#Howtospotafeminist Uproar–Feminism or Misandry?

A lot of you probably already know my stance on feminism. If not, I will briefly summarize: I am a feminist. I believe in the equality of the sexes, not the superiority of womankind as many presume “feminism” means. I am, like many other feminists, hurt when accused of the latter rather than the former due to misunderstandings and terminology that has a rather loose definition. So when I saw that #Howtospotafeminist was trending, I checked it out. It began with a radio talk show host, Doc Thompson, when he posed on Twitter:

This immediately had an outpouring of input from those who had the notion in their head that all feminists were women, that they were man-haters who were power and attention hungry. That they were single, fat, unhappy and unattractive. That that they contradict themselves by saying that they don’t need any help from men and then ask for help. There were many more inaccuracies being spoken about in this hashtag, some of which are shown below. tumblr2 twitter1 twitter4 twitter5 Soon after those who believe as I do that feminism is not a dirty word, nor is it misandry incarnate, spoke up within the hashtag, attempting to set the record straight. While I agree with trying to speak out about the misinformation being spread about feminism and its definition, as shown below, I also feel as though the term has adapted as many do during culture changes.

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There are feminists who seek to put down men, to separate themselves away from them and even above them. There has been an outpouring of individuals who believe in this misandrist view and label it ‘feminism’. Due to this extreme perception of the world, the term “feminist” has changed from being a socially aware individual with or without an education, in varying walks of life who believe in the equal rights for the genders to being man-hating, female empowering hypocrites who have little to no attractive qualities. So let’s take a look at some dictionary definitions of “feminism”.

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So if the dictionary definition is conclusive, why is it that our culture has turned this beautiful movement into something other than what it stands for? Simply because of misogyny and it’s very nature–as said by Andrea Dworkin: “Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.”

Not to say that everyone who has an alternate view on feminism and its definition are misogynists, simply that our society has raised us with certain ideas in our heads, undercurrents enforced through media and therefore becoming integral to who we become and what we believe.

So what should you do about this trending hashtag? It’s up to you. Is feminism a part of your life? Have you been misinformed? Do you want to push all of this under a rock because it’s too uncomfortable for you to talk about? Challenge yourself; tell us all how you feel about the term “feminism”, about the movement when it began and what it has morphed into. Tell everyone you can about what you believe–your opinion is important, no matter what that opinion is.

Want to learn more about the modern feminist movement? Here’s a few starting points for you:

Emma Watson’s HeForShe Campaign

What Is Feminism Today?

Feminism.org

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Hiatus Report

Sometimes in life we get ridiculously buried in work and stressed out over changes that are happening to us or around us. I am in one of these states at the moment. Needless to say I have a lot of priorities, which include but are not limited to: training for a 5k race, working a full-time job and writing this blog. However, it is time for a restructure of this blog, to keep it running and not into the ground.

So I’m taking a week or two, perhaps up to a month but certainly no longer than that, to get my life sorted out, my time managed and my blog restructured. When I return it will be with a bang, I promise you that! I will miss you, Audience, but I will see you again.

Pavlok: The Shock You Need to Change

Lots of people have heard of FitBit, the bracelet that measures sleep cycles, steps taken and even your calories, giving you updated information to your mobile device on how your fitness regimen is going; but have you heard of Pavlok? Pavlok is also a wearable fitness bracelet, but instead of just keeping you updated with your latest information regarding your body and fitness, it also has a negative reinforcement to go along with it. To put it plainly, it emits an electric shock if you don’t meet your fitness goals (say, 10,000 steps in a day).

Of course, your goals would be programmed into your smart phone, which would then give the Pavlok the parameters to go about shocking you, so you would be in total control of why it would be shocking you: sleeping in too late and lack of exercise are two major selling points. However, that isn’t all there is to offer. Pavlok also allows you to team up with other wearers to become accountable for one another—thus adding in a app2social element. In this event your buddy would get to keep tabs on you as well, and be able to push the button to have you shocked for not completing the goals you set forth. There are also positive reinforcers for completing some challenges, such as money.

If you’re worried about the shock being bad for you, not to worry. This shock is about as bad (and annoying) as a shock you could sustain from shuffling your feet across the carpet and then touching a doorknob or light switch. It’s bad enough to be a negative reinforcer, but not bad enough to cause you any injury. But shocking you isn’t the first thing it will do to you. Pavlok will start by vibrating and ringing, and then graduate up to giving you an ultimatum. Either your monetary bounty will be given away (say bye-bye to your money!) or you can choose to take the shocking punishment as well as having your failures posted to your Facebook wall.

Think this drill-sergeant bracelet is for you? Fork up $249.99 for an early alpha model to test out, or wait for 2015 to roll around and purchase yours for only $149.99. Good luck to you, if you go for it, as I think if I received one it would be sitting on the table collecting dust after the first shock was administered.

