10 The Knight Times Opinion Time’s Up Movement making itself heard nationwide ELLIOTT JONES Staff Writer In this new age of Hollywood, the Harvey Weinstein scandal brought a wave of fear and sadness but also courage and strength for those around the country and the globe. After more than 50 women spoke out about their experiences with sexual assault and abuse involving this horrible man, the Me Too movement sparked bravery in men and women from all over as victims shared their stories of abuse in the workplace and at home. As the entire world was watching not only the Weinstein Scandal but also the Me Too movement unfold, many women began wondering how they could change the balance of power in which they were living and how they could stop sexual harassment once and for all. On January 1, with 300 women in tow, the Time’s Up movement began. Started by Shonda Rhimes, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman, and America Ferrera, the Time’s Up movement is a means for powerful women of Hollywood, tired of having to live in fear of either losing their jobs or being blacklisted, to speak out against their harassers. With a strong legal defense team behind it, Time’s Up is calling on women who have been harassed to stand up and fight back. While abuse and harassment are one aspect of this movement, another is to fight against gender inequality. Even today, many women around the world suffer from unequal pay. According to the Economic Policy Institute, white women are only paid 81 cents to every white man’s dollar; Asian women earn 88 cents, African American women 65 cents, and Hispanic women only 59 cents. This staggering gap in pay, especially among women and men in the same profession with the same level of expertise, is unbelievable and needs to end. For example, Mark Wahlberg and Emma Stone are Hollywood’s highest paid actors. While Wahlberg makes $68 million per year, Stone only makes $26 million. That is a $42 million difference! How is that acceptable? Both have won several awards, ranging from an Oscar to a Critics’ Choice. Again, how is that even possible? Even in its first three months, Time’s Up has already deemed itself incredibly successful. According to The Atlantic, the movement has raised more than $14 million in order to provide legal support to women and men who have experienced abuse and neglect in the workplace. This number continues to grow daily. The Golden Globes also illustrated the power this movement has not only on everyday people but also on the celebrities of Hollywood. In a stand of solidarity, the women wore all black to acknowledge and stand with victims while the men showed their support by sporting the Time’s Up pin. This event showed widespread support. Host Seth Meyers poked fun at the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and other celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, spoke about their own abuse. Elisabeth Moss promised Margaret Atwood, poet and author of The Handmaid’s Tale, that the women and men in 2018 would stand up against the inequality and injustice of the world. Since the Time’s Up movement was announced on the first day of this year, I have been in full support of it. I constantly get asked why I support something that cannot be fixed overnight. My answer to this question is always this: I support the Time’s Up movement because I am tired of seeing women getting hurt by the injustice of this world. They are afraid of what others will think of them when they explain that they were assaulted or abused. While I have not Self-driving cars are right around the corner. Are we ready? ISABELLA GOODMAN Staff Writer The future is quickly approaching and autonomous cars are becoming less of a pipe dream and more of a reality. In fact, Toyota vowed to spend nearly $3 billion on the software to self-driving cars, joining the likes of Tesla and Uber. As self-driving cars are getting closer to becoming a normal addition to the road, many are left wondering about the ethics of driverless cars. There are two facets to understanding the ethics of this newfound phenomenon: how cars would prioritize passengers in an accident and the people who would be out of work once autonomous cars become the norm. Many ethicists have started to contemplate the moral dilemmas that come with self-driving cars, as they relate to human life. Chris Gerdes and Patrick Lin, professors at Stanford and Cal Poly, brought philosophers and engineers together to deliberate the issue. During the meeting, they gave several scenarios and tested the code that the cars had implemented, trying to gauge whether the car would prioritize humans over parked cars. Whereas humans have the ability to reasonably judge and think critically about situations, cars are not able to think; they are only able to do what they are programmed to do. Cars also cannot act in grey areas the same way that humans can, such as speeding in emergencies. In no-win scenarios, programmers and ethicists would have to deal with making the difficult choice regarding human lives. One example of this is the infamous Trolley problem, in which one must decide between letting a train run over five people or pulling a lever and only personally had this abuse firsthand, it hurts me more than anything to hear about those that have had to deal with this, some for years. Women