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Women Rights

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Women Rights

The Positives of Being Type 1 Diabetic — Blog of a Type 1

These are my positives of being type 1 diabetic, let me know yours in the comments! Type 1 diabetes sucks, I think we all know that and don’t need reminding from an external party! But there are positives as well, these can be very hard to see at times, but positives do exist. It wasn’t […]

The Positives of Being Type 1 Diabetic — Blog of a Type 1
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Women Rights

#DSMSWomen — Diabetogenic

I facilitated an event for Ascensia (disclosures at the end of this piece) last night/early morning and the crappy time was partly (mostly) my fault, because although I sacrificed the Aussies and suggested we draw the short straw in the time zone lottery, I forgot that daily saving would have kicked in for us meaning […]

#DSMSWomen — Diabetogenic
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Women Rights

Orange Jumpsuit Or A Shroud?

Written By- Mubina C

“He doesn’t let me see my child!” 

Erica shouted at the other person on the line. It was my second year in college. We had 15 minutes for the Biology class to start and were both waiting outside the lecture hall. She hung up the phone in rage, wiping her tears with the sleeves of her sweatshirt. I could not resist and asked her if she was ok. She looked down in misery with tears dropping on her open textbook. She told me she was fighting a complicated custody battle of her four-year-old son. 

Erica got pregnant when she was a junior in high school. Afraid to be a single parent, she continued to stay in an abusive relationship with her child’s father. One day during an argument, Erica’s boyfriend attempted to beat her. To save herself, she threw a paperweight at him, which accidentally hit her son. He was hurt so severely that they had to take him to the ER, where her boyfriend, upset about Erica fighting back, accused her of hitting her son and child neglect. Since Erica didn’t have a stable job after high school and never contacted domestic violence support about her abuse, her boyfriend was given temporary custody. She luckily didn’t go to prison because the act was proven unintentional but reckless. However, she had to take court-ordered parenting classes and pay an attorney $3,000, given to her by friends and family. Erica decided to transform her life while continuing to fight for her son.

I wondered how many Erica’s there were in the U.S prison who weren’t that fortunate. How many women linger in an abusive relationship with their children too scared to get out? End up getting killed? Alternatively, sent to jail for attacking their abuser in self-defense?. Even with domestic violence support and human services, it is not always easy for abuse victims to get up and walk out. Even after the abuser is detained, he could get out of jail in less than two years. Unfortunately, there is little to prevent a released abuser from returning and repeating the abuse despite issuing a restraining order. 

Few victims 

  • Nan hui Jo escaped an abusive relationship by fleeing to her home country with her daughter. The father reported her for child abduction in 2009. She stated that she didn’t know that she and her child could not leave the country to escape and not violate her U.S citizenship in 2014. She served 175 days in jail and lost her child’s custody. 
  • Marissa Alexander was prosecuted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon to protect herself from an abusive ex-boyfriend. She fired shots at the garage door when she couldn’t get it to open and escape. Even though no one was injured, she was sentenced to 20 years in jail. However, her conviction was overturned in 2013, and she renegotiated a deal to serve three years in prison and two years on house arrest.
  • Bresha Meadows, 14 years old, shot and killed her abusive father in Ohio in 2016. She had reported her father to authorities multiple times but was dismally turned away. She spent a year in juvenile detention. 

The list goes on…

The statistics

In 2018, van der Leun started a project to provide that context and tell the complete stories of battered girls and women serving time for their victimhood being criminalized. Out of 5,098 surveys being sent to 45 detention facilities in 22 states, only 608 were completed. 60% reported abuse before being incarcerated. 43% confirmed their partner abused them. In comparison, 41% killed their abusers while claiming to be protecting themselves. That is 250 women serving years in prison for self-defense. Sadly, This is not even 1/3 of the actual numbers.

Around 4,000 women are killed yearly due to domestic violence in the United States. Approximately 75% of women who are killed by their batterers are murdered when they attempt to leave or after they have left an abusive relationship. So what options are there for women repeatedly traumatized by abuse other than leaving their home in a body bag or handcuffs?

