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Want to know why John makes more money than Jane? Watch this.

Paying the ladies. It's a pretty simple concept that America can't seem to get (at least according to all the data that say women still make 77 cents to every dollar a man makes). Not to worry though! John Oliver will help us.

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There's this annoying little (big) problem in America called the gender pay gap. For those of you who don't know, that's the unfathomable reality that, on average, women in America earn less money than men for the same work. 77 cents to every $1 a man earns to be exact. The good news is that President Obama has said that he cares very deeply about the gender pay gap and is determined to fix it.

But did you know that even the White House has a problem with paying women the same as men?


Yep. Female White House staffers were paid 88 cents for every $1 paid to male staffers. When that little oversight was discovered, the media quickly turned to doing what they do best: debating. Is the gender wage gap actually 88 cents? What about 81 cents? Is it 9%? Or 5-7 cents? John Oliver rightly compared that debate to arguing over someone taking a dump on your desk. Should the amount really matter?

The point is that even in the White House of the United States of America, it seems to be really hard for women to get paid equally. Of course, some people think they have the problem all figured out. The problem is ... drumroll, please ... women!

Women are to blame because they choose to have kids and also choose to enter low-paying professions. So, if we follow that logic, it should mean that if women didn't have children and entered into the same profession as men, there would be no pay gap, right? Wrong. According to the American Association of University Women, the pay gap exists in nearly every profession and affects women who don't have children, not just the moms. Other facts about it? It exists in every single state in the country, grows with age, can't be remedied by higher education, and is worse for women of color. And in case fact-based research isn't enough, there's this cheerful (if cheerful means depressing) anecdote:

A recent study out of Yale presented identical resumes to professors with the only difference being the name: Jennifer or John. What do you think happened? The male candidate was offered, on average, $4,000 more than the female candidate and received more favorable reviews. We have a problem.

So how do we fix it? Well, we can do nothing, or we can buckle down and address pay equity from a serious policy and systems standpoint (introducing new laws, changing corporate practices, talking frankly about sexism in the workplace, sharing more stories so that women feel empowered to negotiate more aggressively, etc.). That's it. Those are our options. (Well, actually, John Oliver does have one more suggestion that makes it worth watching the video to see. Trust me. It involves the term "Ladybucks." You need to see it.)

Now go share this video with all the ladies you know who work hard for the money — and all the men who better treat her right. Or, you know, just EVERYONE.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.