Caitlyn Jenner: Opposing the conversation

Caitlyn Jenner

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(Vanity Fair)

As we all know, Caitlyn Jenner made her first appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. She was dressed in a corset, wearing make-up, and had her hair done: she is a woman. Caitlyn has caught many people’s attention due to the fact that she, in fact, used to be Bruce Jenner. While people are entitled to enter the conversation, people are not entitled to be crude for no apparent reason.

Since most of the feedback and articles I have read about Caitlyn so far are written by uneducated, biased, and bigoted people, I think it’s first important to explain the very basis of this conversation. Being transgender means that one’s gender identity or gender expression does not match their assigned sex. Gender and sex are not related. This can be a full on discussion in its own, but that’s not my point here. My point is that if you’re uneducated and only operate on the binary system (people have to be male or female), then there is no point in trying to make you understand; you just don’t get it. What you are all forgetting is that Caitlyn Jenner is a person, not another object to exploit. Over 40% of people who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming commit suicide-do you really want to be another factor in making someone else’s life terrible?

trans(Huffington Post)

There is one reoccurring sentence I am continually seeing referring to Caitlyn Jenner: Bruce Jenner decided to dress himself up in girl clothes and pose for a magazine cover. Ummm, really? There are a number of things wrong with this sentence. Caitlyn Jenner is Caitlyn Jenner, not Bruce. Caitlyn goes by feminine pronouns like she and her, so he did not dress himself, she dressed herself. And yes, she posed for a magazine, not as a costume, as herself. Caitlyn Jenner is a human being and deserves to be referred to by her preferred pronouns which are feminine.

The whole religious debate surrounding Caitlyn Jenner is just ludicrous. If God created people as male or female and he makes perfect decisions and never messes up, what do you have to say about the other roughly 2-5% of the population in the U.S. that identify as transgender? Did God mess up that many times or do ALL of these people just want attention? It seems to me that people minimize the transgender person to an act of rebellion against God and/or society, when in reality they are a person who doesn’t identify with the sex they were given at birth.

Furthermore, to minimize all of the steps society has taken towards accepting people of the LGBTQ community to an era called the progressive era is idiotic at best. And on that topic, since when has being progressive turned into a bad thing? Accepting people for who they are is something that should be in human nature, not something to be moving towards. Unfortunately, society has taught us that the binary system is the only way and anyone who tampers with that is scary, disgusting, and should not be accepted. The fact that Caitlyn Jenner wears make-up and seems to have undergone plastic surgery is also among debate. Plastic surgery and make-up are among debate when non-trans peoples do it, as well. All there is to be said about that is if they have the money and they want to alter the way they look, let them. It’s not your body and it’s not your choice.

Although one problem I do see with the Caitlyn Jenner story is the publicity, I don’t think it has to be a bad thing. Doing anything under the eyes of everyone in the country is a hard thing, something Caitlyn knew she was getting into, but it doesn’t mean she even really has a choice. Caitlyn Jenner has bee on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” for years, so do you really think anything she does from now on is going to happen without the eyes of every citizen watching her? A problem with this is that Caitlyn has an enormous amount of resources and support, something contrast to most transgendered peoples. It’s not easy to be accepted or get the money to change into the new identity you have always felt you are supposed to be. Caitlyn’s effortless change is not the norm for most transgendered peoples lives. That being said, Caitlyn can also be seen as a hero and courageous because she did what some people cannot do; she embraced the identity she truly believes she is.

What shocks me is the enormous amount of uneducated people in this world when it comes to the LGBTQ community. There are countless documentaries on transgendered peoples that recount real-life experiences of people who are, in fact, transgender. In an article by Matt Walsh, he states “Identity is not in the eye of the beholder… you don’t get to have a “new” self or another self or a different self or a self 2.0.” Well, Matt, hate to break it to you but Caitlyn didn’t create a “self 2.0” as you call it and she definitely does get to choose her own identity. If someone doesn’t feel they have been themselves for their entire life, you better bet they’re allowed to change into someone they’ve always felt they were: a woman. The very idea that people don’t get to choose who they are is just completely backwards and downright horrific. Do you mean to tell me, Matt, that if you felt like a woman trapped inside a man’s body you wouldn’t do something to change that? You wouldn’t change into someone you felt like you truly were? I challenge you to seriously put yourself in a transgendered person’s shoes and tell me that you wouldn’t challenge the binary system as well. And I’ll directly quote you, Matt, here:

Last question for the people — particularly straight men — who claim there is no real distinction between a “transgender” woman and a real woman: Would you marry a woman who used to be a man? Would you look at this “former” man and think, “I want to make him my wife?”

