You and your crew are on a boys’ night out at the bar when an attractive woman passes by.

Your friend says something about wanting “a piece of that.” She looks noticeably uncomfortable but continues walking, looking straight ahead as she ignores your friend’s advances.


You know your friend’s actions were inappropriate. What can you do about it?

A new initiative wants to give people a way to call out sexist remarks by their friends.

The idea, called #checkyourboys, came from an episode of “That’s What He Said,” a web series by SoulPancake.

The series features personal, honest, and engaging roundtable discussions among a diverse group of men on a range of topics spanning masculinity, self-esteem, sex and dating, and women.

Image and GIFs via SoulPancake.

The goal of the conversations, as series creator Anabella Casanova says, is “to foster understanding and compassion within genders and across the gender gap.”

For this particular episode, the participants discussed the role men play in sexism — much of it systemic and related to upbringing and culture.

They opened the conversation with a reference to a viral video about catcalling and relayed the physical and vocal harassment they’ve heard their female counterparts regularly endure.

As one participant pointed out, the catcalling he participated in growing up was not about the woman being addressed — it was about proving your manliness. This also ties into the concept of privilege. As one of the men points out, he can go for a run at night in a public park and not feel endangered. Women are forced to take greater precautions, including what they wear while doing so.

Men need to break the cycle. This is where #checkyourboys comes into play.

We’ve all witnessed a friend addressing a stranger on the street, saying something like:

For most, the solution is to ignore it or laugh it off. It’s just guys being guys, right? But by not calling out our friend, we enable the behavior and continue to make it acceptable.

What we really should be asking is:

These moments of harassment are unwanted and can feel threatening to the recipient, especially when those comments are ignored. Instead of allowing the behavior to continue, #checkyourboys.

It’s as easy as saying:

As these men point out, sexism may be women’s problem to deal with, but it stems from actions by men.

The situation won’t get better unless men change the way they act.

It’s the recipient of the privilege who needs to take action. In this case, we’re talking to you, guys.

“It's not only supporting women — it's about stopping the sexism and misogyny when you see it,” says 42-year-old Joshua Bitton, who participated in the discussion. “We let so much slide because we're afraid that our protest will be met with aggression or judgment. It's time that we cut it out at the root. ”

As we work toward greater equality between men and women, the most important thing we can do is continue to communicate and educate one another.

The next time you’re in a situation where a friend makes a sexist comment or gesture toward another person, #checkyourboys. It’s an opportunity to help instill change while provoking insightful conversation among friends — maybe even an honest “That’s What He Said”-inspired moment.

To see the entire thought-provoking discussion, watch the full video below:

Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less

Most women, at one point or another, have felt some wariness or fear over a strange man in public. Sometimes it's overt, sometimes it's subtle, but when your instincts tell you something isn't right and you're potentially in danger, you listen.

It's an unfortunate reality, but reality nonetheless.

A Twitter thread starting with some advice on helping women out is highlighting how real this is for many of us. User @mxrixm_nk wrote: "If a girl suddenly acts as if she knows you in public and acts like you're friends, go along w[ith] it. She could be in danger."

Other women chimed in with their own personal stories of either being the girl approaching a stranger or being the stranger approached by a girl to fend off a situation with a creepy dude.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo from Dole
True

As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

Keep Reading Show less

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a badass in the movies, but he's increasingly building a reputation as a heroic "action star" in real life. Only, instead of dropping ungodly amounts of fake bullets into his enemies, Schwarzenegger has been dropping rhetorical bombs against his political opponents while building intellectual and emotional bridges to those who disagree with him but still have open hearts and minds.

The most recent example found Arnold responding to a comment someone made on Facebook. On the surface, that may sound like just about the least unique or original jumping off point for a story.




Keep Reading Show less

LEGO recently unveiled plans to roll out a set of bricks for use by the visually impaired. Using each LEGO brick's 3-by-2 grid of raised dots, the educational toy includes bricks imprinted with every letter, number, and mathematical symbol in the braille alphabet.

Why LEGOs? Well, the American Printing House for the Blind recently found that only 8.4 percent of visually impaired children read Braille, as opposed to 50 percent in 1960. With the advent of audio books and voice-to-text technology, reading and writing are becoming lost arts for the visually impaired, often for lack of resources or time — modern braille education methods include expensive "Braille writers" or a slate and stylus, both of which create text that is difficult for students to edit or erase. LEGO bricks are not only swappable, but children are already familiar with their mechanics!

Keep Reading Show less