Tag: Women

The Gillette Ad Lets Men See Themselves in a Different Light

By Cassandra Twining | United States

Recently Gillette released an ad addressing and highlighting the changes that our society is moving towards when it comes to men. Namely, it addresses how we as a society are starting to hold men accountable for their inappropriate actions.

This ad has been very controversial and has received a lot of backlash from various media outlets and viewers alike. However, I think these critics are missing the main lesson that should be taken away from this video. Men do not understand what it’s like to grow up as a woman.

That seems like a given, right? But it’s not something people are paying enough attention to. Of course, there are differences in how people grow up. That’s obvious, but how blatant are these differences once you start to look closer?

Before I start I want it to be known I recognize while the way I’ve grown up is certainly different from others, but I certainly think there are a lot of similarities between me and most girls my age. Furthermore, these are just my experiences. I would never pretend to speak for women or men as a whole. It’s just not my place.

The main takeaway of this video is that men don’t know what it’s like to grow up as a girl can be narrowed even further. From as young as I can possibly remember I was taught to take responsibility for myself and the situations I’m in. If there was a man staring at me inappropriately it was my job to dress in such a way that eliminated his desire to do that. It was never his job to perhaps, not stare at a young girl in that way. This line of logic can be applied to many situations in my childhood.

I’m not the only one who has dealt with this either. 77% of women report they have experienced some kind of verbal sexual harassment in their life. That’s 3 out of 4 women. Sadly, it is not at all uncommon for women to experience this all throughout their life. It can make them feel very unsafe and scared. This is where I suggest men start to take a stand and attempt to help.

I certainly think people should be responsible for their own safety and should consider situations they’re getting themselves into, no matter their gender. However, we as a society could try to start changing the balance of who holds the responsibility. What if I was not only aware of putting myself in safe situations, but the men around me were also making sure they were doing their part to make sure I wasn’t in a situation I would feel uncomfortable in. If we shared the responsibility you would move towards women being able to feel safer and more accommodated.

Not only that, but men should want to learn how to make situations more comfortable for women. If you purposely try to make situations scary or uncomfortable for women the problem is much deeper than this ad addresses. If that’s not you, be open to learning! Ask the women in your life what are some things you could do to help them feel safer, or ask them things they fear in everyday life that you probably don’t even think twice about and think of ways you could make that a better experience for women all around you.

I’m not asking that men take all the responsibility for ensuring the safety of women everywhere. I think women should still be aware of themselves and their surroundings and be responsible for their own safety. However, if men started to notice things like a creepy man staring at a woman and stepped in to offer support to the woman, this would revolutionize our interactions and the feelings of fear women suffer from on a daily basis.

The fact of the matter is, women fear things men don’t even think to be afraid of. I encourage men everywhere to start a conversation about it. Whether that be with your mom, your sister, your girlfriend, or just a female friend. I can guarantee they will appreciate your proactiveness, and you will also be able to learn ways to make the world safer for the women around you. Why anyone wouldn’t like the idea of doing that is beyond me.


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Microfinance is Saving the World’s Working Poor

By Ryan Lau | @agorists

In a world full of immense suffering, many see it as their job to try to alleviate it. In a number of such instances, governments take it upon themselves to try to solve the crises. However, their actions are not always effective. So, there is still a considerable market for private charities and companies to aid the poorest of the poor. Thus, the microfinance industry came to be.

What is Microfinance?

Microfinance is an economic practice where startups lend small amounts of money to small business owners to help them become more profitable. Though more of the poor are getting bank accounts, there are still many in third world countries without access. Moreover, even some areas with a bank do not allow women to open accounts, as many third world countries have yet to reach gender equality.

This poor reality is an iron chain on social mobility. Without basic access to lending and borrowing, it can be very hard for a poor family to start a small business and begin to increase their standard of living. Despite this, there is still hope for them, as microfinance is beginning to turn the tides.

