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Woman’s Secret Video Recordings Let Street Harassers Embarrass Themselves

Posted in School

“I’m from Ohio. Where I’m from, we holler at women.”

One man’s attempt to justify street harassment didn’t satisfy Lindsey, a 28-year-old women from Minneapolis who filmed the man catcalling her.

The activist, who asks to be identified by her first name only, made headlines last year when her Craigslist missed-connection post calling out a street harasser went viral. She has since created Cards Against Street Harassment, a website providing wallet-size cards that women can print and hand out to catcallers. The cards list some sobering credentials: all the ways street harassment is wrong.

street harassment

Recently, Lindsey began secretly filming her interactions with street harassers, and uploading the encounters to YouTube. A collection of confrontations many women dodge on a daily basis, the resulting channel is more than scary.

“Can I ask you why you think women on the street want to hear what strange men think about them?” she asks two men who crossed the street to heckle her.

“I wish I had a clip of the part where this guy told me if I didn’t like the attention I should wear a burqa,” the video description for the same encounter reads.

street harassment

Lindsey told BuzzFeed that her aim is to capture the “cumulative daily impact” of street harassment and to show harassers what unwanted attention feels like. “The filming provides [harassers] a platform to embarrass themselves in a way that they’ve already embarrassed me,” she said.

Hats off to Lindsey for her bravery — and perhaps some of the men she’s confronted will think twice next time they feel compelled to “compliment” a lady on the street.

Watch more of Lindsey’s videos here.

[h/t BuzzFeed]

Want Peace? Try Forgiveness

Posted in Arts & Culture

2014-07-21-FatherSon800X533pixel.jpg

“The magic didn’t happen to him. The magic happened to me.”

Amazingly, these were the words of abuse victim Ben Bosinger after letting go of years of resentment toward his father.

So what happened?

One day, fed up with pain he’d been carrying around for so long, he paid a visit to his dad. The “magic” occurred while they were looking at Ben’s motorcycle in the driveway.

“In that instant, when we both were bent down looking at that greasy engine, side by side, I forgave him,” he recalled.

He added: “It was something bigger than me that made me forgive him.”

This really resonated with me, based on what I know from a book key to my own spiritual practice — that “the divine energy of Spirit” helps us progress and see things anew.

Ben’s story is from a different book — it’s just one of many moving stories in the Book of Forgiving, recently published by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and daughter Mpho Tutu. They’re certainly qualified to discuss the subject. Besides experiencing the everyday hurts of the injustice of apartheid, they also had other struggles. He suffered from an abusive father, and she and her family experienced the devastating murder of their beloved nanny.

In humility the Tutus disclose how they have to continually learn about forgiveness, sometimes in dramatic ways. But they also make it clear that when we’ve been wronged we can use these opportunities to transform ourselves by changing how we think about others.

“No one is bad, and none among us should be defined as the sum total of our worst actions,” they said.

This is another idea I’m familiar with from my own spiritual practice, but I didn’t find it easy to carry out during a recent experience.

I’d just sat down in a cafe next to two young guys. At first, I didn’t mind hearing their pleasant conversation, but out of the blue they started talking about women in a derogatory way. I couldn’t believe it. I thought, “How can these American, hipster guys feel it’s okay to even think like this, let alone voice it so publicly?”

I was angry about the injustice of their ideas, and three things went through my head. First, I considered saying something. Then I realized confrontation probably wouldn’t make things any better. Finally, I wondered if I could actually love and forgive them.

Led by this deeper desire, I leaned back in my chair, and a few lines from a friend’s song came to mind: “Where there is hatred, let me sew love. Where there is injury, pardon.”

This helped me quiet the reactive feelings of self-justification and get on with more solution oriented thinking. As the Tutus said, I knew I needed to see these weren’t bad people, but they’d been taken in by bad ideas. From my own practice, I knew there was a deeper, wiser point of view of who they were — so much more to what really defines each of us than our worst actions.

“Material sense does not unfold the facts of existence; but spiritual sense lifts human consciousness into eternal Truth,” wrote Mary Baker Eddy, my favorite author on how best to connect with that “something bigger than me.”

