A dad explained Trump's words to his sons and made a powerful point about masculinity.

Derek Steele couldn't believe what he was hearing.

Rudy Giuliani was on CNN, trying to clean up Donald Trump's mess after a tape leaked of him making disgusting and violent comments about women.

Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images


"Men at times talk like that," Giuliani said. "This is talk, and gosh almighty, he who hasn't sinned, throw the first stone here," he added.

Steele, a Michigan dad of three, including two boys, knew he was witnessing a pivotal moment in political history.

He knew that one day his sons — now 4 and 7 years old — might come across these words on their own. If they ever did, he wanted them to understand a few things about what it means to be a man.

So he went on Facebook and wrote a letter to his sons, Ethan and Caleb, about Trump.

He figured they might be on Facebook themselves one day and would probably get a kick out of scrolling through their dad's old posts.

If and when that day comes, they'd also find this:

"Men at times talk like that." -Rudy Giuliani Caleb and Ethan:Fortunately right now you are too young to be exposed...

Posted by Derek Steele on Sunday, October 9, 2016

The letter reads (emphasis added):

"Men at times talk like that." — Rudy Giuliani

Caleb and Ethan:
Fortunately right now you are too young to be exposed to or interested in political discourse. And you are much too young to have Facebook accounts. But I imagine there will be a time in the not too distant future when you are on Facebook and we'll be friends. I also imagine that at some point after that whether out of boredom or interest you'll look back through your old man's posts for some funny stories and maybe some tidbits of wisdom — so I'll leave this right here for you.

Men do not, at times, talk like that. Sure some individuals with an X and Y chromosome like you may say something like that, but we do not call them Men. We call them perverts, abusers, or rapists — not Men. Real Men don't do that and wouldn't even think to say that.

You will hear a lot of people tell you what Men do or what it takes to 'be a Man'. The vast majority of it will be total garbage. If you want to be a Man, forget about machoism or sexual conquest. Being a Man is not about that. It's about protecting those around you who are weak or innocent — maybe a child being bullied or your own children. It's being awake at all hours of the night to warm a bottle, change a diaper, change the sheets on a wet bed or even worse. Men get puked on, pooped on, bled on and cried on. It's about being open with someone, vulnerable and accountable. It's admitting your mistakes and failures — in all its ugliness — and seeking forgiveness, over and over and over again. Real Men play dress up and enjoy tea parties and will make a complete fool out of themselves just to hear a child laugh. They cry, even weep, when the situation calls for it. They respect, honor and cherish women because all of them are human — created in the image of the Creator.

It's tough being a Man. Hardest work you'll ever do. So when someone tries to justify abhorrent words and behavior by sullying your good reputation as a Man — be angry and speak up. Don't let them define you down by their conduct. In short — be a Man.

Sincerely,
Your Dad











Steele is right about one thing: This whole "locker room talk" thing is way bigger than Trump.

The campaign's "locker room talk" excuse doesn't pass the sniff test. Dudes don't hang around talking about sexual assault. They just don't.

But Trump's words are likely a product of other harmful ideas about men that are, sadly, more widely held. That you can measure a man's worth by how many women he's slept with. That being a loving, caring parent is something only women do. That real men don't show their emotions.

We need more and more good men like Steele to speak up, so the next generation knows the most important part of being a man is being a good human.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

4-year-old New Zealand boy and police share toys.

Sometimes the adorableness of small children is almost too much to take.

According to the New Zealand Police, a 4-year-old called the country's emergency number to report that he had some toys for them—and that's only the first cute thing to happen in this story.

After calling 111 (the New Zealand equivalent to 911), the preschooler told the "police lady" who answered the call that he had some toys for her. "Come over and see them!" he said to her.

The dispatcher asked where he was, and then the boy's father picked up. He explained that the kids' mother was sick and the boy had made the call while he was attending to the other child. After confirming that there was no emergency—all in a remarkably calm exchange—the call was ended. The whole exchange was so sweet and innocent.

But then it went to another level of wholesome. The dispatcher put out a call to the police units asking if anyone was available to go look at the 4-year-old's toys. And an officer responded in the affirmative as if this were a totally normal occurrence.

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