Anita Hill nailed why we need to rethink who's to blame when it comes to sexual abuse.

In October 1991, Anita Hill sat before five white male senators during Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation hearing and bravely spoke her truth.

As her former supervisor, Hill said, Thomas had sexually harassed her in the workplace. Her recollections and testimony — given long before the #MeToo era helped change the way we see sexual harassment and assault — were criticized, questioned, and brushed aside by congressional leaders. Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court shortly after.

But Hill's voice was instrumental in helping pave the way for survivors to speak up.


Photo by Jennifer Law/AFP/Getty Images.

Nearly 27 years after testifying, Hill — now a professor at Brandeis University — sat down with John Oliver on an episode of "Last Week Tonight" to chat about how we can keep moving forward in ways that empower and protect survivors.

"There's been a tremendous amount of change," Hill said. "There's been a change in public attitude, and there's been a change in the amount of information that we have about sexual harassment."

But for all we've learned, Hill still gets an incredibly frustrating question.

"So far, much of the approaches we've had is to put all of the burden on women," Hill noted. "One of the questions I get that just sort of sticks out with me is: 'How do we raise our daughter to make sure that she doesn't set herself up to be a victim of sexual harassment?' These are the kinds of things that we're thinking — 'If we fix her, then she won't encounter this problem.'

"In reality, she is not the problem."

Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images.

"She is not the problem" — men are. Can we keep saying that until it truly sinks in?

Because instead of focusing on teaching men about consent, society often tells women that their clothing or the amount of alcohol they consume are to blame for the actions of abusers. It's nonsensical.

More awareness campaigns are urging men to speak up and stop sexual assault when they see it. The #MeToo movement has challenged Washington and Hollywood alike to rethink how we view and respond to harassment and assault. So we're headed in the right direction in many ways.

But still, Hill believes men "need to step up."

"At this point in time, there are no innocent bystanders," she continued. "If you are aware of something — you acknowledge it, you know it's wrong, but you don't do anything about it — then it's the same as participating in it."

Watch Hill and Oliver's interview, which starts at about 17:50, below:

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.