Friday, December 11, 2015

I Did It

Four years ago, I received a letter in the mail back home in Chicago from Ohio University, saying that I was accepted into the university and into the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Who knew that me making my decision to make the culture change from the metropolis of Chicago to the small town of Athens, Ohio would change my life for the better?

Today, I am an official graduate of Ohio University. I finished my degree in three and a half years and made lifetime friends while I was here. The memories I've made here are innumerable. From spending countless Friday nights in the newsroom for Gridiron to every roommate experience I've had, there is so much I've learned here.

The hours I've spent in the WOUB newsroom is immense. I've met my mentors, some of my best friends for life, and future journalists and teachers that are going to change the world for the better in that newsroom. Every show, every cast, every package, every live shot, every interview, and every game I've been a part of has shaped me in some way.

Now, I'm done with school and will enter the working world. I didn't expect my time here to end so quickly. I'm done with school. That's all I've known for 21 years. I'm going to be honest: I'm a bit scared to enter this new working world without having to worry about a 20 page paper to turn in for a political science course or a presentation for a Spanish class.

I'm not trying to sound cliche, but these were the best years of my life. I've had my trials and tribulations like everyone does, but I wouldn't change anything about my time here in Athens. Anytime I meet a freshman, I always say, "I'm so jealous." They have another four years in the best place in this country. It's become my home away from home. I never thought that I would love a small town as much as I love my big city.

I cannot thank my parents enough for letting me pursue my dream and my future. They gave me all the tools they could afford, supported me when others didn't, and took a huge financial risk on their daughter who wanted to get a journalism degree. That is something that I don't think I can ever fully repay. Even when I do eventually pay off these loans, I will still owe them my life for doing something like that for me.

Thanks so much Ohio University & WOUB for giving me the opportunities and
the work environment where I can grow as a journalist. Thank you to Jimmer, Seth, Baucco, and Lucas for being my mentors. Thank you Allison, Atish, Gabe, and Susan for being great co-workers in the newsroom as professional staff. Thank you to the sports department for becoming a part of my family and creating our own fraternity. I know all of you are going to be great successes one day, ranging from my fellow nine seniors all the way down to the freshmen. Thank you Carter for working with me through every issue and obstacle thrown our way this past semester. I couldn't have done anything without you. Thank you John & Jordan for being the best two friends I could have ever asked for.

Thank you to my roommates Katie, Tia, Madison, and Kristin for being able to deal with me for these past two years. Thank you to all my Fenwick girls (Tori, Izzy, Ashley, Claire, Speez, and Theresa) and the two fellow founders of the broadcast club (Jake & Will). Without you guys helping and pushing me throughout high school, I don't know where I would be now.

I still don't know where I will be next, and it's terrifying knowing that. I've been persistent, sent in bunches of job applications, created my resume, created demo reels and created my own website. Now, it's a waiting game to see what station will accept me to join their newsroom, just how four years ago I was waiting to see who would accept me to join their academic community.

All I can say now? I did it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Why I Don't Vote

It's November 3rd, which means it's election day. I scroll through my Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, all of it and see hundreds of "I Voted" stickers from my friends. Everyone is "proud to be an American" and loves to "support this great country of mine." Direct quotes from some of my friends' posts. These are also the friends of mine who, just two days before election day, said they were fed up with American policies and want to move out of the country...

While people are standing in line waiting to do their so-called patriotic duty in voting, I'm sitting at work or at my apartment, catching up on work, catching up with friends, and talking to my family. I don't vote. I am one of the millions of people and one of the thousands of millenials who doesn't believe in voting for political figure heads. Here's why:

1) I go to school in Ohio but I'm from Chicago, as many of you know. I will only spend 4 years of my life here in Athens. My vote here doesn't represent the community of Athens or the surrounding towns in Athens county. The students are here for only a short time. Why should we put in our voices in this legislature when, by the time a policy will be recognized, we will be long gone? It's pointless.

2) People ask why I don't do absentee voting. Yes, I've spent my entire childhood and teenage years in Chicago, and I will always love my city. However, I'm not there now. My voice means nothing there, seeing that I spend a combined 3.5 months in the city throughout the year. Why vote when I'm not getting the benefits of the vote? Let the people who are spending years in the city get their voice heard. (But let's be real, even those people don't get their voices heard because of Chicago corruption. Good ol' Chicago).

