This feminist's comedy show didn't allow men. Now a man is suing her for it.

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.

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.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Naomi Osaka was only 20 years old when she won the U.S. Open tournament, and she is the first Asian player to hold the highest singles ranking. The tennis star moved to the U.S. from Japan at age three and she has held both Japanese and American citizenship.

Her U.S. citizenship has been a topic of discussion as the Japanese exemption that allows her to hold both passports expired at age 22—which Osaka turned in 2019. At that time, she announced she would choose to give up her U.S. citizenship to keep her Japanese citizenship and compete for Japan in the 2020 Olympics. However, Osaka has said that she feels "more like a global citizen" than one particular nationality—a sentiment supported by her latest endeavor.

In partnership with Nike and Laureus Sport for Good, Osaka launched a program to support girls in sports in Japan last year. Her Play Academy is committed to leveling the playing field for girls through physical play and sports, giving girls opportunities and encouragement to get moving.

Now, she is expanding Play Academy to Los Angeles, where she currently lives and trains, as well as to Haiti, where her father is from.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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