A powerful performance explores why men don't come forward after they've been raped.

Talking about being a rape survivor can be rough. Being a guy has a different set of challenges.

Kevin Kantor was 20 years old when he was raped by an acquaintance. He was 22 when he saw the guy again, who was recommended as "people you may know" by the Facebook algorithm. He saw that three friends were friends with the guy too. He saw the normal life things his rapist was doing.

He decided to share his story so more men can come out and not be ashamed of surviving, in a poem called "People You May Know."


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I spoke with Kevin over chat about why he wrote this piece. He wanted to get some more nuanced things off his chest about the culture we currently live in.

Adam: What were you trying to say with this poem?

Kevin: It may not be explicitly apparent in the poem: The dominant culture that works to shame and silence male victims of sexual violence is the same pervasive rape culture that invalidates all survivors.

"The dominant culture that works to shame and silence male victims of sexual violence is the same pervasive rape culture that invalidates all survivors."

Adam: Did you ever attempt to get justice?

Kevin: I didn't. I never even planned to the hospital, but I called a friend, and he drove me there despite my not wanting to. Which I'm now truly thankful for. They did an exam — I can't remember if they were really testing for anything — I never heard anything back about it.

Adam: You never heard back? Did they offer any counseling or trauma support?

Kevin: A lot of pamphlets.

Adam: Was any of it geared toward guys?

Kevin: I'd say half counseling stuff and half "if you catch something/get pregnant."

Adam: What were the major factors that made you choose not to report it?

Kevin: The real thing that deterred me from reporting was my interaction with the police.

Adam: What happened with the police?

Kevin: It's 3 a.m.-4 a.m. Two male officers — in the room with me in just my hospital gown alone — was how it started. I remember being asked if I was attacked, assaulted, or raped. And I had no idea how to answer that. When I said I didn't know, I very distinctly remember being said to, "If you don't help us we can't help you."

And I don't think I ever spoke again, or if I did, it was saying, "I don't know" or "please leave."

Adam: Had you had any training about rape counseling or prevention at that point in your life?

Kevin: When I was 19, I had undergone crisis training — I worked as a diversity mentor for my college's residence hall. That October, I had emceed our school's Take Back the Night event. It made it all the more surreal.

Adam: I presume most of those campaigns don't have a lot of support material for guys?

Kevin: No. I was scared to say the word rape. I felt like it didn't belong to me. And the part of me that has been trained in social justice knew how ridiculous that was — but I still couldn't cope with it.

Adam: And now?

Kevin: Now I know it's real for me and too many other people to not take ownership of it. Not of victimhood, but survivorship.

Adam: What's the best advice you have for people who are confronted by others who say men can't be raped or don't think it's as serious as it is?

Kevin: Part of me, perhaps a selfish part, wants people to know that my brother, Adam, is probably the biggest inspiration in my life. He has absolutely always been there when I needed him. He raised me.

When he asked me why I didn't fight back, he had no idea what saying that meant. That man loves me beyond measure. I had to realize that sometimes even the people that love you most don't know how to protect you from or deal with the aftermath of trauma, but it doesn't mean they don't love you.

Don't let other people deny the reality of your experiences and the strength you have for surviving them. And it hearkens back to my previous thought: The culture that says men can't be raped is the same one saying other survivors were asking for it.

If you or a loved one have survived a sexual assault, you can learn the facts and get support at RAINN.

If you'd like to see more of Kevin's work, you can Like him on Facebook.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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