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Canada's prime minister on the importance of raising feminist sons.

The Canadian prime minister joins a growing chorus of men fighting for gender parity.

Canada's prime minister on the importance of raising feminist sons.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau believes in gender equality.

Last year, when asked why he made a point of selecting a "gender-balanced" cabinet, he replied with a shrug and a simple line: "Because it's 2015."


GIF from CBC.

He recently touched on another important gender-related topic: men's role in supporting feminism.

On the Progress Towards Parity panel during the World Economic Forum's annual meeting this year in Davos, Switzerland, Trudeau shared an important story about how he's raising his own children.

He'd taken special care to raise his daughter in a way that allows her to feel empowered and confident, but it wasn't until his wife, Sophie, said something to him that he realized how important it is to take the same care raising his 8- and 2-year-old sons to be just as aware of gender issues.

GIFs from World Economic Forum.

Because an equal society is one in which we're all working to break down walls of oppression.

And that absolutely includes men's role in acknowledging their own position in the world and how they can use that privilege to dismantle society's patriarchal structure.

Now, fighting for gender equality already has a name: feminism. And as the prime minister is quick to say, it's not a word we need to be afraid of.


Prominent men around the world are joining the fight for gender equality.

In 2014, President Barack Obama famously said, "If you're a strong man, you should not feel threatened by strong women," in response to a question about gender-based violence, adding, "All the men here have to be just as committed to empowering women as the women are."

Obama poses with Girl Scouts/superheroes during the 2015 White House Science Fair. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

Last year, New York Magazine asked 15 male celebrities whether they consider themselves feminists. The answers were pretty encouraging.

"Oh, absolutely," said Matt McGorry of "Orange Is the New Black" and "How to Get Away With Murder." "Ultimately, if there were as many male feminists as there are female feminists, we wouldn’t need to be fighting for equality."

"Yeah, because I like women and I respect women," responded Harrison Ford.


Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images.

The good news is that things are getting better.

The bad news is that progress is still going way too slowly.

If we continue at the current pace, gender equality — in terms of economic, social, and legal aspects — won't be achieved until 2133. That's way too long to wait, which is why it's more important than ever that people of all genders, and especially men in positions of power, help support and create a level playing field where people of all genders can thrive.

Interested in more gender equality awesomeness? Check out the full video of Trudeau's panel.

It also features Melinda Gates, Jonas Prising, Sheryl Sandberg, and Zhang Xin.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less