Who run the world?

Girls, according to Beyonce. Unfortunately, there is a terrible epidemic going around where women in need are not being supported by other women. In fact, there are many people who make assumptions and waste NO time in attacking others. Though this happens frequently, my case in point is what happened last month with Beyonce’s new song release “Lemonade.”

Allegedly Beyonce’s spouse Jay-Z cheated on her and she alludes to the mistress as “Becky with the good hair.” Fans swarmed to Rachel Roy, who made an Instagram post alluding to having good hair….and she got attacked verbally online by fans. However, this is not OK and if I were Beyonce, I would be personally be embarrassed that I have so many fans that are bullies. Sticking up for people in person is one thing (especially if you have actual facts), but staying behind a computer scene and bullying a person is not dignified.

What is worse is that not only was Rachel Roy attacked online, but so was her young daughter. What I would like to know is that if Jay-Z did cheat, why is no questioning him? I’m glad no one is verbally abusing him regardless of the situation, but to attack a person without knowing facts is appalling. If a person wants to get mad, I think they should focus their attention on human rights violations occurring all over the world, every day. At the end of the day, these celebrities are human beings like you and I (even if Bey does “slay”). Why not focus on spreading peace?

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Fear: Acknowledge it to Live Your Dream

Think about when you were a small child and how you responded to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” For me, I wanted to be a singer like my idol Britney Spears and after that, I wanted to be a geologist. As a grew older, I forged a passion with reading and after doing so well in English classes, pursued an English degree solely because of my love of books, and later taught children in Spain English. However, say I or you wanted to be a famous singer, be a rock (or rocket) scientist, be the next President, could you do it?

The answer is yes, you could. It doesn’t mean that all things will happen like you want them to but anything is in the realm of possibility. Too often we look at other people and say, “Well, they got lucky” or “I don’t have that kind of upbringing or those connections” but forget that even if those things are true, getting to their level or beyond their level is not out of the question. However, we may be doubtful within ourselves and not even know it. We might do it ALL the time without even knowing it! Fear holds us back from making life-changing decisions that can place us on a new, more happy path.

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Even if life looks black and white, remember to smile. 

What most people do not know is this: if you are able to tell yourself a thought daily, it will become your reality. Try it for yourself and also, draw it. Make a vision picture or create a vision board and tell yourself every day what you want to accomplish. For me, one vision was to create a blog and another was to learn the ukelele. If you are like me, you might tell yourself “I don’t have time” or “What’s the point, it won’t make a different” but realize that those feelings, though normal, are not right!! Sure, you may be strapped for time but there is always enough time in our short human existence to start something new–and it will help your brain function better! So do this:

1. Tell yourself a positive affirmation every day or draw it.

2. Every time your thoughts turn negative, turn them positive–even if it seems silly!

3. When people tell you it is too late to do something, take it with a grain of salt. You own your dreams.

4. Don’t forget to laugh.

What’s your dream?

May 3 Day of Action: Demand Safe Factories for H&M Garment Workers!

On May 3, H&M shareholders are meeting in Sweden for its Annual General Meeting and on that day, thousands of protesters will convene to fight for better rights for garment workers. Despite H&M signing a legally-binding agreement three years ago to make its supplier factories safer, the majority of workers sewing H&M clothing in Bangladesh are still working under dangerous conditions.

Join a demonstration or learn more about the movement by clicking here.

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Image via International Labor Rights Forum.

Whether or not we see the poor conditions, poor workers rights affects everyone, even if you cannot see it! Clothing should come at a reasonable price, without violating a human right.

Feminist Books that Changed My Life

Can you recall learning something new that changed your life? This was me and feminism. No one really taught me about it but early on, I got involved with issues of human trafficking, which turned into me inquiring more about female health (learning about what a fistula was truly mind blowing). Atrocities towards women on a large scale THEN turned into me noticing the everyday issues women face like sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

Since I am a lover of my library card, I have taken out a number of  contemporary titles pertaining to women’s rights and feminism that I think any person should check out. Here are a few.:

  1. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

This book manages to be hilarious while breaking down contemporary feminist debates. She uses her own stories of being not only a woman navigating the slippery slopes of life, but while also being African American. By breaking down this book into essays, the book is a breeze to read through and if anything you take out of this book, you will get a great refresher on pop culture.

     2. We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi

The ultimate feminist manifesto. Short and simple but to the point. Read this on your morning commute and you will be uplifted by this women’s unbreakable spirit.

