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2014 saw its share of ups and downs.
Much of what happened during the last year started necessary conversations, incited outrage, and elicited more than a few eye rolls.
All of these conversations and reactions have inspired me to list 10 social changes for 2015. These are things I believe will help improve real life and online interactions.
If we lead by example, we can set a trend for future generations to follow. Ready for some much needed tough love?
1. More Actual Feminism
Using a feminist hashtag doesn’t make you a feminist. I would love to see all women stick together and support each other when faced with discrimination. I’m so over the double standard of slut shaming other women, but using the feminist card to defend your friend’s poor decisions or your favorite celebrity. Let’s make an effort to end #FakeFeminism.
P.S. Beyonce, I love you, but telling bitches to “bow down” isn’t exactly what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie meant when she gave the speech you sampled for your song “***Flawless”
2. Stop Victim Blaming
How are we suppose to live in a world of gender equality if we consistently dismiss the tears of a rape victim and not the lies from the rapist’s mouth? It doesn’t matter what she was wearing or how much she had to drink. Rape is rape. Period.
3. Know This: Privilege Exists
White privilege, male privilege, straight privilege–everyone needs to own up to the privileges they have in this country and within their own communities. Recognize your privilege and use it to help uplift the people in your community that may not have the same privilege you do. It’s time to set an inclusive and empowering example for future generations.
4. Stop Dismissing Others for Standing Up for Their Beliefs
This year saw massive protests about the reality of police brutality and how it disproportionately affects minorities and more than a few white people indignantly asking “Why do only black lives matter? Shouldn’t all lives matter? That’s reverse racism!”
Seriously, if I hear about “reverse racism” or “why does everything have to be about race?” one more time, I’m going to thunder punch someone in the throat.
5. Support Others Within Your Communities.
No matter what protest rally you go to, the message is clear: Equality Now! That goes for everyone! It’s incredibly ignorant to expect someone to understand your struggle, yet downplay the decades of discrimination of another group. For example, please stop questioning why black people make everything a race issue if you’re feminist who makes everything a gender equality issue. Also, to the LGBTQ community, please stop comparing your struggles to the struggles of people of color, then turn around and refuse to accept the real struggles of people of color within the LGBTQ community.
6. Quit Contradicting Yourself on Social Media
I’ve seen too many people make these grand Facebook statuses about how other people should live their lives, then three days later do the exact same thing they called out. What these people can do, is have a seat. Oh, to those guys who gas up trashy Instagram models, yet talk about looking for a “real” woman, and to the women who always bring up Sara Baartman and ask “Where are the queens?”, but consistently post ass shots on social media, this applies to you.
7. Stop the Drama!
Listen, unless you know for sure that someone has betrayed you or has said something negative about you, in the words of Elsa, “Let it gooooooo!” Really, if you can’t absolutely confirm, beyond a shadow of a doubt, someone has said or done anything to you that has caused direct strife in your life there’s no need to be angry. That goes for friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else. I had a friend get mad at me over something she thought I said and I just let it go. If you did say or do something rude or immature, own up to it. Otherwise, tell the drama queens to take that bullshit and get out.
8. Support Small Businesses
How do you think your favorite makeup brands, clothing designers, and department stores got their start? They all began as a small business. While it’s good to voice your concerns about the lack of diversity and connection with name brand companies, you should also invest in and support local businesses that keep their target market in mind.
9. Let’s End Cultural Appropriation
Do I really need to explain? Miley, Iggy, Justin, Katy, that guy who wears a sombrero and thinks it’s funny and cool, the girl who thinks the only way to represent Asian culture is to wear a kimono, the people who think Native Americans are overreacting about Native American Halloween costumes and Coachella headdresses, the people who actually bought those Kent State Sweat Shirts, just please stop. It’ s inconsiderate and shows that you have no concept of racial or cultural sensitivity.
10. No More Bullying
Too many children are dying by their own hand because of the words and actions of others. Recently, Ronin Shimizu, a 12-year-old boy took his own life after being bullied for being gay because he was a male cheerleader. In 2015, our mission needs to be to demand teachers, school officials, and law enforcement take reports of bullying seriously. Not just for those who are being bullied, but for the actual bullies. Children who bully other children, grow up to be adults who harass and bully adults in college, in the workplace, and in life. This is an epidemic that has gone on for way too long. 2015 should be the year it ends.
Everyone was so bitchy and shady in 2014. In 2015, let’s be positive, let’s crack a smile, let’s make someone’s day better!