These guys just learned what it feels like to be a woman in Congress.

The inequality is real, and it's time we do something about it.

News flash: There's a whole lot more men than women in Congress. A disproportionate amount, you might say.

Ooo! Ooo! There's one! It's like a veritable "Where's Waldo?" Photo by Molly Riley/Getty Images.

The 114th Congress is 80.6% men and 19.4% women. In raw numbers, that's 104 women — the highest number to ever hold a seat in Congress — which, while a good sign, is still only about one-fifth of the total 535 voting members.


High school teacher Nicholas Ferroni wanted to explore what it means to be disproportionately represented in Congress by flipping that 80/20 dichotomy, using his students as test subjects.

Ferroni's been known to do the occasional social experiment, but he says this time — in a video featured by SoulPancake — his students weren't aware they were participating in one; they just thought they were voting on run-of-the-mill school government stuff.

The first question he asked the students: Should girls get a 21% discount on all school-related items? With a voting base that was 80% female, the majority of the students were in support of this. Several of the boys saw the validity in it too, explaining it's not fair that girls tend to spend more on accessories and still earn less than guys do.

But when Ferroni asked the students if girls should get a two-minute head start between classes, things started to get tense.

That's what a face melt looks like. GIF via SoulPancake/YouTube.

There was less overwhelming support for this rule as it seemed blatantly unfair to the guys. But with a 20% minority vote, could the guys sway the vote in their favor? Not a chance.

Ferroni continued having the group vote on proposals that were increasingly biased towards the female students until the guys just about had a fit.

Suddenly the frustration congresswomen (and women in the world in general) feel every day became painfully clear.

"You can't put this approved if there's only girls voting," said one outraged male student in Ferroni's class. He went on to liken the experience to "a boys prison."

All Ferroni's students were floored when he revealed the intent of the experiment.

"It opened the eyes of the boys, but, more importantly, it angered the girls when they actually realized Congress is the complete opposite," Ferroni explained in an e-mail.

When we talk about proportional representation in Congress, it's not about tokenism and it's not about doing it "just because." It's because an overwhelming majority will always vote in its own best interest. If Congress reflected the diversity of the country it represents, it would better able to make decisions that are good for everyone.

Check out Ferroni's experiment in this video by SoulPancake:

Most Shared

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture