconstrued in today’s society. Many people today think feminism is the idea that women can do any and everything better than men. People think feminists carry the idea that women don’t need men at all. Many people think feminists HATE men. This is because many women who are bitter or angry with men have come to hate men (especially if they were in a poor relationship with a man). Many of them thus end up forming SEXIST generalizations about men, and then end up hiding behind the label “feminist”. But it makes it bad for the real feminists.

Here’s an example of someone who has misconstrued what feminism means:

Time magazine (and other magazines) asked Shailene Woodley (Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, Divergent, and The Fault in Our Stars) if she was a feminist. She stated,

I don’t consider myself a feminist because I love men. I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance. With myself, I’m very in touch with my masculine side. And I’m 50 per cent feminine and 50 per cent masculine, same as I think a lot of us are. And I think that’s important to note.

Yahoo article on Shailene’s objection to feminism

See how confused Shailene is? And based on the comments, other people are confused, too. Many aren’t, but understand why she wouldn’t WANT to be one. I can understand, too. Feminism has come to mean something totally different from what it used to mean. It’s no wonder people step away from the word as if even the word is a monster.

Dictionary definition-Feminism-the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

So feminism is not believing that women can do everything better or without men. It’s the belief that women should be given the exact same opportunities to do the same things as men (whether they try and succeed or try and fail, as long as they are given a fair shot). It is the belief that the two genders are EQUAL. And as one Yahoo writer points out, it also benefits men. In a feminist situation, men will not think they have to have the jobs all the time. It introduces the idea that a man can stay at home, cook, and clean for a change. Or places can open up on dance teams and cheer-leading teams for boys…Though boys started cheer-leading in the first place…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheerleading

So, if we look at feminism as being equal to men, would we really say Frozen is advocating equality to men, or is it promoting female chauvinism? Chauvinism: The idea that one gender is superior to another.

A Lack of Male Character Development

It’s alright to say women don’t always need men, because yes, women are capable of taking care of themselves if they choose to be single. But Frozen takes this concept to a different level. We do need each other to a certain degree. We both live in this world. Ideas that promote the uselessness of a man is just as damaging as making men out to be Gods…

If a man went around saying, “I don’t need no woman”, he would be labeled a misogynist…But back to Frozen.

There are only three supposedly “important” male characters in the whole movie, and a couple of male trolls. Not one of them are important to the story. All of them are useless.

Kristoff is simply in the story to serve as a lover and to be the chauffeur for Anna (which she could’ve taken herself on her own journey up the mountain, if she was so “strong”). He was a card-board box character that didn’t need to exist. Doesn’t that sound exactly like how women “of the old days” were portrayed? Oh, but then, we complained that it was sexist. Is making Kristoff a useless lover in a traditional male role (ice lifter, because men are so “strong”…) ANY different? He has no family, no interesting back-story or dreams, and when he could have served a purpose, he failed to do so (knowing about the Anna incident but doing nothing about it…).

Then the other male character is an evil, selfish, douche who’s only goal was to improve trade relations. He was the weakest villain ever, and he only served to teach Anna that men are pigs and only care about themselves. Even if, from a woman’s perspective, this is true, it doesn’t make it any less sexist. Sexist movies in the past, despite everyone’s beliefs, took three turns: women would either be useless, objectified, or absolutely evil.

Look at the 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s , and even 1960’s movies. They Drive By Night, DetourThe Ten Commandments, and Gone with the Wind all portrayed women as absolutely evil and no good. Most movies had a “vamp-like” character in them. It made men respect women even less. It made men think of women as conniving, wooing snakes, only bent on power. Isn’t that the EXACT same message Frozen gives to women about MEN? Is the movie not also portraying a man as a snake only focused on power? Come to think of it, so did Maleficent. So what do you think it’s doing to the young female mind?

But then, it was called “sexist”. Now that the roles have switched, we want to call them “feminist”.

And that dumb snowman, Olaf, was it? He served absolutely no purpose but to provide cheesy comic relief, as did the male trolls and the horse. Similar to the female friend in Thor.

If you want to send a message that women don’t need men, why don’t you just OMIT the men altogether? In fact, this story would’ve been way better without them. Kristoff was such a distraction, the true bond between Anna and Elsa barely evolved. The villain was thrown in at the last minute because, oh darn, Disney changed Christian Andersen’s story so badly, they lost their only villain: The actual SNOW QUEEN.

So no, this movie isn’t a feminist movie, it is sexist.

And while we’re at it, let us have Anna punch Hans in the face. Imagine if that scene was replaced with a man. We would’ve thought this movie was misogynist, even if the woman was a psycho. How is punching a man, when he’s never touched her, making her equal to a man? It just makes her abusive and volatile. Tell me, if a lady “played” a guy for his money (similar to what Hans tried to do to Anna), do you think he should punch her? No? Why not? It seemed to go over well when Anna did it.

SEXIST POINTS

How else can you tell the movie is sexist? Because both men and women can’t enjoy this film. It is NOT equal in direction or presentation. This film is bent on making men feel bad about who they are, and making women feel vindicated. Feminism’s goal is to help women earn a man’s respect, and vice versa. How can a man respect this film when it’s girlish at the core, but puffs out sexist views while it’s at it?

For example:

1) Elsa proves how free she is by (obviously) doing what she always wanted to do: Put on a pretty, sparkly, sexy dress, and decorate her home, like the average traditional woman would do. This same “freedom” also causes her to leave her kingdom and her sister destitute. Instead of setting things right and taking responsibility for her actions (like Disney’s male characters would’ve done), she is forced to go back to the kingdom in chains. No, she didn’t go off on an adventure to explore the world or try to figure out if there were others like her. Oh no. She decorated a home and wore a new dress.

Let-IT-go-Disney-660x330

2) Anna dreams of romance, dancing at a ball, and dressing in fancy clothes…which is traditionally feminine, too.

Thanks for representing Venus, the epitome of traditional femininity...

Thanks for representing Venus, the epitome of traditional femininity…

3) Anna is still basically saved by Kristoff because apparently she couldn’t find the ice mountain by herself…without a man’s help.

4) Anna and Elsa have pretty dolls on the shelves, while Kristoff’s toys look just as boring as ever. And how many outfits do you think he comes with? Oh, I forgot. They made him the “stereotypical male” who doesn’t care about his appearance AT ALL. So Equal.

disney-store-frozen-classic-kristoff-doll-profile

5) Most of this story is spent on Anna and Kristoff’s relationship. Only 29 minutes and 43 seconds were spent focusing on Elsa, out of 106 minutes! Anna and Elsa had very little interaction with one another, and yet, we were supposed to believe this was a sister story? This is still a movie focusing on the traditional feminine genre of romance. Despite his romantic role, Kristoff is still a pointless figure. If only this story had a clear goal…

6) While the movie was trying to push a message meant to encourage girls not to fall in love “at first sight”, the movie’s message was contradictory. It was ridiculous that Anna only knew Hans for a couple of hours, thought she was in love, and entrusted her whole kingdom to him. We knew that was going to end badly. But crap, she only knew Kristoff for a day, and also claimed to be “in love”. What’s the very difference?

7) Having a woman or man save the girl is no better if the damsel-in-distress is STILL A FEMALE.

