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Antonella Stephenson - Standing Up: Respect

“Esteem for or a sense of the worth of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great ******* for her judgment.” – Webster Definition

Antonella photoIt is a seven letter word with so many different meanings to different people. You hear it everywhere, you see it everywhere…the word is everywhere and quite famously known in Aretha Franklin hit song. Yep you guessed it the word is “RESPECT”!!!

To me when you respect someone you are valuing that person and respecting who they are as a person.

Everyone has different opinions on what they think respect is and who they think deserves their respect. There are so many different things which can influence and manipulate people’s opinions and actions. Whether it is characters’ behaviour in movies or TV shows, what they see around them or lyrics in their favourite song. I don’t think it’s a lot to ask for, just a little respect.

Whether that is respect, between an employee and their manager or a mother and her daughter, between a boyfriend and a girlfriend or even between two friends. Respect is something which is sometimes taken for granted or abused.

A saying I hear quite often is you need to earn respect, it is not just given. Although in some cases this may be true if you want to be given a promotion you gain respect in the job from your manager by showing your potential. However between a girlfriend and a boyfriend you have committed yourself to that situation and you’ve committed yourself to respecting that person; they go hand in hand with each other. It is like an unsaid mutual agreement. There are so many relationships nowadays where there is no respect involved.

You hear boys and girls in the playground shouting abuse at each other and girls getting called, “slags”. It is not just stranger to stranger either. For example, a boyfriend might see a text in his girlfriend’s phone from another boy automatically he reverts to calling her names, to pushing her, to hurting her, where is the respect in that situation? A boy might want to go see his friends instead of seeing his girlfriend – next thing she’s going crazy and accusing him of cheating, take his phone away, hit him. Again, where is the respect in that situation? These are just a few of so many different scenarios which could be avoided if there was RESPECT in the relationship

Do not get what I am saying wrong, there are guys who do respect girls and treat them right. They need to be championed for it.

At university throughout my three years I saw so many girls get treated with no respect and the same with guys what happened to the days when it was a good thing to be in a relationship and it was all smiles no tears? It all comes down to not only respecting the other person but respecting yourself. It’s not always that easy but in some circumstances it can be.

I think it comes with age, when you are younger its harder to make proper judgements of what’s right and wrong but if certain ideals and stereotypes are challenged it may be a different story.

I could go on with the different examples of when RESPECT is needed but I don’t want to bore you. Nothing will change if nobody does anything about it so stand up for something- stand up for RESPECT – Stand up for being YOU!

Hi my name is Antonella Stephenson and I have been interning at Tender. I am a recent graduate. I was interested in Tender after interviewing Doireann [Tender’s Campaign Manager] for My Dissertation on Teen Dating Abuse and was really amazed at the work they do and wanted to get involved.

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