A Method of Proven Success

SHARE Micro Finance Limited, a company based in India, lends women small amounts of money so that they may further their businesses. Each client receives only one payment equal to $50 to $100 in USD. The money may go towards buying them equipment to transport products. The women may also use it to begin moving their operations online.

So, what have been the results? A staggering 77% of these women have seen income increases. Over a third have risen their incomes enough to no longer be living in poverty. With these results, SHARE has become India’s largest microfinance industry, serving over 200,000 people.

SHARE is not alone in its success. Countless other stories throughout the developing world show similar increases. From Kenya to Colombia to Pakistan, microfinance is accelerating the path of families away from poverty.

A Home-building Industry

In Kenya, 36% of people live below the poverty line. Nairobi alone is home to a quarter of a million people without a roof over their heads. Clearly, there is an urgent need for these people to have more adequate housing. Once again, microfinance may be the clear answer.

Sandra Pietro, global director of operations and financial inclusion at Habitat for Humanity, believes microfinance is a clear way forward to improve housing access. She believes that without it, “It could take up to two generations for people to build their home incrementally”. In areas where life expectancy is low, this means they will never reap the benefit of decades of hard work.

With microfinance, women in particular are able to access loans to build their homes. With loans as little as $50 USD, these women are able to increase their quality of life. After giving three guarantors, they can obtain the deed to their new property.

This is only the first step to a long process, but without the spark, no fire is possible. Current banks rarely serve the poor, and thus, they need another option. Microfinance, for a growing number of poor men and women, is that option.


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Think Differently – Jarvis for NH Governor

By John Keller | United States

Jilletta Jarvis is a proud mother from Sandown, NH and is running for governor to, as stated on her website, “Work with experts, find the best solutions possible for the people she represents, and do everything in her power to cut costs and come in under budget.” She is running under the campaign slogan “Think Differently. Vote Differently.”

Keller: You’re running for governor. What inspired you to pursue the office and begin a career in politics?

Jarvis: I am honestly tired of the elitism and political status quo practiced by the typical politician.  The practice that we continue to do that that have failed, but throw more money at them as a way to fix a problem has not been working, we need outsiders of the political process – people who have to live with the consequences of bad laws, people who have had to budget, who are willing to look for new solutions, to evolve political process and look to solutions that work.  People who are willing to work for the people instead of simply blaming failures on the opponent party.  I was raised with the philosophy that if you can see the solution and you can be the solution then you step up and do it.  So I am stepping up to be part of the solution. 

Keller: You are running as a libertarian. The media often portrays it as anarchy and no government. What is libertarianism to you?

Jarvis: Every party has members that interpret the Party’s Platform in different ways. This diversity is helpful to the general population, though not entirely so to a political party as a Political Party is supposed to be a brand so that voters can understand better what they will be getting if they vote for a member of that party. While there most certainly are anarchists in our party, mostly the party is about minarchism – or those who support small government that is dedicated to providing certain services/protections.  These includes the protection of life, property, and the equal pursuit of happiness.  Libertarians do not believe that government should bail out failing business regardless of how big they are. The one thing that every member of the Libertarian Party agrees on is that no one has the right to use violence against another in order to get what they want and that your rights do not entitle you to infringe upon another person’s rights.  

Keller: Branching off of that last question; what attracted you, and what should attract voters, the message of libertarianism?

Jarvis: In NH, we tend to be individualists.  We want to live simple lives free of the interference of others.  This is a very libertarian philosophy.  We want you to have the right to be who you are, keep government out of your bedroom, allow you to keep more of your money in your pocket, and we believe the government should be protecting those rights, being responsible when budgeting with the money they have been allowed by the people, and that they should always be responsible to you – not the other way around.  I think a lot of people in NH are attracted to this idea.

Keller: What is the first thing you want to see accomplished should you be elected the next Governor of New Hampshire?

