Saturday, August 16, 2014

The F-Word

The more I spend time on social media, the sadder I become. More and more Facebook and other social media sites have become forums for people to post articles, kind of like this one, and more often than not those articles are trying to be "progressive", "politically correct", or damaging to tradition. Each time I read one of these articles I feel as if my morals and beliefs are being challenged or pushed aside as being "old-fashioned" or even wrong. The biggest problem I have with these articles is that they aren't discussions. People write their opinions and expect other people to read and agree with them and then other people, like me, have to write rebuttles and hope somebody reads them. It's not very efficient.

Anyway, that's how it is I guess and so I just wanted to voice some of my opinions on an issue close to home. (Sorry if I jump around. Just try to stay with me) Recently, there has been a lot of hype over Feminism and it's mostly to do with female sexuality. I have read numerous articles telling women that we need to take control of our bodies and our sexuality, and, by golly, if we don't want to have kids we don't have to! Some of these articles include: "I'm Fighitng BYU's Ban on Sex", Your Messed Up Christian Tradition is Fetishizing Little Girls, and Zooey Deschanel Doesn't Want Kids. Of course these are only a few of the articles, but these are the ones I remember right now. Here's the problem:

The people who write these things are unabashadly telling us that traditional roles of women are bad. Why have kids when you can have a career and take care of yourself? Anyone telling you to save yourself for marriage is a jerk and trying to control you! SEX! SEX! SEX! And, actually, these are all fine opinions to have. Women are sexual and some women want to sleep around and not worry about having kids. That's your choice. But what about those women who don't agree? Who are being told that your dad is a creep because he asks you to remain pure until your wedding day? Why is it ok to tell us that being Christian is "messed up"? Or having the university that you love challenged for having rules that make you feel safe and secure in your beliefs? (Which is the whole reason you went to that university in the first place) Women are allowed to want to be virgins!

There I said it. The world keeps talking about freeing yourself sexually by experimenting and getting it on with whoever, whenever... But guess what? Not having sex is very freeing. I was a virgin until I got married and I loved it. No seriously, I often thought about how much control being a virgin gave me over my own body. You want to be free from men? Don't let them touch you! At all! HA! When you're a virgin you're FREED from wondering if the guy just wants you for the sex, you're free from wondering if you're going to miss your next period (teen pregnancy? Nah!), you never have to give all of yourself to someone and then watch them go off with someone else the next night. I could go on. My point is, if 95% of the population is having sex outside of marriage, then who are these people preaching to? That other 5% is obviously making a conscious choice to not do those things and we don't need those people shoving their opinions on sex and marriage down our throats. You do you, I'll do my husband. (too much?)

Why are we constantly told that the modern woman should stay single, have a career, and use men for casual sex? Why is the traditional role of women (And the Christian role) - being a married, stay-at-home mom - constantly challenged? Maybe I like being married to someone that has promised to love me no matter what, coming home and having that person there. Maybe I really love that I never had sex with anyone else because that makes me feel like sex means something more than just pleasure. Maybe I want to have babies and lots of them! (Maybe not 10...) Maybe because that is what we, as women, were made to do. That may have been too many "maybe's" but, all I'm asking is to not tell me I'm wrong because I'm Christian and have Christian values. No one is forcing you to be anything you don't want to be, so please stop trying to tell us that we can't be what we choose to be. Right now Feminism means being equal to men - having the same pay, same jobs, same sexual rights, etc. Perhaps if we were real feminists we would be a little more proud to be WOMEN. To do what women are made to do and to not forget that we have the inherent ability be soft, compassionate, motherly, virtuous, and strong all at the same time. Maybe then feminism wouldn't be associated with angry, hairy man-haters. Women can do anything they set their mind to, but they can still be women.

P.S. There is no problem with the fact that Zooey Deschanel doesn't want kids. I simply used that article as an example of the glamorization of being kid-free.

Friday, July 11, 2014


Many of you have probably read or heard about the controversy regarding Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old Texan cheerleader who loves to hunt endangered animals in Africa. Kendall's hunting escapades and subsequent photos of dead African animals have sparked quite the outrage among, probably, millions of social media users around the world. It has gotten so heated that recently a Democratic Politican, Mike Dickinson of Virginia, has Tweeted that he will give $100,000 to anyone who can come up with nude photos or sex tapes of Jones. Dickinson states that Kendall "deserves to be a target." Just a little background on myself, I graduated from Brigham Young University in Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation and have worked with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for two consecutive summers. Now, I have my own opinions on Jones' hunting, but before I get into that I have a few things to say to this Mike Dickinson who gives new meaning to the "sleazy politician" stereotype.

