A Millennial for Hillary

It seems like I can’t go on Facebook without being bombarded with a flood of posts, links, photos, and memes of 2016 Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders. I’m not complaining – it’s definitely better than logging on and finding out that I have friends who support the other guy. The orange one.

No, I have a deep found respect for those who support Sanders. He has ideals and pros that I can definitely get on board with. He’s an honest, consistent guy who has genuinely fought for everything that he’s believed in. We know he marched in 1963 during the civil rights movement. We’ve all seen the black and white photos of a young Bernie surrounded by fellow young activists, fighting on the front lines during a pivotal time of social change. Bernie is an excellent example of a man who is committed to what he believes in.

So… why don’t I think he should be President of the Unites States?

I ask myself this question often. How often? Pretty much every time I log on Facebook. Or every time I turn on the TV. Or every time an older person trying to sound hip makes a Bernie/college tuition joke at a graduation party.

Here’s my short answer: Bernie Sanders works as a symbol, but he is not as qualified for the position as, say, Hillary Clinton.

My long answer: One of the first things that a Bernie supporter will bring up when citing what makes the Democratic candidate so revolutionary is his stance on Wall Street, education, and the state of the economy/shrinking middle class. He has some great ideas. But it’s all a beautiful dream. An inspirational one, but a dream nonetheless. How is he going to make all of these things actually happen? I once heard him answer this very question during a debate. His answer was somehow both mumbly (yes, I made that word up) and crystal-clear at the same time: Raise taxes!!!

Raising taxes sounds somewhat plausible, but I hope you can take off the rose-colored glasses and come to terms with this fact: Raising taxes will not change the state of the country. Now, it may do a little of what Bernie is promising, but it will hardly create the revolution that my 19-year-old cousin and her friends think it will. And don’t get me started on Bernie’s plans (or lack-thereof) for foreign policy. Hillary on the Issues

Hillary Clinton is not perfect. She is contradictory, has made mistakes, and is a total try-hard (Hot sauce? C’mon, Hil). She is a politician, which in itself is a character flaw. But that’s what presidents are – politicians. And she’s currently the most qualified one of the bunch – see here for a list of some general accomplishments during her career.

Will she bring about the revolution that extremely progressive millennials
so desperately crave? Most likely not. However, she will keep us moving forward. I believe that while Bernie could make a decent leader (I will certainly vote for him if he clinches the Democratic nomination), he is a symbol more than anything else. Meanwhile, Hillary’s plans are actually tangible.

What’s funny is that I sat down and began writing this with the intention of writing a post about how torn I am as to who I will vote for come June 7, the California Democratic primary. But as I wrote on, I knew immediately that I had made my decision a long time ago. I decided on Hillary Clinton the moment my mom explained to me who she was and what she stood for when I was just a snot-nosed, Pokemon-obsessed little kid. Thanks to some initiatives largely spearheaded by Hillary, my mom – a Chicana single mother with no high school diploma – was able to put me in after school care so she could work at her full-time job without turning me into a latchkey kid.

I get votebuttonthe Bernie appeal, and I welcome others to share with me their opinions. But this isn’t a decision I made lightly. I stand with Hillary because she has the experience, has the plans, and has the brains. She also will be a source of hope for so many young girls and women out there – and my little sister won’t have to ask me why we haven’t had a woman in the White House anymore. Also, keep in mind that the only thing keeping Hillary from being the clear front runner here is the fact that she is not a man. Don’t believe me on that one? Let it marinate a bit. You’ll see what I mean.

Fellow Millennials, at the end of the day, the only thing I’ll actually ask is this: if Bernie doesn’t get the Democratic nomination next week, please don’t boycott the election. It won’t do us any good. Vote. Vote against the racist one with the fake tan and fake hair. Shyanne

 

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Lemonade

“I was served lemons, but I made lemonade.” – Queen B

If I asked a room full of people whether they’ve had a year of ups and downs, I’d like to think that a majority of them would have their arms raised. There would be a few lucky (or in denial) individuals with their palms firmly on their laps, but only a few.

Well, if you’re reading this and mentally raising your hand because this year has been tumultuous – I am right. there. with. you.

In the last year I graduated from college, saying goodbye to friends who had been like my family. In the last year I have made life-changing decisions that I don’t regret…and some that I do. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve faced depression. I’ve wrestled with self-doubt.

I’ve suffered with this nasty little thing called anxiety that makes it easy to zero in on and blame myself for everything that didn’t turn out exactly as planned. It’s exhausting – and as others with anxiety know – sometimes debilitating.

