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Mother is shocked her daughter's male teacher told her to 'hold in' her period

The $50,000 question: What subject does the instructor teach?

Mother is shocked her daughter's male teacher told her to 'hold in' her period
via Pexels

There's a lot of men out there that shy away from discussing menstruation with women. But any man who's ever taken a class in basic human biology or had a mother, sister, wife, girlfriend or any other woman in their life should know the basics of how it works.

That's why a mother on the Mumsnet message board was completely "shocked" that her daughter's teacher told her to "hold in" her period.

Does he think a woman can hold in her period like it's pee?

Mumsnet is a UK website where parents come together to discuss anything from adoption to women's rights. This post appeared under the "Am I Being Unreasonable" thread.

Via Mumsnet

According to the post, the 15-year-old's teacher prevented her from using the bathroom because he legitimately thinks women can hold back period blood. Or he knows a bit about biology but still decided to put her in the position to be mortally embarrassed.

The mother later said that the lessons last two hours so the girl had a long time to wait before being able to change her pad.

A few parents said that the teacher was correct to say no because students often lie about their periods to get out of class.

But most parents thought the teacher did the wrong thing and needs a lesson in basic biology.

One poster was irate but completely right about the issue.


Another believes the daughter should have disobeyed the teacher and gone to the bathroom.


This poster did a great job at re-framing the situation so that the teacher's actions seem even more ridiculous.


Why should the mother even have to justify herself?


The $50,000 question: What subject does the instructor teach?


This story originally appeared on 02.13.20


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


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)


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


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


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


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)


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

Jimmy Carter at the COmmonwealth Club.

Jimmy Carter, 99, was the 39th president of the United States (1977 to 1981). Looking back on his achievements both in and out of office, it’s easy to say that he was a man ahead of his time. He was far ahead of the mainstream when it came to advocating for social justice, human rights, and the environment.

Carter famously installed solar panels on the White House in 1979, only to have them removed by Ronald Reagan.

The former peanut farmer and Navy Lieutenant from Plains, Georgia, was also far ahead of his time when supporting gay rights. In 1976, while running for president, he said he would sign the Equality Act, an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. “I will certainly sign it, because I don’t think it’s right to single out homosexuals for special abuse or special harassment,” he said.

He continued to advocate for gay rights as president. In 1977, the first gay delegation visited the White House. He also campaigned against California’s Proposition 6, which would have barred gays and lesbians from teaching in the state’s schools and was the first Democratic president to endorse gay rights in the party’s platform in 1980.

It may seem unusual for Cater, a confessed born-again Christian, to be a staunch advocate for gay rights. But he has publicly said that he believes that being pro-gay is wholly aligned with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Carter’s advocacy is in the spotlight once again after a meme featuring his thoughts about Christ and homosexuality from 2012 went viral on Reddit's MadeMeSmile forum on April 8, 2024.

Jimmy Carter
byu/PR0CR45T184T0R inMadeMeSmile

The viral quote was taken from an interview with the Huffington Post in 2012, during which Carter promoted his book, “NIV, Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter.” At the time, LGBTQ rights were the subject of heated debate in Washington, and President Obama had just “evolved” and began publicly supporting same-sex marriage.

"A lot of people point to the Bible for reasons why gay people should not be in the church or accepted in any way,” the interviewer Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush said. But Carter responded by correctly noting that Jesus Christ never said anything about homosexuality.

"Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things—he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies,” Carter said. "I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people. I'm a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs.

"So if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does, by the way, then that is fine. If a church decides not to, then government laws shouldn't require them to,” he continued.

Three years later, Carter shared the same sentiments in another interview with the Huffington Post, this time shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. “I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else and I don’t see that gay marriage damages anyone else,” Carter said.

Jimmy Carter’s belief in gay rights stems from his faith as a Christian, but it’s also in complete alignment with his values as an American. Carter believed that the United States was a “beacon” for human rights, and in his 1981 presidential farewell address, he reminded the nation that the job was an ongoing struggle.

“The battle for human rights – at home and abroad – is far from over,” Carter said. “If we are to serve as a beacon for human rights, we must continue to perfect here at home the rights and values which we espouse around the world: A decent education for our children, adequate medical care for all Americans, an end to discrimination against minorities and women, a job for all those able to work, and freedom from injustice and religious intolerance.”

This article orignially appeared on 4.9.24

Images provided by P&G

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


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.


