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A short comic strip explains how our double standard about feelings hurts men, too.

Let's talk about men's feelings — more specifically, how they're not allowed to feel them.

A short comic strip explains how our double standard about feelings hurts men, too.

Let's talk about "manfeels." Also known as "bromotions."

Like when your fantasy team falls into last place, except different.

Isn't it weird how we always have to add masculine prefixes to things that aren't traditionally considered to be "masculine"? Sure, you could say it's meant to be funny or ironic. But is it always? And even then ... why do we have to go out of our way to create new words for completely normal things that guys do or feel, and that they've done and felt for centuries?


This great comic from Everyday Feminism explores the ways in which we oppress men's emotions.

The comic is called "The Media Is Lying to You About Men's Emotions, And It's Really F*cked Up – Here's a Healthier View," and it's by an artist who goes by Robot Hugs, which is kind of like dude-hugs but with less muscle-y pats on the back and more cold, unfeeling machinery.

Ironically, the cold, unfeeling nature of robot hugs is the exact problem with men's emotions that this comic talks about.

Hey, whoa, wait, before we continue ... men's emotions? On a site called Everyday Feminism? Actually, yeah.

There are some corners of the Internet that unfortunately conflate the idea of feminism with the oppression of men, but that couldn't be further from the truth. The grievances of those who champion for "men's rights" — issues like custody, paternity leave, and the high frequency of men engaged in dangerous jobs, such as military or construction — are actually symptoms of the larger systems that feminism aims to dismantle.

Just a heads up: I'm gonna be talking in really simplistic terms about the ridiculous way we usually talk about “dude" things and “lady" things. There is obviously more complexity within and beyond this, including lots of other layers about gender and sex and sexual orientation in general, but that's for next week's class.

The comic is about allowing people of all genders to access the full range of emotions involved in the human experience.

Think about it this way: all those problems I mentioned above? They're directly related to the idea of traditional roles, where men fulfill the hard "masculine" duties like hunting, protection, and physical labor, while women do the soft "feminine" work of nurture and caretaking.

This is what people mean when they talk about "patriarchy." When societal pressures force men and women into binary opposition, it creates a system of unfair double standards where an act of self-expression is interpreted differently depending on which gender role society assigns to us.

Or, to put it simply, if you're a man and you express anger, you're treated differently than if you're a woman who expresses anger, because of the way we perceive different emotions based on gender role stereotypes.

The comic lays this problem out with some really clear examples.

That's dudes on the left and the ladies on the right, with the shared emotional experience in the middle.

When society tries to limit and define what it means to "be a man," it implies that everything opposite — aka feminine — is wrong or bad.

This is where things start to get messy, and someone inevitably says, "But women's bodies are usually more frail!" or "But women are more emotional" which leads to "But I'm a chivalrous man and must assert my noble alpha-maleness by protecting and providing for a delicate woman!"

And hey, maybe you're not wrong about that. But you are wrong in thinking that those qualities typically perceived as "feminine" are themselves innately wrong, or somehow lesser than the stereotypically "masculine" qualities. You might not realize it, but that line of thinking has a serious effect on the language centers of your brain and the way that you perceive the world around you.

Traditional gender roles seek to confine both men and women alike, and the more we adhere to them, the more we hurt everyone.

The simple truth is that men and women and all humans alike are complex, complicated creatures, full of contradictions and inner feelings. But when men give into societal pressures to suppress their emotions (for fear of seeming too pejoratively "feminine"), those simmering feelings trapped below the surface tend to swell into something worse, which can lead to greater mental and physical damage both to themselves and to those around them.

There are some men's rights proponents who like to point to the higher rates of suicide and addiction among men, as well as the high percentage of men employed in risky and potential traumatic fields, such as military and police work.

They're right to do so (as much as it pains me to admit). But that's not the fault of feminism — it's because of toxic masculinity.

According to the World Health Organization, women are actually at greater risk for being diagnosed with a mental illness, such as depression and anxiety. But they're also way more likely than men to seek out that diagnosis in the first place — which may have something to do with those societal pressures that tell men that these emotions are feminine and, therefore, weak and should be repressed or ignored. This can lead to substance abuse problems like alcohol dependence (1 in 5 men, as opposed to 1 in 12 women) and/or suicide (nearly twice as likely in men as women). It can also lead to violence — in the home, on the streets, or in schools or movie theaters across the country.

That's not to say that men cannot be victims of violence, of course. But this same toxic masculinity that encourages men to bottle up their emotions and hide their weaknesses also tells them to feel shame when they've been raped or physically abused — both of which do happen, and both of which are tragically underreported because they are so emasculating.

So instead of telling people to "man up," let's encourage people to confidently express their masculinity in whichever way they choose.

