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There's 1 simple question every parent should ask their kids tonight. It's about Santa.

Unlearning gender-based stereotypes is actually pretty easy. Here's how.

Christmas is just a couple short weeks away, and there's no better time to think about Santa's physics-defying ride around the globe.

7 billion people, 10,000 homes per second, and just 48 hours (thank you, time zones!) to do it? It's not a job for just anyone. Clearly you have to have some major skills to pull it off.

But — does Santa have to be a man?


GIF from "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Anomaly, which is a creative agency behind the #MoreWomen campaign, set out to find out how integral Santa's gender is to the job of being Santa.

In the video, a group of kids is asked if a woman could do Santa's job.


And they want you to try this at home! GIFs via Anomaly.

The answers were kind of, well, disturbing.

It's not so much the whole "Santa has to be a man" aspect that's disturbing, but more the reasons why a female Santa just wouldn't work that raised some eyebrows.

That's exactly the point the video is trying to make.

Many of the kids' reasons why Santa couldn't be a woman centered around stereotypes.

There's the bad driver ...

... the mom ...

... the migraine-prone ...

... and the weak.

The video encourages parents to use the question about Santa as a way to talk to their kids about stereotypes.

Studies show that gender-based stereotypes (such as "women are weak" or "men are good drivers" or — well, you get the idea) are often learned at home and at a young age.

Which is neither to say that the kids nor their parents are anything other than lovely human beings. They probably are!

"Subtle gender differences between how mothers and fathers act could be imparting important lessons to children about what it means to be male and female." — Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience

But when parents' subconsciously model of their own parenting style off of those same gender roles, kids pick up on that.

Here's how Clara Moskowitz at LiveScience describes one study:

"Fathers issued more imperatives (such as 'Put the toy in the bag') and polite commands ('Why don't you try pushing that') than mothers, while mothers gave more play leads, such as 'Wanna look at the book?' or 'Let's see what's in this bag.
***
Ultimately, these subtle gender differences between how mothers and fathers act could be imparting important lessons to children about what it means to be male and female. The kids might pick up on the fact that daddies are more assertive and mommies are more passive and incorporate that into their own behavior over time."

Great Christmas movie or greatest Christmas movie? GIF from "Jingle All the Way."

And the same thing goes for what kids see in the media.

If the only behavior kids of all genders see as a representation of girls and women in movies and TV shows are them shopping, playing with dolls, and doing other traditionally feminine things, that's going to have a lasting effect on their whole concept of what girls are like.

Not that there's anything wrong with enjoying shopping. GIF from "Mean Girls."

Talking to your kids about stereotypes is just one way to help them unlearn them.

Unlearning stereotypes doesn't have to be hard. Really, it's as simple as making sure kids know that there are people who exist outside of them.

Show your kids sports heroes like Serena Williams, who shows that women don't have to be weak; comic strips that show that, yes, men can be emotional (and it's OK); videos that demonstrate how odd some of society's gender-based double standards are; or even just the fact that some people exist outside the gender binary.

The path to unlearning some of those stereotypes can begin with asking kids a question like "Could a woman do Santa's job?"

The key is to get young minds thinking about the world, questioning the limitations and stereotypes in place (another example: "Why is it always that a princess needs saving by a man? Why never a prince being saved by a woman?") and understanding that there are no limits to what they can do in life.


"Whoa, whoa, whoa, guys. Who says you can just 'win' me?" GIF from "The Princess Bride."

All of this is a part of why it's important to have diverse representation in media.

When kids are little, they're sponges for the world around them. And if all they see are very narrow depictions of what boys are "supposed" to be like and what girls are "supposed" to be like, they'll wind up trapping themselves in those boxes.

By starting this conversation, you're helping them process the amazing potential that is life!

So go ahead, ask your kids if a woman could do Santa's job. At very least, it'll start an interesting conversation.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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Education

All-female flight crews known as 'Night Witches' bombed the crap out of Nazi targets in WWII

The Germans were terrified of these pilots whose silent planes swooped in like ghosts.

The Night Witches were feared by the Germans for their stealth bombing runs.

If you like stories of amazing women, buckle up, because this one is a wild ride.

During WWII, the Soviet Air Force's 588th Night Bomber Regiment flew incredibly harrowing missions, bombing Germans with rudimentary biplanes in the dead of night. The Germans called them Nachthexen—"Night Witches"—because the only warning they had before the bombs hit was an ominous whooshing sound akin to a witch's broom.

The "whoosh" sound was due to the fact that the women would cut the planes' engines as they approached, gliding in stealthily before dropping their bombs. And the Night Witches moniker was fitting, considering the fact that the 588th was an all-female regiment.

Their missions were incredibly dangerous, especially considering how the women were equipped. Most of the recruits were in their late teens to mid-20s, and crew members had to learn how to pilot, navigate and maintain the aircraft so they could serve the regiment in any capacity. They underwent an intensive year of training to learn what usually took several years to master.

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This article originally appeared on July 2, 2019


Sadly, a lot of men go out of their way to avoid learning anything about a woman's period.

(That could be why throughout most of the United States — where the majority of lawmakers are men — feminine hygiene products are subject to sales tax.)

So we should give some love to the guys who make an effort to learn a bit about the menstrual cycle so they can help their family members when they're in desperate need of feminine hygiene products.

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