As I yearned for this even deeper view, and contemplated the divine source of that presence of good in each of us, I felt a kind of mental and emotional shift. My anger and feelings of injustice drained and I suddenly thought: “Their sense of God must be very small, if that’s how they’re thinking.”

My heart went out to them. It occurred to me these guys had probably just been taught a different worldview than mine.

In the larger scheme of things, this was a modest spiritual awakening. But the revised view gave me a palpable sense of peace, which had seemed impossible just minutes earlier.

In their book, the Tutus refer to Dr. Fred Luskin, the director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects, who has seen the effects of forgiveness on health. In an interview, Luskin said:

There are billions of people telling themselves that somebody was a real [jerk] all day long. That’s really easy for human beings to do. That’s swimming with the stream. To create peace, you need to swim against the stream sometimes, in fact, often.

Indeed, it can be hard to “swim against the stream” of our reactions to injustice. But heading down the path of forgiveness can be as simple as knowing we each have this spiritual sense that can identify the good that’s present even where it seems far from obvious.

As we do that, we shouldn’t be surprised if we have our own Ben Bosinger moment and feel the joy of freedom that can overtake us when forgiveness takes root in our lives.

This article was originally published in PlainViews, a publication of the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network.

10 Summer Health Myths, Busted

Posted in Arts & Culture

It’s just before 9 a.m. You’re on your way to work, which is bad enough to begin with. Then there are the beads of salty-sticky moisture accumulating like thunderstorm clouds right where your hair meets your forehead. You suck your iced coffee down as fast as you can in an effort to lower your body temperature, but it’s a futile exercise. You know it’s just a matter of time before the sweat content of your hairline surpasses its crucial equilibrium point, tipping your morning irrevocably into “hot, drippy mess” territory.

Russell T. Davies Plans ‘Tofu’ Series About Modern Sex Culture

Posted in Entertainment

The creator of one of the most iconic gay-themed TV shows of all time has plans for a steamy new series featuring plenty of same-sex encounters.

Russell T. Davies, who penned the original British installment of “Queer as Folk” and is credited as a co-writer and a consultant on the American version, has announced plans for “Tofu,” an eight-part series about modern sex culture, according to The Independent.

On Red Productions’ website, director Benjamin Cook describes “Tofu” as a “light-hearted documentary series” about “good sex, bad sex, real-life sex. Smut, basically.”

He continues:

We’re looking for a cast of vibrant, charismatic people of all sexual persuasions, genders and ages — so long as you’re over 18 — who are comfortable with, and confident in, talking about sex.

Men, women, every gender, all the pronouns, straight, gay, bi, curious, maybe you’re sex-obsessed, or take-it-or-leave-it, or maybe you’ve — whisper the words — never had sex and aren’t afraid to say so. We want your stories, confessions, and opinions.

Cook and Davies are asking users to submit videos that are 90 seconds or less in length in which participants “tell us [their] best sex-related anecdote — whether it be good, bad, or even lacking in sex completely.”

You can read more about making submissions here.

According to Davies, “Tofu” will differ from his two other forthcoming dramas, “Cucumber” and “Banana” in that it will explore “real-life” issues as opposed to fantasy scenarios. Still, as The Guardian pointed out, there’s a connection between the three series.

“I once read about a scientific institute which had studied the male erection,” Davies said. “It divided the hard-on into four categories, from soft to hard. One, tofu. Two, peeled banana. Three, banana. And four, cucumber. Right there and then I knew I had my drama.”

Candlelit Transfusion

Posted in Arts & Culture

I met a man 16 years ago. 14 years ago, he made me his wife. Like everyone, our marriage has had struggles, but it has been perfect struggles for us. There are so many things I would love to change about him, and I am sure so many more he would love to change about me; however, for each other, we are perfect. This man, my best friend, has given me every desire of my heart! He has rescued me in so many ways. He has helped heal my heart and helped to show me my worth and value when I didn’t always believe it. With love, support and grace, he helped me find myself. In all our years of marriage, I have never feared him leaving me, not one time! He gave me a security I never really knew existed. I wanted to be a mom oh so desperately… he made me a Mother of five beautiful children. He helped to give me a purpose that I didn’t even know was within me. He has given us his everything, I am so proud of him and honored to call him my husband. He is an amazing friend, husband, father and the other piece of my soul!

