Bumble App Responds to White Supremacy

Misogyny is deeply routed in society and you don’t need a dating app to observe it. However, dating apps are teeming with people who exert themselves in the most inappropriate behaviors imaginable (if you don’t know, look up @byefelipe). This is likely because by being on these apps, there is a level of anonymity given to the users and like internet trolls, it feels like a space where people can allow themselves to have any persona they want – including the really grimey ones.

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Photo courtesy of @ByeFelipe

On August 18, 2017, Bumble App sent out a notice to all active users with the subject line, “Protecting Bumble From Hate with the Help of ADL.” Parts of the email reads:

“Hate speech, racism, and bigotry are intolerable realities that we must all come together to take action against. Bumble is a community of kindness and empowerment. This type of behavior goes against our mission as a company and is never welcome on our platform.”

You can read the rest of the email here but basically, it highlights Bumble’s no-tolerance policy for bullying. It also says that they won’t tolerate the hate that they have been receiving from white supremacy groups, and that they are joining forces with the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) so that administrators for the app can easily identify bullies. They claim that they had been receiving threats due to their women’s empowerment stance, prompting this partnership.

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Photo courtesy of @ByeFelipe

For those not as familiar with Bumble, it a dating app where you swipe right to express interest in a person, or left if you are uninterested. However, men are NOT allowed to reach out until you make that first move. This way, it keeps women from getting bombarded from messages from men. Many of which can be unprovoked sexual advances. If my screen grabs aren’t convincing, check out this woman who created an art gallery from the vast amount of unsolicited pictures of penises she was receiving from strangers.

For someone who has has heard of and has experienced inappropriate behavior from the opposite sex, I find Bumble’s stance to be incredibly positive.

Does this shock you or have you been the victim of creepy dating behavior before? What can we do to change the behaviors of the perpetrators or are they doomed?

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Mind the (Wage) Gap: The Power of Corporate Sustainability

I’m lucky to work for a company that takes sustainability so seriously. I work for one of the largest conference organizers in the world and as you can image, the event industry creates waste. To combat this and other sustainability issues, my company engages in recycling programs, community engagement, women’s leadership events, and more.

Why take on such big initiatives? Simply put: 1) It helps the world; and 2) Being good is good for business. People like companies that care about the world!

In a 2015 Gallup survey of 1,527 random adults in America, they found out “the majority of people were three times as likely to express confidence in small business as they are in big business.” Caring about your customer’s perception of you is just one reason why a corporation should care about sustainability. A corporation tends to have more money/resources, so they can actually make an impact. A positive public perception is great but making an actual difference is much more important.

Social Sustainability – Is the wage gap that important?

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Photo: Mike Licht, Creative Commons

This Investopedia article breaks down sustainability into 3 pillars: 1.The environmental pillar; 2. the social pillar; and 3. the economic pillar. What is sometimes overlooked is how much the wage gap between men and women comes into play. I strongly recommend everyone to watch this Vox video on the gender gap (also below), if you aren’t too familiar why or how it occurs.

I’m sure many people have heard that women make around 70 cents for every dollar a man makes. What you don’t hear often though is closing this gap will allow the world to prosper. I was actually at an event at Harvard Business School back in December that demonstrated how worldwide equal pay would relieve the world of all debt! This would be an enormous feat, but it would have a positive effect on our worldwide economy. Experts at the World Economic Forum predict it could take 170 years to close this gap but that doesn’t mean that this issue should be set aside.

What projects is your business undertaking to promote social welfare, especially in terms of female equality?

 

 

Spanish Unity & Women’s Rights Achievements

This week I wanted to dedicate blog posts towards exploring gender equality. Due to the recent terrorist attacks, I feel compelled to bring Spain to the forefront of the discussion. This is because Spain has changed my life in more ways that I can even describe in just one blog post!

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There is no end to beauty in Spain. From a paseo with a good amiga in Barcelona.

During college and after, I moved to two different cities in Spain (Granada and Madrid) and each time I go, I come back a different person. I will actually be there in less than two weeks and I can already foresee that it will do this to me again. In short, it is a place where I have grown as a person, and has made me the person I am today. The attacks in Barcelona today were devastating and due to my time living in the country, they pained me to read about them.

Part of the reason why I have always loved Spain is that they always seemed so progressive with their laws – did you know that it was one of the first countries to legalize gay marriage? Or that it is regarded as the most friendly country towards transgender people? When you visit these cities now, it seems as though the people they are spewing with love towards one another.

When it comes to women’s rights, Spain has room for improvement. As this article points out, a wage gap still exists in Spain (though better than Europe as a whole), domestic violence rates are still high (2014 legislation sought to change this), and women are still sometimes viewed as the “weaker sex.” However, that article also points out that their fascist dictator Francisco Franco died in 1975, which is then when Spain became a democracy. Today, more than half of parliament in Spain consists of women!