are just as powerful, just as strong, and just as smart as men, and they should be praised for it. We have lived far too long in the shadows. It is time for us killing one. Utilitarianism states that the answer is obvious; it’s a simple equation in order to do the least amount of damage. There are always caveats, though, and the consequences of these caveats must be dealt with. It is not about killing one or killing five; it is trying to understand if the passenger should be prioritized or other drivers, or if human welfare should be optimized overall. Many are left wondering what the car’s responsibility is, as it cannot to stand up to abuse, demand equality, and pave the way for future women. Of course this is not going to happen overnight; I know that. But even a small action is the force behind a bigger, more powerful effect, and I want to be a part of that. I hope others agree. The Song Suffragettes, Nashville’s all-female singer-songwriter collective, has taken on the current hot topic of gender inequality and sexual misconduct against women with a new song titled “Time’s Up.” Proceeds from the sale of the song will benefit Time’s Up, the organization that created a unified call from women in entertainment to end discrimination, harassment and abuse of women everywhere. Image and information courtesy of musicrow.com. Autonomous cars are causing ethicists to question who should be responsible in an accident with a robot. If both vehicles are self-driven, who would be legally obligated to pay for damages? This image illustrates the situation people find themselves in should they be riding in an autonomous vehicle. Image courtesy of spectrum.ieee.com. make decisions that would seem obvious to humans. Whatever solution is implemented, it will be in some way flawed and accidents will still happen. That is not the only ethical problem associated with autonomous cars. Another problem is the displaced jobs when selfdriving cars become the norm. There are over three million truck drivers in the United States. Taxi, Uber, and bus drivers account for another million. The depletion of jobs due to technological advances is not modern, but making over four million jobs obsolete is major. The full implementation of selfdriving cars would likely be slow due to regulation, but despite that news, what would happen to the displaced workers? There is an ethical problem of the worth of self-driving cars if it means such massive job loss. It is important to remember that this technology is still in its infancy, yet 250 million “autonomous” vehicles are planned to be on the road by 2020. The economic benefits also need to be addressed, as it should generate over one trillion dollars to the economy. Driverless cars will also decrease accidents, and make the roads safer. If we go about this the correct way, it will completely change the way we think about transportation.
Opinion The Knight Times 11 New children’s Facebook App could be counterproductive LAUREN PORTER Editor-in-Chief It is not a secret that social media is addicting. Facebook, the largest social media platform, has expanded its user base to nearly everyone. There are 1.86 billion active Facebook users, and most are old enough to make educated decisions when dealing with social media addiction. However, Facebook has recently launched a new social media app targeted at children, who are not capable of appropriately handling such a complex platform. The Messenger Kids app is designed to be a safe video chat and messaging app for children 6-12 years old. While it may seem like a smart idea to steer kids away from dangerous, unfiltered Facebook content, the app actually is more harmful to children than many realize. The first issue with the app is the age range. Six-year-old and twelve-year-old children do not have the same maturity and do not consume the same content. Having middle school children interact with other children barely out of kindergarten presents a potentially harmful environment for very young children who have not matured. Furthermore, the lower end of the age range is simply too young to be using social media in a safe, intelligent way. Children of this age do not have a firm grasp on the importance of privacy online and do not understand the permanent nature of online videos and photos. While the lower end of the age range may not understand the full effects of social media, older children increasingly use many social media platforms they are not allowed to use. A BBC study found that about 75% of 10-12-year-old children with access to social media use the apps regularly. These children ignore the age limit of most apps, which is 13, by entering a false birthdate. The survey found the most popular site children under 13 use is Facebook, so it is logical that to decrease the number of underage children on the app, Facebook would launch a kids app. However, the Messenger Kids app should have a tighter age range, possibly from 10-12. While the age is just one possible concern for parents, another dangerous possibility is the potential for increased bullying on the app. While cyber bullying has been a problem on social media for years, this app opens the platform for cyber bullying to younger audiences who may have never experienced online bullying. All children, especially children as young as six years old, should not have to endure the pain and sadness of cyber bullying. Child development advocates recognize the potential of harm this app could cause, and they are currently trying to discontinue the app. According to CNN, over a dozen organizations and 100 health experts wrote a letter to Facebook advocating for the removal of the app. In the letter they identified all of the issues with the app and the difficulty for parents to raise their children in the new digital age. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) leads the effort against Messenger Kids, and they advocate for a digital world without exploitative marketing to kids. So far, Facebook has not addressed the problems with the app, and continues to promote unhealthy childhood development. Facebook needs to realize the influence and power they have in a child’s life and hopefully they will discontinue the app to create a safer childhood environment. Gun control must be addressed CAMI PYNE Contributing Editor Sitting in class and seeing “At least 17 dead in school shooting” terrifies me. Learning more about the Florida High School shooting did not make me feel any better. I felt the chills go down my spine as I listened to Emma Gonzalez’s groundbreaking speech that called for one thing after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and we need to listen. There were at least thirty-nine tips given to local police about shooter Nickolas Cruz, warnings about his being a violent, mentally ill individual with intent to harm himself and others. Even his quote, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter” posted on Youtube was a clear warning. Yet, nothing was done to prevent him from buying a weapon of war and murdering 14 students under the age of 16 and three adults. These people were not all people Nickolas knew; they were freshmen at the school he was expelled from for “threatening” students’ lives. After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, San Bernardino shooting, Las Vegas massacre, Orlando slaughter, and Sandy Hook horrors, where does it end? It starts with us. If we continue to allow the sale of semi-automatic weapons of war, we are saying, “My right to own a gun outranks your students right to live” (Emma Gonzalez). But what can we do to change this? We can start by having conversations, about preventing people with severe mental illnesses from purchasing a firearm. We can talk about closing the gun show loophole, which allows the legal purchase of a firearm to any paying person, even a thirteenyear-old (ABC News). Most importantly, if you see something, say something. Call your legislators, call your representatives, and do something. To start combating this problem, let’s require a mental health evaluation for anyone planning to purchase a firearm, close the gun show loophole, and start a ban on bump-stocks and semi-automatic and automatic weapons. A complete and adequate mandatory gun safety course in order to obtain a license would not hurt either. The next steps in all of this would be to guarantee the safety of our students, citizens, and every American by making America Safe Again. Facebook’s Messenger Kids app attempts to offer an alternative to regular Facebook use, but the new app does not address an appropriate age range. Photo courtesy of newsroom.fb.com. The Knight Times Head of School Ned Smith Episcopal High School 4650 Bissonnet, Bellaire, TX 77450 713-512-3400 Editor-in-Chief Lauren Porter Assistant Head of School Nancy Laufe Eisenberg Dean of Arts Jay Berckley Visual Arts Chair Kate Philbrick Publications Coordinator David Framel Photojournalism Instructor Jaime Sonnier Photojournalism Editor Miranda Greenwalt Managing Editor Sydney Hutchins Contributing Editor Cami Pyne Staff Writers Ellie Ragiel Isabel Young Isabella Goodman Angel Stringer Sophia Henry Preston Witt Patrick Bayouth Elliott Jones Daniel Davis Gabrielle Ducote Photographers Teagan Ashworth, Chris Castro Janecki, Cara Kennedy, Lane McCool, Mason Morris, Parker Nickerson, Julia Toups, Trinity Watts, Hannah Windle, Rohan Asthana, Phoebe Crow, Layton Debes, Caroline Fertitta, Elliott Jones, Robert Mason, Taylor Ranucci, James Henry Ray, Stockton Shaffer, Madison Stanke, Sophie Thomas, Sasha Vermeil, Rachel Boeker, Sydney Bosarge, Kaveinga Davis, Will Davis, Spencer Donley, Cydne Harrell-Malveaux, Amber Hatfield, Alexandra Herrera, Sadie Jensen, Elliott Leathers, Chloe Masterson, Luke Pugh, Ethan Tuckwood, Luke White, Alan Ayanegui, Christina Betti, Isabel Frasier, Sophia Pamphilis, Margaret Runnels, Sophia Wayne, David Bebczuk, Sydney Cooper, Alex Deutsch, Elizabeth Anne Charbonnet, Sophia Haugh, Sadie Jensen, Lindsey Little, Anna McLauchlin, Julia Nasser, Chandler Onyekwelu, Kate Peterkin, Lexi Sagers, Madelyn Scholtes, Amelia Traylor, Celine Waxham Photo courtesy of voanews.com. The Knight Times is a product of students in the Episcopal High School newspaper class, who are solely responsible for its creation and editorial content. The opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of the Episcopal Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, and staff. Published ten times a year, The Knight Times is a non-profit educational tool. The staff encourages the submission of letters, editorials, and story ideas from the community but reserves the right to edit and/or use said articles.