Dear Dick,
You recently asked for pornographic pictures of a 19-year-old girl because she posted about her hunting trips online. You not only requested these pictures/videos, but you offered millions of people $100,000 if they could get them for you. Not only that, you tweeted these questions about her, "Does #KendallJones use vegetables as sex toys? Does she enjoy being spanked? We want to know." Well, maybe YOU want to know, but personally, I don't think its any of my business. Obviously, you believe it is your right to ask for these things, not only because you yourself stated that it is "free speech", but because you are a liberal democrat.
Dick, may I call you a Dick? Please, allow me to enlighten you, and anyone who condones your actions, as to why this is not okay. Let us disregard the hunting controversy and the fact that you are obviously an intense animal lover (though searches of "Mike Dickinson animal lover" or "Mike Dickinson wildlife conservation" were inconclusive). First, of all you are an old bald guy who is asking for NUDE pictures of a, once again, 19-YEAR-OLD GIRL! Do you have any daughters? If you did you might see why this is terrible and disgusting. You could ruin this girl's life before it even gets started. And don't think that it's lost on us that she is a young, attractive female. I doubt you would be making the same offer if the "culprit" was male or even considered unattractive.
What makes you think that naked pictures and sex tapes of Jones even exist? Are all young girls supposed to be having sex and taping it? Maybe in Crazytown, Dick, but not in the rest of the world. And even if these things don't yet exist, $100,000 is a LOT of money, don't you think that some people might go out of their way to capture or forge such materials? Which could get uploaded to the internet and be there forever, for anyone to see? Actually, you probably did think of that.
Now, lets go back to the hunting controversy for a minute. What do nude photos and sex tapes have to do with hunting? Shouldn't the punishment match the crime? Oh, I get it, the only way to punish a girl in our society is through sexual shaming. You want to sexually subdue a young girl, humiliate her, and teach her a lesson. That actually reminds me of something... oh yeah, sexual harrassment, abuse, and rape. WOAH! You say, I didn't say anything about rape! Really? Well, I'm pretty sure that your request and rape have similar goals in mind. You want to make this girl "a target" of sexual abuse. You want to expose her and shame her and that is exactly what makes a sexual predator. Am I getting too extreme? I don't think so. Next time you want to get a popular vote but spending your time on Twitter with the high schoolers why don't you think about your actions first.
I have a suggestion for you, Dick. How about instead of offering mass amounts of money to sexually shame a young huntress, you offer that money to wildlife conservation efforts? I'm actually surprised that you haven't done this yet, seeing as you're such an animal lover. Maybe you could get the animals to vote for you, hopefully they are the only ones who will.

A young woman and wildlife conservationist

Whew! Glad to get that off my chest! (And no I don't mean my shirt, stop trying to take pictures of me, Dick!) Now, if you'll bear with me I will address Kendall Jones' hunting.

As I stated before, I am a wildlife conservationist. I have worked on animal studies with either BYU or the state of Utah for three years now and am currently working with an endangered species, the June sucker of Utah Lake. So, I feel like I might have some valid points, though I know not all conservationists will agree with me.
Despite believing in Wildife Conservation I approve of hunting. Because I believe in Wildlife Conservation I approve of hunting. Hunters are conservationists no matter what anyone else tells you. Believe me, I grew up in Seattle and I hated the idea of hunting, but then I came to BYU and learned that, actually, hunters are a major part of wildlife conservation and population management. I myself have never gone hunting and don't know that I ever will, I just don't like the thought of killing beautiful animals and thats fine! Some people do and some people don't. Here's the point, hunters pay for their tags so that they can hunt a certain animal and the money from that tag goes back into state government conservation efforts. Read about it here or here. However, these are American examples. Concerns with the tags bought by Kendall Jones were that they were either auctioned off because of poacher by-offs or that the funds won't go where they are supposed to. I don't have an answer for this.
However, if the system were to work correclty tags for endangered species would be auctioned off so that the hunter would be able to kill an individual in a population with a low reproductive value - meaning that they would be able to kill an animal who no longer contributes to the population. This would benefit both parties because the hunter would be allowed to hunt while paying for conservation efforts and removing an individual who is taking up resources without giving back. What I will say is that it's not Jones' fault whether the money she pays for a tag goes to a corrupt government or a wildlife refuge. Not only that, but Jones is hardly the only person hunting endangered species in Africa. So, if you're going to attack her for it, you better find every single person who has ever killed an animal in Africa and attack them as well.
Lastly, I can't help but think that all the outrage has a lot to do with the fact that the animals in Jones' pictures are charismatic African animals. I'm willing to bet that if I held a dead June sucker up for a camera that about one person would even notice and that would be my boss. What if someone killed a smoky mouse and took a picture? Or a Mississippi gopher frog? Who would care? My point in all this is that species go extinct every day, some that we haven't even discovered yet. And it's your fault. And my fault. Basically, it's humans in general. So, if you're going to put all this effort into "loving animals" then love all of them. Don't jump on a bandwagon that you don't understand.