Hi all, and welcome back!! I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season!
The latter part of 2017 has been quite the whirlwind for me with all of the holiday festivities and college applications, so I have found myself to be extraordinarily busy, and I’m sure most of you reading this have as well.
But, let’s look on the bright side; the new year brings new possibilities, and hopefully, you all will have some time to recover from the busy holiday season during the month of January.
For me, 2018’s arrival brings with it a wave of relief as I just received news that I will be attending The George Washington University next year to major in political communication! It has been something that has been on my mind for months now, so it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. College application season is crazy, and my heart goes out to all of you reading this who are still waiting to hear back from schools.
Anyway, during the hectic months of November and December in which we are all attending holiday parties or entertaining visiting family and friends, it is difficult to find the time to sit down and read the newspaper or even pull up the CNN app on our iPhones. I too found it difficult to stay updated on the current events of the day. So, I turned to another avenue to receive my news — one that took over as a big trend in 2017: podcasts.
I found podcasts to be the ideal solution to my problem because they are so easy to listen to. Plus, they’re accessible pretty much anywhere. I use Spotify to access mine, but I’m sure you could use Apple’s Podcasts app or any news outlet’s website as well.
Two of my favorite news/political podcasts at the moment are “Pantsuit Politics” and “Pod Save America.” Both are free to listen to, and while “Pod Save America” is newer, the women over at “Pantsuit Politics” have been producing episodes since 2015.
“Pantsuit Politics” is hosted by two women — one from the left end of the political spectrum and one from the right. They both are extremely educated on political matters, and in the episodes, they engage in civil conversations regarding the top headlines of the day. It is so refreshing to see two people from opposite ends of the spectrum have friendly discussions with each other. I also enjoy how they don’t only discuss politics and usually merge into other topics of conversation as well.
“Pod Save America” is definitely biased towards the left end of the political spectrum. The podcast is hosted by four former aides to President Obama, but they often have guests on their show as well. They add humor into their podcasts (warning: some vulgar language), but overall, they’re rather funny and extremely helpful in explaining current events in simpler terms.
I hope you all can take some time for yourselves after this busy holiday season and maybe even sit down and listen to some podcasts.
Some of the biggest stories that have come to light since my last blog post have been the continuing revelations of sexual assault — especially in relation to the special election for a new senator in Alabama. For those of you who don’t know, candidate Roy Moore has been accused of sexual assault by at least nine women — at least five of whom were underage at the time. Additionally, he once said in an interview that all Constitutional amendments after the tenth should be repealed. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, this should worry and disgust you. I’m sorry, but an accused child molester and someone who, according to a spokesperson, believes that homosexuality should “probably” be illegal should not be in the Senate. Luckily, Alabama residents acknowledged this, and Moore’s opponent Doug Jones claimed victory. It was a monumental win for Alabama as they defied their status of being a historically red state.
One of the best stories of the new year came right as the nation rolled out of bed on the first morning of 2018. Women in the entertainment industry came forward with a letter of solidarity to women in all fields of work titled “Dear Sisters.” These women established “TIME’S UP” to “address the systematic inequality and injustice in the workplace.” The organization has created the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which is accepting donations to provide subsidized legal help for those who have experienced sexual harassment.
In light of all of the revelations of sexual assault — from the entertainment industry, to the news room, to Capitol Hill — this came just at the right time. Women encouraging women. Women empowering women. Women comforting other women who have encountered the same inequality and injustice that they have. “The Silence Breakers,” who were named Time’s Person of the Year, are just another example of the progress made and the empowering stance women are taking.
I hope 2018 brings more opportunities like this for women to use their platforms to empower other women. Because as Marianne Schnall said in an article for CNN, ”2018 will be the year of women.” From the Women’s March to the establishment of organizations like TIME’S UP, women have made great strides in the past year, and it is so encouraging for me, as a young woman, to live in this era in which we are finally standing up for the equality we deserve.
That’s all for now. Happy New Year, folks! I encourage you to stay up to date and take an interest in the current events which affect all of our daily lives.