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Protect the People

Discussion in 'Small Talk' started by Alex The Hydreigon, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. Hello! I would like to make this to inform people about something I cannot do alone. I would like help wih setting up a speech for me to do about Gender equallity, bullying, and suicide, to help those who are unsure and would like support. I am currently just doing this speech for my school, however, I would love to go beyond that and adress it to the public, but i need your help. i have much to say, but i would like to find a way to get everyone involved in making the world a better place. I know that right now, many are scared and worried, but I want people to know that it will all be okay. please tell people about this, and feel free to get people involved, who aren't even on this website. if you need any way to contact me, I will give my instagram to you guys, and a website is in the making. Thank you all so much for your time, and thank you my fellow Hydreigon!!
  2. Well, I'm not a Hydreigon, but I'll offer a little of what I know, since you've asked for help. The following is not in any particular order, but it should help you in your thinking somewhat.

    Suicide- I suggest that you include a popular reference to start this off, in order to get a general interested audience on the same page. Perhaps the relatively recent Netflix series "13 Reasons Why." Since your topic is about helping make the world a better place, you will want to explain that glamorizing suicide as shows like this does is counterproductive, and that there are better ways to show empathy for the problems that young adults face. From there, perhaps cover the do's and don'ts when having an intervention with a suicidal person, since you are likely to have someone in the room with need for this knowledge. (Do's: be yourself, listen sympathetically, take the person seriously. Don'ts: lecture the person about the value of life, promise to fix their problems, or swear to keep it secret.)

    Bullying- I've found from experience that this all boils down to self-confidence. Bullies have no power over those who don't fear them, and at least for guys, nothing disperses fear faster than martial arts training. Bullying victims should, of course, tell a trusted adult, but this should supplement the confidence-builder, never replace it. A fight may be inevitable, but like approaching a freezing lake, better to leap in and have done than prolong the suffering inches at a time. Even if the victim loses, even if there are (presumably school) consequences, fighting with spirit will force any bully to accept that their power of fear is gone. I have no idea what to say for you women, but I can say this much. If someone has no confidence in herself, she should at least have confidence in civilized society, because we humans are social creatures. If she is not following the conventions of society within her power to do so, perhaps she should rethink her life (to borrow a Star Wars quote) and avoid inviting scorn upon herself. If she IS following conventions of society within her power to do so, she can rest in the knowledge that her tormentor is the ugly one, not her. Once she accepts that, there is no more reason to take the bully seriously. Perhaps in your speech, clarify how we live together as a people. "We ALL want this. We ALL want that. If anyone violates our system of live-and-let-live, we ALL need to be willing to intervene." That's the thing about the age group: they all stand together, or they hang separately, but it's usually considered "bad form" to get someone older involved (not wrong, but considered wrong).

    Gender Equality- For this category, you're really going to want to make sure that you have your facts in order, because the media has made a mess of it. For instance, if you were to talk about the wage gap, those in your audience who know it's a myth would not only quit taking you seriously, they might turn on you. And if you were to use the term "feminism," I guarantee that you would instill the image of screeching, blue-haired, wild-eyed harpies in the minds of half your audience. Your best bet is to begin by finding common ground. The West is an egalitarian culture; in general, we believe that all people deserve equal rights and opportunities, on condition that they're not violating the rights of their fellows. Focus on being an "egalitarian," and you're likely to be more successful. Just to be clear, incidentally, I am moderately conservative, so I'd probably be the most useful to you as a "devil's advocate" for whatever particulars you'd be discussing for this one.

    I hope it helps, if only a little.
  3. Good for you Alex, grade school is a stressful time that can feel like a prison and it's great that you're giving support to your peers. I would say to start small and try to assuage your peers' anxieties about gender and sexuality, and to remind them that grade school does end and that there are a lot of resources available for kids feeling isolated or hopeless. Bullying others for being different or "weird" is cruel and wrong and they're better than that. Make yourself available as a friend and a listener so that they don't feel alone, and call on your classmates to do so too in your speech.

    There are a lot of areas in which our society still has to make progress, but there is a lot of hope too. The work of women and people of color isn't valued as much as that of white men, and women are subject to harassment in a lot of industries. But people are speaking out now, and there are more mentors and allies than you might think. Amazing strides in social equality are being made due to the very, very hard work of a lot of dedicated people, and scientific discoveries, and to get justice for people who have been hurt. There is a lot of work still to be done, but if video games have taught me anything, it's that if you encounter enemies, you're going in the right direction. B) also that you can eat food off the ground. I have to work on that.

