This election and a short conversation with a family member has got me wanting to share my opinion. The country was floored by Donald Trump’s “locker talk”, his racist comments, and his blatant disrespect for virtually all minorities. My heart is broken that America really made a man like that president. There’s more to this life than the pointless bickering, money, laws, and politics. We are all living on borrowed time. We should view one another with love no matter our religion, disability, skin color, sex, or income. We should all agree to disagree respectfully. We should always be humble and remember that all life is life. However, when I look at my Facebook feed or talk to (most) of my friends and family, I come to realize that they share the same negativity.
The majority of Americans tend to think of themselves and their loved ones as being more valuable than other people. It is not just women that are treated as lesser, it is not just blacks either. Most people see others as “some dude”, “that bitch”, or “so and so”. They don’t tend to look at other people (regardless of sex or race) as true equals. Of course there are exceptions to this, primarily spiritual and religious people, that have a respect and love for all life because they view all life as precious. I’ve been made fun of my entire life for being such a pushover, going out of my way to help people, and forgiving to the extreme. However, the few months I tried to take the ‘Merica attitude and outlook for myself, I was miserable. It feels gross and mean to be so judgemental to a stranger just because I don’t know them.
The number one problem I have with my father and fiance is that they don’t often think about how they’re making other people feel. I constantly feel the need to be the person standing up for the people they’re talking lightly of like cashiers, servers, or other people doing a job to serve society. If someone makes a mistake at the deli or public service many people tend to get upset because they are there to do that job. It’s important to remember that they are still people, with lives, that make mistakes. Four of my favorite men I know are the strongest, but also most teasing that I’ve met. They are wonderful people with big hearts but the minute they perceive someone as weak (like women, children, or feminine men) they take a joking bully attitude like big brothers with their younger siblings. Women are often perceived as weak in the world, but in this country they are presented as strong. Is that really a good thing?
In some other countries women have fewer rights, however they feel more respected and valued. This list at The Richest shows 10 countries in which women are respected most in 2014. As an American woman I have the right to attend school, drive, and vote. However, I do not feel that most men and women, respect women. I personally feel like once the country began respecting women and giving them more rights, it became sexual. There was only a few decades of almost complete gender equality before women in the media became sex symbols. Everything from the 2003 kiss between Madonna and Britney Spears to the shocking 2013 performance by Miley Cyrus at the MTV Music Awards. Almost every song on “hit music” stations is degrading to women, about having sex, or women cheating. adolescent girls are wearing shorts and dresses so short they could be considered underwear, it is a norm. How can we expect men to respect women when they are presented in this fashion?
Maybe by presenting women as these strong, sexual, independent beings, we are destroying their image and role as a woman. We all have a role to play and we choose our own parts. Women have the choice between work, children, or both. It is up to us how we want to live our lives. It is nice to have choices but we need to be mindful when making these choices. We should always think about the image we are sending to others in all we do. If women are continuously presented to society as disposable sex dolls, how can we ever expect to truly be respected? While America (namely the entertainment industry) may be presenting women in this light, money also becomes an issue for inequality.
People in the upper class tend to look at the lower and lower-middle-class as lesser beings. You see it all the time. Parents looking down on their adult children, women and men looking in disgust at the person on the side of the road with a sign, and high society people sticking their noses up at people with less money. Inequality is more than just judgement based on race, sex, or money. These views stem from a self-worship attitude. The majority of people in today’s society want what they want, they cycle through relationships searching for someone who will make them happy. They constantly buy the newest things, always in search of some magic that will fill the longing feeling in them. They toss away friends, relationships, and items that are no longer serving them. They spend hours making themselves look and feel like royalty, and project that view, sometimes unintentionally, on others. They focus on themselves and forget that everyone is somebody’s somebody.
So, the next time you go out, the next time you disagree with someone, the next time you see a poor man… Be humble. Try to see what it’s like from their shoes. Dress and act as though you want to be respected. Showing more skin, being more promiscuous will only attract the sexual side of others, not their hearts. Remember all life is worthy of love. Our lives are not our own. All lives matter. No matter what background or religious beliefs you hold, this scripture is always a good one to live by:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV