Open Question: Politically Speaking (Or Not)

political-questionsDo you discuss politics with family, friends, and acquaintances?

As the U.S. Presidential Elections draw closer, more and more political discussions are occurring in every venue. Engaging in political discussion can be a good way to broaden your knowledge and perspective on a topic that has vast consequences for our everyday lives. At the same time, political questions can lead to heated debates; many find it difficult to remain level-headed and anger, hurt feelings, and betrayal can be the result.

It is because politics can be such a contentious topic that I’ve decided to, in the future, refrain from discussing politics with friends and family whose political views are unknown or known to be starkly different from my own. In the past few months I have seen and been involved in situations where discussion of politics turned friends into enemies, reduced someone to tears, and nearly split apart a growing couple. It was no one’s wish to turn a neutral talk about the political landscape into a divisive, hurtful experience but it happened anyway.

Political discussions with those who have similar political views can be enriching and much less often has such harmful effects on the relationships between people. Other than those, personally I see fostering positive personal and formal relationships as more important than debating politics, no matter what could be gained.

Where do you stand on this topic? Do you follow the old adage that politics should not be discussed in polite company or are you open to political debate?

Open Question: Millenials – The Breakdown of Social Responsibility?

generation y responsibilityMillennials (also known as Generation Y) is the generation of people born between the early 1980s and the mid ’90s. This group is currently in their early 20s to mid 30s.

Millenials –myself among them– have been both hailed and criticized. This generation introduced digital technology on a massive scale, yet has also been seen to have a greater sense of entitlement and lack of concern for others than previous generations.

One criticism, which I happen to believe is true of this group, is that it is the Peter Pan Generation. This set, particularly the males, simply does not want to grow up and assume the responsibilities of adulthood such as career, marriage, family, and planning for a future beyond the next few months. It is not uncommon to find a 31 year old who has made little to no headway in establishing a career and still considers themselves “too young” to be tied down with a spouse.

When the eldest segment of Generation Y was in their early 20s, everyone believed they would grow up by their late 20s. Now, in their early 30s, many are still of the mindset that they are young and have much to explore before settling into a boring life of work and family. Some have one without the other — a career but no interest in a settled life of marriage/civil union or family, children but no interest in marriage and no career prospects.

I believe this global lack of responsibility has real consequences for the future. Innovation and individuality is to be embraced. However, the lack of any true concern for the foundations of most societies — home, family, and hard work, can upset the order and welfare of society as a whole, causing a ripple effect which cultures may never recover from. Future generations need a solid base from which to grow and form their own lives as adults, yet it seems that Generation Y may not provide that.

What do you think? Is Generation Y, especially the males of this generation, afflicted with Peter Pan Syndrome? If so, what do you think the causes are and what will the consequences be?

Why The Man Has to Chase, Part Two

black-woman-phone-laughingThree years ago I wrote Article Response: Why The Man Has to Chase. Since then the post has received over 100 comments on why men should or should not be the ones to pursue women for a romantic relationship. A few comments claimed that people should be more open-minded and not be so old-fashioned; women should be able to pursue men when they want.

I agree. Women should be allowed to pursue a man that they are interested in. However, this idea brings to mind one question: why wouldn’t a man chase, if he were interested? Wouldn’t he want to go after what he wanted?

To understand, women: imagine, you meet a man you like. 

You are mesmerized by his presence and dream of the things you will see and do together. When not with him, you often think of him. Would you then choose not to contact or be around this same man? Would you choose to do most other things over spending time with them? Of course not.

Interest and liking of a person is naturally followed by a desire to be in their presence — physically, emotionally, mentally. Disinterest or ambivalence, on the other hand, leads to a lack of desire to be in a person’s presence.

Many women have experience the barrage of contact from a man who is interested in them. Calls, texts, the man finding ways to show up where they are. Sometimes the situation may not be extreme but the general tendency of the man is to seek out ways to spend time with their love interest.

So another strong reason why a man should pursue a woman is quite simply because if he were interested, he would pursue.

