The need for Empathy for criminals, the poor, and the sick.

The link below is a great article that really clarifies on what I mean by empathy.

http://www.cjr.org/analysis/journalism_and_the_power_of_emotions.php

As a daughter of immigrants that are of Hispanic descent, I had a unique perspective on what work was.  We were never super rich but definitely had a work ethic that surpassed many.

However, I would get condescending looks by people who I told what my parents’ occupation was.

With a disability, I always struggled in school but got good grades, yet, by most of my teachers I was told that I was “smart but lazy”. I  really did put an effort in school but my calm demeanor and results never showed it.

From my own personal experience, I knew that empathy was a much-needed trait to empower people.

In middle school, I was always the outcast and felt miserable. From the on, I became the type of person to talk to the shy classmate sitting at lunch because through my personal life I was taught empathy.

On a larger scale, empathy needs to be translated to marginal groups of people. I know there are arguments of personal responsibility but, as with anything, it can not be law of land because the way our society was based on, such a notion simply isn’t practical.

The way I see it if people understand what someone sitting next to them in the bus was going through, we would think twice about how we treat one another.

I attached this video from the movie “Hidden Figures”  since it perfectly illustrates the necessity of empathy and the need to simply ask “why”?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common ground on Third Gender Laws

Boy…girl.Girl…boy…Gi Joes and the color blue on one side… yet Barbies and the color pink on the on the other. But what everything in between? everything but the Binary? Everything most people don’t even have a clue about? This is where Germany comes into play. It was the first ever developed country to move away from the simple binary on gender. Meaning, people finally had the choice to leave the box for sex to be blank, rather, than opt for a life altering, irreversible surgery.

Gender Terms and Misconceptions
Well to fully understand this notion of what is a third gender, you have to understand the basics of what is gender, sex, and even intersex.

Sex = male and female
Gender = masculine and feminine
So in essence:
Sex refers to biological differences; chromosomes, hormonal profiles, internal and external sex organs.
Gender describes the characteristics that a society or culture delineates as masculine or feminine.

“Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.
Not to be mistaken with Transgendered, who are people who have a gender identity, or gender expression, that differs from their assigned sex.

Graphs Page:

As you can see it may not be as rare as you might’ve assumed before.

Using the statistics from the Intersex Society of North America:

Not XX and not XY : one in 1,666 births

Total number of people receiving surgery to “normalize” genital appearance: one or two in 1,000 births

Total number of people whose bodies differ from standard male or female: one in 100 births

More often than not, you have come across someone who has struggled in this grey area of gender. Yes, these people are your coworkers, friends, family, and possibly even classmate sitting right beside you.

Backlash and Stigma:

Don’t you all remember waking up, during puberty, and looking down and thinking holy sh*t I have a penis… and boobs…. But I feel like a girl….

Sadly, this is the everyday thinking for someone who is born intersex but proceeded with a sex surgery … And now they’re stuck in this grey area of identity and confused about who they really are. Plus, people who live a nonbinary life have to face the sad reality of bullying, intolerance, not knowing where to check on a job application, and not being fully accepted as who they are in society.
The harsh stigma simply happens because it is easy to judge what we don’t truly know.

According to the Deutsche Welle report ” ‘Many people who were subjected to a ‘normalizing’ operation in their childhood have later felt it to have been a mutilation and would never have agreed to it as adults,”

What this German Law did, was give the individual, the one who would have to live with their body for the rest of their life, the ability to consent ( once old enough).

So what does it actually mean for us in the United States?

First of all, Germany has definitely set the precedent for us to follow. In fact, just in 2016, according to NPR, an Oregon resident was legally recognized as third Gender (legally nonbinary). Granted, the United States isn’t at its potential yet, and yes, there may be some who are still going to disagree, but I just wanted to leave you with this…

Time and time again, the United States has always taken steps to secure freedom for all, and with all the privileges that are granted to us on a daily basis…. We can all agree that it is a very big step forward, to give people a choice in how they wish to identify themselves.Just a simple third-option on an application or form will give this marginalized group their power back and even restoring their dignity as human beings.

However, one thing to remember, nothing is ever changed until someone is audacious enough to speak up. It could be anyone, and what is also really important is that we not only speak up but we make this part of our everyday conversations.

Radical Feminism: The loudest in the movement

Out of all the types of feminism, they are the most militant population in the entire feminism movement.

Their beliefs are grounded upon the reasoning that women have been oppressed through societal and systemic forces because of ingrained historical patriarchy.They differentiate themselves from others in the movement through their method of advocacy and eliminating gender roles overall.

“The fact is that we live in a profoundly anti-female society, a misogynistic “civilization” in which men collectively victimize women, attacking us as personifications of their own paranoid fears, as The Enemy. Within this society, it is men who rape, who sap women’s energy, who deny women economic and political power” – Mary Daly

 

What A Job Can’t Teach You

A few weeks ago, I attended the job fair by the college of journalism and communications at the University of Florida. It was my second ever job fair and I had no idea what to expect only being a freshman with no idea how the professional world was like.

I did expect there to be magazines, news outlets, or PR firms looking for people to hire in their communications department. In the first fifteen minutes at the career showcase, I saw just that and then I saw a finance company.

As the naive and overly curious freshman that I was, I went to that table and asked the recruiter why he was here if this was the college of communications.

Looking forward, I don’t think it would be a good idea to ask a recruiter why they are at a job fair.

To my surprise, after my inquiry, the recruiter then smiled and mentioned that their company’s internship can teach finance and the techniques to the job.

Yet, he said they can’t teach a candidate to be a good person, to be ambitious and motivated, or even how to completely have communications skills.