There are some other points mentioned here: Frozen Review

I know feminism isn’t the idea of breaking all traditional rules or anything (though lately people seem to think that’s what it represents). It’s the idea that men and women are created equally, which may break some rules, but not all.

But if that’s the case, what’s so wrong with having the loving man in your life kiss you to save the day, especially if he has done nothing else in the whole film? That does nothing different than a girl using superficial pretty dresses and home decorations to represent her freedom, neither does it do anything different when it comes to a woman wishing and dreaming to dance at a ball. It also doesn’t make a difference whether a male or a female saves the girl. The female is still acting “in distress”. She’s still being saved by someone.

There is no way a little boy can learn about feminism from this film. This movie won’t help men understand women or respect them. Rather it sends the sort of message that makes men hate them, fear them, be bored, or confused by them. This is why most of the people who hate this movie are male. Again, how is this movie feminist? How does this movie prove that women are indeed equal to men, and not above them? Is this movie showing men that women are just like them, or is this movie placing distinct differences between the genders? Sounds more sexist to me. This movie is the epitome of female chauvinism.

10 Reasons Frozen Can Never Equal a Man’s Movie

While this movie thinks it’s doing something by trying to equal men, the only thing equal about this movie is the success of the movie. Sure, it has the same box office success as most animated films where males are the main characters, but that’s where the equality ends.

Most movies geared to men have several factors that Frozen is missing:

1) Long adventures with many obstacles, and then a huge fight with a villain

Does Frozen have that? No. They barely even have a villain. And then, the “villain” is so weak, it’s almost as if he could be broken in two by Elsa. I guess women only deserve a villain that can’t do much harm. After all, they are women. A huge action-fighting scene can’t POSSIBLY be in a girl’s movie…

Really, Hans isn’t even the villain. He is a weak antagonist. A minor adversary. There is a difference.

Definition of villain: a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot.

Hans was not the important evil agency in this plot because he was not the main obstacle throughout the whole movie. Elsa was.

Definition of antagonist: a person who is opposed to, struggles against, or competes with another; opponent; adversary.

Really, Elsa is the deuteragonist of the story, and she acted as both villain AND heroine. She is the person who froze the land, ran away as if she didn’t care to fix it, and sent an ice monster to attack her sister, Anna, the true main character of the story.

2) Male movie “anti-heroes” don’t play the victim

The “half” antagonist in this movie, who we usually call the “anti-hero”, Elsa, proved to be a victim. Elsa’s “evil powers” did little damage beyond bringing snowmen to life and prettifying her new castle. Whoopy, she “accidentally” almost kills her sister, though all the love in the world could’ve broken that spell a long time ago. And who cares if the land was covered in ice in the summer? Their main export is ice! Another sappy character, playing the victim. Doesn’t happen to males.

3) Men always have ladies as prizes in the end of their movies

While women may not like this point, equalizing a man’s movie would mean having a man as the prize for once. Does Frozen have a man as the prize for once? No. Men never portray themselves as having total and complete independence, like they don’t need a woman at all, but rather portray women as a goal or a prize to be won. How many female movies do that? I can think of one, but I’ll save it for last…

Frozen has copped out on the idea, “I’m so helpless when a man is around, that I’ll have to make a man completely unimportant to feel more important”. Have women fallen to the idea that they only have two options: I’m either saved by a man and useless, or I’ll do everything myself without any man at all? There are other options, you know: You can save the man…

Or maybe Disney was too busy focusing on rising above the reputation they’ve been stamped with. They have the reputation of presenting the idea that women need men in order to “get things done”. Though, how Frozen proves otherwise, with Kristoff leading the way for Anna, is beyond me.

4) Men usually risk their lives for a damsel, often putting themselves in harm’s way

Did any Frozen female characters do this? No, they mostly risked their lives for each other. But the man was just…there…for whatever reason. How did Anna show Kristoff that he was special to her? What sacrifices did she make for him? She did nothing. Why was he there again?

And again, the female was the one in distress. Not surprising.

5) Men usually do fall in love at first sight of a beautiful figure

While women may not like this point, to equal a man’s story, and make it truly a little different, why not have a woman fall head over heels over a man’s beauty…and him still be a great guy? Again, only one movie equalizes this point…

6) Male characters are usually losers who prove themselves to the world through courageous acts

In movies where males are the main characters, the males are usually looked at as losers who show the world that they are brave, courageous, and can protect others.

While Elsa could’ve done this, all she did was prove to herself that her powers were helpful, but she wasn’t courageous or brave about it. She only fixed the mess she made. What feat did she conquer other than her own inner demons? Elsa isn’t even considered the main character. Anna is, and she was never looked at as a loser, and so never had to prove herself.

7) Male movies are starting to portray better female role models

The Matrix, Harry Potter, How to Train Your Dragon, it doesn’t matter. They all have good, strong women in their movies, and most of the villains are male. They don’t make women seem like evil arse-wholes.

But Frozen, quite frankly, does that to men.

8) A Male’s goal is usually to gain honor, fame, or respect

Frozen follows the same old female tradition of setting love and a good social status as a goal. Another “social status” flick, like any other catered to women.

9) Male characters focus less on the fashion or their charm, and more on their worth as human beings

Females focus too much on trying to charm a crowd and look “prettiful”. Yes, I know it’s not a word. Anna’s greatest quality is her charm. Anything beyond that…pointless to discuss. Elsa obviously loves to charm us in pretty gowns.

10) Male protagonists usually make mistakes and suffer consequences

In male movies, even the protagonists make mistakes, and have to suffer consequences. Example: Hercules wouldn’t listen to Phil when he was trying to tell him about Meg.

Anna and Elsa are just victims. Elsa never apologizes for anything she does, though she froze her whole kingdom and didn’t even care what happened to her sister.

Disney’s Breakout

With all of the above mentioned, it makes you wonder why people really look at Disney as breaking from their traditional ways of doing things, when they really haven’t. Their female characters still wear pretty dresses meant to sell merchandise. That will be the day when their female main character looks plain, drab, ordinary, or ugly…

And why is Frozen looked at as the first movie to break from social norms out of all of Disney’s movies? The only truly feminist movie I’ve seen is Mulan. Oh, but maybe she’s too Chinese to be considered an actual feminist…Or maybe these kids today are too young to remember her…

No, I know what it is. She wasn’t wearing a dress like a normal girl, and didn’t act like a normal girl. Wait, isn’t what we consider “normal” similar to what is traditional?

Maybe it’s because it didn’t pass the Bechdel test

Or maybe it’s because she finds a nice guy in the end…

But her movie fits all of the above standards for being just like a boy’s movie!

Mulan equals the boys in every way. 

mulan

1) She starts off as a loser, and earns her honor, fame, and respect, much like the boys usually do.

2) She wants to bring honor to her father, not her mother, and follow in his footsteps.

3) She also chose her own romantic partner, and got to know him much more than Anna did Kristoff (which was still love at first sight because Anna only knew Kristoff for one day). And yes, Shang was a physical hunk. He was very much objectified and loved for his beauty.

4) She saved a whole country, much like most men do, rather than just one single person.

