The Good Men Project The Conversation No One Else Is Having Sat, 19 Sep 2020 23:51:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 I Was Afraid To Be Alone Sun, 20 Sep 2020 10:00:54 +0000 A reminisce on the time anxiety and parenting landed me in the back of an ambulance on a Sunday afternoon.

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I remember the days I was afraid to be alone with my kids. The moment I realize my husband would be away for several hours, anxiety would set in.I’d call his phone periodically to check in, hoping he’d tell me he was on his way.

Once, I even called a neighbor to come sit with me for a few minutes. She looked at me strangely when she came through the door. I wasn’t brave enough to tell her I was afraid to be alone. So I ignored her judgement as I entertained her with small talk until my anxiety went away.

I didn’t know how to handle them and myself — my thoughts and my needs. I didn’t know how to get alone time and silence in the midst of mother goose club and snack requests. I was afraid of the things I couldn’t control. The things they’d do that would ruin my day — like pouring syrup all over our suede couch. Or making a huge mess after I’d just cleaned up.

I was afraid I’d do something wrong. Or fail to complete all things on my mental to-do list. I thought I’d get overwhelmed — and one day; which led to me sitting in the back of an ambulance on a Sunday afternoon.

My husband had been gone for about 6 hours. I was so tired I could barely keep my thoughts together. I hadn’t eaten all day but instead drank two cups of coffee to keep me awake and alive enough to care for my kids — who spent majority of their time climbing all over me and jumping on my bed. After several attempts to watch Hollywood Reporter alone, I decided to take them outside — they clearly weren’t going to leave me alone.

I was pushing my son in the swing when I looked over and saw my daughters bike out in the grass, being ridden by a little girl.

Did someone steal her bike? I thought.

It looked like her bike. DID SOMEONE STEAL HER BIKE?? I began to breathe heavily. I could feel myself losing balance and sat down on the park bench to settle myself.

“It’s time to go.” I told Brooke. I grabbed my son and we trotted back to the house, just us three, no bike. The more we walked, the more I panted, slowly losing breath, slowly losing sight. We got in and I began to breathe heavily.

I text my husband to ask if he would be able to come home early but I got no response. I was breathing, but it was short. The kids were surrounding me, climbing into my lap, asking for juice; and I was ignoring them, trying hard to maintain my breathing.

I called a friend who lived nearby but got no answer. I called another, same response.

I knew something was wrong. It was getting worse, this feeling of panic was creeping up on me like a vine from Jumanji and I was losing it.

I went and stood in the living room. The kids in tow, following me around like little ducklings. I called my friends again. This time, one of them picked up.

“Can you come over please? I don’t know what’s wrong.”

She was over within 3 minutes and we both stood there, in the living room, me barely breathing, her with a slightly panicked look on her face.

My chest began to tighten and my hands went numb. I was losing blood circulation in my body and I started to panic. Malik came near me to climb onto my lap and I gently pushed him away. I needed space. He fell onto the floor and looked at me confused before he started whining.

My friend called 911 and spent the next three minutes repeating my address over and over again to the operator. All I could think about was losing my kids. Dying in front of them. I was afraid, so I prayed.

“God, please help me. God please help me.”

Over and over again I said these words until I was no longer speaking English. Within seconds I was speaking — and then shouting in tongues. Yes, tongues. It was an unexpected turn of events that changed everything. Within five seconds I was up on my feet, pacing the house, speaking in tongues, slowly regaining feeling in my hands and arms.

Within 60 seconds, I was able to shake my hands, and my breathing was back to normal. Another sixty seconds later, the ambulance showed up. The EMT’s checked my vital signs and reported everything was normal. They looked at us as if we’d prank called them as we tried to explain that literally two minutes earlier, I felt paralyzed.

I opted to take a trip to the emergency room to “make sure I was okay.” To be honest, I just wanted to be alone for a moment, even if that meant going to a hospital room to do it.

I sat in the back of the ambulance with tears rolling down my face. Devastated at the state I was in. Tired. Fatigued. And wishing things were different.

I didn’t know what I needed to change or how but I knew it needed to happen immediately. Watching the panic in my children’s eyes was enough to show me that it was time to get this anxiety under control, and not just for my children. I needed to change my life, for myself.

I look at them now as we’re going on 10 hours alone together. I’ve fed them breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We’ve taken a trip to the city and back. Ive gotten 6 hours of work done in between them climbing all over me and complaining about wanting more food. I’ve given them snacks and taken them outside to play for 30 minutes. And in a few minutes, I’ll make dinner, give them baths and clean up their room before putting them down for bed.

I still have days where I have to rev myself up to go into mommy mode. I have to tell myself it’s okay and remind myself that I’m the mom. I am capable of doing all the things I need to do.

“I birthed them” remember? I’d say to myself. I carried them in my womb and literally pushed them out. I have the tools of “good job” and “here’s your juice” and “it’s nap time” in my arsenal of mommy responses. I have my candles and outside time and if all else fails, I can lay on the couch with them while we all watched Trolls together for the 15th time.

I still have those questions. What if I get overwhelmed or what if they do something to ruin my day. And many days, those moments happen — what has changed is my response. I breathe and relax into the reality that all I have to do is, be. I don’t have to push or force anything to happen that does not want to happen. I don’t have to run myself crazy trying to complete tasks that are not a good fit for the moment.

As I write this, I’ve just finished baths and called it quits on cleaning the kids room after looking under the bed to find about 100 colorful balls from the ball pit my mother bought them. The balls will stay there because who’s looking under there anyway?

My husband walked in around 8:00pm right after I’d climbed into bed; tired, but very proud of myself.

It’s all an evolution of time and experience and knowing who you are and what you’re capable of. It’s about knowing you’re fully allowed to say no when you just can’t do anything more than sit still on the couch and drink wine.

It’s been over a year since I sat in the back of that ambulance crying and embarassed that I couldn’t even handle a day alone with my kids. It is still, and likely always will be, a process.

To any other parent or person in the world who is afraid of what the day may bring — as Glennon Doyle would say, you can do hard things.

Previously published on medium



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Is Deet Safe? Sun, 20 Sep 2020 09:30:23 +0000 Is deet natural and is it safe to use topically as a mosquito repellent?

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By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

Dear EarthTalk: Is DEET natural and is it safe to use topically as a mosquito repellent? And which formulations and concentrations are advised?

—M. Frey, Milwaukee, WI

DEET (short for “diethyltoluamide”) is a synthetic compound invented by the U.S. Army in 1946 that can be applied topically to repel mosquitos, ticks, fleas, chiggers, leeches and other biting insects. Unlike other repellents which actually deter bugs with smells they don’t like—or even kill them on contact—DEET just makes it harder for pests to smell us so they are more likely to leave us alone.

DEET has been available to the general public since the Army “released” it in 1957, and today it remains most people’s repellent of choice, with 90 percent market penetration in the U.S. An estimated one-third of Americans use DEET to protect them from not only mosquito bites but also mosquito-borne illnesses like Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, the Zika virus and malaria, not to mention tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

DEET is not only effective, it’s also convenient; it is sold in a variety of formulations (liquid, lotion, spray, towelette) ranging in strength from 5-99 percent. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers DEET safe to use topically, and has approved 30 companies to sell some 120 different DEET-based repellents online and in store shelves across the U.S. And with 90 percent market penetration for insect repellents, DEET seems to be here to stay.

That said, many of us are still concerned about the safety of DEET for our health and the environment. According to the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG), exposure to high concentrations of DEET can irritate the eyes and in very rare cases impair the nervous system, with symptoms including seizures, tremors and slurred speech. But despite these risks, EWG acknowledges that DEET is still probably the safest option for preventing insect-borne diseases.

If you want to use DEET, keep in mind that pediatricians generally recommend not using it on babies up to two months old, but otherwise sticking to concentrations of 10-30 percent for infants and children. The stronger the concentration of the DEET you apply, the longer lasting protection you’ll get from mosquitoes. Consumer Reports found that 99 percent of DEET formulations gave up to 12 hours of protection while lower concentrations (20-34 percent) lasted 3-6 hours.

If you want to avoid DEET altogether, there are several effective alternatives available, including Picaridin and PMD (AKA Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus). Meanwhile, several botanical oils (castor oil, cedar oil, citronella oil, clove oil, geraniol oil, lemongrass oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, soybean oil) are known for repelling insects, but EWG warns most of these are not very effective, won’t last long and could trigger allergic reactions in the user on their own.

To decide what’s best for you and your family given where you live and the risks for insect-borne diseases there, check out the EPA’s “Find the Repellent that is Right for You” search tool which bases its recommendations on your inputs regarding what you are trying to battle, how long you will be outside and potentially exposed, active ingredient preference, and even preferred brand name.

Previously published on and is republished here under permission.


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Rampant Retaliation Is Ruining the Workplace Sun, 20 Sep 2020 09:00:48 +0000 Decades-long discrimination trend continues unabated

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America has become a retaliation nation. Look no further than the workplace—a microcosm of society—where retaliation charges are at an all-time high.

In case you haven’t noticed, malevolent managers are increasingly lashing out at workers. Why? Because some embattled employees have the nerve to stand up and speak out against unlawful discrimination. The result is retaliation, which is synonymous to revenge and retribution by bullying bosses against whistleblowers.

Did you know?

  • Most sexual harassment cases include allegations of retaliation. This is especially concerning for women’s rights in today’s #MeToo era.
  • Retaliation violates the federally protected rights of all workers and has a chilling effect on remedying discrimination and harassment.

Why hasn’t retaliation received more attention from the federal government, civil rights groups, the legal community and news media? The public is more aware of job bias based on race, gender, disability, age, religion, national origin and equal pay. But retaliation? Not so much. It’s time to shine a spotlight on retaliation commensurate to the persistent problem plaguing workplaces everywhere.


Most Frequent Filing

Retaliation is the most frequently filed charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a decade-long trend. It is rampant from corporate America to small and mid-sized companies nationwide. This insidious form of discrimination is ruining company culture and hurting bottom-line productivity, among other negative consequences for employers and employees alike.

The fiscal year 2018 EEOC data is daunting:

  • EEOC field offices received 39,469 retaliation-based charges, the highest level ever as a percentage of total charge filings nationwide (76,418).
  • Retaliation now accounts for over 50% of all EEOC annual charge filings, for the first time ever.
  • The next three leading bases of discrimination are sex, disability, and race, each accounting for about 32% of the agency’s incoming private sector caseload.

(Note: one charge filing may include multiple bases of discrimination, thus the combined percentage for all bases exceeds 100%)

Race and Retaliation

Race discrimination has historically been the leading charge filing with EEOC. This was true ever since the agency opened in July 1965, one year after being created by the landmark Civil Rights Act. But that all changed in 2009 when retaliation eclipsed race to become the leading EEOC discrimination charge, a trend that has held steady to date. The sharp rise in retaliation may help explain why EEOC’s private sector caseload has dropped by 25% over the past decade, from highs approaching 100,000 in 2010.

Employees deterred from reporting discrimination, due to retaliation, means fewer cases filed and voices heard. Too many employees are being compelled to suffer in silence rather than risk losing their jobs by being subjected to retaliatory actions by management. More retaliation equates to less justice for victims of employment discrimination.


Retaliation and Harassment

Retaliatory actions in the workplace are often linked to harassment. Thus it’s not surprising that sexual harassment has likewise trended upward in the wake of the #MeToo movement, according to EEOC data. But retaliation goes beyond accompanying harassment to include all kinds of discrimination.

While EEOC reported 7,609 sexual harassment charge filings last year, retaliation cases numbered nearly 40,000. Therefore, only 19% of retaliation charges also included sexual harassment claims. That leaves 81% of retaliation cases intersecting with other types of discrimination, such as gender, disability, race and more. Even if retaliation is included in all types of EEOC harassment charges (which totaled 26,700 in FY 2018), that still leaves more than 13,000 retaliation cases without any associated harassment allegations.

Although retaliation intersects with sexual harassment, it’s not confined to harassment cases. Remember, retaliation has been trending as the #1 charge filing with EEOC for 10-years and counting. Why hasn’t the public heard more about it? Retaliation strikes at the heart of EEOC’s core mission to prevent and eliminate employment discrimination.

Legal Twist

Retaliation can include termination, demotion and many other adverse actions affecting terms and conditions of employment. EEOC issued Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues in August 2016. At that time, retaliation was still the leading discrimination charge, accounting for 45% of all charges. The figure has since jumped to 51.6% of total charges — doubling from 25% in 1999, a meteoric rise.

No worker should be afraid to assert their legal rights due to fear of retaliation. Nevertheless, retaliation remains a dicey dilemma for management and labor alike. It’s important to recall that most job discrimination generally goes unreported, ironically due to fear of retaliation. In addition to EEOC, retaliation cases can be filed at the state and local levels, as well as through a company’s internal complaint system (which are not captured in the EEOC data).

The total universe of workplace retaliation incidents is likely just the “tip of the iceberg” compared to the number of officially reported cases. This is worrisome because retaliation allows a vicious cycle of discrimination to fester with no accountability for perpetrators or relief for victims.

Savvy employers know that retaliatory actions can trample an otherwise healthy work culture. That’s why education, training, and clear communication from the top of the organization are all critical elements to proactively prevent retaliation. CEOs should exert greater leadership by sending an unequivocal message down the corporate ladder that discrimination is reprehensible and won’t be tolerated. However, too many callous companies still employ rogue managers who violate the law with impunity. But there’s also a legal twist for which employers should be more mindful: Even if a discrimination complaint is dismissed as frivolous or without merit, the business can still be held liable for any retaliation.

The trouble for C-suites and HR or legal departments is that too many mendacious managers have knee-jerk reactions against workers who complain about harassment or file discrimination cases. However, retaliation only compounds legal issues for companies. Retaliation also results in a double dose of discrimination for victims— first, based on the initial complaint and, second, the retaliatory action.


Productivity Killer

Why should companies care about retaliation? Following are three reasons:

  1. Retaliation results in quantifiable monetary losses for overall business operations.
  2. Retaliation kills bottom-line productivity through decreased employee engagement and morale, lower performance, higher absenteeism and reduced company loyalty.
  3. Retaliation is a loser for both business and labor. The only winners are the lucrative law firms that cash in by defending companies. There’s also negative PR which hurts the brand.

Retaliation is commonplace at companies with unethical work cultures. Bad actors among employers have lax policies and procedures regarding professional standards of conduct — including, but not limited to — antiquated HR policies, a dearth of diversity training, ineffective internal complaint systems, and a superficial commitment to equal opportunity.

Unfortunately, not enough companies are complying with EEOC laws, rules and regulations to curb retaliation. Retaliation not only gets employers in legal trouble but often includes bad PR which damages the brand and hurts consumer confidence.

EEOC Responds

Why hasn’t EEOC focused more time and resources on protecting employees against the rising tide of retaliation — and punishing employers? A study cited in an EEOC task force report on harassment found that 75% of victims also experienced some form of retaliation. EEOC has been outspoken about halting harassment, while retaliation has comparatively fallen by the wayside.

When asked what EEOC is doing to address retaliation, agency officials told me the following:

  • “The Commission continues to focus on eliminating unlawful retaliation through emphasizing it during our training and outreach events, as well as in our oversight activities.”
  • “Preserving access to the legal system by targeting retaliatory practices that effectively dissuade others in the workplace from exercising their rights under anti-discrimination laws is one of six national priorities identified by EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).”

Still, at least one out of every two discrimination charges brought to EEOC alleged retaliation in 2018, an unprecedented level. No type of discrimination has hovered over 50% of all charges in modern times, according to agency historical data.

If current trends continue, the percentage of retaliation charges filed with EEOC could double that of race, sex and disability in the foreseeable future. When asked why retaliatory actions against employees are skyrocketing, the agency surprisingly responded:

We don’t have research on why exactly retaliation charges continue to increase.


Final Thoughts

Retaliation is pernicious and can make an employee’s work-life miserable. Retaliation precludes people from doing their best work.

Moreover, as noted, retaliation by malicious managers stifles business productivity by (among other factors):

  • Trampling employee engagement.
  • Causing morale and job satisfaction to plummet.
  • Preventing peak performance.
  • Increasing employee absenteeism and healthcare costs.
  • Resulting in talented employees (human capital assets) leaving to work for the competition.


Conventional wisdom points to government placing the highest priority on stopping the most frequent forms of discrimination. Thus it would be expected for EEOC to devote more resources to relinquishing retaliation, to the extent possible. EEOC says that reducing retaliation remains a strategic enforcement priority. But not enough companies are listening.

Previously published on


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Cole Moscatel Shares His Secrets On Successfully Working Full Time With Your Spouse Sun, 20 Sep 2020 08:30:45 +0000 Cole Moscatel has been a successful entrepreneur since the age of 12. Since then, he has opened and run a multitude of different businesses all on his own.

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Business mogul, supermodel, and American media personality, Cole Moscatel, runs an empire enterprise with his supermodel wife, Kelsea Moscatel. The power couple built their brand, Snob World, and successfully turned that into a multifaceted empire that has multiple different business sectors and branches. For a lot of men, the thought of working every single day with their wife may cause them to fear how they would separate a work relationship from a romantic relationship, or just an overall sense of pressure having to run a business with their spouse. Cole Moscatel is absolutely one of the best examples you could ever ask for when wondering how to cope with something like that.

Cole Moscatel has been a successful entrepreneur since the age of 12. Since then, he has opened and runs a multitude of different businesses all on his own. When he got married to his wife Kelsea, he married a powerful entrepreneurial woman. It is no wonder the two put their entrepreneurial brilliance together to create a massively successful company. Making the switch from usually handling business on his own to handling a new company with his wife was certainly a new challenge for Cole. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. Below are five tips on how to successfully build an empire with your spouse.

1. Only Go Into Business Together If You Are Both Genuinely Passionate About What You Are Starting.

There is no way you can both successfully build something together if one of you feels less excited about the brand as a whole. If you both feel strongly and genuinely love the business idea, it is bound to flow smoothly. Cole and Kelsea at their core are business people who have a taste for luxury living. Those two components easily led them to create Snob World, a platform that services a multitude of different luxury living opportunities and experiences. Cole’s advice for the first steps of going into business with your spouse is to never go through with it unless you both are equally as passionate and excited about the project.

2. Clarify Each Other’s Roles.

There is absolutely no shame in determining who is in charge of what. Lines should never cross, that’s where the chaos can begin. Know who is in charge of what, and meet in the middle for the teamwork when needed. Cole handles the business aspects and Kelsea handles the creative aspects for some projects, and vice versa depending on which business they are handling. Roles can even be determined on a day by day basis, as long as the communication is strong and clear.

3. Separate Your Work Relationship From Your Romantic Relationship –– For The Most Part.

Let’s make one thing clear –– if you go into business with your spouse, you better not treat them as a different person when working together. However, you must keep things professional. With that being said, when in the office or taking care of business, try not to allow personal emotions to play too big of a role, nor should you take things too personally. Be kind and never treat your partner like something less than a spouse, but you certainly have to remember what each other’s priorities are in that moment –– which is taking care of business.

4. It Is Imperative To Have Work Hours That Begin and That End.

Cole says that he and Kelsea have their work hours begin and end typically at the same time every day and do not discuss business matters during non-work hours, unless necessary. It is crucial to have those moments with family and your wife where you are just being husband and wife, not a business partner and business partner.

5. If It’s What You Love You Will Succeed.

Cole shares that because he and Kelsea actually genuinely love working and building their empire, they truly work together with ease! They get asked all the time how they do it, and they usually simply respond with, “Because we love it!”. How can you be successful if you don’t love doing it?

At the end of the day, Cole and Kelsea love nothing more than succeeding and achieving together. However, you can be sure the two make an extra effort with their romance. Whether it’s a surprise getaway or a weekly date night on the town, they make it work. Cole believes that if you go into business with your wife and you follow the above five tips, you and your spouse are bound to massively succeed.

This content is brought to you by Ashleigh Coran.

Photo provided by the author.

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Why I Date Good Looking Men Sun, 20 Sep 2020 08:00:13 +0000 Kindness makes you more attractive.

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You’ve heard of the saying, “the eyes are like windows to your soul.” I think that a kind soul permeates onto one’s face…which in turn increases one’s attractiveness. Don’t believe me? There are studies about it. And I’ll share how you can be a good (more attractive) looking man too.

A man with a big heart has always been one of the most attractive traits I look for. Of course upon first impressions (maybe by the fifth meeting I can), I cannot dig open a man’s heart and inspect it. Luckily, I don’t have to do that because studies have shown that a way to be more attractive is kindness. An article written a few years ago on a research showed that kindness will make you more attractive.