Having a man chase doesn’t mean a woman simply waits around and does nothing. It can mean allowing a man to take the initiative once interest is established. Enthusiastically responding to his contact and keeping communication going is good, as is occasionally initiating contact. Pursuing and eagerly contacting a man who isn’t showing reciprocal interest, however, could easily result in undesirable circumstances, as discussed in Part One.

So once again, women, let a man pursue you. You won’t be sorry if you do.

Not Done Yet

left-alone

 

 

 

 

 

 

I announced that I would restart posting on this blog on a regular basis but life got in the way. Again. I apologize and will make it up to readers. With a new year well under way, I have decided that I will resume posting under the schedule I promised earlier: twice a month. No matter how small, I will add my thoughts here.

Two new posts already wait in my queue and one will be posted starting next weekend. As my weekdays are pretty busy, I will be posting on the weekends. So if you’re not too pressed for time, check A Lofty Existence for new posts then.

Doxing

 

doxing

Doxing is a word that many may not have heard of, but may be familiar with, either as the perpetrator or as the victim. Doxing refers to the online practice of researching and publicizing personal information about a person with the intent to harm. Doxing could be simply revealing the real name of someone who blogs under a pseudonym or giving out a person’s phone number in a public forum. Since the popularity of social media, blogs, and other public groups, doxing has become more common. However, revealing personally identifying information online about a person can bring legal trouble.

In our world where information is available so quickly online, it can be easy to cross the line or even grasp that there is a line. After all, what is the problem with letting others know something that could easily be found in a Google search? The issue is the intent of the information. In the U.S., it is illegal to make public information with the intent to intimidate, harass, or harm another person. Regardless of how or where you found this information.

I have experienced doxing firsthand, as a particularly manipulative and angry individual stalked and harassed me online for months a few years ago. Under the guise of helping out another person, who she claimed I was bothering online, she proceeded to track my online whereabouts, search for personal information that would be damaging, and threaten to reveal or in a few cases actually divulge personal information; true and untrue. In her rage, she allowed her instinct to stand up for one person justify the cutting down of another. That is if protecting was her true reason for doxing at all because at its essence doxing is about going to great lengths to harm to another, not about helping others. Intuitively I knew that what she was doing was wrong on the basic level of human rights, but not understanding the laws against this at the time, I took no action against her. That will not happen again.

Whether you’re a public figure, a blogger, or just the average internet user, doxing is always wrong and illegal. If you find yourself the victim of doxing, the best way to combat it is to seek legal advice. Or, if at some point in time the idea crosses your mind to find personal information about a person to coerce, humiliate or shame them online, think again. It may create more problems for you than it solves.

Why I Like Hillary Clinton

hillary-clinton

Hillary Clinton 2016? Yes, please.

To some people, the name Hillary Clinton brings to mind images of an uptight, sarcastic, diabolic tyrant who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. On the other hand, to me Hillary Clinton is an admirable, respectable politician who embodies many of the qualities of an ideal leader.

Some of these qualities are the same qualities which have turned Hillary into the type of villain usually left for dictators and greedy CEOs. However, these traits leave no question in my mind that Hillary is suited for large-scale leadership in a difficult time and as I backed Hillary Clinton for United States president in 2008, I will do so again in 2016.

  1. She is passionate

Critics call Hillary Clinton power-hungry and single-minded. I won’t disagree; I’m certain Hillary wants to be successful and a well-known leader, and is dedicated to this mission. However, I don’t hold it against her and even consider her tenacity to be valuable in a future leader. We need someone who believes strongly in their goals and is willing to see them through, no matter what.

     2. She is willing to face opposition

Hillary Clinton is arguably the most disliked and controversial politicians of the past decade, outside of the presidents. There are countless campaigns, articles, groups, and websites against Hillary. When she lost the 2008 presidential primary to our current president, Barack Obama, people all over the country breathed a collective sigh of relief, “Thank goodness.”

Much of the opposition to Hillary’s candidacy seems to stem from the simple fact that she
is a woman. In fact, in a Gallup survey conducted earlier this year the second most hillary-president-2016common reason given by American opposed to Hillary Clinton as U.S. president was that they don’t want a female president. For a woman vying for the presidency, that’s disheartening, to say the least.

