Richard Stiso

Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Posted by Richard Stiso  

What are your conversations like with those dudes online?

For those people out there who are single and looking to find someone that they have something in common with, find attractive and would like to get to know better; how do you go from being single to becoming a couple? As time has passed, more and more people are looking to find their better half on dating websites that are both computer-based or phone apps. When meeting people this way, there is the safety of anonymity in which it makes me wonder if people say things as a joke or are these dudes for real when making inappropriately funny comments. It deters people from interacting with them, yet they do it anyway. Anyone who has dated online has encountered some of these types of guys I'm sure, and I encourage everyone to comment or post some of their worst dating app interactions! In the meantime, enjoy these! (I've blurred faces and names to protect identities)

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Monday, February 26, 2018
Liberty And Justice For None
Posted by Richard Stiso  

You can take away our right to privacy, and that’s okay since it’s for our own safety due to the Patriot Act passed after the Twin Tower Attacks. We need to separate church & state, but we added “One Nation, Under God” to our Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. We have the freedom of the press, but there are limited news outlets and they all cover the same news topics with a slightly different slant. But take our guns away and forget it! Why are Americans so defiant to cling onto this one right, whereas we’ve had virtually all of our other rights infringed on and nobody blinks an eye? The Patriot Act allows our own government to tap our phone calls, see what we are viewing on the Internet, and even know where we are located at any given point in time. This is not okay. Spying on its own citizens is not something you’d expect from a country like the United States. All of this occurred after fear was instilled in us that we could be attacked from within our own community, and it was for our own protection.

Following the Twin Tower Attacks on 9/11, there was a sense that traveling by air was no longer safe. When a man was found to have a “shoe bomb” at an airport, every U.S. citizen now has to remove their shoes every time boarding a flight at an airport and nobody seems to be bothered by this. All the additional hassle at airport security because of one incident. The promptness that put this new protective measure into place permanently because of ONE incident and it is legal, but we say it’s for our own safety so it’s okay.

How many school shooting incidents have we had over the past decade or so? I haven’t seen anyone immediately respond to take measures to prevent this, aside from the left demanding stricter gun laws. Where were the “stricter gun law” people while we lost our right to privacy? Why were they not asking for the removal of the Patriot Act? Where were these people when we brought God not only into our schools, but allowing it to be instilled into all citizens of this country? Our founding fathers of this country believed there should be religious freedom and that all matters of religion and state should be separate and never intertwine. Those who do not know history or born after 1954, don’t realize the pledge did not originally have the word god in it whatsoever. Why was it added? They say to show patriotism and in respect of the flag and country, yet the underlying motives are up for debate. It was convenient that we changed the pledge during the Cold War when the atheist Communists was the enemy and we had to distance ourselves from that. A country founded on freedom from religion, now turned itself into a Christian nation.

Our news outlets are not free to say what they want, especially if it goes against its sponsors. The hierarchy shows that the news corporations cater to their own corporate sponsors, almost like the old TV shows in the 1950s where the advertisers had their product used right in the scene to be displayed subliminally, in order to encourage purchase. Why does every news outlet show the same news, just with a different viewpoint? We all see the same information in regards to the most recent school shooting, but where is the investigative reporting? Where are the Woodward & Bernstein of 2018? And of course, no school shooting is complete without the perpetrator committing suicide or being killed by law officials before any questions can be asked. What’s the agenda, the motive, the real reasons behind school shootings now more than ever?

Too often, we are taking what the media is feeding us at face value. Guns are part of our rights under the constitution, but are they higher up than freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of/from religion, right to privacy, and all of the other rights we take for granted? What makes Americans hold onto the right to bear arms at face value and refuse to budge, yet allow themselves to lose much, much more. I don’t own a gun, but am thankful that I have that right should I choose to exercise it. But it’s too late for me to get back the rights already taken from all of us while nobody seemed to mind. The second guns are brought up, and we have both sides fighting over stricter gun control and background checks instead of what can we do to prevent another tragedy (with or without guns involved).

I do grieve and empathize with the families and children who had to endure the brutal massacres that have recently happened in the past few years, yet I don’t think stricter gun laws would change anything. What prevents a student or some other person to storm into a school with a bag full of machetes, knives or other deadly weapons that are not guns? Who will people blame, since it’s no longer the fault of a gun? I’m tired of United States citizens cherry-picking which of our Constitutional rights are negotiable, and which ones they will not budge on. I believe in this country and the Constitution. All 10 Bill of Rights need to be treated equally in importance and we should never budge on any of them, or else it opens the door for more deviation into a society that we were not built upon. At what point did we lose our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness?

