#5: A Blog About Blogging

Blogging has become a popular way of communicating over the past decade. It even has spawned a hybrid genre of “vlogging” which many people have taken to in order to expand their reach. People of all age groups from all over the world can blog and see others blog.

Personally, I think blogging is a valuable source of information depending on content. I enjoy reading travel blogs because it is an opportunity to read about an honest experience vs reading from a tourism website. I started blogging last semester and I find it enjoyable even if I don’t have a wide reach.

A lot of blogs provide information on improving one’s lifestyle or focus on reviewing a wide array of things. Tumbr is an example of how popular blogging can be, especially among millennials. Blogging has had an impact on society in regards to the way information spreads. Journalists and professional reviewers have slightly more competition. People don’t have to write a letter to the editor in order to share their opinions. Blogging even impacts the way people make money. Now, popular blogs can get ad revenue or endorsements. Many people have made careers out of endorsing and reviewing products. I expect the practice to remain steady with more people favoring vlogging since it has more revenue streams and popularity.

However, in many cases these platforms can become cyber-cesspools which Ronak Patel describes as “websites, blogs, and social networking sites frequently used to demean other people.” It is true that Internet sites have evolved into forums for posting rumors and/or hate speech about individuals and sometimes entire groups of people.

Although blogging has provided some benefits, there is a danger in giving everyone the “power to publish.” The book review mentions that all the authors in Part II came to the consensus that in the era of the Internet it is easy to spread false rumors. This is painfully topical given the election where fake news was all over the Internet.

It is especially dangerous when you have a large portion of the population that cannot discern fake news from real news. A well-educated population would not have such a problem but given the lack of critical thinking, false rumors can have dangerous results. People also have confirmation bias where they will interpret new evidence as confirmation of preexisting biases, beliefs, and theories.

Regulating hate speech on the Internet is especially tricky. The Internet has less regulation compared to other media, at least in the United States this is true. The Supreme Court has extended First Amendment protections to the Internet which makes it difficult to legally prosecute someone. However, people have taken justice into their own hands by boycotting events, products, companies, etc or calling the attention of employers.

Still, hate forums are a danger especially to minority groups. Many women receive hateful threats when they voice an opinion and hate groups have even gone as far as spreading personal information. This provides an extra layer of danger since personal information can result in a physical attack.

It is good for people to have the freedom to express their opinions. However, there is no protection on other people’s freedom to call you out when it disrespects or attacks another person’s existence. The spread of fake news blogs highlights the need for better education and critical thinking skills. Of course, it also shows the need for basic human decency.




Women’s Respect Doesn’t Depend on the Clothes We Wear

Over the weekend, I noticed something peculiar. Halloween seems to be the prime time for everyone to immediately jump on the “holier-than-thou” trend of shaming women for what we choose to wear.

It’s usually some dude who thinks his opinion is the standard the world must adhere to and it usually involves a long Facebook post lecturing women to have more respect for themselves.

The argument goes that women use Halloween as an excuse to dress like sluts and that obviously this stems from a deep-seeded need for men’s approval. “You don’t have to dress like that to get a man,” says Facebook dude, “Of course no nice guys will want you.” He then declares, “I would never let my wife or daughter go out in revealing clothes.” And so he lists reasons why women should cover their bodies and have more respect all in the hopes of attracting the right kind of man – a nice guy like him.

“Stop dressing like a slut!” scolds Facebook dude. “Only then will you earn my respect,” he says.

This kind of talk is the reason why Brock Turner only spent 3 months in jail for raping an unconscious woman.

People like Facebook dude are in abundance. They think a woman’s ultimate achievement is to earn their respect. That the reason women dress in revealing outfits is solely to catch the attention of men. Never mind the women who aren’t even remotely attracted to men and still dress how they want.

There are so many things wrong with this line of thinking. First of all, don’t flatter yourselves Facebook dudes. Women don’t exist solely for your approval! Your body is yours and our bodies are ours! How simple is that. And guess what? We do what we want to our bodies. Mind-blowing, truly.

Second of all, why are you attacking women for wearing costumes that have been designed by men for women? Shouldn’t you instead be questioning companies as to why there is an overabundance of “sexy” costumes?

Third, why aren’t you criticizing other men for using Halloween to run around half naked. Plenty of men wear shirtless costumes. They’re exposing themselves too. Aren’t men’s bodies also ‘sacred’? Why aren’t you policing them?

And lastly, is a woman wearing revealing clothing going to kill you? Will it affect your livelihood? Is she attacking your family? Did you die? Or are you just offended women don’t live to adhere to your standards of modesty? Seriously, get over yourself.

If you base respect on someone’s fucking clothing, I think that says a lot more about you than whoever it is you deem so unworthy of your respect.

A Brief Reflection on Dying-In

University of Louisville students held a die-in today at noon to protest police brutality and honor the victims murdered by police.

I first saw the names of the victims on the bulletin boards. The names covered the entire board. Why is that something people don’t see as troubling? How can we be okay when so many people have died that their names can cover an entire wall? How can anyone insist there is no problem?

The Student Activities Center was a powerful sight. There were people lined up all the way down past the ramp. snapchat-5367938220436981105

My friend and I joined after our class. We hadn’t thought about what we would do exactly. I thought about all of the times I saw lives being taken on camera. I thought about the anger and the grief for them and their families.

We joined our peers in lying down. It was moving to see that other people immediately followed. We all didn’t know each other but we were connected by a cause.

It was oddly peaceful lying down on the concrete. Students would walk by, some silent, others going about normally. I could see some were uncomfortable.

This wasn’t about being comfortable. For me, it was about being taken outside of the college bubble. It was about remembering those that died at the hands of police. It was not about my comfort. It was about Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Trayvon Martin, Eric Gardner, Oscar Grant, Korryn Gaines, and so many others.

It was about the lack of justice. The anger and fear that the Black community face on a daily basis. It was about those who could no longer feel peace.

I hope that this event continues to foster conversations. I hope that we don’t forget this powerful moment. Because how many more? How many more innocent lives will be taken to show America that the racism in this country has been and still is lethal?

If you don’t see the reason for the protest than I suggest you do your research. Ignorance is no longer an excuse when you have the world at your fingertips.

As for the University of Louisville, I am so proud that this happened on my campus. I am proud of the students who organized the protest. It was a touching and defining moment in UofL’s history to show that Black Lives Matter and that our voices will be heard.