    I understand the desire to deny these things-- gender and racial inequality, environmental changes, political injustice, structural violence and racism-- are happening. It's easier to say that it isn't true and then to feel superior over the people saying otherwise. If nothing is wrong, you don't have to do anything, right? A lot of these social scientists bring up things that might make you feel afraid and uncomfortable, but it is true that sexism isn't your fault if you're a boy or a man, and racism isn't your fault if you're white. These are systemic issues that we have to decide to alter as a society! But you can take action to make things better for the people around you; you can shut down racist or sexist jokes and other casual expressions of aggression, and offer support and friendship without judgement to people who express their gender differently than others, or who stand out from the crowd in different ways.

    When I was a teen I had to sit through all my friends telling their dads' mean """"jokes"""" about women and black people. I've had to sit through mean things my "friends" have said to me as an adult for being a female-presenting person playing games. It's hard. But eventually you'll find a community of people who aren't cruel.

    Ultimately from a purely utilitarian viewpoint, we want every human being to be their best self and to be able to contribute to humanity in the way they're most talented at, and not hold people back arbitrarily because of their appearance or gender. When we set up artificial barriers like declaring all women less capable than men or suited only for a narrow range of professions (or Asians versus white people, or left-handed people versus right-handed, or whatever), we're doing all of society a disservice as well as hurting those individuals. Let's just stop hurting people! There are enough resources to go around for everyone to meet their goals.

    Trans Helpline: US: (877) 565-8860 Canada: (877) 330-6366

    Suicide Prevention
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    Captain Awkward's Archives - lots of questions about navigating social situations and setting boundaries
  4. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    Everything Kel said.

    Also, considering the gender inequality thing - I would like to quickly point out that while a great deal of progress has been made in the last few decades in these fields (at least in some places in the world), to present the situation as it is now whilst ignoring historical context tends to provide a rather skewed image of reality.

    It's easy to dismiss the wage gap and the 'glass ceiling' as relics, especially considering the welcome trend of narrowing down in recent years. Nevertheless, the gap does still exist - and some of the reasons it does are historical holdovers. Yes, some of the barriers and the gaps have been bridged. Traditional 'human capital' reasons for the gap (education, experience, what have you) have largely narrowed down in recent years - but this is just one piece of the greater puzzle. People who deny the wage gap's existence (and often smugly tell people to 'educate themselves' while providing no evidence) often make the same tired arguments about how statistics about the wage gap are derived from 'comparing apples and oranges' - claiming women tend to work in professions that pay less than men do and that accounts for most of the disparity. While a body of work does exist that demonstrates that there is a gender-based wage parity even -within- specific professions (a particular Harvard professor of Economy, Claudia Goldin, has a good number of articles on some of the potential causes for this) - one cannot deny that there is certainly a disproportionate over-representation of women in, for example, "caretaker" roles - which tend to be lower-paying work, even though it can be very emotionally demanding.

    But step away from that 'truism' and consider for a moment what may be the reason for this.

    The disproportionate over-representation is nothing new - caretaking jobs tend to be fairly female-coded for many years now - and there is certainly a great deal of pressure directed at women to choose such professions as their career paths. The truth is that western society is hardly egalitarian. It's getting there, but it still has quite a few eagles to eat before it manages to get across the institutionalized patriarchy that can be traced back to certain foundations a lot of western society has been built on and have become fairly ingrained in which - many of which led to rather sexist views of women being far more adapted to caretaking roles because of elements in their 'nature', or because this type of jobs tends to be less demanding in terms of work hours which allows them more time for 'additional responsibilities at home'. And while one may think that in the year 20-fucking-18 the species would have cast such stone-age thinking aside - there are still pretty fucked up pressure points in the way both women AND men are socialized that lead to the perpetuation of these thought patterns, to men thinking that doing their part in the household is 'helping' their female partners (as opposed to actually doing their share of the workload), to women still expected to be more diplomatic and compromising while men are expected to be more assertive and forceful (and deviations from such being perceived as off-putting) - and that's to say nothing about the societal echo-chambers that bring out the worst in people and make things more complicated for the rest of us.

    So yes, women are certainly pushed to "lower paying", "female coded" jobs while being pushed away in various ways from jobs that are considered more "male coded" or male dominated. But even if you attempt to remedy that by directing more women to STEM professions and more men to caretaking positions - there is another, far more insidious problem - the work of women is, generally speaking, devalued compared to the work of men. When women move into a field and begin to dominate it, compensation in that field drops (Levanon, England and Allison, 2009) . The field of design is a dramatic example - but if you think that's just because it's an artistic field (and let's face it, those are fairly wonky on the best of days), then another good example is Biology - a STEM discipline that has taken somewhat of a reputation hit and became considered a "softer" science, less highly regarded, in a manner that just happened to 'coincide' with women beginning to dominate this particular discipline. Alarmingly, the opposite is also true - and the best example for which is the field of computer programming (Oldenziel, 2001) - a field that used to be female-dominated and was considered a trivial, menial task - until men moved in, and suddenly the entire profession became more prestigious, paid more - and women started being pushed and harassed out of it as the dudebro quotient (and particularly the smug dudebros who fancy themselves of higher intellect than most and consider themselves some deity's gift to mankind) in comp-sci kind of has a tendency to become pretty toxic.

    So yes, while progress is being attained and gaps are being closed - the gaps are very much still out there, as are the underlying causes that create them - it only takes a brief review of recent statistical data to see that there is still quite a bit of work to be done on the field of finally setting that particular issue to rest.

    And lastly. Contrary to what some Fedora-snorting Redditors would have you believe, no, 'Feminism' does not mean 'a host of man-hating zealots who wish to cast down society and culture and set in its place The Great Distaff Hegemony, a cautionary tale to be mocked and ridiculed and whispered of by campfires with a scary neon pink flashlight aimed directly at your face.' Well, there are some who are like that, for sure - but every group has its insane radicals who cast the rest of the movement in a terrible light. (Admittedly, anything would look terrible with a neon pink flashlight aimed at its face, but that's a story for another time).

    The reality of the situation is that feminism as a movement did, indeed, arise out of an even deeper, historical inequality between men and women, and strove to promote the position of women (which was heavily disadvantaged at the time the movement started - far more than it is today) in order to bring about equality - not to set women above men, but to improve the situation for both women and men. The are all sort of claims that feminism served its purpose with women now being able to vote, drive, attend higher education and kick First Order ass, and the movement is no longer necessary. This is strictly untrue - Even if you put aside the fact that there are quite a few societies out there where the position of women is still pretty dire, even in current 'modern' western society there's a great deal of fucked-uppedness in society today that arises from the historical perception of women (and in turn, femininity and things associated with it) as being inferior/weak/submissive/to-be-considered-a-possession having become insidiously weaseled its way into the system and became internalized in society - which is incredibly messing up the way that men, women and everything in between are being socialized and stigmatized. These include issues ranging from rape culture to toxic masculinity, and I suppose one could write entire goddamn novels on this subject, but it's midnight-forty-one in the AM and THIS particular biomechanical abomination needs to recharge. So I will definitely say that yes, systemic patriarchy is still a problem, feminism is still absolutely necessary, and is still worthy of its name. Frankly, personally find that people awkwardly dancing around defining themselves as feminists because they might be lumped with radicals to be far more harmful to taking the feminist movement seriously, because "fandom drama" makes everything a little more difficult to take seriously. But a good rule of thumb to follow is.

    Do you believe that men and women should be equal, have equal rights, and be treated with equal respect?
    If your answer to that is Yes, then congratulations, you're a god damn feminist, and no amount of people who seek to shoot themselves in the foot will change that.

    As an afterword - A lot of rhetoric I've seen here suggests that you should avoid using certain terms or certain perceptions to avoid being 'ridiculed' or 'tuned out'. Fact is - people often tune out what they don't want to hear. There will always be those who will listen to you and nod enthusiastically because preaching to the choir and conversely, those who will tune you out immediately because immediately upon hearing anything about serious issues they will dismiss you as an 'SJW'. It's the spectrum of people in between that you're really giving that speech to - and in the average audience, they will be a majority. Do your research - but think critically about what you read, the sources of your information and what their agendas and biases may be. Check your own biases. Don't fall into the populist trap of dismissing the media, science, etc. Just Because. Remember that numbers don't lie - but people will use them to lie - and if you manage to build enough of a compelling case backed by enough evidence... Well, you may not convince everyone - but you'll make people think. And in this day and age, where certain people want other people to think as less as they possibly can? That's one hell of a contribution for making a better world.
  5. Everyone,

    Thank you all so kindly for your information you have provided. This means everything to me that you all took your time to publish a response, and to help a small human figure out what to present to the congress of my school. About the feminism, that got a bit to intense, however, it did help me figure out what not to say.

    What you said had really opened me up to a number of oportunitys, and I thank you so much for that. I greatly thank you, and that last paragraph, "Well, you may not convince everyone - but you'll make people think. And in this day and age, where certain people want other people to think as less as they possibly can? That's one hell of a contribution for making a better world." This one quote had me beaming, and I can't say anything to that but thank you. Many of my friends and even a celeberty have told me that with this passion I have for helping, really makes the world a better place. Your points in your paragraph were absolutely astonishing, and will 100% make sure I do all of my reserch before setting foot into the meeting room, and perfect everything before I tell 500+ people how much this matters.
    I only have a month before presenting this to the fellow citizens of my hometown, but after what you said, its worth it.

