Dating a French man during the Charlie Hebdo attacks
I have never believed myself to be strongly associated with a particular culture. Probably because I am what some may call a mutt: a quarter Ukrainian, Italian, German, and English. I am often jealous of my boyfriend for his French history and deep roots in his culture. He was born in Paris, raised in France, and his ancestry dates back hundreds of years. He loves French food, politics, wine, literature, and everything you can imagine that is French. He even swore he only loved French women until he met me. I think I should be quite proud of that. But most importantly, he loves the French people. This attack on Charlie Hebdo really hurt him and his country; therefore, it has hurt me. This attack is not just about two extremists having revenge on a satirical journal. It is about the growing audacity of a disease which is trying to degrade the foundations of human rights. It is about an assault on the French culture of self-expression and humor. I know that sometimes his sarcastic nature can annoy me, but I will fight for him and his people to have the right to speak freely. I will fight for Ukrainians, Italians, Germans, the British, and Americans to maintain their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In these moments, we should acknowledge the strength of the French and their fight for solidarity. However, we must also build strength in our own countries. We may not be French, but we are human and we must all unite to cure the world.