+

A man named Henry Stewart of London wrote a letter to the editor this week in The Guardian.  

And it's certainly worth a read.

Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images.


Like most letters to editors, it was probably easy to miss. It wasn't splashed across a front page or heavily promoted by the paper online.

But in fewer than 100 words, Stewart's letter totally nails the absurdity of banning burqas and burkinis (full-body bathing suits some Muslim women wear), which has become a hot-button issue on the world stage in recent weeks.

Stewart argues that if we're going to start policing clothing for the sake of public safety, it clearly makes the most sense to start with men in suits:

[imgur https://imgur.com/Kp0CDY6/embed?ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.upworthy.com%2Fnuggets%2Fpreview&w=540 expand=1]

Stewart writes:

"No woman in a burqa (or a hijab or a burkini) has ever done me any harm. But I was sacked (without explanation) by a man in a suit. Men in suits missold me pensions and endowments, costing me thousands of pounds. A man in a suit led us on a disastrous and illegal war. Men in suits led the banks and crashed the world economy. Other men in suits then increased the misery to millions through austerity. If we are to start telling people what to wear, maybe we should ban suits."

Although the short message only took up a few inches of space in print, it's made big waves online, racking up hundreds of thousands of views on Imgur and making its way to the front page of Reddit on Aug. 31, 2016.

Clearly, Stewart's words are resonating.

Stewart's letter comes amid several communities in the French Riviera banning burkinis on public beaches.

The bans, which cropped up after recent terrorist activity in France — namely, the truck attack in Nice on Bastille Day — have sparked debate about the rights of minorities in a secular country, public safety, and what some see as religious oppression of women.

Photo by Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images.

But what are these bans really about?

These new restrictions are an extension of France’s ban on full-face coverings — legislation that indirectly targets Muslim women. A main objective of that 2010 law is to ensure public safety by keeping criminals from hiding behind concealed clothing, according to some officials.

Many French leaders in favor of the new bans have also pointed to the sexist nature of full-body swimsuits, arguing burkinis are clearly at odds with gender equality.

But public safety and sexism really aren’t the motives behind these new measures. Islamophobia is.

Photo by Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images.

If the bans were really about ensuring equality, we’d be banning the modest swimwear some Jewish and Christian women wear, too, the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Chapman argues. And if the French government is really concerned about the rights of Muslim women, regulating burkinis is the last thing they need to be doing anyway.

"If some Muslim men employ violence or threats to control their wives and daughters, the target of government policy should be detecting and ending that sort of abuse," Chapman writes. "Forbidding burkinis is like trying to combat rape by telling women they can't have sex."

Burkini bans are hypocrisy at its worst, according to Chapman, as they suggest "France must dictate what Muslim women wear to teach them that no one may dictate what they wear."

They don't make sense, and they don't keep us safer.

Stewart's letter to the editor comes from the perspective of a Londoner. But much of what he says holds true in the U.S., too.

Men in suits (not Muslim women) were largely responsible for the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 — a move that didn't make us safer but did contribute to the political destabilization of the region and cost thousands of American lives.

Men in suits (not Muslim women) were largely responsible for the Great Recession, their recklessness and greed costing Americans trillions of dollars in household wealth, pulling millions into poverty.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

As far as being mugged, there's little evidence to suggest a man in a suit is any more or less dangerous than anyone else.

But one particular man in a suit is helping to fuel the rising rates of Islamophobia that American Muslims have to live with each day.

As some jurisdictions make moves to restrict clothing for Muslims in the name of equality and safety, they're policing a group that, ironically, is already living more at-risk of violence and discrimination.

Islamophobia is on the rise in the U.S. and many places throughout the West, with hate crimes against American Muslims tripling in 2015 from the year prior.

Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images.

Much of that spike can be attributed to a backlash from terrorism at home and abroad. And harmful, ignorant rhetoric about Muslims coming from certain politicians in the wake of those attacks only stokes the fire.

As Stewart summed up so perfectly, it's ludicrous to treat Muslim women like suspected criminals just because of their clothing.

And if we want to tackle the injustices some groups have inflicted on others, Muslim women certainly aren't the first group to put on trial.

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 UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less
via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

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.

Keep ReadingShow less