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Pop Culture

From Kitt to Kravitz–how actresses of color are claiming Catwoman for Black feminism

zoe kravitz catwoman, catwoman black

Cover of "Catwoman: Nine Lives of a Feline Fatale."

Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, is a quintessential Batman villain … slash accomplice … slash on-again-off-again love interest. But outside of her relationship status with Bruce Wayne, Catwoman is a fascinating character in her own right.

Agile, clever, dangerous, independent—selfish even—yet still a consistent champion for the disenfranchised. She has no loyalty to the status quo and plays by her own rules. She never really needs a hero, because she acts as her own savior.

the batmanCover of "Catwoman #59" by Adam Hughs upload.wikimedia.org

She has all these fascinating layers, and as a Catwoman fan I find it tragic that often in film adaptations, this character is portrayed in one of two ways: either as a sex object or as a foil to the main (male) hero.

However, two actresses of color—Zoë Kravitz and Eartha Kitt before her—transcend the tropes and embody Catwoman’s essential qualities, each in their own distinctly masterful way. Because of their boldness, Catwoman is not only a more dynamic character, she’s a compelling symbol for Black female empowerment.

To geek out a little further on the subject, I spoke with Jamie Broadnax of Black Girl Nerds, a blog turned multimedia outlet that explores all things at “the intersection of geek culture and Black feminism.” Who better to team up with, right?

black girl nerdsJamie Brodnax.Photo of Jamie Broadnax, used with permission

Together, we explored the social impact both Kitt and Kravitz portrayal had on everyone’s favorite feline fatale.

(For the sake of this article, we’ll just pretend that one "Catwoman" movie never existed. Though I still stand for Halle Berry.)

When Eartha Kitt became the first black Catwoman back in 1967, she knew its importance. Her daughter Kitt Shapira told Closer Weekly:

“I was about nine years old when she played Catwoman on Batman, and that was a really big deal. This was 1967, and there were no women of color at that time wearing skintight bodysuits, playing opposite a white male with sexual tension between them! She was one of the first really beautiful black women — her, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge — who were allowed to be sexy without being stereotyped. It does take a village, but I do think she helped blaze a trail.”

eartha kitt catwomanTv Show Vintage GIFGiphy

And blaze she did. Eartha Kitt purred her way into legend, giving the character an iconic voice, feline mannerisms and downright fierce femininity. Whenever she came on screen, it felt like something between edgy performance art and a civil rights protest.

In one particular Batman episode titled “Catwoman's Dressed to Kill,” the character infiltrates a posh luncheon ceremony filled with white socialites, ready to give Batgirl an award for being the best dressed crime fighter. But Catwoman ain’t having it.

Gesturing to the table of white female socialites, she hisses “You ladies, with your fancy hairdos, what do you know about beauty?” before throwing dust that explodes and turns their hair into afros.” It was a pretty radical way to comment on white-leaning beauty standards, if you ask me.

Before Eartha, the role was played by the famously “statuesque” Julie Newmar. And though Newmar gave a wonderfully wistful, slinky innocence to the role, there is something about Kitt’s portrayal that feels more pivotal. More important.

Like Newmar, Kitt definitely had sex appeal, but in a way that empowered other Black women to see themselves in the same light.

Jamie Broadnax:
“Eartha Kitt molded Catwoman into a sex symbol, which was certainly appealing for the time. She served a purpose of being a beautiful antagonist for Batman, while Batman was conflicted himself with her beauty and was enamored by it. Eartha Kitt also allowed Black women like me to see themselves reflected in TV shows (especially genre TV shows) that allowed us to believe that we, too, can be Catwoman. It's also because of Kitt's Catwoman that many Black women felt comfortable cosplaying as the character.“

Fast forward to 2022, and now Zoë Kravitz is getting acclaim for her equally striking version of Selina Kyle. Everyone from Taylor Swift to OG Catwomans (Catwomen?) Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway and Michelle Pfieffer have sent their heartfelt praises.

