dr.pamelamehta
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Dr. Pamela Mehta goes viral for highlighting gender inequality in the workplace

"Do you plan on having children?" This is absolutely, without a doubt, a very inappropriate question to be asked during a job interview. One that in no way explores a person's work relevant skills, applicable experience or career goals. And it's definitely not a common conversation starter for male applicants. It is however a question that many women, particularly those in male-dominated fields, have to put up with, even now.

Meet orthopedic surgeon, mother and viral TikTok sensation Dr. Pamela Mehta. Mehta receives glowing reviews for her work, and is mother to three children. Yes, she is both—is it that hard to fathom? Apparently, for her former employers, it was.


Dr. Mehta recently posted a TikTok video—now racking up over 16 million views—sharing her own story of gender discrimination.

After spending nine years studying, training and preparing to become an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Mehta was finally able to pursue her dream job ... only to be asked a question she "knew was illegal." (And if you didn't know it was, now you do.)

This is certainly not a unique scenario. Roughly 75% of women have reported that they were asked about family life, marital status and children in interviews.



@dr.pamelamehta

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Mehta knew being honest would have its unwarranted repercussions. She shared with BuzzFeed that, "I was frustrated because I knew I would be penalized for saying yes, yet I still wanted the job because it was a coveted position. I also knew the question was illegal, but that is just how it goes—a lot of questions are asked of women in the workplace that are not legal, and we just have to deal with it."

For Dr. Mehta, the grin-and-bare-it approach seemed to be the only strategy. To prove her worth, she "got there early, stayed late, never passed any work to anyone else," and even returned back to work only six weeks after the birth of her first child. That's only half the standard recommended time. And that's all unpaid in the United States, which is a completely different societal failing.

Despite her efforts, Mehta's workplace continued to prove unwelcoming and unsupportive. And after her second pregnancy, the company became toxic to the point of needing legal intervention. "They aggressively started 'pushing me out.' I had to get a lawyer," she says in her TikTok video. "They tried to ruin any future career I would have as a successful surgeon."

Comments from other working moms began pouring in to show solidarity and speak out about their own similar experiences.

One person shared: "Lost my medical career Thursday because I was pushed out."

Another replied: "Not sure how we as women are supposed to birth children but … not birth children. Someone has to do it. Why are jobs so cruel?"

Even a male commenter wrote: "I am a surgical tech and good friend with our only female ortho surgeon. They treat her like they're doing her a favor by having her. It's ridiculous."

Mehta's determination paid off, as she is now the owner of her own successful surgical practice, and has "three happy, healthy children." Add to that, social media star. Mehta has around 163K followers on her Instagram and TikTok, collectively. As "TikTok's 1st Female Orthopaedic Surgeon," Dr. Mehta uses her platform to encourage other women that a healthy work-life balance is possible, and to advocate for better maternity leave policies. Her message is simple: "Ladies, don't let anyone take your dreams and spirit away!"

Women should not have to feel powerless or alone while trying to attain both a family and a career. And as the Orthopaedic Surgeon Mama says in her BuzzFeed interview, "There will come a day when women are treated equally and respectfully in the workplace, and we will not stop until we have that equality."

That fight for equality might not be over. But victories like Mehta's are worth noting, because they move us all toward progress.

via USO

Army Capt. Justin Meredith used the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program to read to his son and family while deployed in the Middle East.

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One of the biggest challenges deployed service members face is the feeling of being separated from their families, especially when they have children. It's also very stressful for children to be away from parents who are deployed for long periods of time.

For the past four years, the USO has brought deployed service members and their families closer through a wonderful program that allows them to read together. The Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program gives deployed service members the ability to choose a book, read it on camera, then send both the recording and book to their child.

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Jimmy Fallon #MyFamilyIsWeird.

It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is when we get the pleasure of spending way more time than we’re used to with our families. For those of us who’ve moved away from our immediate families, the holidays are a great time to reacquaint ourselves with old traditions and to realize that some of them may be a little strange.

Every family seems to have its own brand of weirdness. In fact, I wouldn’t trust anyone who says that their family is completely normal.

On November 18, “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon gave everyone a reason to celebrate their unique families by asking them to share their favorite stories under #MyFamilyIsWeird. The responses were everything from odd holiday traditions to family members that may have a screw (or two!) loose.

Here are 17 of the funniest responses.

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Image courtesy of Styles4Kidz
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This article was originally published on 7/22/2020

If you aren't familiar with textured hair, it's hard to know how to style it properly. Similarly to how straight-haired people may not know that curly-haired people often don't use shampoo, people who don't have textured hair often have no clue what products to use to keep hair healthy or what hairstyles work best with different hair types.

That can be a problem when non-Black parents adopt Black kids. Hair is a significant cultural reality, and knowing how to manage one's hair is important. If parents are clueless about helping their kids with personal grooming, children will grow up missing out on that aspect of their personal identity.

Enter Styles4Kids, a non-profit organization founded by Tamekia Swint in 2010. Swint had helped a transracial adoptive mom learn how to style her three daughters' hair, and that mom began referred Swint to other adoptive parents. She founded Styles4Kids with just a handful of clients, and how helps thousands of parents and kids. The non-profit organization focuses on hair care education, training, and services for transracial adoptive parents as well as children in foster care, residential facilities and detention centers.

Great Big Story created a video about Swint and her organization that explains why helping kids with their natural hair is so important.

"Sometimes transracial adoptive families don't understand how important hair is," Swift says in the video. "It's much bigger than. hair. It's really about the care and the confidence that we're giving to the child through the hairstyle."

A white mom with six Black kids shared her own realization that her hair styling skills were not up to the challenge, and how Swint helped her gain the skills and confidence she needed to help her care for and style her kids' hair.

"I would want to tell other transracial adoptive parents that it is your job to make your kid look decent when you're out of the house, and if you can't do that naturally on your own—and most of us can't—then it's your job to seek out help from somebody who can teach you."

Styles4Kidz uses Facebook and Instagram to educate and encourage families to master hairstyles that boost kids’ self-esteem and cultural pride. Swint also leverages Facebook fundraisers to run a non-profit salon "where multiracial, foster and adoptive kids are empowered to embrace their natural, ethnic crown." Swint calls her services "Hair Care With Heart," fulfilling the organization's vision of building "a diverse community of people creating and celebrating hairstyles that boost kids' self-esteem and cultural pride."

Learn more about Styles4Kidz on the organization's website here.

We’re partnering with Meta to spotlight individuals and community organizers who are using their tools for good. We believe that positive actions can create a ripple effect of kindness, online and IRL.

Cayce LaCorte explains why virginity doesn't exist.

The concept of virginity is a very loaded issue in American culture. If a woman loses hers when she's too young she can be slut-shamed. If a man remains a virgin for too long, he can be bullied for not being manly enough.

There is also a whole slew of religious mind games associated with virginity that can give people some serious psychological problems associated with sex.

Losing one's virginity has also been blown up way beyond proportion. It's often believed that it's a magical experience—it's usually not. Or that after having sex for the first time people can really start to enjoy living life—not the case.

What if we just dropped all of the stigmas surrounding virginity and instead, replaced them with healthy attitudes toward sex and relationships?

Writer Cayce LaCorte is going viral on TikTok for the simple way she's taught her five daughters to think about virginity. They don't have to. LaCorte shared her parenting ideas on TikTok in response to mom-influencer Nevada Shareef's question: "Name something about the way you raised your kids that people think is weird but you think is healthy."

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