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Despite popular belief, Sex Ed entails a lot more than P in V techniques. If you didn’t know that, then you probably need to be one of the first people to sign up for a class…honestly.
One of the most common misconceptions about sexual education is that children can be taught everything they need to know by their parents, or figure it all out on their own. Honestly, that’s like handing a child a formula for quantum theory, and expecting them to understand it. That’s just not realistic.
The truth is: Sexual Education doesn’t simply teach you what sex is, it teaches you how to control your sexual urges, the consequences of various sexual actions, how to stay safe from sexually transmitted diseases, how to prevent unplanned pregnancies, how to understand your own post-pubescent body, and how to understand the function of the post-pubescent body of the opposite sex.
For example: See is you can answer these 5 basic-knowledge-based questions.
1. Name 3 major rules to using condoms properly.
2. What does a healthy penis/vagina look like, and what are some warning signs of an issue?
3. How long should a woman take BC pills before having otherwise unprotected sex to avoid pregnancy?
4. What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
5. Does abstinence protect you from sexually transmitted diseases?
If you’re curious…here are the correct answers.
1. Abide by the expiration date, do not wear two or more condoms at once, do not store condoms in a place where ripping or corrosion might occur (ex. In a wallet, purse, etc.).
2. Bumps and lumps don’t always allude to danger. In fact, many men have a rind of bumps around the crown of the penis – this is completely natural. However, if you find warts…beware, because that could be a sign of HIV. Women, discharge is 100% normal, and will change in color, consistency, and scent over the course of your menstrual cycle, but foul-smelling, cheesy, or yellow/brown/red discharge is almost always a red flag that something is wrong, or at least out of balance. Dry, scaly skin isn’t good. Rashes and skin abrasions aren’t good, either. Genitals come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, just like the people connected to them do, but it’s good to know what the warning size of disease are, so you can keep yourself better protected.
3. Wait at least two days after taking your first pill to start having otherwise unprotected sex with your partner.
4. AIDS is a condition or syndrome that stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV is a virus that may turn into AIDS once the virus has damaged the immune system deeply enough. However, people can live for years with HIV without ever developing AIDS. However, both share the HIV virus. So, while you can have HIV without AIDS, you can’t have AIDS without HIV.
5. Abstinence puts you at a much lower risk for STD’s, but it doesn’t necessarily protect you. Virgins can obtain various STD’s by sharing needles, touching infected surfaces in bathrooms, etc.
I’ve had a conversation about the need to improve sexual education in the United States, and the other person said “Even my 5-year-old knows where babies come from! Need sex education in the U.S.? Please. That’s a sorry excuse for unplanned pregnancy.” However, as we just saw, sexual education is about much more than “where babies come from”, and there are still people walking around, every day, wondering “how did I get pregnant?”. Common myths like having sex in water will prevent pregnancy, you can’t get pregnant if you have sex standing up, and condoms are always effective, lead to young people, and maybe even older people, carrying around children that they didn’t want…or expect. I don’t even have to type the 5-page paper about what type of problems that causes in our society, you know how the rest of the story goes.
To prove my point, I just had a conversation with my mother and grandmother, in which I taught both of them the proper way to use a condom, and the proper way to wash your vagina. These women have lived 50 and 68 years of their lives, respectively, without knowing how to use a condom properly, and without understanding the dangers of cleaning your vagina with harsh chemicals and perfumes found in various washes. They weren’t aware that using water-based or oil-based lubricant makes all the difference when using a condom, if you want the protection to actually protect you. They hadn’t thought about the rubber being worn down by being stored in a wallet. Neither of them knew that condoms had an expiration date.
So, how did I know? I’ve been lucky enough to attend a private online honors high school, provided through Penn Foster University. I was offered a class that briefly covered the basics of sexual education. There were two exams on the subject. Not one questioned asked me where babies come from. Yes, it is the parent’s job to teach that to their children, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that we can’t rely on parents to teach their children the entirety of proper sexual education.
The problem is, sexual education isn’t mandatory in the United States…and where it is mandatory, it may not be required to be medically accurate, or it may not teach more than abstinence, which we all now know isn’t guaranteed to protect you. In fact, 37 states currently allow inaccurate information to be taught in sex education classes. Also, only 18 out of 50 states require contraception to be taught alongside sexual education. Now, it isn’t difficult to see why the United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate of any other developed country, is it? To top it all off, if someone in Texas, Alabama, or South Carolina receives information on same-sex relationships in their Sex Ed class, they can only receive negative information that discourages homosexuality.
Basically, we’re failing our up-and-coming generation.
If you feel the need to sex-educate yourself after reading this article, click here.