Boost your Brain: Lifestyle changes that enhance cognitive function in adults

Unlock the secrets to sharper thinking with simple lifestyle tweaks.

men's white crew-neck T-shirt

Do you often walk into a room and forget why you are there? Or when you sit down to read a book, do you end up reading the same paragraph over and over? If you experience these things frequently, you may be worried that your cognitive function is declining.

The brain structure changes and shrinks as we get older, which can result in minor cognitive decline. However, frequent disorientation, forgetfulness, and difficulty making decisions can be signs of serious cognitive impairment—such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease—that significantly interferes with daily activities and reduces quality of life.

Fortunately, there are some measures you can take and lifestyle changes you can make to potentially improve cognitive function. Many factors contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia risk, and these measures are by no means a guarantee that you won’t develop these conditions. However, they may help protect the brain from age-related cognitive decline by boosting brain connectivity and enhancing cognitive processes.

What are cognitive functions?

Cognitive function is an umbrella term that encompasses various brain activities, ranging from simple to complex. In other words, cognitive functions are the mental processes through which your brain communicates with your body to perform tasks. Some examples of cognitive functions include language abilities, reasoning, problem-solving, planning, decision-making, learning, attention, verbal fluency, knowledge acquisition, and information manipulation.

Types of cognitive impairment

Cognitive functions tend to naturally decline with age, making it difficult to distinguish normal, age-related changes in cognitive functioning from the early stages of disease-associated cognitive decline. For instance, memory difficulty, which is common in older individuals, is also a common symptom of dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.

Contrary to common misconceptions, not all forms of cognitive decline involve memory problems or difficulty thinking clearly. Some cognitive disorders initially present with sleep problems, behavioral or personality changes, such as poor judgment and impulsivity, or difficulty with environmental interactions.

Furthermore, depending on the cause, cognitive impairment may be temporary or progressive. For example, delirium, a mental state characterized by confusion and disorientation, is temporary, whereas all forms of dementia (including Alzheimer’s Disease) are progressive.

Age-related cognitive decline

Slight cognitive decline and some changes in cognitive performance are normal parts of aging. Most cognitive functions peak around age 30 and subtly decline with advancing age. Age-related cognitive impairments include difficulties with multitasking, retaining information, word-finding, and maintaining attention, as well as an overall decline in thinking and perceptual speed.

It is worth mentioning that not all cognitive abilities decline with age. For many, verbal reasoning, vocabulary, and other aspects of crystallized intelligence remain unchanged or improve with age.

Mild cognitive impairment

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) refers to impairments in cognitive functioning, such as memory loss, that are more severe than in other people of the same age. While these changes in cognitive function are noticeable, they are not severe enough to qualify for a dementia or Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, and they do not interfere with daily cognitive functioning.

Mild cognitive impairment can have various causes, including:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Infections
  • Medication side effects
  • Early stages of dementia

The cause of cognitive decline often determines the extent of compromised cognitive function in the individual and whether they can expect to suffer progressive cognitive decline. For those whose condition is not progressive, the symptoms of cognitive decline may slow or reverse, and many may return to their previous cognitive abilities.

However, for other individuals, cognitive decline may worsen over time and possibly progress to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, diseases that significantly impair cognitive functioning.

Generally, individuals with mild cognitive impairment have an increased dementia risk, but mild cognitive impairment is not a guarantee of a future dementia diagnosis. Studies examining the risk factors for the progression of MCI to dementia indicate the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is three to five times higher for individuals diagnosed with MCI than for those with normal cognitive function.


Dementia is characterized by a loss of behavioral and cognitive abilities that significantly interferes with a person's ability to perform daily tasks, resulting in a reduction in quality of life. The signs and symptoms of dementia typically present when healthy neurons stop working, lose connections, and die. Some neuron loss with age is normal; however, those with dementia experience a much greater loss of cognitive functions.

The signs and symptoms of dementia vary by individual, but typically include:

  • Memory loss and confusion
  • Sleep problems
  • Difficulty with fine and gross motor skills
  • Decline in executive functions (e.g., working memory, planning, emotional control, etc.)
  • Difficulty understanding and expressing thoughts
  • Problems reading and writing
  • Reduction in psychomotor speed
  • Repetitive questioning
  • Changes in diet and eating habits
  • Poor judgment and acting impulsively
  • Disorientation in familiar places
  • Taking longer to complete everyday tasks
  • Losing interest in daily activities
  • Hallucinating, delusions, and paranoia
  • Balance and mobility problems

There are several types of dementia, and all are progressive. The most common forms are Alzheimer's disease, in which abnormal protein plaques accumulate in the brain, Lewy-Body dementia, and vascular dementia, which results from blocked or leaky arteries in the brain. Although the underlying cause of dementia disease varies, the effect is the same—reduced cognitive abilities and cognitive impairment.