This Catwoman is sexually fluid, stealthy AF, resourceful and cunning, with charisma and depth. Like Kitt before her, Kravitz offers an emotional equal to Robert Pattinson’s Batman. It makes for some fantastic viewing, even to those who could care less about The Batman and his conquests.

zoe kravitz catwomanRobert Pattinson Couple GIF by The BatmanGiphy

Broadnax adds:

“She's fully fleshed out and gives proper motive for her actions in a way we haven't seen before. By that I mean, she's not a self-serving anti-hero as depicted in other films, but instead is more of a heroine to those close within her sphere of influence.”

This might seem like a small feat for Kravitz, who is no stranger to producing great work. But keep in mind: Even an A-list, award-winning actress like Kravitz, born into celebrity, still faces obstacles because of the color of her skin.

In an interview with The Guardian, Kravitz revealed that she had previously been refused a chance to audition for a role in "The Dark Knight Rises" for being too “urban.”

Previously, sources thought Kravitz wasn’t allowed to audition for the role of Catwoman (which went to Anne Hathaway). That has since been proven untrue, but even if it were, considering that Catwoman only appeared for a total of 19 minutes in “The Dark Knight Rises,” I’d say it was a blessing in disguise.

Taking the blatant racism aside, as a comic book nerd, this is just mind-boggling. Have you seen Gotham? That’s about as urban as it gets. But I digress. It’s an insidious and ugly word that Hollywood has been allowed to hide behind for far too long. Plain and simple.

Kravitz added, “Being a woman of color and being an actor and being told at that time that I wasn’t able to read because of the color of my skin, and the word urban being thrown around like that, that was what was really hard about that moment.”

For Kravitz to not only play the role, but to shine in it, helps other Black women see that times are changing. Not saying they’re changing fast enough, but still. Once again Catwoman has become a role model for confidence and power. For those who are often lacking positive representation, this can be vital.

What will be next for Catwoman? The future is still unwritten. Broadnax and I both agreed that when it comes to Kravitz, we’re hoping for a standalone series. But either way, because of the courage of trailblazing performers, Catwoman will be forever changed. She may be considered a nemesis to Batman, but when it comes to Black feminism, she’s a hero.

By the way, if you’d like to see Jamie Broadnax's full review on "The Batman," you’re in luck! That can be found here.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.




Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?


If all of earth's land ice melted, it would be nothing short of disastrous.

And that's putting it lightly.

This video by Business Insider Science (seen below) depicts exactly what our coastlines would look like if all the land ice melted. And spoiler alert: It isn't great.

Lots of European cities like, Brussels and Venice, would be basically underwater.

In Africa and the Middle East? Dakar, Accra, Jeddah — gone.

Millions of people in Asia, in cities like Mumbai, Beijing, and Tokyo, would be uprooted and have to move inland.

South America would say goodbye to cities like Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

And in the U.S., we'd watch places like Houston, San Francisco, and New York City — not to mention the entire state of Florida — slowly disappear into the sea.

All GIFs via Business Insider Science/YouTube.

Business Insider based these visuals off National Geographic's estimation that sea levels will rise 216 feet (!) if all of earth's land ice melted into our oceans.

There's even a tool where you can take a detailed look at how your community could be affected by rising seas, for better or worse.

Although ... looking at these maps, it's hard to imagine "for better" is a likely outcome for many of us.

Much of America's most populated regions would be severely affected by rising sea levels, as you'll notice exploring the map, created by Alex Tingle using data provided by NASA.

Take, for instance, the West Coast. (Goodbye, San Fran!)

Or the East Coast. (See ya, Philly!)

And the Gulf Coast. (RIP, Bourbon Street!)

I bring up the topic not just for funsies, of course, but because the maps above are real possibilities.

How? Climate change.

