Somebody call the PC Police: the Michelle Obama-inspired “Just Move!” stamp series, which encourages kids to lead more active lifestyles, has been put on hold because it depicts children participating in “unsafe activities.” You know, like skateboarding without kneepads and headstands without a helmet. Yes, really. Abstract, faceless cartoon images doing “unsafe” cannonballs in a brightly colored vacuum are apparently going to be the end of our nation’s youth if we allow these stamps to be released. In case it wasn’t obvious how ludicrous that is, let’s try to remember the last time a millennial child sent or even looked at a piece of snail mail that these stamps are intended for. Most of those kids are too busy staring at their glowing screens for things like snail mail, and definitely too preoccupied to do something like the physical activities these stamps are trying to encourage. Keep reading »
I’ve decided to stop using Instagram. It only just occurred to me that maybe I don’t want people to see where I am and who I’m with at that exact moment. There are lots of other things you can use Instagram for, of course, and I can always take those photos and ‘gram ‘em later, but that loses the whole “Insta” part of it.
Why am I giving it up? I’ve gone through my feed and I see some friends and acquaintances who are not only taking a photo of where they are but have also “checked in,” and described their exact place within that location (like, “Partying at [cool club here] in the back room, like rockstars!”) One day I thought, “Wow, this has the potential to be really dangerous.” Then I thought about how when I’ve gone on vacation I’ve posted my vacation pics on Instagram, too. It’s almost like I’m saying, “I’m not home right now, I am clearly across the country at the moment, feel free to rob my apartment and steal my car.” Keep reading »
StreetSafe, a relatively new app for smartphones, claims that for a minimum of $12.50 a month, it will coach you with safety advice in frightening areas on your way to any location. One first feature is called “Walk With Me,” where the user can connect with a Safety Advisor while walking down a street. If the user feels unsafe, the Safety Advisor will stay on the line with you until you have reached your destination. In the event that something does happen to you while on the phone with a Safety Advisor, they will be able to call 911. The second feature is called “Silent Alarm.” If this button is slid when you are in a situation where you cannot talk to a Safety Advisor, StreetSafe will contact the local 911 call center immediately, find your whereabouts using the GPS feature on your phone, and provide your age, physical description and any medical conditions to the authorities that are on their way to rescue you. Keep reading »
I just got back from a totally blissful six-day vacation in Tulum, Mexico, a quiet beach town about two hours from Cancun. I went alone. I’ve traveled solo (i.e. not in the company of a friend, boyfriend, or family member) before, but always as part of an organized group. This trip was the first time I was traveling alone without built-in activities and social opportunities. It was wonderful. I really enjoy my own company and loved having the freedom to do whatever I wanted — including nothing. But as a single woman traveling alone to a foreign country, I also knew I needed to be cautious and mindful of my safety. I took cabs at night if the area I was going to wasn’t well-lit, I locked my cabana door tight at night even though the ocean breeze would have cooled things down, and I kept a watchful eye on my drink at all times. Keep reading »
A bra gun holster probably makes more sense to ardent NRA fans and gun-owners. Right? I hope so, because as much as I believe in a lady’s right to own a gun, carrying it between her ta-tas sounds like a terrible idea. The $40 Flashbang Bra Gun Holster is a Kydex pouch, molded to fit the special model of gun, and it attaches to the piece of bra fabric between your two cups. The gun doesn’t hide in your boobs; it actually hangs free under them. Pistol-packing lasses can whip the gun free by merely yanking it — after reaching down the front of their shirt first, of course. I’d be way too afraid I’d shoot myself in the boob, or worse, to pack heat in my bazoombas. I wonder what the NRA’s stance is on reconstructive breast surgery for dopey accidents. [Wired]
Ten years ago, when I was 17, I got into a car with a young guy I barely knew who was a customer at my job. We drove deep into the woods, parked his car, and got stoned. Bryan* eventually became my boyfriend, but I often think back to that night when I went off with a strange guy — and more than a few other nights like it — that could have gone wrong. I’ve always been a risk-taker, but, knock on wood, all the risks I took when I maybe should have heeded some “stranger danger” have turned out safe. But I know not every guy or girl is so lucky and this is how date rape and other acts of violence happens.
Could smartphones help keep people safe on dates, at parties and during risk-taking adventures? An app from the
YMCA YWCA in Canada called “Siren Safety” thinks it just might. Keep reading »
I’m a bit of an eyeliner junkie. Every single day, seven days a week, and sometimes more than once a day, I line the inner rims of my eyelids and add mascara. On major makeup days, I’ll outline my entire eye in black eyeliner to draw even more attention to my deep dark look. I’ve never questioned my own health and safety in applying my eyeliner this way. After all, I don’t share my makeup, don’t use contacts, and have never had eye issues. So you can imagine my surprise in reading that this application causes eye infections and that ophthalmologists highly advise against it! Before you get too depressed about having to change your makeup application, there’s a simple fix. Keep reading »
Here’s a statistic that shouldn’t sit right with anyone: Over 73 percent of people in a study by the Havens, a sexual assault referral center in the U.K., believe the victim should “take responsibility” for getting raped if they’ve already performed another sexual act on the rapist. Raped? Well, you’d already given him a hand job so, really, you should have expected that to happen! Keep reading »
Picture the following scenario: it’s past midnight, and you’re ready to call it a night. Your options for getting home: take public transportation and put yourself at risk in the deserted subway, or hail a cab. So you wait for a taxi while avoiding eye contact and cat calls from sketchy dudes. When one comes, you finally relax in a safe zone. Until the cab driver starts heckling you as well. C’mon, people! Can’t a girl get a break?! Keep reading »
“If you’re a woman alone, you’re a victim waiting to happen!” Thank God someone is finally saying those BE AFRAID ALL THE TIME commercials are really super dumb—sensationalized “rape fables,” as our girl Sarah Haskins calls them. Not every knock at the door means a psycho burglar-rapist is afoot! Keep reading »