They came on the air promising real stories of real women. Now they're just embarrassing.

When "women's networks" started popping up, there was hope that finally there would be TV shows telling the real stories of real women.

Then this happened. Women's History Month, 2015.

It had an uplifting theme.


So exciting. Great stories to be told.

Right?

Well, um, things worked out a little differently than we expected.

[SARCASM ALERT] We should all express our gratitude to these networks...

...for uplifting shows that taught us what womanhood is all about.

Of course, womanhood isn't really about any one thing. There are all sorts of women in all sorts of situations. It's just that TV producers seem to be kind of single-minded in showing women in trumped-up stress nightmares that could make anyone crack. Maybe we should actually feel sorry for these women more than anything else.

...for celebrating the strength of women as communicators.

Women are great communicators. But no one's at their best all the time, especially when they've been set up. A show without extreme conflict is dramatically kind of dull, so producers do their best to make sure that never happens, and away we go.

...for showing women at their inspiring best.

It's almost as if these so-called "women's networks" are out to make women seem as unhinged as possible. Unnatural situations, check. Unnatural obstacles, check. Just turn on the cameras and watch the fireworks.

...and as they really are.

OK, first:

This is not how women really are. Maybe it's about how some women can be when they've been pushed to the point where normal rules of human behavior no longer seem to apply.

Second, and worse:

This fight and others like it are serious, with people getting hurt. It's no joke. If two guys on a reality show got into it like this, they'd be escorted from the set. But there's a double standard here that sees woman-on-woman violence as entertaining. Huh? This is not the type of thing you'd expect of a network for women.

Seriously.

It would be awesome if women's real stories could be on TV all the time. Great tales of amazing women from history. Accounts of women doing remarkable things today. It would provide inspiration and lead to a richer understanding of women for everyone.

Oh, well. Nice idea.

It's not like there's just one kind of women's story that can be told, either. There's room for all kinds of stuff. But it's just not OK when trumped-up sensationalism's pretty much all you see.

The women of Emotistyle want to thank the networks for a job (not) well done.

And yes, they are being sarcastic. 100% sarcastic.

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Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

I worked as a substitute teacher in my early 20s, almost exclusively in middle schools and high schools—my age of specialty. Once, I accepted a two-day subbing assignment in a first grade classroom. Only once. Halfway through the first day, as the kids ate lunch in the cafeteria, I sat at the teacher's desk in an exhausted daze. Teaching little kids was a completely different animal than teaching big kids. While adorable, they had so many needs and so little attention span. It was like herding a bunch of flies that constantly needed to go potty.

Trying to herd those flies virtually during a pandemic is too much to even fathom.

So the real-time story that mom and writer Stephanie Lucianovic shared on Twitter of what happened when her son's second grade teacher dropped from the class Zoom call was not the least bit surprising. Hilariously entertaining, but not surprising.

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Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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