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Woman's post about being groped while swimming laps prompts others to share their stories

Ask any group of women if they've ever been touched inappropriately by a stranger, and most will have a story to tell. While there is some gray area when it comes to occasional bumps or grazes in public, there are some situations that are so blatantly gropey, there can be no question as to what's happening.

Some men (and yes, some women) simply cannot seem to keep their hands to themselves, and some will go out of their way to get their creepy fingers on someone else's body. Gross, but true.

A thread on Reddit highlighted this fact when a woman who goes by the handle "thestashattacked" described what happened to her when she was swimming laps at the pool.


"So I'm lap swimming, and we have 7 swim lanes. 7. That is a ridiculous number of lanes. And, as per usual at this time in the morning, they're all occupied. Now, usually, you share lanes under these circumstances. Not a problem.

Except this time I'm somehow the only woman swimming, in the crappy shallow lane.

Man comes in, and wants to swim. That's fine. He has to share a lane (which is risky due to COVID anyway), but he won't share with any of the men in the good lanes.

No, he absolutely has to share with the only woman in the pool. And of course, every time we pass he has to graze his hand across my ass.

Eventually, I told him if he couldn't keep his hands to himself, I'd either start hitting, or he could move to another lane. I was here first, and the only reason he came into this lane is that there's a woman here. Seriously, this is the worst lane.

(Yes, the lifeguard told him to get out after I yelled at him. Apparently he's way more obvious about the groping when you can see it from outside the water.)"

Choosing the crappiest lane because it's the only one with a woman in it is no accident. When you're swimming in the same lane as someone, it's natural that you may accidentally bump or graze them, but groping someone's butt every time you pass is also no accident. It's sexual assault. It doesn't matter how quick it was, whether he "grabbed" or "grazed," or whether it was one second or three. Repeatedly putting your hands on a woman's behind as she swims by is sexual assault. Full stop.

This woman's story inspired others to share their own experiences with similar Gropy McGropertons, and they're all just as infuriating.

Cyssane wrote:

"I had this shit happen to me when I was just 14 years old. I was hanging around at a local mall by myself (I'd done this plenty of times before without incident). I was looking at clothing on a rack and some older guy walked past me and grazed my ass.

I'm a young kid, so I thought it was accidental at first, but every time I went somewhere else this creep would follow me around the mall. It was about equal parts infuriating and scary.

Finally I found a group of girls around my age and quickly explained what was happening. They were so great -- they immediately grasped the situation and formed a wall around me for the rest of the day. They'd ask where I wanted to go next and then we all went there in a group. Several of them pulled out small items that could be used as weapons in case the creep tried to get too close to us -- keys held between the fingers, metal nail files, things like that. Creepy guy didn't dare to approach after that, and he finally left us alone.

I'll always be grateful to those girls. They were amazing."

Creepy stalker dudes are familiar to most women at some point in their lives. Good for that group of girls for sticking together and protecting her. But seriously, that should not have to happen.

The_Thugmuffin wrote:

"When I was about eleven/twelve I was at a swimming pool party in a indoor place you could rent out. Bunch of kids there and we were all having fun. Myself and my cousin went to the super deep end to play that game where you toss items to the bottom and pick them up.

Anyways, this older dude decided he wanted to play with us and my cousin and I thought that was cool that an adult wanted to play a game.

We dive once, old dude rubs up on top of me at the bottom. His crotch was aggressively shoved against my butt, his full weight pushed me to the bottom of the pool. I think that's weird, but that he was just really into the game and was trying to grab the ring. We dive a second time. Same thing. Third and fourth time this dude keeps rubbing on me. Full body rub too, he got better about it as we dove more.

Finally I decide to test it to see if he is just into the game or if he is actually molesting me. So when we count down for the dive I wait and give my cousin a head start then dive again. Dude waited and rubbed on me again. I finally just had enough and got out of the pool and refused to play again. Stopped swimming the whole day and never went back to that place again.

Place was FULL of parents and other adults and lifeguards. Not a single person noticed this guy feeling me up because it was the pool. Because I was young and didn't know better I didn't tell anyone.

I wish I had screamed at that guy and called the cops. Good on you.

Edit: I was in fifth grade"

Fifth grade. That's around age 10. Disgusting.

dkettlecorn added:

"Yup it's weird. When I was on my club team one boy grazed my crotch during backstroke not one or two but THREE TIMES and when I called him out for it the guys just shrugged it off giving some bs excuse. Got fully credit carded once and another time a boy actually somehow stuck his hand in my suit (touched my belly) from the next lane. Like touching someone's feet is an accident, flip turning and head butting someone is an accident, but I've never groped anyone especially by "accident" during a practice."

Three crotch grazes? No. Not an accident.

kendall_black, another swimmer, shared her story:

"OH MY GOD.

THIS SO MUCH.

I" was a competitive swimmer throughout school, and this was always so bad. Well, ok it was worst on my high school swim team, not so much on my year-round team. But anyways, fuck those guys, and fuck that guy. I had this one guy on my high school team who was the worst perpetrator. He would be standing at the wall while everyone else was swimming and when I'd do my flip-turn, he'd always touch me somehow trying to grope me. I finally yelled loud enough for the ENTIRE POOL to hear, 'If you touch me again, or if you are still standing on the wall in the way of everyone swimming, I WILL flip-turn ON TOP OF YOU and kick you as hard as I can.' The next swimmeet, that same guy stuck his hand INSIDE MY SWIMSUIT FROM THE BACK AND CARESSED MY STOMACH. WHILE I WAS TALKING TO MY PARENTS ON THE BALCONY."

