Go Hockey

This weekend Gamma Phi Beta had our first ever Father-Daughter weekend. Ricky, being the great step-dad that he his, drove the long seven hours through boring Florida interstates to see me for just one short day for the event. The plan was to spend all day Saturday in Epcot, and then head down to the Amway center to watch the Orlando Solar Bears take on the Florida Everblades in the fist hockey game of the season.

The day was more perfect than I could have ever imagined. Orlando had its first cool-ish day of fall with the high less than 80 degrees, which literally never happens. Epcot was crowded, but we didn’t even mind because of how nice the weather was. After a few hours eating and drinking our way around the world, we went home to rest up for the game.

Now, the last time I went to a hockey game, I was cheering on my cousin’s high school team, and the only thing I remember is lots of teenage boys tripping over each other on the ice. So you could say I’m a hockey expert. Ricky had just about as much knowledge as me going into the game too, but we were both excited just the same. The arena was about 20 degrees when we got there, which led to very little concentration from me on the game, and lots of concentration on not getting hypothermia. But after two beers, I was feeling good again and ready to cheer on the bears. Unfortunately the Bears aren’t very talented, but I had fun yelling “go hockey” and “do better” to them all the same. Ricky and I eventually started picking up on some of the rules of the game, and he told me to shout “go bears” instead of “do better,” and I started feeling like a true sports fan.  I quickly found out that sports are stressful and I do not handle a 3-2 scoreboard with less than a minute on the clock very well.

A huge thanks to Gamma Phi for inviting all of our fathers to see the organization we all hold so close to our hearts. Ricky loved every minute of being a G Phi dad and wearing our letters almost as much as I did.

Why Gamma Phi

If you would have asked me four years ago if I thought I would be in a sorority you would have heard a big ole “hell to the no.” High school Brady thought sororities were only about themed parties and sparkly glitter, and boy am I glad she was wrong. During my first semester in college I met maybe three new people, I hung out with my same four friends who I came to UCF with, and I binged more Netflix shows than I could count. After many nights locked up in my dorm with just Meredith and Derrick to keep me company, I decided I might need to extend my social network a bit. I tried hanging out with my roommates and going to a bible study, but it was a coffee date with an old friend from home that completely changed my college experience for the better. This friend told me all about this new sorority on campus that she helped charter and the legacy she was going to help create through it, and it got my attention. A few days later and I received a bid from this very same chapter. Gamma Phi Beta is an organization like no other. The women I have met through it encourage me to be a stronger woman each and every day. Now, high school Brady was right in the fact that sororities have themed parties and sparkly glitter (both which I now adore, ugh), but Gamma Phi Beta has offered me so much more. Built on the values of love, labor, learning and loyalty, this sorority has allowed me to work with women who share my passion for instilling confidence in the girls we volunteer with, with Girls on the Run. They hold me accountable to maintaining a top GPA and to always strive for more. They are true and constant friends who I know will encourage me to always be the highest type of womanhood.

Come on Ladies, Now Let’s Get in Formation

Sometimes I hear people, even some women, say “I don’t think I’m a feminist” and it takes everything in me not to take them by the shoulders and shake some sense into them. I think that recently we have seen media strew the word “feminist” into meaning “man hater” which is just not true. Feminism is simply wanting equal opportunities and treatment for women and men. You might be thinking “well shouldn’t you call yourself an ‘egalitarian’ or something, then?” Well to actually obtain equality, we need to be increasing the opportunities for women, not just finding a happy medium between the gap that already exists. This makes it feminism.

Many of the arguments I hear against feminism include the idea that they don’t personally see women being treated as less than men. Now, I am THRILLED that you and/or the women in your life are getting the treatment they deserve as humans, but that does not mean that women elsewhere are not suffering. Last April the White House released a document about the Gender Pay Gap that explained that the average woman working a full time job received 78% as much compensation as her male counterpart. For those of you who don’t like to think in terms of percentages, women earn $0.78 for every $1.00 a man makes. That statistic alone should make you want to be a feminist. But that statistic is just for the US. In other countries women are facing much, much worse conditions, and feminism is for them too. Women need to support other women. Men need to support other women (#HeForShe am I right??).

Another argument I hear from women who think they aren’t feminists is that the feminist movement doesn’t support their choice to start a family and stay home with them. Wrong again! As long as you are choosing this for yourself, and no one is forcing it onto you, that’s perfectly okay- encouraged even (go you!). The issue here arrises when your husband, your community or your peers tell you that your only value as a woman is to push out babies. News flash, you’re worth so much more than just your uterus. You have value in your thoughts, your opinions, your humor, your smile, your intelligence and your work. Why women’s values seem to be less than men’s will never make sense, and that’s why we need feminism.

Now here’s a video of some of my fave celebs rapping about gender equality, enjoy!