June 3, 2016

News that took a Passenger Seat to the Bathroom Laws Drama.

fort mcmurray alberta wildfire

Equality is everything.

Among the list of things that I resent about my generation—the millennials—being more open minded and accepting of alternative beliefs and lifestyles does not happen to be one of them.

However, I do resent when my generation becomes passionately and blindly wrapped up in a single issue, resulting in somewhat insignificant headlines getting blown entirely out of proportion by the media. Every time I log into social media or turn on the news, I inevitably find myself irritable with the lack of coverage and care that other world issues are given.

I am sure upon first glance, your eyes were instantly drawn to the “Bathroom Laws” part of the title. No doubt, we have all been conditioned to recognize these words—as we have had them shoved in our faces over and over again in the past weeks. The words now stick out to us as if adorned in glowing neon each time we scroll through our social media feeds. For a second, you may have found yourself in an almost eye-roll. “Damn, another article concerning bathroom laws.”

Let’s talk about some news that the media is failing to focus on with the same amount of zeal as they are with America’s current bathroom situation.

More devastating than a trip to the restroom: In May, thousands of Canadians were forced to flee Fort McMurray, Alberta under a mandatory and unexpected evacuation order thanks to a massive wildfire. On June 1st, residents returned to see what was left of their homes and came to find that roughly 10 percent of their beautiful city had been destroyed.

More exciting than the stall being chosen: On June 1st, Switzerland officially finished “the construction of the century.” After 17 years in the making, the world’s largest tunnel has been completed and opened. The tunnel is 35 miles long and runs beneath the Swiss Alps connecting North and South Europe and will increase train productivity tremendously.

In other exciting gender-equality related news: Upon attending a meeting of nuns at the Vatican, Pope Francis is now considering ordaining women priestesses within the Catholic Church. During an open question session of the meeting, a sister at the conference pointed out that women once served as deacons in the early church, which provided a strong foundation for her following question, “Why not construct an official commission that might study the question?” And received an unexpected, yet exciting possible endorsement from the Pope: “I believe yes. It would do good for the church to clarify this point. I am in agreement.”

More frightening than being in a stall next to a trans person: In the city of Fallujah (located west of Baghdad) there are believed to be more than 50,000 people trapped with limited food, water, and medical resources as the Iraqi military began an attempt last week to retake their city from ISIS. UNICEF estimates that 20,000 of those trapped are children.

Religious freedom is a big deal too, right? In Europe, the beginning stages of a bill are being introduced that could allow businesses to ban their employees from wearing headscarves or any other religious symbols. The opinion was issued after a Muslim receptionist was fired for refusing to remover her headscarf while at work. Juliane Kokott, the European Court of Justice’s advocate general is quoted as saying, “While an employee cannot ‘leave’ his sex, skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or disability ‘at the door’ he may be expected to moderate the exercise of religion in the workplace.” Addressing the elephant in the room, Kokotte says that even though the receptionist’s job may be performed, “just as well with a headscarf or without one” will not stop the opinion from becoming law.

Hungary for the win: Tordheim, a Norwegian town, has passed a ban on ads with overly photoshopped models. City officials say that this is a necessary action to fight against their youth’s plummeting self confidence and the negative body images that photoshopped ads support. The new restrictions will officially take place in 2018.

There is a lot more going on in the world than just America’s sh*t situation. Don’t be afraid to be passionate, but also don’t forget that the world is not a single issue place.

May it be of benefit.


Author: Emily Cutshaw

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Image: Premier of Alberta/Flickr




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