Answer: No. You wouldn’t. You won’t. And you know it. Instinctively, when it comes down to it, where your life and love are concerned, you recognize the difference between a biological woman in all her glory, and a castrated man in all his derangement. I’m spending thousands of words convincing you of something you know. And I know you know it. And everyone knows that everyone knows it. So why are we still having this conversation?”

I think you just gave me the answer I was looking for: all you care about is the binary, heteronormative society that you so neatly grew up in. Why only ask straight men how they feel about “transgender” and “real” women? Are they the only ones to be attracted to women? Are they the only ones to marry women? And honestly, maybe if you came out of your little tight box every now and then, you’d realize there are a lot more open minded people in the world that think the complete opposite of you. People are people and not everyone believes a transgendered person is less than that.

And last but not least, if you rally think this is really a publicity act, think again. No one would go through this amount of torture, pain, and risk losing friends and family just for attention. Bruce Jenner is now Caitlyn Jenner and we all need to accept it and move on. After all, you’re just giving her more publicity by making this into a political conversation.

Why I don’t believe in Test Grades

 

 

 

 

…am I an idiot?
mathhh

Throughout school I have always felt sort of like an… idiot, for lack of better words. I’ve always received sub-par grades and never really been the top of my class. Of course this led to me feeling incompetent and unmotivated. Well, when I kind of grew out of my shell as I got older, and I got to know more people and branched out, I realized I’m a pretty well-rounded person and I’m actually quite intelligent- book and street wise. So naturally, this got me to thinking about how school systems work (or mine in Seattle, Washington) and why I get such bad grades if I’m smart.

My number one problem with schools and how they grade is test scores. It’s not fair to teach on a broad subject, but scrutinize the tests into tiny seemingly pointless details. My example of this would be a test on WWII. Of course I’m going to know who the main allies of the war were, the date it took place, the main people involved, probably the presidents of each country at the time, etc. But a test would ask me: Who was Hitler’s cousin’s daughter’s fiancé? How is this going to help me in remembering WWII? When I’m studying, why would I remember that unimportant, tiny, STUPID detail? It’s not fair.

It’s not fair to test on unrelated topics.

Not to mention these stupid tests make up for a majority of the grade you receive in the class. So hey, you better remember Romeo and Juliet’s best friends daughters baby daddy’s name or you’re going to fail your English class. And just to let you know, even if you could write an autobiography on Martin Luther King, be given a blank map and write every single country and major city in it, all of the wars throughout the U.S.’ history, or every single president and vice president in the U.S. history, you would still fail your class because you didn’t remember the man’s daughter’s of the sister’s friend who started the transatlantic railroad.

Now I’m not blaming one person. Because it could be the school board, it could be the particular school, it could be the principal, it could be the teacher, whoever. I just think that writing an essay on a book and showing you understand the entire concept is a lot more worthy than answering 10 multiple choice bullshit questions and having that count for 90% of your grade.

You can think of it this way.. You’re applying for your dream job and the interviewer just asks you “what middle school did your father go to?” and your answer is part of the reason why you get or don’t get the job. The middle school your father attended has NOTHING to do with the job you’re applying for, the skills you have that will help you, your customer service experience, anything. It’s just a random, unrelated question. That’s how I feel about most of the questions on tests. It doesn’t test your knowledge, it tests your trivia.

It’s not just me. The just pretty much don’t use standardized testing at all. They focus more on helping the students become well-rounded people, and help them get on the correct track for their careers. Grades aren’t really emphasized and aren’t even given to students until high school. This is a lot different than how I was raised, because even if I didn’t understand a concept in my class, I would do anything to cram for that class to get a 91.5% so I could get that A and keep my GPA up. Even though I had no idea what the class was about.