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21st Century feminism gets a bad rap, these days. Usually, people think of it as naked women walking down the street with short rants written in paint all over their bodies. I’m not going to try to say that doesn’t happen, because yes, it certainly does. I’m also not going to attempt to defend it, because let’s admit it, once you paint your body up and go streaking, you’re not protesting…you’re playing. I’ll even admit that third-wave feminism can get as ridiculously extreme as allowing young girls, and I’m talking princess-dress age children, not even pre-teens, to use profane language on camera to make a point. (I’m not upset because girls cussed. Hell, I cuss too. It’s the age group presented that was disturbing. By the way, if you haven’t seen the video, you can find it below.) Now that you see I’m not trying to promote some God-forsaken, social-justice-warrior, special-snowflake agenda designed to corrupt the mind of your children, and I’m seriously in favor of good-old-fashioned equality, let me tell you why we STILL need feminism, even in 2017.
Because women shouldn’t have to hide their natural functions.
At a family dinner once, my grandmother explicitly said “When you go to the bathroom, make sure to wrap a plastic bag around your used Kotex and carry it to the big trash can in the garage or the kitchen. I don’t want any of the men in the house seeing tampons, pads, or their wrappers in the trash and knowing there’s a woman in the house on her period. Okay, Sweetie? That just wouldn’t be proper.”. At that same family dinner, there were men sitting around the table letting out belches that sounded like they were coming from a Goliath, and one guy left a horrible stench in the bathroom behind him. They were excused, because these behaviors were “all-natural”, and they “couldn’t help it”. Periods are all-natural too. Why are they more taboo than a burp? Women shouldn’t be taught to be ashamed of a natural bodily process.
They shouldn’t be ashamed of any other part of their body, either.
I’m not saying a woman should walk around completely naked, or covered in nothing but paint. Unless of-course, you’re in an area that specifically permits that, like a specific festival, a nudist beach, or the comfort of your own home. What I am saying is showing a bra strap is not a sin. Neither is picking out a bra from a sales rack in the middle of an isle where there is the occasional man walking past. Yes, I’ve been called “classless” for doing exactly that. My response? “I’m sorry that bras are $25 a piece or more if you go to a specialty store, and I’m a full-time student that can’t afford such luxuries. If there are bras on sale for $3 apiece, you better know that I’m going to take advantage of that deal. I don’t care who is looking.” Men know women wear bras. What’s the shame in picking one out while they’re walking past? No one stopped to stare.
Because women’s hygiene products aren’t a luxury. (No, they aren’t comparable to condoms, either.)
The basic human needs are food, water, shelter, sex, sleep, and if you’re a woman…tampons/pads/menstrual cups. You can’t argue that these items are luxuries, simply because there are women in other countries making due without them. There are women in other countries making due without clean water too, but that never seems to come up in the luxury tax argument, although it certainly should. Often, I’ve seen tampons compared to condoms…but tampons don’t bring any sort of pleasure? Tampons are a necessity for men and women. Men don’t want to sit on bloody subway seats and park benches. Women don’t want to stain everything their bottom half touches. Tampons/Pads/Menstrual Cups (at least the cheap versions) should be counted as a necessity…because that’s exactly what they are.
Because women want to be mechanics and engineers, too. (With the SAME paycheck for the same work, mind you.)
“You can be anything you want to be when you grow up”. We’ve all heard it. Have we all lived lit, though? The simple answer is…not really. As a child, I was asked about my future ambitions many, many times. Coincidently, I provided many, many different answers over the span of my 8 years in the public-school system. I wanted to be a teacher, then a personal trainer, maybe a librarian, or even an author. I wanted to be a nurse, no, a doctor, possibly a veterinarian, even a horse trainer. I wanted to be an actress, or a graphic designer, a chef, and an artist. Although I loved to build and create, I never aspired to be an engineer. I loved the smell of a garage, and I could name a car by the sound of its engine…but I never bothered mentioning becoming a mechanic. I was the best basketball player in my school, but I gave up my dream of going pro. Occasionally, I wondered what it would be like to start my own business…but all the entrepreneurs I saw were powerful men, and I was far from being a man. At one point I dreamed of being President of the United States, those dreams were beaten down in the last election, however. Children look up to adults. Little girls look up to strong women figures. We need more strong women in male-dominated industries.
Because a strong body isn’t always a masculine body.
“I need to slap the society out of you. Muscles are meant to be strong.”. That’s a quote from the video that I’ve included, below. Women are meant to have strong bodies, just like men. If that means rippled and defined muscles, so be it. If that includes having to wiggle your way into jeans, and not being able to wear all the top brands that the models wear, then oh well. Masculinity is more than muscle mass, and muscle mass is not a factor in femininity. Yet, you still see articles in Women’s magazines focused on “How to lose weight without looking bulky!” Maybe women should STOP worrying about the size of their triceps compared to the size of their breasts, and just focus on something more important…like the bulkiness of their I.Q., or their level of daily activity. If a man won’t love you because you can flex better than he can, then there was never really any “love” to begin with. I hate to break it to you, but that’s just the facts.
