Women Are More Than Fodder for Locker Room Talk

 

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Credit: Ezra Jeffrey, https://unsplash.com/photos/PoUyJRDqkU0

DONALD TRUMP’S DEMEANING VIEWS OF WOMEN

Everyone who has a social media account has seen Donald Trump’s leaked footage of him talking about women in a vulgar, demeaning, and derogatory manner. He defended his words by noting that it was “locker room talk”, that the leaked audio is from over 10 years ago, and by deflecting the situation back to Bill Clinton’s alleged misdeeds. Let’s address these issues one by one.

LOCKER ROOM TALK
All people need to be treated with respect: women and men, gay or straight, young or old. The defense “locker room talk” should not be a defense. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, it should not be said in the confines of a male locker room. Ten times out of ten, a man wouldn’t have the audacity to say this in front of their mothers, daughters, or sisters.

TIME
Time can actually be a valid defense. This defense can be used if a change for the better has been seen in the individual after the initial incident. The case for Trump is bleak. He has treated women much the same since this audio was filmed. He has not redeemed himself through his actions since his 2005 conversation.

DEFLECTION
Actions of others have absolutely no bearing on what you, as an individual, do or say. Humans are autonomous. Bill Clinton’s previous actions do not have anything to do with what Donald Trump said ten years ago. Bill Clinton’s previous actions do not give Trump permission to say what he did. (I am not defending Clinton.) If Trump were genuinely apologetic, he would focus entirely on his actions and sincerely ask for forgiveness.

RESPECT: THE IMPORTANCE OF TREATING WOMEN LIKE HUMANS

I don’t want to talk about the politics of this situation. I want to talk about the character, or lack thereof, with the situation. If you haven’t yet heard Trump’s conversation with Billy Bush, to sum it up, he acts as if women are objects at his disposal and speaks about them as sexual beings only.

Respect has been lost for women for a very long time. In popular media and Hollywood, women are often depicted as less than men if given any attention at all. We are more than sexual beings. We are intelligent, thoughtful, important, and a necessary part of society. We are not property. We are not objects.

Men: learn to respect women for what they bring, and what they are capable of bringing, to the table. Women: learn to respect yourself for who you are, and find a man (or woman) who makes you feel respected. Should you choose to have children, instill in them a core respect for others. Do not be a Trump. Do not continue to act as if words do not carry weight in our society. Do not perpetuate the idea that women are disposable to men. It can only serve to separate rather then unite us together.

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Social Anxiety: Number One Reason Why My Dog Is My Best Friend

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I am shy. And I have social anxiety in certain situations. Even writing this post, knowing that others are going to read my words, makes me anxious. But it’s precisely why I’m doing it. I’ve always been more soft-spoken and for a long time, I thought I would always be that way. Of course just because I’m naturally more introverted and soft-spoken, doesn’t mean I’m destined to stay like this forever. And staying shy will not do anything for the anxiety I feel.

My anxiety stems from the fact that I feel every interaction I have with most people is that they are judging me. So I figure the less social interaction I have with people, the less they can judge me. That’s my logic. The problem with this is that I will always be saddled with anxiety because I cannot escape social interactions if I want to be a normal, functioning human in our society.

I also want to say that my social anxiety isn’t all consuming or off-the-charts bad. And I don’t feel it in all social situations. Talking to strangers is when it’s at its worst. Even group settings, in which I don’t know a lot of people, can set it off. It’s simply something I would like to grow out of. My social anxiety manifests by verbal withdrawal and loss of thought process. I also sometimes feel my heart rate increase, which of course only makes me feel only more anxious.

I’m writing this post because it’s something I want to move beyond. I don’t want to feel anxiety because I think people are judging me. One, I should not care if strangers are judging me. Two, I’ve had people tell me that they thought I was conceited or uptight because of my silence and shyness. So people are making judgments regardless of the fact that I don’t talk so obviously my tactic isn’t working so well. Three, I hate the feeling of anxiety. And finally, I just want to be able to make friends as easily as other people seem to. This is my first step towards living with my social anxiety in a healthier way. Wish me luck.