Writing

White Women Are The Only Group That Matters

Click here to read the full story.

Read more here.

Donald Trump has offended every single minority group that exists in America. He has continuously and unapologetically disrespected underrepresented groups of people for months, even years. He has blatantly mocked those with disabilities, and began a campaign to build a wall to keep foreigners out. Minority groups and their allies have been calling for America to de-throne Trump and withdraw support for months. However, Americans are just now becoming appalled by his words and actions after his latest blunder.

Republicans were slightly agitated when Trump insulted African Americans, they were a bit bothered when he attacked Mexicans, but now they are completely outraged after his newest flub. He insulted America’s most precious group of people: white women. Despite the many protests against Trump’s blatant racism, sexism, and ableism, it took an explicit attack on women (some of whom happen to be white) to make America truly outraged. Trump’s latest comments now apply to the wives, sisters, and daughters of those Caucasian individuals who previously ignored his insulting remarks against other communities. Videos of Trump from 2005 re-surfaced, and they featured him bragging about his ability to grope and have sex with married women. Several Republicans have since condemned Trump and pulled their support, stating that they can’t support him based on his comments, since these comments apply to their wives, sisters, and daughters. His own wife, Melania and his vice president, Pence, have also publicly taken issue with his latest remarks. The question is, why now? Why is everyone suddenly condemning Trump for his out-of-line comments? Is it because these comments have now become personal?

I Am Cait

Through I Am Cait, Caitlyn Jenner attempts to learn more about the transgender community. She does, in fact, acknowledge her ignorance about the community and the challenges that they face on a regular basis, however, camera crews and all-white women focus groups are not enough to keep the conversation going. Why has Caitlyn been praised for this glamorized, false representation of the transgender community? It takes many people a lifetime to admit to themselves and to others that they are transgender. Some never become comfortable with it, and others must save for years until they can afford to fully transition and create an identity that they feel comfortable with. I Am Cait furthers the idea that white individuals can do whatever they want, whenever they want, without any consequences in society.

Caitlyn Jenner was, and still is considered to be a transgender role model who helped pave the way for transgender people everywhere. Variety even went as far as to describe her show, I Am Cait as a “groundbreaking docu-series that sparked an important and unprecedented global conversation about transgender people, their struggles and triumphs.” I Am Cait undoubtedly started a necessary and important conversation about the transgender community. However, does Caitlyn Jenner truly embody all of the struggles and triumphs that transgender individuals face on a daily basis?

http://www.eonline.com/shows/i_am_cait/videos/247989/i-am-cait-stars-discuss-season-1-and-2

The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force reported that 19% of the transgender people that were surveyed have experienced some type of violence or abuse from a family member. In addition, the National Transgender Discrimination Survey Report found that 26% of these individuals have lost their job due to their identity, and 41% of the surveyed individuals have attempted suicide. These are only some of the many struggles that transgender people face on a daily basis, and yet I Am Cait has failed to tackle any of them. From the stylish, sexy outfits, to the elaborate hair, makeup, and spa treatments, Caitlyn Jenner portrays a false reality of what it is truly like to be a transgender individual living in this world.

Gender reassignment surgery can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 depending on the amount of medicine and surgery that is needed. The average person is usually unable to afford the hefty costs associated with being transgender, and insurance companies are oftentimes unwilling to cover these individuals. Of the 636 insurance companies that the Human Rights Campaign analyzed back in 2012, only 207 of them provided healthcare insurance for transgender employees. Not only is it challenging for many transgender individuals to support themselves and find employment, but it is also difficult for them to keep these jobs and feel comfortable in their jobs on a day-to-day basis. Caitlyn Jenner, however, never once worried about how she was going to cover all of these costs, or how she was going to survive another day at her job without feeling alienated or humiliated. One day she was Bruce, and the next day she was Caitlyn: a brand new feminine face, voluptuous body, luscious hair, and a trendy wardrobe. One week later, Caitlyn had a new television show and unlimited amounts of money to support this long journey that America believes she traveled to becoming transgender.

The conversation on transgender rights, challenges, and triumphs is just beginning. Every single day that passes is considered a triumph for many transgender individuals. Caitlyn Jenner served as a rocky steppingstone toward unmasking the true fundamentals of the transgender discussion. She undoubtedly got people talking, but her inaccurate representation of the community also inspired many people to delve deeper into the topic and enlighten themselves, which means we are one tiny step closer to having equality for all.

House of White Supremacy?