Because sports aren’t exclusively for boys.
“I don’t think women should play basketball. It’s too hard on their bodies.” Yes, I’ve heard that comment from a close friend, before. A friend that knew I played basketball. So, I’ve got to ask…what would be more suiting? Swimming? Cheerleading? Tennis? Softball? Soccer? Sports are fun. Sports are for humans. Not especially for men, not especially for women, but for anyone willing and able to compete. My favorite sports are Basketball, football, tennis, track, horseback riding, swimming, dancing, baseball, bowling, kickball, and boxing. I love almost everything athletic. I don’t have to compete in women’s leagues to be comfortable. Throw me on a basketball court with a group of grown men, I won’t be intimidated. If I get injured, it’s all part of the game…it’s not because I’m a woman. Hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, racing…I’ve done it all. I’ve gotten sweaty, muddy, bloody, and loved every minute of it. Women aren’t too fragile to enjoy life. We deal with period cramps every month, and sometimes birth. We’re not “soft” like society tries to program us to be.
Oh, and we’re more than baby-making machines.
Some women don’t want children. Do I? Yes, I happen to want two or three, actually. Does that make me more of a woman than a female that never wants children? No. “Women who don’t have children have no purpose. They are useless to society.” Believe it or not, that’s another comment I’ve witnessed in person. That assumes that every woman struggling with pregnancy is defective and useless. By that logic, every man that doesn’t impregnate a woman is useless, as well…correct? Oh, yeah. Sorry, I forgot that only women are responsible for child-bearing, and men have no responsibility in it. In fact, they’re able to skip out on raising a child, just because they decided to talk a woman into a one-night-stand, and she’s left with the burden of being publicly and privately criticized by people that she once believed supported her. In reality, women DO contribute more to society than our womb. We held the nation up by our bare hands while the men were oversees blowing each other away in World War II. If a woman chooses not to have children, she’s actually doing the world a service. We’re greatly overpopulated as it is, and aside from that, we need more empowered female role models such as those to influence our children and teach them that we shouldn’t allow anyone to dictate what happens to our own bodies. We shouldn’t crack under the pressure of society, and we should keep confidence in ourselves, and stand by what we believe in, even when the rest of the world tries to bring us down.
Because your rights are something that has always been, and our rights are something we and our rights were something we had to work for.
You might see us as paranoid, but sometimes we legitimately worry that the second we turn our backs and stop worrying, they’ll disappear again. Kind of like happened to the Native Americans when the white men established boundaries, and then pushed them into reservations. We don’t want to go back to the days of coat-hanger abortions and glorification of rape within marriages. We don’t want to be seen as a mere tool or object. We want to be seen as human beings. We want to be treated with respect. More than anything else, we want men and women around the world to realize that while there are quite a few bad apples in the bunch, quite a few women still mooching off the opposite sex, and quite a few extremists still making feminism look like a movement to abolish all housewives (not true, you can be a housewife if you’d like, just don’t try to force your lifestyle on someone else or expect that behavior of someone else), we are not all feminazis. Some of us stand by the definition of the word “equality”. I’ll help you pay for the groceries, you help me cook the dinner. I’ll scratch your back, and you scratch mine. I’ll care for the baby one night, and you’ll care for it the next. I’ll ask you before buying that Gucci dress, and you ask me before buying that speedboat. I’ll hit the weights when you hit the weights. I’m going to study to be a doctor while you’re studying to be a lawyer. I’ll help our son straighten his favorite pink tie, and you can help our daughter pick out the camo wedding dress of her dreams. Equality.
Okay, so you voted for Hillary Clinton…or Gary Johnson…or Jill Stein…or God forbid…Harambre. Now, Hillary Clinton as the popular individual vote, but Donald Trump has the popular electoral college vote, and you’re ready to move to Canada. Trust me, I feel you. However, I don’t have the funds to move to Canada, I’m pretty sure you aren’t prepared to move to Canada, and we’re all kind of stuck here.
So, what do we do in a time like this? Well, some people in places like Austin, California, New York, Chicago, and Seattle have resulted to rioting and protesting in the streets. That’s completely legal, but not highly advised. Others have appallingly taken to social media to wish death upon the President-Elect, and threatening assassination. Honestly, neither of those two options are going to keep our country moving forward. Hillary Clinton has said this, Donald Trump has said this, Bernie Sanders has alluded to this, and even Commander and Chief, President Barack Obama, himself has stated this fact. Destroying homes and/or taking a human life is senseless and unnecessary. Instead, we need to focus our energy on working together in these perilous times. Regardless of who controls the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate, or the United States Supreme Court…we still have control over our own selves, our own bodies, our own minds, and our own actions. We decide whether we make progress or regress 50 years individually, and if each individual is operating under a similar mindset towards a common goal it will be difficult for any government to overthrow that type of power.
