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This men's talk show got uncomfortably candid about #MeToo. It's a must-watch.

'We need to understand that having good intentions is not enough.'

This men's talk show got uncomfortably candid about #MeToo. It's a must-watch.

Warning: The video and article below discusses sexual violence and rape.

There's a new men's talk show called "Man Enough" that just devoted an entire gut-wrenching episode to the #MeToo movement and sexual assault.

The guys who participated in the episode's roundtable — Justin Baldoni, Matt McGorry, Lewis Howes, Jamey Heath, Tony Porter, and Scooter Braun — opened up about their own shortcomings and experiences with sexual abuse and how, exactly, men can be part of the solution.

It's worth a watch, for men especially. Here's the full episode (story continues below):





Man Enough Episode 4 - #MeToo

How can we learn from #MeToo to shape the next generation of men?Join the conversation with Justin Baldoni, Matt McGorry, Jamey Heath, Lewis Howes, Scooter Braun, Tony Porter, Karen Alston, Alma Gonzalez and Yazmin Monet Watkins.Stay tuned after the episode for a special message from our partner, Child Safety Pledge.#ManEnough #Harrys #ChildSafetyPledge


Posted by We Are Man Enough on Tuesday, July 24, 2018

McGorry, who stars in ABC's "How to Get Away With Murder," chatted with me about the episode, which he helped produce alongside Baldoni. (Baldoni's company, Wayfarer Entertainment, launched "Man Enough" in 2017.)

(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)

"Man Enough" is such an important and terrific show! What was it like personally being a part of the episode on sexual abuse and #MeToo?

Thank you so much. The support means a great deal and I am truly honored to be a part of this show, both on-camera and as a producer. This episode in particular is of great importance. It is one of the pieces of work that I am proudest to have been a part of in my career.

We are at a fork in the road: We can either pat ourselves on the back for clearing the extremely low bar of not being an abuser, or we can take on the challenge of understanding that we have a responsibility to actively be a part of the solution.

Porter and McGorry participate in the roundtable on #MeToo and sexual abuse. Image by "Man Enough"/Wayfarer Entertainment.

In the episode, you mention fame or power can be "intoxicating" because women may approach you differently. What advice would you give to men to keep that intoxicating feeling in check and treat women respectfully?

Positive feelings based on receiving attention are quite natural and are not, in and of themselves, problematic. But what we choose to do based on these feelings really forms who we are and who we become.

"We need to develop the ability to self-reflect and to listen to the voices of women. We need to understand that having good intentions is not enough."

As men, we rarely have to think about what life is like as a woman. A lifetime of messaging about what constitutes being a "real man" has taught us to distance ourselves from anything that is seen as feminine. Combine this with the constant dehumanization of women that is largely invisible to men, and you have the perfect cocktail of traits that will pull us into treating and thinking about women in problematic ways.

In order to counteract this, we need to develop the ability to self-reflect and to listen to the voices of women. We need to understand that having good intentions is not enough. While good intentions are important, it is the impact of our actions that we really need to work on examining.

You noted that even the language men use when dating or simply talking to women can be harmful — like "getting women," for instance — by taking their agency out of it. Why do you think shifting the language we use is so crucial?

Language is important because it represents how we think and what we value. I have found, in conversations with men about subtle and not-so-subtle uses of sexist and dehumanizing language, the wording is often indicative of underpinnings of sexist beliefs. And to be clear, I'm not saying this automatically makes someone a bad human being, but I am saying that it's a part of the larger fabric of a society that dehumanizes, objectifies, and devalues women.

Words like "bossy" exist to shame women into taking up less space. You'll never hear the word used to describe men because those same behaviors are seen as assertive, bold, and positive in men. You'll never hear the words "slut" or "whore" used to describe men negatively, because having many sexual partners is seen as a positive attribute in men.

I am not saying that using the "right words" is the #1 solution to getting rid of sexism, but I do believe it's a great way into the conversation. Our socialization that teaches us to value men above women is never-ending, and thus, our process of questioning and evolving must also be.

