As I'm sure many of you know, on May 22nd of this year there was an atrocious crime committed in Manchester. While little girls and preteens danced around at an Ariana Grande concert (for most in attendance it was their first concert) a suicide bomber detonated a bomb, killing twenty-two and injuring 59 others. It was a tragic event that will stick with many for the rest of their lives. So many little girls never forgetting their first concert for all the wrong reasons. Although this was a terribly sad event, the silver lining of this hellish night was that everyone banded together to help the injured, reunite lost family members, and show support for everyone affected, including Ariana Grande. Well, everyone except for James Harkin, a reporter for the British newspaper the Daily Mail. In his article "How Ariana Grande and her revealing stage outfits are a symbol of everything Islamists hate", Harkin goes into detail on why he believes that Ariana Grande being "too sexually confident" for a young lady caused the tragedy in Manchester Monday night. Yes, you read that right. Out of ALL the people to blame for this horrid crime, he blames Ariana Grande! This claim is not only appalling because he's placing all the blame on an artist who is already heartbroken about her fans being killed at her own concert, but also extremely sexist and unacceptable. Blaming a terrorist attack that killed twenty-two fans on the performer because she is American, dresses how she wants, and is confident in her body is just ridiculous. Let me ask this of you. If Ariana Grande were male, would the accusations be the same? Most likely not. This is because when men are "sexually confident", they are idolized and not looked down upon. If a girl were also sexually confident, she would be looked upon as lesser or called slutty or some form of the word. I'm sure we are all sick of hearing the saying "boys will be boys" to excuse rude behavior or explain why men are allowed to be confident in their bodies and women are not. "Why would anyone target a concert by the American singer Ariana Grande? The grim answer may lie in the fact that with her revealing stage outfits, her stockings, pink bunny ears and unabashed sexual confidence, 23-year-old Miss Grande is a symbol of everything Islamists hate." This quote pulled straight from the article puts a pit in my stomach. They way he said "unabashed sexual confidence" like she should be embarrassed by being sexually confident is truly upsetting. As if this was not bad enough, later on in the article (while discussing another terrorist attack focused on killing women having a ladies night in a club) he did not describe the women as innocent or victims, but as "scantily clad women drinking alcohol", as if this justified the attack, or made it any less tragic. Another thing to think about: If we stopped dressing how we wanted and covered up our bodies to avoid terrorist attacks, wouldn't that be the terrorist's ultimate victory? If we let them control our lives and take away our freedom, wouldn't that be granting them their ultimate wish of destroying the American way of life? If we let sexism within our own media continue like this, we will make the terrorists' jobs easy. Do not cover up, instead wear whatever you want as a symbol of resistance to terrorism everywhere!
Want to read Harkin's article for yourself? Just click here!
“Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
that cannot fly
Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow”
Golden dreams whirl
Stars softly listen
Beloved stories dance
"Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?"
Once, i wished-
for what everyone wishes, yearns,
D R E A M S-
dare i say it-
but that was before.
Now, i wish;
for the MIGHT or MAGIC to s l o w time-
catch it in my hand, warm, pulsing, desperate!-
send it hurtling back;
to the days when i did not notice that lack of balance,
the words that BIT and SMASHED-
to the days before loss,
before hot tears, the lonely a c h e-
to the days before stitches and surgery,
in so many different, twisted, subtle forms-
bitter barbs, hypocrisy, the sensation of pain-
political poison, terror and despair-
for the Time,
when i was safe-
to open my soul.
for a time-
when - though i don’t care-
(I Don’t Care!)
i will not feel different,
2536 London, England
A woman walks down the streets. Buildings reach up into the clouds. Cars whooshing by in the sky and on the streets. Beautiful blue sky. The woman quickly reaches an open field of the greenest grass, perfectly mowed and trimmed. The woman pulls out a small silver remote with a blue button in the middle. She presses the blue button, and a big silver ship appears. A door opens up, and the woman walks in The ship flies up and takes off into the sky.
“Gwendolyn, pick up the files on the 8 girls accompanying me on this journey,” The woman says.
“You usually work alone captain,” Gwendolyn replies.