3) Let's say you're voting a representative/senator/congressional leader/alderman whoever into office. If you think about it, politicians don't ever adhere to what you want; they only appeal to what their donors want, since they're the ones giving them money. They're great public speakers because they know how to use words in a way where they never answer a question outright. It's very easy to manipulate the general public with beautiful, flowery language.

4) I honestly don't care enough. All politics do anymore is create gridlock. Policies are rarely passed, laws are either ridiculously broad that they don't do anything or crazy specific to target a miniscule demographic, and they create great television ratings. Why waste my time to study an issue that will not get through the House in at least 5 years? I can spend my time doing more important things, like job hunting, writing articles, working on campus, or spending time with my family.

With all the political issues and division that has been created over the past four years, you really think voting is going to clear it up quickly? You're naive if you think that. There has been more division in this nation over the past year than I can recall. So you all can have fun being "patriotic" and then go bashing the nation not even an hour after you vote. Spend hours waiting in line to cast a ballot. I'll spend my time watching the Bulls and preparing for some MACtion.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Why I Chose My Career Path

As I sit here in my apartment, I'm thinking back on this past May and the hardship my family went through losing my Grandma Bell. Grandma Bell was the biggest Chicago Cubs fan you could have ever met. She would rather watch baseball over football. I don't think she ever missed a Cubs game in her long 78 years of life. Even in her final days, she would want the game on.

It's now October, and her Cubbies are making moves in the playoffs. They're making moves to the World Series. I keep thinking about how she said the only tattoo she would ever get is when the Cubs would win the World Series. I know right now that she is sitting up in Heaven with Grandpa Bell, watching every Cubs game with her Cubs blanket and giant mug in hand.

This type of fandom and story is why I got into sports. Sports do so much more than one can fathom. It's not only entertainment, it's something that allows people to step away from the hardships of life for a brief period of time and watch a game/match. It unites people together in a way that words really cannot describe. It causes friendly rivalries and brings strangers together without violence or harm. Getting stories out there like this and like so many others where athletics helped create a path for someone is what the world needs.

This is why I do what I do. People constantly question why I decided to put myself in thousands of dollars in debt to go to an out of state university for a journalism degree. My answer is always this:

"Sports journalism is way more than a stat line. It's more than a record or a championship. It's about the people in sports that makes sports journalism so great. For some people, athletics was the only way they could have received a college education. For others, athletics helped them find discipline and escape a bad neighborhood or a bad homelife. Sports could have helped give a disabled or sick person joy during their time of grief. Sports is the only thing that can unify the entire world for a short amount of time and forget about all the conflict and hardship. It's the only thing that can bring people from all races, genders, incomes, religions, ethnicities, ages, and neighborhoods to cheer someone on. What else can do that?"

People seem to forget that sports is so much more than entertainment. For myself, it's been a tremendous part of my life. I grew up playing sports constantly. I have plenty of guy friends who were athletes as well when I was younger who taught me the game. Gender was never a factor when they taught me the game of basketball, how to catch a football, how to pitch, or how to steal bases. It was something that we all enjoyed, and we all wanted to improve together, differences aside.

Sports gave me an outlet to create new friends from different backgrounds and cultures. Sports taught me a tremendous amount of discipline and how to respect authority, outside of what my parents taught me. It was also a way for me to stay active, and it was fun. I would play against my friends in rec leagues, and we would challenge each other on the court. If anything, sports helped strengthen the friendships I now currently have over the last 10 years.

What sports have done for my family is amazing, specifically my brother. Sports gave him a way to meet some of his current best friends. It gave him an outlet to relieve stress in a very healthy manner. Football taught him discipline, teamwork, and mutual respect for your fellow teammate on the gridiron. You can't learn that from a book.

Yes, sports are a form of entertainment. But it's also a sub-culture of our own world. It's its own entity that your fellow fans can understand. It's something that can formulate and change someone's outlook on life, on their career, their education, and their personality.

Although I am a White Sox fan, cheers Grandma Bell. Congrats to your Cubbies. Keep on wearing your bright Cubbie blue as I will continue to spread your story and everyone else's story on my journey as a sports journalist.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rape Is Not a Joke

First off, readers, I apologize for the month hiatus. It was a busy summer for this now college senior (god I don't like admitting that). Anyway, this post is more centralized towards my college audience, specifically Greek Life people.

