Let’s Talk About HUMAN Rights

image1 (1)This post is inspired by the recent state laws, both passed and proposed, across the nation that are allowing businesses to discriminate against people. Now, I don’t know about all of you, but I’m pretty sure passing laws to discriminate against certain people is a concept that belongs in the 1950s. Unfortunately, laws that make discrimination in the United States a reality are passed even in the advanced year of 2015. I’m talking about Chicanos, Whites, Blacks, Asians, Gay, Straight, Democrat, Republican, Independents- it doesn’t matter! We are all HUMAN and AMERICAN (and globally speaking, we are all HUMAN and Citizens of the same world). There’s one race that every living person on this planet belongs to, and that’s the human race. As I’m sure you’ve heard or read, a lawyer from Long Beach has proposed the Sodomite Suppression Act to be placed on the 2016 ballot. (By the way, the only people we should really be suppressing these days are terrorists and people who come up with things like the “Sodomite Suppression Act.”) Basically this law would make”[touching] another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification” punishable by “bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” The proposed law would also ban gays from serving in public office. I honestly believe this proposed law will not complete the next steps toward the ballot. If I am wrong and somehow this disgusting piece of garbage makes its way onto the ballot in 2016, there is no way it will pass and become a law. We need to stop allowing people to be so anti-gay. To be anti-gay is to be anti-human, and (not to get too political, but…) it’s pretty much the opposite of being “pro-life.” If the Sodomite Suppression Act does go to the ballot, I hope that collectively, Californians can choose a path to the future. A future in which we can all bond with the human connection. People are people and that’s all there is to it. I’d like to end with a fitting biblical quote: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

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“Sharenting”

What is Sharenting? Sharenting is a rather new term used for parents who share their parenting experience (things their kids do), both good and bad on social media sites, most commonly Facebook. Before I read a story about it on The Huffington Post, I had never even thought of this concept of sharenting. Yes, I’ve seen posts that fit this category while scrolling through my Facebook news feed, but I had no clue there was a name for the action.

When I think of “sharenting” in a pre-social media world, my mind automatically goes to the episode of I Love Lucy when Lucy and Ricky promise one another that they won’t turn into those parents who bore all of their friends with photos and stories of Little Ricky. By the end of the episode, they inevitably turn into those parents that they didn’t want to become. The truth is, all parents do this. Part of being a parent is being proud of your child’s accomplishments and wanting to share those amazing accomplishments with friends and family.

Facebook has allowed for parents to share everything their kids do with the entire world with just the click of a button. I see nothing wrong with sharing on Facebook the GOOD things kids do, like Lucy and Ricky, as long as it’s done in moderation. That is not the type of sharenting I am talking about here. The problem I see with Sharenting, as developing studies are showing, is when parents start to share the BAD things their kids do.

According to an article done by Helene Cohen Bludman on The Huffington Post, sharenting includes sharing stories about behavioral problems, discipline, grades, attitude, etc. in addition to all the positive stories. All I can say is I am so glad I went through childhood before Facebook took over the world of parenting, although I don’t believe my parents would have shared negative stories about me on the web.

When it comes down to it, the issue with sharing negative stories about your kids online lies in the idea that behavioral problems you’re having with your kids is none of your Facebook friends’ business. Sharing that your kid thrashed the living room and adding a comment about how you plan on disciplining him/her should be private, not posted for the whole world to see. Studies so far are showing that negative sharenting is harmful to kids. We do not know what the future holds for uses of social media sites.

Here’s one scenario that comes to mind: Parent A shares a story about how her son (Child A) is still afraid of the dark. Parent B sees the post and tells his wife the story, their son (Child B) overhears the story and uses it against Child A the next day at school. That’s a very generic example, but you get the point. I’m not a parent, I’m only a 20-year-old college student, but I do get to see sharenting going on every time I open Facebook and I have to agree with the studies that prove the negative results of sharing a little too much about your kids’ behavior.

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California is drying out…but what more can WE do?

Everyone in the state of California knows we are in a drought, even if not everyone knows how severe the drought is. We have entered our fourth dry year and state legislators are once again cracking down on water use and pushing water conservation. First of all, let me say that I am all for water conservation. I do my part to save as much water as I can, as I’m sure we all do. From shutting off the faucet while brushing your teeth to shortening your showers, there is only so much Californians can do to cut their water use.

A four year drought is long, and thanks to climate change, it appears the trend will continue.

The state has proposed more intense water restrictions for the next year, which hopefully will help inspire solutions to our water situation. In reading both the newspaper and online news sites, I found that most of the articles on this topic are focused on conserving water (specifically on us conserving water). It is my opinion that we need to start focusing more on what the experts are doing other than encouraging people to conserve more water in this serious drought. What are we doing to collect more water when it actually does rain?

I believe that the governor and the state legislature are doing the best they can to come up with every and any possible solutions. But I also believe that, at least in the media, the focus of the drought needs to take an approach that doesn’t involve fear to try to force people into saving water. Having said that, people who are not doing their part in conserving water need to jump on the bandwagon!

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Women’s History Month

In case you didn’t know, March is Women’s History Month. In honor of that, I would like to dedicate this blog to all the women who have changed my life, at the top of that list being my mom- the smartest business woman I know and my own personal guide to life- I love you.

Women’s History, or Herstory, Month is a time we can devote paying tribute to all the women who have shaped the world. Most history books fool us into believing that men had/have all the power, neglecting or downplaying powerhouse women like Hildegard of Bingen, Cleopatra, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Zora Neale Hurston, Amelia Earhart, Hillary Clinton, and the list goes on and on. But the truth of the matter is, women played as big of a role in the world’s affairs as men.

American textbooks dedicate a page or two, if any at all, to Susan B. Anthony and the Women’s Suffrage Movement when an entire chapter should be devoted to women who fought for their right to vote. Hillary Clinton put it best when she said: “Women’s rights are HUMAN rights.” Speaking of Clinton, whether you like her or not, she’s the closest any woman has ever come to being a serious contender for President of the United States. She’s the only First Lady to be elected to Congress and then go on to be Secretary of State. It’s about time we stop judging her because she’s a woman and start looking at her as an amazing politician and respect her for that.

We in the United States like to believe that we’re more advanced and more forward thinking when it comes to gender equality. We dedicate a month to “Women’s History” when we should celebrate the success of women every single day of the year.  Maybe this Women’s History Month, we can change the fact that in America a woman still only makes 78 cents for every dollar a man makes. This is outrageous, it is sexist and it is not evidence of an advanced and developed country.

We, as men, need to understand that the equal pay for equal work fight is not just a battle for women. We get more done when we work together. Men need to “lean in” (if you haven’t heard of the “Lean in Together” campaign, it’s definitely something to look into) and do their part to help win this war on women. Make this an equal fight for women’s rights, not just when it comes to equal pay, but in every situation in which a woman is placed behind a man. There’s no such thing as “Women’s work,” and it’s about time we all realize that. Join me this month as I lean in and learn more about how I can help ensure that the America my future kids live in is one in which my daughter will have every chance and opportunity that my son does. An America that respects women enough to ensure that for every dollar made by a man, there is a dollar made by a woman.

Celebrate women this month and every month, today and every day. Not only the ones who are famous for breaking glass ceilings and tearing through boundaries, but also the women who make a difference in our personal lives each and every day.

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