5) Her villain was a fearsome war leader. And though, yes, he was an evil male, he didn’t suddenly become the villain because he broke her heart. He was generally the enemy of the whole freaking clan, including the men of the land. As the saying goes, a good story is as good as the villain…

6) She defeated a whole army, all by herself!

7) She actually sacrificed for and saved a man, not another weak female character, getting a battle wound in the process.

8) Mulan made some serious mistakes. She lied about her identity, stole her father’s armor, and ran away from home. But she recognized her mistakes and made up for them.

9) Very little merchandising can come from this movie, much like in male movies. Unless girls want to buy her armor…

She honestly has one pretty dress. Most of Mulan’s playsets consist of war materials and a tent.

10) In the end, she wins her prize: Her man, much like male movies…

11) All of the males had personalities, not just Mulan, and all of the main characters helped Mulan defeat the villain. They were all useful in some way.

12) Mulan never dreamed of love, romance, freedom, lots of fancy clothes, none of the traditional female hopes and dreams. She dreamed of finally knowing where she belonged and honoring her father (much like Hercules).

So, Mulan equals the movies usually geared toward males. And guess what? Mulan earns the respect of males. It is a gender-neutral story that people of both genders can enjoy. There are more males who consider Mulan a better movie than Frozen. And I’m talking about adult men. They can enjoy this movie and still respect women. When they see Mulan, they see that a woman’s feelings, ideas, desires, hopes, and dreams are no different from theirs. They realize that women are capable of taking down a whole army, surviving a brutal military camp, making their fathers proud, and taking a pursuant role in a relationship by impressing a man with her strength, instead of using her particular charms or her beauty.

Frozen does none of that. While Frozen shows men that women are brave because they can go on adventures to save their sisters, they fail to show that they can find directions on their own and survive a deadly forest without the assistance of a male to escort them. While these women have goals, hopes, and dreams, they don’t seem to mirror the same hopes and dreams as males. They are indeed traditionally feminine in nature. And of course they can’t make their fathers proud, they are orphans…

But does that mean they can’t impress men with their strength instead of their beauty? Anna is simply a pretty figure with a charming personality at the ball when she falls for Hans, even if she was a little quirky. Though Elsa doesn’t have a love interest, she never fails to dazzle the audience with her elegant gown in the solo “Let it Go”, possibly to appeal to the eyes of future toy consumers. Why else would she change her clothes?…Yet, she didn’t use that freedom to go explore the world…Or find others like herself…Or read some books…

So, that’s my spin on this feminist issue.

Women, don’t use feminism as a means to gain power, it’s not right, even if you feel vindicated.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

The “Gun Trend” is Going to Limit Freedom in the United States

15 Dec

This article, like many others, is about the  shootings that have happened at Virginia Tech, Arizona about a year ago, the shootings that happened in a movie theater in Colorado, and the shootings that happened at an elementary school in Connecticut. The shooting at Virginia Tech claimed 32 college students. The shooting in Tucson, Arizona claimed 13 innocent people (the mildest of all the others, but still frightening). The shooting at the movie theater in Colorado claimed 12 people, including children. And now the elementary school shooting claimed 28 lives, 20 of them small children. Many others were wounded, some critically. What do these shootings have in common? All of them were done by young males between the ages of 18-27.

This article will discuss some possible causes and influences, why the killings occurred so easily, and what is going to be done or what should be done about this. I will address some controversial things that, in my honest opinion, are being ignored for the sake of “freedom to have a good time”. This might be a long article. So just scroll down to points that may interest you.

Possible Influences and Causes

All of these young males give Americans a reason to question today’s youth. While they are considered grown-up by the court of law, their actions prove their immature decision making processes and their lack of control of their emotions. Because of these young men, Americans don’t trust their own sons or any young males for that matter. They are afraid to have sons as children, afraid they’ll turn out like those men shooting others. What is wrong with our young males of today? They seem to lack any compassion whatsoever. They are stubborn and always think they are right. They are arrogant, and feel that nothing can stop them. They are delusional and radical, and take their own opinions on matters too far. It’s not just in the minds of these young men, but also I see it everywhere on youtube. If I try to comment on a young man’s video, and if I disagree, he becomes hostile and aggressive. Who are the ones teaching our young men that aggression makes a real man? Compared to women, men have been killing on a much larger scale. And this is not all men. But tell me, how many men enjoy the thrill of a good video game of shooting?

1. Video Games and Movies

violent video ge

That brings me to my point. Sure, most people are going to argue that video games and movies don’t make someone kill another person. It’s their “own decision”. It’s funny how most of the people who argue this point are young males between the ages of 18-30, the same age as the mentioned killers.  While yes, all of us are responsible for our own decisions, and not everyone goes out and kills another person because he watches a violent movie or plays a violent video game, Americans should not ignore their influence either. Seeing reality is recognizing that everything in our immediate environment influences the mind and our decision making, if even to a small degree. While I feel movies and video games might have been loosely linked to most reasons for murdering, they must be considered. Video games and movies play some role even if we don’t realize it. Americans must wake up, smell the coffee, get out of their illusion that they just want to have a good time, and start thinking about these things seriously. The reason some Americans don’t want to admit that video games or movies affect the mind is because, of course, they don’t want restrictions on these items. That’s the reality. That makes them avoid facing this video game weakness of theirs squarely in the face, and questioning things. People are afraid to question themselves and their weaknesses. And while I love video games and movies as much as the next person, as you probably can tell, even I have to consider how these games and movies are affecting me. That’s called insight. One must consider everything as a possibility.

How can movies and video games influence our decision making? While it doesn’t make us angry enough to kill someone, video games and movies give people ideas. It shows that Americans have a serious love of violence. And too many people are bent on showing how “tough” they are, and not appearing weak. That influence comes from the illusion movies have set out: real men take up guns and destroy the people that hurt them (even if that hurt is imaginary in real life, and could possibly be a misunderstanding). James Holmes, inspired from the Joker, decided to dress like a clown and use his inspiration to create a creative massacre. Now he’s famous. If someone is already aggressive, video games make them more aggressive. Video games and movies also educate our young boys on how to use guns, the names of guns, and where guns can be found. Video games and movies look so realistic nowadays, that young boys don’t gather the concept that none of this is real, and that if you imitate the behavior there will be consequences. In fact, over half of the males act like they don’t care about the consequences. That’s even worse. Movies and video games glamorize violence, men who don’t like authority and/or don’t trust it, and they make violence and murder look easy. Very few protagonists in movies today are real “heroes”. Also, the type of video games and movies one watches says a lot about a person. Question: Would it have been more likely for James Holmes to go watch Brave and shoot up that theater instead of Batman? Highly unlikely. The movie was so psychotic, it attracted crazies. If you feel that your child is too attracted to violence, I suggest you research a future in the military. At least there, he can put it to constructive use.

