A powerful, poignant post about men's role in the #MeToo movement went viral.
Actor Jim Beaver. Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images.

In a heart-wrenching Facebook post, actor Jim Beaver ("Supernatural," "Deadwood") described being molested by a superior while serving in the U.S. military. But, as he poignantly noted, the #MeToo movement wasn't created for people like him. And that's OK.

The #MeToo hashtag has flooded Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in recent days as millions of women have shared their personal experiences with sexual harassment and assault, adding "#MeToo" in their posts as an act of solidarity. The hashtag went viral after dozens of survivors came forward, alleging movie mogul Harvey Weinstein had harassed, assaulted, and raped them.

On Facebook, Beaver explained why, even though male survivors of sexual assault like himself certainly deserve to be heard, chiming in on this movement specifically is not necessarily the time or place.



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In his post, Beaver first describes his own painful experiences overcoming sexual assault.

"As a young Marine, I was repeatedly molested by a high-ranking officer, a Navy doctor who used his position at first to fool a naïve teenager into believing what was happening was standard procedure," the actor wrote. Although Beaver was fortunate enough to be able to rid himself of the situation, he didn't report the officer:


"I often wonder what would have become of me had I found it necessary to report him. Would I have been believed? Would my military prospects have suffered? Would I have found myself in danger? All these questions came to me afterward, because I was fortunate enough to escape the situation without having to put my enlisted-man word up against that of an admiral."

Then, Beaver nailed why you can't separate gender from the overarching issue of sexual assault.

"As a man, I personally cannot, despite my own experience, quite bring myself to join in with a 'Me, too,' even though I see some men doing so," he wrote:

"I respect and support any man who has been sexually misused or sexually bullied. But what seems to have taken the world, at long last, by storm in the past few days is most prominently an issue for women, because while many men have been victimized in such manner, the painful truth is that we live in a world where women are *expected* to put up with such things."

And then he delivered the kicker: "The clear likelihood is that had the current occupant of the White House been caught bragging to a TV reporter about molesting men," Beaver wrote, "he would never have become president. But since it was just women, well, boys will be boys."

The actor touched on a vital point: Sexual harassment against women is so commonplace, it's more surprising if a woman doesn't experience it at some point in her lifetime.

Women are overwhelmingly the victims of sexual violence in the U.S. Research suggests roughly 1 in 6 women has survived an attempted or completed rape, while 1 in 3 women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. The issue cuts through racial and social lines, too, as people of color, transgender individuals, and those with disabilities (among other marginalized groups) are at increased risks of experiencing sexual violence.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.

To be sure, sexual violence targeting men and boys is a true concern; roughly 14% of rape victims are male, and researchers are worried that figure could be higher, as sexual violence against boys and men remain under-reported. In the wake of the Weinstein allegations, celebrities like Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek have spoken out about their own experiences overcoming sexual abuse and harassment; they certainly deserve to be heard too.

But the #MeToo hashtag was meant to shine a light on the alarming frequency women are forced to endure this type of inexcusable behavior. It shouldn't take a flood of Facebook posts from women vulnerably recapping their experiences of sexual assault for the world to finally care. We need to listen when they tell us their stories the first time — not 30 years later.

Beaver capped off his viral post by noting what he will do instead of chiming in using the #MeToo hashtag.

"Since I'm not comfortable taking on what seems most appropriately a rallying cry for women standing up against a repugnant status quo, I won't say, "Me, too,'" he wrote. "I'll say, 'I believe you.'"

Believing is just the start. Men shouldn't sit paralyzed at their computers, scrolling through #MeToo stories, wondering how to help. They should donate to organizations making real change. They should start having conversations with other men, reiterating that, no, "locker room talk" isn't harmless banter — it often excuses sexual violence. They should learn about the intersectional issues that affect women and other marginalized groups. They should commit to caring about sexual assault long after the rest of the world forgets about a viral hashtag.

Because, guys, this really is on us.

Need help? You can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline right now at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or learn more here.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."