For all of the Conservatives out there…congratulations. For all of the Liberals out there…do not fear. You may or may not know that up until 2001, Donald Trump was a Democrat. Also, he was a supporter of abortion for many years before changing his stance on the topic. To some people, this shows instability and unpredictability…call it a glass half full/half empty if you will, but to me this is an expression of open-mindedness, consideration, and a willingness to accommodate the community of today, instead of the communities of yesterday. If he has changed his stance on this type of serious issue once, with good reason I might add, then he will likely change his stance on major issues again, if it is proven to him that his position is detrimental to the well-being of the country. Burning down buildings and holding up sins isn’t going to convince him of anything. It might get your face in the news, but it won’t affect the politics taking place behind closed doors. That’s where the change happens.
So, if rioting in the streets won’t get Donald Trump’s attention…what will? Action. You might say that rioting is action, but I beg to differ. Rioting is noise and the country hears enough of that through social media alone. Action is something you do calmly, civilly, and hopefully effectively to persuade another individual to listen to your side of the story. If you have enough faith that your political position is worth listening to, then the basic ability to get someone important to listen to you should be enough to make you elated. If not, you may just be creating noise, and your heart isn’t really in the issues you stand behind.
Some examples of action would be:
· Writing letters to your city, state, and federal governments.
· Hosting fundraisers to take the (legal) changes upon yourself to make.
· Creating a website/blog that provides individuals with information on the cause, as well as ways to help, and places to make donations online.
· Create petitions to send to your city and state governments.
· Educate yourself on the issue as thoroughly as possible, so you can spread that correct information on to someone else.
· Write letters to local businesses or major corporations asking for their support.
· Run for a local office and tackle some of the issues yourself.
· Pitch in to support a campaign that aligns with your own values.
· Remain a respected member of society so the causes you support aren’t damaged by your own reputation.
· Urge friends and family outside of the country to write to their leaders and ask for support in urging our leaders to tackle a specific issue.
· Propose legitimate, sensible solutions to the problem (if you have any), instead of creating noise about an issue that no one is quite sure how to fix.
· Always consider other individuals’ opinions. Respect others and expect the same in return.
Now, you should have a better understanding of what is and isn’t appropriate. If you were aware of all this before reading the info that I listed out for you above, then congratulations, you were blessed with common sense. Since we now realize we have to treat others with respect to have the authority to demand the same in return, we can focus on the entire point of this post…the bright side of Donald Trump. No, I’m not talking about his hair.
Believe it or not, Trump isn’t the worst candidate that has ever step foot on our White House steps. I don’t want to go naming names, but there have been many more radical individuals awarded the honor of Commander and Chief. As I mentioned earlier, Donald Trump once sided with the Democratic party, and only has recently as 2001 began registering as a Republican. Some of his comments on minorities have been truly repulsive, and others were actually skewed by the media a bit. So, as much as I hate to say it myself, many of us don’t know the true Donald Trump. Let me do some fact-checking of my own, and debunk some of the biggest myths that are circling around. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say I support him, or praise him, or even like him…but I do want unity, I do want progress, I do want peace, and I do want the minority communities and young folks that are scared shitless over this election verdict to rest a little easier when they go to bed tonight. Last night was a terrifying, tear-filled night for myself and many others. So, I want to bring us all some peace of mind, so that we may not be scared to live in our own country. Thank God, there is a bright side to Donald Trump…ad we may even be able to make progress with him as our president if we keep our eyes on the prize.
Donald Trump doesn’t support abortion and wants to punish women who seek them.
That’s been said…but it isn’t entirely true. So, if you have a uterus, I’m sorry to say that the government is still trying to meddle in your basic human rights…but not as extensively as some liberals may believe. When asked about abortion, Donald Trump said this: “The primary responsibility of the federal government is to protect the rights of its citizens. Life is the most fundamental right. The federal government should not diminish this right by denying its’ protection. I am opposed to abortion except for rape, incest and life of the mother. I oppose the use of government funds to pay for abortions.”. So, basically he is saying he opposes using the taxpayer’s money to abort fetuses, and he only supports abortions in dire situations. This is a long way from the radical stance that we saw referring to “punishment”. It’s enough to make a woman wonder if he was just getting cray with his ideas to attract the attention of voters. He isn’t a politician, after all. He is a reality television star, and that is what celebrities are famous for doing. If you want to read more about Donald Trump’s feelings on abortion, click the link below.
Donald Trump wants to stop immigrants from entering the United States.