Here's a simple test for determining whether something is masculine: If the person identifies as a man, then whatever way they choose to express that is manly. 'Nuff said.

Check out the full comic over at EverydayFeminism.com.

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Marine veteran Paul Coppola is a wonderful example of the transformational power of service dogs.

Ten years ago, he was rocked by two explosions in an attack that took the lives of 17 Marines in Afghanistan. The attack left Coppola with traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and an injured back.

Coppola didn't think his struggles warranted a service dog but after prodding from his wife, he was paired with Dobby, a four-year-old black Lab mix trained by veteran organization Operation Delta Dog.

Dobby and Paul soon became best friends and partners in life.

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via © Jakub Gojda/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021 and © Zoe Ross /Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

Two of the winners of the Comedy Pet Photo Awards.

A few weeks ago, Upworthy shared the hilarious winners of the 2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards and the winner was a well-timed shot of a monkey who appears to have hurt the family jewels on a suspension wire. (Don't worry folks, no monkeys were harmed for the awards.)

The awards were created six years ago by Tom Sullam and Paul Joynson-Hicks to promote positive awareness of animal welfare issues. The competition has been so successful, the duo decided to branch out and create the Comedy Pet Photo Awards, where photographers can submit pictures of their furry friends for a £2,000 ($2650) prize.

Donations generated by the competition go to Animal Support Angels, an animal welfare charity in the U.K.

This year's winner is Zoe Ross for "Whizz Pop," a photo of her labrador puppy Pepper who appears to be tooting bubbles.

“We never ever thought that we would win but entered the competition because we loved the idea of helping a charity just by sending in a funny photo of Pepper," Ross said in a statement. "She is such a little monkey, and very proud of herself, bringing in items from the garden and parading past you until you notice her. She is the happiest puppy we’ve ever known and completely loved to pieces.”

Here are the rest of the winners of the 2021 Comedy Pet Photo Awards.

Overall Winner: Zoe Ross "Whizz Pop," Penkridge, U.K.

© Zoe Ross /Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

Did this puppy swallow a bubble?

Best Dog Category: Carmen Cromer "Jurassic Bark," Pittsboro, North Carolina

© Carmen Cromer/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"My golden retriever, Clementine, loves to stick her face in front of the hose while I water the plants. Her expression in this photo made me think of a tyrannosaurus rex, hence the title, "Jurassic Bark." Duh nuh nuuuh nuhnuh, duh nuh nuuuh nuh nuh, dun duh duuuh nuh nuh nuh nUUUUUUhhhh." – Carmen Cromer

Best Cat Category: Kathrynn Trott "Photobomb," Ystradgynlais, U.K.

© Kathrynn Trott/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

Jeff stealing the limelight from his brother Jaffa.

Best Horse Category: Mary Ellis, "I Said 'Good Morning,'" Platte River State Park, Nebraska

© Mary Ellis/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"I like to visit the stable horses before I begin my hike at the State Park. This is the reply I received when I said 'Good morning.'" – Mary Ellis

All Other Creatures Category: Sophie Bonnefoi, "The Eureka Moment," Oxford, U.K.

© Sophie Bonnefoi/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"Cutie and Speedy are two chicks hatched from eggs placed in an incubator at home in August 2020. They spent their first few weeks indoors. In the photo, they are just over two weeks old. They were curious about everything. This is the day they discovered their own shadow. It was hilarious to see them wondering and exploring that 'dark thing' that was moving with them!" – Sophie Bonnefoi

Junior Category: Suzi Lonergan, "Sit!" Pacific Palisades, California

© Suzi Lonergan/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"Our granddaughter gave the command to sit. Beau is very obedient." – Suzi Lonergan

Pets Who Look Like Their Owners Category: Jakub Gojda, "That Was a Good One!" Czech Republic

© Jakub Gojda/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"This photo was taken by accident during the photography of my ex-girlfriend with her beloved mare. For this cheerful moment, I thank the fly that sat on the horse's nose and he instinctively shook his head." – Jakub Gojda.

Highly Commended: Chloe Beck, "Hugo the Photobomber," Walsall, U.K.

© Chloe Beck/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"This is my best friend Faith, her husband Alex, and their cheeky Sproodle, Hugo. Faith wanted a photograph to mark a special occasion—her first outing after shielding at home for 14 months. Hugo jumped into the frame at just the right moment!" – Chloe Beck

Highly Commended: Luke O'Brien, "Mumford and Chum," Coventry, U.K.

© Luke O'Brien/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"Losing the opportunity to play with my human bandmates during lockdown, Flint, my rescue dog, soon taught me that we didn't just have sharp bones in common, but musical ones, too. He soon became the perfect substitute for a collaborative stomp up at home, so much so that we felt we deserved our own band name (Muttford and Chum). With my camera set up remotely during this shoot, I think it's fair to say that the image is proof that his conviction as a performer matches my own." – Luke O'Brien.

