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Beyoncé's epic girl power anthem kinda sorta ignores the obvious.

Cards on the table, I'm a Beyoncé fan, but I'm not part of the "Beyhive." Also, "Run the World (Girls)" is one of my favorite workout jams, so I listen to it at least three times a week and maybe even five times if I'm feeling especially fit. Given all that, it's hard to deny that vlogger Amber (known as NineteenPercent) makes some pretty darn good points about why my favorite girl power workout anthem doesn't take a few things into consideration.

Let's look at "Run the World (Girls)" lyrics:

"Who run the world? Girls!"


"A better question would be: Name the only American minority group that actually constitutes the majority of the population? Girls! 50.7% of the U.S. population is female. But sociologists consider women a minority group because of their position relative to men, the dominant group. There are things called women's issues, which apparently are a 'special interest.' A problem that affects half of the population of your country is not a 'special interest,' OK? It's a big interest." — NineteenPercent

"Make your check, come at they neck."

"Indeed. Go to work and make your check, but be aware that your check is gonna be significantly smaller than your male counterpart's because at all ages and at all education levels, American women are paid only 78% of what a man is paid for doing the same work. And that is a huge improvement from 1980, when it was only 60%." — NineteenPercent

"Disrespect us? No, they won't!"

"Yes, they will, and they do, often. I'd like to defer to a very famous doctor on this subject: Dr. Dre. He says, and I quote: '[Bleep] ain't [bleep] but [bleep] and tricks.' There you have it. Listen, Mrs. Carter, you should know this firsthand. When your husband isn't busy with his money, cash, or [bleep], you've still got 99 problems, and a [bleep] ain't one. Of the most popular rap songs in recent memory, I am hard-pressed to think of one that doesn't have any reference to women as some derogatory name. Not to mention, like, workplace sexual harassment or catcalling and all other manner of disrespectful things." — NineteenPercent

"None of these b*****s can fade me."

"Don't call me a [bleep]. It doesn't make me feel empowered. We have this thing in our society, whereby it's somehow OK to do and say sexist things because somehow they're not sexist anymore since women have so much power." — NineteenPercent

Check out the full video below, and stick around for 4:30, when NineteenPercent explains exactly why she isn't not behind the idea of girl power in the commercial sense and what needs to be done to make real change.

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Side note, Amber included the following note in the description box that I think is worth sharing:

"This video is not about Beyonce. It's not even really about this song. My point is NOT that she shouldn't have made this song because of X, Y, and Z. My point IS: Oh, Look! X, Y, and Z exist and this song is a great tie-in to a discussion of feminism, a veritable Feminism 101." — NineteenPercent

So let's set the record straight: This isn't an anti-Beyoncé video. (Seriously Beyhive, don't come for me!) This isn't meant to suggest that Beyonce shouldn't have made the song or that the song is bad. Instead, this is about the sad fact that this song's lyrics aren't a reality for most women because of sexism. That in itself is worth talking about, regardless of how we feel about the song that inspired the conversation. It's important to remember that we can be fans of something and talk about it in a meaningful and critical way.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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It can be hard to find hope in hard times, but we have examples of humanity all around us.

I almost didn't create this post this week.

As the U.S. reels from yet another horrendous school massacre, barely on the heels of the Buffalo grocery store shooting and the Laguna Woods church shooting reminding us that gun violence follows us everywhere in this country, I find myself in a familiar state of anger and grief and frustration. One time would be too much. Every time, it's too much. And yet it keeps happening over and over and over again.

I've written article after article about gun violence. I've engaged in every debate under the sun. I've joined advocacy groups, written to lawmakers, donated to organizations trying to stop the carnage, and here we are again. Round and round we go.

It's hard not to lose hope. It would be easy to let the fuming rage consume every bit of joy and calm and light that we so desperately want and need. But we have to find a balance.

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