Sorry, Just Not Sorry

The intelligent backlash is beginning against Emma Watson’s HeForShe campaign, and although it proves a refreshing break from the “Oh, look, she does have ovaries” and “This is not a woman to love” comments, its half thought through, at best.

Arguments are being made that this campaign is unfair to the men, because it doesn’t address the issues of female on male violence. It doesn’t discuss men’s rights, when he doesn’t want his significant other to have their child, and it certainly doesn’t talk about false accusations of rape.

This is all true. The campaign was not designed to handle these issues. But let us consider the source. Emma Watson was employed as the UN’s Women’s Goodwill Ambassador (emphasis mine). Not “Human Goodwill Ambassador” or “Domestic Orders Ambassador.” Naturally her focus will be on that which she was hired to focus on.

Conveniently, none of these articles bother to mention that even in first world countries, there is discrimination, and something needs to be done. As a woman, I can expect to earn 70 cents to the dollar (USD), compared to my male counterparts. In all the readings I’ve done, not only are women still discouraged from discussing the amount on their paycheck (which is considered bad taste and poor manners, allowing for discrimination to occur un-noticed), but supposing they feel the need for a raise, if they ask, although some companies view that as a valuable trait for upper level employees, they are treated as though they are somehow emasculated, losing their femininity by being aggressive.

This occurs at all levels, too. This last week, in one of my classes we were given an assignment and broken into groups. I was the only female in mine, which isn’t that unusual. However, as we went through the assignment and began discussing ideas, I was offering valid ideas, with support for my interpretation, which was the core of this assignment, but everything I said was not even given a fair hearing by my peers. It took the male professor to come over and ask if everyone was being listened to in order for my peers to hear me out, because they valued another man’s voice more than my own.

I didn’t believe this happened anymore, until it happened to me. I thought that surely the US had progressed enough that those who are my age, those who have been raised in an extremely politically correct era, would treat me equally. It is deeply disturbing to me that in one of the most advanced first world nations, this would happen. It is deeply disturbing to me that only half of the world still has no voice.

So while the HeForShe campaign isn’t addressing male issues, I do not believe it is totally invalid. Sure, it doesn’t address male issues, but let’s be real. It was created by a person who was hired to handle female issues, so why would it handle male issues? Maybe you should take it to the UN and request a Male Goodwill Ambassador to fight for equality, instead of complaining about Emma. But you won’t. It’s much easier to complain about perceived wrongs than do anything.

Sorry, I’m just not sorry for asking for equality. I’m not sorry for wanting to be heard, for my thoughts being given just as much weight as those of my male peers. I’m not sorry for not wanting to be called names because I chose to be aggressive in making myself heard.

40 Things Every College Girl Needs To Be Reminded Once In A While

katyj94:

With a few exceptions, this is surprisingly accurate. I wish I could share this with all the new freshmen ladies this year.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

[tc-related post=310923 align=right]

1. The number of weekends you have in college to go out and let loose is not infinite, go out at least once a weekend.

2. So you’ve gained a few pounds? You’re becoming a woman you’re not supposed to look 18 forever.

3. College wouldn’t be college if you got 8 hours of sleep every night. Embrace being tired it means you’re doing something right.

4. Pizza is one of God’s great creations, you’re hurting God’s feelings when you act too good for it.

5. Don’t let one creepy guy form your opinion on an entire fraternity.

6. Do not minimize what a privilege college is. Many people who are capable to be where you are can’t get there for a variety of reasons. Respect your opportunities.

7. Don’t settle for attention from icky guys

8. Don’t settle period.

9. Don’t give up if…

View original 539 more words

Nameless story, Chap 7

My heart attempted to make an escape through my mouth as I jumped, turned and slammed down the laptop lid simultaneously. Autumn stood directly behind me, arms crossed, a very confused look on her face.

“Holy crap, don’t do that to me!” I gasped, pressing a hand against my chest.

“I thought you knew I was in here,” she said dryly. “I made enough noise coming in.”

“I didn’t hear you,” I snapped, very irritable.

“I could tell by your reaction,” she said sharply. “I might be a rookie, and I might be younger than you, but I’m not stupid.”

I gave her a filthy look and tried to slow my heart rate. You act suspicious, people will treat you like you’re suspicious, I told myself, slumping into my seat. Guilt stabbed me in the heart as I looked back up at her.

“Look, I didn’t mean it,” I started, my voice shaky. “I’m sorry. I’m not saying that you’re stupid, I didn’t mean it like that.”

“No, I get it, you’re under a lot of pressure. Can’t be easy, training a rookie to take the place of your best friend,” she said, seeming irked. Something close to compassion, or maybe it was pity, flitted across her face for a moment before her expression settled into on of curiosity. “So who were you promising what to?”

“Sarah,” I said heavily, running a hand through my hair, feeling as though I’d just run a marathon.

“But she’s-” Autumn began. I looked at her tiredly and she changed track pretty quickly. “Why? What were you promising her?”

“Why? Because she asked me to do something if I could,” I said, running my fingers through my hair again.

“Well, what did she ask you to do?” Autumn asked, sitting down on the foot of my bed.

“I don’t see how that’s any of your concern,” I said, trying to stay calm.

“I guess it’s not,” she said, wilting. I could hear Sarah reprimanding me in the back of my mind.

Come on, treat the poor girl better. She doesn’t deserve this!

“Does it have anything to do with that thing you were reading?” Autumn asked hesitantly. I forced myself to not flinch, to not tense up.

That “poor girl” is too smart for her own good, I told Sarah defiantly.

“Yes, it is,” I said, turning away. I was sure my guilt was written all over my face.

“Well, this whole thing must have you torn up pretty bad,” Autumn said carefully. “but it sounds like your friend knew that it was coming.”

I couldn’t restrain myself as my hands curled into fists on my desk. Slowly I turned my chair back to face her.

“Why do you say that? Who told you anything about Sarah’s death?” I demanded harshly.

“Well, you for one,” Autumn said, watching me. “And the other squad members. The placement officer. Not to mention that thing you were reading.”

The world fell away as I heard and comprehended what she was saying. My heart attempted to escape through my mouth again, and I must have jumped to my feet, because I was suddenly standing.

“How much did you see?” I asked, my voice deadly quiet. Autumn’s eyes had grown to the size of golf balls, as she continued to stare at me.

“Just the bit about, um, her being in big trouble and, um, the files on the SD card,” she said, sounding slightly concerned. My breath escaped from my lungs like a balloon, and she took the opportunity to roll off the bed and move to the other side of the room, still watching me warily.

“I’m not going to tell anyone,” she said hesitantly. “If your friend got killed for it, then there’s no way I’m going to go running my mouth about all of this.”

I stared back at her blankly, my brain struggling to process everything that I was hearing.

Told you you needed to be nicer to her, Sarah’s voice echoed in my head. Numbly I shot her a mental dirty look.

“Oh goodness, this is too much,” I muttered, dropping back into my desk chair. “What did I do to deserve this?”

“I don’t know, but it must have been really fun,” Autumn said wryly. I studied her serious face for a moment before smiling.

My emotions felt like a roller coaster, and I was drained from the breakneck speed they were changing with. Numbly I wondered if I was going insane, and then I dismissed the thought.

“I’m stuck with you, aren’t I?” I asked her.

“You say that like it’s a bad thing,” she countered.

“That’s not how I meant it-“I began as a wicked smile, much like the ones that Sarah used to give me, spread over her face.

“I’m just messing with you,” she said, with an overly patient tone of voice. I considered throwing something at her, and then dismissed the thought.

“It might not be that bad,” I said. “Of course, it could also be horrible. You’ll never know until it happens, Autumn.” Surprise flitted across her face, only to be replaced y a teary eyed smile.