2. Lack of Spirituality

anti-religion

Most of the males nowadays lack a spiritual backing. All of the males mentioned above hated religions. Hmmm…I hate to say it, but they are giving atheists a bad reputation. With no moral guidance, and the idea that religions are too “controlling” and “brainwashing”, who is guiding them? While religions may not be true, and many of them do sound like myths, to add they have often caused more bloodshed, the purpose of religion is to establish a sense of order, compassion, sense of righteousness, and love for one’s fellow other. Even if you don’t follow an organized religion, there are some things in the Bible that can be useful to read. The ability to put faith and hope in something makes the future look less bleak and it makes one’s spirit positive. That’s the whole reason why religions exist. Not because they are always true, but because they make people happy and uplift people’s spirits. While prayers may not actually give you blessings, and you may not really be talking to anyone but the sky, it helps people get their frustrations out when they have no one else to talk to. While religion may seem like one great big illusion, everything is if you let it take you too far. Conspiracy Theories can be illusions, and can even become delusions if we let it take control. And hey, I’d rather be in the illusion that there’s a God that promotes peace, then a violent video game or movie that tells me I’m never safe. Illusions of a positive kind are healthy for the mind. People don’t often see the usefulness of illusions, and why we need it as humans. We are all brainwashed. That’s how we learn. No one would know how to talk if we weren’t. Someone taught us to talk the language we speak. It’s a brainwash and an assimilation. People are going to have to face that fact one day.

3. Parental Guidance and Child-rearing

parental guidance

This is the part where most parents say, “Don’t tell me how to raise my kid. I know what’s best.” In the case of the above killers, maybe a little help would’ve been useful. There used to be a time the whole neighborhood acted as a parent. I work as a teacher (so you can imagine the killings in Connecticut to be frightening for me), and I see all day long how students are spoiled, pampered, protected, and believed, while the teacher is just an enemy that’s not watching over their child correctly and is simply “picking” on their child. Apparently, to most parents, teachers don’t know their child best. However, most teachers know what your child is doing when you aren’t around. A teacher is able to observe a child’s peer relations, and can see where a child is headed sometimes long before the parents can. Not to say there aren’t any cases where teachers aren’t right (as the above Connecticut shootings were done by a teacher’s son), but most teachers carry the responsibility that parents do…for at least six hours, every day, and with at least 15 other kids. It’s like having 15 children to discipline, instruct, and nurture, especially if the child has no parental figure in the home. What I see, is that children often lack discipline nowadays.

When I say discipline, I don’t mean spankings when they talk back to mommy, or a “go to your room” when they don’t do chores, or a “grounding” if they get poor grades. I mean raising your child to say please and thank you, making that child responsible for keeping their things in order and in good condition, being polite to others, learning to take responsibility for all actions good or bad, making sure the child feels remorse for what they do, spending time with children to see where their minds are at, self-control (which is key), rewarding only when they behave positively, and teaching your child right from wrong. Discipline happens before punishment. Parents should even teach the law to their kids. It’s never too early to teach a child anything. Rules  in the home are helpful. Parents should uphold these rules, and show no leniency on them. Then children can see that they can’t just do whatever they like. There are ways to discpline a child without being physical, and many ways the alternatives are more effective. Like in the case with those boys bullying that lady on the bus a couple of months ago. The parents should’ve made their children apologize in person. Those parents were crying how their “children were embarrassed enough” and only one wrote an apology letter, and they wrote it themselves! I would think they would’ve made sure the child got embarrassed. It would’ve be their greatest lesson in life. I would’ve made the child write the apology letter. But no. Parents decide to protect a naughty child instead of making them take responsibility.

Some parents teach their children some pretty unimportant things. It’s good to talk about sex, money matters, and teaching your kid to stand up for himself, but how about you teach your child to avoid conflict altogether? Guess what? Adam Lanza’s mother, the murderer of the Connecticut school children, taught her son defend himself with guns. Look what happened. Violence should never occur, I don’t care what the circumstances. How much money you want to bet that all of the above killers, when they were children, were taught that if someone messed with them, and they beat the fool out of the person messing with them, they wouldn’t get in trouble because they were being bullied?Parents allow children to throw tantrums and disrupt the class because someone is bullying him. One boy threw a desk at a boy who was bullying him. But he almost hurt all the other students! And that’s probably what happened with these grown men. They intended to kill the target, lost control, and killed innocent lives. To add, some kids lie and say they’re being bullied when they’re doing the bullying. They shed crocodile tears to get their point across. So teaching a child to stand up for himself is only good advice if he recognizes that every little thing that offends him does not call for him standing up for himself. Sometimes, they can be misunderstandings. One girl in my class thought another girl was teasing her, but I was having a conversation with the accused girl when it happened. The girl was talking about herself!

Some of the parents doing the raising lack discipline. They are not good role models, like Ms. Lanza. The kids of those parents usually end up depressed and mentally ill. There are some cases where parents are very good, and their child is still awful. In this case, it’s best for parents to spend extra time and energy towards helping their child develop a conscience by consequences that are severe, but not always brutal or physical.

Another issue is that many parents give large gifts on Christmas and birthdays even when their child is bad! For these parents, Christmas and birthdays are “status symbol” times. They want their kids to be stylish and to represent them financially. But they don’t realize that they are rewarding a naughty child for their behavior. In this case, a child doesn’t care if it’s acting bad. He’s just going to wait until Christmas or birthday to get everything he wants. Children should be punished for bad behavior even on Christmas and birthdays. While this may sound harsh, try it and see how effective it is. A naughty child doesn’t deserve a luxurious party flowing with gifts. The child should receive small gifts that he needs (like those notebooks he conveniently couldn’t find in school, and pencils that he loses and has you purchase all the time, etc). I call these “punishment gifts”. Before Christmas and birthdays, parents should make an extra attempt to contact a teacher or any other babysitter to see how their child is performing. That should be the deciding factor. The other sad thing is many parents bribe their children to do what they ask with treats. That’s not going to make a kid do it, that’s going to make them act worse to get your attention!

Parents really have to be aware that they are instructing their children to respect authority properly. This is the challenge. Statistics show that most people do not have a good relationship with their own bosses at work.  Many males don’t trust police or government figures. Therefore, many parents don’t teach their children to respect authority. However, this is of utmost importance. When children learn to respect authority, they learn to respect not only their parents in their teen years, but the laws and rules set up by authority. While many government officials can be crooked, laws like no stealing, no killing, and no drinking while driving can still be useful. Did you know that following laws are a part of respecting authority? We all have someone to answer to, whether you want to or not. That should be your lesson. This also ensures that children can hold a job. Most of the criminals above were fired from their jobs because they couldn’t follow the rules.

Parents shouldn’t promote violence by buying their child violent video games. If the rating on a game is rated “M” for mature, you better make sure your child is mature enough to play it. Parents often buy the games for themselves and let the children play it sometimes!

While parents should be honest with their children when raising them, this does not equal being straightforward and gruesome.

Parents should spend time with their kids, talk to them about how school went, ask them about their friends, get involved in their interests. Don’t always talk to them when they need a lecture, but when they need a friend. Try to do things with your kids, and do something that they would like sometimes. For many parents, it’s harder to do this when children reach teen years. But every effort should be made, if not moreso, at that time. Teens are confused creatures. They struggle to fit in and develop a social life.

I don’t want to be a “finger-wagger”, but I feel that some of these parental issues lead to murderers in the near future if not to a loose extent. Fathers should take extra special care that they don’t shirk their responsibilities as a parent, and that they teach their sons not to be so aggressive. You might be afraid of him becoming feminine, but which is worse? Becoming “gay” or becoming a murderer? If you say gay, you have mental issues yourself. Most children who are not taught to be aggressive actually are least likely to act more feminine. Fathers who pressure their sons to be extremely masculine often discourage their sons from being masculine even more.

