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One-third of the girls in underdeveloped countries are married before the age of 18, and one of every nine girls are married before 15. Not to diminish the discrimination women in the U.S. face, and partially because it's been socialized in me, but I can't even begin to comprehend the toil women in third-world countries have to face. The women in underdeveloped countries are generally treated like actual objects, as if their sole purpose in life is to quench and cater to man's every need. To pleasure him, to bear him sons (and sons only), to cook for him, clean for him, to entertain him. The mindset that men are far more superior than women is so deeply set in their society that people (mothers and fathers alike) feel no empathy for the little girls they give away to older men in exchange for a service or to settle a mere feud. Female life is given little to no regard and women are only perceived valuable or are only lauded when they produce a male heir, otherwise, they’re deemed as useless.
On March 1, the front page of The Daily Targum featured an article pointing out the similarities between a Rutgers Conservative Union flyer and one circulated by the American Vanguard, a white supremacy group. Two weeks ago, American Vanguard posted a flyer that read “Imagine A Muslim Free America” on the front of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center on Busch campus. The article features a quote from Dylan Marek, a constituent of the RCU, who claims that the writing on the flyer was his own, despite the fact that American Vanguard posted an almost identical version more than two months prior to Marek’s own advocacy.
GRILLED CHEESE FOR WORLD HUNGER
Last Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony was full of political moments — whether it was when Lin-Manuel Miranda wore a ribbon for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), or when Emma Stone wore a pin for Planned Parenthood, or when the winner of the Best Foreign Language Film skipped the ceremony to make a statement against President Donald J. Trump’s travel ban, viewers at home were reminded again of Hollywood’s politics. But the most unexpected, and unplanned, political moment was when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway accidentally announced the musical "La La Land" as the Best Picture winner, when it was actually "Moonlight," a drama about a black man struggling with his sexuality. On a night that was supposed to belong to "La La Land," a movie that had tied with "All About Eve" and "Titanic" for the most nominations in Oscars history and was predicted to win Best Picture, "Moonlight" took its rightful prize after a few minutes of chaos and confusion.
Last week, the LGBTQIA community was in shock over the blatant disregard of their rights by President Donald J. Trump and his administration when they decided to remove the federal protections for transgender people who want to use bathroom facilities that correspond with their gender identity. A majority of the Democratic Party, as well as some members of the Republican Party, voiced their anger over this decision by the Trump administration. And now, it seems as though the dust has barely even begun to settle before the nation began to chip away at LGBTQIA rights again.
This Tuesday evening, President Donald J. Trump issued what is shaping up to be his most compelling and unifying presidential address to date. For all his recent foibles and frequent lashing out of the mainstream media and political opponents, Trump struck a conciliatory tone in his prime-time speech addressing Congress. Harkening back to the image that ultimately won him the presidency, Trump painted a delicate and, dare I say, optimistic picture of the America he wishes to govern. Trump’s remarks elicited bipartisan praise in a time of intense polarization and divineness, hinting that the future he intends to embark on will benefit each and every American, even those whom vehemently disagree with him. This is not to say that many citizens of our country can’t point to specific proposals and courses of action that they disagree with the president on, however, admittedly uncharacteristically, Trump spoke directly to these Americans and offered a sweeping vision of change, compromise and action.
Alleged “small-government conservative” and United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to reporters on Tuesday about his views on the state of crime and addiction in America and hinted at some of the actions he, the Justice Department and President Donald J. Trump's administration as a whole will take to combat it. “I do not believe this pop in crime is a one-time aberration,'' Sessions said. "I'm afraid it represents the beginning of a trend.” He went on to suggest that the federal government should more strictly enforce federal laws against recreational marijuana, even in states that have voted to legalize it, and further prescribed the need for a crackdown on heroin.
Aside from the notorious Oscars flub airing live with millions watching, the Oscars revealed some interesting trends within the movement of "high culture concerning the realm of the arts and cinema. The hashtag that succinctly criticized the lack of diversity and roles for marginalized experiences #OscarSoWhite gained enough traction to create some visible change within the kinds of roles up for nomination in 2017. Although the diversity box was checked off the Oscars checklist with a black actor/actress in every onscreen category, other criticisms echoed a need for roles that were not “defined by their race.” One could also argue that race is already integral within individuals’ experiences. Perhaps the experiences that audiences perceive as "not defined by race" only prove the pervasive universality of the white experience. Every role has been already influenced by race, whether or not audiences perceive it as a definer speaks more to the normalization of whiteness over the experiences of blackness.
In an atmosphere where flyers promoting a “Muslim-Free America” have been circulating the Rutgers campus, it is safe to say that not everyone in the Rutgers community is as religiously tolerant as one would have thought. This religious intolerance most likely stems from the mere lack of understanding or lack of exposure to Islam, and to other religions in general. The solution to this? Perhaps Rutgers should look to Harvard University for answers.