But here I am. When hurting, it’s easy to forget of all that you are capable of. It’s easy to forget that while you are standing there nursing your wounds, you are, in fact, standing.

One of the most healing things I’ve learned this year is to let go of the hurtful nonsense that couldn’t be controlled, and to forgive yourself (or someone else) for what could have been controlled. Also, what others think of you truly, sincerely, does not matter. Tell yourself that. Okay, now tell yourself again.

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I don’t want to sound preachy. It’s just that it’s taken me quite some time to get to this place where I truly am thankful for everything that has happened in my life, bad and good, because it’s made me into someone who I really like being. I have a wonderful job, family, loyal friends, a loving boyfriend, killer music taste, and a planet full of opportunities that I have yet to experience (if you ever forget what you have going for you, write down the good things. There’s more than you might realize).

If I can help even one person to feel a little better about what they might be going through, that’s enough. Basically, here’s my advice if you’ve had a roller coaster year (or life):

  • Laugh at yourself. It’s good for you.
  • Forgive yourself every night and recommit every morning.
  • Stand up for yourself when necessary.
  • Always try to be kind.
  • Do what you love, and fuck the rest.*

Shyanne

*Ten points if you can guess what movie that’s from.

Is Long Distance the Wrong Distance?

Nobody wants to be in a long distance relationship. They’re inconvenient, messy, and prone to miscommunication and mistrust. Yet almost everyone has been in one at least once in their lives. This is because, despite the fights and the loneliness they can cause, the love that you carry for someone can simply outweigh logic. Love is a welcome inconvenience. While love is the main driving force behind most long distance relationships, it by no means can lead a couple to the light at the end of the tunnel by itself. It needs help from its friends: trust, patience, forgiveness, understanding, communication, etc.

I have been in two LDRs in my life. My first experience was right out of high school, with my high school sweetheart. I was optimistic. I just knew that we could make it work, graduate, get married, and live happily-ever-after. He was not so sure. Needless to say, we crashed and burned. I was crushed, and carried with me one huge chip on my shoulder. I became convinced long distance didn’t work.

And then Brandon came along. Cute, silly, and very kind. Brandon became a huge part of my life the summer between my Junior and Senior year of college. I told myself, and him, very early on that I didn’t know where this was gonna go since I only had one semester left. We decided to keep dating and just not get too serious. Inevitably, what started as a small crush on a classmate turned into something very deep and by the time I was finished with my last semester of college, I wasn’t ready to let go of him.

So when I moved back to Southern California to find a job and start my life, we tried long distance. And it sucked. I got jealous easily, despite how loyal he was. I was horrible at communicating. To be fair, we both definitely had things that we could work on. It had been a roller coaster of ups and downs, but every time I was eager to push him away and let it go (because long distance just doesn’t work, it was too hard, I was lonely, etc.) he pushed back and made it clear that he still wanted me just as much as ever. And finally it clicked: long distance doesn’t mean shit when you have found another person who is just as stubborn and determined to make it work as your are.

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It can work. It won’t be easy – but it can work. Both parties just need to be on the same page, and that’s why that out of all the qualities a long distance relationship can have, I think that communication is the most important. Talk a lot. As much as you can. About important things, unimportant things, and everything in between. Tell your partner when you’re hurting, or when you’re happy. Ask for the same in return, because no one can read minds. Speak up and let your needs be known, it will help the both of you out so much more in the end.

Luckily we live in a time when long distance isn’t confined to letter writing (though a hand-written letter every now and then is a nice touch) so get on Skype, FaceTime, or shoot them that “thinking about you” text.

Speaking of the convenience of technology, keep an eye out for my next post. I’ll be reviewing some of the Apps and tools Brandon and I have used to make the miles between us seem a little smaller.

Feminism: Black, White, and Shades of Gray

I recently read an article on none other than U.S. national treasure, Miley Cyrus.  You see, while I have never exactly been a fan of hers, I can respect some of her ideas – especially her recent ones. Ok, so mostly he recent ones. Ok. Only her recent ones.

Miley has been very outspoken about her criticisms for the way that society pigeonholes women. Most notably she has made statements about the perception of women’s breasts – mainly nipples – and how the censorship and ick factor of women’s nipples is kind of, well, bullshit. And it totally is. In fact, I was watching a clip of Miley on Jimmy Kimmel making this exact point, and I couldn’t help but smile at the points that she was making. The over-sexualization of women’s bodies is something that really needs to be thrown away in the garbage. Like now. Let’s kick it to the curb. When’s trash day?