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3. Created Equal: Voices on Human Rights by Anna Horsbrugh-Porter, Patrick Stewart    (Foreword)

From GoodreadsCreated Equal is a frank and clear-sighted introduction to the current state of women’s rights globally. Millions of women throughout the world suffer from violence, poverty and denial of their human rights because of their gender.

4. Airbrushed Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women’s Magazines by Jennifer Nelson

From the title alone, you can take away a lot about what this book is about. What you will take away from this is a loathing of magazines. All magazines, in general.

5. The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti

America has an obsession with both virgins and promiscuous women and its downright creepy. This book will suck you in rehashing the chastising country we live in!

Read on, friends! With plenty of feminist books to choose from, which are your favorite?

 

 

 

Product Review: Lush Shampoo Solid Bar

I do not normally write product reviews, but I had a great first-time experience with Lush with their shampoo and thought to share. Being particular about what I put on my body, I thought I would try out Lush. I had heard about them for years and actually spotted them for the first time in Italy, long before they began popping up in America. Yesterday was the day that I finally made my first purchase and instead of going for the usual body-related purchase like a lotion, I chose shampoo because I needed a new one!

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Maybe the bar is not what you expect when you look at it, but you have to admit it is pretty cool with that lemon in it (looks weird, but it’s really lemon!). As far as performance, it lathered AMAZINGLY! It didn’t suds up like normal shampoo’s but it lathered better than any shampoo I have used in a long time. Even though some of the ingredients, looking on the website, are synthetic, the product mainly uses essential oils to get your hair clean. Since I don’t wash my hair every day, I am looking forward to how my hair is feeling in a few days from now.

Rape Culture: Folks to Avoid

A part of me is dreading writing what I am about to write about, but it has been on my mind so much lately! I feel like a frequently bring it up in conversation with friends because it is witnessed far too often–rape and rape culture are not properly addressed. I know that I mentioned it in another post but first and foremost, a person does not warrant sexual advances and aggression due to what they are wearing. No one “asks” for anything unless they actually ask for it. Consent is consent and you either have it or you do not.

You should avoid someone who:

  • Has a large sense of entitlement. If you receive a compliment from someone, this does not mean that you owe them anything. Same if they buy you dinner or do anything of value to you. This seems like a no-brainer, but some people are skilled manipulators.
  • Uses manipulative tactics. For example, a person may make you feel bad about yourself and that what you should be doing is pleasing them.
  • Sends you anything electronically or says anything to you that makes you feel uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable in the way that a new novel may challenge your beliefs, but uncomfortable in the way that you are creeped out or feel threatened.
  • Says rape jokes. Yes, this is a thing. No, they are not just jokes. They perpetuate the thought that rape is something to be laughed at and that is not to be taken lightly.

I feel like there are many more archetypes that fit this bill and every individual experiences rape culture differently than another. Please share your thoughts and tell your friends to just say NO to these kinds of people!

For additional examples of rape culture, I found this great article.

My Birthday Week: Get Out and Volunteer! Here’s How.

This past week was my 25th birthday and as much as I love my job, I felt like I wanted to do something that I would remember forever. Giving back to the community has been something I have always supported, and participated in. This past year, I became more engaged by mentoring a young, single mom in a shelter with her finances (I did this in a 6 month program after work). After the program ended and with my birthday coming up, I decided to take off a whole day of work to commit to community building.

After reaching out to a number of local organizations, it came down to Habitat for Humanity which was planning to work on building a house and was happy to have me on board! I did not hesitate to join there crew. On my birthday, I spent the day drilling dry wall onto the first floor walls of the house and despite recovering from a cold and being chilly in the morning, it was a great experience!

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I know it sounds like a big time commitment or too much work to find a place to volunteer, but once you actually do go through with a small commitment like this, not only does it help others, but it is so rewarding on a personal level! I think this is because you can actually SEE the difference you are making.

If you are interested in volunteering this is what I suggest:

  1. Ask around. Word of mouth travels fast and you might know someone connected to a great organization which needs help! If not on person, social media is a wonderful tool to find out what’s going on in your area.
  2. Decide what you care about most. There are so many causes that are important to me so it is hard to pick just one! However, you will need to. Love animals? Check out your nearest Humane Society. Crazy for environmental preservation? Join a clean-up crew!
  3. Also consider what you are good at. Act accordingly. For example, if you are a money person, spearheading or joining a fundraiser is an excellent choice.
  4. If you are not finding what you are looking for, I strongly suggest Volunteer Match or other websites that can connect you to organizations that fit what you want to do.

With helping out being so easy, what are you waiting for?!