House of Cards depicts a scary, yet somewhat realistic picture of the United States government, and America as a whole. It furthers the idea that white men (and white women) can do whatever they please, especially if they possess money and a little bit of power. The characters in the fictitious world of House of Cards use sex, drugs, money, and murder for both political and personal gains. Not only do the white individuals depicted in the show quite literally get away with murder, but they are also able to rid themselves of anyone who tries to expose their dirty dealings. Any person who even questions the morality and ethics of these powerful white individuals are ultimately killed or banished from society, and not what one person even questions it.2

Throughout the course of the show, people of other races are virtually nonexistent. Those actors/actresses who are meant to portray people from other races are ultimately white actors/actresses who are racially ambiguous, and could therefore presumably be white. The few actors/actresses who are undoubtedly of a different ethnicity, are either much lower on the food chain of power, or they are just downright poor and waiting for one of the white characters to come and save them. Take the character Remy Danton, for example. He is an African American male that starts as somewhat of a big whig in Washington, although the audience is constantly reminded that he owes his entire career to main character, Frank Underwood. Remy eventually takes a big fall from power, and is left begging Frank Underwood for a job in his administration….again. Once again, the powerful white man has to come and save the day. 3Then, there is Frank’s black, soul food cookin’ “friend”, Freddy who is always at Frank’s disposal. The audience is led to believe that Frank and Freddy are the best of friends, although Freddy literally and figuratively caters to Frank on several occasions, and answers to his every beck and call. It is because of Frank that Freddy loses everything, including his restaurant. Of course, Frank is there to save the day when he finds out that Freddy is out of a job, as he offers Freddy a job as a cook, and then as a gardener. Once again, the white man must come in and save the helpless black person after he created these problems for him in the first place. Another example is of the former president’s chief of staff, Linda. Linda was racially ambiguous, however it can be assumed that she was of Hispanic decent. Linda attempted to use her power in the White House to get her son into an Ivy League school, however she was unsuccessful. She was then removed from her job because of Frank Underwood, and the audience never sees or hears from her again. Frank makes sure that her honorable discharge from the White House is all thanks to him, which continues the idea of the white savior.

4However addicting and convoluted, House of Cards sheds light on the never-ending cycle of subservience to white people, which is not very far from reality. There are several parallels between the show and real-life, which can’t be ignored.

 

 

 

Birth of a Nation and Death of Compassion

Read the full story here

For a full breakdown of the entire rape case click here

Actor and filmmaker, Nate Parker has been under fire for quite some time, as the release date of his new movie Birth of a Nation approaches. Birth of a Nation is based on the story of Nat Turner, an enslaved man in Virginia who led a slave rebellion in the 1800’s. Co-written by Parker and colleague, Jean McGianni Celestin, the movie features Parker as the main character. After garnering much attention from the media, reports of Parker and Celestin’s dark past began to emerge.

In 1999, Parker and Celestin were charged with the rape of an 18-year-old girl at Pennsylvania State University, where Parker and Celestin were both students. Parker allegedly engaged in consensual sex with the young woman prior to her falling unconscious and being sexually assaulted by Celestin. Although both Parker and Celestin were both tried in the case, however Parker was acquitted in 2001. Celestin was immediately convicted, however, the charge was overturned four years later due to a ruling stating that his trial attorney was ineffective in defending him. After dropping out of college and several suicide attempts, the young woman successfully committed suicide in 2012.

It is extremely ironic that the plot of Birth of a Nation is centered on the rape of Nat Turner’s wife. Co-writers, Parker and Celestin wrote a brutal rape scene into the film, inciting major controversy amongst the media and the public. In his first televised interview since the rape scandal was uncovered, Parker is shockingly unapologetic about the entire situation. Commercials for his upcoming interview with 60 Minutes suggest that Parker won’t be apologizing for his actions any time soon. “I don’t feel guilty. I was falsely accused … I went to court … I was vindicated. I feel terrible that this woman isn’t here … her family had to deal with that. But as I sit here, an apology is — no,” said Parker.

Could Parker and Celestin be using Birth of Nation to assuage their guilty consciences? How were these two men able to write such a brutal rape scene? Did the thought of their personal experience with sexual assault ever come to mind? Do they have to live with the regret and shame everyday, much like their accuser? These are all questions that come to mind as Birth of a Nation comes closer to its release. It seems that Parker is attempting to sweep the entire controversy under the rug, and is instead trying to focus attention on the movie. He has showed no signs of guilt or remorse, as Parker has made it clear that he believes he did nothing wrong. The young woman suffered for years, eventually committing suicide, and yet Parker and Celestin are excelling in life and in their careers, without shame. Despite Parker’s pleas to focus on the movie, many are calling for a boycott of Birth of a Nation. The public is asking that the money that would have been spent on movie tickets, be donated to organizations that support victims of sexual assault.

