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How this university is fighting back against sexual assault, one student at a time.

At Oxford University, consent classes are now required. More schools should follow suit.

“It's just locker room talk.”  

"Boys will be boys."  

“Grab ‘em by the pussy.”


I wish I could say it took time to come up with examples of perpetuating sexual assault. I wish I'd had to dig really deep for evidence. But the truth is, I had to figure out a way to cut my list down.  

Photo via iStock.

Sexual assault is pervasive and widespread.

Nearly 1 in 5 women in the U.S. have reported being raped at some point in their lives. It's been found that 27% of college women experience some form of unwanted sexual contact, and nearly 2/3 of all college students experience sexual harassment.

Sexual assault doesn't just affect women either. About 1 in 71 men in the U.S. have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. And from 1995 to 2010, 1 in 10 rape victims were men.

Fortunately, one university is trying to change all this.  

University of Oxford just announced that they're making consent classes mandatory for all incoming freshmen.

The university has offered consent courses for about five years, but they're finally making the classes "compulsory," or required, according to the BBC.  

Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

Run by the school's vice president for women Orla White, the 90-minute classes will operate within a series of workshops rather than like a typical college course. Topics like alcohol and affirmative consent will be discussed in the class, fostering real dialogue around a topic that is often overlooked on college campuses.

Oxford isn't alone: Many Americans schools are making decisions to curb sexual assault culture too.

Governor Jerry Brown made history by signing legislation to make consent education a mandatory part of the curriculum at many high schools and colleges in California. Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Maine are just a few of the states also working toward requiring campuses to use affirmative consent laws the standard for policy and legislation.

Photo via iStock.

University of Oxford's decision comes at a time where perpetuating rape culture is still viewed as "locker room talk" by far too many people.

Making consent classes mandatory everywhere is really important (some victims don't even report their assaults because they haven't realized they've been assaulted). It sends a message that joking about sexual assault is dangerous and simply unacceptable. Women and men are no longer accepting the notion that sexual violence against anyone at any point in life is somehow normal or a part of manhood.  

When we educate our boys and girls about consent, we make strides toward preventing more than just sexual assault.

Sexual assault leads to a variety of issues for its survivors, from sexual transmitted infections, to post-traumatic stress disorder, to chronic pain, to strained relationships with family, friends, and intimate partners. But that doesn't have to continue. By acknowledging that we must be proactive in teaching consent, we tell our young men and women that understanding that "no" means "no" is just as important as what's taught in courses like chemistry or history.

By teaching our young people about consent, we put actions behind the idea that we are trying to do better, and our societies will be better for it.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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