McGorry speaks in Washington, D.C., in 2016. Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images.

Did you ever have some kind of aha moment or experience an event that challenged you to think differently on gender and sexism?

There were a few events that made me question what I knew. The first was in reading a book by a woman about her experiences in the workplace and how they were defined by sexism. I was honestly baffled by the fact that I had never known or considered how different my experience was simply because I was a man. The fact that I had such a glaringly large gap in understanding, when I thought of myself as an introspective and perceptive person, really rocked me.

After reading the book, I was in a relationship with a woman who was an entrepreneur looking to start a business. She called me one night, frustrated and beaten down by the bullshit she had to deal with by the men she was hoping would invest in her company. Lunch often was rescheduled into late-night drinks, and she constantly had to walk a line of being friendly enough that she wouldn't be labeled "cold" or "bitchy" but not so friendly that she was considered "a tease" or "leading them on."

I was deeply angry but felt frustrated that I didn't know what to do other than expressing how sorry I was that she had to go through this, knowing that I would never have to.

"There is so much brilliance in marginalized voices that so often gets ignored by those of us with privilege."

Not long after, I watched Emma Watson's He for She address to the United Nations. And the often-quoted closing line that was an invitation for men in to the fight for gender equity was to ask ourselves, "If not me, who? If not now, when?" It was at that moment that I felt overwhelmed with a sense that I had to try and be part of the solution.

Being a part of the solution is often a much slower, nonlinear process. And some of the most important parts of this work are less glamorous because they are rooted in self-examination and a willingness to have difficult, uncomfortable conversations with other men who are likely to be defensive.

If I really wanted to be a part of the solution, I had to be willing to listen to what women on the forefront of the movement for equality had been asking us to do. And in the feminist movement, that work ascribed to men was often about re-educating ourselves, examining our own biases, and changing traditional male culture in this same way.

Porter and McGorry participate in the roundtable on #MeToo and sexual abuse on "Man Enough." Image via Wayfarer Entertainment.

You're a big reader. Any good books written by women that you would recommend for men to pick up if they're new to understanding allyship?

Absolutely. Without realizing it, we men watch TV or film, read books, and consume culture that is predominantly created by men. Because of the nature of structural sexism, women — and especially women of color because of the added layer of racism — get less opportunities than male creators do, and so we become used to seeing everything through a male and white lens. And this is an integral part of our socialization as people.

There is so much brilliance in marginalized voices that so often gets ignored by those of us with privilege. A question that I have been asking the other men and white people in my life more and more is, "When was the last time you read a book by a woman? How about a woman of color?"

We are trained to think that books about feminism are for women and that books about race are for people of color. But it is actually men and/or white folks who have the most to learn on these topics, and I truly believe that we cannot reach our fullest potential without consciously and consistently including these perspectives into our lives.

Some of the books by women that have been impactful to me include "The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love" by bell hooks, "Sex Object: A Memoir" by Jessica Valenti, "Women, Race & Class" by Angela Y. Davis, "The Mother of All Questions" by Rebecca Solnit, and "Bad Feminist" by Roxane Gay.

Understanding the role that men play in ending violence against women and girls is important as well. In addition to the ones listed above, the following are books by men about how we are socialized and our role in ending sexism: "Men's Work: How to Stop the Violence That Tears Our Lives Apart" by Paul Kivel, "Breaking out of the Man Box: The Next Generation of Manhood" by Tony Porter, and "Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era" by Michael Kimmel.

"I wholeheartedly believe in the ability of conversation to shift culture and create change."

What are your hopes for this episode of "Man Enough," in regards to what men take away from it?

My hope for men watching this episode is that they feel moved and inspired to become a part of the solution; to see themselves reflected in the guests of the show, as well-intentioned men who want to be better; and to come away with ways of really starting to notice and examine all of the things we don't even realize are invisible to us, but that form the basis of a society where women and girls are abused at epidemic rates.

I wholeheartedly believe in the ability of conversation to shift culture and create change. And I hope that men will share it with the boys and other men in their lives to create more of those conversations.