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Women Rights

Favoritism In The Workplace

Written by -Mubina Afreen

I parked my car in my workplace parking lot and took a deep breath looking through my updated schedule on my phone. It would be an overwhelming day, and I was trying my best to prepare myself mentally. I told myself I wasn’t the only one. People work to keep a roof over their heads, not because it’s entertaining. I had even talked about this with my friends who told me, “Jobs aren’t supposed to be enjoyable. Favoritism and discrimination happen in every workplace. Suck it up.” That is definitely what I did for some time. One can take legal action for being discriminated not for being a victim of favoritism.

A few months ago, I started working at this ABA therapy center and had already seen enough favoritism and sexism. It’s not like it was my first time witnessing individuals being biased at work. I was disappointed because I earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology and chose to be in this profession, constantly desiring to help others. But felt like this job put my mental health on the line. I had registered for my RBT exam in a week and was on the verge of quitting.

I asked my coworker, hired one week after me, about his schedule and his paired clients. He was paired with a different client for the week, many of them with mild autism that didn’t show much problematic behavior. In comparison, I had the same two individuals with ASD and severe complex behavior for four months every day. Yet, I never complained and was attentive throughout all my therapy sessions. I came to work each day with a positive attitude and even asked my employer for feedback on my sessions. But, I knew I was putting all my energy into something that wasn’t helping me grow. Whenever a monthly therapist competency assessment was scheduled, I was paired with a child I had never worked with before—consistently scoring no more than an 80 because I didn’t know the client’s program well.

I remember calling out sick for a day, and the RBT that took care of my client complained the next day because the client scratched and bit her. So it was decided by the BCBA not to pair her with him again. I went through the very thing but was told to “reposition myself” so I wouldn’t get hurt. A few other BT were going for their RBT exam, but I sensed that I was the only one being treated unjustly. Whenever I talked about an idea, it was ignored. If it was a work-related issue, I was given a “puppy face” and told to “hang in there.” I was good, just not good enough to take up a new task.

I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong. Was it because I wasn’t gifting my schedule coordinator fancy gifts?! or complementing or kissing up to the BCBA? Maybe it was not staying late and gossiping about the client’s parents with other coworkers?. So I googled to see if others in the same occupation were having the same difficulty. I was startled at the number of people commenting on a Reddit post about this very problem, some much worse. I scanned through the post, looking for a solution. I did find a few. I did talk to my employer regarding what I was facing. It somewhat got better, and I didn’t feel so burned out. I passed my RBT exam and still work at the same center part-time. Not because I NEED a job but because I like working with my clients and positively impacting their lives. Even if there are hundreds of reasons to quit, find one reason that makes you stay. And my clients and appreciating parents were my reason. I am still searching for better opportunities that will help me improve too. However, I realized that no job would be perfect, but we need to be to maintain professionalism and integrity.

Let’s face it favoritism has taken place in at least one workplace you have been employed, or it might be every. You work your behind off day and night only for Dena, who gives your boss ‘surprise’ gifts to receive the next project. Favoritism in the workplace is toxic and illegal, yet it is still taking place. In a survey conducted by Penn Schoen Berland and Georgetown University researchers, about 75 percent of the survey respondents say they have witnessed favoritism, while 23 percent admit they practice favoritism. In addition, 83% agreed that unfairness leads to worse decisions in promoting people.

Either you can ignore it or talk to your manager about it (I highly doubt they will do anything). Or you can start pointing it out. Let others know how you feel. But if there comes, a time work stress starts to affect your mental health. So then, take some time off for yourself. Maintain your sense of self.

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Women Rights

Happiness is a mindset

Materialistic things gives me happiness

After reading “Joy of living” by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, I realized individuals can have everything they want in life yet still be miserable. scientifically, happiness is a mood that is a temporary state of well-being, and in happiness, we feel joy, an emotion that comes and goes. At times we find ourselves looking for happiness in objects, places, and other people but not within. I could be sad and spend the whole day with my loved ones and feel happy for the time being to escape being disappointed and lonely. But after it’s over, I suddenly feel depressed again and try distracting myself with materialistic things. My escape from hurt would be a book, yoga, shopping, or watching a movie.

If I am not happy all the time, does that make me depressed?