“That’s the first time you’ve used my name,” she whispered, grinning more genuinely that I had ever seen her grin.

“Don’t get used to it,” I said gruffly, turning back to my computer to hide my awkwardness.

“Can I ask exactly what’s going on?” Autumn asked, crossing the room. “If I’m getting in trouble, I like to know why.”

“I wish I knew,” I answered, opening my laptop back up. “Whatever it is, it sounds illegal.”

“Is it illegal if a branch of the military and a government funded research group are both doing it?” she asked. “Whatever ‘it’ is, that is.”

“Yes, it is,” I said. “Assuming it breaks the laws, that is.”

“Well, it must,” she reasoned. “Why else would Agent Castello be killed?”

“I have no idea about that either,” I muttered, exiting out of the folders and ejecting the SD card. “But I have a feeling I’m going to need more help than I have now, and it looks like Sarah intended for a couple of other people to be in on this.”

“The more the merrier,” she chirped, sounding possitively excited by the prospect, blissfully unaware of the knot that was forming in my stomach.

“Right,” I said, hiding the card in my desk. “Merrier indeed.”

I Am Enough

You’re not good enough.

You can’t fulfill me.

You’ll never be enough.

So I do more

I try harder

I meet your goals

The bar is raised once more.

I believe your words.

I see what you see.

I will always fall short.

So I do more.

I try harder.

I meet my goals.

The bar is raised once more.

I’m growing weary.

I can’t keep this up.

Perfection is my goal.

So I do more.

I try harder.

Strive for my goals.

The bar cannot be raised.

I’m not good enough.

I can’t be fulfilled.

I’ll never be enough.

I can’t do more.

Can’t try harder.

Can’t meet my goals.

How did I get to this?

I was made enough.

You do fulfill me.

I am enough for you.

I don’t need more.

Don’t have to try.

No goals to meet.

Remind me who I am.

~6/15/2014~

The Death of a Bride

   Imagine with me for a moment. There’s this beautiful young girl. She’s skillful with her hands, and can make a mean supper. She’s kind and loving toward everyone, and welcomes strangers to her table.

   This girl thrived in persecution. She wasn’t wealthy, but always found that God provided, and continued to serve others. She was happiest serving others.

   Then one day people started talking about this girl. They told stories to cast doubts on her character and her past. They used these stories to try to discredit her.

   In response to these hecklers, her older brother made her veil her face when she went out. It wasn’t that she was immodest, but he didn’t want these people to say that she was. He spoke for her virtues in the public square, and he preached on her honor and purity.

   A while passed, and one day she was assaulted and robbed, by one of her older brothers, who then lied brazenly to their father and those in the world around them. The truth was eventually found out, and this brother repented and was welcomed back into the family.

   Her younger brother was humiliated by this, and he begged her to cover herself completely, only to show her hands when she went out to do what was needed. This new outfit hindered and slowed her, and that which was meant to protect her handicapped her.

   The people continued talking, and they soon forgot her good works for her strange appearance and her withdrawal from the world. She moved like a shadow, unable to speak and losing her effect quickly. Her brothers urged her to make her trips shorter and to be selective about who she helped

   Eventually. she rarely left her home. She still cooked, but it was decided that she ought not make and eat rich foods as before, and so lose her shape and risk the displeasure of her betrothed.

   This girl was made to sit, eating only the smallest amounts of the plainest foods, losing her vivacity, her love and her passion for justice. Her strength withered away, and she was forgotten.

   There are several ways to interpret this tale. Aside from the blatant criticism schools which would use psychological analysis about the dysfunction of this family, or the feminist argument regarding gender inequality. However, neither of these are what I, the author, has intended.

   This girl is the Church, the bride of Christ. Like in the story, the Church was once service based, loving and caring for the world around them. They were not idle, and they gave freely to those in need.

   Due to heretical teachings, church leaders, represented here by the older brother, chose to try to protect the church from disgrace, holding her to higher standards, standards of modesty and discretion.

