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upworthy

conflict

A couple posing near a tree.

A 29-year-old man is dealing with serious tensions within his family after they confronted him about his girlfriend’s weight and how she chooses to dress. To find out if he was in the wrong for how he handled the situation, he took to Reddit to get some clarity.

The situation started at a recent family gathering.

“While attending my (26 M) brother’s girlfriend’s birthday party at their house, my mother and my brother brought me to the kitchen and confronted me, and told me that my girlfriend needs to dress more modestly and that they have a problem with her not wearing a bra,” the man recalled.

The discussion came out of the blue for the man who had no idea his girlfriend’s style or weight was an issue for anyone. It certainly wasn't one for him. His girlfriend had previously told him that she doesn’t like wearing a bra because it makes her chest feel “tight” and “uncomfortable.”


“I’m not sure if it’s because she’s my long-time girlfriend, but even though she weighs around 160 pounds, her not wearing a bra has never stuck out to me before, and I hadn’t even really noticed until they had pointed it out to me,” he admitted.

couples, reddit, family fights

A couple posing by a woodpile.

via Rafaah Machado/Pexels

His family members then began to talk about his girlfriend in a sexualized way.

His mother said her breasts were “too big” for her not to wear a bra, and her boyfriend added that when she’s in the room, it’s the “only thing you can look at.” His brother then confessed that he had had multiple fights with his girlfriend over the woman’s body and choice of attire. “She’s afraid my brother's eyes will wander, and she secretly is afraid he likes overweight girls,” he said.

After the confrontation, the man and his girlfriend left the party.

After the family realized they left, his brother called him, and he said that his girlfriend’s “body shape or the way she dresses is anyone’s business and that if people wanted to be creepy and stare at her, that wasn’t her fault.”

His mother then got on the phone and, once again, said the girlfriend needs to show “respect” for herself and the family by wearing a bra. “I then told them how important I think it is for my girlfriend to be comfortable in the clothes she’s wearing, and if she can’t be comfortable around my family, then we don’t need to see them anymore,” he said.

Sadly, the phone call devolved into a loud argument between all 3 parties. The man asked for a “second opinion” from folks on Reddit whether he in fact was being “too brash.” The commenters overwhelmingly supported him and said he handled the situation gracefully.

"Leaving the situation was the best thing to do. I'd like to think I would have this grace too but your family is REALLY weird," the most popular commenter, ARandomWalkInSpace, wrote.

"The way you talk about your girlfriend tells us a lot about the kind of person and partner you are, and your perspective and actions in this situation are admirable. Your family is trying to pin the blame for their own problems on your girlfriend," Amandahip wrote. "As someone with a relatively large chest, it’s almost easier to dress “modestly” while bra-less or wearing low-support garments. Your family is creating a battle that your girlfriend can’t win, and the two of you leaving the situation was a graceful response."

Another noted that the family blamed the girlfriend for everyone else's inappropriate reactions to her.

"You hit all the marks,” houskeepinghoney wrote. “Those women are afraid their men can't control their eyes, which they should absolutely be able to. "So tired of people blaming women for men's actions.”

In the end, the entire experience was an excellent way for the man and his girlfriend to break out of negative family cycles.

“My girlfriend is okay. We both come from families that thrive on drama,” he wrote. “This was just a breaking point for me personally. Thank you all for your support, kind words, and confirming what I already knew.”

Most Shared

Riz Ahmed performed a moving spoken-word song in response to Charlottesville.

The powerful performance of 'Sour Times' drew a roaring applause.

"It seems that we’re living in really, really divided times, and it really hurts," said rapper, actor, and activist Riz Ahmed on "The Tonight Show."

Just days after a white supremacist killed a protester at a Charlottesville, Virginia, march, the "Rogue One" star found himself seated next to Jimmy Fallon discussing his latest TV, film, and music projects. After a few minutes of standard talk show banter, the conversation turned serious, and Ahmed brought up a song he wrote a while ago, that he hoped would never be relevant.

[rebelmouse-image 19532426 dam="1" original_size="450x253" caption="GIFs from "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon"/YouTube." expand=1]GIFs from "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon"/YouTube.


