Girls Gone Wild

Many consider Ohio University in Athens to be the state's biggest "party school," which I guess can be taken to mean whatever you want. In addition, OU has arguably the best journalism school in the state with an outstanding local newspaper, The Post. Recently I came across an editiorial article written by freshman journalist Ashley Herzog, which really hits the nail on the head in determining where the line should be drawn between feminism and promiscuity.

I've been known to be sympatheic with a lot of feminist arguments, and am often frustrated by "weak" women who so easily get exploited by men. Although I can't personally point to extreme examples, its easy to see girls in high school who will do anything to appease a guy just so she can have a boyfriend; and it often makes me sad to realize that people in this world can be so shallow. Nevertheless, Some of my best female friends from debate camps have been strong women who are open about their embracing of feminism; but at the same time, they aren't foolish enough to use the liberation mindset to jusify being sexually promiscuous. I often get upset and frustrated to find out that someone who I thought had better judgement has decided just to "go wild." Herzog makes an excellent point in realizing that 30 or more years ago women were often sexually exploited by men, and the feminist movement sought to end that, and it did... for a while... unfortunately, today, women now manage to sexually exploit themselves, by going to wet t-shirt contests and appearing in videos like girls gone wild. The sad reality is that women who exploit themselves really just appease the same men looking for a cheap thrill, turning back some of the underlying goals of the feminist movement.

Read the original article from The Post

Criticize Your Government

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend an hour of my day listening to Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones upon her visit to our school. Very few people knew she was coming until few hours before the speech was schedualed, and it was a surprise to many. After it was announced that we would be listening to the congresswoman talk at about 10 am, everyone in my homeroom has some wise-ass comment to make. The thing that I found most amazing however, was how few people actually had any idea who she was... I heard people call her everything from a state senator, to city councilwoman, to Ohio represenative. People were asking if she was a Democrat or a Republican, what she looked like, and why she was here.

Granted, probably only a minority of the people at school are represented by her since they live in Cleveland's "thriving" subburbs, but it seemed odd that no one knew who the congressperson from their major city was. Of course, I'm not going to claim to know all of the representatives from the state of Ohio, but I'm at least aware of the representatives from Cleveland East, Cleveland West, Lorain, and Lake Country are and have a mild idea of how they stand on issues and vote in the congress.

The fact that so few people know so little makes for a humorous situation when they try to criticize the government, leaders, or policy. For example, the other day people were baffled at why the drinking age in the United States is 21 years old and not 18 like in other countries. They honestly believed it was based on maturity and they felt they were mature enough for it. They had absolutely no clue about the federal mandate handed down to the states during the construction of most of the interstate highways; mandating of course that states would recieved federal funding for interstate projects if they raised the legal drinking age to 21. The other day in English the question was asked who would be a possible candidate for the Republican ticket in 2008, someone proposed that Bill "First" might run, and only a handful of people knew who Bill "Frist" actually was. Another time someone was excited about the prospect of Hon. William Renquist having to step down as chief justice, because it meant that Bush could appoint a new "conservative" to the Supreme Court, clearly of course, this person had no idea how William Renquist swayed ideologically.

Maybe the problem is that no one reads the newspaper anymore... Maybe they just flip straight to the sports section and the funnies for a laugh at the day's Ziggy cartoon. Maybe the problem is that people rely on Action 19 News for reliable information, and thus end up knowing only of the latest Jay-Lo affair and dirty dining experience. Maybe everyone obsesses about their math, science, and theology classes and hasn't a care what goes on in the world... Whatever the case, at least I can leave high school knowing that even though I don't have the best grades or the best test scores, that I'm infinitely more knowlegable on issues that actually have significance in the world.

De Facto Racism

A company recently decided to discontinue public transportation service to its office; I don't know what the official reason is, but the unwritten reason is simply disappointing. I can understand a company wanting its employees to have a strong work ethic, to abide by uniform rules, work well with co-workers, etc. But it seems as though this time they are taking an approach that obviously discriminates against a certain group of people.

Statistically, it is true that African Americans make up the majority of public transportation riders in this area, and are less likely to be able to afford to drive or own cars than the average white person. I'm witness to the fact that there are plenty of hard working people that ride public transportation every day, myself being one of them. Unfortunately for these people, unless they start driving, they're not going to have the same opportunities they used to have. In a perfect world, a company would hire or not hire based on how good of a worker a person is, regardless of whether they drive, bus, bike, walk, scooter, or whatever to work. But doing this might make them look like they are discriminating and would probably piss of quite a few people and the ACLU... De Jure racism = bad.

So I guess sometimes people have to look outside of the box and they've definately done that. By eliminating the most common form of transportation used by a certain group of people, you can eliminate those people. I personally feel uneasy because I have ridden public transportation everyday for the past 4 years of my life, and without it would have missed out on some of best opportunities I've ever had.