I've been back on campus for about two weeks, witnessing the tiny baby freshmen move in to their dorms. I also witnessed and worked the involvement fair, where the swarm of freshies took over the center of Ohio University's campus, actively looking at the hundreds of clubs and organizations that are a part of OU. One particular organization, the Ohio University Student Union, handed out pamphlets that sparked rage and anger that is well deserved.

This pamphlet had a list of tips for freshmen. Some were helpful, like where to buy blue books for exams, to use protection when having sexual intercourse, and certain services on campus that are of great use to students. One, however, was repugnant and horrifying.

On Court Street, there is a blue house that is considered an open house, meaning that anyone can come in on the weekends and party with other bobcats. What the pamphlet published was, "DO NOT go to the blue house, the ACACIA fraternity house across from the BP on Court. They're notorious for bringing their free drinks and raping girls."

A member of Greek life wrote a phenomenal response about how this a huge generalization that has no factual basis. It's based on hearsay. This Greek life member hit the nail on the head.

This has sparked something that people need to know: rape is a serious issue and a horrible accusation to place on a person or an organization. Rape is not something that can be thrown around lightly. This ranges from accusations such as what OUSU made to saying that a test "raped" you.

This needs to stop. Now. Saying that a test "raped" you may sound funny to you at the time, but think about what the word rape means. This test or exam did not physically throw you up against a structure as you scream no, bruise you, cause you to bleed, and made you fall to the ground, feeling like the biggest piece of dung and extremely violated. That test may have been difficult, but it did not rape you.

Words like rape, assault, and other similar trigger words are extremely tender subjects. This needs to end. Rape and assault are not a laughing matter. It's physically traumatic and damages victims emotionally and psychologically. The outlook on the male or female gender will change drastically. Emotional stability becomes nonexistent.

I don't know any other way to say this except that it needs to come to an end. Immediately. It's not a laughing matter.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Home is Where the Heart is

As I sit here in my living room, I start to think about my time here in my amazing hometown of Chicago. I've spent my entire life, almost 21 years, here in the city with the occasional time spent in Athens, Ohio. It's hitting me that this is most likely my last summer here in this house, in this neighborhood, and in this city for many years.

I've never moved out of this house; I've only switched bedrooms. I've lived in this neighborhood my entire life. I've scraped my knees on every single square of cement, thrown racquet balls at countless porch steps, and shot many baskets in my alleyway. I've thrown the pigskin around my front lawn, played running bases between the same two trees, and played baseball at the same mock diamond for 21 years.

This reflection has made me realize that the saying "you are where you come from" is extremely valid. Yes, I know this refers to your family upbringing and cultural ties, but there are many other factors that shape who you are. The countless memories I have on this block is something I think about everytime I drive down the street or the alleyway.

Every time I walk by the tree with the now removed face, I think of the amount of times I slid into first base at the base of the tree. I think of the time J.J. ripped the face off the tree when I was 9. I think of the times Dean, Joey, Reilly, and I would sit in the grass, sharpening sticks and talking about God knows what.

Every time I look in my backyard, I think of the times that Billy, Tom, Charlie, and every guy I know would dunk me in that pool. I think of every cookout the Bells had over 20 years with the same people who became our family. I remember every July 4th where I would sit on my deck, looking at the countless fireworks lighting up the sky. I think of the countless splinters I had, the fireflies I would catch, the sparklers I would line our sidewalk, and the bottle rockets we lit off our deck.

Every time I walk up my steps, I look to my right and see my neighbor's front steps. All the times Dean, Reilly, Joey, Jake and I would grab a racquet ball and play pinners for hours. All the times we would make his sidewalk home plate and play quick games of baseball with that same racquet ball and whiffle bat. All the memories where we've slid into home with bruised knees and scraped legs.

Every time I take out the trash to my alley, I look at the asphalt and think of the hours I spent trying to perfect my jump shot. The hours I would beg Joey to teach me the spider or the hypnotizer. The one and only time I beat Reilly in a one-on-one game with a bank shot from the fence. The time where the guys and I would run down the alley after Jake was hit by a car while on a go-cart.