"I wrote this piece 10 years ago. Every year, I keep hoping it’ll become irrelevant, but it seems to become more and more relevant, sadly," he told Fallon. "It’s my attempt to try and get behind the headlines and work out where all this extremism is coming from."

Then he asked for a microphone and walked to the middle of the stage.

Ahmed performed a phenomenal, heartfelt, powerful spoken-word rendition of "Sour Times" for the audience.

If there's a message we need to hear right now, this is it. If you have a spare four minutes, do yourself a favor and watch the video. If not, the lyrics are printed in full at the bottom of this story.

"So listen, terrorism isn’t caused by religion or an old school vision of Islam / It’s against the Quran, it’s a new innovation caused by mash-up situations / That’s what makes them turn to arms / The problem is modern and it’s all local factors / Dictatorships, injustices and wars cause fatwas."

Our goal, like Ahmed says, should be to better understand where extremism comes from. Islamophobia, bigotry, and xenophobia aren't the answer, and if anything, they might actually just make things worse. To root out extremism, we need to understand its cause, "what makes them turn to arms," as Ahmed says. Placing blanket blame on Muslims is a cop-out.

The situation is a lot more complex than that, and until we can respond to it in a smart, thoughtful, and nuanced way, things will only get worse.

"Sour Times" by Riz Ahmed, as performed on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon":

In these sour times
Please allow me to vouch for mine
Bitter taste in my mouth, spit it out with a rhyme
I'm losing my religion to tomorrow's headlines
Guantanamo — sorry bro?
Nah, nothing, it's fine.

And now it's post 7/7
Why they calling it that?
They're trying to link it to New York
Like we’re all under attack from the same big bad guy
But it's taking a piss
'Cause the truth is terrorism ain’t what you think it is
There ain’t no super villain planning these attacks from some base
The truth is so much scarier and harder to face
See, there's thousands of angry young men that are lost
Sidelined in the economy, a marginal cost
They think there's no point in putting ballots up in the box
They got no place in this system, and no faith in its cogs
They're easy targets, that be getting brainwashed by these knobs
Who say that spilling innocent blood is pleasing a god
Well, it sounds good when you don’t see no justice or jobs
The gas bills are piling up, but all the oil's getting robbed
So David's taking out Goliath, and his wife and his dog
Segregated, castrated, now we see who’s on top!
So see, it ain’t religious faith that’s causing these crimes
It’s losing faith in democratic free market designs
It’s no coincidence that bombers came from ghettos up north
And the way that Trump talks gives a lost boy a cause
Then double standards get 'em angered, both at home and abroad
There's a monopoly on pens that's why they forge their own swords
They're misguided, turned violent, strapped themselves up with bombs
But they're still cowards, 'cause they ain’t here when the backlash is on

In these sour times
Please allow me to vouch for mine
Bitter taste in my mouth, spit it out with a rhyme
I'm losing my religion to tomorrow's headlines
Abu Ghraib — sorry mate?
Nah, nothing, it's fine

So all the mans that want to say that my religion has to change
That we’re stuck in a bygone age
It's time to set the vinyl straight
Don’t you think it’s kind of strange that all this terror outrage
These last gasp castaways
These bastards that will blast away
Turned up in the last decade
When Islam has been the way for millions
From back in the day
Instead of thinking that we’re crazed
Investigate just what it says
Fast, help the poor, and pray
Go Mecca, feast, fast, and faith
That’s the basics, that the base
So how did we get here today?
Well, interpretations always change
Today, they're read with rage
Been jihad-ened up
Desperation's kinda f—
Makes you use a book of peace as weapons in Iraq
So listen, terrorism isn’t caused by religion or an old school vision of Islam
It’s against the Quran, it’s a new innovation caused by mash-up situations
That’s what makes them turn to arms
The problem is modern and it’s all local factors
Dictatorships, injustices, and wars cause fatwas

In these sour times
Please allow me to vouch for mine
Bitter taste in my mouth, spit it out with a rhyme
I'm losing my religion to tomorrow's headlines
But it's fine






































































In her spoken word piece, "How Many More?" Lula Saleh shines a light on the treacherous journeys refugees endure and their uncertain futures if they survive the trip.