Trust me, I’ve had my doubts about what amount of honesty he is putting forward with this issue, but apparently, this is a fake statement. He does welcome foreigners…just not the illegal kind. That makes sense…if foreigners are given a decent amount of options to come here legally. Thankfully, Trump seems to be supportive of expanding opportunities for people who want to come here legally. He said: “Restore integrity to our immigration system by prioritizing the interests of Americans first. Enforce our immigration laws – at the border and at the workplace. Build a border wall and end sanctuary cities. Send criminal aliens home. Welcome those who embrace our way of life, but keep out immigrants and refugees who don’t through rigorous vetting.”. Notice he even said send criminal aliens home…not all aliens. It sounds like a fair immigration system. However, I do have some concern about the type of ideals and behavior Mr. Trump is evoking with his mannerisms regarding the immigration issue. As someone who has loved ones of Hispanic decent, I have seen a great rise in discriminatory hate against them for no reason whatsoever. However, that is an issue for a separate post entirely. If you would like to read more on Donald Trump’s immigration policies, click the link below.
Donald Trump is setting our children up for a poor future.
Has Donald Trump set a bad example for our children through his mannerisms? Undoubtedly…however, it is up to the parents and the parents alone to decide whether or not their children are provided with the tools for a bright future. Donald Trump is a huge supporter of stay-at-home parents. I’m sure when he says this, he has women in mind, however you could choose to work while your husband stays at home just as easily. Trump has announced he would even provide tax cuts to the families with stay-at-home parents. With one parent staying home, a family could very easily choose to homeschool their children. I’m one of homeschooling’s biggest fans, because it allows parents to ensure that their children are nurtured properly, raised right, and provided with all of the basic life skills that schools do not teach. Donald Trump agrees with my position on this…and I was very pleased to learn that he is so sensible on the matter. He has stated: “Every child in America deserves a great education and an opportunity to achieve their dreams. We will enhance education options for students through school choice and charters, and respect homeschoolers in their quest for educational alternatives. We will also make it easier for families to afford college so students aren’t buried in debt.”. If that doesn’t sound perfect, you tell me what does. If you would like to learn more about our president-elect’s stance on education, visit the link below.
Donald Trump is the worst presidential candidate in the history of this country!
Whoa there, calm down cowboy. You’ve seen the information that I dropped a few paragraphs back. When you really start to stop, and look at the situation through a neutral point of view…it could be worse. Many people in the LGBTQIA community are upset because of the controversial comments both Trump and Pence have made regarding shock-conversion therapy and reversing the supreme court order for the legalization of same sex marriage. Honestly, I don’t believe Trump will even have time to worry about reversing something that has already been enforced by the Supreme court, or pushing for laws that would allow shock-conversion therapy, and other ridiculous “methods” of “dealing” with the community. He wants to build a “tall wall” between Mexico and the United States. He’s trying to repair relations with Russia. He’s fighting to take jobs away from China. He wants to repeal Obamacare. He wants to completely reform the education system across the country. He plans on changing the tax laws along with the entire tax process. He has possibly 3 Supreme Court seats to fill. The last thing on his mind is going to be gays, bisexuals, transgenders, or other minorities. Is it something he’s given an opinion on? Yes, he had to. Is it something he had a horrible opinion on? Yes, and I’m honestly not surprised. Is it something he really cares about? No. He’s hired gay workers before. He said that gay marriage should be an issue that the states deal with. He just doesn’t want to be bothered with the issues of the community, which is frustrating, unprofessional, bothersome, and somewhat concerning…but I don’t think it should be as scary as it really seems at this moment.
If you would like to make that decision for yourself, then as always, Google has your back. You shouldn’t be afraid to look into these issues for yourself, just like I’m not afraid to share my stance on these issues with you. If you are curious as to where Trump stands on other important issues such as guns, healthcare, environment, energy, civil liberties, taxes, and crime and safety, just click on the link below and brose through the separate sections that Google has set up for you. It’s all there, direct quotes and reliable information, you just have to be willing to access it.
So, based on policies and direct quotes, I’ve come to this conclusion: Donald Trump is not our problem…the hate, bigotry, and violence that is displayed by his supporters and their opponents…that is our problem. We should be focusing less on the man in the White House and more on fixing the ideals of our own communities, because somebody obviously got out and voted for him. Trump isn’t paying people off to harass the Muslims and gays that have spoken out on the harassment that has happened in the last 24 hours. These individuals are committing these violent acts of hatred of their own free will…and that is more concerning than any president that will ever step foot into our White House will be. If we want to tackle the root of the problem, we can’t start bashing a politician and expect results. We cannot riot in the streets and expect anything more than reprimands from the police. We need to work on talking about these issues…breaking the taboo…educating our children…educating our classrooms…supporting our minorities…alerting our politicians locally and up…and spreading so much love and acceptance that the hatred of the bigots that have revealed themselves during this campaign will be stifled out. If we stop giving hate a place in our society, we’ll start to see change. If we continue to attempt to fight ate with hate, we’ll find ourselves rioting in the street 100 years from now wondering where it all went wrong.