Every trip I make to Walgreens, I think about the hot summer days where we would trek to the store to grab Gatorade and gum. The days we would sit to wait for the bus to head to Six Corners. The times we would walk to Shabonna to play football in the field.

Every time I look at my house, I think of the days we would sit on my steps years later, catching up and reminiscing. I remember when I saw my mom bring my brother and sister home for the first time. I think of every piece of trash I threw in those bushes after coming home from grade school. I remember every front porch conversation I've had with my parents.

Every time I walk through my house, I remember the old, butt ugly yellow kitchen we used to have. I remember seeing my brother and sister take their first steps. I remember screaming for joy in my dining room when I was accepted into Fenwick, and four years later when I made my decision to go to Ohio.

Although I've gone through a lot of downfalls and negatives in my life, this neighborhood and the memories I have here are some of my greatest moments. This neighborhood is me in a nut shell: beat up but still strong, old but youthful, changing but classic. This place, this block, this house, and these people will always be in my heart, because it's my home. Thank you Chicago for the 20+ years of hospitality, memories, and friends you've given me. Hopefully, I'll be back one day as an older, wiser, and stronger individual, ready to come home for good.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Thank You Seniors

A special group to the WOUB Sports department leaves the streets of Athens and heads off into the real world. When you work with a group like this one for three years, they not only become your coworkers, but they also become some of your closest friends. Every single one of these seniors has made an impact on me, and I feel that the Internet needs to know how great of a class you guys really are. So, here we go:

Bobson: Honestly, what is WOUB going to do without you next year? You stay calm, cool, and collected no matter what goes wrong in a show. I can speak for everyone that having you direct a show that we were on was always a great cast from your standpoint. Outside of the newsroom, your love for the Blue Jackets will forever live on no matter where you go, companioned by a bag of chips and a coke. Your dry humor made anyone laugh, no matter the mood they were in. Thank you for three years of clean shows, blue jackets knowledge, and a laugh whenever I was in the newsroom. Good luck on your future ventures. I know you'll do fantastic in North Carolina.

Billy: If this picture doesn't sum up your personality, then I don't know what does. You always had a smile on your face and a way to just bring energy to a room. Whether you were on the desk in a Hardwood polo or out in a Tigger suit, you were the life of a party. Your never ending love for the Cavs will still be present in Little Hartman. Your vast knowledge on all sports astounded me as a freshman and still does to this day. This SE-OH-AL reporter will be missed next year, not only on desk but in Athens in general. Thanks for 3 years of fun buddy. Keep on keeping on and stay that energetic self in your future ventures. Good luck and you'll be a success wherever you go.

Allie: Newswatch was fun to say the least. From late newsroom nights, scrambling for a showcase package to anchoring for Newswatch, you always stayed level headed. No matter the tech issue, you found a way to fix it and manage to come out with a great piece. Keep that patience as you venture on to bigger and better things.

Takitch:I guess we have too much energy Takitch. Ranging from covering baseball games last year to every Friday night as the host, you always found a way to help me with anything I asked you. I'm still amazed that you can solve a Rubiks cube. Thanks for every bit of advice, time in the newsroom, and your amazing caring personality and attitude. Continue on with your successes for many years to come.

Morgan: Will we miss you or your dog more? I'm just kidding. It seems to be a common theme throughout this post, but patience with me is something that I appreciate out of you Morgan. Continue on with your future successes, and I know you'll make it out to L.A.!

J-Mac: Ah the lovely days in the newsroom for Newswatch... J-Mac I'm totally going to miss your snide and clever one-liners in the newsroom. Thanks for all your advice and bright humor you brought to the newsroom. Continue on to your journey to a warm place where I know you'll find success.

Chuck: Is it Chuck or Charlie? Who cares! Man, anytime Chuck Walter would be on, you always knew something punny or witty was making the show. I don't think I've ever met someone as relaxed and comfortable on a desk as you are. Ranging from shooting games with you to just editing for your sports cast, you were always a fun and funny person in and out of the newsroom. Running on Chuck time will always be present, although gettting a haircut thirty minutes before show might now. I hope you continue with your success and find a place that's just as relaxed as you are. Thanks for three years of fun buddy!

