Monday, August 26, 2013

Slut-Shaming Pisses Me Off

Last night, before I went to bed, I noticed that many of my Facebook friends were making fun of a celebrity. Apparently this young lady had chosen to move her body in ways that many people consider to be less than "tasteful".  Let me be clear, there is NO EXCUSE for bullying. NEVER!
There is no excuse for slut shaming, either, which is the specific type of bullying I saw last night.

Fast forward to this morning when I saw even more people online slut-shaming and bullying this young lady. It does not matter who the person is, if he/she/other will see what you write or if he/she/other has some affliction or disease. BULLYING AND SLUT SHAMING ARE NEVER OK!

You are not a true feminist if you slut-shame. 

The bullies are the ones who sexualized this young lady. They created more of a rape culture through their bullying. They reinforced negative social constructs regarding gender, feminism, sexuality, and the human body. The truth is that we all have the right to do as we wish with our bodies as long as the behavior does not harm anyone else's body. No one has the right to bully or slut-shame because we do what we choose with our bodies. End. Of. Story.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Everything is an Emergency....

Everything is an emergency....

......when you are a preschooler living with sensory processing disorder.

One of my favorite books is Parts written by Tedd Arnold. In this book, a small boy is upset because he thinks his body is falling apart. It turns out that his parents forgot to tell him that it is normal to lose teeth, have ear wax, and have skin peel away from your body at times. This story always made my kindergarten students laugh because they have also wondered about such things.

The story also rings true in my own home. Today, while preparing dinner, my older children and I heard my son screaming from the other room. He was sitting and playing with blocks when I went into the kitchen, two feet away, to get dinner ready. Once I turned the corner and saw him screaming, I thought perhaps he had injured himself. It turns out that he had chosen to pick at a scab on his ankle and it opened up. His ankle began to bleed thus creating a hysterical child situation that lasted for around thirty minutes.

Many children would be upset about a scab bleeding if it was the first time it happened or if they were worried about the blood so my son is not the only child who would react this way. Most children would calm down quickly once they knew a parent or guardian was on the case. My son just kept screaming and basically not making sense to me. Eventually he let me carry him to another room and set him on a chair so I could get a better look and clean up his then bloody foot as well. He refused a band aid, but eventually let me carry him back to his play area, because he simply could not walk in his opinion. After an hour, he decided he could walk again, thank goodness.

He is very dramatic about everything. After all, in his mind EVERYTHING is an emergency. Hugs and love to everyone out there who has a child with similar behaviors. It is not easy to be empathetic all the time, but you can do it. The empathy and effort are worth your time in the long run. :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Privilege And Entitlement

I have noticed many people discuss privilege in newspaper articles, blogs, and social media lately. This is an important topic and we should discuss it thoroughly. However, I notice that there is some misunderstanding as to exactly what privilege means.

First, we must define privilege. Privilege is a right or benefit. If a person has privilege this may apply to perks associated with skin color or having plenty of disposable income, among other things. A person with a traditionally Caucasian name may have an easier time finding a job because some employers pre-judge a person, whether they mean to or not, because of a name. A person whose family has wealth receives benefits because he or she has enough money to avoid student loans if college is attended. Many people without such wealth do not even have the option of higher education even if they want it.

Many people have at least one type of privilege. Perhaps it is easy for you to have children and you have never struggled with fertility. Maybe you did not have to pay for college due to scholarships or family wealth. Perhaps you have fair skin and a traditionally Caucasian name. All of these are some form of privilege.

While privilege can lead to, but is not the same as entitlement. Privilege is something you inherently have either at one point in your life or throughout your life. Entitlement, when discussing privilege, is when you take privilege and use it for gain because you think you deserve it . Entitlement is still very ingrained into modern society in many ways. An example of entitlement would be when a person says another does not deserve children because fertility is only easy for those who are meant to have children. Entitlement also occurs when someone assumes that a female cannot do a job properly, but a male can do that job well. Entitlement occurs when police officers use racial profiling to determine who is stopped or investigated for a potential crime.

We need to discuss privilege so that we, and our children, do not take our privilege and use it to harm others. We need to discuss privilege so that we can move away from the way things are to a world where all people are considered equal regardless of age, ethnicity, sex, etc. We must be sure to evaluate our behaviors and attitudes often so we can choose not to buy into privilege, but rather focus on a world view that includes all people. Privilege is only here to stay if we choose to let it continue to rule us. It may take time, but we can force change.