Like many other women, I have had an attachment to worldly life. Such as social media, hours would go by, but I couldn’t put down my phone, and when I do put it away, I would turn towards another technological device. I wanted to keep my Instagram and Snapchat stories updated but not my mental health. For me, Social media was a way to cope with my mental health. Looking at the lives of others and picturing myself in their shoes. It wasn’t that I couldn’t go out and have fun I just didn’t want to. At times I did the same things repeatedly to get a better result. EVERYTHING I did had to be perfect. If I couldn’t get it right after several tries, it would leave me feeling anxious and upset, affecting my self-esteem. I would work extra hours, avoiding what was stressing me out. Sometimes I would wonder if what I was going through was depression or another disorder?. So I did what many South Asians find taboo, finally made an appointment with a counselor. 

The ups and downs 

At the end of the chapter, the author has told his readers to make peace with their minds and stop doubting their value. Which is something similar to what my counselor told me. Happiness is a positive emotion that we respond to AFTER enduring painful feelings. Overcoming our stress and worries is what makes us grow. All humans experience up and downs in life; it becomes a problem when we neglect to seek help for our troubled mental state. If you feel depressed, don’t be ashamed to reach out to someone you know or a mental health practitioner. 

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Women Rights

A female’s body used as battleground

“You are disgusting, and this is what you deserve” – slur said to an Ethiopian rape survivor.

‘Look at how many children you can have. Now you are going to have our children. You are going to have our little Chetniks,’ said a Serbian white eagle gunman to a Bosnian Muslim rape survivor.

“Now you’re engaged, but after we rape you, no one will marry you.” – Kurdish rape survivor taunted by her captors. 

There are countless slurs like the ones above that are said to war rape survivors by their rapists. Yet, they can’t do anything but endure the pain. They are displaced, their family murdered, raped, and everything taken away from them, waiting years for justice to be served. When rape occurs during the war, it is very insulting to the community’s honor. Other communities and countires are not as accepting as in the west. Women must cope with the physical and psychological trauma of rape and the possibility of rejection by their families.

Motivation 

Sexual assault in a war has been occurring since the classical period. Before laws against sexual violence during any war came into place, it was acceptable for a man to use a woman as legitimate booty, valuable as wives, slave labor, or battle-camp trophy. Capturing the wealth and property of an enemy was regarded as a legitimate reason for war in itself. Women were considered lawful property of a man. Therefore, the rape of a woman was considered a property crime committed against the man who owned the woman. Even if we don’t see a woman as property owned by men today, females are judged as weak. A women’s sexual purity holds the honor for her and her community. When she is raped, that honor is taken away from her and her people. Her community indirectly blames her for the shame they have to face.

It was not until 1994 that rape was considered a war crime by the U.N. Near the second half of the 20th century, cases of rape were documented in more than 20 military and paramilitary conflicts. The international community became aware of this, especially after reports of mass rape of Bosnian women during the 90s’ Balkan war and the genocide in Rwanda (1994). That sexual abuse is intentionally used as a weapon to destroy whole populations, terrorize people and drive them from their homes. Unfortunately, the government does not give victims of rape proper psychological care, leaving them traumatized.  

Children of war

During the Bosnian war, more than 50,000 Muslim women were raped and forcefully impregnated by Serbian soldiers. There are around 4,000 children born out of those rapes. Many of the children were abandoned right after birth or given up for adoption because the children reminded the mothers of the horror they had to go through. In 2018 Rohingya women shared a similar faith. Raped by Myanmar soldiers and militiamen and impregnated, they were forced to flee to Bangladesh for safety. However, since Bangladesh doesn’t allow abortion after the first trimester, most women had to keep the baby. 

What we can do to help

Educate others that rape in war should be spoken about and brought attention to. Help provide counseling to the victims and those affected. We must change people’s attitudes that women and girls are just as worthy as men and boys. Donate to charities that help survivors of war rape and children born from war rape. 

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Women Rights

Is pretty a privilege or a curse?

I was waiting in the La Madeleine Bakery and Café queue when I noticed a man in his mid 20’s approach two women seated at a table. One of the women had light neutral blonde hair and was wearing a bright yellow dress complimenting her green eyes. She looked beautiful and seemed pretty tall. He requested to get her number which she politely declined. Before he left, he paid the barista for the young woman’s coffee and breakfast with his phone number on a piece of napkin. The lady, though, seemed a bit annoyed than appreciative after finding out the gentleman had made her payment and left his number even after her rejection. I didn’t blame her for being upset.

This incident I had just witnessed made me question if being pretty was a privilege or a curse. However, I do agree that being physically attractive does have many benefits. For example, a good-looking person has a higher chance of getting a job, a date, less severe sentences, and store discounts. But being attractive has as many downsides.  