Avery: The torch has been passed on. Thanks for the consistent serenades in the newsroom, Avery. It's been a fun and hectic year to say the least. Thanks for dealing with me this year and for giving Carter and I the opportunity to continue on at WOUB. Continue with your successes.

Tomas: much to say...First off, you shared a 773 area code. I know you always wanted silence in control, but let's be real....that would never happen with me up there. Tomas, thanks for just dealing with me from Newswatch to Hardwood. I hope you have an amazing wedding and a fantastic future where ever you go.

Sarah: The world traveller! Man, from freshman year covering's been a ride. I don't think I've ever met anyone as nice and sweet as you Sarah. You always find the brightness in the day and always have a smile on your face, even when you're crutching all over campus. You're ridiculously dedicated, especially with that West Virginia documentary. Thanks for three years of fun Sarah and continue on with your successes!

Kelsey: From one of my favorite producers of Newswatch to joining the sports department, I absolutely loved working with you. You communicated well, you understood frustrating situations, and always stayed calm, cool, and collected. I know you left in December to join the real world and be an adult, but we will still miss you in the newsroom. Continue on with you ventures and stay successful!

Levi: Not seeing you in the newsroom this year was rough to say the least. You were an amazing director for Gridiron last year, and I'm glad you were rewarded. However, I don't think you hear enough how strong you are. Dealing with any crisis that would happen in control or just dealing with stupidity is something that not many can do. Continue being strong on your journey to success.

Singer: You are just so knowledgeable it blows my mind. From Gridiron to covering baseball, it's been a fun year. Thanks for every fun fact and tid bit of information or just cracking jokes in the press box. Have an amazing career and continue to be successful!

Alex: My favorite weather person! Alex, you astonish everyone with your on-air presence. I know every chick admires your hair-teasing expert status. On a serious note though, thanks for just bringing a sense of calmness to the newsroom on those hectic Friday nights or anytime in WOUB. Continue with weather forecasts up in Youngstown and reach for the sky, no matter how cloudy it can be.

Baucco: I know I repeat myself, and you've heard it a million times, but thank you for helping me get out of my funk. Every one hour drive to Zanesville, every Friday night, and every random run-in on a GoBus, you had that bright smile with those dimples on your face. You helped me find me again, and I don't think I can ever repay you. Even when you would get under my skin by playing sound effects from Clash of Clans in the car to Philo, you'd laugh it off and flash that smile. Your spontaneous nature is something I envy. Your consistent push to get a laugh out of every day always brightened my day. You were there for me during my darkest moments, and I truly appreciate it. The Mafia Queen will always love you! Keep that smile on while you journey to success.

Lucas: My journalistic career would not have gone in any direction without you, Lucas. God, your passion, work ethic, and determination is something I admire about you. You always strived for perfection in any script or in anything in life. You're quirky in the best possible meaning of the word, and you take pride in it. You always speak your mind and fought through any adversity that came your way. You literally helped me start here at WOUB with Nelsonville-York, and the rest is history.  Your patience with me is something that no one has ever been able to master, and I truly appreciate it. From all the stupid questions I had as a freshman to some of the things that I would say, you would poke your fun but then help me out afterwards. You taught me so much just from your determination, and I don't think you hear that enough. Thank you so much Lucas for every memory and every bit of advice. Make Los Angeles your own Cedar Point.

Jimmer: Lucas guided me, but it was you that took the risk. You gave me every single debut at WOUB, and that alone I owe you so much. You are a strong individual, both mentally and physically. You fought through so much and had every obstacle thrown your way. No matter what came your way, you found a way to get through it and come out even stronger. You offered your two cents when I was in a dilemma. You dealt with the awkward freshman Karli and still deal with me to this day. You're a goof, a dork, but also one of my mentors. You taught me so much about what a taste of the real world can give you and how to turn everything into a blessing. I honestly don't know what my career would be like had I not met you. I'm upset that we didn't close until your senior year, but that's what the future is for. Thanks for every debut, life lesson, and your snarky comebacks. Keep on fighting, and I know you'll always come out on top with the reward of success.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dear Future Husband, Ignore Meghan Trainor

What I love about hypocrites is that they eventually expose themselves. They preach one thing and say that people need to act a certain way, and then they fulfill those stereotypes they're trying to destroy. Well, Meghan Trainor did JUST THIS with her release of her new music video to her song "Dear Future Husband." Let's just take a look at the lyrics, shall we?

