Sara Alina

Voice, humility and maturity all at once.


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The Glass Ceiling

When Beyoncé tells others to "bow down", they better pay attention. She is hoping to use the same power over others when she wrote an essay of gender inequality on Maria Shriver’s website, The Shriver Report. In "The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink,” Beyoncé Knowles-Carter proclaims, "Gender equality is a myth!"

What do you think? Today we are pushing for equal rights for everyone, homosexuals, transgender, and even our beloved pets. Have we forgotten about gender equality for woman as well? The "average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change."

It begs the question does gender equality mean men and women are the same? What is meant by that phrase? We know men and women are not the same..thank God! Men should not be given the privileges of pay and other benefits simply because, historically speaking, they were breadwinners.

Beyoncé continues to say that, humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.

I think it’s important for us to teach our children the proper way to treat others, and we also need to change the perspective of others in how they view others.

"And then she just turned crazy"

On Talking about the taboo

Recently I told my flatmate what I thought of the word ‘crazy’ in the context of mental illness. Soon after, he told me that he doesn’t say it anymore, and when he hears it, he challenges its use. And now his friend doesn’t use it either. And this gave me an idea.

I’m giving this whole blogging thing a go.

“Apparently artistic people are more likely to go crazy”, said a very caring and good friend of mine, genuinely intrigued by this statement. I told her I didn’t know what she meant, and I think she thought I was being unnecessarily critical and pedantic. Another friend of mine argued that “everyone knows what it means, it’s just a useful way of communicating”. Personally, I find this worrying as I believe that the term ‘crazy’ doesn’t have a behavioural referent. Seeing it as a useful communicator perpetuates a stereotypical and incorrect image of those suffering from mental health conditions.

Firstly, it groups every mental health problem into one category. As with physical health problems, there is a wide variety of symptoms and severity within mental disorder. Secondly, the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of ‘crazy’ – ‘mad, especially as manifested in wild or aggressive behaviour' is so unapt that it would be comical if it wasn’t so damaging. This description is so far from the fatigued nature of depression, to the social withdrawal often exhibited in schizophrenia, to the internal struggle that characterises so many disorders - eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder to name a few. Many people do not understand mental disorders, or know who around them is mentally ill, partly because the struggle is so often within the person. Yet, many people still maintain that ‘crazy’, defined by ‘wild and aggressive behaviour’ is in fact a suitable word. To me, this is nonsensical.

“But people who are mentally ill refer to themselves as crazy so they can’t mind that much” said another friend, who seems so often to play devil’s advocate. But the point is that people suffering, perhaps struggling with the demands of everyday life, shouldn’t feel as if they have to label themselves as ‘crazy’. Not only is it hurtful and possibly damaging to recovery, it is incorrect. It is not their word, it is society’s.

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