Perhaps one of the most important issues, at least I believe it to be, is seen as almost taboo to talk about. I’m referring to men’s issues … Why can’t we talk about the higher suicide rate of men? Why can’t we talk about the lower life expectancy of men? Why can’t we talk about the harsher prison sentences, and unfair treatment in court for men? Why can’t we talk about the lack of father figures for men, particularly in inner cities? Why can’t we talk about the lack of representation for what actual masculinity is and should be? These issues and hundreds more are very real, and go unaddressed. Not once have I heard anyone talking about these issues in every day life. Not even by myself, because I’m too afraid to bring them up for fear of being called misogynist or sexist, or just having them rejected.
In my opinion, The problem that I think the people in my community should focus on the most is gentrification. Gentrification is when richer people or people of the higher class move to an area of lower class and try to make it Higher class and what it isn’t. I think this is a problem because my neighborhood is perfect the way it is (I think), but the rich people think that it needs work and that they can make it better and more fit for them because they may like the location but not the actual community. It just gets on my nerves because they think just because they have money, they can go to any neighborhood and raise the expectations of the people who own apartments and places to live so that the people who were there first will have a much harder time paying for it etc. I would take a stand on the topic of homelessness and poverty because this is also a slight problem in my neighborhood. I think that I would stand on this because I hate to see people suffer like that everywhere in the world.
One issue that I think deserves more attention is deforestation as well as the destruction of any of the other few untouched places on this planet. These places are the home of many animals that would go extinct if we do not stop destroying these places. It is important to preserve areas like these because, not only do they house many amazing animals, but many of these areas, such as the Amazon Rainforest (from 2017-2018, around 3,050 square miles of the Amazon was cleared) also provide oxygen for much of our planet and, as human beings, we need oxygen to survive. These few preserved places are not only valuable because they benefit us and other creatures, but also because they have value in their own right. The forests and mountains and plains were formed by chance. They were not formed explicitly for our benefit or to satisfy our endless greed. We cannot destroy these places for lumber or oil or iron because those few filthy rich individuals at the head of the companies that benefit from this destruction want more money.
I think gender inequality is an issue that needs more attention. I think so many people aren’t earning the credit that they deserve. People work so hard to fight inequality just to be pushed away. Gender inequality isn’t just for females. It applies to males as well. The gender stereotypes, the LGBTQ+ community, the amount of money people are paid etc. This matters to me because I am a very strong believer of equality and equal rights for everyone no matter their color, gender, race, religion or anything near those terms. This stands out for me especially because this isn’t anything that is new. This has been going on since forever. “Boys can’t like pink,” “girls should be at home washing dishes.”
Another current issue I feel very strongly about is feminism and gender equality, meaning politically, in the workplace and in everyday life. Currently, some forms of feminism are viewed as unnecessary and are only believed to exist because “women want attention and want more power than men”. I can’t say I blame the men who do not recognize the inequalities women, specifically black, indigenous and transgender women face everyday. Most men have not felt the fear of being cat called, most men have not had to sit down with their mother and be told why they can’t go certain places with certain people. Most men do not fear for their lives when walking home alone on a certain road. Most men do not fear that when they get older, another human would put something in their drink to lure them back to their apartment. Most men do not feel the fear I feel when a man enters an empty elevator alone with them. Most men have not felt the fear of being a woman in America.
Raiin.org says, “Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault”. Additionally, “Of women who are raped in their lifetime: 17.9% are Caucasian,11.9% are Latina, 18.8% are African-American, 34.1% are American Indian or Alaskan Native..”. There is no wonder that young girls are fearful for what their future in our messed up, rickety and flimsy American society may hold.
I think an issue that deserves more attention is mental health awareness, especially for teens. It’s frustrating that mental health is one of those things I only hear in hushed whispers. It’s frustrating that my friend’s mom thinks she can cure her with essential oils but thinks that medication will harm her. It’s frustrating when schools encourage the decline of mental health by piling on homework and telling students to get it done by any means necessary. It’s frustrating when my guidance counselor says my grades are too high for me to be depressed, and that I should just stop procrastinating. It’s frustrating when my classmates make fun of me for something I can’t control. It’s frustrating seeing all of this misinformation about mental health, and it’s sad that adults aren’t willing to do more to educate us about it.