Adam Lanza’s dumb mother introduced her autistic son to her gun collection. Poor parenting right in the face. And where was his father? In another town. Good job parents. No wonder the boy had issues. His mother’s poor parenting contributed to the murdering of innocent little children.

4. The Economy

children-of-9-11

Most of the young males above were what most people call The 9/11 Generation of Children. That event made their young worlds seem scary and lonely. The generation is of an angry, bitter kind, distrustful, and anti-social. I should know, I’m among that generation. This is the youngest generation of males to experience the largest increase in anti-depressions. This is also the first generation that entered into the adult years without the opportunity of employment due to the economy pitfall a couple of years ago. This means that many young adults in their twenties are still living with their parents. In times before, most young adults in their twenties moved out by age 25. Today, many young ones have no clue when they’ll make enough to move out. This is enough to make anyone depressed.

To add, many aren’t happy with their jobs, and males nowadays are least likely to feel they’ll benefit from a college education. The dropout rate has increased. Many people with a college education are still working in restaurants and retail. And businesses aren’t making it easy for young people without experience to get hired, either, with or without a college degree. While there are more college opportunities, there are not enough jobs. Technology has replaced many jobs. The young males mentioned above had lost their jobs, were still in school and struggling, or not employed or working on an occupation at all.

5. Lack of Love and Compassion

These killers don’t have anyone at home to talk to. This anger that was building up grew out of a lack of understanding from others. People think that insulting these killers will make them regret what they did. But actually, forgiving them has proven to be more effective, as in the case of Gary Ridgeway, the serial killer.

Signs that this person should be watched:

1) He/She starts taking or using an excessive amount of drugs. While most people want to condone drugs, in most court cases they find that killers have done drugs of some kind, whether it’s legal or not.

2) He/She has at least one legal dispute, whether it be a DUI, or even several traffic tickets he/she refuses to pay. These are little signs he/she shows no respect for the law. These were enough to label Lindsay Lohan “messed up”.

3) He/She is hostile and aggressive in a discussion and too much attachment to one belief. No one likes when people disagree with them, but if you can calm down and apologize, or just state “well, that’s your opinion,” then you are healthy. If you have to take it to the next level and tease someone, mock them, try to get a mob on your side, and start getting physical, you need help and no one should discuss things with you. Open-minded people are able to discuss things and learn from anyone. Attachment to one bizarre belief only shows that you can think outside of the box, not that you are open-minded. It also shows rigidity.

4) Lack of employment or dropping out of school is a sign. This gives a person too much time on their hands to think and grow angry. This is the biggest warning alert.

5) He/She owns a gun. I’m leery of anyone who owns a gun.  I don’t care how normal they seem, make a person with a gun angry, and human instinct is to destroy. I don’t trust anyone who owns a gun.

Why the Killings Occurred So Easily

school safety

In most schools and movie theaters, security is very loose. I have yet to see any metal detectors in movie theaters. While my book bag has been checked in one theater before, it has not been checked in others. I hardly see any security guards or police on duty. The back exits also do not have metal detectors. Just about anyone can walk out and, if they put a stopper in the door as in James Holmes’ case, can walk right back in. With all of those people packed in a movie, you would think there would be security in every theater. That would not only give people more jobs, but protect people. Of course, movies have to be able to fund and pay the security guards. That has probably been the challenge all along. I think they should have donation boxes so that people can help tighten security. But then again, how many people are that generous? Very few. They’d rather just be careful.

Schools, especially elementary schools, also don’t have good security. In fact, most schools with little kids don’t have it at all. Most people don’t expect people to harm little children. They also don’t expect little children to bring weapons in school. The expectation is that the principal, teachers, aides, and secretaries protect the children…several unarmed staff who have a degree in teaching and not in self-defense. They are just as vulnerable as children. And just about anyone can claim to be a sibling to someone or a parent. Secretaries are responsible for everyone they let in the building. Secretaries are often lax on their security jobs, just pressing the open button just so the beeping of the doorbell won’t annoy them. And for them, it’s like doing two jobs at once. They have to serve the principal, answer phones, help schedule meetings, talk with parents and students, fill out referrals, and type reports.

The question is, with so many children at stake, why wasn’t there a push for tighter security sooner? The education system has been ignored. Teachers groom all workers into the people they are today, and many have menial salaries. Underpaid teachers in under-protected environments, with high expectations. People who work in theaters are also in the same conditions. They are not in an environment where they feel safe. This violates labor laws. Something has to be done about it. For me, as a teacher, this is an extreme need. I would like to feel safe going to work everyday, and I want to make sure the children are safe, and have an enjoyable learning environment. How can kids love school when they are in fear of it?

What is  Going to be Done about this and What Should Be done

Mass shootings have become a part of the daily news lately. How many more killings will occur before something is done? The government says it’s doing all it can to get more gun control. Well, guess what it hasn’t tried? Outlawing guns. Yes, I’ve said it. And I’m not about limits on freedom. I was one of the main ones against the SOPA and PIPA laws. I’m starting to think the government is considering letting the guns go. People will be very angry, and it might even cause more violence, but if people abuse their freedoms, they no longer deserve it. That is what we teach our kids, and as adults, we should recognize that freedom is a need, but also a privilege. If we take for granted the freedoms that this nation offers, and abuse our rights, we don’t deserve them.

Someone has to teach people a lesson about gun control. To me, the restrictions they have in place are not enough. Outlawing guns may not be enough. But at least the manufacturing of them would cease.

I don’t personally feel they should outlaw guns. I feel they need more laws to have gun control. Sometimes guns can be necessary. I feel guns should be allowed for senior citizens who live alone, police officers, military men, and other government protection without much restriction. But for anyone else, strict laws should be in place. The living conditions should be considered. Does the person have a stable home where they can lock up the gun? Do they have small children? Do they live in an apartment with other people? How many adults are in the home? People think that laws are bad, and they feel laws are pointless because people are “just going to break the law anyway.” But regulations are not there to stop criminals from being criminals, it’s to push authorities to enforce already made laws. Because of some Americans’ ridiculous ideas about how laws shouldn’t exist, most Americans lack self-control, and therefore I wouldn’t be surprised if many became angry enough to kill others. Laws establish order and control. They put a limit on things. Our nation has abused our rights, therefore control must be enforced. That is fair.

My personal ideas on regulation:

If a person has their own home, they must keep it locked up. They should design guns with combinations that only the person who owns it knows. This is if they live alone.

If they live in an apartment, there are usually other people in the same building. Guns give rise to fear and panic to other residents, at the same time, most people are more likely to meet crime in an apartment. This is where laws should be stricter. They should only be allowed to carry one gun, and it should be of a certain kind that can’t kill thousands at once.

If a mother or father lives alone with small children, the child’s safety is the first factor. Children are vulnerable, and often the first victims of crime. However, children like to play with things they shouldn’t. Believe it or not, children are clever, and they learn how to unlock safes and other places where guns are kept quickly. Parents should only be permitted to keep a gun without much restriction only if all of the children are small. With older children, prices should be higher for guns. Make guns expensive and make a license hard to achieve. It should be more difficult than getting a driver’s license. They should take a written test. Other safety measures, like alarms, dogs, and home metal detectors should be in place. Someone should be monitoring children at all times.

