International Women’s Day: It All Matters

Do you ever feel like you’re an insignificant feminist because all you’re doing right now is getting your education and you haven’t made an actual contribution towards the movement yet? Well, this is a thought that occurs to me every day, but we’re wrong. Probably not the first time we’ve been told we’re wrong, but it’s legit this time. How so? Every time we handle a situation like the bosses we are, we’re contributing. We are significant.

Every time your mom tells you that that top / dress is inappropriate and you still choose to rock it because you shouldn’t have to police what you wear due to other people’s low mentalities, you’re significant. Every time your brother / cousins make an ignorant comment about your body type and you shut that shit down, you’re significant. Every time a highly misinformed relative tells your parents that going abroad to study will spoil you and you tell them that their son didn’t need to go any further than his own bedroom in order to get “spoiled,” you’re significant. Every time your misogynistic male friend puts their heart and soul (I’m not making this up, some people are just sad) into trying to make you feel bad for identifying as a feminist and you just couldn’t care less, you’re significant. Every time your supposedly modern boyfriend is egotistical but also shit deep in his own insecurities about you so he tries to control you and you remind him who the hell he actually is (sometimes that doesn’t work – please dump him), you’re significant. Every time some guy – who clearly also has the wrong idea about whoever the hell he is – calls you a slut for doing the exact same thing he did and you delete his number (or some version of this on a dating app) even before he’s out of sight, you’re significant. Every time literally anyone gives you an opinion about your own self that you didn’t remotely ask for and you tell them to mind their own business (maybe not as politely), you’re significant. And last, but definitely not the least, every time you wake up in the morning and drag your highly caffeinated self to class to learn something that’ll help you achieve your career goals someday, you’re significant.

Happy International Women’s Day to all the great young women, alongside our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and every other woman that inspires us to work harder. Never change your views and opinions no matter how unconventional they are because “society” honestly only is as much a part of your life as you make it. Those who mind won’t matter and those who matter won’t mind. You do you!

Author: Manaar Sadida, a high school graduate from William Carey Academy, on the verge of adulthood, and a feminist (“a person who believes in the equality of all genders,” for all you ignorant sexists) who calls a spade a spade and absolutely despises people with double standards (hypocrites). 

Facebook Challenges: As Useless As the Dorne Storyline in “Game of Thrones”

In our modern-day society, Facebook has become a huge part of our lives. Starting from my chauffer to my nani, EVERYONE is on it. Well, why wouldn’t they be? Facebook has become such a huge platform now that you pretty much have access to everything through it. Whether it be online shopping, breaking news, food places, or major upcoming events, Facebook has all of it to offer.

Amidst all the pros of Facebook, obviously there are a few cons as well. The most recent one that has caught my eye is probably related to the initial purpose of Facebook. Yes, I’m talking about the “3 names”/ “negative thing”/ “compliment” challenges. Now, you may wonder why I include the compliment challenge in this, since compliments are supposedly a positive thing, right? That’s debatable when you’re fake as fuck, but more on that later.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I myself have liked/commented on my friends’ posts regarding these. I was fairly honest in my comments, and I believe I got fairly honest replies to my comments too. Sadly, not everything I read besides my comments were genuine, and some of these I can even say that I knew for a fact were full of utter crap.

Let’s start with the “Like my status and I’ll message you 3 names to comment on” challenge. Uhm okay, it’s good to see that people have taken ways to get rid of boredom another step further with this. Never mind that. So, this challenge was initially meant to get rid of certain curiosities the person who posted the status may have had (if they still have them, my deepest condolences). But then, it either ended up going nowhere (again, condolences) or it ended up further than your bitchy mind may have ever imagined. I myself had the misfortune of receiving a few “What did I ever do to you?” type messages. Well, if you really didn’t have any trouble figuring out that I was talking about you, then don’t you think that’s where the problem lies and you should just embrace the truth about yourself instead of coming at me? Look up Tyrion Lannister’s quote about this for inspiration, seriously.

Then we have the “Comment your name and I’ll say something negative about you” challenge. Now, this is one I wasn’t a part of in any way whatsoever, because who the fuck are you to openly point out my flaws? The reason I emphasize “openly” is because you may think I’m contradicting myself, considering what I said about the first challenge, but I’m really not. If everything I said in my comment during the first challenge is something I’ve already said to your face, then there is no reason for you to consider it an insult, since it’s anonymous. In this challenge though, you are encouraging unnecessary humiliation, and don’t you think there’s enough negativity in the world already? We are all only human, and you’re damn right that there are negative things about us, but there’s no need to publicly promote that. Have some love, jeez.