Yet Hillary bravely faces this daily opposition and remains committed to her ideals. She’s put herself in the spotlight to be criticized yet again because her goals are so important to her. This is to be respected, if not admired.

    3. She has progressive ideals

Hillary Clinton’s liberal political ideology more closely aligns with mine than the majority of candidates. She has championed ideals I consider important, such as women’s rights, educational reform, and health care.

   4. She is intelligent

Whether or not you agree with Hillary’s tactics, you can’t deny that Hillary is an intelligent woman who has carved out a unique place for herself in American history. Accomplished lawyer, senator, first lady, and the first woman with a serious bid for the American presidency. A person does not happen on these positions by accident — it takes intelligence and foresight.

  5.  She is authentic

She’s nakedly ambitious. She’s secretive. She’s cunning. So what? She’s a politician. I would prefer a leader who is honest about what they care about, what they don’t care about, and what bothers them than a politician who vacillates to remain in the good graces of everyone. On the way to accomplishing anything noteworthy, a person may alienate some. Hillary expects that and accepts that, and won’t change strategy to appease those who disagree.

Now, do I agree with all of Hillary Clinton’s past decisions and views? No. Do I think that she is the only candidate worthy of the presidency? No. However, I do like her as a person, and consider her a worthy of the Oval Office.

5 Signs You’re Dating a Jerk

dating-jerk

Dating a jerk? How to know?

It may seem obvious when a guy you’re dating might be a jerk — a rude, selfish boor lacking in even the most basic of manners. However, some jerks are much more subtle, and only reveal their true selves when alone with you or in certain contexts.  It can be difficult to tell if you’re dealing with someone who is angry, honest, or just a garden variety jerk.

That said, the jerk has a few tell-tales signs which are evident in much of his behavior. Over the years of dealing with a variety of jerks, I’ve found that these signs are common to all, and are dead giveaways that you are dealing with a jerky guy:

1. He is always right

Jerks, who usually have an unrealistically positive view of themselves, tend to think they are always right as a result. Or at least mostly right. And always when it counts.

I know, I know — no one is always right. The jerk was never let in on this secret, it seems. Or he disagreed with the person who said it, and since he is always right, well, we’re back to where we started.

2. He criticizes…often

Relationships are about learning and growing but the jerk doesn’t realize that this is a gradual process and a two-way street. He will give “kind” hints that something is not to his liking, and mention it often until it the situation is altered to suit his desires. His criticism is general, extending to people, places, and things alike, and never-ending.

3. He is rude to others

PSA to all women: Any man who is rude to others, regardless of how he treats you, is a jerk. There is no use in denying it or protecting him, because his true jerkish tendencies will be directed toward you, sooner or later. If not, his jerk behavior will make your relationships with others a constant battle.

4.  He ignores your opinion

Ever get the feeling that you’re talking to the air? Are conversations a contest to see who can best the other’s statements? Does your guy ask for your opinion and then do whatever he wants anyway?

You may be dealing with a jerk.

5. He dictates

Confidence is a great trait to have. Don’t confuse a confident guy with a jerk: a confident man is assured of his abilities and does not need to control others. The jerk, on the other hand, is less confident and builds a false sense of security on overtly or covertly bending others to his will. Beware.

See also:

Hypocrisy, Sexism, Racism…Kanye, Did I Miss Anything?

kanye-west-amber-rose-relationship

Amber Rose, Kanye West

If you keep up with celebrity news, to any extent, by now you’ve heard of the back and forth interview-Twitter wars between socialite Amber Rose, her former boyfriend and my former favorite rapper Kanye West, and the Kardashian family. Tensions have always run high between Amber Rose and the Kardashians as Amber’s relationship with Kanye West ended in part due to Kanye’s involvement with the eldest sibling, Kim Kardashian.

