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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.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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You could say Marine biologist, divemaster and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Erika Woolsey is a bit of a coral reef whisperer, one who brings her passion for ocean science to folks on dry land in a fresh, innovative and fun new way using virtual reality.

Images courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Her non-profit, The Hydrous, combines science, design, and technology to provide one-of-a-kind experiential education about marine life. In 2018, Hydrous produced “Immerse 360”, a virtual underwater journey through the coral reefs of Palau, with Dr. Woolsey as a guide.

Viewers got to swim with sharks, manta rays and sea turtles while exploring gorgeous aquatic landscapes and learning about the crucial role our oceans play—all from 360° and 3D footage captured by VRTUL 2 underwater storytelling VR cameras.


Hydrous then expanded on the idea to develop two more exciting augmented adventures using Meta Quest 2 technology: “Expedition Palau,” a live event where audiences can share a “synchronized immersive reality experience”, which includes live narration from Woolsey, and “Explore,” a “CGI experience” to enjoy the magic of the ocean at home.


www.youtube.com

“I’ve been extremely fortunate to explore and study coral reefs around the world,” Woolsey said, sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see these important habitats decay so rapidly while the latest scientific reports did not clearly lead to widespread compassionate action.

“How do we care about something we never see or experience?” she reflected. As she discovered, virtual reality would be a powerful solution for eliciting empathy. “VR has the ability to generate presence and agency and make you feel like you’re there. It's that emotional connection that can bridge scientific discovery and public understanding”

The combination of virtual reality and the ocean’s natural breathtaking beauty is, as Woolsey puts it, a “match made in heaven” for getting people more engaged in ocean education. “When you’re floating you can look up and down and all around you…seeing a school of fish surrounding you and reefs in these cathedral-like structures. Rather than watching a video of a scientist, you get to become the scientist.”

Hydrous also has special kits to provide middle school students hands-on learning about ocean life. In addition to a journal, activity cards and a smartphone VR viewer, each kit includes lifelike 3D printed model pieces of a coral reef so that middle school students can try building their own.

These reef models even turn white when temperatures rise inside the aquarium, which mimics the real “bleaching” that corals endure when they die due to higher than normal ocean temperatures. Students really do become scientists as they figure out how to bring color back to their reef.

While it’s true that the health of our oceans affects us all, the growing threats our oceans face—pollution, overfishing, climate change—don’t always affect us on an empathetic level. Through the use of technology, Woolsey has created an innovative way to connect hearts and minds to one of the Earth’s most important resources, which can inspire real and lasting change.

“We can’t bring everybody to the ocean, but we’re finding scalable ways to bring the ocean to everyone.”

To learn more about Hydrous, click here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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