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Does Political Affiliation = Negativity?

Almost a month or so ago Franchesca Ramsey engaged in a conversation with a user on Twitter about the hate she receives. The conversation was focused on the fact that Franchesca receives a lot of hateful, demeaning and sometimes racist comments from various people on Twitter as well as on her YouTube videos. If you do not know who Francesca Ramsey is then you should check her out on YouTube and Twitter. Franchesca Ramsey is a writer for the nightly show with Larry Wilmore, host on MTVs Decoded and she has her own YouTube channel (@chescaleigh). Do yourself a favor and check out her YouTube video on 4 reasons why white pride makes people uneasy because you know that should be explained like people don't already know this. Francesca Ramsey is not afraid to talk about the issues a lot of people would prefer to act as if they don't exist or are silent about as to not make others uncomfortable. One of the reasons this is, is because people honestly don't like to hear anything that goes against what they believe. If you are saying something that goes against another person’s beliefs, people tend to buck and respond with negativity and sometimes even violence because they are now being pushed outside of their comfort zone. This negativity is usually associated with talking about race, religion, abortion, or any other hot topic.

What was really interesting about this conversation is that a Twitter user made the point that the hateful comments seem to come from mostly conservative voters or people whose morals and ideals would be identified as conservative. The conversation really got me thinking. Are conservatives more hateful when on social media? Do they tend to leave more hateful comments versus liberals or independents? Or is this another case of media bias- the bias or perceived bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of events and stories that are reported.

Most of the time when I am scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube I never think that a person being hateful could be political…except when the issue the person is commenting on is political. I see the point the Twitter user was making when they initially said this. If the issue is regarding race, white privilege, gay marriage, or abortion I do think conservatives will comment and reply with more hateful commentary because issues such as these are going directly against the beliefs that are typically associated with being a conservative. I also think conservatives are so used to surrounding themselves with people like them, who have the same beliefs or who talk the same way as them, they do not want to hear anyone who would go against that. While I do not think that a person’s political affiliation solely determines their behavior on or off social media when discussing social issues, I do think a person’s beliefs will and does determine their response to certain social issues. A person’s decision to identify as a democrat, republican, liberal, or conservative, is based upon their beliefs, values, morals and ideals.

The degree of a person's hatred when interacting with someone who believes something different I think has more to do with the time we are living in. I think people think it is a bad thing to disagree with someone and automatically want to argue if someone has a different opinion. Because of social media, a person is now able to constantly surround themselves with people who think exactly the same way they do and get angry when they encounter someone who believes something different. It’s a matter of telling people that its okay to disagree with someone and it not lead to an argument or an attack of insults followed by that. We as a society need to work on our communication and learning how to talk to people regardless of what they believe. We get too caught up in titles, especially regarding politics and who people decide to affiliate themselves with.

So tell me below in the comments what do you think. Do you think a person’s political affiliation determines how they will react to certain social issues? Do you agree with the Twitter user that conservatives are more hateful?

The Effects of Rape Culture

When people feel like you're not listening or when they feel like they are not your main focus is when people become their most honest. It's when people feel as though they can be their most truthful selves, when they can say how they really feel or their true perception on an issue. This is why people watching at malls, grocery stores, and other establishments where people can congregate and interact with one another is interesting because they are being their most honest selves, thinking that they are not being heard or paid attention too. I ride public transportation any and everywhere it's available, the thought of driving honestly makes me nervous especially because nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year. I know, I actually keep up with stuff like that. I'm honestly scaring myself. Public transportation is the next area that is good for people watching, if you're into that sort of thing of course, but it is also where you can hear how people really feel, especially about social issues. I don't know what it is, but people really do like to talk about social issues with people they barely know. Maybe it's because they know that is the last and only time they will see them so they are not concerned with being judged. Which if that is the case, I wish people were like that on a daily basis.

I usually sit on the bus next to two older ladies who generally have their morning conversation as to where most of the bus can overhear, but no one is bothered by it as they are so nice.  I walked on to the bus, we said our usual morning pleasantries and I sat down ready for the early morning ride. One of the ladies was cleary engrossed in a conversation led by the other lady about her stint with a doctor who had put her on the wrong medicine which led to her being in the hospital for a couple of months. The ladies then progressed into a conversation of pedestrians, but specifically the pedistrians that walk by the local university. One of the ladies started the conversation by saying, "They're just stupid, the students are just stupid. They just walk everywhere and they never look." A little much to be calling the students stupid, some people just don't look when walking. I know grown adults who are not stupid who do that. The other lady then procedded to say, "Oh, I know. I see these girls once I get off my stop just walking. They're on their phones, they don't look up and they're not paying attention to their surroundings. They scream about rape, but they deserve to be raped because they don't pay attention."

Wait. They deserve to be raped? No one deserves to be raped, male, female, or non-binary, no one deserves that.

The lady's response surprised me, but I tried not to show it on my face.

The other lady responsed with a yeah and sort of nodded her head and moved the conversation in another direction, but the other lady's response stuck with me. How could she think that a woman not paying attention while walking deserved to raped?

