Fed up news anchor has the best response to a man who told her to dress ‘like a normal woman’

Women shouldn't have to dress for the male gaze.

via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.


"As a result of focusing on their outwardly visible features, we are tempted to overlook their inner states, ignore markers of their intentions, beliefs, and desires, and less likely to empathize with their plight," Ellers continued.

RELATED: Women make better leaders despite lack of representation, study finds

Women in the spotlight are constantly being judged based on their looks rather than their performance in a given field. Serena Williams once won the French Open but all the press was about what she wore on the court.

Hillary Clinton has been constantly being criticized throughout her political life for what she wore or her hair style rather than her accomplishments.

Maggie Vespa, a news anchor at KGW-TV in Portland, was criticized for how she dresses by a male viewer, so she brilliantly took the incident and used it as a way to talk about the double standards women face.

via KGW-TV / YouTube

"Just wanted to let you know that the clothes you've been wearing, especially those crazy pants that ride half way up your torso, are not cool looking, in any way!," Jeffrey, a male viewer, wrote to Vespa on Facebook. You're way too pretty to look so foolish."

The next day, he sent her another message. "OMG, you really looked uncomfortably tonight. Try dressing like a normal woman. Doesn't KGW pay you enough for a wardrobe makeover?" Jeffrey wrote.

via KGW-TV / YouTube

Vespa posted about the emails on social media and received hundreds of responses, so she carved out a few minutes to discuss the situation on the news.

"Let's just get this out of the way at the top. This is dumb," Vespa responded.

There was no way she was going to start dressing for the male gaze.

"These are my pants. I like them. I bought them."

RELATED: Jameela Jamil wants women to stop apologizing for 'being ambitious'

Maggie went on to show photos of five different pairs of high-waisted pants that she wore in the week following Jeffrey's messages. Maggie's colleagues also got in on it, donning high-waisted pants to show their support.

via KGW-TV / YouTube

Vespa said the harassment "hit a nerve" with people on social media who used it as an opportunity to discuss "the pressure women obviously face, especially those in the public eye to embody the epitome of physical attractiveness at all times."

"If we don't, it's somehow seen as a sign that we're less credible or less capable and, by and large, guys don't have to deal with this," Vespa continued. " As my awesome male coworkers can and have attested to."

Vespa then brilliantly spun the harassment into an empowering message for women.

"Our goal here is to send a message, to women, to girls, to everyone: Dress how you want, look how you want, and if anybody tries to make you feel less than because of that, that's their problem, not yours," Vespa said.

Culture

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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Photo by Marcus Ng on Unsplash

I almost couldn't believe this story when I read it this morning. Almost. But when it comes to women's bodies and puritanical pearl-clutching, there's not much that surprises me anymore.

Here's a very brief synopsis of the story as reported in the Washington Post:

A high school swimming champion in Alaska exited the pool after beating her competitors, but instead of being awarded her hard-earned first prize, she was disqualified. Why? Because her swimsuit was riding too far up her butt.

Yes, seriously.

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Culture