Act MTV Act Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:06:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Women Protest Acid Attacks in Iran Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:03:33 +0000 iranacidattacksprotest
Nearly 2,000 protestors took to the streets in Iran on Wednesday to express outrage over recent acid attacks on women. While acid attacks are rare in Iran, there’s been an increase lately: Police Chief General Ismaeil Ahmadi Moghaddam told reporters he has seen a string of eight cases within just the past few months.

Four suspects have been arrested, and the crowd gathered to demand that police prosecute the attackers for their actions. Moghaddam explained the attacks all had a similar pattern. One attacker rode on the back of a motorbike while one drove, then the attacker on back would throw the acid at a woman’s car that had the window down.

A witness who saw an incident occur explained, “The level of acid used was so much that all her clothes were in the processes of melting and I saw the acid create white spots on the asphalt.”

While the motive is not 100% proven, many are speculating it’s related to the women not being properly veiled. Under the law, women are supposed to wear a hijab, but in recent years there has been a noticeable shift. Moghaddam, on the other hand, does not believe this was the motive.

A prayer leader told ISNA news agency, “Such an act under any pretext is reprehensible. Even if a woman goes out into the street in the worst way, no one has the right to do such a thing.” A spokesperson for the Iranian judiciary also expressed that “most serious punishment” should be implemented upon the perpetrators.

Photo: (AP via ThinkProgress)

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Jason Collins’ Huffington Post Article Proves the NBA Cares Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:15:43 +0000 Logo TV's "Trailblazers" - Show
As part of NBA Cares Week, basketball player Jason Collins penned an article for the Huffington Post where he argued that all people need in order to come together is a little common ground.

The post, “Common Ground and Conversation,” starts with Collins explaining an exercise he participated in with his fellow freshmen dormmates at Stanford University:

“The leader had us stand in a straight line and would pose a question to the group. Students would either take a step forward or stand still based on their individual response.

“I took a step forward. I looked around the room and saw a group of people of different religions, races, genders, you name it. And they all answered the same way I did. The actual questions that brought us together weren’t important; the questions and answers that followed were. All of a sudden, a group of strangers realized a collective common ground which served as a jumping off point for conversation.”

What Collins took from that experience is the realization that it’s “just a lack of exposure and awareness that is holding people back.” Whenever Collins needed to find common ground or a way to bring people together, he often drifted to the basketball court. He describes his love of the game, explaining how there is something wonderful “about five people coming together — and finding common language.”

But Collins doesn’t just love basketball; no, the athlete believes that all sports can offer children a safe space. Kids who are struggling need to know that those kids playing with them are on their side; Collins believes all kids need to know that “someone else out there cares about you, that someone is trying to help and is on your team.”

At the end of the post, Collins encourages readers to get involved with a cause they care about, just like he did with the Matthew Shepard Foundation and GLSEN.

You can read the other posts published during NBA Cares Week here.

Photo: (Getty)

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Pew Research Center Releases New Report on Online Harassment Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:00:52 +0000 DreamHack Valencia Gaming And Lan Party
The Pew Research Center released a report based on a month-long survey that explored one topic: online harassment. With #GamerGate and the very public threats made against Anita Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu, and other women online, the study was released at an interesting moment in our culture. But what does the data collected show about online harassment?

As Jessica Goldstein reports for ThinkProgress, the survey collected responses from almost 3,000 people. Maeve Duggan, one of the analysts on the report, told Goldstein that the study is “something of a first” for the Pew Research Center:

“In the past, we’ve done research more generally on kindness and cruelty online. So it built on some of that research but also took into account that, this year, there’s really been a culmination of attention paid to the issue. We thought it was a good time to take a deeper dive and put some figures into the conversation.”

The study looked at different types of online harassment, and respondents to the survey were asked about online harassment they had witnessed as well as had experienced themselves. Based on the report, “40 percent of internet users have experienced online harassment and 73 percent have witnessed it.”