But – and it’s a big but – as I watched this video I saw some related links/comments referencing the recent statement that Miss Cyrus made about the Nicki Minaj vs. Taylor Swift Twitter-tastrophe. Let me tell you, the respect that had grown for Miley quickly plumetted. One-hundred to zero, real quick.

Miley openly dismissed Nicki’s points because Nicki had come across as “angry” and “mean.” I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Why? Because I am over this pseudo-feminism. Miley has no problem advocating for the FREE THE TITTY!!! campaign yet she openly admitted that she can overlook Nicki’s comment on the industry’s dismissal of women of color simply because Nicki wasn’t polite about it. This is a prime example of what is commonly referred to as white feminism.

“White feminists” are women who advocate to be equal to that of men (they dress up as Rosie the Riveter and talk about how amazing the suffragettes were) but who fail to support, and even worse, to acknowledge, that women of color have struggled in a way that white women will never understand.

Do they know what it feels like to grow up in a world where every leading lady has porcelain skin? Do they feel adolescent shame when they look in the mirror and don’t see themselves as beautiful because the “ideal” woman is shoved in their face everyday – whether it’s a pop star, book character,or Disney princess? The answer is no. White women simply do not have this experience.

And that’s not a crime. Ignorance is not a crime, but you know what is? Parading around as a feminist who is liberated and socially-aware, only to knock down another woman because her struggle is not relevant to you.

Taylor Swift made an ignorant comment, and the moment I saw her reaction to Nicki’s tweet I cringed in embarrassment. I am a fan of Taylor Swift’s music, much more so than Nicki Minaj’s, and as a fan, I felt shame for Taylor. What Taylor saw as a personal attack and “pitting women against women” (irony considering Taylor’s nominated music video was essentially a drawn out and over-done fuck you to Katy Perry) was really just Nicki pointing out how flawed our society is and how women of color are not represented nor given the recognition that they rightfully deserve.

Bottome line for those who consider themselves feminists: Feminism is not just about over-sexualization. It is not just about getting the same income as a man. It is first and foremost about supporting your fellow woman, and acknowledging that every woman experiences different prejudices and dismissals. See things from their perspective. Acknowledge their pain and their struggle, and fight for it as if it’s your own.

North Korea satire goes south

It’s a sad thing to say that I wasn’t terribly surprised that Sony pictures received such awful backlash from North Korea about satirical film, The Interview. American comedians and media have been in hot water before with other extremist r another regarding censorship. From the first teaser trailer I felt a strange uneasiness about the safety of Seth Rogen and James Franco. After all, North Korea are an extremist communist nation and it’s not like this is the first time we’ve received threats if we don’t censor ourselves.

What I did not expect was for Sony Pictures to comply and completely put the motion picture on the shelf. It took mere moments for Twitter, Facebook, and various other Social Media sites to go nuts. Everyone from your opinionated Facebook friend who Tweets too much, to Hollywood professionals, to President Obama himself reprimanded Sony for giving in to the cyber-terrorism from North Korea.

Obama has publicly announced that Sony made a mistake and that they should have consulted him before taking such an action, because he would have strongly advised not to let North Korea get away with their threats. Others are obviously being less politically correct than Obama and calling Sony cowards for caving in.

However, I think that people are too caught up in the hype of this ordeal and the American Way! to realize that this is an issue that is unprecedented. Yes, America has been threatened before for releasing controversial content but never has a cyber attack on a major corporation of this magnitude taken place. Those who hacked Sony threatened to blow up movie theaters. Sony’s lawyers told them that it would be completely on them if they went through and released it.

No, Sony shouldn’t have shelved the movie. Yes, they did let the cyber-terrorists get what they want. However, it’s only because movie theater chains were saying they wouldn’t screen it. It was the movie theater industry that refused to support Sony. George Clooney came out and said that he passed a petition around for Hollywood professionals to sign in support of Sony releasing the film and not giving in to North Korea, but not a single person was willing to put their name on that list. Without the rest of Hollywood’s support, they were cornered.

This is such an important event because it deals majorly with what America as a nation stands for: freedom. Specifically, freedom from censorship. A few years backh Park was heavily criticized and even threatened by Muslim extremists for the fact that they were going to depict the Prophet Muhammad. Ultimately, Comedy Central ended up censoring out the image all together without the creator’s permission and even took out some dialogue. Fear is in our nature, and sometimes we need to look past the eagles and stars and stripes for one second to realize that at the moment when these big decisions were made, they were made with the intent of saving lives.

