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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
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    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Feminism needs a clearer definition

Many opinion columnists who take time to write an in-depth analysis of a certain movement begin with or include a definition of the movement under scrutiny. Unfortunately, the American Heritage Dictionary’s definition of feminism (the belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes) is so ambiguous and open-ended that it’s relatively useless. Feminist.com precedes its Web site by saying feminists are just women who don’t want to be treated like crap. After talking to a couple of young men on campus, in moments of true honesty, a few concluded that feminists are lesbians that dress and act like men. And perhaps the worst comment came from Mark Waters’ recent film, “Mean Girls” where it’s suggested that ex-boyfriends (in a group of high-profile teenage girls) are off-limits because “that’s just, like, the rules of feminism.”

A point is to be made by all four uses of feminism: at the end of the day, no one really seems to know what it means. I, like millions of other American men, was raised to treat women with the utmost decency. Chivalry, according to my parents, was the key to a woman’s heart. Now, I’m afraid to hold the door for a woman; in true equality, do women feel like they can open the door themselves? Whereas I once thought male-to-female courtesy was common practice, is it possible that I was completely wrong?

I remember watching the local news several years ago and listening to a story about gender equity. A troupe of local firefighters was going through testing in order to get some sort of firefighting permit. The report noted that, at the time, the tests for the women were down a notch physically in comparison to the strength and agility tests that men took. Some uber-liberals might argue that since men have had the opportunities to develop muscles and pure power over the past millennium that they are at an anatomical advantage. Then again, that might not be the reason at all.

Either way, I don’t care. If I’m stuck on the fifth floor of a burning building and have hurt myself in a way that I can’t get out, I want someone who is going to be able to quickly climb a ladder, bust through whatever they need to get through, grab me and help me to safety. Neither I nor any man or woman in America am going to be happy when a firefighter, who barely passed her second-rate test, cannot help me to my well-being.

Equality, in a sense, is the word that needs to be challenged. Do feminists truly want the sexes to be sincerely equal? From the way we are built to the different chemicals that run through our bodies, I believe that’s never going to be a true reality. Should women be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen? Should they be continually portrayed in the media as sluts and whores? Obviously not … those backward thinking gentlemen who genuinely believe that women were made for men’s pleasure are abominations in our culture. Much of this thought process is built out of what many consider a traditional familial culture where the woman cooked and took care of the kids and was a support system for the man; we’ve moved past that, and women are much more capable of doing more than that — and have done so. (Would anyone disagree that Ms. Rice is arguably the smartest person in the White House?)

But there does come a point where if a woman isn’t capable of doing things, then perhaps she shouldn’t. If she can’t tackle a 250-pound running back, then maybe she shouldn’t be playing defense for the New England Patriots. That’s not sexism, but logic. I, being close to 200 pounds, shouldn’t be playing defense for a NFL team, either, but it’s simply because I don’t have what it takes.

If a woman can’t use a certain type of weapon in a combat situation, then she shouldn’t be in that situation. Simple.

What is feminism? Lois Griffin made the simplest comment: feminism is about choices. It seems that some feminists choose to proactively battle sociological issues like glass ceilings and workplace harassment, others choose to trample away centuries of gallantry and courtesy, while still others are simply pointing fingers in a McCarthy-like way.

Whatever you consider feminism is one thing; to be able to see the schism in the many feminist movements is another thing, but to come up with a unifying solution might be the key to all of our problems.

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