So, for now, Donald Trump is our president-elect. Let’s try to see the bright side.
There are only a few hours left until the third and final 2016 presidential debate airs on television this evening. After a week of continued sexual assault accusations regarding both parties, and a lot of unprecedented comments being made from other political figures, it is difficult to imagine this debate being anything more than an outlet for Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton to express their disapproval of each other. In other words, I have serious doubt that either candidate will succeed in answering any questions of substance. Most likely, the same controversial topics will be covered as have been in the past two presidential debates, and America’s stress levels will continue to rise as they have for the past six months or more, now. However, should the presidential candidates decide that they would actually like to discuss political matters that they will be addressing during their time in office, here is what I would like to see mentioned:
Common Core & Education Reform.
Common Core education has been a topic of interest for years now. Many parents disagree with the fashion in which their children are being taught in public schools. More and more families are seeking alternate forms of education for their children, such as homeschooling, online accredited schools, and private schools. Public schools have been operating under the same routine for over 150 years in this country. May individuals believe it’s time to see a reform for the betterment of the next generation. Many students are not retaining the information beyond the standardized testing dates, and are entering the workforce without the required knowledge to function efficiently. It’s also been recognized more recently that public schools generally only appeal to auditory an visual learners. Children who understand information better when presented in an unconventional way are at a huge disadvantage in the public school system. This isn’t to mention the lack of sufficient sexual education in the majority of the US states. Some states, or should I say MANY states, enforce laws that allow educators to teach only abstinence, or do not require the medical information being given to the students to be accurate. Sex Ed may make a parent a bit uneasy, but it’s the deciding factor in abortion rates, STD rates, and other major issues in the United States. There are too many flaws in the United States public education system to continue to avoid the topic altogether.
Legalization of Marijuana.
This is a subject that former presidential candidate and democratic nominee, Bernie Sanders, made his position exceptionally clear on. The libertarian presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, also made his position exceptionally clear on this issue. Both parties were in favor of legalizing marijuana use. An overwhelming number of trusted sources have discovered that marijuana usage for medical purposes would be highly beneficial. Cancer, epilepsy, anxiety…all horrible diseases and conditions that marijuana could possibly diminish. Republican presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump, and democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, have spoken very little about their view on medical and/or recreational marijuana legalization. This s surprising, as t is such a hot issue amongst the American people right now. Since Colorado legalized the drug for recreational use, they have seen a major economic boost. Many analysts agree that the legalization of this plant would be more of a benefit to the US than a harm. For individuals seeking medical use of this drug, a position on this topic could help influence a vote.
The major appeal of Bernie Sander’s platform was the pathway to an affordable college opportunity for young American citizens. Tuition rates are rising with each passing year and student loan debt is putting many Americans in difficult financial situations. It’s being more and more prevalent that parents are unable to send their children to college, college students are unable to make a high enough wage to pay for their own classes, and the vast majority of students are seeking some form of financial aid or student loan that could affect their financial stability beyond the time that they get their degree. Germany has begun offering free college to all of their citizens, and the tuition rates for international students are lower than the domestic rates for American students. That’s possibly why they have seen such a major increase in study-abroad students and are really leading the university scene, at this moment. The candidates may or may not personally feel as though free college would be the right approach for our country, but if they do not have a clear plan of action to reverse the damaging trend that US universities are setting, that could be a major issue among the young generation.
Support for Israel.
There is much conflict taking place in the middle east, but one of the countries that voters may be more interested in is Israel. Since such a large majority of America identifies as “Christian”, it comes as no surprise that this election has been focusing less on politics and centering more around moral injustices. However, the Christian bible tells us to “bless Israel”. So, if Christians are worried about whether or not the presidential candidate is in alignment with their religious beliefs, we need to start asking the question: “Do you support Israel?”, or even more importantly, “How do you specifically plan on supporting Israel?”. If these are questions that the candidate is not prepared to answer, then you may be looking at a candidate that isn’t ready to sit in the Oval office. The United States has a long history of being allies with Israel, and the general public may be as opposed to their indifference as they were to the ignorance of Gary Johnson when he dared ask the infamous question on live television “What is Aleppo?”. Christians cannot afford to vote in a man/woman that doesn’t support Israel, and the rest of the United States cannot afford to vote in a man/woman without a plan, regardless of the topic that plan is referring to.
