The past sixteen weeks have been an utter whirlwind. I finally declared a major, signed a lease for next year, and even got a job. Everything in my life has been moving forward and I’ve had a lot of good times, but I’ve also had class. Some of these classes take all of my willpower to attend and others, like the Fundamentals of Globalization, are so interesting that it feels like the class is over shortly after it begins. All the guest lecturers this semester had profound insight and knowledge in their area, but two stood out to me the most.
Mariea was told by her co-workers to take it as a compliment, but how could she? She was a woman in a man’s world and she just wanted to be taken seriously. She already had to change her handwriting to get good grades and had to fight for eye contact when the topic of sports got brought up, so what else did she have to do?
Mariea doesn’t completely identify as a feminist, but she does believe that women and men should be equal. As a lawyer, she saw the disparities between men and women in her career. In fact, women make up on 36% of the law population and even fewer hold top positions in firms. Throughout her lecture, Mariea gave examples of gender discrimination and how she handled it.
Traditionally, people focus on what men should do to help change out culture, but Mariea ended her talk by giving a list of things that both men and women can do to combat the problem. It takes cooperation and education to solve the issue.
“The problem is that most people aren’t knowledgeable of religion. Not even their own.”
We experience religious ignorance almost every day in the United States. From not knowing the difference between a burka and a hijab to misidentifying something as Passover friendly, we make mistakes when describing religions different than ours. Why is this? Mason gave a few suggestions.
It’s a journalist’s job to inform the public, but there are a lot of systems and practices that prevent that from being done as well as it should. First, newsroom resources are scarce. It can be expensive to hunt down the sources your may need to conduct and interview and get a full picture of a religious event. Second, most journalism takes places within a 24-hour atmosphere that primarily cares about speed and profits. Journalists often feel pressured to get a story out as soon as they can, so to save time, they leave out religious information instead of taking the time to research the facts and include them in the story. This may seem like good plan on the surface (saving time and money are good things, right?), but in the end it simply leads to an uninformed audience and the continued perpetuation of misinformation.
It should be our duty to accurately educate ourselves and the public on issues like religion. People all across the world are religious and it’s important we have an understanding of what that entails.
Thoughts on Israel
The goal of this blog was to read, learn, and write about the Middle East and Israel. Going into this project, I thought I knew a lot of about the area, its history, and its interaction with other countries. I could not have been more wrong. Through my research, I learned about settlements, human rights violations, pollution, corruption, and that, quite frankly, Israel isn’t the perfect country that the United States makes it out to be. There were a lot of negatives, but there were also positives. I was inspired by the groups that are standing up to make a change and by individuals that refuse to give up and I was called to be a more diligent global citizen: to actually read the news, not take things for granted, and to want happiness for more than just myself. There’s a whole world that exists outside of Columbia’s city limits.