"Take me on a date / I deserve it babe / And don't forget the flowers every anniversary"

News flash: not every woman wants flowers on their anniversary. Who? ME! I don't like flowers. Do I think they're pretty? Yes, but those things would die in approximately two days after receiving them. Save yourself the money, and don't fulfill the stereotype that women want flowers.

"If you treat me right / I'll be the perfect wife / Buying groceries / Buy-buying what you need"

So...being the perfect wife means grocery shopping? That's definitely not what I thought the definition of a perfect wife was. Also, men do grocery shopping, too. My father has gone grocery shopping just as much as my mother. Again, Trainor's pushing for the 1950's housewife stereotype. And this is coming from someone who said to love all bodies....oh, except skinny ones.

"You got to know how to treat me like a lady / even when I'm acting crazy"

Ok, alright. I'll give her this. Women are crazy. So are men, children, gays, lesbians, blacks, whites, latinos, asians. Everyone is crazy. Saying that women are crazy fulfill the stereotype of the "crazy girlfriend," which feminists, as Meghan calls herself, are trying to destroy.

"If you wanna get that special lovin' / tell me I'm beautiful every night"

I would rather be called intelligent, rational, logical, compassionate, loving, caring, or determined instead of beautiful. Women are not as shallow as the stereotype pushes. We are individual human beings that want to acheive our career-oriented or family-oriented goals. We're not just plastic Barbie dolls that are skin deep.

"After every fight / Just apologize / And maybe then I'll let you try and rock my body right / Even if I
was wrong / You know I'm never wrong"

WOA WOA WOA. Hold on, here. Let's take this apart piece by piece. First off, she's rewarding someone caving their beliefs or opinions with sex. Well, that's just a great idea to implant in children's heads. Good job. Secondly, Trainor is saying that the woman is always right. No, we're not. We are not perfect individuals who are always right in an argument. Men and women make mistakes, and women need to admit they're wrong when they're wrong. Stop with the stereotype, Ms. Trainor.

"Make time for me / Don't leave me lonely / And know we'll never see your family more than mine"

WHAT?!?!? Oh my God; are you kidding me? Meghan, what are you doing? You're basically saying that women are dependent creatures who cannot be independent. That's disgusting. Secondly, you will be a terrible wife. You cannot exclude your husband's family from your children's lives. That's terrible! I love both sides of my family, and I would never want one side neglected because of your stereotypical ideals. That's repugnant.

"Don't have a dirty mind / Just be a classy guy / Buy me a ring / Bu-buy me a ring"

Well aren't you just a demanding little lady? First off, men and women are sexual humans. You can't force your husband to stop thinking about sex. Be a classy guy? If you have to demand that out of your husband, then you don't know how to choose men. Period. Finally, buy me a ring? How about you use your millions to get yourself a ring...? You're so demanding.

This song, coming from the woman who was praised as someone who spread the love of body image in her song "All About That Bass," is something that no man should listen to. Not every woman wants to be the stereotypical housewife who cooks and cleans for her husband. Some of us are independent individuals who are career driven and care about their work future, not their familial future.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Why is it Gendered?

I know you’ve probably seen and/or read articles where female sports fans go on their rants about the ‘struggles’ of being a sports fan. Yes, all of them are true; BUT let me turn the table to the men so you know what it feels like when something you’re knowledgeable on is challenged by the opposite sex/gender.

For my well-dressed men out there: I bet you think you’re very knowledgeable on designers, styles, fashion eras, etc. Let’s say you’re shopping with your girlfriend, and she is getting a little black dress with ruching. You say, “Oh, I really like the ruching on that dress.” Your girlfriend responds, “Why do you know what that is? Where does the term come from? What designer made this popular?” You feel bombarded and belittled; you have no time to respond, because she keeps cutting you off.

Not into fashion? Well then, let’s continue…

For my music men: I bet you think you’re very knowledgeable on the changing chart toppers or the new underground music that’s starting to hit the scene. Let’s say a woman you’re talking to is also a big music fanatic. She starts bombarding you with questions about the biography of the band or artist, how many albums they’ve made, where they’re originally from, etc.