Lastly, there’s the “Comment your name and I’ll give you a compliment” challenge. This one was completely fine as long as it was confined to friends spreading love. Unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect, and that confinement lasted shorter than Justin Bieber’s boner. Weird people you only know because you either went to the same school, or one of your close friends knows them started commenting their names. I mean, how are you supposed to compliment someone you barely know? You just tell them that, right? Wrong. You give them a fake compliment like the kiss-ass you are. I mean, that’s what everyone went by, I’m simply describing it.

Long story short, these challenges may have initially been “fun,” but they very quickly became nothing but pathetic. Just do your homework, tbh. Also, who comes up with these things anyway? Like no, seriously, WHO? If you’re reading this, which I highly doubt, a little more creativity next time, yeah? Yeah. Peace.

Author: Manaar Sadida, a high school graduate from William Carey Academy, on the verge of adulthood, and a feminist (“a person who believes in the equality of all genders,” for all you ignorant sexists) who calls a spade a spade and absolutely despises people with double standards (hypocrites). 

Fathers’ Day: An Open Letter to Abbu

Somewhere between “Abbu, amake eta kine dao please” and “Abbu, eta ekhon nah kinle’o cholbe,” I grew up. Or so I think. My father is someone who isn’t totally ecstatic about this day due to the whole “American vibe” of it, as some fathers tend to be. Despite that, every year, my brother and I make an effort to celebrate it with him in some small way or the other, and this is only a tiny contribution to that gesture. First things first – What do our fathers mean to us? What do they signify in our lives? For some of us, they are our confidante, or the fulfiller of all our downright bratty wishes. For some, they are the lecturer we occasionally (trying to be generous, here) hate listening to, or the benchmark of qualities we someday hold our significant others by. For others, fathers are their inspiration and moral compass, or the soft-hearted individual they go to ask permission from when their mothers say no. And for the rest, fathers are simply someone they terribly miss and would give anything to be by their sides again. Unfortunately, sometimes some people feel this way about their fathers despite living under the same roof. My father to me is some of these things, and more. Abbu, you are an outstanding individual. You go out of your way to be generous and encouraging towards everyone around you. You cherish your loved ones to the point that you sometimes spoil them. You try not to hurt people’s feelings, but at the same time, without sugarcoating anything. Let me tell you that to me, that is a paradox. You work hard despite being lazy at times. Again, paradox. You despise huge social gatherings reeking of small talk, but you have innumerable friends who are thankful for you. You make everything you take up your own, whether it be a sport or public speaking. You are overprotective and anxious at times, but let me confess to you today that I understand that all that comes only from a place of love. Lastly, in a society like ours, you are miles away from being the chauvinistic man who differentiates between his son and daughter, and that counts for something. I’m sure you’ve noticed the pattern of a few negative things by now, but I am your wife’s daughter and I have to be realistic. Nobody is perfect, and all of these are things that make you the loveable man that you are. To conclude, I would like to apologize for the times I was too busy boosting my ego, instead of accepting my mistakes. I would like to apologize for the times I have hurt you, and I promise you that it has always been unknowingly. I would like to apologize for the times I fell short in making you proud, despite you always maintaining my pride in being your daughter. Thank you for being the dramatic yet caring father that you are. Thank you for always catering to all my wants and needs. Thank you for letting me grow up. Thank you for the hard work you and Ammu have put in together at making our family what it is today. Thank you for being my father, in all the right senses of that word.

Author: Manaar Sadida, a high school graduate from William Carey Academy, on the verge of adulthood, and a feminist (“a person who believes in the equality of all genders,” for all you ignorant sexists) who calls a spade a spade and absolutely despises people with double standards (hypocrites). 

Impact Report | rt Advantage | Responsible Citizenship

Citizenship is a concept that is having a growing influence day by day on the average people. From the greek concept of citizenship, we have come a long way of democratization where most of us are part of some state system as its citizen. But, Citizenship offers its perks in exchange for some responsibilities. And most of the citizens aren’t aware of this responsibility nor do they have many methods of getting to understand these responsibilities. To shed light on this and for our future generation of citizens, Reflective Teens Organized Their 4th-day Online session of RT Advantage, a series of sessions for everyone on “Responsible Citizenship” on 5th May 2020 from 9.30 PM. The session was conducted by Mohammad Abdullah Al Kaiser, Founding Admin of Desperately Seeking Chittagong and Founder of Team Chittagong and Hosted by Hasan Habib and Miskatul Islam, respective members of Reflective Teens.

Throughout the session, the expert speaker gave us a crystal clear idea about the very concept of modern citizenship. He talked about the growing concept of it and the impact of various factors such as the internet, generational trends on the idea of citizenship. Furthermore, he went on to give us explanations and examples of responsible citizenship through his experience of running voluntary organizations and also public help groups. He also shared his optimistic views regarding the future of Bangladesh in terms of citizenship, how active and healthy politics can change a country and how the youth should be more proactive in its approach to state matters. The queries of the audience were also entertained and the entire idea of citizenship was appreciated by them.