Most recently the situation came to a boiling point when, in a mid-February interview with NY radio station Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, Amber Rose made some comments about a few family members when probed by interviewers. Khloe Kardashian took to Twitter in response, asking Amber Rose to stop talking about her family in interviews, but not before mentioning Amber Rose’s past as a stripper, adding, “don’t worry about my sister who has a career.”

However, the most interesting and headlining portion of this tit-for-tat was Kanye West’s response. He appeared on the same radio show several days later, with a few choice words about Amber.

Hypocrisy

Kanye calls out Amber Rose on her alleged promiscuity, saying that because of his relationship with Amber he had to take “30 showers” before being with Kim.

The first thing that comes to mind when one hears such a statement is simply “?”

Hypocrisy is when you attempt to slut-shame a woman for her sexual activities when your wife’s wouldn’t be known to you or the world if she had not taped her sexual activities with a random famous man and been in relationships with countless others. Since, apparently, his wife is free to have been with a million men in her past, he can not make it a crime for another woman to have the same history.

Sexism

Kanye says, “It’s hard for a woman to want to be with someone that’s with Amber Rose”.

Sexism is pinning a woman’s value on how many sexual partners she has had. Has anyone asked Kanye West how many women (and/or men) he has been with? Does anyone care?

Probably not.

His sexual past is irrelevant, as is hers.

Racism

We can not forget the difference in response when black (or black-identified) women display their sexuality versus non-black women.

Kanye, a serious as can be, considers Amber simply dirty for her sexual past. Why is her past such an issue, yet he pursued a woman with a similar background, making her his wife and the mother of his child? What is the difference?

Oh right, their racial backgrounds. Because when black women are open about their sexuality, they are relegated to the pile of unworthiness, to have fun with but not take too seriously. When white women display their sexuality they are made into idols by some, worthy of imitation.

Anything Else?

Kanye sees no issues with making a spectacle of a woman he once loved. This is one of my pet peeves: ex-bashing. Why throw your former partner under the bus because the relationship ended or because you believe you’ve found someone “better”? Those who bash their exes show the world how untrustworthy they are: lover and friend one minute, crucifier the next. We can only hope that the statements he makes about Kim if their relationship ends will be much less demeaning.

Yes, this post is a little (purposely) late. And yes, who cares about what a few over-inflated celebrities spew about each other on Twitter and radio? Well, I do, when it is the perfect chance to illustrate the way sexism and racism are perpetuated in American society, while everyone has a good laugh.

To say I’m disgusted by this display would be an understatement.

See also:

Dog Frustration

golden-puppy-hate

Cute, but frustrating

 

Since I last updated over a year ago, several things have changed. One major change is that I now have a dog, technically a 9 month old puppy. She is a Golden Retriever and one of the most lovable dogs in the world. Except to me.

I think I hate my puppy.

I know, I know: how can you hate a harmless, cute little puppy who loves you unconditionally?

Let me explain.

My puppy and I, let’s call her Mandy, have a tense relationship, which started from the day I got her in late July of 2014. She was the most adorable thing in the world and I was so excited to have my very own puppy. She squirmed and tried to run away as my boyfriend and I gave her her first bath, and shivered the whole ride home but I was so happy to have her.

Then we got home. Mandy peed on my kitchen floor, then pooped on it a few minutes later, a watery mix of diarrhea. I brought her outside immediately and waited for 30 minutes while she sniffed grass, looked around, and tried to eat bugs. Okay, so she didn’t need to use the bathroom, right? Except she did, and as soon as I brought her back in, she released another sticky brown puddle.

And this was the start of a long journey littered with brown piles: Mandy has big issues with potty training. Mainly, if she feels the urge, she will release her bowels anywhere (including indoors). Waiting until we get to the appropriate spot is not something she does. I have tried tons of training techniques and she does understand the association between outdoors and relieving herself. The problem is that she just doesn’t seem to care.

Now, if her only issue were with potty training then I may not be pushed to the brink of sanity the majority of the time I deal with her. However, I simply don’t like Mandy very much. It is not her fault, and she is a very friendly, playful dog, but I think our personalities are mismatched. In particular, a few things give me the most trouble: Continue reading