‌Throughout her stirring piece, equal parts poem and song, Saleh questions not just governments turning away refugees at their borders, but everyone who turns a blind eye to human suffering. ‌‌‌‌

All GIFs from Infiniti Pictures/Vimeo.


Saleh is the  daughter of immigrants and an immigrant herself, so this message is deeply personal.

Saleh is an Ethiopian-Eritrean American and spent her childhood on four different continents, so her global perspective and life as a third-culture kid informs much of her work.

Whether or not you're an immigrant, her words are poignant, thought-provoking, and more relevant than ever.

The powerful images accompanying Saleh's words also highlight an often overlooked refugee population — displaced people from sub-Saharan Africa.

With continuing crises in South Sudan, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic, and recent conflicts in Burundi and Yemen, sub-Saharan Africa now hosts more than 18 million refugees. That's more than 26% of the world's refugee population.

Additionally, millions of people throughout the continent are also displaced within their own countries due to natural disasters, ongoing violence, and conflicts. In 2015, an estimated 12 million people in 21 African countries experienced ongoing displacement. In Nigeria alone, the figure reached 1.8 million people displaced at the end of 2016.

‌Refugee children from South Sudan in Bidibidi resettlement camp in the Northern District of Yumbe, Uganda. Photo by Isaa Kasamani/AFP/Getty Images. ‌

While much of the world's attention has gone to the refugee population fleeing war-torn Syria and Libya, journeying to western Europe, it's important to remember and support organizations providing emergency shelters, supplies, education, and medical care to refugees and displaced people across Africa as well.

This is a global problem that will require thoughtful, compassionate solutions. There's enough passion, energy, and heart to go around.

‌A woman carries a flour sack during food distribution by the Catholic Church to refugees and displaced people in Juba, South Sudan. Photo by Samir Bol/AFP/Getty Images. ‌

The people of Aleppo, Syria, are living in a nightmare right now.

Innocent men, women, and children have been caught in the cross fire between the Syrian army, rebels refusing to back down from a tyrant president, and reckless Russian drone strikes. In the eastern part of the city — once a thriving, metropolis home to millions — 50,000 civilians are bunkered up amongst the ruins, living at-risk of being killed in a moment's notice.

On the ground accounts coming out of Aleppo are horrifying. The city has been grappling with unrelenting violence for months. But the UN reports that, in just the past few days, Russian and Syrian forces — which have gained control of nearly all of the city — have slaughtered dozens of civilians. Messages of despair from inside the city walls have gone viral around the world, even as their authors remain helplessly trapped in a besieged city with "nowhere safe to run." Despite a cease-fire on Dec. 13, 2016, ongoing violence reportedly continued the following day.


It's easy to feel hopeless and helpless watching immeasurable heartache unfold continents away. But the people in Aleppo need us now more than ever before, and rallies in cities across the globe are showing us exactly how it's done:

1. In Beruit, protesters with signs reading "Aleppo" in Arabic said a lot without voicing a single a word.

Photo by Bilal Hussein/AP.

2. In London, activists rallied outside Downing Street, urging their leaders to do something to protect the most vulnerable in Syria.

Photo by Daniel Sorabji/AFP/Getty Images.

3. In Kuwait City, protesters held placards with a black "X" through the Russian flag in protest of Moscow's role in Aleppo's devastation.

Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images.

4. In Denver, residents and lawmakers alike voiced solidarity with the Syrian people, even an ocean away.

Photo by David Zalubowski/AP Photo.

5. In Amman, Jordan, peaceful but determined protesters took aim at the local Russian embassy.

Photo by Muhammad Hamed/Reuters.

6. In Istanbul, people poured into the streets with signs and flags in staunch opposition to Vladimir Putin.  

Photo: DHA via AP.

7. In Idlib, Syria — just 40 miles away from Aleppo — protesters pleaded for the outside world to save their neighbors "before it is too late."

Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images.

8. And in Sarajevo, women held dolls in protest of the young children who've been killed at the hands of violence.

Photo by Amel Emric/AP Photo.

Regardless of where you live in the world, you can make a difference.

There are many organizations providing vital services on the ground in and around Aleppo, like search and rescue operations and medical relief for those in desperate need. If you have a dollar to spare, it won't go to waste.

As Malala Yousafzai once said, "When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful."