One woman's scathing letter to her coworker about Brock Turner and consent.

This letter about Brock Turner and consent is a must-read.

An open letter to my coworker:

It’s a Monday morning and we’re making small-talk.

Like, “How was your weekend?”


“You see that fire out in Calabasas?”

“It’s been so cloudy lately.”

“So, how about that rape letter?” you say.

Yeah, you saw I’d posted about it “like seven times.”

Yeah, I tell you it makes me angry. Angrier than usual.

“Listen,” you say, and you pause, like: “I’m trying to figure out how to phrase this.”

That’s when I pull out the thick skin.

You know, the kind women always keep tied around their waists like an extra flannel shirt, ready to throw on before meetings or rape trials, or walking down the street, or making small talk at the office,

The thick skin that says, “I’ll try my best not to get offended by what you say because I know how offensive it is to have my own opinion.”

“People are saying that it’s 100% his fault and 0% her fault,” you say hesitantly.

You say it the way women are taught to speak, afraid of their own mouths. “And I agree…”

But…” you say. “But don't you also agree that this whole thing could have been avoided if she had just been more responsible."

I stare at you in disbelief for a moment.

I am sick to my stomach, like, stranger groping my ass in a crowded train kind of sick to my stomach, just as unable to respond, to discern bile from protest bubbling in my throat, wanting to explain, wanting to say:

”Hey, just so you know, you don’t need to play devil’s advocate — he’s already got one. And he’s good enough to get him off with only six months.”

But I knew that any response of mine would be sharp, like car keys between knuckles sharp. And so instead, I did the only responsible thing I could do in that situation. I walked away.

I should’ve remembered that my retreating back is an open invitation...

Because as I did so, you felt the need to add insult to injury.

Like turning away wasn’t enough of an indication that this subject was too painful for me to deal with right now.

You got in one last word: “Seriously! Just think about it!”

Think about it. Like I don’t.

Like I have the privilege of not thinking about it.

Like I don’t think about it when I go for a run after work and instead of using a timer, my personal best is just running faster than anyone who’s following me.

Like I don’t think about it when I leave the headphones at home on my way to pick up milk because I need to hear if anyone’s coming up behind me and it’s already hard enough to make out my music over the soundtrack of my someday interrogation:

“Don’t you know you live in K-town? Why would you walk alone after dark? What did you think was going to happen?”

Like I don’t think about it when I pick an outfit from my closet and look at it like a piece of evidence.

“If I get raped when I’m wearing this tonight, how guilty would it make me?”

Like maybe they should mark it on the tag: 60% cotton, 40% her fault.

Like I don’t think about it when strangers offer to buy me a beer.

Like this is Wonderland, and that bottle says, “Drink me,” and you think that my miniskirt says “Rape me.”

Like we’re all just making bad choices.

Like I don’t think about it when my little sister sends me photos that she wants to put on Facebook, for my approval, to make sure they’re appropriate.

To make sure they’re safe. To imagine them under a headline about how she got raped behind a dumpster.

“Just think about it,” you tell me.

Like I don’t think about it when boys like you say things like, “But don’t you also agree that this whole thing could have been avoided if she had just been more responsible.”

Like I don’t constantly think about how I live in a world where women are held responsible for the actions of men.

Like I didn’t learn that in middle school when girls were sent home for wearing tank tops with straps thinner than two fingers.

Like it wasn’t made clear every time they called us “daughters, sisters, mothers” — that we only exist in relation to men.

That naturally, we should be more responsible, so as not to let them rape us, and ruin their own life with the same two fingers they once used to measure our straps.

Like I don’t think about it. Like I can choose not to think about it. Like I wasn’t up all night thinking about it.

But it’s almost 5 a.m., and I need to sleep before tomorrow.

I need to sleep so I have the energy to smile at the men on the street, so they don’t have to ask me to.

But first, I need to make sure that I’m being perfectly clear:

Like, “no means no” clear.

Like, “an intoxicated person cannot consent” clear.

Like, “an unconscious person cannot consent” clear.

Like, “sex without consent is not sex, it’s rape” clear.

Like, “guilty on three counts of sexual assault” clear.

Let me keep it simple: No. I do not agree.

Seriously.

Think about it.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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