In the article, it mentions, “one’s perception of an individual’s positive personality traits, like kindness or hard work, improved views of their physical attractiveness, while traits like laziness did the opposite.” It’s always a good sight to see someone taking an action that shows how kind they are. It makes him more attractive because our brains automatically are wired to think, “oh that is humbling because it’s a lovely sight as you just don’t often see that.”
When a man has a gentle heart, pure thoughts, I truly believe it shows on his face. Have you ever seen a man playing with a baby, being cute making baby noises or treating their dogs like their own children and laughing wholeheartedly? Those types of men are appealing.

“In a society where we are judged by a cover, it doesn’t hurt to apply the rules of kindness to increase one’s attractiveness because for better or worse, the bottom line is that research shows beauty matters; it pervades society and affects how we choose loved ones. Thus, striving to appear attractive may not be such a vain endeavor after all. This isn’t to say plastic surgery is necessarily the answer. Instead, lead a healthy lifestyle that will in turn make you a happier person.”

My girlfriends used to say I had a type. They saw a pattern to the type of guys I liked. And as I looked closer, they were right. Some obvious patterns were a great smile, warm friendly eyes, and oddly a certain distinguishing hair style. Maybe kindness is also tied to having a great head of hair? To give you a visual of what that type looked like, imagine, a wholesome, happy, gentle, warm face with an incredible smile. That is my type. I think all of these attributes stem from one simple core, kindness.. Kindness seeping through a man’s eyes, adding a layer of friendliness and a smile that is inviting is what I deem good looking.
That old misconception that ‘nice guys always finish last’. That is not true. “Research shows that for both men and women, being nice markedly increases the appeal of a potential romantic partner. In fact, evolution may have dictated it to be so.” Being kind can get you more dates. Why are women often times drawn to men playing with their dogs or being attentive to children or doing charitable work? Basically when women see vulnerability, all these things are tied to attributes of a softness and these things tie back to a kind giving heart. Seeing a nurturing side to a man really does make him more attractive. We associate that with a man who’s not afraid to commit, be responsible, be loving, be a provider. And all of these are traits of what I am, along with other women are seeking.

Further research also shows from an article done by Yan Zhang of Huazhong University in China further talks of this notion, “what is good is beautiful”, that positive personality can increase perceptions of facial attractiveness. I mean, where do you think that phrase RBF, resting bitch face comes from?

So you want to be more attractive looking?

  • Try smiling, wholeheartedly. A positive personality can increase perceptions of facial attractiveness.
  • Laugh at yourself. Someone who has the ability to shrug things off and look at the silver lining and is able to laugh at one’s mistakes or find simple humor in his every day routine is bound to release tension in the face.
  • Find the simple things in life and be grateful for them. Someone who is grateful doesn’t carry around a sour face.
  • And play with dogs and babies…they make you happy and that is enough of a reason to.

Previously published on permission.


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Beijing Platform for Action. Paragraph 151 Sun, 20 Sep 2020 07:30:20 +0000 What is the level of reduced remuneration for women leading to some of the issues seen over time in terms of the rights limitations on women?

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151. In many regions, women’s participation in remunerated work in the formal and non-formal labour market has increased significantly and has changed during the past decade. While women continue to work in agriculture and fisheries, they have also become increasingly involved in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and, in some cases, have become more dominant in the expanding informal sector. Due to, inter alia, difficult economic situations and a lack of bargaining power resulting from gender inequality, many women have been forced to accept low pay and poor working conditions and thus have often become preferred workers. On the other hand, women have entered the workforce increasingly by choice when they have become aware of and demanded their rights. Some have succeeded in entering and advancing in the workplace and improving their pay and working conditions. However, women have been particularly affected by the economic situation and restructuring processes, which have changed the nature of employment and, in some cases, have led to a loss of jobs, even for professional and skilled women. In addition, many women have entered the informal sector owing to the lack of other opportunities. Women’s participation and gender concerns are still largely absent from and should be integrated in the policy formulation process of the multilateral institutions that define the terms and, in cooperation with Governments, set the goals of structural adjustment programmes, loans and grants.

Beijing Declaration (1995)

Now, Paragraph 151 is a rather lengthy statement on the rights of women. It focuses on the “remunerated work” in both the “formal” and the “non-formal” labour markets in which there was, circa 1995, rapid change in their structuring and continues to be much in this direction. We’re talking about economic changes tied to some of the informal changes in society via culture. As such, we come to the idea of the “past decade” relative to 1995 and the ways in which the gender roles were beginning to take more of an alternation and switch over at the time, which became more full-swing in the 2010s continuing into 2020.

As it notes, women are working in “agriculture and fisheries” with “micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.” All of which have previously been male-dominated sectors of the economy with women spending more time in the home than anywhere else. Within this contextualization of a historical view of the remunerated work for women, there is a tacit implication on the other side of the partition. That being the ways in which women have previously been still working in sectors of the societies deemed non-remunerable. We can think of examples of childrearing and homecare.

However, as noted, the ‘significant’ changes come from significant changes in the ways in which men and women have related to one another before and now. These changes bring about reduced “gender inequality” while having more of a “bargaining power” with this improved equality of relations between men and women in “economic situations” to, in part, reduce the “difficult” financial contexts for women.

What happens when women lack such “bargaining power” for more gender equality? In turn, and as has been the historical cases, women have had to “accept lower pay and poor working conditions” because of these biases against them. These make them, in rather cold terms, “preferred workers.” These contexts not only seem but are coercive to the disproportionately women entering into them. Women should become more aware of their rights, and demand more of them, too. With knowledge of rights, and a proper fight, the advancement within the workplace can occur, especially in regards to ‘improved pay and working conditions.’

The Beijing Declaration here is arguing for labour rights with a gendered lens. Even at the time, there was a time of some job loss for women, well before the time of COVID-19. Apparently, this didn’t matter as to the profession. This happened whether “professional or skilled women.” And even if acquiring a job of some sort, women enter the “informal sector” due to lack of access or “opportunities” for other forms of employment.

Without a focus on women’s participation in the economy or in the areas of labour rights fights without gendered lens, women’s concerns regarding better pay and better working conditions can be ignored. There should be a focus on women’s capacities of potentialities for positive contributions to the formal and informal economies in the multilateral institutions, the policy formulation, the governments, and the “structural adjustment programmes, loans and grants,” as these provide a basis from which to markedly improve the accessibility of good work and opportunities for implementation of women’s rights and the advancement of gender equality.

(Updated 2020-07-07, only use the updated listing, please) Not all nations, organizations, societies, or individuals accept the proposals of the United Nations; one can find similar statements in other documents, conventions, declarations and so on, with the subsequent statements of equality or women’s rights, and the important days and campaigns devoted to the rights of women and girls too:


Strategic Aims

Celebratory Days

Guidelines and Campaigns

Women and Men Women’s Rights Campaigners

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Some of the Top Benefits of Swimming That Will Get You Excited To Jump Into the Pool! Sun, 20 Sep 2020 07:00:15 +0000 Swimming doesn’t discriminate and can be done by people of all ages and of all fitness levels.

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We have hot and humid summers here in Australia and there’s nothing more refreshing than diving in the pool to cool off. The great thing about swimming is, it’s not only fun but offers a number of health benefits too. In this article, we will highlight the top health benefits that come with spending time in the water to get you excited about jumping in the pool.

Swimming can be done for a lifetime

Swimming doesn’t discriminate and can be done by people of all ages and of all fitness levels. The weightlessness of water provides support to people with mobility issues or painful conditions and enables them to move their bodies without the pain typically associated with land exercises. Swimming is a safe form of exercise for people who are:

  1. Disabled
  2. Not able to bear weight
  3. Living with arthritis or osteoarthritis
  4. Pregnant
  5. Recovering from an injury
  6. Elderly
  7. Limited in their movements
  8. Dealing with chronic pain


Burns calories 

Swimming burns far more energy than other types of exercise such as running or walking. As a matter of fact, doing a fast-paced swim can burn double the number of calories that riding a bike or running does for the same duration. An added bonus is working out in water prevents getting covered in sweat as the water cools your body as you swim.

Improve overall mental wellbeing and alleviate stress 

Taking some out to exercise in the pool is an excellent way to cope and manage everyday stress. Swimming forces the heart rate up and increases the blood flow throughout the body, as a result, endorphins are produced. They provide a feeling of euphoria which can reduce pain and boost mood. Jumping in the pool for a swim on a regular basis is an effective solution to alleviating stress and built-up tension.

Quality time with family and friends

Whilst swimming laps are normally done individually, for many of us, the time we spend swimming is done in the pool or at a beach with the people we care about most. Having a pool in the backyard is the perfect excuse to invite friends and family over to catch up whilst exercising at the same time. Socializing with others is undeniably beneficial for our emotional and mental wellbeing.

Tone muscles and increases strength 

When gliding through the water, every muscle in the body is used to maintain momentum. This means that all of the muscles are gaining mass rather than isolating certain areas. This doesn’t just apply for vigorous workouts either, steady laps in the pool is still giving us the benefits of a whole-body workout. When done on a regular basis swimming can significantly increase endurance, strengthen the bones, and increase lung capacity. It’s a great way to lose weight and maintain cardiovascular health.

Swimming increases flexibility

Some are not aware of the fact that swimming increases your flexibility. The motion used when swimming against the resistance of the water lengthens the muscles and makes them more flexible and can also help with muscle recovery.

Water therapy

Water therapy is physical therapy that takes place in water. It is a popular alternative to regular rehabilitation or pain management. People living with ongoing pain or those who are recovering from an injury, can greatly benefit from this form of therapy. Whilst all formal appointments will normally be supervised by a professional, having a pool in the backyard allows people to practice their exercises or relieve aches and pains at their own leisure. Water takes the load of the joints, muscles and bones and can help to alleviate pain.

Benefits of swimming for children

Studies conducted by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare claim that childhood drowning is still a prevalent issue here in Australia and one of the leading causes of accidental deaths amongst children between the ages of 0 and 14. Much of the population are surrounded by water and even for those who aren’t, swimming is a pastime that is commonly enjoyed by many. Learning to swim a necessary life-saving skill that all children should learn in this country. Much like riding a bicycle, once a child has learned how to do it, it is unlikely that they will ever forget. Learning to swim provides them with a lifetime of opportunities having fun in the sun. There are numerous benefits children can gain from swimming, here are just a couple:

1. Keeping healthy and active

Most of us are guilty of spending too much time on technology from time to time and nowadays children are no exception. Because of this, childhood obesity has become a prominent health issue in our country. Swimming not only teaches children how to be safe near water but is also an excellent form of exercise. The best part is most children don’t even realize that they are keeping healthy and active when swimming because they are having so much fun whilst doing it.

2. Helps to increase hand-eye coordination and muscle tone 

When swimming is done on a regular basis it promotes muscle growth. It works the core as well as strengthens the arms and legs and can improve hand-eye coordination. Skills learned from swimming translate to coordination of the hands and body and can improve a child’s development.

3. Helps them sleep better

Swimming exerts a significant amount of energy and with the soothing effects of water, it can help children to relax, fall asleep faster and have a deeper, more restful sleep.

Swimming offers an array of health benefits regardless of whether you are a professional swimmer or just starting out. It improves cardiovascular health, tones the body, and increases energy. For some, a pool in the backyard completely overhauls their lifestyle and provides them with a healthy and active life.

We specialize in luxurious, award-winning fibreglass pools here at Swimming Pools Brisbane and we have had the privilege of transforming thousands of backyards over the years. We know first-hand how much swimming can improve one’s overall health and wellbeing. If you are interested in one of our pools for your home or if you have any questions, get in touch with our experienced team, we are more than happy to help if we can.


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Long Distance: How We Fell More and More in Love While Being 4800 Miles Apart Sun, 20 Sep 2020 06:30:12 +0000 This is a story about love, sacrifice and patience. a lot of patience.

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Have you ever wondered how time flies when you are with someone you love, and suddenly it all comes to a screeching halt when they leave? A major part of my life was put on hold for 8 years, because that was the time I spent waiting to be with the guy I loved the most.

I dated my boyfriend for 8 years, before getting married to him, and for all those 8 years, we were in a long-distance relationship — miles apart. I would be lying if I say it was easy. None of it was. Not one day, not one moment.

Every relationship has challenges and the moments that make you weak, force you to surrender and give-up to the situations. But you should always remember one thing — that situations won’t remain the same. You might lose the person now, just because the situations are hard, but it’s not going to be like this forever. And when the situations get better, there will be no way to go back.

This is what I kept reminding myself every single day for those 8 years that we were in a long-distance relationship (from 2011 to 2019). I kept chanting this as a prayer, every night before I went to bed, because sometimes when I missed him so much, the pain would become so unbearable that it started to feel like something is piercing my heart physically.

The mental pain, somehow transformed into physical trauma with time. And there was no option, but to stay where I was, and stay as much in love with him, as I was on the first day that this relationship started. But every time a piece of my heart broke when I went to see him off at the airport.

I was in India (Hyderabad) and he moved to Europe (Amsterdam) in 2018. The relationship also came with added benefits of a 4.5 hours time difference!

Airports used to scare me. They still do. Sometimes, I have nightmares where I dream about seeing him off at an airport, and not knowing when will I see him again. And then I wake up suddenly, seeing him lying next to me in the bed. That’s when I tell myself, ‘Yes, we made it. The hard part is over.’

But I have very few memories of airports that are actually happy. The times I went to receive him used to be a short-lived memory. But every time I used to see him off, used to be a prolonged ache and a feeling of sheer helplessness. Where I stared at him till the time he disappeared into the thick crowd of people bustling at the terminal.

* * *

Did I ever think about breaking up?

Honestly, I did. Many times. So did he. But every time we even imagined one day without talking to each other, it became impossible. We tried going out of touch, but one of us would end up being weak and texting the other person. And it all went back to square one. I know that the situations were surely not in our favor, but breaking-up felt even worse.

How could we leave each other for no reason at all?

My friends always told me that long-distance is enough of a reason to break up and move on. Find new partner. Look for other options. For how long will you be in a relationship with your phone?

But I never listened to them, because inside my heart I always knew that the kind of love I have for him, I can never have it for any other man, ever. I never believed that long-distance is a reason to break-up.

To break-up, there should be a reason that hurts you, that destroys your loyalty and your trust for the other person, or maybe a reason that forces you to leave them. But distance? How can it be a reason to leave someone?

It was not his fault. Neither it was mine. We chose the careers, took the options and made the choices. Then there was no reason to put the blame on anything else.

Every time I felt helpless, I used to tell myself that there were times when people used to write each other letters, wait for months for their replies, and yet marriages survived. Relationships survived. People waited. They were patient. Those were also the times.

And now we are blessed with technology that allows us to see each other’s faces whenever we want, and talk to each other just like we are sitting across a table. But instead, relationships have become unstable, uncertain and vulnerable. We got this technology hardly one decade back. Before 2010 video calls were not that common, neither was internet that cheap or fast. We had dial-up connections that took minutes to send an email!

But in just one decade of tech-advancement, if that’s the state of our relationships, how will it work in future?

We now rely on apps like Tinder and Bumble to hook-up with people for hours or days, and then break-up. We can’t deny that such quick relationships have also filled up a large percentage of people with anxiety issues and self-doubt. They are judging each other on the base of their looks, their clothes and their financial power.

It was too regressive then, and it is too progressive now. I have witnessed many cases among my own friends where people just broke-up because they were in long-distance relationship. They didn’t try. They didn’t even wait for things to get better or find solutions to be together. They just left each other. That seemed easier, they said.

A relationship is something that demands a lot of your time and attention, and after investing so much in it, how can anyone just end it without trying? That was something that I never understood, maybe I never will. Because for me, a relationship is like life — it is a continuous work in progress.

What kept us going?

The only thing that kept us going was love. When we came in a relationship, we were classmates in school. We didn’t have jobs, to judge each other by our finances or let money rule our relationship. We liked each other for who we were in the purest sense. And that is what became a foundation for our relationship.

Being each other’s advisor and mentor

Another big thing that we have in our relationship is that — we never really got bored of each other. We always had something new to discuss or plan, new mutual goals to achieve, we took responsibility of each other’s work-lives and turned our careers into a project or an assignment that we had to constantly work on. We helped each other grow and explore different areas in life.

While my husband was too conscious to move to Netherlands, I gave him the push that he lacked. And when I was scared to take-up a design entrance exam, he encouraged me and I got selected in one of the finest design schools for my masters.

We credit each other for the little success that we’ve got so far in our careers. And that is what made us fall in love more, and more, even though we were in long-distance relationship for years at stretch.

In India, there is still a prominent culture of arranged marriages, where families will suggest you to meet the right people — people that match your financial/social status and get you married to them.

But when it dawned upon us that our families will not agree for our wedding, that’s when we formed a team and worked as hard as we could to get that small success to prove that we are good for each other (that’s a story for another time).

We knew we had a lot to achieve to walk up to our families one day and say, ‘This is the girl/guy I have chosen to get married to, and I am proud of my decision’.

That confidence is what cost us all this time, and that pride took eight years to come…

Previously published on “Hello, Love”, a Medium publication.


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Teen Mischief Sun, 20 Sep 2020 06:00:07 +0000 #ManhoodGame

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What form is teen mischief likely to take in your culture?

Raising teenagers or coming into contact with them causes you to reflect on yourself as a young man. Recall a time when you were mischievous or got into trouble either alone or with your buddies. What happened? How do you feel about it now?



Comment below, or write your own essay related and submit it at the red box, below.

The Manhood Game cards were created and developed by Dr. George Simons as a way to reframe men’s perceptions of themselves.

As Dr. Simons writes in his intro post:

Life is often played as a game in which men’s welfare is a pawn to be sacrificed. Today I invite you to join me in another game, diversophy Manhood, a game for reframing men’s perceptions of themselves, for refreshing their mission in life, and disarming social biases that attack male health and limit the possible in their own eyes and actions. Each day I will post a new card from this game, a snippet of wisdom to GUIDE our exploration, a RISK to face, facts to test our SMARTS, a CHOICE to make, or an experience to SHARE.

See all published Manhood Game cards here. Several new cards are published every week!


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3 Ways Happiness Can Lead To a Longer Life Sun, 20 Sep 2020 05:30:22 +0000 Prioritize happiness and see where it leads you.

The post 3 Ways Happiness Can Lead To a Longer Life appeared first on The Good Men Project.



We’re all going to perish at one point or another. That pretty much is a fact. While most people will turn to science and technology to try to extend their lives, there is actually a much cheaper alternative. It’s called happiness. In this article, I’m going to show you three different ways happiness can lead to a longer life.

  1. You’re more content when you’re happy

Don’t you feel like you’re always chasing something in your life? Whether it be the latest gadgets, romantic interests, professional opportunities, etc., we all can’t seem to stop moving and working towards something. Chasing goals and dreams is important too, but when does it all stop? When is enough actually enough?

When you’re happy, you’ll realize that there are some things in life not worth going for. For instance, trying to get into a high-risk profession may be worth a lot of money, but it’s going to have adverse effects on your health. Or you’d go after you something that you think is going to make you happy, only for you to realize in the end that it’s slowly taking away your sanity. You could end up rich beyond your wildest dreams, but in exchange, you’ll be cutting your life short.

   2 .You’re more resilient

As you go through life, you encounter countless problems and challenges. If you’re not careful, these challenges can quickly overpower you. However, when you’re happy, you’re more likely to be resilient.

Where others are going to let problems consume them, happy people are more likely to let them slide. Essentially, happy people develop thick skin which allows them to respond to problems more positively than unhappy individuals.

3. You’re more likely to take good care of your body

When you’re happy , you tend to take good care of your body. This means you’re not going to do anything that’s going to cause it some harm. You’re not going to abuse it by eating tons of junk food, getting drunk every single night, or stressing yourself out at work. Instead, you’ll make sure you only eat healthy food, you’ll exercise regularly, and you’re not going to sacrifice your body for a few extra dollars on your paycheck.

Remember, happiness doesn’t equate to wealth. You can be happy and not have a lot of material possessions. Likewise, you can be wealthy but be deeply unhappy. It’s up to you who you want to be. But if longevity matters to you, I suggest you prioritize happiness.

Thank You!


Originally published at on August 23, 2020.

This post was previously published on


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Two Sri Lankan Bombers Are From a Rich Family. Research Explains What Motivates Them Sun, 20 Sep 2020 05:00:46 +0000 The perpetrators of the Sri Lankan bombings were motivated to seek their identities by defending Muslims.

The post Two Sri Lankan Bombers Are From a Rich Family. Research Explains What Motivates Them appeared first on The Good Men Project.


By Mirra Noor Milla, Universitas Indonesia

Two of the nine suicide bombers in Sri Lanka who killed more than 250 people on Easter Sunday were the sons of a rich and famous spice trader in the country.

One of them had studied aerospace engineering at Kingston University, England, but did not complete his degree and then continued his studies in Australia.

Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Some experts said the attacks were a response to the far-right terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

But what motivated these young people from middle-class to upper-middle-class families?