A Rapist Can Be A Father, Too

Click here to read the full story.

Sexual assault is such a common occurrence all over the world. Yet, so many people are uncomfortable speaking on the issue. The aftermath of such an incident is difficult in itself to understand and overcome; however, imagine if this sexual assault victim became pregnant, was legally forced to share their child with the accuser, and was left to co-parent with that individual.

Back in high school, eighteen year old, Noemi was raped by a co-worker after being invited over to his house. Upon discovering that she was pregnant with his child, Noemi’s attacker was charged with third-degree sexual assault. In many states, sexual assault victims are only able to terminate the attackers parental rights if they are charged with sexual assault in the first degree. In Noemi’s case, the State of Nebraska reached out to the father in order to collect child support, which eventually led to his request for regularly scheduled visits and permission to see his child.

In order to terminate parental rights, the attacker must have been convicted of sexual assault. Unfortunately, these laws are virtually unknown to many people. Issues like these are only brought to light in the midst of the situation. Not only is rape severely underreported, but only 37% of the reported rapes result in conviction. Needless to say, these laws are outdated. Back when this legislation was created, children born to unmarried women were not legally recognized.

Should there be laws put into place, that protects victims of sexual assault who become pregnant? It is terrifying to think that a person convicted of sexual assault would be labeled fit to have visitation and custody rights for a child that was born out of violence. The lack of legislation that protects these victims, creates an even more painful experience for all of those who are involved. It is clear that the current laws that are in place do not account for any of the emotional or personal conflicts that are sure to occur from such a traumatic event. As with many other things, the government should work to bring awareness to these issues, and end this constant battle with sexual assault.

21st Century Brothel

 

This is Life with Lisa Ling delves deep into the world of prostitution, as it takes a behind the scenes look at one particular ranch on the West Coast. The Moonlite BunnyRanch is a legal brothel located in Mound House, Nevada. Nevada is currently the only state in the U.S. where prostitution is legal. In 2009, State Senator Bob Coffin legalized prostitution in eight counties in Nevada for statewide tax purposes. Through This is Life, Lisa Ling attempts to break the stereotypes surrounding escorts, as she follows a few of the women through their journeys to the ranch. Although controversial, The Moonlite BunnyRanch is seen as a safe, legal place for women who are in dire need of money. It keeps these women off of the streets, and away from the underground prostitution world, while also providing them with an avenue to support themselves. Many of the women stated that they are struggling mothers looking to make ends meet, while others sited that they have college degrees and are choosing to live this lifestyle.

While many of the women were extremely successful in their pursuits at the Moonlite BunnyRanch, a few were not. A 20-year-old girl named Catherine came to the ranch after her house burned down, and her family was unable to pay for the damages. The BunnyRanch allowed her to host small parties at the ranch, while also selling her virginity to the highest bidder. Although many view Catherine’s choice as completely absurd, Catherine feels that she is simply finding a way to rescue her family from their drastic misfortunes. This seemed to be a common trend amongst several of the women living in the ranch. Many have traveled hours to the BunnyRanch in hopes of gathering extra money to survive. Zoey, for example, came to the ranch so that she could afford to buy Christmas presents. However, her trip to the ranch did not financially bode as well as she had hoped. London, on the other hand, came to the ranch so that she could make enough money to catch up on her back child support. Unfortunately, the state of Nevada would not grant her a prostitution license because of this back child support. Therefore, London’s trip to the ranch was also unsuccessful.

Throughout the piece, companionship, friend, comfort, and company were the most commonly used words when these women described their work. Many of them feel that they are saving lives and helping the lonely. Despite the stigma that goes along with being a “prostitute,” the majority of these women have fallen on hard times and turned to prostitution for quick, easy money. They have come to the ranch hoping to quickly better their lives, after exhausting all other options. Women like London who are unable to support themselves, have back child support, as well as other debts, turn to prostitution for help. In London’s case, prostitution didn’t even have the ability to save her. This causes concern about the system that is currently in place in the United States. What are women supposed to do to make ends meet when they are denied all other alternatives? Prostitution is one of the only professions where women are guaranteed to make more money than men. Lisa Ling brings attention to the fact that it is extremely disheartening that women must sell their bodies in order to insure that they will earn more money than men in the workplace. Still, these women are constantly judged for their choice to enter into prostitution, but to them, they are simply doing what every other person in the working world is doing: they are working to make ends meet.

http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2016/10/14/lisa-ling-21st-century-brothels-orig.cnn