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To The Men Who Mistreated These Women (And Their Mothers): You. Just. Got. Burned.

The journey into womanhood is not always an easy one. Take it from Tonya Ingram and Venessa Marco, who prove that it's possible to emerge from the flames stronger and more powerful than society ever would have expected.*Contains strong language (NSFW)*

To The Men Who Mistreated These Women (And Their Mothers): You. Just. Got. Burned.

"Khaleesi"


us women; merely second opinion
but first appetite
are taught early how to restrain the wolves,
when the men converge
all gnawing teeth and salivating fangs
these insatiable men who snarl us out of our lineage
sabertooth non-believers who cannot consider
how loud we can be
how brass and trombone this world has played us

there is no place here to
unravel yourself for them
bow your head
unlearn your name

for those of us
who introduce
the bold- face of mouth
become a whore’s tooth
become agile breast
become unbounded thighs

I learned to be quiet
when the anvils of
a false prophet
mistook my 13
for playground

only the quiet survive

I saw my mother
give her body to a man
she didn’t even know
didn’t even love like that
my eyes swallowed the whole of him and her

and all that it meant

to know who I came from
shook loose her skin
the last time a lover begged for me beautiful
for origami hands someone
who could crease fold his skin
I told him
I was the aftermath of paper
when it bows out of pretty
when the wind smacks it straight on its back

we’ve been smacked straight on our backs

too often for someone to assume us to be fragile daughters of eve
simple creatures only of night
and the devil who plagues us

we are not only a mouth and luring siren
we are the women

who dare think of ourselves as more than a fuck
when we lend are thoughts to breath
we know often
we are speaking the words that will kill us
for we are then called

bitch
cunt
whore

never a voice
just static sound

I learned to yell
when I met the devil
he would make cigarette burns
on my mother and call it chimney
birthed me a riot
now I speak with intention
will not cower to the buildings of men
who belittle me orphan
chastise all that I have to say
it is always too much or nothing
all nag or too shy

when your voice is a shot gun: a warning
to the careless
they will make sweetmeat out of you

go ahead
I have seen hell enough times
to know its scorch
it has taught me to forge this voice into a sword
sharpened tongue that’ll carve the bones
back into your lost
your stone-jaw threat does not cause my peace to be still

this is our birthright
this is our inherit
we are women who capsize entire crowds
with the sayings of the wind
holy knuckles
full
of fight



































































































Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? 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.

This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


Photographer Katie Joy Crawford had been battling anxiety for 10 years when she decided to face it straight on by turning the camera lens on herself.

In 2015, Upworthy shared Crawford's self-portraits and our readers responded with tons of empathy. One person said, "What a wonderful way to express what words cannot." Another reader added, "I think she hit the nail right on the head. It's like a constant battle with yourself. I often feel my emotions battling each other."

So we wanted to go back and talk to the photographer directly about this soul-baring project.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."