Yesterday was my sister’s high school graduation party, filled with family and friends that I haven’t seen in years. It was a great party and a fun day, but if I had a dollar for every time I was asked, “So, are you dating anybody?”, I’d have the next three months of rent paid for. Now, I’m only 21, which seems young to me, but since my parents as well as most of their friends met their current spouses in college, they all automatically expect me to do the same. Let me just say that after finishing my three out of four years in college, I have not been impressed with the selection of men. Maybe I’m too picky or looking in the wrong places, but I’ve really lucked out. I’ve only been on two decent dates during this time and had my heart broken by one jerk who cheated on me for two years. With over 20 different girls, mind you. In the meantime, I’ve watched classmates, cousins, and childhood friends get engaged at the ages of 19-23. So my question is, what’s the rush? We’ve all heard the joke, “Getting engaged at 22 sounds a lot like leaving a party at 9:30” and frankly, I agree. Personally, I have a lot of job searching, traveling, and experiences to check off my “To-Do List” before I settle down and commit to one person for the rest of my life. Marriage for me means one person, and one person only until the day I die (I’m strongly against divorce, mostly because it scares me to death. I have issues). Yes, time goes by fast (see previous post “Time flies.”), but I still have a lot of life to live before getting serious. If someone comes along and sweeps me off my feet, I won’t be opposed to being in a relationship, but for now, it’s the rare age where I get to discover myself and truly focus on me. I’m loving every minute of it.
Anyone who has a twitter has seen the trending hashtag #YesAllWomen for the past week. In light of the tragic shootings at UCSB over the weekend, this hashtag has turned into a movement, and a pretty important one. My friend asked me the other day what it meant, but at the time I couldn’t figure out the exact words to explain it. If she asked me today, I would say that it is a hashtag pleading for equality for women. When most people think of women’s equality, it brings them back to 1920 when women were finally granted the right to vote in the United States. Nowadays, women’s equality means something totally different.
It means being able to apply for the same jobs and positions as men.
It means getting paid the same wages.
It means being able to walk down the street without getting cat-called.
It means not having to look over your shoulder every five seconds while walking to your car at night.
It means being able to wear what we want without having to worry about looking like we’re “asking for it”.
It means being allowed to wear yoga pants in high schools without them being a “distraction”.
It means having the right to “friendzone” someone we don’t want to sleep with, without any criticism.
It means being allowed to sleep with whoever we want without being called a “slut”, “whore”, etc. Men do.
It means not having to worry that if we set our drink down for a second, someone will drug it.
Most of all, it means living life with the respect we deserve.
This hashtag is probably the most important our generation will see for a while. I encourage everyone to search #YesAllWomen and just read some of the top tweets. I hope men take this seriously and think about their actions and how they affect women every day. Finally, social media is being used in a proactive, positive way. Let’s continue it.
Because all women have walked to their car in the dark, keys clutched tight in hand, one poking out between two fingers.
Because when I go out to bars or clubs, I have to think about whether what I’m wearing is too suggestive, instead of putting on whatever I please.
Because I feel the need to apologize when I’m not wearing makeup or my hair hasn’t been washed, or when I’m generally looking anything other than flawless.
Because there was nothing I could do about the man who touched me inappropriately in the middle of Gillette Stadium as I waited for my then-boyfriend to come out of the bathroom. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STADIUM.
Because there was also nothing I could do when a man touched me inappropriately in the middle of a crowded street, his arm around his girlfriend. Because retaliating in the way I wanted to…
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With some recent events that have happened over this past weekend, the short amount of time that we have here on earth has really been put into perspective for me. On Saturday, my little sister graduated from high school. I have never felt so old, since it seems like I just graduated from high school a few weeks ago. Here I am, entering my fourth and final year as an undergrad and my sister, who promised us on her second birthday that she would stay two forever, about to begin her college career. I cannot believe how fast my childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood has flown by.
In other news, on Sunday, May 18th, a fellow UC Bearcat my age, Brogan Dulle, went missing. There have been thousands and thousands of volunteers all over Cincinnati and UC’s campus conducting searches for him. Last night, his body was discovered in a vacant house right next door to his apartment. He had hung himself, according to Cincinnati police. This upsetting news made me wonder if Brogan really had any idea how many people care about him. I wish more than anything he could have seen the hundreds and hundreds of people who searched for him every day for the past week, the 24,000 members of a Facebook group dedicated to finding him, and the millions of tweets and posts of people sending prayers his way. We all need to remember, we can’t wait until someone passes away to show them how loved they are.