Fact: Spring break is less than two weeks away. Also a fact: Women will be slaving away at the gym and watching their portion sizes in an effort to look "fit" in a set of overpriced Victoria’s Secret bikinis. In light of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I think it’s important to have an open discussion not only about eating disorders, but why most cases occur in the first place.
In recent years, the phrase "instant gratification" is being used more in daily speech rather than as simply a term within the usual spheres of psychological science. Critics of millennials complain that our generation constantly seeks the results of efforts — or even their lack of efforts — immediately. They also believe that we are being shaped into impatient and superficial human beings through the use of our technology that offers immediate access to a plethora of information at a finger’s touch. I do not doubt that these may be true. However, I am not so much concerned as to whether the constant commentary of the older generations will prove to be accurate as I am a part of this millennial culture. I do find it to be true that along with a desire for immediate gratification whether it be for food, information or television shows, there is a sense of urgency that our lifestyles demand. Texts need to be answered within the hour. Emails give the leniency of one, maybe two days. Social media and different applications are constantly bombarding us with notifications. All of these various modes of communication are presenting the idea that one must answer, respond and address all incoming messages immediately — as the person on the other end awaits anxiously. With the ease smartphones offer, this is all possible of course. However, not only do our devices make it possible, they also transform such convenience into a mandatory duty. There is no excuse to be unresponsive assuming one’s phone is not dead. Whether a message is from one's friend circle or from a coworker, a late reply is not to be tolerated lest it be accompanied with apologetic phrases and words.
About 98 percent of adults who are in their “college age” — 18 to 24 years old — are using social media apps or sites in a typical month. Everywhere you go, you can see people using Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, amongst other things. It seems like everyone’s doing it. But in North Carolina, this is not the case.
Last week, Hollywood Boulevard became the home of a new life-size golden statue of Kanye West depicted to look like a crucified Jesus Christ. The artwork was created by the street artist Plastic Jesus, who stated that the piece was a social commentary on how we idolize celebrities. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he explained: “(West is) a genius at writing and producing but he’s not a God, and that’s where we put him … Until there’s an issue in his life or a hiccup in his career, then we crucify him.”
Many of us like to believe that slavery is over and that is a thing of the past. We’re trained to think of slavery as a shocking one-time occurrence, something that once existed in the Americas and then disappeared after former President Abraham Lincoln saved us. But in this mindset, there is a huge piece of information about the past that we are missing. Because of the lack of attention that is given to problems in non-Western countries, most of us do not know or do not care about the problems that people face in Thailand, India or Mauritania, among other countries. However, what is even more shocking is the modern day slavery that occurs in our country. Otherwise known as human trafficking, slavery in the United States is a major issue that goes unaddressed and is repeatedly ignored in the minds of many Americans. It’s usually perceived as an issue that is out of our control, and only effects disadvantaged countries, when in reality, over 161 countries, meaning more than 30 million victims are impacted by human trafficking. The United States is host to around 60,000 of those victims.
President Donald J. Trump and his administration have seemed to give opponents of former President Barack Obama’s administration another thing to cheer about after Wednesday night. The Trump administration revoked protections for transgender students who wish to use bathrooms and facilities that resemble their gender identity. This decision was done despite the announcements by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who said she would protect the rights of transgender students, then had to choose between defying the president and ignoring her instinct, and ended up doing the latter. But others did not stay as quiet.
In a sermon delivered by Pope Francis on Thursday, the patently liberal pontiff chastised his Christian constituents for “saying one thing and doing another.” He emphasized the duplicity of leading a “double life,” one that is manifested by adherence to religious doctrines, but failure to apply religious values like tolerance, honesty and probity to daily experiences. His opprobrium was grand in magnitude as he conveyed “to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.”
President Donald J. Trump, at a rally in Florida last Saturday, seemed to mistakenly reference a terrorist attack that occurred in Sweden the previous night. He said, “We've got to keep our country safe. You look at what's happening in Germany. You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they're having problems like they never thought possible.” This statement was then mocked by the media and the Swedish themselves, as there was no reported incident the night prior to this speech. Trump clarified himself, stating that he was referencing a segment from Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News that involved Carlson interviewing Ami Horowitz, a media personality, about the immigration situation in Sweden.
MEETING ON MENTAL HEALTH
Earlier this month, inmates at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Delaware took four correctional officers hostage. Sadly, their actions resulted in the death of Sgt. Steven Floyd Sr.
Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences students understand the necessary balance between the humanities and the Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) field. So if college students can comprehend the importance of this balance, it is hard to imagine why a presidential administration is struggling with the idea of this concept.