Browsing Tag:

gender

  • Photography

    Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin

    Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin

    by Sarah Vice

    It has become so easy to tell people to stand up for themselves and to take the criticism surrounding their circumstances, but when it comes to your livelihood as a teenager, “coming out” may not be possible. If you live in a heavily religious home, or just a morally “traditional” homestead, then you have limited options to what sexual opportunities there are. I remember a friend of mine telling me that he was so scared to be homosexual that he quit school to be homeschooled to be away from other boys. A girl I knew in high school started hurting herself because she felt unable to love who she wanted to love, due to the fear of being kicked out of her home.

    In situations like these, we come back to the realization that sexual preference is not something everyone has access to. If you are stressed because of your home life, then reach out for help. Please do not consider harming yourself or others, when professionals are willing to spend time talking with you and helping you figure out a better way to express yourself.

    Here are some tips from me on what to do when you are feeling like a part of you is missing:

    1. Keep a journal. I know it sounds silly and may be difficult for some, but write down everything. If you find someone, you like, but do not have the courage or ability to reach out to them, write about it. Write a heavily detailed letter to your guardians about how what they’re doing is hurting you (you do not have to give this to them). This works just as well with art, or wood carving, or any other form of creativeness. Take your stress out on something that makes you happy.
    2. Keep close friends that understand who you truly are. This way you feel less like your hiding it from the world but are still able to keep it from your parents or guardians.
    3. Read books. There are a lot of authors who have probably experienced similar situations to yours. All you have to do is find them. (This works for television as well).
    4. Get an animal or thing that you can use as something to talk to. Animals relieve stress and are always there to listen. If owning a pet is something you don’t have access to, then have a stuffed animal or important relic to talk to.

    Before hiding who you are, always be sure to have conversations with your parents or guardians if you do not already know where they stand on the subject. Sometimes people can surprise you.

    If you ever feel alone in your struggle or would just like some company, you can check out the Magic City Acceptance Center at the following link:

    http://www.magiccityacceptancecenter.org/

  • Articles, Poem, Poems, Writing

    Equality – a poem

    Equality

    by Samone Davis

    Equality is the thing that’s in the world for mothers, fathers, boys, and girls. Blacks and whites, we were all separated from state to state we were segregated.

    I see every kid being whipped with wire, they’re being hurt and burned just like fire.

    Women and men, both are sensitive and feel. But women show it, and men conceal.
    For black lives to matter, we must stop the black on black blood splatter.

    So take one look at our past, because
    this will be the last.
    

    People should be who they want to be, not hiding in a closet unfree.
    Society needs to take a good look inside, we need to support LGBT pride.

    We all want to stop racism.
    We sent black and white men to die in war together, before we could be educated together.

    How come I see every day
    People who always find a reason to discriminate
    Why can’t I have the same opportunities,
    why can’t I be great

    Because mankind has taken the food from my
    plate and left me full of hate
    Let there be no gazing eyes, for equality shall rise

  • Articles, Tough Questions

    FeMENism: What Feminism Can Do for Men

    September 2016 Writing Contest Winner

    If you’re reading this, you probably know what it is. You’ve heard about it on the news, in Beyoncé songs, in viral videos, and on this site. Throughout its meteoric rise in the past century, feminism has been a hot-button topic for much longer than we’ve even been alive. Now more than ever, there is a push for equality and more girls, women, and men are getting involved than ever. But…unsurprisingly, the discussion of feminism – much like the discussion of any social equality movement – tends to inadvertently dredge up a trove of people who are simply uninformed at best and willfully ignorant at worst. The question on the lips of many men in particular is, “Why should I be a feminist if feminism hurts men?”

    To be frank, this question comes from an incorrect understanding of what feminism is. Put simply, feminism is the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. That’s all it is. Many ask, “But isn’t feminism about hating men?” No, it’s about equality, not bashing or oppressing one group or the other. It’s about raising everyone to an equal playing field. Sadly, a quick scroll through any comment section on a feminist social media post will show that there still exists a great deal of ignorance on the topic. I need not repeat the insults and threatening language which often pervade these vitriolic comments about how “feminism is evil and seeks to hurt men”.

    It’s true that people who have never experienced oppression will find equality to be a burden. A lot (but not all) of upper/middle-class white men probably have never experienced oppression, so I understand how it can be hard for men to see why women want change. But I believe that if men would look at what equality would really mean for them, they would all want to be feminists too.

    One big way in which feminism can help men is in the area of gender roles. Many feminists advocate for the flexibility of gender roles. As part of feminism’s message of equality, strict, traditional gender roles are seen as being generally toxic and detrimental to society. Just as women live under the pressure of being feminine, delicate, traditionally attractive, mothering, and sexy all at once, men live under the pressure of being masculine, strong, capable of providing, emotionally resolute, and physically perfect. For both sexes, the weight of these expectations is enormous. For many feminists, flexible gender roles mean that women do not always have to be perfectly feminine (i.e. they can be providers, be physically strong, and present themselves as more masculine than feminine, among other things). With regard to men, flexible gender roles mean that they don’t have to be perfectly masculine (i.e. they don’t have to be the sole provider, they can be emotionally open, and not face pressures to be physically perfect, among other things).

    When we seek to open a positive dialogue on gender roles, feminists actively work towards making the world a more comfortable and freeing place for both men and women. For some men, this is a big selling point of feminism. Without the constant pressure to provide, to be constantly masculine and strong, and to be the model of a perfect man, men can relax and share their burdens with everyone else – including women. From a male standpoint, this is only one of feminism’s many benefits. But as previously stated, so many men are still in the dark about this exact topic.

    So next time a man tells you that feminists are all out to attack him and every other man on earth, tell him that men benefit from feminism too. I believe that the future of feminism is bright, but we still have a long way to go and we have to continue to educate the ignorant if we want equality to be a reality in our lifetime.