“ALL THE GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD”

Not everything that looks precious or true turns out to be so. For example, Lauren, a Doctoral Candidate of Clinical Psychology, has stated that “When someone is deemed pretty, they are presumed to be hardworking, kind, and funny- you name it.” People that are considered attractive are compelled to always live up to high standards. Psychologists believe the Halo Effect is why we subconsciously assume people’s appearances reflect their overall characters. With this in mind, it is unsurprising that physically attractive individuals are perceived as more “sociable, dominant, sexually warm, mentally healthy, intelligent, and socially skilled” (Feingold, 1992). Like in South Asia, when a person is attractive and well mannered, he/she is viewed as ‘smart.’ Girls who are lighter skin are treated favorably and get more employment opportunities and marriage proposals. 

“MAYBE ITS MAYBELLINE, OR MAYBE ITS A FILTER”

Social media has made it more damaging for young women in this generation. Instagram and Snapchat filters that alter our facial features have messed with our perception so intensely that we believe that is how we should look in reality. So when one of our pretty friends uploads a selfie, we can’t help but compare ourselves to them harming our mental health. It has become a competition for young girls to be seen as attractive and become famous. For this reason, women are more likely to have low self-esteem and be lonely. An Article in 2018 stated the females have been getting plastic surgery done to look more like their Snapchat filter, known as ‘Snapchat dysmorphia.’ Around 55% of facial plastic surgeons report seeing patients seeking operations to look better in selfies. Teen girls desire to be like the models and influencers they see on social media, even if they are beautiful the way they are. 

BEAUTY VS THE JUSTICE SYSTEM

Aside from friends being envious of you, good-looking young girls are likely to be sex trafficked. In a recent article by Tina Frundt, during slavery, girls of color with lighter complexion known as ‘Fancy girls’ were sold for sex at a five times higher price than those enslaved for labor. Sex trafficking of young and attractive women of color to white males is still taking place in many countries. Unfortunately, only a few of those men are held accountable and put behind bars.

Research has also shown that people are more likely to believe sexual harassment claims by young and attractive women who act more feminine. For example, the University of Washington asked a group of people to draw two women, one likely to be sexually harassed and another who wouldn’t be in such a situation. The result showed that looks matter even in harassment allegations. Furthermore, there is physical attractiveness bias in the legal system. Good-looking women serve fewer sentences while unattractive defendants get severer punishments. 

IT’S EASIER WHEN YOU ARE PRETTY

In my opinion, being pretty is a privilege that society needs to accept. Attractive people are more readily accepted into society while others have to work for it. But, yes, there are a few disadvantages with pretty privilege, life is not always rainbow and ice-cream. People need to stop being bias and understand that looks don’t define a person’s character and that beauty comes from within.

Written By: Mubina C

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Women Rights

Mia Khalifa Takes to Twitter to Defend Bella Hadid and Palestine

Lebanese adult actress turned influencer Mia Khalifa never fails to publicly share her opinions of conflicts in the world. Over the past two weeks, she took to social media to shed light on the historic and ongoing injustices in Palestine. In recently posted tweets, Khalifa referred to the United States’ support of the Israeli government…

Mia Khalifa Takes to Twitter to Defend Bella Hadid and Palestine
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hate crimes Stop Hate Women Rights

Women of Color

By-Mubina C
I am a woman of color
the one who is racially profiled
and wrongfully convicted
are my race, ethnicity, and faith such a threat?
why do I wanting the same privilege as you
makes you so upset?
I am a woman of color
who is attacked and falsely accused
for starting a pandemic and putting the world in a troubled state
if only they knew a much worse disease is hate
I am a woman of color
who doesn't get a callback or a job interview
for this reason, my name does not sound white enough
but I keep my head high and stay tough!
I am a woman of color
who suffers violent crimes
if I have the freedom to wear whatever I want
why am I viewed as oppressed
when I choose to cover myself?
Or a flaunter if I am provocatively dressed?
I am a woman of color
who is exoticized and hypersexualized
in American films dominated by white men
objectifying and degrading me again and again
I am a woman of color
who is excluded and having my dreams shattered
like my voice never mattered
everyone ignoring my troubles
you see, white women are not the only ones
with tears and struggles