Here’s what you should know about the findings:

+ Men Face More Harassment Online

According to Duggan, men are “more likely to experience harassment overall, and they are more likely to experience less severe forms of harassment: name calling and embarrassment.”

+ Women Were More Likely to Experience More Severe Forms of Harassment

Although men experienced harassment more often, young women were “particularly likely to experience stalking and sexual harassment.” Duggan says that 26 percent of female internet users 18 to 24 years old “have been stalked and 25 personal have been sexually harassed online.”

+ Lifestyle Comes in to Play

According to the report, when internet users have smaller social circles – such as in high school or college – they’re more likely to see rampant bullying. This could also be due to the fact that “younger people spent more time using different online services, like social media.”

+ Race Is a Factor, Too

Duggan found that Hispanics and African-Americans were “more likely than white internet users to experience harassment overall.”

Interestingly enough, of the nearly 3,000 people surveyed for the report, only five people called the police after the harassment. Goldstein sought out the advice of Danielle Citron, writer of “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace,” who said the number could be small because “law enforcement just often dissuades people.” She thinks “law enforcement often just doesn’t have the expertise and training, and they get intimidated by technology, so they discourage victims from reporting.”

You can read Goldstein’s in-depth analysis of the report here, and you can find the full report online here. If you or someone you know is facing harassment online, you can find help at A Thin Line.

Photo: (Getty)

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Watch What Happens When Guys Try on Sexy Halloween Costumes Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:14:51 +0000 buzzfeedsexycostumes
By Robin Lempel

Halloween’s right around the corner and we all know what that means: it’s time to pick your Halloween costume! So what are you going to be? A sexy firefighter perhaps? No? How about the sexy ladybug? The sexy Girl Scout more your thing? Or the ever-popular sexy nun?

As a way to look at costume double standards for men and women, a group of men on Buzzfeed decided to don some “sexy” women’s Halloween costumes and let’s just say hilarity ensued.

+ Watch Men Try On Ladies’ Sexy Halloween Costumes

They were all really funny and lighthearted about the challenge. “I like looking at them on women, but I do not want to see that on myself,” one guy said. Another remarked how uncomfortable the costume will be in cold weather. He’s got a point.

The first costume they tried on was the firefighter, but firefighters don’t exactly look like the picture. “Who would wear this in a fire house?” one guy said.

Next up? The “sexy” nun, which they had a hard time believing. “This is a nun?” one asked. They were hilarious. “Do I have a problem with the sexualization of a nun? ‘None’ whatsoever,” one person laughed.

And then they were on to the “sexy” ladybug. Why a ladybug should be sexy is a mystery, though. It was basically just lingerie. The general consensus was that it was just pretty dumb.

And they had some major problems with the “sexy” Girl Scout with one guy saying it was taking “a depiction of a 7-year-old and turning it sexy.” One guy said he’d dressed as a “sexy” baby for Halloween once and the Girl Scout costume was “by far worse.”

Overall, the guys did rethink their opinions about the whole “sexy” Halloween costume thing. Look, you should be whatever you want to be for Halloween. But the endless list of “sexy” whatevers and expectations for women on Halloween (and the double standards between women’s and men’s costumes) is a little ridiculous. Not to mention that a “sexy” ladybug makes no sense at all.

Photo: (YouTube)

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3D Printing Lets Blind People Experience Photos Through Statues Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:39:21 +0000 touchablememories
By Robin Lempel

Technology has come a really long way. 3D printers, for example, can do a lot of cool things, but this has to be one of the greatest. LOLA has created a project for Singapore-based company Pirate3D that uses 3D printing technology to create incredibly detailed sculptures for blind people.

As a way to recreate memories much the same way others use photographs and albums, Touchable Memories creates detailed sculptures that blind people can feel. They’re basically creating the picture form of Braille. And it’s awesome.

+ Watch Touchable Memories

The video for Touchable Memories shows blind people’s stories of how they lost their eyesight and what Touchable Memories means to them. Among the people in the video, one participant was a photographer, one talked about his dad and they all talked about their memories. They described memories as fleeting.

“If I could touch the picture, I could make the memory tangible again,” one woman said.

She went on to say that she could find herself in the picture and remarked how she’d never seen herself in a picture before. Another person’s picture brought back memories of his dad who died when he was six.

“Technology is just a tool. People give it a purpose,” the video said. This is an incredible purpose for this technology. Touchable Memories is a really inspiring project that’s giving people a chance to capture their memories.

Photo: (YouTube via Ryot)

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Doing This One Thing In November Could Change Your Life Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:25:24 +0000 FonzyVotedMain
By Robin Lempel

Election Day is just around the corner.  The politicians we elect on November 4 will have a huge effect on issues and policies in the next few years.

For instance, there’s the Supreme Court. If someone were to leave the Supreme Court, the people we elect now will hold power over who takes over that seat.

+ For More Information About Your Voting Rights, Check Out Our Voter Self Defense Guide

It’s also important to vote this year because, frankly, people don’t want you to. With more and more attacks on voting rights — like fights against early voting and for voter ID laws — it’s more important than ever to stand up and use your vote. “We have a democracy for everyone,” said Myrna Perez, a lawyer at the Brennan Center for Justice who fought against the Texas Voter ID law. “It’s not just for the educated and those who have a flexible work schedule.” Here are four more reasons why you should vote on November 4.

+ It Will Affect Key Issues


Of course who you elect will influence the issues that you care most about. That’s obvious. But what are the most important issues that people are focusing on for this year’s elections? A new poll from Democracy Corps shows that both Democrats and Republicans name the economy as the number one priority in the election. Number two, meanwhile, is women’s issues for the Democrats, with 41% putting it in their top three issues. Women’s issues are second to last for Republicans, though. Republicans’ number two is foreign policy and the Islamic State, with 40%.

+ It’s The Cool Thing To Do


Come on. Voting is awesome. Just using your voice to show what you stand for is so empowering. Nearly 2 million voters have voted early already.

Even Lil Jon, Lena Dunham and a whole bunch of celebrities are going out to vote for all of the causes that are important to them. And they want you to, too. Just do it because you should. Honestly. Fred Armisen said it best. “I want to impress my friends,” he said. “It’s the only reason to ever do anything.”

+ This Election Will Mostly Affect The Senate


The real focus of this election will mostly be about the Senate and whether it ends up being Republican or Democrat, and right now it’s looking like the Republicans could take the Senate majority. Who ends up in the Senate could really affect issues such as immigration, healthcare, and education.

+ Local Elections Are Important, Too


Local elections matter as well. In New York, for example, there is an upcoming Governor’s race along with a number of policies that can be voted on. Some big issues that have been coming up in this race have been about gun control, the Common Core, and women’s issues. And, in Washington, D.C., the race for mayor is closer than ever. This is your chance to get out there and make real choices that can affect your daily life.

Photo: (Getty)

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More Than Half of Homeless Youth Are Assaulted Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:00:33 +0000 New York City's Homeless Population Shows Sharp Rise In Last Five Years
At the 2014 VMAs, Miley Cyrus brought attention to the reality of youth homelessness. A new study goes into detail on the lives of homeless young people, including the fact that more than 60% have been sexually or physically assaulted.

The study, which was done by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the Administration for Children and Families, analyzed homeless young people between the ages of 14 and 21. LGBTQ and minority youths are especially hard hit with homelessness.

These numbers were reported at an event in Washington, D.C. called “Ending Youth Homelessness: A Call to Action.” Singer Cyndi Lauper, whose True Colors Fund helps homeless LGBTQ people, said at the event, “No young person deserves to experience homelessness, especially because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, which is why we must stand with them to help them live the happy and healthy lives they do deserve.”