Jarvis: Transparency.  I want every person in NH to have the ability to know what’s going on in the state without having to fill in a form in triplicate to get the information.  I would also appoint a group to oversee public employee complaints and act on them as if a person is being paid by tax dollars they should be held to a higher standard.  I also would appoint a commission of educational professionals and real people to start working on the educational funding issue in NH and how to incorporate school choice without raising taxes.  I would start putting together a balanced budget that takes into account future spending as well as fiscal year and find ways to reduce that spending with as little negative impact to people as possible.  Such as working on fixing the welfare system in NH.  It rewards people for being out of work instead of helping them get back to work.  This is backwards thinking and needs to be fixed.

Keller: Minimum wage is becoming a growing issue in America, but notably in New Hampshire where business on the border with Massachusetts, where the minimum wage is $11/hr, is struggling to compete. What do you plan to do, as governor, to help struggling businesses and what are your plans with the minimum wage?

Jarvis: I would not institute a minimum wage.  It has already been proven that in order to compete with Massachusetts employers, NH employers are voluntarily raising their own wages.  This is exactly what the Libertarian Party suggested would happen and it has.

Keller: A campaign is defined by its planks. What three planks define your platform? In other words, what three policies are most important to you?

Jarvis: Economy

  • Each year the state budget has gone up which increases the cost to do business in the state and raises property taxes.
  • Lowering the State Budget so that less money is required from individuals and businesses would allow individuals and businesses to grow and succeed with-out having to leave the state to do so.
  • The wealthy should not be the only people to be entrepreneurs in New Hampshire. By reforming our Occupational Licensing requirements we would be allowing fair and equal opportunity for entrepreneurship to all people in the state.

Drug Policy

Your health and well being is important to Jilletta. It has been proven that cannabis is an effective treatment in many ailments including type 2 diabetes and obesity. It has also been proven that it is not a gateway drug and the possibility of overdosing on it are so small that it could be said to be impossible. Jilletta would support the legalization of this drug and promote its use in the treatment of those addicted to opioids as it has proven affective to end addiction of those drugs that can lead to death. Jilletta would also invite the lawmakers from Portugal to come and speak with the legislature regarding their success at cutting their drug addiction rates in half in just 10 years. It’s time to start using proven successful methods instead of the failed “drug war” which has seen violence and death due to drugs increase, not decrease.

  • The Law Enforcement Action Partnership cites the War on Drugs as the root of the problems in today’s society and that drug abuse is a health problem, not a law enforcement matter.(https://lawenforcementactionpartnership.org/our-issues/drug-policy/)
  • Drug abuse and related violence across the globe grow and flourish under prohibition.
  • There has been proven success in decreasing the number of drug deaths and addiction rates in other countries.
  • Reforming our policies and practices to those with proven success would serve not just those addicted, but all of our communities.

Accountability

Government belongs to the people. The only way they can know if their representatives are fulfilling their campaign promises is through government transparency.

  • This means data should be easy to access and to understand (including the budget)
  • Elected officials are not the only government employees and while the voters are able to hold them accountable on election day, other employees should also be held to high standards. NH Courts, Departments heads, and other areas paid for with tax payer money should be held to the highest standards possible.

Keller: Branching off of the last question, how are these things accomplished? What would that legislation or that action look like?

Jarvis: Economic Change is about fixing some regulations – such as the energy regulations that prevent businesses from thriving in NH and the Occupational Licensing requirements that sometimes require a person get a degree in something that has nothing to do with the business they are trying to get into, thus preventing lower income people from bettering their lives for no benefit to the occupation.  This will take working with the legislature in order to review and fix the regulations already in place.  It also means working on our property tax issues (thus education funding) as if business grows, the property taxes need to go down so that employees have some place to live.  I would also veto any law that stifles economic growth in NH.

Drug Reform – Again, working with the legislators on a clear law that identifies Cannabis legalization, age requirements, sale/distribution rights, home cultivation rights, pardons for non-violent offenders already in the system, and relocation of funds from the criminal system to the medical system for treatment.