For more information visit pavlok.com

Smart Contact Lenses: Eyewear of the Future

Listen up, Audience, because in about five years there will be a big change to corrective contact lenses. With Google and Novartis teaming up to make these awesome new lenses that could change the eyewear market for the better, I can only imagine how they might change from the projected outcome now to when they are available to purchase in five years.

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What is this smart lens I’m talking about? It’s this awesome contact that looks almost exactly like every other contact, except for the wiring inlaid in it. This wiring is actually a set of sensors that can monitor different aspects of you: for instance, the glucose levels in a diabetic. It’s speculated that this could be broadened to apply to many different eyesight problems, including presbyopia—a condition of the eyes that affects people generally around age 40 when they have trouble focusing on objects nearby. Usually this is earmarked by people wearing bifocals, the kind of glasses that have two different lenses to see through for each eye. So how does it fix that, you ask? It also has a camera in the lens to adjust the focus as you move your eye to look at different objects.

How does the contact lens work, exactly? The lens has the camera, the sensors and a control circuit as little boxes and circles one can see on the contact itself. The camera works just like a digital camera with the focusing aspect, only very, very tiny. As far as the miniature sensors tracking the glucose levels, there is a miniscule antenna which will read the levels from the tears you produce. There is talk of the levels either being wirelessly transmitted to a mobile app for the diabetic to see, or LED lights in the actual contacts to light up to indicate the levels.

The only possible problem is that of powering these circuits and sensors at the moment. There is talk of a wireless transmitter to send power to the contacts, but there isn’t much information available for that topic at the moment.

If you’re worried about looking like some kind of android or someone from the future, you apparently won’t have to worry. The wiring and sensors, camera and control circuits can be matched to the color of your iris. However, if you choose to not have it color matched it will look like tiny flecks of glitter in your eye—I think that would look pretty cool!

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So why are they not out now? What’s pictured above is just a prototype, which was first seen in a rabbit’s eye in 2011. The contacts are far from being as comfortable as our current eyewear, so refining and adding in additional technologies will likely take a while. I know it’s hard to be patient, but it will be worth it.

Of course, you may be wondering if this contact will be limited to just those functions, if it has a wireless transmitter in it. Right now there’s no indication from either Google X or Novartis about a go ahead to make online streaming available through the camera in the contact or any other terminator-like possibility, but boy do they talk about it in the media! It’s a wonderful, almost impossible to think about about coming true, speculation. I do hope the two companies continue forward with their plans and come out with this beneficial technological advancement.

Football: Not About Respect, That’s For Sure

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As someone who doesn’t watch football—sorry, soccer—religiously or follow any teams, it’s been an interesting time having the World Cup constantly on my television. My boyfriend being, at the very least, a casual fan had me catching glimpses of the games being played. Now, I understand the game just fine and had ever since I was forced to play in middle school for P.E. class, but that doesn’t mean I understand the game being your life. Maybe that’s just because of my outlook on the game, but even though I don’t understand that aspect of football, I can understand what happened with the Brazil vs. Germany match.

Since this year’s World Cup is hosted in Brazil and the Brazilian spirit was in full swing by the time this match came upon us. The Brazilian Team had high hopes, since they had made it thus far into the Cup—if they won this match they only had one more and even if they had lost the last match, they still would have received second place. However, they were going up against Germany after losing two of their star players. Even I, a non-fan really, knew that they would have to give 200% to win in this match.

With Neymar, their star forward, out of the game with a fractured vertebra (ouch!) and Silva, their Captain and defender, out with a second yellow card, Brazil was going to be limping along against Germany. When the game kicked off it was immediately clear that they were not going to have it easy. Germany ended up winning the match with seven goals to Brazil’s one. But that isn’t what I really want to talk about.

What I want to talk about is the media coverage and the fan reactions during and after the Brazil vs. Germany match. You see, as a relative non-fan, I found the talk of “utter desolation” for Brazil a horrid way to term it. Yes, they were out for first or second. I understand that the World Cup is a you win the trophy or you’re pretty much forgotten kind of tournament, but it was out of place. Considering the fact that Germany played their best and didn’t just pass the ball around after they were clearly going to win the match, I think that Brazil should be quite pleased that they were matched against Germany. At least the Germans had the respect for the other team to keep playing it; they didn’t act as if it were a “cakewalk”.

Another way to look at the match is that you learn more from losses than you do from victories. What could Brazil have learned from this match? That their entire team isn’t made up of two people. Yes, they should have had a harder time competing with two of their better players out, but they’re all good players and they should have been able to cover for the two missing. That’s what makes a good team, a winning team. It’s a fact that’s true of any team sport.

After all of that I kept hearing one thing clearly in the media: that Germany was a villain for stealing a win from Brazil. For kicking them when they were down. I’ve been pretty disgusted with that as well, as it’s not respectful and certainly not a show of good sportsmanship.

I’m sorry if your chosen team was Brazil, but Germany was the better team at that point in time. If Brazil had their two stars back in the game? Who knows, honestly, but in this case they weren’t there and their team didn’t make it to the finals. They still have a shot at third place, however, and frankly I think that’s pretty good, considering.