This is probably the most important topic in the election. Currently, most states have laws in place that allow abortions up to 24 weeks. Clinton has been cited as supporting abortion up until the time of birth. Trump is strongly against abortion, even going as far as stating in an interview that there should be a “punishment” for women who choose or have chosen abortion. With many women crying that this is “A woman-only issue” and being irreversibly disgusted by the idea of a man dictating what a woman can or cannot do with their bodies, and many men calling abortion “unbiblical”, “evil”, “sickening”, and “murderous”, abortion is a topic that the nation may never agree on, but it is a vital topic that needs to be addressed by each candidate and would make an interesting topic for the debate, nonetheless. So, what better time to bring it to America’s attention than tonight?
Some women believe this is an outdated topic. However, studies show a different story. There is STILL a wage gap that desperately needs to be addressed in this country. Men are likely to make more money for the same work as a woman. Men are also more likely to be hired in most industries. This is despite that fact that women tend to have higher grades, retention, and cognitive abilities across the board. We are living in a new era. No longer do women stay home to tend to the children. Women are a major, if not main, breadwinner for 4 out of 10 families in the United States. This is nearly equal to the number of male breadwinners. Also, women earn MORE college and graduate degrees than men, indicating that they are further educated, and actually more suitable for the given job than men. However, there is still a gender wage gap of 21% in the United States, meaning women earn only 79 cents for every dollar that men earn for the exact same job. This is undeniably a form of discrimination. Aside from the wage gap, there are other women’s rights issues that need to be addressed. For example, Trump supporters took to Twitter over the past week to start a trending hashtag “#repealthe19th”. This was in response to statistics showing that if women were unable to vote, Clinton would win the election by a landslide. The 19th amendment gave women all over the country the opportunity to make their voices heard in politics. Now, some men are legitimately in favor of stripping that right from their female counterparts. It would be interesting to receive a response from both candidates on the issue. Women around the country would be anxiously listening to their responses, I’m sure.
Mass shootings have become too commonplace for comfort, lately. American citizens are concerned for their safety, now more than ever. However, they are also concerned for the safety of their constitutional rights. The 2nd amendment gives citizens the “right to bear arms”, and in the wake of many other countries stripping their citizens of that right (Australia, Ireland, etc.) may Americans are concerned that the government is aiming to interfere with their right to own firearms. Especially, they are concerned with the safety of that right should Mrs. Clinton take office. It’s been said that the democratic party is interested in repealing the 2nd amendment. I would like a response from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on this issue. She has stated in former presidential debates that she is only in favor of repealing the right for suspected terrorists on the “no fly” list, but a clarification on her exact policy would be beneficial to gun owners all over the country. A response on the issue from Mr. Trump would be useful as well, considering he hasn’t spoken largely on the topic since the beginning of the presidential race.
Mom and Pop need to turn their hearing aids on for this one. When speaking with my grandmother earlier this week, she expressed her concern to me about the election, saying: “Wouldn’t I be obligated to vote for Trump, especially since Hillary is planning on getting rid of social security?”. Now, I had heard rumor of there being issues with social security, but that was the first time a rumor of a complete outlaw had passed my ears. Obviously, as a nation, we want to care for the individuals that came before us to care for this country. We want to honor and respect our elders. The most significant way to do so is to support them when they are no longer able, or simply no longer interested in supporting themselves. With both candidates stating in previous debates and rallies that they oppose raising the retirement age, Trump saying he will do “everything in his power to leave social security the way it is”, and Clinton saying she would even like to raise benefits for some individuals, it seems as though both are interested in supporting the retired. However, the crucial part of discussing this topic would be determining who has a specific plan of action to accomplish their claims, and who is simply trying to win over voters by saying the right things.
Talking about ISIS, talking about taxes, talking about sexual assault…none of it is bad, but there needs to be talk about other issues as well. Let’s talk about the issues that make us lie awake and lose sleep at night. Let’s talk about the issues that are going to directly affect our own families. Let’s talk about the issues that threaten our security and our privileges. Let’s talk about the issues that no one wants to talk about, and figure out the reason why no one wants to talk about them. Let’s stop saying “there are no good candidates, I’m not voting”, and let’s start looking into ALL of our options (libertarian party, green party, independent candidates, ourselves). If we have a problem with republicans, vote for someone other than a republican. If we have a problem with democrats, vote for someone other than democrats. If you’re unsure where you stand on certain issues, start doing some research. History repeats itself. Some people say that they don’t know what would happen in abortion was outlawed. Yes, you do. Look at what happened to Romania and decide if you’re okay with that happening right here at home. If you’re concerned about guns being regulated, search for the crime rates in Australia and Ireland. Educate yourself and stop waiting for everyone else to give you little snippets of information that may or may not be true.