The homeless rate for young people has also been rising in recent years. “A record number of homeless students means a record number of our children being exposed to sexual trafficking, abuse, hunger and denial of their basic needs,” said First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley. “The new data means that a record number of kids in our schools and communities are spending restless nights in bed-bug infested motels and falling more behind in school by the day because they’re too tired and hungry to concentrate.”

If you want to help or receive help in regards to homelessness, you can reach out to places like the True Colors Fund and the Covenant House.

Photo: (Getty)

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Here’s A Great Opportunity To Rep Your Favorite Cause On MTV Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:04:14 +0000

MTV and Simon Malls are looking for change-makers who are passionately supporting important social causes. If you’re chosen, you’ll be featured on MTV!

Besides getting your air time, you will also have the opportunity to talk about your favorite cause or organization. So how can you take part? Email by November 3rd with info about what you do to help others, and why MTV should pick you (a few sentences will suffice), plus your age, a pic and your location. You must be 18 years or older and live in the New York tri-state area (but MTV will cover your travel costs).

If you know someone who fits the bill, you can also nominate them. Maybe a friend of yours rescues cats in their free time or collects clothes they can donate to the homeless?

The shoot will take place on November 19, so you or your friend will need to be available all day for filming. We can’t wait to see your submissions!

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Fox News Doesn’t Think You Should Vote, Girls Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:08:51 +0000 Americans Go To The Polls To Elect The Next U.S. President
By Robin Lempel

Is Fox News discouraging young women from voting? The Five co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle thinks that young, single women don’t have the experience and you shouldn’t vote. Instead, young women “can go back on Tinder or”

Guilfoyle also said that young women shouldn’t be on juries. According to her, you’re not old enough or wise enough to have an opinion, even if the voting age is 18.

“They don’t get it!” she said. She and the others at the table talked about how people tend to get more conservative as they get older and that once women get married and have these “experiences,” such as doing a mortgage and paying bills, then they’ll know what’s really important. Until then, you should probably just hold off and go back onto your profile because you don’t really understand what matters.

The hosts also insisted issues like abortion and birth control aren’t going to be important issues in this election year. (Actually, they are going to be important issues.)

“[Young women are] like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world,” Guilfoyle said.

Do you have a care in the world? Use your voice. Go vote. What you care about matters. And no matter your age or experiences, you understand what’s important and what’s important to you matters. Plus, only letting people with certain experiences vote doesn’t really make for a representative government, now does it?

Photo: (Getty)

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What Olivia Munn Is Doing to Help An Arthritic Elephant Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:39:02 +0000 Sports Spectacular Gala - Show
By Robin Lempel

Olivia Munn has teamed up with PETA to get an arthritic, aging circus elephant named Nosey out of the circus and into a sanctuary where she will have “acres of soft earth on which to roam free, pools to wade in to ease the pain in her joints, and access to expert veterinary care.”

Despite being just 32-years-old, Nosey has reportedly been showing signs of arthritis, which is one of the biggest reasons these elephants are euthanized.

“As an elephant lover, I’m troubled that the [USDA] is allowing this abuse to continue and has failed to ensure that this lame elephant is never forced to perform again,” Munn said. She went on to talk about circus elephants’ conditions, such as being “locked inside cramped trailers, kept in chains, or forced to walk in endless circles carrying riders on their backs.”

PETA has attempted to get the USDA to help Nosey before with no luck. They even met with USDA officials back in September, but the officials were unprepared to talk about Nosey.

Munn, meanwhile, is working to help Nosey by calling on the United States Department of Agriculture to take a stand. “The [USDA]‘s own records show that Nosey has been exploited, mistreated, and neglected her entire life,” Munn said. “It’s time to step up and do the right thing for this animal by revoking [her owner] Liebel’s license, seizing Nosey, and sending her to a sanctuary. Her life depends on it.”

Photo: (Getty)

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