by SARA MARSHALL//Editor-in-Chief

Being a young woman in today’s America is frightening.

Our country’s state of affairs is in shambles and our many “leaders” are basing their politics on questionable morals, to say the least. When a man who has no governmental experience can run for president and win in the electoral college, despite the population voicing Hilary Clinton as their chosen president, you know the country is broken in some way. Even Europe’s democracy scale agrees!

Good, happy people are now making threats to their fellow man about the politics and beliefs of a living bag of Cheetos dust. I am a young woman who is not afraid of speaking her mind, no matter how much one tiny, orange man may try to censor those words.

There are so many topics I would hope to discuss, but I will only touch on a few which pertain to current politics in our country today, and about certain comments I’ve seen on social media sites.

1. Protesting is OK. Protesting in America is an actual constitutional right. I do not condone rioting or mobs, and neither does most of the people who think similarly to me. The endangerment of other people and the destruction of property is uncalled for. Destroying stuff out of anger is an elementary reaction. Anarchists who hope to incite panic and violence skew the public’s opinion and make them believe protestors are trying to cause mayhem, when really they just want to be peaceful and have their voices heard.

2. If you do not understand why there are millions of women marching around the entire world, then you’re part of the problem. Simple as that.

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3. President Donald Trump is a bankrupt businessman who hides behind his Twitter account like a 13-year-old cyber bully, attacking whomever he pleases with broken phrases, bad grammar usage and a middle school vocabulary. This point is especially evident when taking into consideration his words of sexism, racism and absolute hate. He’s not 13 years old, nor should he have a tantrum on social media like one without being held accountable. Attacking other rich and famous people doesn’t show much professionalism on our president’s part. I personally would love for another classy, distinguished man in office who can know when to confront a situation and when to keep his tiny fingers away from the cell phone.

4. The attack of President Trump, his cabinet members and all of his followers on media during the entire presidential race is appalling. Seriously, it makes me think of George Orwell’s 1984 when listening to how they talk about the media. They want to make us out to be awful people who do nothing but lie to the public for our own gain, personal or otherwise. Journalists are not bad people. We are not out to mislead the public or ruin lives. Most of us are ethical [with a few exceptions], and most of us just want to show the public how the world is today outside of their own little life bubbles. We just want to make sure the world is informed, can make real decisions and form real thoughts based upon the knowledge presented to them.

5. Public education is so important to our nation’s future generations. Proper, thorough education is essential to the survival of our world. People who think that the world was honestly created in seven [modern time period] days and dinosaurs existed just 6,000 years ago need to learn about this wonderful centuries-old concept called science. I’m sorry for those who are seriously religious and do believe these things to be true. Though I do believe we can find a middle ground between your beliefs and science. Just not in schools.

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6. Women’s health care and accessible, affordable birth control are necessities in today’s world. Women deserve easy access to doctors and birth control. We should be able to control our bodies the way we want and not have to be told our thoughts, feelings and personal preferences don’t matter. The argument that “teens shouldn’t be having sex. It’s because this generation listens to overly sexual music or watches sexualized movies/games/TV shows,” is completely invalid. I mean, “Grease” exists for a reason, and it had nothing to do with my generation. Don’t even get me started about Madonna or Prince. The entire ‘80s was one crazy sexualized party.

Furthermore, we already live in a world that feels women already have too many rights/things provided for them. But when was the last time a man bled out of his lower extremities for a week straight and felt like he was being stabbed repeatedly with a rusty, dull kitchen knife? When’s the last time a man gave birth to another living being after carrying that tiny, body-ruining creature within their own body for nine months? When’s the last time a man was told he was raped because of what he was wearing, because he had one too many, because he should have known better? When’s the last time a man was catcalled from the time he was 11-years-old, walking with their parents? When’s the last time someone called them a slut or whore for being OK with their sexuality, for openly exploring it with multiple partners and advocating birth control? Exactly.

Now I’m not hating on men at all. I’m not saying guys don’t matter. I’m not invalidating their existence. I think guys are great. I’m friends with a few seriously awesome guys. I’m sure they have it rough, and life is crazy for them too. Just not in the same way life is for women.

Also, the fact that a majority of the country consistently yell at young women like me, saying women have it worse in other countries, or that women in other countries would be silenced or even executed for behaving or protesting the way women in America are today. Hello! Wake up and smell the 21st-century democracy we live in today! We are, in fact, not other countries. We are America. Nation of the free?

Admittedly, women are treated better here than in Third World countries, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better. That also doesn’t mean women should be perfectly content with how we’re treated, because, “well, others have it worse.” AMERICA IS A PROGRESSIVE NATION. Lead by example, not by following. We can’t do anything about how another country dictates a woman’s existence, but we can change our own future and the future for our friends, sisters and daughters within the nation. Maybe. Hopefully. If we are successful in the process of changing our futures, we can help influence the change of other countries. Because we are America, and several countries look to us.

7. After reading my other views, I’m sure it’s evident that I am not a Trump supporter. But let’s be extremely clear, this does not make me a Hillary supporter!!  Since the beginning of the campaigning, I supported the wonderful Bernie Sanders. I will forever be a Bernie supporter, always. Even though he did not win the presidency, Bernie is still out there fighting for our rights as women, students, people of color and those who cannot speak for themselves. He was the only one in this race not dictated by greed, power or scandal. He was a man of the people, for the people. And still is.

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8. I’m not happy about how the election turned out, but I’m not going to sit here and say “Oh my god. The next four years are going to be awful. This is terrible. Worst thing that could ever happen to us.” Yeah, I think it sucks Trump was elected, and that Bernie was basically pushed out of the race because of the DNC. He had a fighting chance to win. But I digress.

Trump isn’t the worst thing that could happen to us. Seriously. We could be in other certain countries under a dictator rule. For now, we must make do with the lemons we were given and make some margaritas out of them. We’ve just started these next four years. Don’t assume the worst before we can even see a glimpse of what’s to come. It ruins the chance of good things.

Now that my points are over, I feel the need to showcase a bit of optimism.

In the end, I have hope for the future. Not because of Trump. No, definitely not because of him and his empty promises of greatness. But because of my generation being willing to talk about the things others are too scared to see or admit to themselves. Because of the people who can see injustice and are willing to fight to see that changed for the better. Because of the millions of people who fight every day for a better, safer, happier world. Our country may be in the hands of one man, albeit small orange hands. But the heart of our nation is in each of us, and it’s our job to show the world we are not the stereotypical rich, obnoxious, bratty Americans seen today.

As the new president, Trump has the potential to change the world. It’ll be his choice to either ruin our country and set it back 100 years by embracing the hatred for change so many in our country seem to hold on to, or improve upon the American dream and prove that we are a great country, full of wide-eyed, diverse people with love and hope in our hearts.

Posted by Plainsman Press Staff

The student newspaper of South Plains College.

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