If there are more than two adults in the home, the prices should be even higher. With too many adults in one home, this is the greatest risk.

guns don't kill people

The argument that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is weak. What were guns designed for? To paint your toenails? No! Guns were designed for no other reason but to kill someone or something. So guns do kill people. A gun’s only purpose is to kill. What other purpose is there for a gun? It is called a weapon. People manipulate the gun, so without guns, there are no people shooting. Therefore nothing dies by the hands of a gun. People will not die in numbers as they have been doing. A knife can’t kill people in numbers the way a gun can. Even a knife wasn’t designed to kill someone, but to make eating easier. The gun is the second most deadly weapon next to the bomb.

While cars and airplanes can kill people faster than a gun can, it is not designed to kill anyone. They can be used as weapons, but they are not weapons in their own right. And even cars have tight restrictions, and so do airplanes. Not just anyone can get a driver’s license or a piloting license. Airports have really gotten stricter. And most people don’t want to lose their own lives. They are more than likely to respect road laws and air laws than gun laws because most people don’t want to harm themselves, which is what they’d be doing if they didn’t. Guns are always used with the intent on killing. Sometimes people can kill themselves with guns, which I would’ve rather these young men do first. But guns can also kill others in numbers. Even when people die of drugs, they are mostly killing themselves, not other innocent people. The NRA has been very quiet about all of this.

Well, this is my spin on it. It’s sad to see my generation fall to the wayside. Maybe some people might consider it the lost generation. I just hope that in the future, something like this doesn’t happen again. And if it does, on a much smaller scale. My sympathies reach out to the parents. I will be donating to a drive helping those victims. Stay Safe. Beware of copy cat killings. No matter how angry you get, never get violent.

Obama Got Osama

3 May

Scenario:

Obama: yea nigga, I’m a find you. When niggas come around, bullets fly! yea boy! I been in da hood before, I know where that nigga be. I will FIND that nigga, cuz I’m a nigga. Simple as that. (sniff some clues) Oh, I know where that nigga is. He ain’t in no cave. He in the same place all drug dealas is: a million dollar mansion. Yep that’s where all the real niggaz is. (bust down doors of all mansions) (find biggest mansion) (Osama is eatin his peanut butter and jelly)

Osama: Oh…Sh-

Obama: Yea boy! We gotchu now boy! Shoot him! Shoot him! Yea nigga know where nigga reside! (Osama shot up)

Later….

Bush: So Obama how is your presidency going? It was a little bumpy towards the end for me, but I had really popular ideas in the beginning, one of them being tax cuts. What about you?

Obama: I got Osama, yea son! I got Osama. I knew where dat nigga was and his whole fam. Yea son

Bush: wait…you mean you put him in Guantanamo?

Obama: Naw, I killed that nigga, boy!

Bush: You idiot! You weren’t supposed to kill him! You were supposed to make sure he gave us the secrets to the oil! Oh man! You killed my boy! Oh, this country was going to be rich!

Obama: Oh yea, I forgot about that. But nigga had to die cuz he was taking my cousin’s drug ring nah wah I’m saying?

End of Scenario

Okay, that’s a story that was told to me by someone in my class. It’s pretty interesting that Obama was able to get a hold of Obama…I mean, Obama was able to get a hold of Osama…man they’re names are similar.

So tell me, do any of you think this will make Obama’s reelection polls skyrocket? I mean, his popularity was dwindling for a while because it seemed his ideas were a bit unpopular for awhile. But, this seemed to put a smile on many people’s faces. Some people have said one reason Obama was able to get Osama is because most black people know where all the criminals reside (stereotype). Some people said Obama knew where Osama was because Obama was born in a different country (speculation).

So do you think Obama will become more popular? Do you think this boosts his chances of reelection?

What do you think this will mean for national security? Do you think this will anger Osama followers?

Leave your comments and discuss!

Is the Japanese Earthquake as Big of a Deal as Media Makes It?

14 Mar

Of course the Japanese earthquake is a big deal. A major disaster such as an earthquake, with an added Tsunami and nuclear explosion, and several fires equals BIG DEAL.

So why do some people, most of whom live in the U.S., doubt the coverage of this disaster? Some of the comments made, for this disaster and others, are “America made it seem so alarming. It’s not as bad as they make it. Only a few hundred people died. If a thousand people died, then it’s major.” Though most of those people had to swallow their words when one thousand more bodies were recently discovered.

Yet, the question is, when major disasters happen, can we trust our media to give us the true facts about such disasters? True enough, if you’ve been following my wordpress, I personally don’t completely trust the media. The media has a way of exaggerating the truth in order to get a headline article. Possibly, many of the Japanese reports were probably much calmer than American ones. But when is a natural disaster truly a calm issue? Okay, a couple of hundred people died, so it’s not a big deal? That sounds like words coming from the mouth of the spoiled one, one who hasn’t lived in a dangerous environment, and one who doesn’t care. A ‘couple of hundred’ used to be a part of families and friends who have to grieve over the instant lost. And the people left also lost their homes! The way these people had to meet their end is not only painful to the person who died but to those left behind. So I don’t blame the media for doing it’s best to bring it to our attention. Disasters can affect the world and sometimes Americans get so stuck on themselves and the “what about me” attitude that they can’t even show some decent compassion, empathy, or sympathy in a comment section on an MSNBC News articles. About half are arguing over whether they believe God exists or not, like anyone’s personal beliefs matter during a time of consolation. Any good encouragement is welcome whether it is religious or not, I’m sure those who are suffering appreciate it. Even worse is the comments displayed in the above video, where people were even making fun of the child crying!

Another reason many of us can find reason to panic about this issue is the large-scale production of goods we get from Japan and the amount of tourism that comes into Japan. Most people now won’t travel to Japan, and the tourist attraction has declined. Most of the technology we use, from cell phones, video games, to computers, are made in Japan, now imports and exports will backed up for awhile. I also am a big anime fan, as are many, and because of the disaster many broadcasts and show airings were canceled. So this can put something on the minds of the world. This has an affect on the whole world. Before people decide to ignore issues such as this one, or make ignorant comments, think of putting yourself in the nation’s shoes (for once).

When my baby grows up, I wonder if/what/how…..

7 Jan

Ever wonder what your baby will be like in the future? I know most parents try to imagine their baby’s personalities, their future friends, and their future careers. I bet you also might imagine how life might be for them….

Well, Yahoo recently came out with an article called “Things Babies born in 2011 will Never Know”. I never thought about some of the things they mentioned until now:

Video tape: Starting this year, the news stories we produce here at Money Talks have all been shot, edited, and distributed to TV stations without ever being on any kind of tape. Not only that, the tape-less broadcast camera we use today offers much higher quality than anything that could have been imagined 10 years ago — and cost less than the lens on the camera we were using previously.

Travel agents: While not dead today, this profession is one of many that’s been decimated by the Internet. When it’s time for their honeymoon, will those born in 2011 be able to find one?