How to improve cognitive function

The brain shrinks as we age, and the number of synapses and neurotransmitter receptors—both allowing neurons to communicate with each other—decreases. These brain changes can cause minor cognitive impairment, particularly in memory, attention, processing speed, and planning. However, many lifestyle factors affect cognitive function, and changing your routine can help slow age-related cognitive decline.

Regular physical activity

Research shows that physical activity can have a beneficial effect on cognitive function in all age groups. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and neurotrophins, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which promotes neuron growth, repairs brain cells, and helps the brain develop new connections.

Exercise can also increase the volume of the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for forming new memories. Additionally, aerobic exercise is thought to be a factor in minimizing the risk of dementia and other neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Brain training

Brain training involves regularly engaging in cognitively stimulating activities and exercises challenging information processing and cognitive abilities. Examples include crossword and sudoku puzzles, jigsaws, problem-solving activities, reading and writing, and learning new skills and hobbies.

Memory training is a type of brain training designed to improve episodic memory—remembering events that occur in daily life—and working memory, a type of short-term memory essential to information manipulation. Memory training activities include puzzles, matching games, and word games that involve trying to remember as many words as possible in a given time.

Challenging the brain is known to build up cognitive reserves, aka the brain’s flexibility and agility. This can potentially reduce susceptibility to age-related changes in the brain and decline in cognitive functioning. As such, brain training can also lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and cognitive dysfunction. There’s a plus – regular brain training activities in one sphere can help improve your cognitive abilities in other areas, which, in turn, can preserve your overall cognitive ability.

Stay social

Humans are social animals. Positive social interactions can improve one’s quality of life and the ability to relate to others. People who are isolated may see a degradation of their cognitive ability sooner than those who stay engaged with others.

While research into social interactions and cognitive function is limited, a few trials have yielded positive results, indicating that positive social engagement can increase hippocampal volume and improve memory and overall brain health.

Sufficient rest

Sleep patterns change as we age, with sleep interruptions and early waking becoming increasingly common. Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect attention, memory, and executive functions (higher-level cognitive skills like flexible thinking and self-control).

Lifestyle changes can improve sleep patterns, which can support cognitive function. These include spending more time in the sunlight, maintaining a consistent sleep routine, taking short afternoon naps to counteract nighttime sleep loss, and seeking treatment for sleep problems and disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia.

Foods that can boost cognitive function

Research indicates certain foods can enhance cognitive abilities, protect the brain from damage, and slow cognitive decline. However, the mechanisms by which these foods impact cognitive functioning are unclear.

However, existing research indicates that certain nutrient components can reduce inflammation, oxidative damage, and the buildup of toxic proteins in the brain. These nutrient components may also promote the formation of new synapses and brain cells, prolong the life of existing brain cells, and support the lining of blood vessels, increasing the blood supply and oxygen to the brain.

Some of the best “brain foods” include:


Berries are rich in flavonoids and pelargonidin—natural plant pigments associated with enhanced memory, improved cognitive function, and a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Green leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are rich in brain-boosting nutrients like folate, beta carotene, vitamin K, and lutein. They can help slow cognitive decline and lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Oily fish

Fatty and oily fishes, like tuna and salmon, are rich in omega-4 fatty acids, which can lower levels of beta-amyloid—a protein that accumulates in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease—in the blood.


Soybeans, black beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas have high concentrations of anti-inflammatory compounds that can support overall brain health and boost cognitive functioning.

Whole grains

Whole grains are an excellent source of phytonutrients, B vitamins, and antioxidants. They can significantly benefit brain function and lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


This well-loved spice contains curcumin, a compound that may increase BDNF levels, lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, improve cognitive abilities, and support overall brain health.

Other brain-boosting Foods

Other foods that can improve cognitive function and mitigate cognitive decline include monounsaturated fatty acids, nuts, green tea, dark chocolate, and coffee. Some nutritional supplements, especially those containing vitamins D and B12, can also help support brain health and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.


