A March Only for Some Women
Just one day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, men and women worldwide participated in what they called a Women’s March. These marchers claimed to raise awareness for disrespect towards women. However, instead of a march for all women, this march was clearly a march for progressivism.
These marchers equated the ability or choice to abort their pregnancies with women’s rights. By falsely doing so, they withhold the platform’s message of inclusivity and solidarity from women who have regretted their abortions, or who work to give women alternatives. Pro-life groups such as Students for Life of America and New Wave Feminists, after asking to be partners or sponsors of the event, were declined. By exclusively bullying these women, the Women’s March was much less of a protest for all women, and more of a protest for progressivism.
In the Women’s March platform found on their website, the protesters encourage healthy familial environments for women. They rightly argue that women should not accept violence towards their bodies in any way. Underscoring this true cause, the platform calls for the continuation of federal funding to Planned Parenthood—the organization which is responsible for more than 30% of the nation’s abortions, giving 1 in every 8 patients who visit Planned Parenthood an abortion. Clearly, this organization encourages abortions, a violent and harmful choice in comparison to adoption. So, although the platform initially seems to have a great message, the specific policies within the platform suggest otherwise.
It seems strange that this event happened right after Trump’s inauguration. If it was truly a march that highlighted real problems women have been facing for a while, why had it not happened sooner? Why had it not happened after Bill Clinton’s scandals? Or Chris Brown’s domestic violence? The march was much less than a march for basic human rights. It was a political scheme directly attacking both Donald Trump’s presidency and Conservative values (both different things).
Whenever politicians take advantage of natural disasters for their own benefit, people always seem to be dismayed. They argue it is wrong to use the victim’s experience to better the politician’s own standings. In the Women's March, the organizers used the abuse of women—the emotions women have been holding inside—for a progressive political ploy. This abuse of women and of their emotions contradicts the march’s end. It is a sad thing that this march has misled so many people from expressing their pain.
1. What do the Women's March organizers claim were the goals of the Women's March?
2. When did the Women's March occur?
3. According to Ms. De Gree, what were the real goals of the Women's March?
4. What is your opinion of Ms. De Gree's analysis of the Women's March?
5. Optional Questions: Where did the Women's March occur? Which individuals or orgaanizations provided funding for coordinating and organizing the Women's March?
Reflections on a New Semester
As the new semester starts to roll in, and both students and teachers start falling back into a routine, it is important to first set goals to ensure the most amount of learning. Being able to step back and create a vision for the semester will help both teachers and students have something to work towards. When work starts to pile up and overbear, students or teachers may feel like giving up. But, having a picture of success in the back of the mind can help both students and teachers work through their challenges better and more efficiently.
While creating goals, both students and teachers should seek to make goals for things in their order of importance. Prioritizing things may help hold things in perspective throughout the semester. In creating a sense of order, creating goals in respect to priorities may help the student or teacher focus less on the superfluous details. It can be easy to focus on these details too much and get drawn away from the big picture and that which really matters. When creating these goals which shape the end picture of the semester, try to make them about the most important things you would like to achieve. Try to focus on setting no more than five goals so that you can focus on those five things. Then, for the following semesters, once you’ve been practicing those five goals and making them habitual, you could expand your goals to work on bettering your learning strategies in other ways. From prioritizing your goals then, you will be able to focus on the things that matter, and use those lessons to help you expand your abilities even more in the future.
When envisioning the semester and setting goals, reflecting on past experiences can be indispensable. One of the reasons why the freshmen first semester GPA is astoundingly low compared to the rest of the semesters at most colleges is because students learn from their past mistakes and use that information to better prepare them for the future. While the succeeding GPAs may not always increase or follow that pattern, students learning how they best comprehend material greatly influences their future learning habits by helping the student place himself in the best situation to succeed. Teachers do the same thing. They reflect on past teaching semesters, analyzing which activities really helped students understand things, and comprehending how to better fit those activities in the lesson plan. Sometimes it may be difficult to recognize that specific activities were not beneficial in the classroom, but being able to recognize this and change shows that you are both humble and want to change for the students’ benefit.
Thus, through reflection and intentional ordering, the student and teacher may prepare themselves for the coming semester. In reflecting, the student and teacher recognize their strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures. Understanding those differences helps shape the learning curve for the succeeding semester. When the student or teacher prioritize goals for the semester, they place themselves in a better position to do well because they have fewer things to worry about. As long as they have a solid understanding of the big picture, and how to get there, they will be able to succeed.
Will the Artificial Prevail?
AI (Artificial Intelligence) has grown so much in recent years, it has become embedded in our lives. From the development of the Walkman to the plans for the so-called smart headphones, we have become more reliant on artificial realities for companions. Whereas the Walkman started to block our interactions with other people through distracting our hearing, the looming creation of smart headphones pose a deeper threat to our human connections. Soon, with the potential creation of smart headphones such as the Vinci smart headphone by Inspero Inc, people will be able to use headphones to somewhat replace a human companion. With these headphones, people will be able to ask a Siri-like voice for multiple things, such as directions, music shuffling, and weather predictions. But the most shocking thing these headphones will be able to do is suggest changes to the buyer, such as changing the music to fit the anticipated “tone.”
This addition to our influences will most likely be another negative one. Following along with the negative culture which dually takes away our resolve to rely on critical thinking and places less importance on human connection, reliance on smart headphones will end up leaving people feeling empty and lonely. Unlike other technological advancements which improve manual labor, this advancement in technology will take away the need for people to be alert and think for themselves. In this way, smart headphones will continue the trend of creating the mob culture instead of training people as individuals. Much like how reliance on social media, such as Snapchat and Instagram, greatly persuades people to think the way media want people to think, smart headphones may numb people from recognizing the importance of both their critical thinking skills and human connectivity.
When watching the Kickstart advertisement for these headphones, I was horrifically reminded of the shells (wireless smart headphones) from Fahrenheit 451. In Fahrenheit 451, people are so accustomed to the companionship they receive from the shells that they hardly ever think for themselves or have any deep relationships with others. Only when the main character realizes this and stops using them, is he able to see reality without that outside influence. Now, while we approach a time when our culture will start to become more and more reliant on Artificial Intelligence, it is extremely important to remember the vital lessons from Fahrenheit 451. Namely, that human companionship is unparalleled, and the ability to think independently forms the core of our very own identity.
Although Fahrenheit 451 lays out a society so reliant on AI it seems a bit exaggerated and impossible, it nevertheless challenges us to constantly keep our reliance on AI in check. Humanity will never reach the point where we use only AI for companionship because we are social animals and will recognize the superficiality of AI in the end through our natural impulses to create real and deep relationships with people. But, I think it is very possible for people to rely on AI to an unhealthy extent, despite their real relationships. While in the end, people may just use these headphones as any other headphones due to the apparently great sound quality, knowing the potential dangers of these headphones may prevent people from disappearing into an entirely different world–the Artificial world.
Jessica De Gree
Jessica teaches 5th grade English and History as well as 11th grade Spanish III at a Great Hearts Academy in Glendale, AZ. In addition to teaching, she coaches JV girls basketball and is a writing tutor for The Classical Historian Online Academy. Jessica recently played basketball professionally in Tarragona, Spain, where she taught English ESL and tutored Classical Historian writing students. In 2018, she received her Bachelor's degree in English and Spanish from Hillsdale College, MI.