What the heck. What did this guy go on to do after high school?

"Keep your hands to yourself" is basic kindergarten etiquette that anyone should be able to follow. We should not have to have awareness campaigns to keep women's bodies from being fondled without their permission. Yes, men's bodies too. It's not that hard to not be a creep, regardless of your sex or gender.

Hands. To. Yourself. Everyone.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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Pretty soon, what seemed like a good deal on a cheap carrier costs more than if you bought a ticket on a full-service airline.

The Biden administration is announcing new rules that will make airline ticket fees more transparent to consumers. Under the proposed new rule, the first time your fee is displayed, travel websites will have to disclose any fees for baggage, cancellations or to sit with your child.

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As the saying goes, "You have to kiss a few frogs..."

Dating has certainly evolved over the years—we’ve gone from courtship being purely a financial arrangement (not that this trend has ever truly died) to knights jousting for a lady’s favor, to casual hookups … and now, romance is primarily found through an app more than anything else.

Technology used for meeting that special someone has become so advanced that you can base your search entirely upon specific interests. Like … oddly specific interests. Think a fellow cat person would be the purrfect match? There’s an app for that. Wish to “love long and prosper” with a fellow Trekkie? There’s an app for that too.

No matter the changes, one thing remains the same—dating is awkward. It’s got all the unspoken formalities of a job interview, disguised as innocent fun. The balance between playing it too cool and too eager is hard to find even for the smoothest among us, and usually results in total embarrassment. Even if we aren’t the ones committing those embarrassing acts ourselves, we are often the reluctant witness to them.

Terrible dates might not always be fun in the moment, but they can be just as important as the good ones. They can teach us a lot about ourselves and what qualities we want in a partner. And at the very least, they can teach us to embrace social clumsiness with a sense of humor.

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share a “funny or embarrassing first date story” for his ever popular #Hashtags segment. The best part—some of these awful first dates ended in marriage. There’s hope for us all.

Below, find 15 stories that are truly the best of the worst. How do some of your first dates compare?

1. "After a nice dinner, she invited me to her house. On the way up, inside the elevator, I decided to push the button to stop between floors and give her a kiss... She had a phobia of closed spaces and she smacked my face as a reflex, two punches after we were kissing and laughing.” – @PanqueAlgarvio

2. “His jeans were so tight he couldn’t sit down. Stood at a bar stool the whole time.” – @onlyintheozarks

3. “Waiting 4 my date when an older couple asked me for a ride. my date came up and said sure! We drove them home & they asked us to come in. Date said “sure”. I pulled him back & asked why he wanted to hang w/strangers. He said ‘sh@t! YOU DON'T KNOW THEM!?’ We bolted!” – @natashaham75

facebook dating

Talk about a fashion faux pas.

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4. “Before the date, we had been chatting about books we liked and I talked about a great book I just read. We went on the date. I loaned her the book. She ghosted me.” – @thenextbarstool

5. “The worst first date I ever had was when my date locked his keys in the car and I had a curfew so he had to break his car window out to get me home on time. Didn’t think I’d ever see him again but we wound up married.” – @csleblan

6. “First date movie ‘Basic Instinct’ not realizing how suggestive it was. We just thought it was a mystery thriller! We left the movie discussing how each character could have actually murdered someone. We're married now.” – @Southrnbell_Amy

black people meet

There are worse first date movies tbh.

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7. “First date with my ex husband was a double date with his parents. The preview for ‘Speed Racer’ came on, and she leaned over me to say to her son, ‘You know what your dad's nickname in the bedroom is?’" – @theostoria

8. “A friend asked me on a double date as a blind date with his date's friend. I went to the bathroom and came back just in time to hear my date say to her friend, ‘why do I get the ugly one?’ I said good night to all three and headed home, leaving her w/the bill.” – @StevenTrustum

9. “He loved cheese. I was subjected to a 2 hour conversation/lecture about cheese, and why cottage cheese is not cheese!” – @Optimist_Eeyore

bumble

I'd like to see this two-hour cheese lecture.

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10. “He took me to an Asian fish market. We walked around looking at live & dead fish for a while. I don’t like seeing dead animals & I don’t eat seafood. Then we sat on a curb & he pulled out a ziplock bag of pineapple for us to share. I don’t like pineapple.” – @markayhali

11. “My cousin set up a first date for me with a family friend. During a break from dinner, Mr. Man follows me into the ladies’ room, comes up close and says in a low voice, ‘I shave my butt.’ Can’t remember what I said in response but the evening ended abruptly.” – @carli_zarzana

12. “I once took out my high school crush to a sports bar and ordered the spiciest wings there in an attempt to impress her. Not only was she not impressed. The next morning I woke up with heartburn.” –@Dmonster38

tindr conversation starters

Talk about a hot date.

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13. “My date showed up with his bestie and girlfriend, and they talked through dinner about people I don’t know. Walking to the car, he gave me a wedgie because he thought he hadn’t been paying enough attention to me.” – @surrealDazey


14. “I was taking my date home and was pulled over by the police for speeding. When the cop came to my car, she jumped out and told him she had to get home. She walked home and I never heard from her again. I'm not sure who's #WorstFirstDate it was mine or hers!” – @eastriverbear

15. “After an evening of dancing with a first date, leaving the dance hall, I had to take a quick pee break. Rushing out to the parking lot, I see a lady, I grab her and swoop her around, and plant a big wet kiss on the lips. She was another guy's wife. Oops!” – @seadogskamore

date you

Only Gomez could have gotten away with it.

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