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She filmed a trans woman in a restroom and complained about privacy but didn't see the irony.

"You're invading my privacy!" yelled the woman as she live-streamed video of another woman behind a bathroom stall door to her Facebook page.

Jazmina Saavedra, a Republican candidate for Congress in California's 44th district, paced outside the women's restroom at a Los Angeles Denny's. She shouted into the restroom, telling the occupant to get out.

The problem? The woman using the restroom was, Saavedra believed, transgender.


The video is uncomfortable to watch, with the restaurant's manager siding with Saavedra's open discussion of her willingness to attack the woman with pepper spray.

"I was with my pepper spray ready and I called the manager so he helped me," she said in the video. "How can I be with a man inside of the ladies' room just because he thinks he's a lady? This is unbelievable. Only in California this happens."

When asked for comment, Denny's said management received a complaint that led to manager entering the bathroom. "We are extremely disturbed by the incident that took place at our Los Angeles restaurant this week. At Denny's, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind, inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation," they added.

This is an unbelievably horrible incident, and unfortunately, incidents like it happen all the time. And it just needs to stop.

I am a transgender woman. Like most women, I use the women's restroom. It's not some luxury or something I do for fun. If it were up to me, I'd never use a public restroom at all — but when you've gotta go, you've gotta go.

I am sick of seeing stories like this. I am sick of seeing the actual invasion of someone's privacy taking a backseat to some hypothetical situation where a trans woman does the exact same thing this lady is doing to her.

I'm sick of it all, and I'm not alone. The National Center for Transgender Equality's 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 59% of trans Americans avoided using a public restroom in the prior year for fear of harassment. About 32% ate and drank less to reduce the odds that they'd have to use a restroom, 12% were verbally harassed in one, and 9% were denied access altogether.

Nobody should have to worry about being harassed simply for existing in public, but that's what transgender people face every day.

Anti-trans policies have been popping up in recent years, and they're making things worse — for everybody.

One of the common arguments against allowing trans people to use the bathroom of their identified gender is that women don't want to share a restroom with a "man" (though trans women are not men). The truth, however, is that if trans people are legally obligated to use the bathroom of the gender they were assigned at birth, it's actually more likely to result in situations where women do have to share restrooms with men.

A trans man named Michael Hughes conducted an experiment a few years back to make a point about how out of place it'd be for him to use the women's restroom. Bearded and muscular, the reaction most women would have to seeing him in the restroom would likely be something along the lines of "Eeeee! A man!"

Since the start of the conservative push to legislate bathroom access, a number of cisgender (non-trans) women have been harassed in women's restrooms for looking too masculine. Jessie Meehan isn't trans, but in 2017, she was harassed by a Walgreens employee for trying to use the women's restroom. Apparently, she looked too masculine for their taste.

Her story, documented in the video below, shows the kind of collateral damage of the push to police restroom use, reinforcing how feminine a woman "should" look or how masculine a man "should" look.

Anti-trans policies reinforce gender stereotypes that hurt us all.

Factoring in that the only way to actually enforce policies designed to restrict trans people from using the restroom is for all people to be subjected to invasive genital checks before entering, the entire argument about "privacy" becomes absurd. In fact, the "privacy" argument has always been absurd, often involving wild hypotheticals or some sort of misguided notion of what actually happens in restrooms.

If you are in a women's restroom and you're seeing someone else's genitals, you might be using the restroom horribly wrong. That's got nothing to do with trans people.

Yes, assaults happen in restrooms. However — and this is important — the culprits tend to be cis men, not trans women, who have never argued that they should be allowed to assault people by pretending to be transgender. Assault and voyeurism in public restrooms will always be against the law, no matter whether there's a policy for or against trans people.

If the argument becomes "Well, criminals don't obey the laws, anyway," then it's time to stop pretending that rules and laws banning trans people from public spaces will have any effect on safety or privacy. After all, the only thing "preventing" people from walking into any restroom they want right now is a little plastic sign with a stick figure in a dress.

I care about restroom privacy, and if you do too, you should rebuke people like Saavedra.

Demanding to know whether or not someone is trans before they use a restroom is an invasion of privacy. Requiring trans people to out themselves as such in a public place to around a group of strangers is an invasion of privacy. Filming someone in the bathroom, posting it to Facebook, and then trying to fundraise off of the event is an invasion of privacy.

Take a stand for privacy and just let people pee in peace.

Science

Sustainably good news: Recycling is getting better and this family is showing us how

What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these stories as an invitation to do better?

Via Ridwell

Ryan Metzger and son Owen

There is no shortage of dire news about the state of modern recycling. Most recently, this NPR article shared the jaw-dropping statistic that about 5% of all plastics produced get recycled, meaning the rest of it ends up in landfills. While the underlying concerns here are sound, I worry that the public narrative around recycling has gotten so pessimistic that it will make people give up on it entirely instead of seeing the opportunities to improve it. What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these news stories as an invitation to do better?

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The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

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Little boy and his mom get surprised with tickets to Eagles game.

In today's world, it's easy to get caught up in all the negative news we're exposed to, but in reality, most good deeds are done away from a camera—just one person helping another without desire for fanfare. And for mom Bryanne McBride and her young son, Mason, that's exactly what they were doing when they got the surprise of a lifetime.

Bryanne was approached by a man in a parking lot asking for a dollar to catch the bus. The entire time, the mom scrounged around in her purse looking for spare change and revealed she felt bad because she thought she had some. Bryanne's desire to help was a simple act of kindness to another human in need without the expectation of something in return.