Cognitive abilities tend to decline as we get older, with many people experiencing subtle changes in cognitive function by or before middle age. However, if these age-related changes are more severe or frequently occurring than those of other individuals in the same age group, they may be signs of mild cognitive impairment.

While mild cognitive impairment does not always progress to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, those with MCI are more likely to develop dementia and other conditions involving significant cognitive decline.

Some lifestyle factors can impact cognitive function and play a role in the likelihood of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and similar conditions. Positive lifestyle changes like brain and memory training, regularly exercising, sleeping well, engaging in social activities, and eating a healthy diet with plenty of “brain foods” can support overall brain health and improve cognitive function. As such, incorporating these lifestyle changes into daily life may help slow age-related cognitive decline, improve cognitive performance, and lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


Artists got fed up with these 'anti-homeless spikes.' So they made them a bit more ... comfy.

"Our moral compass is skewed if we think things like this are acceptable."

Photo courtesy of CC BY-ND, Immo Klink and Marco Godoy

Spikes line the concrete to prevent sleeping.

These are called "anti-homeless spikes." They're about as friendly as they sound.

As you may have guessed, they're intended to deter people who are homeless from sitting or sleeping on that concrete step. And yeah, they're pretty awful.

The spikes are a prime example of how cities design spaces to keep homeless people away.

Not all concrete steps have spikes on them, but outdoor seating in cities like Montreal and Tokyo have been sneakily designed to prevent people from resting too comfortably for too long.

This guy sawing through a bench was part of a 2006 protest in Toulouse, France, where public seating intentionally included armrests to prevent people from lying down.

Of course, these designs do nothing to fight the cause or problem of homelessness. They're just a way of saying to homeless people, "Go somewhere else. We don't want to look at you,"basically.

One particular set of spikes was outside a former night club in London. And a local group got sick of staring at them.

Leah Borromeo is part of the art collective "Space, Not Spikes" — a group that's fed up with what she describes as "hostile architecture."

"Spikes do nothing more than shoo the realities of poverty and inequality away from your backyard — so you don't have to see it or confront what you can do to make things more equal," Borromeo told Upworthy. "And that is really selfish."

"Our moral compass is skewed if we think things like this are acceptable."

charity, social consciousness, artist

A bed covers up spikes on the concrete.


The move by Space, Not Spikes has caused quite a stir in London and around the world. The simple but impactful idea even garnered support from music artist Ellie Goulding.

"That was amazing, wasn't it?" Borromeo said of Goulding's shout-out on Instagram.

books, philanthropy, capitalism

Artist's puppy books and home comforts.


"[The project has] definitely touched a nerve and I think it is because, as a whole, humans will still look out for each other," Borromeo told Upworthy. "Capitalism and greed conditions us to look out for ourselves and negate the welfare of others, but ultimately, I think we're actually really kind."

"We need to call out injustice and hypocrisy when we see it."
anti-homeless laws, legislation, panhandling

A message to offer support in contrast with current anti-homeless laws.


These spikes may be in London, but the U.S. definitely has its fair share of anti-homeless sentiment, too.

Spikes are pretty obvious — they're a visual reminder of a problem many cities are trying to ignore. But what we can't see on the street is the rise of anti-homeless laws that have cropped up from sea to shining sea.

Legislation that targets homeless people — like bans on panhandling and prohibiting people from sleeping in cars — has increased significantly in recent years.

For instance, a report by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty that analyzed 187 American cities found that there's been a 43% hike in citywide bans on sitting or lying down in certain spaces since 2011.

Thankfully, groups like "Space, Not Spikes" are out there changing hearts and minds. But they need our help.

The group created a video to complement its work and Borromeo's hoping its positive underlying message will motivate people to do better.

"[The world] won't always be happy-clappy because positive social change needs constructive conflict and debate," she explained. "But we need to call out injustice and hypocrisy when we see it."

Check out their video below:

This article originally appeared on 07.24.15


Certain questions don't need to be asked.

"Why didn't she say anything sooner?"

It's the question that frustrates sexual assault prevention advocates and discredits the victims who bravely come forward after they've been targeted.

Stars Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow — who both disclosed to The New York Times they'd been sexually harassed by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein — were among the many women forced to trudge through a predictable wave of victim-blaming following their disclosures.

Paltrow and Jolie's descriptions of abuse followed an explosive report in the Times on Oct. 5, 2017, that chronicled decades of alleged sexual harassment at the hands of Weinstein — a man with seemingly boundless sway and power in the filmmaking world.

Sadly, Paltrow and Jolie were met with various forms of the question. "Why didn't the women of Hollywood stop him?" sprouted up immediately in corners of the internet.

One viral comment on the Times article, however, nailed why questioning a victim's actions after surviving sexual harassment or assault does so much harm.

"It is disheartening to see so many comments already blaming women for not 'speaking up,'" the reader, identified as "K" from Brooklyn, began.

"Please count yourself lucky that you've never had your career on the line based on whether or not you sleep with your boss," they continued. "It has nothing to do with fame and riches; this happens to women making minimum wage in retail as well as women who fought through it to become CEOs."

"K" continued, giving context as to why it's often very difficult and complicated for survivors to speak up after being abused (emphasis added):

"The psychology behind this kind of thing is not that complex, so please spare a moment to consider: Not only are these women made to feel humiliated and embarrassed, but in some cases if they had come forward, they not only would never work again, they also would be seen as whiners and 'too sensitive.' Both Jolie and Paltrow fended him off. Imagine if they made a big stink about it. They would have been ripped apart in the media! 'Oh for goodness' sake, a dirty old man came on to you. You rejected him and moved on, why the fuss?' But, of course, now we must insist on blaming them for 'perpetuating' Weinstein's behavior. Please."

As "K" described, victims often stay silent because they're vulnerable to the power abusers have over the situation; victims could lose their job or see their credibility attacked, for instance. These kinds of power dynamics — whether it be in Hollywood or not — play a big role in why victims stay silent.

For victims of sexual harassment, the threat to their livelihood does not end after a single encounter with an abuser. If a young, less accomplished Paltrow had spoken out against a figure like Weinstein, would he have irreversibly tarnished her reputation? Would he have planted unforgiving stories about her in the media? Would she have ever worked again? These are the sorts of threats victims weigh before speaking out. A predator's hold on a victim's career or reputation creates a culture of silence.

The commenter also used Brad Pitt's involvement in the story to note a sexist double standard in how we see victims of sexual assault.

If we're blaming Paltrow and Jolie for not speaking up sooner, why aren't we blaming Brad Pitt as well?

Pitt, who'd been romantically involved with both Paltrow and Jolie at different points in his career, reportedly knew about Weinstein's predatory behavior, according to The Daily Beast, yet he worked with Weinstein on two films following the disturbing encounters. The fact that he's largely been left out of the discussion says a lot about how we view victims of sexual assault, particularly when they're women.

"K" went on to say that the attitudes of blaming women for their own persecution are astounding: "Note that the comments have not centered around Brad Pitt's not saying anything, though he knew about it with not one but TWO romantic partners...It is not the women's job to monitor men's behavior."

The assertions made by "K," whose comment drew over 3,000 likes and a long thread of supportive replies, aren't just steeped in opinion; advocates argue sexual harassment is rarely just about sex — asserting power plays an instrumental role.

"Most frequently, survivors of sexual harassment, exploitation and violence delay making an official report of what has happened out of fear of how others will respond," Kristen Houser, chief public affairs officer at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, explained to HuffPost in March 2017. "From retaliation by the perpetrator to gossip, dismissive responses and outright victim blaming by colleagues, friends and family."

We need to stop asking "Why didn't she say anything?" and instead wonder "Why aren't we doing more to support survivors?"

This article originally appeared on 10.12.17


What it’s like to adopt a dog, as told through a 14-part comic

Moscow-based comic artist Bird Born explains why adopting a dog changed his life.

Rescuing a pet is an amazing and heroic undertaking.

7.6 million pets go into shelters each year, according to the ASPCA. And of those pets, about 2.7 million pets are rescued by humans who give them forever homes.

Moscow-based comic artist Bird Born experienced firsthand the power of welcoming a pet into your family when he adopted a dog.

Then his journey to understand his newest animal friend inspired an adorable and incredibly moving comic, too.

Follow this artist's journey to help his new friend feel welcome in his home:

Rescuing animals is a big commitment, and of course it doesn't come without challenges.

When adopting any animal, there's fear and uncertainty about their past life. Were they abused? Were they malnourished? How will they respond to humans?

Despite this, Born persevered with his new dog. "It took a lot of love and care to prove this animal that she was loved and needed," he writes in his comic.

Today, he can rest easy knowing one less dog is in need. And that's proof enough that adopting a dog can make the world a better place.

This article originally appeared on 08.23.16.