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For the first time in 40 years, women will gather in Detroit for the Women's Convention. And it's going to be one powerful weekend.

Organized by the team behind Women's March, the convention will bring together nearly 4,000 women, femmes, and allies for a weekend of presentations, workshops, and movement building toward systemic change.

According to the event site, "Participants will leave inspired and motivated, with new connections, skills and strategies for working towards collective liberation for women of all races, ethnicities, ages, disabilities, sexual identities, gender expressions, immigration statuses, religious faiths, and economic statuses."


It's a weekend about empowerment. It's a weekend about unity and uplifting women and femmes around the globe. It's a weekend about change.

Which is why it was a shame, at least in my opinion, that the event's opening speakers included Rose McGowan.

Photo by Rena Laverty/AFP/Getty Images.

McGowan is one of the dozens of brave women who've come forward to accuse movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault.

The actions of these women jump-started an outpouring of support for victims everywhere and prompted a real conversation on the prevailing rape culture in our systems and institutions.

Her speech had buzzwords. It had tweetable quotes. It included a raised fist. It had Katniss Everdeen-like moments of strength and grit.

"I came to be a voice for all of us who've been told we are nothing," McGowan told the crowd."For all of us who have been looked down on. For all of us who have been grabbed by the motherf***ing p***y."

She went on to add, "The scarlet letter is theirs, it is not ours. We are pure, we are strong, we are brave and we will fight. "

On the surface, there is nothing wrong with her speech. And yet, I am left wanting and wondering.

I commend McGowan and everyone who had the courage to speak out. The system is created to silence and diminish women, especially survivors of sexual violence. Their bravery can not be understated. But before we can join together, before we can unite in the fight against system sexism, it's imperative to recognize that as women and femmes, our journeys are not the same.

Women of color, women with disabilities, women in the LGBTQ community, women of faith, and those who intersect all of these identities face the additional burdens of racism, ableism, homophobia, and religious traditions that may prevent them from speaking out, calling out their perpetrator, or naming their shame.

Women and femmes navigating these intersections can't afford to be silent (and join McGowan's Oct. 13 Twitter boycott for instance) as they're voices have been systematically diminished, silenced, and ignored for centuries. The day of McGowan's shortsighted boycott, many women of color not only stayed online, but spoke even louder, like the incomparable Jamilah Lemieux.

Writer April Reign even held a #WOCAffirmationDay instead, allowing women of color to create space to celebrate themselves in a world that would rather they not.

Women like Jemele Hill and Leslie Jones had their names driven through the mud and their character attacked and on Twitter no less. Where was their rallying cry? Where were the powerful white women, their fists high in the air, having their back?

[rebelmouse-image 19529919 dam="1" original_size="750x613" caption="Leslie Jones on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for NBC." expand=1]Leslie Jones on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for NBC.

So yes, McGowan's words were powerful. And anyone who joins her efforts to support and empower women is doing crucial work. But it's vital to remember everyone who was left behind.

The Women's Convention is sure to be a stand-out event, with or without McGowan's brief speech and panel appearance. I hope other presenters like Rosa Clemente, Vilissa Thompson, Monica Lewis-Patrick get similar media coverage for their ongoing work in the struggle.

As for McGowan, who has found herself (by design or by default) the leader of this effort, I hope she makes a concerted effort to signal boost the work of women and femmes of diverse backgrounds. That's the army of action and compassion we need to make real change.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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