How Those Period Panties Could Save the World

period panties

What if girls and women all over the world had access to safe feminine hygiene? Picture yourself as an 11-year-old girl. You’re going about your day, waiting for the bus or walking yourself to school, marching to class, talking to your friends, maybe studying for a quiz — everything is going according to plan. You even remembered your lunch money and a fresh set of gym clothes today. You’re ready for anything. Then you go to the bathroom. Someone probably prepared you for this, whether that someone was the female teacher who found herself tasked with explaining the ins and outs of puberty to a class of giggling schoolchildren, or your mother, or your know-it-all sister who just wanted to remind you how wise she was. Whoever your teacher was, chances are she bestowed enough knowledge on you that you now refrain from running from the bathroom yelling, “I’m hemorrhaging,”        …read more

Say It Loud to the Abusers: You Have No Power Here!

sexual harassment

As a white man in the restaurant and entertainment industries, I too have experienced sexual harassment. Compared to what women face every day, it’s like a drop of rain in a hurricane. #Me2.0 As a male I can’t imagine what it is like to be a female in this world. I can put on a dress, put on some fake lady parts, makeup, a sweet wig, killer lashes and get a fabulous mani/pedi — all of which sounds like a great way to kick off a spectacular weekend — but I can never put on the experience of birth-to-now as a female. And as a white male I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a non-white person of any gender in this world. Nothing could ever give me that birth-to-now experience necessary to fully understand what life as a non-white male is truly like. So what can I speak        …read more

Sex & the Spotlight: Harvey Weinstein Is Nothing New in Hollywood

Harvey Weinstein

Hollywood has always been built on power and vulnerability, and abusers like Harvey Weinstein have been a mainstay since the days of Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe. At the time of this writing, Harvey Weinstein has been accused by 40 women of sexual misconduct over the course of his career as a producer and distributor of films. While applauded by the industry for his “cultural impact,” few saw it fit to speak up about the decades of abuse, assault and rape that had been going on in their ranks. Yet when news broke of Harvey Weinstein forcefully performing oral sex on one actress and masturbating into a plant while cornering an unsuspecting news anchor, no one seemed the least bit surprised — apart from Harvey’s closest friends. And why is that? Why didn’t anyone speak up sooner? Because this is who Hollywood is, and has been, since the very beginning. Think:        …read more

How Hiring a Qualified Person with a Disability Serves Everyone

October is National Disability Employment Month (NDEAM). Here’s what everyone should know about the value differently abled people bring to the workplace. I recently returned to the field of education after an eight-year stay-at-home-mom hiatus. In addition to the typical reentry jitters and pondering over whether my favorite coral blazer is still in style, some more significant questions surfaced as I signed my contract: How will I travel to trainings and meetings after the closest bus routes to my house were just cut? What if one of my students or parents is allergic to my guide dog? And how many sessions with my accessibility specialist will it take for me to confidently use all the technology required to do my job? As a person who is legally blind, these are legitimate questions to ask, but they’re also relatively straightforward to solve, especially when compared to the invisible barriers people with        …read more

Madeline Stuart Rocks Down Syndrome Awareness, Launches Fashion Line

Madeline Stuart continues to storm the runway with a smile, inspiring diversity and Down syndrome awareness in the fashion world. When Australia-based model Madeline Stuart walks down the runway at New York Fashion Week, she doesn’t don a serious expression with a tailored walk. Instead, she celebrates. As she makes her way back up the runway, she holds out a hand for high fives. As a model and designer, Madeline Stuart promotes Down syndrome awareness by doing something she loves. How the Journey Started In 2015, Madeline Stuart recognized that Down syndrome predisposed her to a slower metabolism, which caused her to gain weight. She turned this fact on its head with her famous May 12 Facebook post, which announced her choice to live a healthy lifestyle and documented her physical transformation over an 18-month period. Her mother created social media profiles on multiple platforms and posted her before-and-after pictures,        …read more