We wonder why doctors are moving here from out of country and becoming our leading heart surgeons, best eye doctors, etc? Well, chances are they have better training and education than any doctor from here.. The U.S. can really from other countries and their education systems. It’s not just a blog I’m writing or a few articles I’ve read, there is proof that other countries do it better than us. We may be the “land of the free” or the “most successful” (which we’re not) but we’re also the land of the

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The Awkwardness that is Starbucks

when will they get it right?..

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As you already know if you read my blog, I’m a Starbucks addict. Heck no am I afraid to admit it. But during my every encounter at this heavenly place, it seems something awkward always has to happen.

this is pretty much what every visit is like..

I wait in the long ass line, pretending to be on my phone but also angling my screen so that the snoopy girl behind me doesn’t see my ugly snapchats (or try to photobomb).

When it’s finally my then to order I still have to say “hold on” and decide my order because I was too preoccupied trying to look preoccupied while I was in line to think of my order. After about 50 seconds of thinking, I still order my Skinny Vanilla Latte that I’ve order for the past 6 years..

Next is time for the dooming question. “What name can I put on the cup?” “Mikah.” “How do you spell that?” “It really doesn’t matter” (sometimes I spell it for them anyway, but I like to see how it’ll turn out now).

Disclaimer: even when I spell my name out and literally pronounce it for them, it still comes up on the counter “mika” “mike” “mila” “mikala” and my latest favorite, “miki.” Oh and getting the person to pronounce it is worse than brushing my dogs teeth.

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Then it’s time to pay and even though I have way over the $4.33 it is to buy my drink, I still have anxiety over the fact that my card could get declined (it happened sometime back in 2004 and I’ve never gotten over it). When my card goes through I can wipe the upper lip sweat off..

It’s time to walk up to the counter and there is usually about 5 other people there. Usually I pretend to be on my phone again, or uselessly scroll through my Instagram feed. Well the awkwardest part is if you didn’t hear them call out the drink up there (WHY DONT THEY JUST CALL NAMES SINCE THEY ASKED FOR IT AND THE SPELLING), you have to awkwardly turn the cup to see what kind it is.. I usually stand about 4 feet back and arch forward and use as little fingers as possible in case it’s not my drink and the Bellevue b*tch (for lack of better words) behind me yells and says I tainted her cup and got germs on it by turning it for 3 seconds.

the awkwardness is over when I get to leave.

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Friend shaming and coping with it

My whole life I have fought with the constant idea that people copying me is not a compliment.

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I hate it. I hate it more than anything in fact. I love being my own person and I love the things that make me unique. So of course, when a friend copies my every move, it irks me more than anything else in the world. More than cotton balls, more than wet hair after a shower touching my back, and certainly more than loud chewing. I just hate it.

But recently, thanks to a long conversation I had with my boyfriend, I decided to look at this in a new light. Maybe instead of friend shaming and getting angry, I can use this to help this desperate friend in need. Help them become their own person and not feel the need to copy my every move.

When they mimic your style.
Seriously this is the biggest form of flattery. Even though it pisses me off, because I certainly have my own unique style, it’s kinda cool that someone else wants to dress just like you. So next time you choose to get mad at this, just brush it off and know that you still are your own person.

When they copy your hobbies.
Just know that you are the authentic one. You do things that help your personality shine and help you cope with day to day things. Whether they copy your love for yoga or whatever, just know it’s not benefitting them in the same way because it isn’t their thing, it’s yours. Try to help them flourish in their own hobbies, or even find their own hobbies. Or hey, maybe even start doing this hobby they (you) [now] love, together.

When they mimic your relationship.
You cannot live through someone else’s relationship. This may bug you, and this may put a damper on your relationship, but just know they don’t have the same relationship as you. They wish they did and so they are mimicking what you have. And you could use this to realize that you have a great relationship that they envy. Instead of being upset, talk to them about their relationship. Help them find things that make their relationship unique. Show them that you don’t have the same relationship.