My research explains this can happen because the values of radicalism fulfil the need of these young people to find meaning in their lives. And this process of radicalisation occurs gradually.

Understanding the motives of the perpetrators

Although terrorist groups are becoming increasingly varied in their strategies and ideologies, they share similar psychological motives, which develop through the same stages of the radicalisation process.

They commit violence based on a motive to find meaning in their lives. Unfortunately, they find this meaning by being part of certain groups that commit violence.

At first, these lost souls, most of them young, are feeling failed and frustrated. They feel like they have lost their meaning in life. Then, when they see what is happening in the world, where Muslims in various countries suffer assaults and oppression, they feel like they have found a mission to defend Muslims and to claim revenge. By taking this action, they feel they have rediscovered their meaning in life.

Religion is the most powerful source of narrative in giving meaning in life to individuals. This is because religions meet the needs of individuals to have a meaningful life while at the same time giving assurance of life after death.

When a religion-based radical group offers these promises, any lost soul, either rich or poor, educated or not, becomes easy prey. This is because when an individual losing his/her significance joins a radical group, he or she will tend to adopt the values of the group as a whole, without any alternative. This is what makes them radical.

The perpetrators of the Sri Lankan bombings were motivated to seek their identities by defending Muslims. They felt that Islamic communities were under threat, attacked and oppressed by the West and Christians.

They were individuals who had adopted a single goal – the enforcement of Islamic law as the only law in the world – to end oppression against Muslims. They believed jihad was the only way to achieve their goals.

Their ideology was reinforced by a narrative induced by the radical group leaders: civilian victims can be morally justified to achieve their sacred goals. They believe they are striving to achieve a higher goal of fighting for a better world order for all humanity.

That’s why people who come from wealthy families are also willing to sacrifice themselves. Two Sri Lankan bombers are willing to be martyrs for their cause because they act on the basis of group ideological values, which they believe will help them not only achieve the higher goal for Islam but also give them meaning in life.

Transnational terrorism

The Sri Lankan bombings are not unexpected. Senior antiterrorism researcher Bruce Hoffman explains suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka are the result of a long radicalisation process through the presence of National Towheed Jamaat (NTJ), a local group that supports the agenda of jihad.

Their presence has troubled moderate Sri Lankan Islamic communities. The NTJ requires members of the group to be present in the mosque and to force the implementation of strict Islamic laws over Sri Lankan laws. It has managed to radicalise a small part of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

Another terrorism researcher, Arie Kruglanski, a professor of social psychology at Maryland University in the United States, added that the slow but steady process of radicalisation in Sri Lanka gained momentum after ISIS’s defeat in Syria and its efforts to penetrate Southeast Asia.

Even though the ISIS army in Syria has been destroyed, its ideology survives.

Through online media, young people embrace ISIS ideology. They include young people in the Southeast Asia region. Indonesian and Malaysian youth have become targets of ISIS recruitment.

An anthropologist at Oxford University, England, Scott Atran explains
transnational terrorism as a result of extreme and persuasive propaganda of violence and intimidation.

The Sri Lanka attacks are a result of the strengthening of right-wing ideology that adopts the ISIS model.

Anyone can be a target

I recalled my conversation last April with a man identified as UP, one of those convicted of the 2002 Bali bomb attacks. UP was serving his prison sentence in Porong Sidoarjo, East Java.

He could not hide his anger when he said the authorities had asked for his opinion of the Sri Lankan church bombings.

“Why wasn’t I asked about the massacre of Muslims in a mosque in New Zealand, but I was asked about the bombings in Sri Lankan churches instead? Where was their empathy?”

UP’s expression confirms that religious sentiments can arouse anger and solidarity among Muslims everywhere.

Las Asimi Lumban Gaol translated this article from Indonesian.The Conversation

Mirra Noor Milla, Associate professor at Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Indonesia

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


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How to Use Consent to Transcend the Barrier of Communication Sun, 20 Sep 2020 04:30:08 +0000 What if we could stop making assumptions?

The post How to Use Consent to Transcend the Barrier of Communication appeared first on The Good Men Project.


A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece about consent. It’s an important subject for me, a recurrent theme nowadays, but used wisely, it can be more than that, a tool to navigate and transcend the barrier of gender, race, and culture.

When we dissect the word consent, we find positives and negatives. On one side, capacity and freedom, on the other, entitlement and assumptions. Today’s focus is on that last one, assumptions.

I recently hosted a birthday gathering at my place, a couple of friends, and a couple of soon to be friends — I hoped. The first person came, two kisses, one for each cheek. Then, the second and third, four kisses and one hug. Three more, six kisses and two hugs.

At this point, I had experienced what Chimamanda Ngozi, an amazing Nigerian author, calls the danger of a single story, one of hugs and kisses. When the last person came, guess what I did.

I’m one of those people who think that touch is the most powerful medium there is to share love with those around us. Most of my friends are prone to physical contact, and that night, that story was validated six times over. When the seventh time came, I didn’t know better, forgot to ask, and made an assumption, one I learned only a few days later.

When we make an assumption, we’re not just misinterpreting people, we take them for granted and impose onto them the idea of what we think is right, but we forget that this feeling only exists in our head and is not always shared.

Assumptions add meaning to people’s words and actions , a meaning that is not theirs.

The earth is a big place, and the seven billions of us all share a different story. Some didn’t have the internet in their childhood, a few of us still remember the prohibition, now weed is legal in some countries, and who would have thought there would be a day where people would protest against wearing a mask that can contribute to their safety?

All those events prompted the creation of groups of people with each their way of thinking. And that’s without adding gender, skin color, and religion.

Ten years ago, Montreal welcomed me, the beginning of my university years. One of the first classes I had was about interpersonal relationships, and to this day, I thank my teacher for her wonderful lessons.

She taught us about different types of people. She identified them as fruits for their softness and resistance.

The avocados, soft on the outside but hard on the inside. They will welcome you with open arms, tell you stories, crack a few jokes, and hug you as if you knew each other. However, go too deep into the realm of feelings, and you’ll find one of the hardest shells there is.

The coconuts, hard on the outside but soft on the inside. They will ask you to respect their personal space, if they don’t, you’ll see it in their behavior. They will observe you, listen to your words, and when they will feel safe, invite you in for a world of wonders and intimacy.

The tomatoes, soft all the way in. Those are the free spirits of the world. It’s not that they don’t have boundaries, but that they experienced life in a different way. Some tomatoes are children, still innocent to a world of hardships, some are grown-ups who broke out of their shells, and for others, it’s their natural way to be.

Sometimes I’m a coconut, quite often an avocado, and once in a blue moon, a tomato. It depends on my mood, on the day, was it sunny or rainy? It depends on the person I’m talking to, on what I did yesterday, or even this morning.

Ask, confirm, make sure you understand. You’ll avoid plenty of headaches, arguments, confusion, and missing opportunities. People will love you for that, for understanding.

In a world where the focus is on oneself, you’ll be a rare diamond, and people will feel good next to you.

Too often we answer because we think the others are expecting an answer, they’re not, they’re expecting you to understand — yes, I’ll say it as long as I can.

Assumptions make people fold back to their fruity behavior. They feel safe over there.

Take your time to understand them, and you’ll be able to transform the hardest coconut into the softest of tomatoes, but be aware of the danger of a single-story.

Previously published on medium



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60 Second Dance Sun, 20 Sep 2020 04:01:02 +0000 Can teens + their parents create a dance routine together?

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Who would you want to see come together in a dance challenge? We paired teens and their parents to work together in a dance challenge… can they choreograph a 60 second dance in only 30 minutes?


Transcript provided by YouTube:

– [Producer] We’re actually gonna to bring out
a couple more dancers to add to your team.
– Okay
– Oh my gosh!
– [Producer] We brought two seemingly different
groups of people into our studio,
to see if they can unit in a one of a kind, dance challenge.
– [Producer] What is your favorite dance move?
– Oh gosh.
– I have no idea what this one is called,
but I go like.
– Harlem Shaking
– There you go.
– It is called a ‘Wave Woah’
– My family, we’re famous for the sprinkler.
oh god.
– There we got
and then.
– It’s see.
– Go after me.
– There you go.
– [Producer] Do you know what you’re doing here today?
– I’m not really sure what we’re going to be doing
in front of the cameras.
– Well we’re going to play a trick on our kids.
– Yes, I’m here to embarrass my son.
– [Producer] Today you’ll be choreographing
a sixty second dance routine
to a song that I’ll be giving you.
– Oh okay.
– [Producer] You’ll only have thirty minutes to choreograph
and practice before your final performance.
– Okay.
– My confidence has to rise a lot for this.
– This is definitely gonna to be a challenge.
– [Producer] Are you ready to go surprise your teens?
– Absolutely
– Yeah, let’s do this.
– [Producer] Before you start,
we’re actually gonna bring out a couple more
dancers to add to your team.
– Okay
– Oh!
– I was expecting some like, professional dancers
or something.
– I did not think for any second,
that it was gonna be our parents.
I honestly don’t know how we’re gonna
do this in thirty minutes.
– I was worried because I was like
what if we have completely different dance styles,
and I thought there was gonna be a little bit of
fighting or disagreeing, you know?
Did you know?
– Mhm, yeah I knew the whole time.
– [Producer] All right team,
this is your song.
– People have made friends with me,
and they found out that I’m like shy,
and then they don’t really wanna hang around me anymore.
I wish people knew that I am shy,
but once you get to know me, I can be fun.
– What do you know about this.
– I don’t know anything, I’m counting.
– What are you counting?
– I’m counting the counts.
– She danced for like ten years,
five years old and she just like
start wiggling her hips really hard.
I’d be like “you don’t do that.”
it’s hard to see the little teeny baby that was there,
you know, now growing up.
Cause she lives with her mom, and me sometimes.
You know we go back and forth.
It’s definitely difficult.
– Okay
– Okay, I have something in mind.
– [Producer] Timer begins in three,
– Okay so like, should we have kids in the front
or like in the back, and then we have like
the kids split up and like move forward and move back?
– You guys wanna do like soul train line?
Where everyone comes out and does that.
– You guys what if the kids were like this,
and they went like this,
and they went like this or something.
– There you go!
– Perfect, that’ll work.
– Can we hear the song?
– All right, now I’m feeling it.
Now who’s feeling it to most?
All right, okay we can start with that.
I felt we should leave it up to the kids to figure it out.
– I didn’t honestly think I would do that well,
but my confidence kicked in as soon as my mom came on.
She’s just a great overall person,
and her being in our dance group,
really just made me feel better about myself.
– What move do you guys wanna do all together?
[Everyone] Um
– I don’t know.
– That’s not so bad.
– I’m coming with ideas here.
– That’s good, that’s good, that’s good.
– Maybe we can do something like.
– It seems complicated.
– Or you can do that and they can do the other one.
for real! For real!
– It was harder having my dad there
cause he’s kinda stubborn.
But it’s okay, like I’m stubborn too,
like I get that from him.
But like we need to put stuff together;
the parents and the kids can do.
– Whenever we’re doing our moves,
we should all be going the same way.
Like, if I’m doing this,
everyone should be going this way.
– That’s gonna be hard.
– We have twenty minutes okay?
I’m pretty sure you can figure it out.
– Wow.
– Where’s the car keys at?
– I’m about to go home.
– You know what I think it could be a good idea
if there’s like a dance off between-
– Kids and parents?
– Yeah cause she’s always said
she could dance better than me.
– I suggested a dance off only because
the teens are always thinking that they know more than you.
That you never did anything before you got to them,
you know?
To see who has better moves, would have been a lot of fun.
– But if all that, that’s going to be
more than sixty seconds.
– You think so?
– I just felt like, they’re trying to cheat.
you know choreography’s about doing something together,
not a bunch of solos you know.
– We have seventeen minutes?
– Yeah
– Sixteen
– Don’t look at the clock, don’t look at the clock,
don’t look at the clock.
– I felt like oh no, we’re not gonna make it.
We may not like, do it in time.
– All right.
– We’ve lost two-thirds of our time.
– Those thirty minutes of choreography were rough.
Everyone had ideas.
– Can we add line dancing or
like the electric slide or something?
– [Sally] Just trying to hear everyone out
and then not look too crazy.
– Doesn’t really go to the beat, huh?
run it back one more time.
The most frustrating part was like
filling up the last six seconds of the dance.
– Like this, kinda like how we do it at home, we go.
– Isn’t that the end?
– I thought that was the end.
– Kay, we need more time, clearly.
– Wait you spinning me or I’m spinning you?
– It’s time.
– Because I’m the gentleman, you said gentleman okay?
I’m the gentleman here. Okay?
– [Producer] All right so you guys are out of time.
So we’re gonna go and get ready for our performance.
– Oh Lord, I’m hot.
Get out of here.
– I guess I was worried that everyone forgets the dance
or like I freak out and I do something wrong.
– I was actually pretty nervous,
cause I didn’t wanna mess anything up.
Like what if I messed this up,
what if messed this up for everybody.
– All the butterflies, they have flown away.
Like all right, we can do this, let’s get it done.
♪Did you believe in I’ve been gone in a minute?♪
♪It’s all about to happen too♪
♪What do you say have you always in it♪
♪Something that happened too♪
♪But you would think I’m crazy♪
♪But I have lost you so many times♪
♪Happens every time♪
♪Heaven is falling down♪
♪will I go back time?♪
♪Don’t you wanna know that in time♪
♪Happens every time♪
– I think we did really well even with our parents.
They were going all out,
it’s really fun to see them just dance
and having a good time.
– I loved the dance a lot, it was really fun.
I learned that your parents are
like cooler than you think they are.
– To actually dance to my daughter,
it felt really good you know
I felt like we got passed something,
because I feel like she’s shy to dance in front of me.
– You know I’d never been in front of a camera before,
I mean I don’t even like taking pictures.
For me to come together with my daughter
and to be able to like have this experience
that we’re going to have forever.
It’s absolutely amazing.
– Me and mom dances because we know that one of us
may not be there the next day.
So we treat everyday as if it was our last.
– What I love most about Julien is the way he loves me.
We have the ability to laugh, be goofy,
you know, regardless if he’s a teenager.
As we walked off stage,
he said “I’ll never forget this moment mom”,
I will never forget this moment.
– We can do slower.
– [Producer] You guys,
I challenge you to do more group moves together.
– Group moves together.
– I don’t like your challenge.
– [Producer] SoulPancake, Subscribe.

This post was previously published on YouTube and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.


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We Are Not the Virus. We Are the Kamikazes. Sun, 20 Sep 2020 03:30:14 +0000 We were like a person working so hard and for so little nourishment in return that we had to take steroids to keep going.

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I understand why environmentalists have concluded that Covid-19 is nature’s way of repelling human activity. If we’re going to keep mucking around with Earth’s biodiversity, climate, topsoil, oceans, and air, eventually nature’s going to respond. In this view, the virus is nature’s own antibodies, repelling human invasion.

I sympathize with the systemic style of this perspective, but I think they’re looking at it the wrong way. No, we are not being attacked by nature for our sins — but this is a shared, collective illness. Covid-19 is an opportunistic infection, attacking the human organism as a whole.

I don’t look at it as a good thing — not at all — but it reminds me of how we get sick as individuals in real life. We get run down from too much work and stress. We don’t take any downtime for family and friends. We don’t have enough laughter in our lives. Or we do shift work, alternating days and nights with little regard for our biological clocks. We start drinking coffee or taking speed to keep going and then more medicine to deal with the depression.

We get the warnings: bad sleep, bad moods, and bad sex. We experience less satisfaction in general; our relationships decline. Then our body tries to warn us, too: We start feeling run down and get headaches that Advil won’t take away. Then something else stressful hits, and bam, we get sick. Does that mean germs and viruses aren’t real? That illness is entirely psychosomatic? Of course not. But the bacteria or virus is just the figure. It’s always there — or something like it is—ready to take advantage.

More important, though, surrendering to illness is our body’s last-gasp effort to resist the greater, environmental stresses. Getting sick is the last thing we do before either withdrawing from the stressors or collapsing altogether.

I’ve begun seeing the Covid-19 virus this way. It’s not a pretty thought, but what if this virus is our last-gasp resistance to the ravages of techno-capitalism? It’s not a good thing in itself — no. But it is addressing a real problem. Think of the virus as more like the President Trump phenomenon — an illness that reveals much bigger systemic woes and forces us to confront them. Only in this case, the virus is a weapon generated by life itself against the repression and exploitation of humanity by the market, technology, and other unchecked forces of death and destruction.

We were like a person working so hard and for so little nourishment in return that we had to take steroids to keep going. The market demanded growth from us collectively—more growth so that shareholders could passively extract more value from us. But they were taking our jobs and social safety nets away at the same time. We need to work more while earning less, patching together an income from three or four different gig jobs, each one with less support and security than the last.

This growth mandate — the one we’re supporting — has nothing to do with our survival or meeting human needs. The only ones who need the economy to keep growing—and for us to keep accelerating — are the bankers and shareholders passively extracting value from our labor, the people who are not on the ground working or creating value. But those of us on the ground have no way to push back. We have no way to slow the economy or to challenge its acceleration. China’s slaves keep making more cheap tech for America to keep deploying more surveillance and disaster capitalism.

The only way we humans could slow down the economy was to get sick. Just like the person whose body can’t take any more stress. It says “no more.” That’s what our collective body is doing. We couldn’t crash the market back in 2007, so now we are crashing ourselves.

The Chinese are in the same position. No, the transition of China from a farming nation to an urban slave metropolis didn’t work. Those colossal wet markets — where hundreds of species of living and dead animals fester all over each other and mutate new pathogens — that’s not some cultural tradition. It’s an artifact of rapid industrial expansion. And the transition of America from a worker/craftsperson economy to one of global digital extraction doesn’t work, either. It has decimated every other aspect of commerce and community. We’re dying here.

But if our conscious, political, social mechanisms are not capable of arresting this — if we can’t elect a Bernie Sanders or an Elizabeth Warren, develop sustainable local economies, or even bake bread profitably in a society dominated by the interests of corrupt global supply chains, then our corrective measures are going to come from somewhere else: the subconscious, like Trump. Or our biology itself, like Covid-19.

Remember when you’d get sick, and your parent or your partner would say, “You’ve been working too hard. I told you to take better care of yourself.” That’s your body revolting, saying “enough” — even if it does so in a self-destructive way. Well, in that sense, Covid-19 is our collective body saying “enough” and trying to do for us what our activism and politics and community organizing have failed to. Yes, some of us will die. That’s how desperate we’ve become. It’s a kamikaze attack of human biology against systems that threaten our very survival.

This is the intervention.

Previously published on and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.



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NSA Relationship? Here Are 8 Reasons You Might Want One Sun, 20 Sep 2020 03:00:14 +0000 Some women may benefit from an NSA relationship – here’s why.

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Some Women may Benefit from an NSA Relationship – Here’s Why

NSA relationship means ‘no strings attached’ in case you didn’t know.

We all have heard the reasons that NSA relationship don’t work, but I want to throw a stick in the spokes and see if I can get you to consider another side.

A side that might help you find true love later.

You see, if you are confident enough going into an NSA relationship, you can come out with new skills that will help you find your Mr. Right if that is your ultimate goal.

Of course, you need to follow some rules as I will explain throughout this article.

8 Reasons to Consider an NSA Relationship

You’re back on the dating scene and you just want a breathing man

Let’s say you just got out of a sexless marriage where every day for the last five years was a chore.

You’re lonely. You want to live a little. You want to feel like a horny kid at the prom again!

I get it and this is where an NSA relationship can help you out. There is no need to screen 500 guys looking for the perfect man – you just want a pizza date and a dick.

I would encourage you to find a guy in a similar circumstance for your first fling. Talk about it. Share your feelings. You can even talk about about your ex – something you should never do with a man you really care for.

He’s a free therapist

Like I said, talking openly to a person (your new NSA lover) who is in the same position can get your feelings out on the table for free! None of this $150 per hour crap spouting off to a person who has never been through this and doesn’t give one poop.

I digress…

Seriously, this might help you see where you went wrong in choosing your ex or help you see the mistakes that you made that could have changed the outcome.

Mr. NSA relationship man will share his feelings too. Feelings from a man’s perspective. Both of you can glean valuable information to use in the future.

You can have sex in an elevator!

Yes, isn’t that great! And in an airplane and even at the beach – watch out for the sand though. No need to say anything more!

You can piss him off

Know that he can piss you off too but isn’t this great? If he calls, you can call him back in an hour, or just for fun, why not call him back in a month!

Ask Your Relationship Question Here!

Hell yeah. Then you can sext him (don’t show your face of course) and then show up naked at his door…with flowers. You could even burp in his face after drinking a beer – wouldn’t that be a hoot?

It’s all good because it does not matter. You will feel liberated because you don’t have to answer to anyone, including him.

You’ll have a guy friend to do things with

If you didn’t piss him off with my last point, then you can go out with him, as the friends you are, and do stuff. Stuff that you might not otherwise try with your girlfriends.

Sky dive or go to a car show. It’s difficult to make new friends and you have the benefit of having an NSA relationship and a male friend.

This builds your confidence because you are living outside your comfort zone and having fun.

You learn about men

This is huge. I had the good fortune of growing up with three older sisters, so I learned all about women. That’s why I write for you.

You, on the other hand, might have been an only child or only had sisters. This NSA relationship will allow you to try new things and experiment on him like a guinea pig in your lab. You can ask him how he feels, and he will tell you because he knows there will be no repercussions.

This becomes an amazing opportunity to learn the inner workings of the male mind!

You can ask for whatever you want

Push those sexual limits! Since there are no repercussions why not live out your deepest fantasy? Or try at least. If he thinks it’s odd that you want to have sex on roller blades, with an albino goat in the room – who cares!!??

NSA tip: Don’t hang out after sex. Grab your clothes and leave. If he is at your place, send his ass packing. This is the time when things can go downhill if you are not careful.

You can embrace the single life

Newsflash! Some people want to stay single. You would never know this because of the pressures of society but guess what? Staying single can rock!

I was single for most of my life so I know, and sometimes miss, the advantages of being single.

So, an NSA relationship can fill the void of having a man in your life. It’s like a quasi-husband when you need him. “Yo Joe, can you come over and tune up my BMW and give me a tune too?!”


Are You Single and Hating It?

My new book, Riding Solo: How to Embrace Being Single and to Find Mr. Right is here! I’m excited about this book! I hear from women like you all the time – women who don’t understand the value of being single! Women who tell me they’re desperate to find a guy.

Don’t let that be you!

Don’t go looking for a guy while you’re desperate and lonely. When you’re desperate and feeling lonely, you’ll settle for any guy.

Been there. Done that.

Go looking for a guy when you’re confident and enjoying your single life! That’s when you’re going to snag a great guy!

NSA Relationships Conclusion

NSA relationships work because you go into them without attachment or any real emotions. Therefore, they tend to last a longtime because you can be apart for long periods of time.

This makes you miss the sex and the fun. This also keeps each other’s idiosyncrasies from driving the other person crazy.

Every time you see each other is like a first date. And when you have seen too much of each other – you just disappear. Try that in a conventional relationship!

Previously published on and is republished here under permission.



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She’s Always Freaking Out On Me Sun, 20 Sep 2020 02:00:03 +0000 If you’re feeling at the mercy of your partner’s emotions, you can do it differently

The post She’s Always Freaking Out On Me appeared first on The Good Men Project.


I can’t be me without her freaking out on me,” my client Tim said to me.

Wow, I thought, that sounds tough and I felt like that once upon a time.

Does your partner ever freak out on you?

Maybe you said one thing and she misinterpreted it to mean something else. Or you tried to do something you thought was kind and then she called you “selfish.”

It can leave a guy feeling like he has to walk on eggshells around his partner. And over time, he often wonders, What can I do to not have her freak out?

That was Tim’s deal. He was just trying to help out his wife — a good guy on her team.

You see, his wife’s mom was sick, which meant a lot of stress on her. So trying to give his wife a break, Tim suggested taking the kids away for the weekend.

And BAM! She got super upset, accusing him of being inconsiderate and bailing on her.

“I was just trying to help,” he said.

Have you ever had something well-intentioned backfire with your partner?

You’re trying to do good and she attacks you for it. And afterward, you’re totally confused, wondering — What did I do that was such a big deal?

Like many guys, Tim felt that classic damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

He felt like he was at the mercy of his partner’s emotions. And he’d built a dynamic with her where he’d do anything to “fix” her tantrums.

But trying to calm her down and saying “Honey, it’s ok,” he was met with even more emotion.

What if instead, you could redirect your partner’s heightened reactions to a better outcome? 

I know, it sounds super simple. But it’s not rocket science either.

With my coaching, Tim tried out a simple tool that was so powerful that he was never at the mercy of his wife’s emotions again. And it benefitted her as well.

Check out how he did it, and you can too, in the video below. (article continues below)

What if you said no to your partner’s freak outs?

For a lot of guys, that might be even scarier. Then, she’d triple freak out on me, they might say.

I get it. It’s a risky proposition. But it’s a much riskier proposition to spend years on end in a dynamic that’s got you feeling victimized by your partner’s emotions.

That’s no way to live. Enough is enough.

That’s what Tim was thinking when we started talking. And in a short time of working together, he moved into action to make real change in his marriage.

Even better, he got a lot more respect and appreciation from his wife.

If you’re feeling at the mercy of your partner’s emotions, you can do it differently. And that starts with a simple conversation.


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Laser Lipo – Is it for You? Sun, 20 Sep 2020 01:30:45 +0000 When you decide that laser liposuction may be for you, do research to find the best surgeon in your area.

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Liposuction is one of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery. There are few people that do not wish to be rid of stubborn fatty deposits that are impossible to lose through conventional means. For people who are searching for something different than the run of the mill surgery, the option of laser liposuction is definitely appealing.

What are the benefits of laser liposuction?

1. When a patient undergoes laser liposuction, it is a fairly straightforward procedure. A probe or cannula is inserted into the area of fatty deposits via a small hole. The laser destroys the fat cells, and it is removed by drainage or squeezing. The body naturally gets rid of the remainder. The use of a low-level laser means that no damage will result to any of the surrounding tissues. In addition, general anesthesia is not given during laser lipo, as it is with conventional liposuction. This cuts down the risks that are entailed with anesthesia.


2. Recovery time for laser liposuction is dramatically reduced. Instead of a patient having to wait weeks to return to normal activities, they can be on their feet in a matter of a couple days. The pain that patients generally experience with normal liposuction is less also. The healing process begins quickly, and the amount of discomfort is greatly reduced.


3. No one can deny the safety of laser liposuction. Although traditional liposuction is not considered risky by any means, the chances of complications are further diminished by the use of the laser as a non-intrusive procedure. The benefits of laser liposuction are furthered by the fact that no scars will be present from the procedure.


4. With traditional fat loss surgeries, loose skin is a major problem. One often has to return to the surgeon at a later time to have the skin removed, thus another surgery must be undergone. Many times, several surgeries may have to be performed to rid the body of loose skin. With laser lipo, no loose skin is there to deal with, since the laser doesn’t tear fat cells as traditional surgeries do. You are left only with the body you want.


Everyone wants a body they can feel good having. When diet and exercise are not enough to banish fat deposits from the waist, chin, thighs, bra strap area, or back, laser lipo may be the answer to your dilemma. You can have the look you desire, without a complicated and painful recovery period. No scars will be visible, and you can return to your life sooner.

When you decide that laser liposuction may be for you, do research to find the best surgeon in your area. There is very little that cannot be found on the Internet about surgeons, and knowing your doctor beforehand can make the experience much more satisfying, and make it less likely that your opinions will not mesh. Talk to your surgeon, and be certain that they are well qualified, and they are the most suited to your individual circumstances.

This content is brought to you by James McNamara.

Photo: Shutterstock

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Her Most Fervent Wish Sun, 20 Sep 2020 01:00:31 +0000 Honoring the life of a legend-Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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In the wake of a monumental loss that hit me and billions of others like a massive tsunami last night. The morning after I am toggling back and forth between hope and despair. I had just finished a long day of babysitting my grandson and seeing clients when I received a text from my sister Jan: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away.” My reaction was the same as my father’s anytime he heard that someone died. “Ah, no,” followed by a more appropriate for the situation, “Oh, f*ck!” A sinking feeling that our already floundering country was going down with her ascent. Ironically, my sister had also informed me of John Lennon’s death in 1980 while I was covering an overnight shift at a youth shelter at which I was a counselor.

A few days earlier, I had a premonition, a gut feeling that she would not survive until Election Day. I prayed that I was wrong and as I had each time I heard the news of injury or illness over the past few years, and imagined surrounding her in bubble wrap and fluffy feathers. What must have been like for her to fight back pain in the service of her country? So many saw her as all that stood between us and total Constitutional obliteration. “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”  What a burden to carry. What if her death was a rallying cry to continue where she left off in terms of assuring equality for all?

Immediately, I turned on CNN and watched the coverage for hours. Reactions from pundits and politicians were pouring in. Most of the focus was on her legacy and what would happen next. Little was said about the deep and profound loss her family must be suffering, although it was acknowledged that they were with her at the time of her transition. Simultaneously, I was checking social media and seeing both love and fear expressed. The sheer terror of what could happen if a new appointee was rushed to take her place that could set back for decades, that for which she strived so hard to achieve by way of freedoms and rights for equality. I could imagine the glee that those who would have them undone would be feeling. At the time she died, #45 was making a campaign speech in Minnesota.

Uncharacteristically, his response was subdued and not self-aggrandizing. “She just died? Wow. I didn’t know that. You are telling me now for the first time. She led an amazing life. What else can you say? Whether you agreed or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I am actually sad to hear that. I am sad to hear that.” He was clearly caught off guard and for a brief moment, he seemed compassionately human. I do believe that was instantly overshadowed with thoughts of her replacement.

Mitch McConnell didn’t waste a minute in declaring his intentions.”President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer adamantly stated that the Senate should not fill the vacancy left by Ginsburg’s death “until we have a new president.” He added, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” hedging his bets by quoting McConnell, who made said the same during Barack Obama’s presidency after Justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016.

A few Republicans echoed that sentiment and there is a possibility that they will vote with their conscience rather than toeing the party line; sufficient to overturn the process.

As the country is absorbing the monumental loss, it occurs to me that this could light a fire under voters to answer her spoken wish which her granddaughter shared, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

As the titan of law, who stood 5’1″ tall died on Erev Rosh Hashanah, it was a fitting tribute that she was considered a Tzadik- a righteous person. Always and forever our ‘Notorious RBG’ who inspires me to show up, stand up, and speak out.

As I said Kaddish for her last night, I affirmed that her memory be a blessing and impetus to do good and honorable works in her name and stand for social justice for all.



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How Our Words Can Do More Harm Than Good Sun, 20 Sep 2020 00:30:47 +0000 The language of comfort.

The post How Our Words Can Do More Harm Than Good appeared first on The Good Men Project.


This article expresses personal opinions regarding language and culture. My intention is to explain that the connotations of language are important; in order to be kind, it’s vital that we allow the language of comfort to evolve. For the purpose of my analysis there are brief mentions of police brutality, the me too movement, and sexual assault.