6 Creators Combating Domestic Violence with Art

domestic violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to speak out against violence and support victims. These 6 artists are boosting the signal. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 35% of women worldwide have been physically and/or sexually assaulted in their lifetime; 30% of women have experienced violence by an intimate partner. Domestic violence doesn’t just affect women, though. One in four men in the United States have been physically abused, with one in seven experiencing severe abuse, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Domestic violence should be eradicated, but it continues to occur in every country around the world. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to speak out against this societal problem and show support for victims, and a great device for doing so is art. Here are six artists raising awareness of domestic violence and working to combat it with creative endeavors. 1. “Promise”        …read more

The Stolen Life of Jeffrey Deskovic

Innocence Project

An estimated 10,000 people are wrongly convicted each year in the United States. The Innocence Project helped free Deskovic, who served 16 years for a horrific crime he didn’t commit. Now it’s his mission to liberate innocent people serving time. This is his story. We’ve all seen them — those episodes of 20/20, Dateline or other true crime documentaries. You, the audience, are presented with “unbiased” evidence. Are you sympathetic toward the defendant? The bailiff takes the envelope from the jury foreman and hands it to the judge. A crushing silence consumes the courtroom. Driven by the evidence, you’ve perhaps already made up your mind. Innocent? Guilty? As an outsider looking in, you feel your instincts warning you that you could be wrong. As an empathetic soul, you might place yourself in the shoes of the defendant who teeters on the brink of a fate they may or may not have        …read more

World Suicide Prevention Day Sends Message of Hope

The world observes Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, 2017, inspiring us to take a minute, change a life. Conrad Roy III. Chester Bennington. Mallory Grossman. Their names and their stories continue to fill our news feeds. Three people who never met, now inextricably linked with countless others who have died by suicide. Every 13 minutes, someone in the United States dies by suicide. That’s 121 people daily and nearly 45,000 people annually. Globally that number increases to over 800,000 deaths annually, with millions more attempts. Now one of the leading causes of death in both the U.S. and abroad, suicide is a major public health concern. A Week of Hope for Those in Pain From grassroots nonprofits to international organizations, groups across the globe are working tirelessly to combat this epidemic, and they’re planning to unite millions with an international event held annually to raise awareness about suicide and to champion        …read more

This Pride Month, Learn about 8 Historic LGBTQ+ Events

June is Pride Month and the perfect time to learn about these historic events. This Pride Month, learn the true stories of Stonewall, the White Night Riots after Harvey Milk was murdered, and more. 1. Compton Cafeteria Riots Via Screaming Queens, Frameline In 1966, in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, the gay and lesbian community was not welcoming of the transgender community. Additionally, strict laws prevented the wearing of any articles of clothing for what was considered the “opposite gender” one had been assigned at birth. Since transgender people could not freely go to the bars designated for gay people, they often congregated at Compton Cafeteria. The staff of the cafeteria began calling the police, who were notoriously violent toward transgender people. The trans community picketed the cafeteria, and when the police were called again, the situation escalated into a riot. Though Stonewall gets all the love as the event that inspired the LGBTQ+        …read more

‘S-Town’ and the Ethics of Storytelling

‘S-Town’ is a fascinating work of art capturing one hidden genius’s view of the world from his small town in Alabama. But it raises ethical questions. If you haven’t heard of the recent podcast S-Town (short for “Shit Town,” a colorful descriptor used frequently by the even more colorful star of the podcast), then get ready to spend a day or two immersed in its world. It was downloaded 16 million times in the first week of its release, and it’s been streamed countless more. It is mystery after treasure hunt after mystery — the podcast equivalent of a page-turner. “Years ago, an antique clock restorer contacted me and asked me to help him solve a murder.” S-Town Podcast via Facebook An eccentric man named John B. McLemore contacted This American Life host Brian Reed in 2014 with an interesting premise. The world-renowned antiquarian clock repairman (who was building an        …read more