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One guy reaches out and grabs her arm. The other makes a split-second decision.

It's not about being a knight in shining armor. It's about doing what's right. Period.

One guy reaches out and grabs her arm. The other makes a split-second decision.

Doing what's right means stopping sexual assault before it happens.

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When predators target people for abuse, they count on ordinary people — other guys in particular — doing nothing.

Which is why when we see something, fellow dudes, we have to do something. We have to make it known, under no uncertain terms, that this kind of behavior isn't macho or impressive, but that it's completely, 100% socially unacceptable.

This is called the "bystander approach," and it's really, really important.

Here's how it was defined by gender violence prevention educator Jackson Katz in an incredible talk that every person should watch at least once.


A bystander is defined as anybody who is not a perpetrator or a victim in a given situation, so in other words, friends, teammates, colleagues, coworkers, family members, those of us who are not directly involved in a dyad of abuse, but we are embedded in social, family, work, school, and other peer culture relationships with people who might be in that situation. What do we do? How do we speak up? How do we challenge our friends? How do we support our friends? But how do we not remain silent in the face of abuse? — Jackson Katz

Why do men in particular have to speak up?

When it comes to men and male culture, the goal is to get men who are not abusive to challenge men who are. And when I say "abusive," I don't mean just men who are beating women. We're not just saying a man whose friend is abusing his girlfriend needs to stop the guy at the moment of attack. That's a naive way of creating a social change. It's along a continuum. We're trying to get men to interrupt each other. So, for example, if you're a guy and you're in a group of guys playing poker, talking, hanging out, no women present, and another guy says something sexist or degrading or harassing about women, instead of laughing along or pretending you didn't hear it, we need men to say, "Hey, that's not funny. You know, that could be my sister you're talking about. And, could you joke about something else? Or, could you talk about something else? I don't appreciate that kind of talk." Just like if you're a white person and another white person makes a racist comment, you'd hope, I hope, that white people would interrupt that racist enactment by a fellow white person. Just like with heterosexism, if you're a heterosexual person and you yourself don't enact harassing or abusive behaviors towards people of varying sexual orientations, if you don't say something in the face of other heterosexual people doing that, then, in a sense, isn't your silence a form of consent and complicity? — Jackson Katz

Yes, yes it is.

When someone is the victim of sexual violence, it's not their responsibility to stop it, or be more careful, or fight back harder. It's our responsibility to make sure the culture we create and participate in is not one that excuses such violence in the first place.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. These qualities of leadership may not be flashy or loud, but they speak volumes when we see them in action.

A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

The essential nature of the debate was whether it was acceptable for people to act violently towards someone with repugnant reviews, even if they were being peaceful. Some suggested people should confront them peacefully by engaging in a debate or at least make them feel uncomfortable being Nazi in public.

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The English language is constantly evolving, and the faster the world changes, the faster our vocabulary changes. Some of us grew up in an age when a "wireless router" would have been assumed to be a power tool, not a way to get your laptop (which wasn't a thing when I was a kid) connected to the internet (which also wasn't a thing when I was a kid, at least not in people's homes).

It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

It's also fun to plug in the years of different people's births to see how their generational differences might impact their perspectives. For example, let's take the birth years of the oldest and youngest members of Congress:

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