During the time it took for the unsuspecting mother to dig for loose change, the "stranded" stranger, Zach, introduced himself and asked if the duo were from Philly. Once they said they were from the area, he then inquired if they were Eagles fans...the football team, not the birds. "You ever been to an Eagles game?" Zach asked.

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Women are looking for love at Home Depot.

Even though people have endless options to find love these days, whether in real life or online, finding the perfect person still isn’t easy. In fact, according to Pew Research, 55% of women believe dating is harder today than it was 10 years ago. So it’s understandable that some are considering ditching the apps to meet people in real life.

Studies show that for people looking for a serious relationship, real life may be the better option.

According to Newsweek, a study by Illinois State University sociology professor Susan Sprecher found that young people who first met face to face were 25% more likely to report feelings of closeness than those who initially met online. Aditi Paul, a communications professor at Pace University in New York, found that people who first met in real life lasted four times longer than those who met online.

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Family

Two couples move in together with their kids to create one big, loving 'polyfamory'

They are using their unique family arrangement to help people better understand polyamory.

The Hartless and Rodgers families post together


Polyamory, a lifestyle where people have multiple romantic or sexual partners, is more prevalent in America than most people think. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, one in nine Americans have been in a polyamorous relationship, and one in six say they would like to try one.

However popular the idea is, polyamory is misunderstood by a large swath of the public and is often seen as deviant. However, those who practice it view polyamory as a healthy lifestyle with several benefits.

Taya Hartless, 28, and Alysia Rogers, 34, along with their husbands Sean, 46, and Tyler, 35, are in a polyamorous relationship and have no problem sharing their lifestyle with the public on social media. Even though they risk stigmatization for being open about their non-traditional relationships, they are sharing it with the world to make it a safer place for “poly” folks like themselves.

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Education

Woman without an internal monologue explains what it's like inside her head

“She's broken my mind. I don't even understand what I'm not understanding."

PA Struggles/Youtube

An estimated 50-70% of the population doesn't have an internal monologue.

The notion of living without an internal monologue is a fairly new one. Until psychologist Russell Hurlburt’s studies started coming out in the late 90s, it was widely accepted that everyone had a little voice narrating in their head. Now Hurlburt, who has been studying people's "inner experience" for 40 years, estimates that only 30-50% of the population frequently think this way.

So what about the other 50-70%? What exactly goes on inside their heads from day to day?

In a video interview originally posted in 2020, a woman named Kirsten Carlson gave some insight into this question, sharing how not having an inner dialogue affected her reading and writing, her interactions with others and how she navigates mental challenges like anxiety and depression. It was eye-opening and mind-blowing.
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Community

Native Siberian shares what daily life entails in the coldest village on Earth

See how the people of Yakutia, Siberia take showers, do laundry, go to school and more in minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit.

A man in the Yakutia region of Siberia takes an ice bath in minus 50 degrees Celsius.

For most of us, waking up to a temperature of minus 50 degrees would spell catastrophe. Normal life would come to a screeching halt, we'd be scrambling to deal with frozen pipes and power outages, school and work would be canceled and weather warnings would tell us not to venture outside due to frostbite risk.

But in the Yakutia region of Siberia, that's just an average winter day where life goes on as usual.

When you live in the coldest inhabited area on Earth, your entire life is arranged around dealing with ridiculously cold temperatures. Villages don't have running water because freezing pipes wouldn't allow for water treatment. Kids go to school unless the temp drops below minus 55 degrees Celsius (which is then considered dangerous). Showering involves spending hours stoking a fire in the bathhouse to create a steamy, warm room.

Native Siberian Kiun B. has created a series of documentary short films detailing what daily life is like in Yakutia's frigid winters. She was born and raised in Yakutsk, Siberia, widely recognized as the coldest city on Earth, where average winter temperatures hover around minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit. As seen in her videos, smaller villages in the Yakutia region regularly dip down into the negative 50s, with the lowest recorded temp in the Yakut village of Oymayakon reaching a mindblowing minus 96 degrees Fahrenheit.

The popularity of Kiun's YouTube channel demonstrates how curious people are about life in such harsh conditions, as her videos have been viewed by tens of millions of people in the past year alone.

Check out this video detailing a day in the life of a family in a Yakutia village.

Can you imagine going out to use an outhouse in minus 40 degrees? Oof.

Another of Kiun's videos goes into more detail about how people shower and do laundry in the region. You might assume they wouldn't line-dry their laundry outdoors, but they do.

Watch:

What do people wear to protect themselves from the negative temperatures? Frostbite is a real risk, so it's important to have the right kinds of clothing and outdoor gear to stay safe and relatively comfortable.

Kiun shared some frigid fashion norms from Yakutsk, which include traditional fur hats and boots as well as lots of layers and down jackets.

However, there are some Yakut folks who see the cold as something to embrace. For instance, this man takes an ice bath out in the elements as a morning ritual. It's something he has worked up to—definitely not something to try on your own during a cold snap—but it still has to be painful.

(Seriously, please don't try this at home.)

The way humans have learned to adapt to drastically different environments, from the sweltering tropics to the Arctic tundra, is incredible, and it's fascinating to get a close-up look at how people make life work in those extremes. Thank you, Kiun B., for giving us a glimpse of what it's like to experience life in the dead of winter in the world's coldest inhabited places.