Big Game Hunting: Our Issue or Theirs?

Facebook: kendalltakeswild

Facebook: kendalltakeswild

This week there has been a story making the rounds with a ton of controversy in its wake. It’s the story of Kendall Jones, a cheerleader and big-game hunter from Texas. Now I grew up in the rural state of Vermont, so when you hunt it’s typically to use every piece of meat you can. Some take trophies like antlers, feet and some get the entire head and neck of the creature mounted on their walls. I also grew up with a Native American background and their lessons of using every part of the animal is instilled in my heart and soul. Don’t get me wrong, I understand hunting both as a sport and as a need for survival. So how does Kendall’s story tie into this? I’ll tell you.

So Kendall Jones: going to Texas Tech University, a cheerleader and has been going over to Africa to legally hunt big game since she was 13 years old. My questions are such: since when does America police Africa’s animals? Why do we care what this girl is doing as long as it’s legal, safe, and sane? Now, I’m not here to argue about the morality of hunting down lions and elephants and other creatures she has posted pictures of her having taken down. That’s not my call—as long as it’s legal and I’m not being forced to participate, I really don’t give a shit what she’s doing. So I’m not here to tackle that nonsense and really, you shouldn’t be too worried about it either. At most you can choose either to view her candids or not. As for the morality: your opinion is yours alone and no one cares about it, I assure you.

As for why America seems to think that we have any idea of what should be allowed or not in Africa with its own animals… this disturbs me. Mostly because hey! We’re not doing a fine job with our own animals and how to deal with them. Need a few examples: mustang herds having no place to live, so we either domesticate them or they go for dog food; wolves are reintroduced to certain areas after we nearly killed them all because they were a nuisance and kept killing our herds; even bees are no longer safe as pesticides are killing them off. So what makes us think that we have any say in Africa’s conservation of their animals on their land? We don’t. As far as to what Kendall has been up to: she actually receives permits from a specific locale in order to hunt a certain number of a specific species within their boundaries. For example, Namibia is legally allowed to sell 5 permits[1] for the adult male black rhinoceros, these permits are given to them by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The reason for this is to not only control the population (did you know that male lions will usually kill the cubs that were from another male?), but to help the local communities—proceeds and even some meat is handed over to those in the area, so they may benefit from the hunt.

So here’s my question to everyone who is all riled up due to this story making its rounds: what part of the story bothers you the most? Why do you think it bothers you and further more, should a young woman who has done nothing illegal, only something that is morally controversial, have to worry about being kicked out of her University because she’s posted some pictures that might bother someone on her private Facebook page?

[1] Article on Trophy Hunting

P4: The 3-Wheeled Car Hitting Markets in 2015

The P4 is a 3-wheeled car from Elio Motors, due to come out in 2015. With almost 15,000 reservations for the vehicle, it’s sure to make a splash—and that’s not even because it’s a 3-wheeled car! The P4 has many selling points to make this car a great little urban vehicle like availability, it’s eco-friendly design and affordable pricing.

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Not only will the P4 be available at any of the Elio Retail Centers that will be opening in a network around the United States, but you will be able to select some custom options for your P4 as well. The customizations will be selected at the time of your order, so you may select color and whether it’s a standard or automatic as well. And after you finish ordering? Your P4 will be at that retail center, clean and ready for you in 24 hours. How’s that for awesome service? If you’re looking for services for you car just stop in at any Pep Boys (800 centers, 7,500 service bays), which I personally think is really cool.

Yes, the P4 is available location-wise, but is it any good? You may be riding in tandem, which turns some people off from this really neat new vehicle, but the mileage might cause you to think again. With an 84 MPG highway mileage and 49 MPG in city driving, this little car can go about 650 miles before it needs to be refueled. With that sort of fuel efficiency, why wouldn’t you want this car?

Now the price. You all are probably thinking this is going to cost some outrageous price, like a Mercedes or BMW, right? I mean, past vehicles that were similar to this had the price tags to match—smart cars, for instance, start at $12,490—but in this case the price is a lot more manageable. Paying only $6,800 for a P4, this car is worth the price. That’s the same price as a decade old Corolla, in case you were wondering.

In case you’re worried that this vehicle won’t have the amenities you’re used to in a car, just wait! It comes with an AM/FM Radio, air conditioning and heat, power windows and door locks, and three air bags. The car was designed to hold people 6’1” and 220 lbs. Of course it has held people 6’8” and 365 lbs, so don’t let these numbers fool you into thinking that’s the upper limit. In addition to all of these features, you get custom ones to choose from such as a Bluetooth steering wheel, cruise control and leather seats.

These little cars might not be the best at the back roads like in my home state of Vermont, but they will be quite powerful little machines in their own right. I believe they would be perfect in the urban environment, even if you have a medium to long commute.

For more information: the Elio Motors website

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