It sounded like one of the many arguments that victims of rape typically hear, "Oh, it's what you were wearing." "You shouldn't have been out so late." "You were drunk, so you deserved it." It is very common victim blaming, something I can not stand. Victim blaming is not only detrimental to the criminal justice system as it causes less women to want to report rape, it also gives rapists an excuse, an out. Victim blaming puts the blame on the the victim, not the actual rapists thus creating the percetption that rape is okay and is your fault if it happens to you. Not only does victim blaming not hold the rapist accuntable, it also adds to rape culture. For those who do not know, rape culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence is normalized and excused.

Why are we so quick to blame the victim? Why do we never want to hold the wrong doer accountable?

See the idea of victim blaming doesn't make sense to me. Not because I don't understand what victim blaming is or why it happens, but I don't understand why anyone would want to blame the victim in the first place. If someone is in a tragic car accident, I don't think nor do I say, oh that person deserved it. So why can we not treat victims who have been raped the same way?

In an article published by Psychology Todayvictim blaming comes from people within society avoiding vulnerability and culpability. Rape threatens the idea that our world is a safe and moral place where only good things happens. We in society allow for victim blaming because it allows for us to distance ourselves away from the situation and the person. We start to think as long as I'm not like the victim or dress like them I will be fine and what happened to them was their own fault.

There are various problems with victim blaming, but one of the main consequenes of victim blaming is that people are less likely to report rape when they know they will be blamed. We can see this in the media and in Hollywood, when victim blaming is even depicted in movies and shows such as, Law and Order: SVU.

Victim blaming contributes to rape itself because rather than addressing the problem and trying to educate people about rape and sexual assault we spend our time trying to figure out where the victim went wrong. One of the ways we as a society can contribute to less victim blaming is by educating others and changing the perception of rape and addressing the misconceptions about rape.

Thrown In The Air

I throw the hat up and as I watch this object swirl in the air, the tassle separating and flying in the breeze I realize it's the end of the things I have always known. The things I was always taught. I've been taught how to take a test. I've been taught how to study, how to regurgitate the same information back to others, verbatim. I've been taught how to give the right answers when speaking to certain people. I've been taught what to say and what to do at all times, but what happens when I'm not in the setting to be taught?

I graduated from college 7 months ago this month and while it hasn't been a year from the moment I graduated I feel as though it has been longer by the amount I haven't done. I feel as though it has been longer by the amount of work experience I need to obtain just to get halfway to the point of where I want to be.

Not trying to sound bitter at the thought of the years of work and the amount of debt I accrued while staying up late, eating pizza has now become painstakingly impossible. It's hard for me not to feel as though I was not taught what I should have been for the amount of times I went to the financial aid office begging for more help.

The question arises from many of well you got a degree so you were taught the necessary skills like how to write a paper. Why yes I was taught how to write a paper in every class so I may please and suit every professor I had for that semester. But what I was not taught was how to utilize the very writing I was doing on a daily basis in a real life situation. I was not taught how to utilize the very degree I was working towards in the field I am pursuing.

As I think back to my hat flying in the air, the tassle separating and flying in the breeze I can't help but think of myself as the hat simply tossing and turning being thrown in the air.

 

Words That Describe

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”― Bob Marley

I thought this post was going to be easy. All I had to do was find someone else's words, someone else's wisdom and let it speak for me, but I read 5 pages of quotes on Goodreads before I came across this one.

I've never been fond or obsessed with quotes nor have I ever really understood the use of them. I've always felt like quotes are special and can only be used at certain times like when you really want to make a statement or show someone how much you care.

From the moment I read this quote it immediately spoke to me. This quote is so free flowing and is saturated with so much love and wisdom that it would be hard for anyone not to find some beauty within it. I also think it describes what everyone is looking for in society today: pure love and pure friendship.

The pure love Bob Marley speaks of. I think everyone searches for that one person they can truly be vulnerable with. The one person who they are able to show their good and their bad with. The one person who truly understands them at all times. The person who they feel completes them.

One Word Says It All

Love.

When I think of the word "love" I automatically think of Houston, Texas.

The city that created me.

The city that made me.

The city I grew up in.

The city I rode through late at night with my high school sweetheart of 10 years.

The city that has a niche and pocket catered to almost every minority group.

The city where the sun bounces off the concrete and gets so hot during the summer that you feel like you're in a sauna.

I imagine the freeways.

I-10, I-45, Hwy 6.

The tollways. The belt.

I imagine Sugarland,Texas. An upper class county that's snuggled in between Missouri City and the outskirts of Houston, Texas itself.

Missouri City. A predominantly African-Americn county settled next to Stafford, Texas. A predominantly African-American county that is viewed as a black suburb by those who drive through it, but a hood by those who live within it.

This love for my city was created by the beautiful people I was able to meet while living in Houston, Texas. It was created by the adventures I was able to be a part of while living in Houston, Texas.

Adventures such as my high school sweetheart's ancient mazda breaking down in front of the Wal-Mart on Hwy-6 and him running to the nearest gas station to buy a coca-cola just to pour over the battery.

Adventures such as us driving down a one way street before hitting oncoming traffic and realizing we were on the wrong street.

Adventures such as driving with the windows down on Hwy-6 doing 80 as the wind whips through my curls and cuts across my face all the while drowning in the lights and the architecture that is Houston, Texas.

That is love.