“Yes, well, I’ll need a little help this time,” The woman says, “Plot a course for 2016, realm 1.”
2016 New York, US
“Ivy Savage, adopted daughter of Vandal Savage, street crime fighter”
A gunfire. Sirens ring loudly. A girl, dressed in dark colors crouches nearby. She stands up and flies down to the sounds. She lands. The man standing before her holds up the gun. He has a big sack over his shoulder.
“Catch me if you can girly!” He yells. He jumps into a van and begins to drive off. The girl slightly laughs and flies very quickly after. She catches up to the van and her hand creates a fireball and she punches the van. It topples over and lands on its side. The sirens get closer as the robber slowly gets out of the van.
“Hello,” Someone says from behind the girl. She turns and a flash knocks her out.
2016 Seattle, US
“Toni Lotus. Sonic scream, great martial artist, and interesting relations.”
A girl sits in a diner. The diner has a dance floor and a bar section. The girl stays at a table and watches the dancing from afar. She looks back at the seat next to her and a woman is sitting there.
“I was wondering if you could help me with something,” The woman says. She lifts up some device and the girl widens her eyes before a blinding flash knocks her out.
the Trick to
T i m e . . .
I wish for:
holding you back from
Chaining you to your
Can or Can’t be.
Waiting to be
bars made of
locking you inside the
I wish to be Free of
the one who
the one who always gets
have we ever
Given it a
we call it
should we call it
“First up is something white. Of the blinding kind” (Zusak 6). The lights above burn your eyes. You are thrown into a noisy room full of commotion. As you begin to cry, someone in a white coat carries you away to a sink. Water comes out of a faucet. At first, you think they are trying to drown you. Soon, you realize they are simply cleaning you.
What’s happening? you wonder. You try to ask, but no one seems to speak an intelligible language here.
Put me down! you try to shout at these people in white coats.
Finally, the people catch on and place you into the hands of another person. Her hands are soft and her eyes wet, but not sad. They are proud and happy and relieved all at once. You can hear a thumping from her chest and find it soothing. The sound is constant and familiar. Never ceasing. Never slowing. Always ba-dump ba-dump ba-dump. The other noises in the room are still there, but they seem distant now. For all you know, this person may be the only one in the world, but that’s all you need.
Looking up at her eyes, your own tears slow. Your breathing returns to normal. You can hear the thumping from your own chest, syncing up to her’s.
An understanding passes between you and the one holding you. You do not know what it is called. Some words come close, affection, fondness, tenderness, but they are not enough. They don’t capture the protection, the connection, the willingness to sacrifice that emanates from the woman.
The woman makes noises, but nothing you can comprehend. Tears stream down her face in joy. You decide that you must learn the language of these beings. You must communicate with this woman.
That sound, through the rest, sticks out to you. You know it’s the one to describe the understanding.
Love, you think. Love.
You will soon forget this day. You will forget the blinding white light, the cold flowing water, and even the startling loud noises, but you will never forget the understanding. You will never forget the one word to describe the most wonderful feeling in the world.
You will never forget the Love.
Once - I Wished.
i watched them;
gentle manners, their movements - fluid - flawless -
everything that humankind could become, i saw in their faces, their eyes…
I Wished to be like them.
i Wished to LOOK…
like them, petite and graceful and lithe…
i Wished to speak-
like them, words curling, flailing, shimmering off their
i Wished to comfort them,
to step from the shadows, gently t r a c e-
e r a s e-
the faults and craters of sorrow from their faces, their perfect, human
i Wished to understand them:
to comprehend their story, whispers behind the melancholy, i-
Wished to meet them…
to watch as their faces lifted towards me,
alabaster blossoms to the crystalline moon, i
Wished that they would not shriek, cower,
In TERROR at my monstrous form, i WISHED!
that they would see-
i Wished to be them.
-and even now-
i am trapped…
for after the pain,
the flight and the loss-
the loss of life, the murder - the unlawful, the death of the innocent-
marring me for the monster they claim me to be-
There for me
in my galaxy
when I wake you up too early
when you’ve stayed up too late
in the house
you make me a better person
you believe in me
you know I can do it
even if I don’t