In other words, stop basing your vote on rumors that you’ve heard. Individuals in our country want to say that individual votes don’t matter. They complain about the electoral college electing whomever they choose. Well, stop giving them a choice. If Americans would stop being passive and start being assertive, we might find that more politics start to turn in our favor. We can take control of our country again. We can start leaning towards democracy and less towards republic again…we just need to keep ourselves informed with the accurate information. Knowledge is power.
So, enjoy the final presidential debate tonight. If you didn’t tune in to the first two, I highly suggest you watch this last one. Even if you’re not convinced enough to believe a word that either candidate says, pay attention to their mannerisms. Those are the same natural reactions that they’ll be using at a negotiation table in front of world leaders that could choose to declare war on us or start firing nuclear missiles in our direction. The 2016 election is like none other. The decisions that are made during this presidential term will extend far beyond the time period of 4 years. Our entire nation is about to be affected. Your vote decides whether that last sentence was a positive or negative statement.
"Feel the Bern!"
I'll bet big money that you've heard this phrase recently. It's the slogan that has been plastered all over social media, mainly because Sanders is the top-pick for the majority of the Millennial generation. According to a recent survey of 18 to 34 year olds, 46% of the voters would vote for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary. This sparked my interest after reading an article in Website Magazine that pointed out the entrepreneurial nature of Generation Z coming into the work force. The incoming generation is geared more towards getting their work done efficiently with little concern of time or place, than previous generations that were content with a 9-5 office environment. Basically, with social media marketing becoming widespread, and a generation of technology-driven optimists hitting the work force, small businesses are going to be booming. Naturally, with entrepreneurship on their minds, the younger generations are going to search out a candidate that they feel will give their small business a fighting shot in this competitive economy. Since we have already established that the majority of the Millennial generation are casting their votes in Sanders' direction, the question must be posed: Is Bernie Sanders going to be the saving grace for your small business should he get the nomination?
I'm not going to throw a definite "yes" or "no" onto the table, but the odds do appear to be in his favor. According to a website supporting the campaign ( feelthebern.org ), Bernie Sanders does believe in the power and impact of small businesses in America. In fact, the website specifically states: "Bernie Sanders has worked hard to push for policies that help small businesses, encourage entrepreneurship, and foster innovation. Among these, he has supported loans for small businesses, pushed for reforming intellectual property regimes, and advocated for giving the entrepreneurs of tomorrow access to good education."
Regardless of what a biased webpage has to say on the matter, the proof is in the pudding. With just a little bit of research, you can see the influence that Bernie Sanders has had in the world of small businesses. It is well known that Sanders helped to pass the Small Business Jobs Act, an act that was geared towards helping small businesses receive loans to keep their businesses afloat in an economy where banks are reluctant to loan funds. Another appealing aspect of Sanders' policy is his plan to reroute the distribution of money in the United States. He believes in paying workers a living wage, raising the minimum wage to say it simply. Some people believe that this will hurt the small businesses who may not be able to afford to raise their workers salaries, but others disagree with this concept. If everyone is earning a living wage, then more money will be spent at small local businesses. Cash will be flowing back into the communities, helping small businesses and entrepreneurs in the long run. When everyone is handing their paycheck over to large corporations trying to survive, the corporations are just getting larger while the American population continues to get poorer. It's a viscous cycle that needs to be reversed. Whether or not you agree with the way Sanders plans to reverse it is one thing, but you have to agree hat is nice to see a candidate recognize the problem. Most won't even address it.
Back in 2010, Bernie Sanders was quoted as saying: "In the midst of the very difficult recession we're in, helping small businesses receive credit is imperative." Only time will tell whether or not the 2016 presidential candidate will seize his opportunity to do just that. Right now, we just need to keep watching the behavior of each candidate. November is still a long way away, if you think about it. Something could change, someone could slip up, or someone could even drop out. Millennials might decide that they would rather cast their vote to Hillary, or an Independent candidate might arise from the shadows. An election is a fend-for-yourself kind of game, and we are just beginning this round. Regardless of who is voted into office, the incoming generation can only hope that they have some sense of compassion for small businesses, otherwise all of the optimistic, entrepreneur-spirited young people are going to be sorely disappointed.
How do you see it? Will Bernie Sanders uphold his promise to save the small businesses, or are we better off leaving him in the dust?
Welcome! I know many of you may be familiar with the blog that we previously run on www.sierrawoodcock.com. You see, the problem was, the blog wasn't updated very frequently, and we noticed that it became a bit more of a spam page than a blog. With the new year, we decided to step up our blogging game, as well as redesign the entire website! (Just in case you hadn't already noticed.)
This blog is going to be like taking a glimpse inside of my mind when you read it, filtered of course, and a bit more organized than my Tumblr blogs. There will be posts about literature and writing obviously, there will be contests, opinion pieces, and television reviews. Pretty much anything you are looking for can be found here.
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I hope you all enjoy the updates to come on our blog!