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Criticizing women who didn't wear black to the Golden Globes is part of the problem.

Not every woman wore black on the red carpet, and that's totally OK.

With so many stars decked out in black for this year's Golden Globes, it was hard not to notice actress Blanca Blanco's bold splash of red.

The  all-black look, adopted as part of the Time's Up campaign to end workplace harassment, became a sort of de facto red carpet uniform. Many of the night's guests adopted a more conservative look compared to years past, transforming the often obnoxious (and occasionally sexist) "Who are you wearing?" type of questions into an opportunity to discuss important societal issues.

Actresses Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Salma Hayek, and Ashley Judd attend the 2018 Golden Globes. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.


Blanco and a few others, like Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Meher Tatna, donned bold colors — but with a purpose.

Blanco arrived in a daring red dress alongside actor John Savage, people immediately took notice. Variety reporter Cynthia Littleton remarked on Twitter, "I think I would call this look 'not reading the room' this year."

"The problem is that when millions of women [fight] sexism and the sexualization of the woman's body, you are just the image of what those women are fighting," wrote one Twitter user, placing the blame for sexism on women like Blanco. "Wearing a dress like this when women are asking to heard not just seen is so appalling," wrote another.

But these negative reactions sound a lot like the victim blaming and objectification of women in the workplace that the #MeToo movement is trying to address.

Blanco's choice to buck the night's unofficial dress code wasn't intended as some sort of rebuke of the Time's Up movement — in an interview with Fox News, she said that she she is "excited about the #TimesUp movement; true change is long overdue."

Similarly, there was no hidden meaning behind HFPA's Meher Tatna's outfit. PR firm Sunshine Sachs tells us Tatna stands with and supports Time's Up but wore a dress custom-made for her by Anamika Khanna because in her culture, it is customary to wear festive colors during a celebration. And this was the 75th anniversary of the Golden Globes. Tatna did, however, don a Time's Up pin in support.

Blanco, too, stands by the movement. "I love red," she offered Fox. "Wearing red does not mean I am against the movement. I applaud and stand by the courageous actresses that continue to break the cycle of abuse through their actions and fashion style choices. It is one of many factors leading women to a safer place because of their status."

After the awards, Blanco took to Twitter, saying, "Shaming is part of the problem" and "The issue is bigger than my dress color."

Shaming really is part of the problem, feeding into tired tropes about scapegoating women who were "asking for it" based on what they were wearing at any given moment.

HFPA president Meher Tatna, model Barbara Meier, and Blanco opted not to wear black to the 2018 Golden Globe Awards. Photos (L-R) by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Arguing that Blanco and her dress (whether the color or the style) are somehow at fault for sexual assault and harassment is patently ridiculous — a contradiction of the spirit of the #MeToo movement and feminism itself, which is focused on equal rights for women, who should be granted the agency to make their own choices for their own reasons.

The only people to blame for harassment and assault are, by definition, those who harass and assault others, reinforcing the act's cultural acceptability.

Whether you see Blanco's red carpet dress as a fashion hit or miss, it's unfair to take it that extra step further to criticize her for the culture that made movements like Time's Up and #MeToo so sadly necessary.

Savage and Blanco attend the awards. Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images.

Black dress, red dress, or something else altogether, we should work to make blaming women's fashion decisions for sexism a thing of the past.

Clarification 1/9/2018: The headline was updated because not all women pictured in the share image are actresses. Additional update 1/11/2018: Information about Meher Tatna's red outfit has been included.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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