Now, after all the battles in which we have triumphed, we are facing our greatest one. Love has carried us through all the rest and we are praying this will be no different. When I told my husband, “I am Stage IV” and they told me I will loose my life. My husband, Andrew, said, “No, we will do whatever it takes to save your life!” So through the LOVE of so many friends, family and strangers we are currently in Vienna, Austria; no, not sight-seeing and enjoying the culture, but, literally, fighting to save my life… daily. I will be honest, oftentimes this disease over shadows the important things, and unfortunately, Andrew’s Birthday was no different. The night before his birthday, we rushed me to the hospital to receive blood transfusions. I spent the next few days recovering. I so wanted to celebrate him, to honor him, and do something special, because I know even more now how very important it is. I had blogged about the experience the following day:

Candle Lit Transfusion

Yesterday I woke up after my whole body hyperthermia. I was feeling weak and exhausted with complete will to charge on. My son, Andrew, and I hopped the underground to go to my treatments. Shortly after getting there, I convinced him to jump in the bed with me and I passed out. (Sadly, this is not at all my norm.) A couple hours later, my visibly panicked husband was awaking me.

“Sarah, you have to go to the hospital now for a blood transfusion.”

“Do we have to?”

“Yes, Dr Kleef said your levels are dangerously low (5.6).”

Next would be finding a hospital with a bed available for me. This took an additional hour or two. All the while Linda, my mother-in-law, was with the kids moving flats. I tell you, I thank God for her. We would not have been able to do it without her! Still, while waiting for a hospital bed, I am trying to figure out how to avoid the blood transfusion; I’ve never had one and had feared one. Finally, we get to a hospital. The experience was very unique, to say the least. Just different. We go through all the ‘technical’ stuff. Three bags were recommended, but I felt more comfortable just receiving two.

The unexpected blessing of the blood transfusion: Today is Andrew’s Birthday. To say this trip hasn’t been hard on all of us would be an understatement. You get so focused on “surviving” you can easily loose sight of who you’re surviving for. So while I was weak, frail and so very scared, my husband crawled in the tiny hospital bed with me. He comforted me and held me. We talked very candidly about this disease and our fears. We tried to make sense of something we know we can’t make sense of. So we got to cuddle each other and I fell asleep in his arms. It was a special way to celebrate Andrew’s pre-Birthday, a candlelit bloood transfusion lol.

Love,

Sarah

Don’t let life get busy, that you forget what is really important

Still wanting to do something special to Celebrate Andrew, the love of my life… I thought what better way than to tell the world what an AMAZING man he is?

Dear Andrew,

Happy Birthday, my love! I so had wished your day had gone differently. You never fail to show me how blessed I am to call you my Forever! This journey would be unbearable without your love and strength. You are so smart, Andrew. You are so HOT! You lack confidence and that makes me love you even more. You don’t know how truly awesome you are. You are my best friend, my soul mate, you are the best lover and you are so very perfect for me. You are a great father, not because you’re perfect at it, but because you want to be. You want your kids to have everything they want in the world and you beat yourself up over it because you can’t. Andrew, you are such a great Daddy, I wish you didn’t doubt yourself. Your loyalty almost doesn’t exist in this world anymore. I have lost my breast and have scars everywhere now. I’m bruised up everywhere from all the multiple, daily injections. My skin has no color left; I have no hair on my head. You still look at me like I am the only one in the world! How do you do it? Because of the man that you are! If you could see you, from my eyes, self-doubt wouldn’t exist in you for even a second! I don’t know how all this will end my Love, but I do know if LOVE wins I am not going anywhere! Today Andrew, I celebrate you as I do everyday and shame on me for all the times I’ve taken you for granted. You are my soul mate, my best friend, my lover, I love you more than words could ever express!

My Heart is Forever Yours.

Love,

Sarah