4 Things I Stopped Supporting Because I Was Tired Of Compromising My Beliefs

by Alex Eichenstein
Alexey Kuzma

It's super hard not to be a hypocrite nowadays. As often as I whine and complain (and trust me, it is quite often) about the many ways in which the patriarchy, capitalism, Donald Trump, etc. are oppressing our society as a whole, I am partaking in actions that directly support the twisted notions that these very institutions often support.

For every Facebook trending topic we are consistently (and unfortunately) exposed to concerning a new discriminatory LGBTQ or anti-abortion law, there is an equal amount of hidden ways in which each of us is giving into the rampant sexism and greed that any given affiliation a person should advocate against. Not to claim that each of the aforementioned institutions are fully and totally detrimental, but it is typically understood and worth noting that the policies of such sometimes do not necessarily align with those of the modern Millennial.

There are plenty of things in this world that go against my moral code, and I like to think I do a good job of adhering to those morals. For me, it's easy not to be sexist, racist and discriminatory. But what about the small things? What about the offensive things that aren't really given any attention because they're "not as bad" as things could get? I decided to put an end to my hypocrisy. If I'm going to say I am a woman with strong morals and an advocate for the oppressed, then I cannot partake in any of the following things just because they "could be worse."

That being said, here are the ways in which I actively attempt to maintain any leftover sense of dignity I may have left aligning with my strict moral principles:

1. See You Chick-Fil-Later

In June 2012, Chick-Fil-A COO Dan Cathy stated on during a public radio interview, “I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.' I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

The chain restaurant's COO is evidently adamant about maintaining and upholding the traditional definition of family as a bond strictly between a man and a woman, and thus unfortunately allowing his restaurants to stand for such an oppressive definition of marriage. Cathy is still Chick-Fil-A's COO.

As scrumptious as those waffle fries may be, I firmly stand by the fact that I would rather declare myself vegan than eat at a restaurant run by a man whose backwards beliefs bleed into his business models. Sorry, cows, but I won't be eating more chicken anymore.

2. On Trend?

Abercrombie actively operates under the sexist and offensive policies of their respective CEO. He says his ideal customers are the skinny, popular people who everyone wants to emulate, and that no one considered to be "plus size" should shop at his stores. Excuse me, what? Fortunately, I affirm that spending $50 on a pair of jeans that is meant solely for a body type reminiscent of a twig is something I do not mind giving up in order to maintain my moral standards for equality.

3. Movie On Over

The movie industry has instilled unrealistic expectations in each and every one of us in some form another. But potentially none more harmful than the notions associated with glorifying criminals without acknowledgement of their poisonous pasts.

Whether actively forgiving men like Mel Gibson who has a history of abuse against women and has frequently cited his hatred for all Jewish people, or choosing to intentionally leave out Dr. Dre's abusive past while glorifying his career in the film "Straight Outta Compton," the movie industry has some backwards notions of promoting equality for all. That being said, I will give up watching such a movie any day in order to dissuade encouragement of the depictions of such men.

It blows my mind that people like Mel Gibson who spew anti-Semitic remarks are so easily forgiven for their transgressions and can still find jobs in the industry, yet women like Patricia Arquette, who speak out for equality on a massive scale, are strong-armed from the industry for doing so. Bye bye, "Braveheart."

4. Be A Good Sport

Sports and violence go hand in hand, however, it is more the glorification of these athletes' violent pasts that is the concerning aspect of our culture's infatuation with all athletic ventures. Athletes including Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning (as well as many other celebrated sports stars) have been accused or brought to trial for sexual assault allegations and other heinous crimes. Just like Mel Gibson, their transgressions are forgiven and their careers are given the freedom to thrive even more. Personally, I do not mind having to give up watching sporting events if it means I am actively choosing to support a culture that does not glorify men with documented and purposely ignored histories of abuse.

Attempting to remain non-hypocritical can be hard. But it's worth giving up a few french fries and B-movies in order to feel good about adhering to the moral principles I've spent the entirety of my life developing.