Accountability – An executive order to form an oversight committee would be my first executive order as governor.  Then I would work with employees to make website changes for ease of access and searchability for anyone looking to find public information, required forms, business requirements, etc.  Also the Weekly FaceBook Live events that I hold every Thursday at 7pm would continue so that every person continued to have the opportunity to speak to their governor and ask me questions or tell me about issues without having to set up an appointment or come to Concord.

Keller: What sets you apart from the incumbent governor, Chris Sununu, and the potential democratic nominees?

Jarvis: People know where I stand.  I do not say I will do one thing and then do another.  I don’t blame the other parties for things I have not done, nor will I.  If people want a candidate who will allow them to keep all of their rights, including their right to purchase a firearm for protection like my Republican opponent promises and also want a candidate who will give them legalized cannabis and fight for equal rights for all citizens like my Democratic opponents promise – there is only one option – me.  Add to this that I want to find ways to lower their tax burden and that I am a political outsider – unlike any of my opponents and you have only one candidate who is truly fighting for the people of NH.

Keller If people want to get involved with your campaign, where can they get in contact with you?

Jarvis: People can reach out to me on my FaceBook page www.facebook.com/Jarvis4Gov, through twitter @Jarvis4Gov, through email at [email protected].  To volunteer, they can fill in a form on my website at https://JillettaJarvis4NH.com/volunteer. To donate to the campaign https://JillettaJarvis4NH.com/Donate or to request interviews/media appearances/etc. via email at [email protected]

Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?

Jarvis: Do not let the others convince you to vote out of fear.  It is time to think differently and vote differently.

I would like to thank Mrs. Jarvis for her time in conducting this interview, and be sure to get involved if interested.


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Why Feminism is Still Needed

By Osh | USA

Before you all start screaming at me in the comments about how women have the same rights as men and the wage gap is a myth, etc. I think I should clarify is that I am completely aware that feminism has basically almost completed its goals that can be achieved through legislation in the developed world. But what about the developing world?

When you hear the word “feminist,” what do the majority of you picture? You probably picture an obese woman with dyed hair screaming about the patriarchy and that men are pigs. What if I were to tell you that was not the case in the majority of instances? What if your entire perception of feminism and feminists became skewed because of a loud extremist minority? The vast majority just wish for men and women to be equal. And while we may have achieved as much equality as we can, there are still several nations in the world where women are oppressed and treated as second-class citizens.

In various nations in Africa, women suffer through intense abuse by their society and culture. According to the World Health Organization, in Ethiopia, 74% of women have gone through some form of female circumcision. In Mali, the number is even higher at 89%. Female circumcision offers zero health benefits to the woman and could, in fact, be quite harmful. Their governments, however, offer no services and no laws to help protect them.

Probably one of the most glaring examples of feminism still needing to exist is in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, women must cover their faces with a burqa, whether they want to or not. In fact, women were not even allowed to drive cars for the longest time. It was not until late 2017 that the Saudi government announced that starting June 2018, women will be allowed to drive. Bus companies in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s biggest cities, do not allow women at all on their buses. Women also can not own property.

It is quite obvious that feminism is still very much needed in these places. The developing world lags far behind in female rights. They are denied the right to live their life as they please, they are denied liberty, and in most nations, they can not even own property. They are denied the three basic rights of humans, and as Libertarians, we should not stand for this.


Sources.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/

http://www.nvvn.nl/artikel/female-genital-mutilationcutting-in-africa/

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41408195

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-womens-rights-driving-ban-lifted-marriage-custody-bank-accounts-travel-medical-a7969551.html


Image from the Japan Times.