Highly Commended: Kathryn Clark, "Wine Time," Cichester, U.K.

© Kathryn Clark/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"It's that time of day again! Little Blue enjoys it almost as much as me." – Kathryn Clark.

Highly Commended: Diana Jill Mehner, "Crazy in Love With Fall," Paderborn, Germany

© Diana Jill Mehner/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"This is Leia. As you can see, she definitely loves playing with all the leaves in autumn. It was really tricky to take this picture because you never know what the dog is going to do next." – Diana Jill Mehner.

Highly Commended: Christine Johnson, "Boing," Crosby Beach, U.K.

© Christine Johnson/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"I was busy playing with my dog on the beach and this dog came to play. I liked the shapes he was making in the air." – Christine Johnson

Highly Commended: Manel Subirats Ferrer, "Ostrich Style," Platja del Prat de Llobregat, Spain

© Manel Subirats Ferrer/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

Nuka playing hide and seek at the beach.

Highly Commended: Colin Doyle, "Nosey Neighbor," Bromsgrove, U.K.

© Colin Doyle/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"According to Ozzy, we need a new fence panel ASAP. He is fed up with Chester our nosy next door neighbor spying on him every time he has a meal." – Colin Doyle.

Highly Commended: Corey Seeman, "A Warm Spot on a Cold Day," Michigan

© Corey Seeman/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"Two of the morning regulars at the dog park are Gary (hound mix with the jacket) and Kona, one of the most chill dogs ever." – Corey Seeman.

Highly Commended: Lucy Slater, "So What?" San Diego, California

© Lucy Slater/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"This is how I like to sit!" – Vincent the cat

Highly Commended: Mollie Cheary, "Photobomb," Poole, U.K.

© Mollie Cheary/Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2021

"Bailey was so excited to see her friends, she couldn't sit still for a photo!" – Mollie Cheary

Peet Montzingo following his mom around with a trombone is delightful family entertainment.

Peet Montzingo and his mom have the most delightful relationship, as evidenced by their joint videos on Montzingo's social media platforms. And one viral video sums up the sort of fun Montzingo and his unique family engage in.

The video is a compilation of clips of Montzingo following his mom around with a trombone, making silly sound effects as she goes about doing chores and normal daily life things. It's simple and silly, which is what makes it so wholesome. People can't get enough of their gentle bantering.

Watch:

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Dolly Parton was the picture of grace in her 1977 interview with Barbara Walters.

Dolly Parton is a beloved icon whose appeal somehow bridges a diverse audience. Even people who aren't big fans of her music admire her for her kindness, philanthropy and unflappability.

Barbara Walters is a now-retired broadcast journalist who gained international fame for her candid interviews with well-known figures. Though she was renowned for her interview techniques and willingness to ask tough questions, sometimes her questions could be somewhat tactless.

Put those two together 44 years ago and you get a shining example of Parton's grace and wit in the face of tasteless questions about her looks, her breasts and criticisms lobbed at her. Parton has always been who she is and portrayed the outward appearances she wants to portray, and she calmly and deftly navigates Walters' patronizing line of questioning with impressive poise.

Watch:

So much of Barbara Walters' commentary and questioning comes across as condescending and judgmental, but Dolly Parton transforms that negativity into a positive portrayal of who she is, where she's from and what she's all about.

When Walters told her she was beautiful and didn't need the wig and the make-up and the outrageous clothes, Parton told her it was a choice she's making. “I don’t like to be like everybody else," she said. “I would never stoop so low to be fashionable, that’s the easiest thing in the world to do.

"I'm very real as far as my outlook on life and the way I care about people and the way I care about myself and the things I care about. I just chose to do this, and show business is a money-making joke and I've just always liked telling jokes," she added.

Walters asked her if she ever feels that she is a joke, since people make fun of her.

“Oh I know they make fun of me, but all these years the people have thought the joke was on me, but it’s actually on them,” said Parton. “I am sure of myself as a person. I am sure of my talent. I’m sure of my love for life and that sort of thing. I am very content, I like the kind of person that I am. So, I can afford to piddle around and do-diddle around with makeup and clothes and stuff because I am secure with myself.”

The questions about Parton's breasts were particularly tacky, especially by today's standards. But Parton handled it all beautifully. Her responses are a masterclass in grace and her self-assurance is a refreshing model for us all—especially now that we can see how she has stayed true to herself all these years. Anyone who has ever wondered why Dolly Parton's appearance is what it is will learn a lot from this interview, and anyone who wants to learn how to maintain dignity and class in the face of inconsideration will learn a lot as well.