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A Football Player Hit His Wife On Video. America Saw It. And Now America's Telling Her What To Do.

There is certainly a lot of speculation going on about Janay Rice. She's spoken her piece through ESPN, and of course I have formed my own sense of what is going on with her situation. But I'm not here to tell you my opinion on that. Because she spoke her piece. Who am I to tell her (or the rest of you) she's wrong? Here's what I am going to tell you.

I'm a domestic violence survivor.

I see a lot of well-meaning pundits, even some I fiercely admire, booking shows and writing think-pieces on what the underlying messages and themes are in the communique Janay Rice distributed. Most of them are concerned people saying she's in denial.

I'm here to implore you all to STOP saying Janay Rice is in denial.

On top of the trauma of the originating attack and all of the confusing, heart-rending choices that come after an attack, we are stealing her narrative. We are taking a thing she is hoping to regain control of right now — the public's perception and her own definition of who she is — and we are co-opting it for our own points. We are further victimizing the (at-least-at-one-time) victim. We justify it because it seems like such a great opportunity to raise awareness for other survivors. I agree with that tactic when it comes to media-shaming abusers.


It absolutely turns my guts when I see us dissecting the survivors' hard-won attempts to regain control of their own lives and the public's perception.

I even hesitate to write this piece because in imploring you to stop, I'm becoming a part of it.

So let me not focus on her story. Let me focus on what I know myself.

When I was struggling to leave my abuser, I was facing two parallel struggles. Depending on what kind of day it was, I was looking at one or the other:

The Illusion That What I Was Doing Was Being Strong For My Family's Sake

  • On the good days, I could tell myself the struggle was keeping our relationship together — being there and being unwavering in my commitment to a troubled man, helping him get through it. I could see the desired outcome in my head: us, years later, happy and healthy and triumphant after all the challenges. I didn't see myself as abused or weak or in denial. I saw myself as a strong woman standing steadfastly by a man in turmoil who I loved. This is the shared struggle, one an abuser helps maintain by telling the victim it's the thing they're both working toward.

The Realization That The Illusion Was An Illusion And I Needed To Save Myself And Kids

  • On the bad days, that illusion would shimmer, and I could see a glimpse through the break in it that there was a much more real struggle behind it — a struggle that was mine alone, not shared with my abuser. It was the struggle for the truth about myself, about my worth, the struggle to regain my hold on objective reality outside our shared struggle.

Sometimes I would see that and it would be clear for a day, maybe two. My friends could reach me then — they could see I had a chance to get out.

And just like that, the illusion (that my commitment to a troubled man could have a happy ending) would be back. I craved the illusion, and my abuser knew it. After a couple of days of entertaining what realities and hardships lay beyond the illusion, I *wanted* him to bullshit me. I wanted to bullshit myself.

My friends, however, did something very different. What they did for me during that time was crucial. My best friend was actually a domestic abuse counselor. There was so much she could have barraged and cornered me with. She KNEW so much about abusers' patterns that she could have pinned me with the truth. She didn't. She probably knew that if she did, it would just strengthen my illusion that it was my abuser and me against the world, and make me protective of him. My friends did the very best thing they could. They didn't beg me to see how wrong I was to revert to the illusion. They just loved me. They just supported me. And they waited until my next glimpse of reality. When it came, they listened, helped me, and took me seriously even though I'd been down this road before. They didn't say, “No, we've already gone through this with you, and you're just going to go back to him in a day or two." They came to get me and help me every time I tried to leave, without judgment, without hesitation, until I was finally strong enough to do it for good.

Whatever you think about Janay Rice, you might very well be right. But you can't do anything for her, so let her have her process in peace.

Let her own her damn story.

There will be one of two outcomes. She will leave her abuser or she won't. And you don't have any say in that, no matter how much you think you know.

"But Angie," you may be saying, "I care very much and it pains me to see this happening and not be able to do anything about it."

If this case being in the media woke you up to domestic violence in a way that you hadn't been attuned to before and you feel strongly about it, I guarantee there are people within a stone's throw whose lives you CAN affect. There are things you can do:

  • Take a training course and volunteer for a hotline.
  • Become a volunteer at a shelter.
  • Be better equipped from what you've learned so you can be the very best ally possible in case you have a friend or family member who someday needs your help.

But there is nothing useful in stealing Janay Rice's narrative from her on top of everything else she's dealing with.

“Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires, but according to our powers." — Henri F. Amiel

Here is ESPN reporter Jamelle Hill's discussion of her interview with Janay Rice:

To watch the original ESPN coverage and read about Janay's experience in her words, you can go over to ESPN.

Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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