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Serena Williams wrote a powerful open letter to girls and women everywhere.

Why is Williams a great "female athlete," yet you never hear LeBron James referred to as a great "male athlete"?

One of the greatest athletes of all-time, superstar Serena Williams gets it done on and off the court.

In addition to being a 22-time Grand Slam singles champion, the tennis legend has pushed back against body-shamers, shut down rude reporters, spoken out against police violence, and just recently teamed up with her sister, Venus, to open a center for gun violence victims in their hometown of Compton.

But that's not all she's done lately.


Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images.

In an open letter addressed to "incredible women who strive for excellence," Williams shared some real talk about the real effects of gender bias.

Appearing in Porter Magazine's "Incredible Women of 2016" issue (and reprinted at The Guardian), Williams talks about what it's like being one of the most hugely successful women in the world and the struggle and frustration that goes along with it.

Opening with a line about her childhood dream of becoming the greatest tennis player in the world, Williams went on to say how thankful she is to have a family that was there for her to support that goal.

"People call me one of the 'world’s greatest female athletes,'" she writes. "Do they say LeBron is one of the world’s best male athletes? Is Tiger? Federer? Why not? They are certainly not female. We should never let this go unchallenged."

Too often, women and girls are limited by society and even by loved ones. We can work to change that.

Speaking in Lima, Peru, earlier this month, President Obama opened up about some of the unnecessary roadblocks women and girls face in the world.

"The leaders and the men in every country need to understand that the countries that are most successful are going to be the countries that give opportunities to girls and women, and not just boys and men," he told the audience during a question-and-answer session.

Changing the culture of limitations will take action in government, in business, in education, and yes, in parenting.

Over the years, numerousstudieshaveshown that when it comes to self-esteem, there's a major difference between boys and girls. When it comes to asking why this is the case, there are a number of theories, many of which center around culture and upbringing.

As both Obama and Williams suggest, removing the roadblocks women face in the professional world means setting girls up for success from the start. Girls need to know that they can be anything they want — astronaut, scientist, engineer, president, or even the greatest tennis player in the world.

The world needs role models and strong women who follow big dreams.

"As we know, women have to break down many barriers on the road to success," Williams writes. "One of those barriers is the way we are constantly reminded we are not men, as if it is a flaw."

For the sake of future generations, we must set aside this notion that being a woman is a bad thing and that men are the default. That's why it's important that we see people like Williams, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Oprah Winfrey, Sheryl Sandberg, and Michelle Obama as not only some of the greatest and most successful women, but as some of the most successful people of our time as well.

The end goal, of course, must be to eliminate the unique hardships women and girls face for no reason other than their gender.

Discrimination exists in America. That's just reality. The existence of successful women isn't proof that sexism is over, just as the existence of successful people of color isn't proof that racism is over. These elements exist in society, whether they're on the basis of gender, religion, race, or a number of other factors.

One step forward, as Williams suggests, is using what others view as weakness as fuel and motivation. Until the world no longer looks at women and people of color as "lesser" because of who they are, it's important that we acknowledge just how extraordinary women like Williams are.

Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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