    Your points were on point! (hehe, get it?) I loved all of the information you provided, and I absolutly agree on everything you have said as well. your topic on the jokes is something that really should stop, and giving examples from your life time really makes everything so much better. its almost as if I can feel what you were struggling with, and of course, I can relate, but I just cant say how wonderful that was to read, and thank you dearly for providing links to information!!

    What you have provided has helped my case quite a bit, however, there wasn't really a need for that feminism topic. lets try to calm down just a smidge with that, and I think were all good.

    Once again, thank you all so kindly for your help, and I do wish to continue this project here on Charms. it means so much to me that you all took time out of your day to provide this information!

    ~Alex ♥
  6. It's truly a tragedy that I can only like a post once. This deserves every fucking prize on the planet Earth and another one to be created just because goddammit, this is awesome. Kudos to you, Stellar.

    And now, for my input. As you know, I am 100% behind you with this and I'm willing to help in any way that I can.

    Sexuality/Gender Orientation: I think the best thing you can do with this one is tell the audience to put themselves in a scenario where their orientation is a minority, and people are constantly giving them crap about it. They like someone, but don't have the courage to say it for fear that that person isn't "into" people of their gender, and others may overhear and mock them. Ask them how they would feel in that position. Try to appeal to their empathy. Then ask them what they have to gain from attacking people that are different than them. What comes from bullying someone for something that makes them...them? Reply with something along the lines of "suffering, sadness, and sometimes suicide. That's what." And--this might not be the best thing to bring up at school, but it's a valid point nonetheless--if they argue that it goes against their religion or something, ask them if they've even read their religious texts, because at least in the Bible, there are a whole lot of things that are okay that would NOT be okay in today's society. And tell people that if they are LGBTQ+ to embrace it. The people that mock them are blind and not worth their time.

    Bullying: This one is a bit harder to reach, and I would take two separate approaches with this one. My suggestion is to prepare two separate speeches for two separate audiences: have an assembly or something for the students, and hold something for the parents as well. I'll get to the second part in a second, for now I'll focus on the school-age topics. Stress the point that bullying is not okay under any circumstances. Sometimes, the easiest-looking targets may be people with things like depression or anxiety, and this can drive them to go to drastic measures. Openly mention suicide in this one, because bullying is a major cause of it. Tell them that if they're having issues at home, then there are people to talk to, and if it's an abuse issue or fear of abuse for talking back or reporting it, the police can and will get involved if necessary. But it's not okay to take out those negative emotions on people like that. Now for the parents part. Discuss discipline with them and tell them that they need to be firm on these kinds of things. I've noticed on several occasions that parents just don't get after their kids sometimes, and that just results in repeated issues. This should also be stressed to the administrators, who I would assume would be in attendance as well. I dunno, and clearly I'm not too great at this sort of thing.

    Whelp, considering the fact that it's quarter past eleven at night, I probably ought to go. I hope this helped even the tiniest little bit. I do have a lot of this stuff on my main Pinterest board, if you'd like to take a look. That said, there is a lot of random crap there too. I'm planning to filter it all into different boards eventually. https://www.pinterest.com/aspenstockt10/stuff-i-like/ (Things That I Need To Look At On A Daily Basis)
    EDIT: Just remembered to post this, there is quite a bit of vulgarity in this. If that's not your cup of tea, then either don't look at it or tread carefully.
    #6 Cloudswift, Jan 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  7. I just need to thank everyone who has posted so far for helping out my sister. She’s worked so hard for this the last few months and the fact that you guys are willing to take time out of your day to help her out means a lot to both of us. Thank you.
  8. RoseAiluros

    RoseAiluros Mother of Meltans

    Suicide is a mess through and through. People usually (but not always) say that it is tied in with depression or some other mental illness. In a lot of cases, this is damn true. There is not enough knowledge shared about mental health, nor is it taken as seriously as it should be. The stigma around it is a massive problem. The mental health care system needs to improve big time. There are not nearly enough competent counsellors or therapists. And they HAVE to be if they want to actually help people. Don't get me started on the price of treatment in certain places in this world too. It's like having a mental illness is seen as some kind of fucking privilege.

