the right way to protest

There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to protest something.

Some people will have a ‘silent protest’, some will ‘boycott’, others will have a ‘hunger strike’. Some will rally, with signs and/or chanting. olympics 1968

Few will remember the iconic 1968 Olympics photo of the 2 black athletes who, during their medal ceremony held up their fists in a ‘black power’ salute. They did this to bring attention to the civil rights issues facing America, this was during the time that MLK Jr. was assassinated.

Yes, sometimes it can happen that a protest can come off as disrespectful to others.

Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, didn’t stand during the national anthem. And maybe to some, it came off as being disrespectful. And maybe he was being disrespectful. To those that see the flag as a symbol of what they fought for, a symbol of the freedom & privileges afforded to them. But what of those that lost their brothers and sisters to a system that legitimizes the over-reaches of our criminal justice system? Those that are fed up with hearing daily that another black (wo)man has unnecessarily been murdered by one that is sworn to protect their community?

People are so worked up & upset that this man didn’t stand for a flag. But do these same people feel agitation when a black man is shot egregiously in public?

Think for a moment that every time you pass a police car on the side of the road, you wonder if they are going to follow you. And if they do follow you, and pull you over, will this be the end for you? Will you ever see your family again, or is this how you die? That may sound extreme to some of you. But that LITERALLY goes through the mind of a black man every time they see a cop car in their rearview mirror. IT IS EXTREME.

And maybe that is why it is important for Colin Kaepernick to sit during the national anthem. Because maybe he’s disrespecting a piece of cloth. But he’s showing some respect for those murdered on the streets.

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Update: Colin Kaepernick did meet with reporters today, to discuss his actions from Friday:

(on why he chose to sit during national anthem during Week 3 of preseason) “People don’t realize what’s really going on in this country. There are a lot things that are going on that are unjust. People aren’t being held accountable for. And that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that this country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now.”

(on his message to members of the military) “I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought have for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.”

(on how his teammates have reacted to him) “The support I’ve gotten from my teammates has been great. I think a lot of my teammates come from areas where this might be the situation. Their families might be put in this situation. It’s something that I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say, ‘I really respect you for what you’re doing and what you’re standing for.’ So to me that’s something that I know what I’m doing was right, and I know other people see what I’m doing is right, it’s something that we have to come together. We have to unite. We have to unify and make a change.”

(on his comments to the team in a player’s only meeting) “It was a conversation. They asked me to talk and just explain why I did what I did. And why I felt the way I felt. I had an open conversation with them. I told them why I felt that way and looked at things the way I do. A lot of it has to do with the history of the country and where we’re currently at. I opened it up to all my teammates. Come talk to me if you have any questions. If you want to understand what I’m thinking further, come talk to me. It shouldn’t be something that should be hidden. These conversations need to happen and can bring everybody closer.”

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Removing the “female tax”

hey girl tamponsRight now, there are movements worldwide to remove tax on hygiene products. So called the “tampon tax”.

In Australia, feminine hygiene products are taxed at 10%. This tax contributed to the equivalent of $19 million USD to their government. However, we are talking about a country that does not tax “essential health items”. These items include condoms, lubricants, nicotine patches, and sunscreen. I don’t get how feminine hygiene products are not included as an essential health item.

Canada’s bill to tax-exempt feminine hygiene passed and will begin on July 1st. This will include tampons, pads, and menstrual cups. I’m not sure of the nuances of this law. Like, if I paid $40 for a menstrual cup last year that will last me the next 10 years; I don’t get a tax credit on that, do I? I’m sure the law just applies to new purchases moving forward.

Now, I’m not saying that we need to remove this tax in the US. I get the US does things differently, and by state. Some states don’t tax food at fast food restaurants when you get it ‘to go’; they only charge the tax if you are using their facility to eat. Some states don’t charge tax on clothes, because they say that clothes are essential.

However, I got to thinking about this, and thought – we could use some tax credit just for being female. You feel me? First of all, it’s well-known (& accepted) fact that women make less money than men. How about a tax credit to off-set that? Also, women just have to deal with more *ish than men. Just ask any woman what she goes through in a normal day, and ask a man. It’s dramatically different.

I think you’d have to include the men who transitioned to female. Because I’m sure they go through a lot of *ish too. But I don’t think they should get the equal amount of credit, depending on the age they transitioned. Like, for example, Bruce Jenner led a very fortuned life as a man, and likely benefited more as a man than he would have as a woman. Whereas, maybe someone who transitioned as a teen would have to go through the struggle of the transition WHILST going through the struggle of being a teen. And god knows, the struggle of being a teen is not something anyone would wish on anyone.

Now I’m not belittling what Bruce Jenner went through. I get that he lived his whole life with an inner conflict that weighed on him everyday. I don’t mean to diminish that in any way. I’m just saying, to be a woman in this country, world actually, is not easy.

Patricia Arquette’s Oscar Speech

meryl-streepPatricia Arquette gave a bomb-diggity Oscar speech. And here’s why.

She was recognized for work she did. She’s been acting for about 3 decades. Three decades. She’s finally being recognized for her work. The Academy Award is the highest regarded movie award in the US.

Yet, this woman took this platform, where she is being put on a national stage and her shining moment.

And she decided to use that platform to say something to support her fellow women.

You don’t often see that type of selflessness in the world, let alone in Hollywood.

Now, people may complain that she makes way more money than the average woman working in the US.

First, so what? I worked hard to get my current job. So hard. And I excel at what I do. I know this. Others see this. I have a work ethic like a bull. And I’m super amazingly good at what I do. And I found out (by asking around) that I do make more than my male counterparts. So, does that mean I’m not going to still be vocal about feminist ideals, and equal pay for women?

Second, I don’t know how much she makes or made on any movie. But I do know this, there’s a good chance she made LESS than her male counterparts for no good reason other than she was a woman.

How can I make this statement. Easy. Because the leaked Sony emails give us some insight on how far-reaching the pay gender gap really goes. Those emails showed us that Jennifer Lawrence and FIVE TIME ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE Amy Adams were paid less than their male co-stars. There was also some list of like 6000 Sony employees; and of the 17 making over a million, only one of them was a female.

Now, I don’t get the other part of her speech, where she goes into different types of people. She should have stuck to one topic so not to dilute the strength of the sentiment. But whatever. Take what you will from it.

Also read:
The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap (Spring 2015)