The USA is not the Best Country in the World

By James Sweet III | USA

US News & World Report has released its rankings of the best countries in the world, and the results may or may not shock you. Economic influence, citizenship, and quality of life were found among the 65 factors that were taken into consideration for this list. 21,000 men and women were asked to rank 80 countries based off of these factors. Surely, from what the American populace has been told, the United States would be number one. To the surprise of some, this is simply not true. In fact, the USA is not even in the top five. So, who placed where?

10. The Netherlands

Men and women selected the Netherlands as the tenth best country overall. Also, it was a top ten finisher in the following categories: most business-friendly, most modern, entrepreneurship, quality of life, best countries to headquarter a corporation, raising kids, travel alone, most transparent countries, green living, and women. Clearly, the Dutch nation, though small, seems to be very mighty.

9. France

France, though recently ravaged by terrorist attacks and political conflicts, ranked ninth overall. The culturally rich nation ranked in the top ten for the following factors: cultural influence, power, heritage & richest traditions, most influential, education, and starting a career. However, this shouldn’t come as a shock to many. The Eiffel Tower and many other pieces of French art and culture are renowned around the world.

8. The United States of America

Come on, America. Can’t you do better? After all, we are the land of the free and the home of the brave! Well, at least we ranked in the top ten for cultural influence, entrepreneurship, power, most forward-looking, most influential, and education. Some may disagree with this, but it seems that is how civilization sees the USA.

7. Australia

Our friends down under seemed to edge above us this time. Although they lost the Emu War, they won when it came to this list. Ranking top ten in cultural influence, most modern, quality of life, most-forward looking, best countries to headquarter a corporation, raising kids, traveling alone, green living, investing in, education, retiring comfortably, and women, it seems the Australians are having a fun time outback.

6. Sweden

Sweden, despite conflicts due to mass migration, once again finished with a spot in the top ten. The Scandinavian nation ranked highly in: most business-friendly, cultural influence, most modern, entrepreneurship, quality of life, best countries to headquarter a corporation, raising kids, transparency, green living, education, retiring comfortably, and women.

5. Japan

This shouldn’t come as a shock, considering that Japan is a peaceful, extravagant, culturally influential nation. This can be contrasted to the high levels of tension in much of Eastern Asia. Placing in the top ten for cultural influence, entrepreneurship, power, up & coming economies, most-forward looking, most influential, green living, and education, the island nation of Japan seems to have a bright future ahead of them.

4. The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island once used to rule the waves. Now, they rule the rankings. The former British Empire placed in the top ten for cultural influence, entrepreneurship, power, starting a business, most forward-looking, most influential, transparency, education, and starting a career. Despite a lack of unification within the nation, the UK finished with an impressive showing.

3. Germany

From Holy Roman Empire to Federal Republic, the nation of Germany has risen and fallen. Today, Germany is once again a leader of European and world politics. They placed in the top ten for: being the most modern, entrepreneurship, quality of life, power, most forward-looking, headquartering a corporation, most influential, transparency, green living, education, and women. Where’s the ranking for best bratwurst?

2. Canada

The culturally diverse nation of Canada finished as number two on this list. It’s always nice to see another North American nation on this list. #Represent. They were in the top ten for most business-friendly, most modern, entrepreneurship, quality of life, starting a business, most forward-looking countries, headquartering a corporation, raising kids, transparency, green living, education, retiring comfortably, and women.

1. Switzerland

Finally, the glorious Swiss Republic, known for its armed neutrality and semi-direct democracy, finished in first for the second year in a row. Unsurprisingly, they were ranked in the top ten for a number of categories. These include the most business-friendly, cultural influence, most modern, entrepreneurship, quality of life, starting a business, most forward-looking countries, headquartering a corporation, raising kids, transparency, green living, education, retiring comfortably and women.

If Switzerland’s name wasn’t there, many Americans would likely believe the USA was actually number one in the world.  Yet, we have seen that the USA only ranked as the eighth best country. Perhaps, the government should take some notes from the Swiss.

(Image courtesy of www.wonderfulengineering.com)