Having representation in government is just one of Spain’s achievements. They also have one of the best maternity leave policies (16 weeks, 100% paid time off). This is completely refreshing when you live in a country that has no paid maternity leave.

For a country that became a democracy such a short time ago, I think Spain has made tremendous strides towards equality. From speaking to Spanish friends, the country as a whole seems to be aware of its weaknesses, and hyperaware of political corruption. What happened to the beautiful city of Barcelona was pure evil, but I have no doubt that they will continue to be a unified group of people, continuing to improve their policies.

Upcoming Project on Gender Disparity

For the Digital Writing class that I am taking this summer, one of the assignments was to create a podcast. The topic I chose was dating, inspired by my own misses in the love department and to obtain content, I changed my Facebook status to ask “What is the worst date you have ever been on?” I received cringeworthy tales from both men and women that made you feel connected to the speaker – a LOT of us have had our fair share of bad dates!

Men stock photo(Stock image)

In contemplation of my final project, I decided that I wanted to switch gears slightly and to focus on women’s issues that are pertinent to social, such as the wage gap and maternity leave. Though I am not exactly sure which topics I will choose, I will be dedicating posts to women’s issues all this week!

Is there anything you’d like to hear about (men’s opinions valid too!)?

To hear my podcast about “Dating in Your 20’s,” click here!

Reading News in 2017: Disillusioned, Lazy, or Proactive?

Ever since the 2016 presidential election, reading the news in the U.S. has felt like walking on hot coals. Leading up to the election, a large amount of people that may not had even been interested in politics prior became hyperaware of what each political party represented.

People nowadays tend to fall into 3 categories:

1) People continuously involved with politics and highly engaged;

2) People who have “accepted” the election results and want to continue as normal; and

3) Those who are neither active nor accepting of the results, but don’t know how to proceed.

I think I am a bit of option 1 and 3 because listening to the news some days feels like it ignites a fire deep within to promote change, while also placing me into a bit of a paralysis. This isn’t too say that I’m immune to sheer laziness as well, but when it looks like no one is able to work together inside or outside of politics, it feels disillusioning.

I think one thing that we can do in the meantime, is to continue a conversation about accepting others as people regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and other types of classification. In light of recent events in Charlottesville, an organization that I suggest to promote racial justice in your neighborhood is called SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice). SURJ is a “multi-racial, cross-class movement centering people of color leadership” that organizes in most states in the U.S., including in the Boston area.

Back to School and Life after (Leaving) Law School

I have not been as active on my blog lately in part because on top of a full-time work load, I have gone back to school part-time to receive my M.A. in English at Salem State University with a certificate in Digital Studies! Not only that, but my sister had a baby yesterday which means I am going to be an extra busy Auntie. 🙂

A few years ago, I left behind a job teaching ESL in Spain to come back and attend law school in Boston. I have never written about this on my blog before but it was a traumatic experience! However, I learned that sometimes our dreams change and that we sometimes make mistakes, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t turn the sails around and start anew. Also – it makes a big difference if you love what you do! I work all day and then come home to study but do you know who isn’t miserable? Me.

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Don’t we wish that sometimes the path through life could be this straight? In Salem, MA.

I had gone to law school with the idea that I would be a human rights lawyer, due to my past publishing experience writing about human trafficking and my unwavering desire to “get the bad guy.” About halfway through my 1L year though, I realized that I wasn’t happy and I felt trapped behind books. When I decided to leave, volunteering at women’s shelters felt more fulfilling to me – a reminder that you don’t need to have a degree to help others (even though it can help).

Despite law school being a bust, it was a learning experience. I think the most important thing is to follow your gut!

Think about all of the mistakes you may have made. What helped you learn the most?

Walking to End Domestic Violence

Dear Friends and Bloggers,

On Sunday, April 30 I will be walking the 25th Annual Walk for HAWC, to help the HAWC nonprofit organization with domestic violence services. I have participated in this event in the past, but I was especially compelled to participate this year for an unfortunate reason.

I have a friend who was brutally attacked by her husband, which made headlines in Boston. Lindsay was a ray of sunshine to all who never had a bad thing to say about anyone, so this news shook up the residents of the small town where we are from (Billerica, MA). The statistics are incredibly alarming: 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner. This doesn’t even include other forms of abuse that can come into play. 

 

imgresThat is why this walk is so important to me. Your donation of any amount will help HAWC’s comprehensive domestic violence services including their 24-hour hotline, Emergency Shelter, advocacy and legal services, and Parent Child Trauma Recovery Program, HAWC makes great strides every day in providing support to survivors in our community. 

Please consider donating to support my walk, on behalf of all of the people who have been/are victims of this terrible crime. You can also read about Lindsay’s current status on her GoFundMe page here.

Thank you!