   Despite this, she was robbed and poorly handled by those who were intended to care for and protect her. I chose to end this brother’s story with a message of hope and redemption. Good can come out the worst places- Jesus himself was a Nazarene, after all.

   Further reforms resulted from this, by well-meaning church leaders. Although I didn’t enter into the topic, the political landscape that surrounded the church through the periods of corruption- namely the Middle Ages and the Renaissance- is fascinating, and adds an admirable amount of complexity to the history of this institution.

   Young, fervent protectors emerged to care for the Father’s people- the younger brother- leading to a series of extreme reformations and separations. These hindered the Church in fulfilling our commissions and harmed our credibility.

   The attitude towards the Church shifted and even we bought the lie that we’re irrelevant in a world of science and math. Reforms kept coming, and we grew sluggish, inneffective.

   This is where we are today, and we ought not be here.We need to regain the love and the life of that young girl. We need to undo some of our reforms.

   Which leads me to the second interpretation intended by the Author. There was a purpose to each reform, however it was no only the usefulness we lost, but the beauty.

   If you have ever witnessed a Catholic, Orthodox, or High Lutheran, Anglican, or Episcopalian church service, you would realize the beauty of their worship. It is designed to engage all the senses in worship, and it is deeply symbolic. By contrast, as you go through the less liturgical churches, you see the services and the buildings themselves lose that.

   The reforms were made out of fear. We wanted to divorce ourselves from the pope, because we saw the sin and corruption in the church. By doing so, we forgot our beauty, the beauty of worship. Just as the girl was beautiful as she served, so should we be beautiful. Maybe it’s time to strip off that which separates us from the world, let them see the bride of Christ.

   Similarly, our fear and misplaced hatred has chased our awareness of the goodness and beauty that can be found in creation. We see only the inside of the church building, see only the darkness, and subsist on the smallest amounts of the blandest food- i.e. the word of God.

   THIS SHOULD NOT BE! God declared all of creation good, and although you can see the scars that fallen men have left on it, the goodness remains. Just as one can see the image of God through the fall of mankind in your fellow human beings. He loved humanity so much that he made us capable of appreciating beauty, and put us in a beautiful world, so that we could be in awe of it and the wonderful Creator who made it so.

   Despite this external beauty, it is true that there’s some beauty which is not good. This is the beauty to be had in a corpse at a funeral. It was made beautiful by creative pains, but it lacks a soul. This is all the glamour of the secular world, and ever so slowly is the church becoming like this. We need to come to life before this darkness entombs us, too. That which was intended to protect not only hinders, but serves as our burial shroud.

   For my third and final point, I mentioned in the story that some of the things the girl did were supposed to be in preparation for her groom. I did not, however, mention what the groom wanted.

   Let us pause and consider this, A young man melts a girl who cares for everyone. Her care for the world around her makes him pause, and he loves her for it. It makes her more beautiful in his eyes. He loves her as he is, flaws and all, and he wouldn’t change a thing about her.

   He sees the changes come over her, and his heart is saddened. He knows her brothers are trying to protect her for him. But he also sees the girl he loves, dying slowly.

   Does he still love her? Yes. Nothing could change his love for her, ever. But these changes are breaking his heart.

   What does Christ see in his Church? We are his bride, and he is our groom. His heart must surely be breaking as he watches her die off. Shouldn’t the bride of the one who died for her be alive?

   The time comes for us to make a choice. Should we die, or will we throw off what hinders us, and become alive?

Beauty

Now my heart is free-

It’s a soaring like a bird,

flying till I join the stars.

Guess that’s why I fell so hard and fast,

like a shooting star in the dark.

Come into my secret garden-

Don’t you see the blood red roses?

I painted them myself.

Guess that’s what will happen,

when you play with thorn bushes.

Aren’t they beautiful?

Aren’t I beautiful?

~12-24-2014~