In conclusion, the entire session garnered 1.6 thousand views and the audience was as interactive as they were enlightened about such a concept that affects everyone. One of the audiences, an O level candidate stated, “The session was very enlightening. The speaker was amazing and the interactivity of the session was appreciated as well, and our future citizens need more conversations like this”. Another viewer, an HSC candidate, stated, “I simply learned a lot from this session, where the main focus is us, the future citizens. And it was worth the time and Reflective Teens should provide more content like this. It was a fruitful session by Reflective Teens and we are open to more amazing sessions like this one.”

Author: Hasan Habib and Mishkatul Islam

Impact Report | rt Advantage | Safe Internet for All

The Internet has become an important platform for almost every mode of communication and the number of internet users is increasing as the days pass by. Moreover, during this lockdown, almost everything is being accomplished by using the internet including online classes and working from home. However, due to the rising use of the internet, crimes in the virtual world is also increasing. People know that whenever they face any threat in the real world, they need to seek help from the police but they often face problem in understanding the ways to deal with cyber-crimes. Keeping all these in mind, reflective teens organized their 3rd day of the online session of rt advantage about ‘Cyber Security’ on May 4, 2020, Monday from 9.30 pm. The session was conducted by an expert in the respective field, Zifran Islam, cybersecurity expert of cyber 71 and hosted by Nuzaba Tasannum, program coordinator of rt and Tasnim Bin Mahfuz, executive member of rt.

During the session, the expert speaker gave a complete concept of the term, cybersecurity. He discussed the do’s and don’ts of the virtual world, how to stay safe and avoid the threats of the cyber realm. Furthermore, he discussed the importance of cybersecurity at an individual level. He further explained that even not having personal information like credit card number does not mean that the individual is safe from cyber threats. He explained all the possible security threats including commercialization of information, phishing (the process where the hacker redirect the user to their website to steal credentials), hacking, social engineering (when someone steals a user’s account by regularly interacting with them to find probable passwords), scam sites, cyberbullying, misinformation and rumours as well as the probable solutions to these problems and seeking help from the law and order system regarding this. He also answered several questions from the audience related to the safety of using zoom, why the users need to check every time before granting permission to install an app etc.

To sum up, the 1-hour long session which was viewed more than 2.7 thousand times gained huge praise from the audience. One of them, a 12 standard student said, “To be honest, I joined the session after being invited by my friend, and, I thought, why not learn something new? And I’m really satisfied with the session. It was 100% effective. I learnt so many things which I believe would help me a lot in staying safe in the cyber world.” Another student who is currently an HSC candidate said, “The speaker explained everything so nicely and clearly. We need more sessions like this in the future. Thanks to rt!” Reflective teens is always ready to organizer more fruitful sessions like this one.

Author: Nuzaba Tasannum & Tasnim Bin Mahfuz

Impact Report | rt Advantage | Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is the possession of the set of skills and knowledge which allows one to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources. It’s necessary to know properly about financial literacy to make one’s life better financially. If people truly understand the way that financial system work, it will help them to plan for the future, to meet financial goals, to get the most of their income, overall it provides life skills on improving many areas of life -relationships, careers, hobbies and home life.

In the current condition when people are sitting at home, it’s very important to gain a broad knowledge of this context. Therefore, rt organized a session to make people mostly the students more concern about financial literacy on its 2nd day of rt Advantage Live Session, 3rd May 2020. The session was conducted by sir Ali Haider Khan Tonmoy, author of “অর্থবিজ্ঞানের হাতেখড়ি” and hosted by Ruthmila Haider Chowdhury and Nubaha Tahannum, executive members of rt.

During this one hour session, our expert shared a lot of knowledge including his own life experience on this object. First, he gave a clear concept about the importance of financial literacy in our day to day life. Also, he shared some basic ideas on investment on a project, emergency fund, a students personal money management etc. which everyone needs to know. He inspired all to maintain a personal budget. Besides, he shared his thought on how one could get out from the economic downturn after the corona epidemic. He told the students not to lose their morale and to do some productive work after this situation to recover their own economic imbalance.

The purpose of this session was to give a wide idea of financial literacy to the audience. An audience, a first-year university student said, “I joined the session because I found the topic very interesting and it was worth attending. I have learned many effective matters.” Another student from class 11 said, “The session was very educative. I enjoyed it.” Also, an HSC candidate as a spectator said, “To me, the best part of the session was the importance of a budget. How it can ensure financial stability I have got to know from this session.”  They are hoping for a more effective session from rt in future.

Author: Ruthmila Haider Chy & Nubaha Tahannum