The separation of work and home: When you’re carrying an email-equipped computer in your pocket, it’s not just your friends who can find you — so can your boss. For kids born this year, the wall between office and home will be blurry indeed.

Books, magazines, and newspapers: Like video tape, words written on dead trees are on their way out. Sure, there may be books — but for those born today, stores that exist solely to sell them will be as numerous as record stores are now.

Movie rental stores: You actually got in your car and drove someplace just to rent a movie?

Watches: Maybe as quaint jewelry, but the correct time is on your smartphone, which is pretty much always in your hand.

mtn.phone.jpg
©Will D/flickr

Paper maps: At one time these were available free at every gas station. They’re practically obsolete today, and the next generation will probably have to visit a museum to find one.

Wired phones: Why would you pay $35 every month to have a phone that plugs into a wall? For those born today, this will be a silly concept.

Long distance: Thanks to the Internet, the days of paying more to talk to somebody in the next city, state, or even country are limited.

Newspaper classifieds: The days are gone when you have to buy a bunch of newsprint just to see what’s for sale.

Dial-up Internet: While not everyone is on broadband, it won’t be long before dial-up Internet goes the way of the plug-in phone.

Encyclopedias: Imagine a time when you had to buy expensive books that were outdated before the ink was dry. This will be a nonsense term for babies born today.

Forgotten friends: Remember when an old friend would bring up someone you went to high school with, and you’d say, “Oh yeah, I forgot about them!” The next generation will automatically be in touch with everyone they’ve ever known even slightly via Facebook.

Forgotten anything else: Kids born this year will never know what it was like to stand in a bar and incessantly argue the unknowable. Today the world’s collective knowledge is on the computer in your pocket or purse. And since you have it with you at all times, why bother remembering anything?

The evening news: The news is on 24/7. And if you’re not home to watch it, that’s OK — it’s on the smartphone in your pocket.

CDs: First records, then 8-track, then cassette, then CDs — replacing your music collection used to be an expensive pastime. Now it’s cheap(er) and as close as the nearest Internet connection.

Film cameras: For the purist, perhaps, but for kids born today, the word “film” will mean nothing. In fact, even digital cameras — both video and still — are in danger of extinction as our pocket computers take over that function too.

Yellow and White Pages: Why in the world would you need a 10-pound book just to find someone?

Catalogs: There’s no need to send me a book in the mail when I can see everything you have for sale anywhere, anytime. If you want to remind me to look at it, send me an email.

Fax machines: Can you say “scan,” “.pdf” and “email?”

One picture to a frame: Such a waste of wall/counter/desk space to have a separate frame around each picture. Eight gigabytes of pictures and/or video in a digital frame encompassing every person you’ve ever met and everything you’ve ever done — now, that’s efficient. Especially compared to what we used to do: put our friends and relatives together in a room and force them to watch what we called a “slide show” or “home movies.”

Wires: Wires connecting phones to walls? Wires connecting computers, TVs, stereos, and other electronics to each other? Wires connecting computers to the Internet? To kids born in 2011, that will make as much sense as an electric car trailing an extension cord.

Hand-written letters: For that matter, hand-written anything. When was the last time you wrote cursive? In fact, do you even know what the word “cursive” means? Kids born in 2011 won’t — but they’ll put you to shame on a tiny keyboard.

Talking to one person at a time: Remember when it was rude to be with one person while talking to another on the phone? Kids born today will just assume that you’re supposed to use texting to maintain contact with five or six other people while pretending to pay attention to the person you happen to be physically next to.

Retirement plans: Yes, Johnny, there was a time when all you had to do was work at the same place for 20 years and they’d send you a check every month for as long as you lived. In fact, some companies would even pay your medical bills, too!

Mail: What’s left when you take the mail you receive today, then subtract the bills you could be paying online, the checks you could be having direct-deposited, and the junk mail you could be receiving as junk email? Answer: A bloated bureaucracy that loses billions of taxpayer dollars annually.

Commercials on TV: They’re terrifically expensive, easily avoided with DVRs, and inefficiently target mass audiences. Unless somebody comes up with a way to force you to watch them — as with video on the Internet — who’s going to pay for them?

Commercial music radio: Smartphones with music-streaming programs like Pandora are a better solution that doesn’t include ads screaming between every song.

Hiding: Not long ago, if you didn’t answer your home phone, that was that — nobody knew if you were alive or dead, much less where you might be. Now your phone is not only in your pocket, it can potentially tell everyone — including advertisers — exactly where you are.

There are some things I don’t agree with. Watches are one of them. In fact, I see the potential in watches. I see it taking over cell phones one day. You may not see it now, as many people several years ago couldn’t picture a TV having a remote turn on the TV from far away, but watches, with enough technology and upgrades have the ability to have internet, and talk to people on it instead of on the cell phone. They might even get a screen on the watch. And if you want just a private conversation, blue-tooth from the watch, and have everyone look like they’re talking to themselves, so you won’t be able to tell who is schizophrenic or not. Watches will also be more useful as both a phone and watch because it’s hard to lose or drop a watch. So many people complain about losing their cell phones, or dropping it from their pocket (unless you have a cell phone case that sits on your belt). But even when you have to answer the phone or text, you have to take it out and press the buttons. Not with a wrist-watch like phone. Just press the button when it’s on your wrist and talk. Or maybe it opens to reveal a dial-up pad, and if you want to text, you can text through that. And it’s harder to get your watch stolen than it is for your cell phone. They have to literally sever your wrist…unless your watch breaks and falls off, which makes it useless anyway. Watches have a lot of potential thinking about it that way.

The second one I disagree with is Commercials. Well, even if there are no commercials, there will be ads. And each ad will be wackier than ever to get people to buy a product. How else are they going to? People will find a way to put an ad anywhere so they can make some money and get more promotion. Who knows, maybe in the future commercials won’t be as expensive. Possibly, it will be much easier to make, as I see people on Youtube advertising their merchandise all the time ASIDE from the ads.

Also, retirement plans. Yes, we are in a recession now, but who knows in the future. Also, people are going to stand for their rights. Something needs to take care of them when they get older. And they are going to fight for that. If not the same type of retirement plans, some form of compensation.

Everything else is nearly obsolete now. I can imagine it being a completely foreign thing to the children of tomorrow. Internet is the billion dollar industry. More and more people are being laid off of regular jobs, but more and more people are getting jobs as customer service reps online. They can sit online and work from home over the computer and get a check sent to them. I’m not sure if Faxing will go, as there needs to be private mail. but who knows, maybe nothing will be private anymore, or they’ll come up with some new private express. I can honestly say I’ve only FAXed one thing. Everything else: Email. No one picture to a frame anymore. Snapfish has slideshows. And new picture frames might allow people to show more than one picture. Though picture frames are more decorative items than of any use, I very seldom see people putting up pictures anymore.

This will be one sad and boring world, full of technology that further prevents people from intermingling with one another and socializing. Will people even go outside anymore? Maybe it’s more dangerous now that it used to be so people need indoor activities now more than outdoor, but maybe technology is the reason why it is. There is more to have and people want more of it, so they rob, steal, and kill to have it and live an easier life. How lazy and sad, and yet I am contributing to this massacre of the old way and contribution to the new. I have become accustomed to my own computer. Still, don’t care about my cell phone, but without my computer, everything seems dull. Imagine the world if all of the power went out and we were forced to go back to lighting candles and reading books and playing made up games and using something kids have no clue how to use: their imaginations, in order to pass the time away. We would be messed up.

