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To the men I love, about men who scare me.

I went to get a drink by myself, and I have a message for men everywhere.

To the men I love, about men who scare me.

This article originally appeared on 03.08.16.


I got a promotion a few days ago, so I decided to stop for a drink on my way home — just me and my sense of accomplishment.

I ended up alone in the bar, running defense against a bouncer who held my ID hostage while he commented on my ass (among other things) and asked me vaguely threatening questions about my sex life.


Photo via iStock.

This is not a Yelp review. It's not an angry rant, and it's definitely not something women need to be reminded of.

As far as I can tell, there is only one good lesson to pull out of this otherwise shitty and all-too-familiar interaction: In my experience, a lot of thoroughly decent men are still having trouble understanding this.

I have a friend who once joked that it was all right for him to catcall women because he's good-looking. I had another ask me in faux outrage why it was OK for me to describe a cupcake (as in an actual chocolate baked good) as a “seven," but not OK for him to rank women the same way. I was recently at a house party where a group of guys referred to a soundproofed recording studio in the basement as the “rape room" 45 times.

Some of these jokes were a little funny. Some of them really weren't. But they were all endemic of something more sinister, and I honestly don't think the men in question even realize it.

So to the generally well-intentioned men in my life, please consider this:

No matter what I accomplish or how self-assured I am feeling, the aforementioned dickhead bouncers of the world will still believe they have a right to demand my time and attention, even when I want to be alone.

They will still insist I be polite and cheerful, even while they make me uncomfortable and afraid.

They will still comment about my body and allude to sexual violence and then berate me for being “stuck up" if I don't receive it with a sense of humor.

They will still choose to reinforce their dominance with a reminder that they could hurt me if they wanted to and that I should somehow be grateful if they don't.

Photo via iStock.

This has made me defensive. It has put me more on my guard than I would like to be.

Decent male humans, this is not your fault, but it also does not have nothing to do with you.

If a woman is frosty or standoffish or doesn't laugh at your joke, consider the notion that maybe she is not an uptight, humorless bitch, but rather has had experiences outside your realm of understanding that have adversely colored her perception of the world.

Consider that while you're just joking around, a woman might actually be doing some quick mental math to see if she's going to have to hide in a bathroom stall and call someone to come help her, like I did three days ago.

Please adjust your mindset and your words accordingly.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
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Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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