As we continue to burn fossil fuels for energy and emit carbon into our atmosphere, the planet gets warmer and warmer. And that, ladies and gentlemen, means melted ice.

A study published this past September by researchers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany found that if we don't change our ways, there's definitely enough fossil fuel resources available for us to completely melt the Antarctic ice sheet.

Basically, the self-inflicted disaster you see above is certainly within the realm of possibility.

"This would not happen overnight, but the mind-boggling point is that our actions today are changing the face of planet Earth as we know it and will continue to do so for tens of thousands of years to come," said lead author of the study Ricarda Winkelmann, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

If we want to stop this from happening," she says, "we need to keep coal, gas, and oil in the ground."

The good news? Most of our coastlines are still intact! And they can stay that way, too — if we act now.

World leaders are finallystarting to treat climate change like the global crisis that it is — and you can help get the point across to them, too.

Check out Business Insider's video below:

This article originally appeared on 12.08.15

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

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Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Joy

One of the World War II's only female fighter pilots flies her favorite aircraft 70 years later.

During her time in the service, Joy Lofthouse flew 18 different aircrafts. But one always held a special place in her heart.

Photo pulled from BBC YouTube video

The 92-year-old war vet flies again

More than 70 years after the war, a 92-year-old World War II veteran took to the sky once again.

It's been decades since her last flight, but Joy Lofthouse, a 92-year-old Air Transport Auxiliary veteran, was given the chance to board a Spitfire airplane for one more trip.


Lofthouse was one of just a few female pilots to fly for the British during World War II, part of an all-female division nicknamed the "Attagirls."

Her job as a service pilot was to shuttle planes from the front lines back to factories for repairs. During her time in the service, she flew 18 different aircrafts, but one always held a special place in her heart.

history, Vets, woman pilot

An expressive smile in WW2 vets picture from long ago.

Photo pulled from BBC Youtube video

To mark the 70th anniversary of the war's end, she was called on to once again fly in a Spitfire, her favorite model.

In the video, she shows such genuine excitement and nervousness. She tells the interviewer that she's not as confident as she was when she was younger, and that she is "aware of [her] age." Still, she couldn't pass up the chance to fly again.

After landing, Lofthouse just beamed, proving that it's possible to be amazing at any age.

"It's very hard to describe the feeling," she told BBC News. "It almost makes one feel young again."


This article originally appeared on 05.19.15

Just because it's common in movies, doesn't mean it's common in everyday life.

Odds are you’ve come across a movie or television moment that made you think, “this definitely would never happen in real life.” Or maybe you thought something about a time or place which wasn’t actually real, thanks to a show you watched. I, for example, totally thought separate his & hers beds were a common thing in the 50s, thanks to “I Love Lucy.”

That’s kind of the magic of motion pictures. The line between reality and illusion is sometimes so blurred you really can’t discern between the whole “art imitating life” and “life imitating art” thing. Of course, the unbelievability of some common tropes make you wonder how they’ve endured for so long in the first place.

Recently, Reddit user rustyyryan asked: "What American thing is not that common but shown in many Hollywood movies/TV shows?"

Thousands responded. But here are some of the best answers.


1. "On Law and Order, when the police come and people keep doing their drone jobs. Sorry, but the most exciting thing in my day is a visit by the police, so I’m stopping everything, offering coffee, asking lots of questions, and ratting out my neighbors on unrelated things!"wawa2022

via GIPHY

"The other thing with Law and Order and other cop shows is that people always act annoyed toward the cops. IRL, the vast majority of people are not going to act that way. I’ve had a couple of cop visits and I was always shocked and kind of nervous and there was no way I would have acted like they were getting on my nerves!"logorrhea69

2."Presents where the box lid is wrapped separately from the rest of the box." sra19

"This drives me crazy! I get it...it would be a huge hassle to have to re-wrap a present for every take, plus you have to worry about continuity, but I have literally never seen a present wrapped this way in my life."yourlittlebirdie