With these recent events, I am working on constantly reminding myself to (as cliche as it is) live my life to the fullest, since each day is not guaranteed. We only have a short time in this life, so why not make it matter?! My goal for after I’m gone, hopefully decades from now, is to have inspired at least one person and impacted lives in positive ways. What is your goal?
On December 29th, 2013, I experienced something that completely changed my life. A group of my friends and I were celebrating our friends’ 21st birthday in Cleveland and having a great time. We left one of the bars to go home and although one person decided to be a designated driver, we could not fit everyone in a single car, so four of us (including me) decided to take a cab to and from the bar. We found a van-taxi parked on the sidewalk but the driver was asleep inside. We woke him up by knocking on the window and asked if he was okay and still making runs, to which he replied, “Yes, come on in.” My friends Adammichael, Sam, Brooke, and I hopped in. We were driving for less than five minutes when we approached Superior Bridge on a freeway. The driver swerved from the far right lane to the left, crashing head on into a median.
Brooke, who was sitting to the left of me, was knocked unconscious immediately and ended up on the floor of the van in front of her seat. Right after crashing, the driver dumped out a Budweiser can–we knew then that he was drunk. I called 911 as the other two tended to Brooke to try to find her pulse. Seeing one of your friends look as if they’re dead is an image permanently burned in my mind. Once the paramedics came, Brooke gained consciousness and was rushed to the hospital. The other three of us suffered only minor injuries and were able to walk away from the scene.
We learned that night that Brooke had snapped her neck and cut her head open, which explains the blood that was EVERYWHERE. I was lucky enough to only suffer a neck and knee sprain. The driver hit his head and cut it open on the windshield, but also walked away from the accident. And yes, we are in the process of a lawsuit.
This traumatizing, horrible experience completely opened my eyes. Everyone in that vehicle could have very well been killed that night, which is something I think about daily. It has taught me to appreciate each day and every person in my life, to not take any moment for granted because it can so quickly be taken away. I have been so much more appreciative this past month for everything in my life. In a way, I think God put us in that situation to make us stronger, which it has. I encourage everyone-as cliche as it sounds- to live like each day is their last. It will make you a much happier person. Also, do NOT drink and drive because it can ruin someone’s life.
Brooke is still recovering and has to wear a neck brace for a few more months, but just celebrated her 21st birthday last week and is doing great. We are so, so thankful to be healthy and to have amazing friends and family to help all of us recover from the accident (I finally took a cab for the first time since the accident this past weekend!). I am forever grateful for my life and the amazing humans in it.
My last post was already long, so I’m continuing with a similar subject on here.
I have numerous best friends that are guys whom I am with constantly. Almost 100% of the time, they are talking about one of two things: girls and sports. Predictable, right? Over the past couple years of being friends with these guys, I’ve almost lost faith in the male population completely. Every other day the boys are talking about a different girl they’ve slept with, some chick they saw with a great ass, or which girl send them nude pictures that day. It’s absolutely repulsive. One of my best friends, who will remain nameless, has slept with over 45 girls. He’s only 21 years old. I asked him one day, “What would you think of me if I slept with that many guys?” to which he responded “Oh I’d definitely think you were the biggest whore alive. I’d probably make fun of you too.”
WHAT IS THIS DOUBLE STANDARD PEOPLE!?
Why is it that guys can sleep with whoever, whenever they want and they’re praised for it, yet if a female even thought about acting the same way, she’d be constantly ridiculed for being a slut? The higher a man’s “number” is, the more manlier they are. The higher a girl’s “number” is, the bigger the skank she becomes known as. One of my male friends put it this way: “If one key works for many locks, it’s a master key. If one lock works for many keys, it’s a shitty lock.” What?!
Honestly, I don’t even know where I’m going with this. All I have to say is that maybe if more females started to act like ladies, maybe more males would start acting like gentlemen.
It’s a vicious cycle, this whole sex/girls/boys thing. Where do we draw the lines?