Now, instead of crucifying Sony for making a human error, we should be using our social media presence and voice to encourage them to release the movie via another platform. This is something the CEO has already has already said is underway. They’re saying that they do believe anyone who wants to see this movie should be able to.

I’m not trying to defend Sony, merely shed light on the situation for those who are uninformed. There’s a lot more factors as play than you think. That said, we shouldn’t let some Dictator in North Korea believe that they have power just because they threatened us with violence, or else it will set a precedent.

If Matt Stone and Trey Park could blow up Kim Jung Uns’ father’s head in a feature film, then let James Franco have his interview.

Click below to watch an animated 10-year-old sarcastically tackle censorship and violent threats that lead to it.

No more uncertainty

Domestic violence in professional sports isn’t a new headline. Violence toward women by professional athletes has occurred for as long as there has been ESPN. However, not many cases have gotten video footage.

Ray Rice was caught on an elevator security camera severely attacking his wife, Janay. He is later seen dragging her seemingly lifeless body from the elevator after doing some heavy damage.

This was super disturbing, but the most disturbing thing about this is how normal of an occurrence this is for major league athletes. This is the only reason the NFL is even putting out those “No More” campaign videos during their games: one of their own got caught, and not “oh, she’s probably just accusing him because she’s after the money” caught. He got caught.  

So, ok, the NFL put out this “No More” campaign. They got a couple football players and a few well-known celebrities to jump on board. This is public relations at it’s finest. What isn’t public relation’s at it’s finest? This video:

The “No More” video makes sense. It is direct and to the point: domestic violence is not ok. The NFL does not support domestic violence. Here, we will pay to have your favorite celebrities tell you that the NFL does not. support. domestic violence. But in this video shown above, literally nothing is said. There is no message. It doesn’t matter if they give a little link at the end to the website, this commercial does nothing to help prevent domestic violence in society or in the NFL community because nothing is said. Yes, the “No More” commercial is just covering their ass, but at least it says something. It’s very clear and to the point: hurting anyone because you can, is wrong.

This video consists of grown men sighing, and it says that domestic violence is a hard subject to start talking about, but here is the thing that gets me: it shouldn’t be hard to talk about. Saying that’s hard to talk about is saying that it’s ok that it’s hard to talk about with out children, our friends, or anyone for that matter. It should be a no-brainer that when violence toward a person you are suppose to have a caring relationship with is brought up in a conversation, the correct and immediate response should be: it is never okay. Ever.

There should be no silence. There should be no uncertainty on what to say.

Represent.

What could be more racially ignorant than the song “What makes the red man red?”  in Disney’s 1953 version of Peter Pan?

Well, erasing the Native American part all together.

In the upcoming feature film, Pan, directed by Joe Wright, the character “Tiger Lily” is being played by Rooney Mara, best known for her role in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She played, well, the girl with the dragon tattoo.

The character of Tiger Lily was in the original Peter Pan novel written by J. M. Barrie and was most definitely Native American. There’s supposed to be a whole section of Neverland that is home to a Native American tribe, and Tiger Lily is the chief’s daughter. Sounds like a great opportunity for Mara to expose herself as an actress…but a missed opportunity for the filmmakers to portray accurate representation of a Native American character. The moment I saw the movie poster I was appalled. There are Native American women actresses out there who could have played the part, but instead they gave it to a porcelain skinned woman.

Here is the problem: there is not enough representation in the media and pop culture of POC. This is so dangerous because it affects the way others perceive POC, and it affects the way POC see themselves.

As a young girl I was very insecure with the way I looked and did not feel comfortable in my own skin because there was no one who looked liked me on the TV. For a long time I resented my dark skin and my brown eyes because I did not look like the girls in the media who were portrayed as “beautiful”. All those women had fair skin and light eyes. I remember being a 13 year old wishing I looked like Emma Watson from the Harry Potter series, because that’s what was portrayed as desirable and relevant. I truly believe that if there had been more representation of POC then I wouldn’t have wanted to desperately to have fair skin and light hair.

Beauty aspect aside, I think that’s it’s most damaging to the way we perceive race in general. The term “white-washed” is throw around a lot, and I think for good reason. Pop-culture’s lack of diversity is not representative of the world that we live in. The fact that this was an intentionally Native American character in the original book is reason enough to cast a Native American actress. To erase her Native American identity entirely is offensive.

Another example of the new movie Exodus coming out, where Egyptians are portrayed by spray-tanned white people (this tradition dates back to Elizabeth Taylor and even further) is simply historically inaccurate. Egypt is on the continent of Africa, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t look anything like Christian Bale….

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