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It was supposed to be a funny, lighthearted evening of comedy for women. And it was — until some dudes made it about them.

In November 2016, comedian Iliza Shlesinger hosted a women's-only comedy night at the Largo in Los Angeles. The event, Girls Night In, "was a singular evening that encouraged women to get together, talk and laugh about the things we go through as well as donate some money to Planned Parenthood," Shlesinger said in a statement.

Photo by Brandon Williams/Getty Images for International Myeloma Foundation.


Two men — George St. George, 21, and a male companion — decided to buy tickets to the show anyway. Staff at the theater told the men it would be best to sit in the back row for the event prominently advertised as being "no boys allowed," then later denied them entry altogether.

Now St. George is suing Shlesinger for discrimination, claiming he was not allowed to attend due to his gender.

This is not the first time St. George's attorney, Alfred Rava, has filed lawsuits essentially claiming "reverse sexism."

Rava sued after not receiving the Mother's Day promotion at an Oakland A's game and sued Club Med for a women-only promotion. He's done this dozens of times, both as the plaintiff and the attorney on the cases.

But this lawsuit isn't exactly subtle: In the 14-page lawsuit, Rava even compares St. George being asked to leave to the "...Montgomery City Lines bus company in Montgomery, Alabama circa 1955 morphing into the Woolworth’s department store lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960."

And before you ask: No, St. George was not publicly humiliated, pelted with food, or dragged away and arrested for trespassing. He was simply offered a refund and asked to leave.

We have yet to know if a judge will determine that St. George's claims hold water in the courts. But they simply don't hold water in the real world, and here are three reasons why.

1. Despite his attempt to appeal to ideas of fairness and equality, St. George is filing a case to solve a problem that simply doesn't exist: reverse oppression.

Reverse oppression (be it sexism, racism, or what have you) is not a thing and never has been.

In 2015, Melissa A. Fabello over at Everyday Feminism did a great job breaking down exactly why, but here's the part everyone (especially dudes like St. George) needs to read:

"...yes, all people can experience stereotyping (assumptions that all people in one group are similar), prejudice (dislike toward a group based on those stereotypes), and discrimination (refusing access to resources based on that prejudice).

However, only oppressed people experience all of that and institutionalized violence and systematic erasure."

There you have it. When the Largo didn't allow St. George and his companion into the space to make a mockery of an event, this action was not reverse sexism — or in any way akin to the suffering endured by those in the civil rights movement.

These men have every right to feel hurt or bummed out that they were not allowed to attend (though let's remember: they got a refund), but since no one in the history of time has ever mounted a successful campaign to violate, subjugate, disenfranchise, harm, or forever silence men because of their gender, this incident is by no means oppression.

Please, tell me more about the systemic oppression and erasure of men. I am genuinely curious. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

2. If St. George wanted to truly stand up for men that day, he could've. But he didn't.

He could have supported organizations that support male survivors of sexual assault, or he could have spoken out against toxic masculinity and the dangerous attitudes and traditions that don't always allow for boys and men to express a full range of emotions. Hell, he could've raised money to support prostate or lung cancer research, the most common cancers among men.

Of course he didn't do that because he's not really interested in bettering the lives of men. He just wants to silence, shame, and disrupt the work of women. Men like St. George and Rava are cowards in activists' clothes.

[rebelmouse-image 19346257 dam="1" original_size="750x499" caption="If he isn't already, St. George's time may be better spent signal boosting the voices of male survivors who have shared their stories of sexual assault and misconduct, like Terry Crews, Anthony Rapp, and countless others. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images." expand=1]If he isn't already, St. George's time may be better spent signal boosting the voices of male survivors who have shared their stories of sexual assault and misconduct, like Terry Crews, Anthony Rapp, and countless others. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

3. In fact, it's because of men like this that women need a space to feel safe, encouraged, and supported in the first place.

Living as a woman comes with the emotional burden of sexual harassment, the constant threat of gender-based violence, microaggressions, and a substantial wage gap.

Not-so-shockingly some women just want a space, without men, to celebrate, talk, share, and commiserate, even if just for one night. To the men who understand and support this: Thank you. To the men who can't wait to shit on something that doesn't center them: Do better.

Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Hollywood Wilshire YMCA.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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