Land of the free includes the LGBT community too

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First of all, I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I understand that not everyone will agree with my opinion on the recent court ruling and that’s okay. We all have the right of freedom of speech. Which brings me to my next point: we are also entitled to freedom of religion. We live in a country that guarantees us religious freedom, the right to believe in whatever the hell we want, or not to believe in anything at all. America is not a Christian, America is not a religion, America is not the bible, and America definitely isn’t God. America is THE LAND OF THE FREE.

Quick history lesson: America was first referred to as the land of the free when Francis Scott Key wrote The Star Spangled Banner in 1814, which is common knowledge. But here’s WHY he called it that, and this is important. We declared war on Great Brittian in 1812 because even though we had already fought for and won our independence, they were still messing with us, and we were intent on reaffirming our independence. 2 years into the war, Brittian was fed up with losing to us, so they captured our Nations Capitol before heading to attack the 3rd largest fort, Fort McHenry, a battle that ended with soldiers literally running away from the British. Fort McHenry was a military fort that pretty much guarded Baltimore, and an American flag 40 feet long flew from it’s flagpole. During all this madness, Brittian ALSO took prisoners and stuck them on their warships. Francis Scott Key was a lawyer at the time and was asked to help get a prominent doctor who had been taken captive released, so he got on a ship and headed to Brittian. They released the prisoners, but only after they bombed Fort McHenry. The bombing lasted for OVER 24 hours, but instead flying a white flag and surrendering after enduring over 24 hours of non-stop bombing, we proudly waved the symbol of our country and it’s independence. Because we did not give up, the British finally gave up. We fought like hell and won our freedom. We then signed a peace treaty with Brittian, and look where we are today.

America is not a religion, America is the land of the free. We are all citizens of this country, and we all deserve to be treated equally. I understand some people feel marriage should be between a man and a women, or that homosexuality is a sin, but whatever your reason is for not agreeing with either the court ruling or the LGBT community, don’t let your personal beliefs undermine what this country stands for. You don’t have to like it, but please, don’t deny somebody their right to freedom because “it’s a sin.” I get that you believe being gay means your going to hell, but as long as you aren’t gay you don’t have anything to worry about so while your on planet Earth you should “love thy neighbor.”

To all the people who are saying they want to move to Canada because America legalized gay marriage, that’s probably a good idea because that mindset doesn’t belong in the land of the free.

Why I’m Not “Good People”

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Jenny's Library

I’m not a nice person.

I’m not a good person.

I’m not a kind person.

This isn’t to say that I don’t ever try to be any of these three things.  I do, especially the last two.

It’s more to say that, for me, surviving in this cissexist, racist, ableist, heteronormative, classist, often fucked up world of ours has involved rejecting the idea that “good” and “bad” are static states of being.  I will never be a “good person” because, to me, “good” is not something that you achieve.  It’s an ongoing process that never ends.

It is, in fact, almost impossible not to be doing bad things as well as good when you are human and therefore flawed.  Especially when you are part of a messed up system, as we all are.

This, to me, is why it’s important to call out bad behavior, or hurtful language, or even…

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Would You Say That to a Man?

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Of Means and Ends

sexism

“I’m not going to apply for the job because I want you to get it.”

I was in my mid-20s and a promotion opened up in my division at work and I planned to apply for it. Given the hierarchy in our department, one male coworker and I were the natural ones to consider for the job. When the topic came up, that’s what he said to me: “I’m not going to apply for the job because I want you to get it.” I don’t remember what I said in the moment, but I remember quietly seething and thinking, “Don’t do me any favors. Go ahead and apply and I’ll still get it.”

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How stories are told around the world

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ideas.ted.com

It’s said there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love, once you’ve heard their story. Dave Isay knows that. The ability to honor every human by listening to what they have to say about themselves is central to StoryCorps, the nonprofit he founded in 2003.

The premise of StoryCorps is simple: One person interviews another and their conversation is recorded for posterity. It’s a strikingly straightforward proposition. But then, storytelling has always been less about glitz or gadgetry and more about connection and communication. No matter the tech, humans have invariably figured out a compelling way to tell each other stories.

That’s not to say we all tell stories the same way. Far from it. As Kay Turner, a folklorist and independent scholar who’s on the board of the New York Folklore Society, notes, “Even if a story is the same, each culture will tell it differently, because…

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Why we crave horror movies:

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We live in a society where a life of another human being is losing value by the minute, murder is almost more common than marriage, and monsters no longer lurk under our beds but inside us. Even sadder, this is acceptable; this is our normal. When we are children, we have an indescribable innocence; we are invincible. As we grow up, life happens, and we go through hardships that break us. Stephen King says it best with the words “sometimes inhuman places create human monsters.” It is in the battle of finding ourselves in the process of trying to pick up the broken pieces. We tend to feel our losses more intensely than our gains- the exact reason we often see the walls we build from our past and not the strength gained in our experiences that aid us in our futures. We all have both good and evil in us, and we become the one we choose to act on. The majority of us choose to represent our good side, the more socially acceptable choice, but some fall victim to their darkest self. However, in order to survive in our society, we generally act on the good in us, and in order to maintain the good, we must feed the bad sometimes.

“Why We Crave Horror Movies,” an essay by the legendary Stephen King, explains two challenging concepts to understand: why people like gory horror movies and how people are able to control their darkest desires. “I think that we’re all mentally ill; those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better – and maybe not all that much better, after all.” King opens the essay by addressing the hard truth- we are all insane. People have dull lives, and often it’s the little bit of crazy within in us that make life more engaging, the invisible made visible. He later elaborates on this concept, breaking it down into something slightly easier for our minds to grasp when he states “If we are all insane, then sanity becomes a matter of degree.” The importance in understanding that people are really all a different shade of crazy is that as a result we all have unspeakably messed up desires. The dark side in us must be controlled for the sake of society, and this is where horror movies relates to it all- horror movies serve as a release for the dark and disturbed desires in each of us.

In his essay, Stephen King gives three reasons as to why we crave horror movies: to prove that we aren’t afraid, to reassure ourselves we’re still normal, and to have fun. When you really think about it, it’s hard to make sense of why humans enjoy watching movies about other humans being mutilated and disfigured. I personally agree with Kings’ reasons. The first is to prove that we aren’t scared. In his essay, King addresses our mutual hunger to be scared. We have a yearning to be shocked into seeing something we couldn’t even begin to explain. He compares it to riding a roller coaster; we crave the excitement of conquering the 360-degree loops. Guys tend to hold status and independence higher on their list of values, and horror movies are the perfect way to prove themselves to females, friends, and even themselves. Secondly he says “we also go to re-establish our feelings of essential normality.” In other words, we watch these films to reassure ourselves that we aren’t as insane as we think we are. He goes on to make the point that “no matter how far we may be removed from the beauty of a Robert Redford or a Diana Ross, we are still light-years from true ugliness.” Even in our most grotesque moments we are still not as ugly on the inside as the evil characters in these horror films, nor are we as hideous as the mutilated bodies we see in the films. He also remarks that horror films serve as an escape from reality for us; they double as an outlet in which we can exercise our inner beast, as King says “every now and then, he has to be let loose to scream and roll around in the grass.” Not only do we come to terms with our personal demons, but we can let our guard down and stop trying so hard to be the mature young adult we’re expected to be and relax- letting the immature punks we all are deep down  take over, utterly free of judgment. The simple plot reinforces this idea by decreasing our tendency to overthink. Overall, King emphasizes the concept that we can experience this release without the consequences that would normally follow. Indirectly, he infers that horror films wouldn’t have been created and feature the concepts they do if we hadn’t experienced or seen something similar in society, or have a cross-cultural fear. The last point he touches on is we go to have fun. They get our hearts pounding, blood racing, and allow for a healthy release of the negative and angry emotions that aren’t socially acceptable and line our insides.

A few reasons I came up with that King did not include firstly that I think we like horror movies because they’re honest. We know fairytales have happy endings regardless of how impossible the ending is in reality, and that irritates people. It teaches them everything always ends up alright, but the hard truth is that isn’t always the case. Often, we either became the prey or the predator. Another reason is that we need to reassure ourselves our lives could be worse. We have this idea that what happens in movies only happens in movies and therefore we watch these films to guarantee our worst fears will never become our reality, regardless of how realistic it may seem. Lastly, we watch the genre of film that best matches our current mood or events that previously took place that day. Our emotions are key; if we’re depressed, we may be more likely to watch a horror film.

We build our own cages, and Stephen King does an excellent job expressing this throughout his essay. Society is indeed a messed up place.