I’m also going to add some other things that will be gone:

1) Dolls- With the video game and swinky and online dolls, there is no need for physical and solid doll making. Neither is there any need to use your imagination. Internet has done it all (Those in charge of internet and computer are rich people and will soon be richer). Who needs to buy and play with a toy that will be broken and end up in the closet anyway? Online dolls never break, and you can dress them, make them talk with friends, and go to online shopping malls, pretend to be a singer, all on this giant vast world of technology called the computer. Even adults can still stay children and create their own characters and do what they’ve always wanted to do with their dolls….without looking retarded. They can create their own Avatar and go on a virtual quests full of games. Whats the point of a doll? Even American Girl (known for it’s lines of historical dolls) have connected their modern dolls with an online virtual world. And though you have to buy the doll in order to access this world, there is no point in playing with the doll once you do buy it. What a scheme to waste your money on, right?

2) TV or Networking-Though this seems almost impossible because TV is getting bigger and bigger, internet is also somewhat replacing that. You want to know how many people watch things online now? There are even Youtube celebrities. Even though some people still watch TV, more and more people are catching their favorite shows even online. They are even paying for the shows online. And online you can stop and press play anytime you want. You don’t have to tape anything. It is already available and streamed online. Eventually, television and networks will travel straight onto the internet, so you can watch all your favorite channels on the go without having to install a TV in your car.

3) DVDs- Again, people can watch their favorite movies online. More and more people are doing that too. What’s the point of buying on DVD when you can watch it online? Heck, you can even buy movies OnDemand now. And instead of wasting space with all those unnecessary DVDs, keep it on the TV or online. It’s much cheaper.

4) Paints and art tools-Maybe for art class. But aren’t they teaching digital art now too? Last art class I went to, they taught us how to make a layout for digital art…..Paintings will be completely a thing of the past. Sketch artists will go out of business. The rise of 3-D cartoons show that. Most kids are initially turned off from 2-D (unless you’re Disney, who can make money just with it’s label). I give it a couple of years and Japanese anime will be in 3-D like Code Lyoko or Gregory Horror Show. Not pretty yet, but when they find a way to improve it, it will be.

5) Cartoons- Yea, I initially thought of this as a joke. But when I turn to the kids’ channels, all I see is sitcoms and other “live action” shows. Even Cartoon Network is getting into the spirit. Choke-me.

6) Notebooks and Pens-whats the point? No writing. Either you record all of your lectures or type everything down. Eventually, that will be more necessary.

So, with all of these inventions going out of business, there is one person who is a genius: Thomas Edison. He invented the electric light bulb, and yet and still, no one has yet to find a replacement since the 1800s. It is still the most widely used invention (unless another alternative is eventually used). He also invented the movie theater. Unless people can get a bigger screen to fit into their house and surround themselves on all four walls with screens, there is no screen bigger than the movie theater screen. That in itself is why people go. It’s a giant screen that makes the movie seem more real. All they have to do is improve their 3-D movies and have more interactive features in the theater, like they do in the Shrek 3-D ride at Universal Studios. In that ride, you “felt” everything that was happening in the movie. When the spiders fell, it felt like they were really crawling up you in the theater. When Shrek spit, you felt it. It was so 3-D, you literally could feel it because of the special effects installed in the theater. When movie theaters get that advanced, then we’re all good.

But overall, this is a scary thought, to think that the next generation will never know these things….and that one day, all of it will be another artifact of the past. Well, prepare yourselves. I think if you want your kids to remember this stuff, it’s up to you, as parents, to teach them.

The children of 2011 will be generation “Capricorn” I call them, all work and no play and according to statistics. They will capitalize, and invest time and energy into resources and working. They will change the government, break rules and add new ones. They will be leaders and start new things in the capital industry that we haven’t heard of (or that we have heard of but still haven’t figured out how to do). Law and Order is there motto. They will be workaholics and perfectionists. Music will be at it’s best. They will revive traditional things, but add new spark to old trends. Sarcasm is their thing. Time travel will be a focus, and so will occult and spiritual leanings. They will purify things.

Seems like it, looking at all the things they won’t know.






“Single-Parent” Homes, “Latchkey” Kids….

2 Sep

This is a growing concern for most people in the world today. There are more and more single-parent homes than there ever was bfore. Since the 70s, when divorce was officially accepted by people, children have had to take on more responsibilities in the home, dealing with the absence of the parent that once took on some of the load. Where mommy used to cook and clean in the home, children are left to cook for themselves or make their own afternoon snacks, take on more chores, and take phone calls and important messages for parents. Some are even expected to do the grocery shopping. Sometimes, if there is only the father and no mother around, the oldest daughter is left to care for the younger daughter, brushing her hair and picking out and buying clothes. With single women, most times the son cuts the lawn at a younger age, learns a few domestic skills, and protects younger siblings.

In many ways single-parent households can be good for children, depending on the child. It teaches independence, responsibility, and instills hard work in children. Most children who come from single-parent homes tend to not act as spoiled and don’t fall a part during small issues, such as having to work for the first time. Contrary to what most people believe, single-parent homes don’t always have negative effects on children. Sure, they might have to grow up quicker, but it causes children to mature and to look at the world in a realistic way.

Of course, there are negative effects, depending on the child. Some children take the extra responsibility differently. Some children use the little “freedom” they usually have after school, while a parent is at work, to their advantage. At that point, we get situations such as this one:

8 Year Old Boy Accidentally Shot

Also, family.jrank.org states other negative effects single-parent homes can have on kids. More aggression, tension in the household, lower grades in school, less sleep, higher stress levels, psychological disadvantages, and many other issues.

Single Parent Families Effect on Children

Of course, when I was growing up, I lived in a single-parent home. I was a latchkey kid as young as 9 years old. I made my own lunch when I got in from school, and learned how to boil a hot dog and at least make cheesburgers and soup on the stove. My mom didn’t make breakfast every morning, as she was rushing out the door, so I made my own breakfast. I was responsible for doing my homework after school, and when my mother got home she expected at least some of it done so she could check the progress. During father-daughter days at school, sure, I would feel left out, but I had other male figures in my life, like my uncles who took on good supporting roles for me. My mother was always stressed, so I tried not to bother her, and often times, I wouldn’t tell her about my problems or if I had issues. I would keep them to myself or try to solve it, which was bad. My stress level was high. I lived in a big house and had to clean the whole house. It was hard, but I did it. The kitchen had to be clean everyday by the time my mother got home. Bathroom had to be clean, too. Most of the time, me and my sis had the house to ourselves, and we were responsible for ourselves during that time. Answering the phone was crucial. My mother would panic if we didn’t.

So I understand how different it is to live in single-parent homes. If one parent isn’t as patient or understanding, it’s a good thing to have two. At least one could be good for communicating feelings. I would sometimes look at children with two parents and long for a father, but from my growing-up experience,  I’ve learned we always have to make do with what we have, and learn from our different experiences.

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