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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.

sexism, safety, rape culture
Photo by Kyle Broad on Unsplash

For the well-intentioned men in my life.



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.


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:

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.

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

men, women, community, mental health

Navigating the bar scene.

Photo by Alex Voulgaris on Unsplash

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.


This article was written by Laura Munoz and originally appeared on 03.08.16.

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Scientists tested 3 popular bottled water brands for nanoplastics using new tech, and yikes

The results were alarming—an average of 240,000 nanoplastics per 1 liter bottle—but what does it mean for our health?

Suzy Hazelwood/Canva

Columbia University researchers tested bottled water for nanoplastics and found hundreds of thousands of them.

Evian, Fiji, Voss, SmartWater, Aquafina, Dasani—it's impressive how many brands we have for something humans have been consuming for millennia. Despite years of studies showing that bottled water is no safer to drink than tap water, Americans are more consuming more bottled water than ever, to the tune of billions of dollars in bottled water sales.

People cite convenience and taste in addition to perceived safety for reasons they prefer bottle to tap, but the fear factor surrounding tap water is still a driving force. It doesn't help when emergencies like floods cause tap water contamination or when investigations reveal issues with lead pipes in some communities, but municipal water supplies are tested regularly, and in the vast majority of the U.S., you can safely grab a glass of water from a tap.

And now, a new study on nanoplastics found in three popular bottled water brands is throwing more data into the bottled vs. tap water choice.

Researchers from Columbia University used a new laser-guided technology to detect nanoplastics that had previously evaded detection due to their miniscule size. The new technology can detect, count and analyze and chemical structure of nanoparticles, and they found seven different major types of plastic: polyamide, polypropylene, polyethylene, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, and polyethylene terephthalate.

In contrast to a 2018 study that found around 300 plastic particles in an average liter of bottled water, the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January of 2024 found 240,000 nanoplastic particles per liter bottle on average between the three brands studied. (The name of the brands were not indicated in the study.)

As opposed to microplastics, nanoplastics are too small to be seen by microscope. Their size is exactly why experts are concerned about them, as they are small enough to invade human cells and potentially disrupt cellular processes.

“Micro and nanoplastics have been found in the human placenta at this point. They’ve been found in human lung tissues. They’ve been found in human feces; they’ve been found in human blood,” study coauthor Phoebe Stapleton, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Rutgers University’s Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy told CNN Health,

We know that nanoplastics are making their way into our bodies. We just don't have enough research yet on what that means for our health, and we still have more questions than answers. How many nanoplastics does it take to do damage and/or cause disease? What kinds of damage or disease might they cause? Is whatever effect they might have cumulative? We simply don't have answers to these questions yet.

That's not to say there's no cause for concern. We do know that certain levels of microplastic exposure have been shown to adversely affect the viability of cells. Nanoplastics are even smaller—does that mean they are more likely to cause cellular damage? Science is still working that out.

According to Dr. Sara Benedé of the Spanish National Research Council’s Institute of Food Science Research, it's not just the plastics themselves that might cause damage, but what they may bring along with them. “[Microparticles and nanoparticles] have the ability to bind all kinds of compounds when they come into contact with fluids, thus acting as carriers of all kinds of substances including environmental pollutants, toxins, antibiotics, or microorganisms,” Dr. Benedé told Medical News Today.

Where is this plastic in water coming from? This study focused on bottled water, which is almost always packaged in plastic. The filters used to filter the water before bottling are also frequently made from plastic.

Is it possible that some of these nanoplastics were already present in the water from their original sources? Again, research is always evolving on this front, but microplastics have been detected in lakes, streams and other freshwater sources, so it's not a big stretch to imagine that nanoplastics may be making their way into freshwater ecosystems as well. However, microplastics are found at much higher levels in bottled water than tap water, so it's also not a stretch to assume that most of the nanoplastics are likely coming from the bottling process and packaging rather than from freshwater sources.

The reality is, though, we simply don't know yet.

“Based on other studies we expected most of the microplastics in bottled water would come from leakage of the plastic bottle itself, which is typically made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic,” lead author Naixin Qian, a doctoral student in chemistry at Columbia University, told CNN Health. “However, we found there’s actually many diverse types of plastics in a bottle of water, and that different plastic types have different size distributions. The PET particles were larger, while others were down to 200 nanometers, which is much, much smaller.”

We need to drink water, and we need to drink safe water. At this point, we have plenty of environmental reasons for avoiding bottled water unless absolutely necessary and opting for tap water instead. Even if there's still more research to be done, the presence of hundreds of thousands of nanoplastics in bottled water might just be another reason to make the switch.

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Aldie's mom, Jonisa Padernos, tells Upworthy that she's felt he was "really special" since he started talking in full sentences at 20 months. "Believe it or not, he had no major tantrums in his toddler years because he was always able to express [himself] with his words," she says.

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The TikTok channel Mr. Kitters the Cat (@mr.kitters.the.cat) gives us a cat's-eye view of the world with a camera attached to Mr. Kitters' collar. And the result is an utterly delightful POV experience that takes us through the daily adventuring of the frisky feline as he wanders the yard.

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The Swedish content Swedish content creator begins the video wearing “chemise and drawers,” which she describes as the layers that would be closest to her body and washed most frequently.

Next is the corset, which @sewn.by.ellen says “creates the correct shape for the time and also supports the bust and makes my posture so much better.”

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Josie who runs the TikTok account josie_kamdan uploaded a video of her dog Ben holding a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos that he's refusing to give up. The woman is shocked by the dog's mean mug and growl, but Ben is serious about eating the rest of his snack that he stole fair and square.

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