3. "At schools, teachers give assignments like normal people and don't shout it at the class as they're departing after the bell rings." Beezo514

via GIPHY

4. "Women having sex while wearing a bra the whole time. That's the first or second thing I take off of her." BendingDoor

5. "The houses and apartments shown do not represent the living conditions of most folks."rjainsa

"One of the reasons Spielberg's films from the '80s/'90s were so believable was that he insisted on houses looking lived in. The Goonies and E.T. both showed messy houses, single parents, scruffy kids, etc." springloadednadsack

via GIPHY

6. "Empty parking spaces on city streets." other_half_of_elvis

7. "Especially right in front of the place you’re going."BxAnnie

8. "Moms making huge breakfasts that no one eats." babyfresno77

9. "This is the one. Every time, I’m like, 'What time are these kids getting up? What time does school start?'"DanDan_notaman

10. "Cars exploding in a crash." St_Ander

"My husband is a firefighter, and he hates car explosion scenes in movies because they don't happen the way movies show them happening."Specialist-Funny-926

11."I noticed that no one has screens on their windows on TV. Where I live the bugs would carry you away."RusticSurgery

via GIPHY

"This one drives my husband crazy. He always comments on this when someone opens a window, sticks their head out, or throws something out. Could not do that where I live."Sunnywithachance099

12. "Shoes on the bed." slash-5

"I absolutely hate that trope. People with their shoes on beds or sofas. Hate it."Farscape29

13. "Classes last longer than for the teacher to say something pithy, ask someone a question and then hear the bell ring. School buses don't honk for your lollygagging ass. If the bus stop is empty, they keep driving." Scrotchety

14. "Halloween party costumes are much more elaborate on TV compared to real life."Fireproofspider

via GIPHY

"You never see anyone in some crap they picked up at Spirit Halloween 30 minutes before the party."Repulsive-Heron7023

15. "Nobody ever has to ask someone to repeat themselves in a movie. I probably say, 'What?' about 60 times a day." Street-Suitable

"This is all TV and movies. Nobody ever stumbles over their words unless it is a plot-necessary miscommunication or the bumbly can't get my words out trope."Jimmy_riddle86

16. "Abrupt endings to conversations or phone calls without saying bye." ParapluieGris

via GIPHY

"OMG, thank you. Seriously, I wondered if people actually did this."raggitytits

17. "The idea that you could be like six months behind on rent before they threaten to evict you, or six months behind on the power bill before they cut off your electricity. Maybe it used to be like that, but it sure isn’t anymore." komeau

18. "People in a bar ordering a 'beer.' In real life, the server would likely be exasperated and ask about brand/kind and quantity." remymartinia

"This one drives me nuts. I have never once in my 14 years working at restaurants and bars had someone just order a 'beer.'"EveInGardenia

…and lastly…

19. "Kids dressed up for school, which would result in them being sent home to change…Also, teens wearing stilettos to school."Wulfkat

via GIPHY

"Most teenagers today wear a baggy sweatshirt or a large T-shirt to school."Randomthoughts4041

Heroes

This quick-thinking teen cleverly befriended a woman's kidnapper to rescue her

Malyk Bonnet did a very brave thing: He listened to his gut.


You've probably been there. You're out and about and you see something that just feels ... off.

"Should I step in? ... But it's not really any of my business. ... And I'm not even sure they need my help..."


Our gut tells us to speak up, to ask questions, to tell someone. But often, we don't.

This happened to Malyk Bonnet, a 17-year-old from Montreal. But instead of ignoring his instincts, he acted brilliantly. It may have saved a woman's life.

Photo via CBC News.

Bonnet had been having a relatively normal day until he spotted something suspicious on his way home.

He'd been waiting for the bus after a shift at the restaurant where he works when he saw a man and woman arguing. He sensed a red flag.