EVEN BETTER: Let’s say you’re a big One Direction/Justin Bieber/Taylor Swift/”girly music” band fan. You tell a woman this and she asks, “Oh, is this just a phase?” You feel insulted, because, apparently, it’s weird for men to like what’s considered girly music.

Still doesn’t apply to you? Well, hold on buddy; let me make this clear to you:

Hobbies and interests are not gendered. It’s completely acceptable for women to love football, baseball, basketball, soccer, any sport, just how it’s completely acceptable for men to like Justin Bieber or know about the fashion industry. Men, you say you want to change the perspective of women or that you’re a feminist, yet you push the old school traditional values held by our grandparents on women.

I’m not trying to bash men; that’s the last thing I’m trying to do. I’m trying to open your eyes to your actions and how it would feel if the way you treat women was done to you. The fact that women in the 21st century are still being ridiculed or questioned for liking sports is despicable, just how men in the 21st century are still being ridiculed or questioned for liking things that are considered to be feminine.

Let people be who they are. The only way that these old school traditional values can be erased is through action by BOTH men and women. If men want to wear pink (only REAL men wear pink) or want to be into very poppy music, because they like to do so, let them. If women want to follow sports and know the statistics of their team because they like to do so, let them. The first step to getting rid of these gender roles is through action, so let’s get started.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Don't Stand Up...Unless It's For Your Rights

I've noticed that this blog has become an outlet for me, to release stress and be a healthy way to let myself go in a matter of typing. This month's post is going to be just a tad different than in the past. In case you readers didn't know this, I wrote a piece for Thought Catalog in the summer of 2014. It discussed an issue about being asked, "Why are you still single?"

It's a nice rant for the single ladies as Valentine's Day is coming up, or as I like to refer to it as Single Awareness Day (PDAs are just too real that day, and it needs to go away). Anyway, I just went through something that no woman should ever experience. Unfortunately, I have experienced this now for the fourth time in my life, and it has me questioning things about myself and my personality.

Back in December, I was talking to this one guy, who will stay nameless. We were talking for a few weeks. Here's the twist: we met online, and yes, it was Tinder. Go ahead and judge, but that app is a great way to get an ego boost and meet people. Anyway, we started talking, and he seemed like an alright guy. I wanted to meet the kid just to feel things out. So I asked him if he was free on a Thursday night to grab a bite and just meet up in person. He told me he was available and would meet me at this sub shop back home in Chicago. We agreed to meet up at 8.

I'm at my house getting ready and having my awesome little sister pick out jewelry for me to wear. I realized I was running a little late, so I shot him a text saying I was running behind. He responded, "That's fine. I'll meet you there." I get there around 8:15, and see that he wasn't there. I texted him; no response. I waited about a half hour; again, no response. Another hour goes by; no response. By this time, I am livid and angry that, for the fourth time in my life, I have been stood up.

I drove home after some much needed retail therapy (I also justified it as a way to use the gift cards I got for Christmas). I burst in the door with bags in hand; my mom looks at me and just felt awful for me that she's seen this happen to me four times now.

Men, WHY? Why do you stand up chicks? Do you know how much effort goes into getting ready? That involves putting on a full face of makeup, doing our hair, finding an outfit that isn't a pair of sweats and a just made me waste about two hours of my time.

I wasn't expecting this guy to become a relationship, and that maltreatment of my time and my emotions guaranteed that. What was even worse is that he texted me the next day, completely ignoring what happened. I ignored him for days and weeks until he got the hint. I then found him subtweeting about me and how girls play mind games. Excuse me, but you toyed with my emotions and wasted my time to satisfy whatever you needed to satisfy. And women are the ones who play mind games.

Men, women are not difficult to figure out. We are quite simple. Just don't get us angry, and you will be on easy street. If you've met a girl who is way more complex than that, then I feel so bad for you. For example, as long as you respect my schedule and that I don't feel the need to speak to you every single second of the day, you will do just fine.

If you can't make the date or you feel like you're too nervous (which you know you feel), then just let us know. Just text us. We will be upset that you did make us waste a couple hours, but I know that we would still continuing talking to you because you were honest with us. That's all it takes. Learn your lesson men. You're welcome.