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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



































































































Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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