+
This university's transgender bathroom signs are on point.

Michigan Technological University's bathrooms signs are being widely shared for good reason.

With greater visibility and acceptance in society, LGBTQ+ communities have also faced greater scrutiny in certain areas, including where it's appropriate for people who are transgender to relieve themselves.

Most of us have been using bathrooms with transgender folks for our entire lives; we just haven't been aware of it. But thanks to widely publicized anti-trans "bathroom bills" that attempt to require people to use the bathroom designated for the genitalia they had at birth, the issue of who goes where has become a much bigger thing than it needs to be.


But signs at Michigan Technological University bring us back to the basics of decency, respect, and privacy, which is all any of us really want in our public peeing experiences.

The simplicity of the instructions highlight why the transgender bathroom debates are rather silly.

So much of the fuss over transgender people and bathroom use comes down to basic human decency.

First of all, it's incredibly rude to assume anything about anyone's genitalia, especially in a public restroom. I mean, really.

Secondly, some women can have a masculine appearance. Some men are quite feminine. That may be because they're transgender, or it may not be. There is zero way to know unless you want to cross some very clear boundary lines that no one has the right to cross.

Third, it's really no one's business what a stranger has in their pants unless they're doing something inappropriate, which would be a problem in a public restroom no matter what your gender or gender expression.

That's why these signs from MTU's Center for Diversity and Inclusion emphasize treating everyone in the bathroom with respect and dignity and then moving right along.

The signs read:

"DO YOU FEEL LIKE SOMEONE IS USING THE WRONG BATHROOM?

DON'T:

X Stare at them

X Challenge them

X Insult them

X Purposefully make them feel uncomfortable

DO:

> Respect their privacy

> Respect their identity

> Carry on with your day

Transgender and non-binary students—You have the right to be here:

- In this facility

- In this university

- In this community

- In this world.

We're all simply using the facilities we feel safe in. Please don't take this right away from anyone."

[rebelmouse-image 19346113 dam="1" original_size="691x960" caption="Connie Rice/Facebook" expand=1]Connie Rice/Facebook

So simple, and yet so hard for some people to grasp.

But what about pedophiles? Yeah, no.  

Fears over people who are transgender using the bathroom that matches their gender have been proven over and over to be unfounded. The people most at risk in a bathroom transgender people are using are transgender people themselves.

But people still ask questions such as "What's to stop a pedophile man from using a women's bathroom and preying on girls if people can choose the bathroom they use?" That may sound logical to some, but the scenario doesn't make sense when you think about the way many transgender people physically present.

If someone has physically transitioned so that their body matches their gender, you often can't even tell that they're transgender. By forcing people to use the bathroom that matches their biological sex at birth, you'd beforcing transitioned men to use women's bathrooms (and vice versa). These are men with beards and pectoral muscles and broad shoulders—men you wouldn't be able to differentiate from non-transgender men. See the problem? If transitioned men have to use women's bathrooms, then any man easily could—without even going through the hassle of dressing like woman. Therefore, anti-trans bathroom laws would do exactly nothing to make it harder for male pedophiles to use a women's bathroom.

But the pedophile argument is a scapegoat anyway, and a rather offensive one at that. The truth is that pedophiles have plenty of ways to prey on kids without using public restrooms, and that issue is entirely separate from where transgender folks go to the bathroom. As the sign from MTU points out, all people who are transgender want is to use the bathroom where they feel safest, and they have the right to pee in peace just like everyone else.  

It would be great if everyone just used the basic public restroom etiquette that's always been there: mind your business, keep your eyes to yourself, and wash your hands when you're done. It's really that simple.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

True

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.

Keep ReadingShow less
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
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.

Education

All-female flight crews known as 'Night Witches' bombed the crap out of Nazi targets in WWII

The Germans were terrified of these pilots whose silent planes swooped in like ghosts.

The Night Witches were feared by the Germans for their stealth bombing runs.

If you like stories of amazing women, buckle up, because this one is a wild ride.

During WWII, the Soviet Air Force's 588th Night Bomber Regiment flew incredibly harrowing missions, bombing Germans with rudimentary biplanes in the dead of night. The Germans called them Nachthexen—"Night Witches"—because the only warning they had before the bombs hit was an ominous whooshing sound akin to a witch's broom.

The "whoosh" sound was due to the fact that the women would cut the planes' engines as they approached, gliding in stealthily before dropping their bombs. And the Night Witches moniker was fitting, considering the fact that the 588th was an all-female regiment.

Their missions were incredibly dangerous, especially considering how the women were equipped. Most of the recruits were in their late teens to mid-20s, and crew members had to learn how to pilot, navigate and maintain the aircraft so they could serve the regiment in any capacity. They underwent an intensive year of training to learn what usually took several years to master.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on July 2, 2019


Sadly, a lot of men go out of their way to avoid learning anything about a woman's period.

(That could be why throughout most of the United States — where the majority of lawmakers are men — feminine hygiene products are subject to sales tax.)

So we should give some love to the guys who make an effort to learn a bit about the menstrual cycle so they can help their family members when they're in desperate need of feminine hygiene products.

Keep ReadingShow less