When they copy your habits.
This one probably bugs me the most.. Whether it be then copying your eating habits, the way you talk, your gestures, anything, it’s just obnoxious. There is only room for one you. And that’s just my point, they can copy your movements all they want, but they cannot be you. Don’t let it get to you. Maybe start acting different and see if they change too. Point it out to them. Point it out at the moment they do it. Push them to be their own person.

Use this to help them.
Don’t you think it goes deeper than all of this materialistic stuff? I hate worrying about this because I should just be able to be myself and do what I want.. But with a shadow that’s hard. The best thing to do is realize that there is an underlying issue (maybe jealousy, maybe lack of knowing who they are, maybe the need for guidance, maybe the need for independence and they see you have that) and just be a friend. Be a friend who is there to help them and maybe you do guide them. But guide them in their own direction. You can’t live your whole life copying someone, you’ll never be truly happy.

Make sure they know.
Whenever you’re upset, the other person deserves to know. You can’t keep it in and hold it against them, that’s just not fair to them. Be gentle, be kind, but get to the point and tell them that it’s really upsetting you. Let them know that it’s hurting your relationship and your friendship may end if it continues.

But you know what? Above all, be a friend. This friend sounds confused and like they’re unsure of themselves and nothing is worse than that feeling. Put your feelings aside (not too far aside) and help them blossom into who they are.

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Stable is boring

maybe I take being stable for granted

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So my whole life, I have loved to write. I have written a few short stories and I’ve often thought about maybe even writing a novel. But the kind of writing I like to do isn’t all the fantasy crap.. About vampires and glitter or falling in love in Paris (although I love reading all that). I like to write what’s real. What’s right in front of me. What happens to me.

Now all that being said… It’s not easy to write something intriguing or even remotely interesting when you’re life is so….. Stable. I mean, I read “a child called it” and cried for nights on end for this poor child. I couldn’t put the book down.. It was so interesting. I felt in every way possible for this man’s journey. He had such a hard life and made something of it, a book. Well, that’s where the greatest stories come from, from a terribly hard life.

Where is my great story? Where is my tragedy? Where is my anything?

Of course I can write you a book about all the places I’ve traveled (been done), about my wonderful, crazy, and neurotic family (been done), about my passion for yoga and how it’s gotten me through my toughest days, maybe even about my family immigrating from Germany?? (BEEN DONE). What irks me the most is that I have nothing to contribute. I want to share my deepest thoughts but I don’t have anything to show you that I’m real too..

But you know what positive I learned about this? I’M STABLE. I’m lucky to have lived a stable life. With great tragedy comes great books and great movies and great things to indulge myself in when I’m bored beyond belief.. But aren’t I lucky to not have lived these terrible things?

Don’t you think a child would give up being beaten for a life without stories? Wouldn’t they give up being moved around house to house for a “boring” one house family? Wouldn’t they give all of that up for your sad, uninteresting life?

Never once have I read a sad book and thought “I wish I had lived this so I could have written this great book first.” Of course not, that’s nonsense. I feel empathy, I feel the want to help, I feel the need to reach out and tell them “I’m here for you.. Thanks for sharing your story.” But that being said, I have this crazy underlying jealousy about the fact that they have something to write about. And on the other hand they have a not so crazy jealousy that I have nothing to write about.

Take a step back and look at your situation.. Don’t wish something you don’t fully understand. Don’t underestimate the pain someone else has been through and minimize it to a good book. They lived it. And that’s what truly makes it such a good read.. Thank you.

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Break the Habit

let’s talk about things that make us happy instead of things that made us sad

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Hey, I have an idea. How about instead of talking about our feelings and why they upset us.. Maybe we talk about the things that make us happy?
I know you have all heard this many, many times: “you need to talk about your feelings. Get them out. It’ll help.” Well, did it help?

I know for some cases, such as therapy, or terrible things that need to be talked about, talking about your issues is one of the best forms of coping and will truly help your problem; this topic is not just black and white.

But I know from experience that when I talk about my bad feelings every day, to “get them out,” it has me feeling crappy. Id rather talk about warm beaches, or my upcoming vacations, or the stuff I bought at Nordstrom yesterday, or my amazing boyfriend.