"The guy was screaming at her, the girl," Bonnet told CBC News. "He wasn't really gentle with her, and I started watching, because I thought he would hit her, so I approached them a little bit."


The pair asked Bonnet if he could lend them bus fares to nearby Laval, a city about 25 miles away from downtown Montreal.

Bonnet felt uneasy about what was happening. But instead of declining, he decided to get more involved. He helped the man and woman with their fares and told them he was also traveling to Laval (which was not the case).

"My plan was to keep them in a public place where he wouldn't hurt her," Bonnet told Dateline NBC. "I decided to be friendly with the man and have him think I was his friend. I played my game and he seemed to trust me."

After arriving in Laval, Bonnet suggested they grab a bite to eat. At the restaurant, he gave the pair $50 for food and excused himself to use the restroom. Finally having the opportunity, he called the police and told them "someone had been kidnapped." Officers arrived minutes later.

What Bonnet hadn't known at the time was that police were already looking for the perpetrator and his victim.

The abusive man Bonnet reported had abducted his ex-girlfriend just hours beforehand.

"We were looking for a 29-year-old woman who was kidnapped by her former boyfriend earlier that day," Laval police Lt. Daniel Guérin told CBC News. "We believed that man was very dangerous."

Previously, the abuser spent time behind bars for assaulting his ex and sending her death threats.

Bonnet told Dateline NBC that while he didn't speak with the woman after police arrived, he could see how relieved she was. "We made eye contact and she had tears in her eyes. She was really happy."

Unfortunately, this type of tragic experience isn't all that rare.

While this particular story unfolded in Canada — where roughly half of women have experienced at least one incident of sexual or physical violence since the age of 16 — you'll find similarly alarming statistics in the U.S.

Photo via Thinkstock.

1 out of 4 American women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. What's more, female victims of homicide are far more likely than male victims to be killed by a current or former partner.

Although it may seem easy to simply leave an abusive relationship in the dust, take it from some women who've been there — it's much more difficult than it seems from the outside looking in.

Instead of passing judgment, you can learn more about how you can help friends and family members who may be experiencing domestic abuse.

Bonnet has become a local hero for his selflessness.

"His quick actions may have saved this young woman's life," Guérin said. The officers made sure to collect money so Bonnet could be reimbursed for the bus fares and food he purchased while trying to save the victim. "He now has 500 new friends in our department."

Thank you, Malyk, for reminding me that sometimes the bravest thing I can do is simply listen to that voice when it's trying to get my attention.


This article originally appeared on 08.20.15


Doris Alikado talks about her personal experience of maternal health in Tanzania.

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Stella Artois


Bathrobe. Socks. Insurance card. Snacks.

Sound at all familiar? Maybe, maybe not.


These items would commonly be found on a checklist of things that expecting parents should bring to the hospital with them — in the U.S., anyway.

environment, health, health wellbeing

Doing the checklist.

Image created from Pixabay.

But what is that list like in other parts of the world?

For Doris, that list included water.

Doris, who lives Morogoro, Tanzania, had to bring her own water to the health center where she was giving birth in 2014. The water she brought was used to clean the nurse's hands, clean the delivery area, and wash the babies (she had twins!). Unfortunately, the water Doris brought ran out before she was able to wash herself or her clothes, so she had to wait 24 hours before cleaning herself.

parenting, parenting and children, Tanzania

Doris and family lives in Morogoro, Tanzania.

via GQ/YouTube

I'll let Doris tell the story herself:

Lack of access to clean water in Tanzania is a very big deal.

Everything turned out alright for Doris and her babies, but thousands of other women aren't as lucky. But there are ways to help: Organizations and individuals are pitching in to help build water taps, rainwater tanks, and latrines in Tanzanian hospitals, and they're making a huge difference.

"I want to express my gratitude to the health workers ... because they have a great sense of humor with the patients. But the problem is the availability of enough water." — Doris Alikado


This article originally appeared on 03.26.15