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Monday, February 12, 2018
Are All Kids Created Equal?
Posted by Richard Stiso  

Growing up, every child is automatically placed into a very specific category despite those parents who try to avoid the pitfalls. Even before birth, as soon as the gender of a baby is revealed, everything either becomes blue or pink. There is no in between once the gender is confirmed. A baby boy’s room is filled with cool-toned colors such as blue and green and may have a theme toward cars, sports or outer space. A baby girl’s room has the opposite iconography with warm tones such as pink, red or lavender. The themes vary from princesses, flowers, and cute little forest animals adorned everywhere. The unintentional assumptions that these are things your child is supposed to like because of their gender, happens as soon as they are born and never stops.

Since the feminist movement, little girls have been allowed to break free from these confines. We teach our daughters that “a girl can do anything a boy can do”, and allow them every opportunity to test and try everything so that they can feel empowered and taught they are equal to boys. This is a great movement, and has made progress in the women’s liberation movement, although there is still work to be done in order to level out the playing field. But aside from little girls empowered to be whatever they want to be without judgment or mocking, there still is a disconnect between the way that little boys are raised. Boys are raised with the concept that they are meant to conquer the world. But the reality is that a boy can be anything…as long it’s masculine.

What is masculine? What does that mean in today’s society? Girls can be whatever they want; a doctor, a lawyer, a stay-at-home mom, a construction worker, an athlete, a business woman, and anything they choose to be with little question. But when we ask a little boy what he wants to be when he grows up, if he were to say back, “a ballerina”, he is quickly urged to move into a different direction. Possibly he’ll be urged toward a similar category like an actor or a dancer in general. But he CANNOT be a ballerina! Boys need to be something more masculine. The boys are left with less options, and more social stigmas if they deviate away from the typically traditional male-dominated job field.

When you watch a little girl playing sports with a group of boys, she’s labeled a tomboy and it’s perfectly normal and healthy for her to explore what interests she has. She can wear boy’s clothing, she can have short hair, and she can continue to explore whatever path that she feels suits her. Swap the scenario, and picture the reaction to a little boy wearing a dress or skirt, growing his hair longer and learning to bake using a neighbor’s Easy Bake Oven. Is he looked at the same way as the little girl? Is he just exploring different things to see which suits him best, or have we already labeled him and written him off as being emasculated, effeminate, and destined to grow up to be a homosexual man as an adult?

The term masculinity can mean so many different things and be interpreted in so many different ways, but in the end, there’s still an air of bias towards growing boys that confines them into a box that they can never leave. “Boys don’t cry.” “Boys don’t hit girls, and if a girl hits you, don’t hit her back.” “Playing with dolls is for girls.” “You let a girl beat you at baseball? What are you, a sissy?”. These are just some of the small phrases interspersed throughout a young boy’s life that worsen as he ages. When young males do not show signs of any sexual interest, they’re questioned about their masculinity and ability to attain a female “conquest”. Or his sexuality and motivation are thought that he is most likely homosexual. Men are strong, sexual and do not show vulnerability; not even with each other.

The feminist movement was a great jumping off point for equality. There are many more strides before women are even considered to be treated as equally to men in the workplace and society. They are paid less money, are pressured into looking a certain way, and still have to overcome more obstacles to get half as far as a man does by simply being a man. Children of different genders should be raised the same without the stereotypes and double standards that exist today. In the process of elevating the women’s movement, there have been virtually no steps to allow men to accept femininity as part of their personae while growing as boys. Showing emotion, feminine role-playing games, and clothing not meant for boys are all examples of things that are still frowned upon as boys grow up to become men. Unfortunately we’re raising a nation of men who hold in their feelings, are constrained by the confines of careers that are open to them, and limit their full potential. No matter how parents try to raise their kids to be free who they are and allow them to try everything to become exposed to all of their options, they still end up subconsciously instilling the gender norms into their children.

It may take a few more generations, but as the LGBTQIA community grows and evolves, what was once uncommon may soon become commonplace. When you bring your baby home in a neutral earth-toned blanket into their new bedroom with the cream-colored walls, you’ll begin their open journey as a child that can choose their own path. The room will be filled with dolls and trucks. The closet will be filled with pants, suits, dresses and skirts. The child will choose their own name as time goes on and they can decide what they feel is the most natural for themselves. Even if they choose to identify as a gender, they should never be locked into that gender role. You can wear a dress today and be a princess, and then afterwards you can put on an football jersey and play a game of football. The end goal for the future should be to raise our children to be good human beings. Teaching them to understand and share their feelings while helping them become independent entities that can exist without a partner if they choose.

Femininity and masculinity need to be removed from our thought processes. When boys have a higher level of expectation thrust upon them on how they should act, there is no longer an equal playing field. We’re teaching girls they can be whoever they want to be. Let’s now work towards raising boys to be whoever they want to be. Even if it is a Disney Princess.


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