When I began this journey four years ago, I thought that it was something I was doing for other people. What I didn't realize was the transformative power that it would have over my own life. And it is my deepest hope that men realize that our own humanity is on the line here as well.

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Judy Vaughan has spent most of her life helping other women, first as the director of House of Ruth, a safe haven for homeless families in East Los Angeles, and later as the Project Coordinator for Women for Guatemala, a solidarity organization committed to raising awareness about human rights abuses.

But in 1996, she decided to take things a step further. A house became available in the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles and she was offered the opportunity to use it to help other women and children. So, in partnership with a group of 13 people who she knew from her years of activism, she decided to make it a transitional residence program for homeless women and their children. They called the program Alexandria House.

"I had learned from House of Ruth that families who are homeless are often isolated from the surrounding community," Judy says. "So we decided that as part of our mission, we would also be a neighborhood center and offer a number of resources and programs, including an after-school program and ESL classes."

She also decided that, unlike many other shelters in Los Angeles, she would accept mothers with their teenage boys.

"There are very few in Los Angeles [that do] due to what are considered liability issues," Judy explains. "Given the fact that there are (conservatively) 56,000 homeless people and only about 11,000 shelter beds on any one night, agencies can be selective on who they take."

Their Board of Directors had already determined that they should take families that would have difficulties finding a place. Some of these challenges include families with more than two children, immigrant families without legal documents, moms who are pregnant with other small children, families with a member who has a disability [and] families with service dogs.

"Being separated from your son or sons, especially in the early teen years, just adds to the stress that moms who are unhoused are already experiencing," Judy says.

"We were determined to offer women with teenage boys another choice."

Courtesy of Judy Vaughan

Alexandria House also doesn't kick boys out when they turn 18. For example, Judy says they currently have a mom with two daughters (21 and 2) and a son who just turned 18. The family had struggled to find a shelter that would take them all together, and once they found Alexandria House, they worried the boy would be kicked out on his 18th birthday. But, says Judy, "we were not going to ask him to leave because of his age."

Homelessness is a big issue in Los Angeles. "[It] is considered the homeless capital of the United States," Judy says. "The numbers have not changed significantly since 1984 when I was working at the House of Ruth." The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the problem. According to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), over 66,000 people in the greater Los Angeles area were experiencing homelessness in 2020, representing a rise of 12.7% compared with the year before.

Each woman who comes to Alexandria House has her own unique story, but some common reasons for ending up homeless include fleeing from a domestic violence or human trafficking situation, aging out of foster care and having no place to go, being priced out of an apartment, losing a job, or experiencing a family emergency with no 'cushion' to pay the rent.

"Homelessness is not a definition; it is a situation that a person finds themselves in, and in fact, it can happen to almost anyone. There are many practices and policies that make it almost impossible to break out of poverty and move out of homelessness."

And that's why Alexandria House exists: to help them move out of it. How long that takes depends on the woman, but according to Judy, families stay an average of 10 months. During that time, the women meet with support staff to identify needs and goals and put a plan of action in place.

A number of services are provided, including free childcare, programs and mentoring for school-age children, free mental health counseling, financial literacy classes and a savings program. They have also started Step Up Sisterhood LA, an entrepreneurial program to support women's dreams of starting their own businesses. "We serve as a support system for as long as a family would like," Judy says, even after they have moved on.

And so far, the program is a resounding success.

92 percent of the 200 families who stayed at Alexandria House have found financial stability and permanent housing — not becoming homeless again.

Since founding Alexandria House 25 years ago, Judy has never lost sight of her mission to join with others and create a vision of a more just society and community. That is why she is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year — and the donation she receives as a nominee will go to Alexandria House and will help grow the new Start-up Sisterhood LA program.

"Alexandria House is such an important part of my life," says Judy. "It has been amazing to watch the children grow up and the moms recreate their lives for themselves and for their families. I have witnessed resiliency, courage, and heroic acts of generosity."

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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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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