    Bullying is not down to self-confidence. There are countless reasons as to why someone could be bullied or no reason whatsoever. I didn't give a shit that I was bullied, but that didn't put them off trying. I've had people asking me why I was bullied so badly and none of us had a reason prepared. Not them or me. It was just because. Bullies bully even their own so-called 'friends'. I've seen all kinds of people bullied whether it be in high school or as a fully grown adult out and about in the working world. I feel that most bullying is tied into three key factors. How the bully sees themselves, their home life and the people that they choose to be around. BAM! That is 90% of cases out of the damn way. The other 10% is simply because they're an asshole.

    The wage gap is very real and even if it wasn't a problem in the UK, it would be a problem elsewhere in the world. Then you have people who simply don't abide by the law. Sexism is a huge issue and those who think otherwise need to educate themselves by actually getting involved. Feminism is needed even in modern day. The people who aren't asking for equality but superiority are not feminists and I am sick of ignorant people thinking that we're the bad guys for a few lousy bad apples using our label in vain. We still have a long way to go on equality because there are still gender roles. Even colours have a bloody gender like pink or blue. How boys can't wear skirts and girls can't wear spaghetti string tank tops because "It will distract the boys". How even our TOYS have gender roles. What the shit, society? Woman still get dick pics and the men don't ever seem to realize that this is sexual harassment and a reportable offense if pushed. And don't get me started on the bullshit of "boys don't cry".

    Sorry for how aggressive I've been in this post. Someone managed to piss me off.
  9. Once again,

    Thank you all soooooooo so so much for everything you have written, and I honestly can't thank you all enough. This truly means the world to me and i can't help but to smile at everything you all have presented.

    What you said has opened me up to even more at this point. your 100% right on how serious this can be, and people really do need to get more involved if they want to solve the damn problem. It seems as if people don't understand how much of a problem this really is, and i thank you so much for stating your points because it really means something to me.
    I don't exactly understand why people put the blame on females, and by gender equality, everyone please understand i also mean sexualitys as well, such as LGBTQ+ . I want everyone to be equal, and everyone deserves a chance. Tonibytes, all of that was astonishing, and i thank you dearly for writing all of that. :)
    RoseAiluros and Cloudswift like this.
  10. I would also like to say something else;

    I will be presenting this to a small group of my friends tomorrow, so if allowed, I would love to use a few of you as an example, and please feel free to message me here, or I can send you my Instagram in private. I would love to make an account to this cause, and i would love to here what you all think. I'm always here to listen! :)
  11. Someone speaking from experience, suicide is a huge topic to me. It is estimated that around 6 or 7% of American adults struggle with major depressive disorder, and for the LGTBQ community, rates of depression, drug/alcohol abuse and rates of suicide is even higher. The percentage might not seem high, but do you know how many people live in the US? That means around 16 MILLION adults (Yes! Just adults alone, don't forget about kids!) have to deal with the haunting struggles of the disorder. I'd also like to point out, that for every suicide, there are 25 suicide attempts. Imagine this, there is an estimate of around 44,000 people dying from suicide a year.. That is a lot of people, but the topic on suicide is fairly scarce. The only time I ever hear the news or large media groups talking about suicide, is when a celebrity commits suicide. Even then, it is only covered for about a week. Also, mental health still remains a strange topic nowadays, and people who struggle with disorders, are still afraid with the stigma that comes with mental illnesses . For example, when someone commits suicide, many people are seen as crazy and selfish for taking their lives. There is a huge lack of perspective on these people, who feel so broken enough to take their own lives. Furthermore, a lot of people aren't educated enough to realize that disorders aren't a choice. Disorders like depression can be perceived as the "People being whiny and dramatic " or that they should just "Toughen up" or "be happy". Another example of this, is the culture around eating disorders. People who struggle with these disorders are considered to "bring it upon themselves." instead of that they were pressured to be in the perfect body, through perhaps bullying or just a general terrible self worth. I don't personally understand why people can't open their eyes sometimes, and realize that disorders aren't choices.
  12. I might be too late for the presentation, but I'm personally familiar with bullying. All too familiar.

    I've been attacked at school, had so much stolen from me, and even been emotionally destroyed because I have some form of debilitating anything that makes me different from anyone else. Heck, it's even hard for me to write this because I've jammed emotions down so far to avoid further harassment.
    However, when you realize you aren't alone... I feel like a form of unity appears when the bullied come together. I can also relate to suicidal thoughts.

    Too many people have suicidal thoughts, and in today's society, suicide is EGGED ON - which is why bullying, cyber or not, is such a massive issue. It's apparently funny if someone commits suicide today. Tell me, do their families find it funny? Do their friends find it funny? How about the people who couldn't help them? The ones who couldn't stop them from taking the action?
    #12 BonslyJuice, Jan 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018

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