Talk about things when they need to be talked about. When you need to let it out. But don’t overuse this idea, you’ll get stuck in the pattern.

Be positive. Be happy.

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The Problem with this Generation

The problem with the “current generation” is that we are trying to find the problem with the current generation.

It is you putting into their head that all of these things need to define them.

omg

You blame them for everything.
When a school shooting occurs, the first thing said is “What is this world coming to?” When a child harms anything, the first thing said is “What happened to this generation?” When anything happens there is always an automatic blame on this generation. Well you know what? I call bullshit. There has always been school shootings, or murders in general, people have always harmed others, and bad shit has always happened. You can’t say that this generation is the first to have failed a few times.

You have no faith in them.
If you have no faith in the younger generations, how are they going to have faith in themselves? You hardly give them any credit and they haven’t even been given a chance to prove themselves. I’d imagine it’s hard growing up and hearing all the time that you are the failure generation. They need guidance and support, not constant criticism.

You have lower expectations for them.
For some reason people have started saying “wow technology is smarter than people now!” so the children of this generation are almost expected to be dumb. Why expect them to be smart if they have an iPhone that can be smart for them? The truth is, technology is growing, but that doesn’t mean the human brain needs to shrink. Have faith in your children, push them to succeed, and they can be just as smart if not smarter than you ever were.

You’re trying to place blame for their failure.
Trying to find the blame for this “messed up” generation is just crude. Think how you would feel if someone scrutinized your every move and was constantly on the look out for the thing that caused your failure. You would feel like a giant pile of horse shit, let me tell you. It is not the video games, it is not the cell phones, it is not the social media, it is not the word “rachet,” it is not rap music, it is not violent movies. It is you putting into their head that all of these things need to define them.

You don’t see the positive in the technology they use.
It is so easy and people are so quick to blame technology for every single fricken thing that happens in this messed up world. You can’t pick and choose. Do you like technology or not? Because almost every household has a TV now, pretty much everyone has a cell phone and a computer as well. Technology is all around us. Of course children use it too much, but isn’t there something you did too much as a child as well? Probably. Technology has come a long way. Look at our medicine nowadays. There is so much positive! Not to mention your kids are learning so much more in school now that there are computers and the internet!

Also, let me break it to you. I see you moms out there giving your 2 year old your iPad to keep them “busy.” I see you letting your kids watch movies all day because you’re “busy.” If you want them to use less technology, maybe try taking them on more vacations! Go to the beach! Go to Greenlake without giving your kid your cell phone while they lay in the stroller. Give them less technology, and they’ll use less.. just a suggestion!

Disclaimer: I think, no I know, each and every one of us sad little humans on earth could use about 50% less technology and go out and see the world instead. But technology is also very useful in many, many different ways. How are you going to get a job nowadays without technology?

You’re causing them to live in fear.
With this constant scrutiny of the generation now, they live in fear. They live in fear that they will never live up to you because “they don’t have to work as hard as you did.” They live in fear that they will never be as smart as you because they know they “didn’t have to work as hard as you did.” They know that technology makes things easier for them, but it can also take them far in a different direction. This fear of failure and fear of being stupid is a huge burden on this generation, and that in itself might lead to the destruction of humanity, not the technology and media nowadays.

There is nothing wrong with them.
Do you know why no real reason has stuck and been successfully proven for being the sole cause of this messed up generation? It’s because they’re not messed up. They’re immature, they’re young, they’re naive, they make bad decisions, but so does everyone. That’s how you learn! There is no reason for this messed up generation because they are perfectly fine. They will do just great in their lives and successfully prove everyone wrong.

They didn’t ask for this.
Things don’t just happen over night. Overtime, of course social norms are going to change, fads are going to go in and out, etc. The children of this generation certainly did not plan out this giant BOOM of change for you and decide they were going to be failures for fun. #1 because they’re not failures and #2 because thats just stupid. They’re living how they know to live, and using the resources that they have. Let them live.

Well you know what? If you don’t want your children to be tainted and stupid, go live in a shoebox with your angelic, untainted child because this is what the world is like now and the only thing making it worse is you.

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