When one of our fellow American citizens is murdered by a cop who has a knee to his neck while repeatedly saying,

I can’t breathe — George Floyd

for at least 8 minutes and 15 seconds, after pleading with officers, “I can’t breathe,” more than 20 times, we can no longer tell people to “just breathe” when we are trying to help them calm down. It’s inconsiderate. It’s insensitive. It’s triggering. We also can’t say,

Calm down. Take a deep breath.

The outcry against police brutality with the chanted phrase “I can’t breathe” began in 2014 with the murder of Eric Garner. Several more men have uttered this same phrase at the hands of brutal police since 2014. The Black Lives Matter Movement preceded this in 2013 following the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

As the general American public becomes more aware of police brutality over the past decade, these phrases have tarnished in demonstrating the comfort they once contained.

Language is an ever-shifting expression of humanity. While this article addresses the serious impact of language, there are examples of language simply becoming outdated and obsolete. For example, Kodak moment, What’s the 411?, and Be kind, Rewind will soon vanish from common language because these technologies are no longer needed.

Just as the Kodak motto is phasing out because times have changed, there are instances where our verbiage needs to evolve, as well. Words can do more harm than good. As compassionate, empathetic, and evolving people we must consider whether or not comforting phrases become uncomfortable when there are shifts in the way we talk in our culture. We want the language of comfort to remain comforting.

It’s not wise to say, I just need space. I need to breathe or some variation thereof. This is the year take a deep breath, I just need to breathe, and breathe need to be removed from our language of comfort.

This is much like it’s inappropriate to say “me too” after the #metoo movement. Where “me too” prior to the movement simply meant we agree with another person’s sentiment, it now has a potentially triggering subtext, or connotation, for those who have been sexually assaulted. I catch myself trying to come up with alternatives to “me too.”

While “word” and “ditto” work, I’d like more variety in ways to answer when I’m trying to say “I relate; me too.” I often settle for “I also feel the same way.” It’s wordy, but it’s not loaded with the subtext “me too” now carries. I hope new expressions that aren’t triggering make their way into our vernacular. And, soon.

2020 is the year that our language of comfort must be overhauled.

“I Can’t Breathe” has become the battle cry of a modern-day American Civil Rights Movement, chanted loudly at protests in honor of BIPOC who have been racially profiled, brutalized, and murdered by police. This loud call for racial justice and equity in America is a wakeup call for some and old news for others. This outcry has been in our language for six years, yet our language of comforting expressions haven’t yet shifted. It is past time for this shift.

It’s not that we don’t need to breathe or that taking a deep breath wouldn’t be helpful. It’s that an innocent man was suffocated to death, begging a person of authority to let him breathe, and Americans were collective witnesses due to lightning speed recording technology.

The video recording of the crime is ingrained in our hearts and minds in America. We know that the police officer murdered George Floyd by depriving him of the simple, life-giving function of breath.

No longer are we taking the simple act of breathing for granted. Some of us are stunned while others have been painfully aware for years that breathing while Black or Brown is dangerous. This is not okay.

We are a culture high in stress and anxiety in America. Our anxieties haven’t gone anywhere. With a poorly handled pandemic, an election-season filled with strife, and police brutality being documented in 2020, our collective stress has surely only increased. A Forbes collection of survey results states,

“More than one-third of Americans have displayed clinical signs of anxiety, depression, or both since the coronavirus pandemic began.”


“The long-term psychological consequences of collective traumas can last a decade or more.”

According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, America was an anxious nation pre-2020: “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.” As we face continued police brutality, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other challenges, less stress isn’t occurring any time soon.

To further complicate things in regard to the linguistics of “breathe,” many spiritual leaders and role models have quotes about the power of breathing, including Oprah Winfrey: “Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”

What can we say instead?

It’s important to show kindness and understanding to our friends and family who are experiencing stress and anxiety. I’m familiar with this dilemma. When I was in 9th grade, I told a good friend, “Don’t worry. Be happy.” It seemed like kind and good advice at the time. Later, I found out she was being molested by her father. This advice was bad. I have forgiven myself. I was just a kid. Since that experience I have been cognizant of the subtext and connotations of phrases such as “Don’t worry. Be happy.”

What are semantics anyway?

Semantics in language determines the relationship between signifiers and what they signify. Although images and body language can be included as signifiers in a wider study of semantics, linguistic semantics deals strictly with words and their meanings. Semantics is a subfield of linguistics specializing in the study of meaning. — Laura Metz

When I write about “the language of comfort” I’m referring to idiomatic and vernacular phrases in my native language (English) that are often used as a means to bring comforts, calm, and ease to people experiencing stress and anxiety. I am arguing that the connotations of these phrases are now anxiety-inducing and triggering, thus having the opposite effect from their original intention.

Various cultural or emotional meanings attached to a word provide one or more deeper levels of meaning. These subjective meanings are known as connotations. — Laura Metz

Idioms make their way into cultural vernacular. Sometimes, they need to be overhauled and updated. 2020 is a good year for revising our vernacular.

Interestingly, taking a deep breath doesn’t help people calm down anyway.

As adults, I think we need to focus on coming up with alternative expressions of comfort. Here are some ideas:

Take a few minutes to collect yourself.

Life is uncertain and hard.

Please go easy on yourself.

Allow yourself time to slow down and relax.

Taking care of yourself is important.

You are loved.

What not to say: “Calm down.” “Take a deep breath.” “Breathe.” “I need space to breathe.” It’s insensitive. It’s out of touch. Be better. Do better.

Although some people don’t believe semantics are important, I disagree. Our words are powerful and go deeper than their literal, base meaning.

It’s up to us to understand the connotations of language and choose our words carefully and with kindness. I hope you are able to shift into new and considerate expressions of caring. Let’s work together to upgrade our language into a language of equity, honesty, and love.

Previously published on medium



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What Are Some Important Factors That Can Affect Your Pool Color Sun, 20 Sep 2020 00:00:36 +0000 Pool color is a priority factor since it can affect the curb appeal of your home or business.

The post What Are Some Important Factors That Can Affect Your Pool Color appeared first on The Good Men Project.


When you decide to have a pool built, the first thing that comes to mind is the finish. Since the finish directly impacts the color of your pool, you need to make the right decision. However, you should also understand that there are several other factors that affect the color of your pool, apart from the finish. You read that right.

The pool is a lifestyle choice. Obviously, you prefer to make it as appealing as it can be. While the natural factors influence the pool color to a great extent, there are options available today to enhance the pool aesthetics such as dyes and finishes. Businesses and homeowners have a wide choice to make their pool attractive. Pool color is a priority factor since it can affect the curb appeal of your home or business. Choose a cool blue color to experience true calm when you get down into the pool or go with a marine red if you are looking to energize the surroundings. The choice, as already mentioned is abundant. It is up to you to choose one that aligns or contrasts with the theme of your space.

Understanding the Spectrum of Light

Water, as you all know is colorless. So, the color you exactly see in your pool is the game the light plays. The white light consists of seven colors but each one of them has a different wavelength. This is the reason some colors are dominant. While the color red has a longer wavelength, blue comes with a shorter wavelength. UV rays have even shorter wavelengths. Depending upon the colors’ wavelengths, the light can reflect back or go deeper when the sunlight falls on your pool. Finally, the color you see in your pool is the result of the light reflecting off the finish you have provided.

Now, let’s explore the important factors that affect your pool color. Understanding them help will you make the right decision for your pool finish and color.

Environment Surrounding Your Pool

Your pool water looks different on sunny days when compared to the cloudy days. Since weather keeps changing by the day, you cannot choose a finish based on this factor alone. However, if huge trees or tall structures surround your yard or space where you are going to have the pool, the pool appears darker. If you have light green trees around your pool, the pool looks greener. This is simple school physics. The water is transparent and the color you see is the result of reflection.

We suggest you choose a color or finish that aligns with your pool’s surrounding natural environment.

Depth and Size of the Pool

If you have ever observed the oceans’ color, you will know the deeper the water, the deeper the color. The water at the beaches will be transparent but on the deeper side, it looks dark blue. In the same manner, if you have a shallow pool, the pool color appears lighter while it is darker if you have a deeper pool. Further, if your pool is designed to have fountains or small waterfalls, the color looks vivid. This is due to the creation of light prisms during the movement of water. The deeper and bigger your pool, the richer the pool color. So, the size of your pool is a prominent factor that affects the pool color.

If you are looking to build a pool and explore options, fibreglass pools can be a great choice. These pools can be installed effortlessly and are easy to maintain.

Shifting Sunlight

This is yet another important factor that affects your pool color. Most of the pool catalogs you see have pictures taken on a clear sunny day, with no surrounding structures or barriers. So, if your pool is shaded by structures around, don’t expect to see the same finish or water color you saw in the catalog. Additionally, water also reflects the sky above. So a clear blue sky means your pool will appear rich blue and vibrant.

Artificial Pool Colors

The natural light and finish of the pool largely affect the pool color. However, you can provide the color of your choice if you are going to use the pool late evening or during the night. Colored lights can be installed in the pool to obtain amazing effects. With modern underwater lights, you can make your pool appear as stunning and unique as you are. Businesses, especially health resorts and spas are increasingly installing LED bulbs to provide a popular well-being therapy called ‘Chromotherapy’. On the other hand, if you want to temporarily change the pool color, there are top quality water dyes. They are cost-effective and a quick solution to changing the pool color.

Underwater Plants and Chemical Levels

The above paragraphs are discussed assuming your pool water is clear. However, not always will the water be fully transparent and clear as crystal. If you already own a pool, you would have experienced this several times. Water often turns green due to the growth of aquatic plants like algae and bacteria.

A pool is a visual treat when it is well maintained and balanced. You need to keep your water circulation and filtration systems clean. The pool water should be free from minerals and heavy metals that could cause the water look murky. If you are worried about your pool color, there are water testing kits widely available. Buy a kit and test your pool water to get an insight into the levels of chemicals present. If they are imbalanced, hire a professional service to get your water cleaned.

Looking to Install a Pool?

Regular pool maintenance is a must if you want your pool to gleam all the time in the finish you have provided. Fibreglass pool is an excellent option if you are looking for a pool that is low on maintenance. It is inexpensive too when compared to the other pool options. The fibreglass pool also provides a non-abrasive smooth finish, is customizable and high on durability. Contact Swimming Pools Sydney for a free quote or advice today.

This content is brought to you by Brad Hilbert.

Photo: Shutterstock

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