Before that, I never realized how important it was to count all the extraneous factors that recruiters/HR managers value in a prospective job candidate besides the bells and whistles on a resume.

Going further, knowing who you are is correlated with what you can do in your chosen career path. Character counts, no matter the job you are applying to.

Mental Health: A discourse on stigma

Screenshot 2017-03-20 at 4.41.46 AM

Screenshot from the first search result on Google.

It’s common sense in today’s society that when you feel sick you go to the doctor’s office. There seems to be no hesitation in visiting a doctor when you have the sniffles. It makes sense that your family would support you in such an ordinary endeavor. What about when a mental health crisis hits just because you can’t see what is going does it mean it is not there?

I chose to begin this blog post with a screenshot of the definition of stigma because someone going through a mental health crisis faces just this.

‘You go to your doctors. You go to your dentist for an annual checkup. But no one talks about going to your counselor yearly just for a  checkup… It is a normal thing because it is a part of health. It’s just not a part of health you can put a band-aid over, give a medication to, or just check it off a list.” said Anita Bussis Intern Counselor at the Disabilities resource center.

Also, cultural beliefs can be enough to stop someone from seeking any sort of treatment or counseling because they push forward the notions that it is just a personality defect or to toughen.

Discouraging self-care may even be more harmful than even neglecting in the first place. This is why we need to talk about it.

 

Why UF’s Frank Conference is awesome.

 

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Frank Conference and I am glad I did. Nestled in downtown Gainesville’s Hippodrome theater, the event brings together 40 speakers and over 300 attendees for the 3-day event. This experience reaffirmed my desire to pursue my MAMC in Public Interest Communication. What distinguishes this conference from others is that it emphasizes communication that creates positive social change. Top professionals who are making a real difference in their field and society come to present their lessons and message to attendees.

What I found so profound about the conference was how the speakers that presented and the people I met all varied in their field. From what I remember I saw a political consultant, doctoral student, boutique owner, and even a representative from the ACLU (Yes, that’s pretty cool I know).

The event schedule was thought out in the most wonderful and quirky way possible. The Frank lounge was decorated to reflect Alice in Wonderland (super adorable). The evening event consisted of attendees choosing certain pins based on their values before dinner.

2017’s theme was about curiosity with the twitter hashtag #franklycurious. What was so interesting about the theme was how presenters emphasized how integral it was to even spark any type of innovative thinking in society. The speakers showed that more important than asking the right questions is to ignite the desire to ask any question. Perhaps constantly strive to defamiliarize the familiar.

Anyways, I’ll end this post with one of my favorite quotes from the conference:

“Change happens at the speed of trust” – @ToryPerfetti

 

The needed talk about talk. How this blog got started.

If you’ve read my about page, you noticed I am studying Communications.  People tend to assume varying reasons as to why people choose to major in this field  from not doing too great at math (which I wasn’t) to just being a people person (which I am, except Mondays). However, believe it or not, there are a lot more reasons why people choose to devote their academic and professional careers to this pursuit. Personally, I find it an imperative skill to effectively make change in society. Communication has oddly been my greatest strength yet my biggest struggle in my life. Growing up, I saw the importance of it in how people overcame obstacles and why some succeeded and others didn’t. In fact, on a night babysitting my younger sisters , I was so compelled to send an email to my local school board about the importance of teaching  soft skills in schools (because isn’t that what every teenager does when they are babysitting).

Here’s a revised version of what I wrote:


Hello Everyone,
I have been a pre-k to a college student who has also been a part of the public school, charter school, and even a magnet school program. I’ve witnessed all types of students with different social problems facing school systems. Our current school curriculum is very adamant in teaching hard skills such as reading, science, and math. But what about other equally important but often overlooked communications skills? These lifelong soft skills include conflict resolution, cooperation, and stress management and are imperative for the workplace and for life. My proposal is to make a communications curriculum accessible to K-12 grade levels to compensate for this lack.
The current educational system emphasizes hard skills, meanwhile, many teachers and administrators assume that each student comes equipped with soft skills even though each student comes from a varying home life. These assumptions perpetuated by the current school system need to be talked about because, as a society, we can do better. In the context of our tumultuous political, economic, and social climate of our country, the investment in teaching these underrated skills is very much needed for the future of America— the youth.
President Obama has mentioned that “education is the great equalizer.” For this statement to be fully true it must take into account a well-rounded education. An education that not only  includes  teaching trigonometry and grammar but also includes teaching cooperation and empathy. From my experiences in volunteering with 3-5 year-olds, I observed how it was difficult for some students to control their behavior in the classroom. As time went on, I learned that some of the kids who displayed these difficult behaviors were dealing with onerous lives, from lack of parental support to living in foster homes. We need to level the playing field for these students, many of whom may have come from difficult homes and therefore may not know proper conflict resolution skills when working with others in teams. Overall, these kids are put in disadvantaged places in their current institutions, future careers, and future life dilemmas.  For this reason, the public school system has to be held responsible in giving these students a second chance at excellence. After all, isn’t that what the American dream is all about?
My proposal of a standardized communications curriculum is not a very simple or easy one to implement. However, it is a necessary one. One way to go about this is that in many public universities there is a required course that is aimed to teach skills for success in college with an effort to decrease the dropout rate. We should absolutely do something similar in the K-12 curriculum. This may take a lot of upfront costs. Yet the investment in empowering students through the use of communication is one that will greatly benefit the institutions with a more cooperative learning environment, give more opportunities back to the students, and redirect the future of this nation to one that is brighter and more hopeful.
Thank you.