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What You Need To Know About That Fight On ‘Real World: Skeletons’ Wed, 28 Jan 2015 03:05:22 +0000

Things get intense in tonight’s new episode of “Real World: Skeletons.” The housemates are already not always getting along, and then a physical fight breaks out after a trip to the bar. Violetta, Sylvia and Madison are all involved in the fight, which includes Madison being put into a very dangerous chokehold. Madison, who was initially attacked, runs off in tears, and the next day the housemates watch a video of what went down. Even with the video they don’t all seem to fully grasp just how dangerous and unnecessary this fight was.

Everyone gets angry, but there are techniques to channel that anger where no one gets hurt. Likewise, no one should have to be attacked, because this is a form of abuse. Dr. Victor Schwartz, Medical Director of the Jed Foundation, spoke to MTV about respect, healthy ways of handling anger, and how to get help.

MTV: How can people make sure they have healthy relationships, both dating relationships and peer relationships?

VICTOR SCHWARTZ: The first thing is you need to start out with some degree of respect, an assumption that there are limits. That’s a very good beginning point. Then, as friendships and relationships progress, you need to be aware of the amount of distance people need, the amount of closeness people need. But I think the fundamental issue comes down to really respecting each other.

MTV: If someone is very angry, how can they cool down and find a nondestructive way to channel their anger?

SCHWARTZ: If you’re confronted with a situation that’s making you very angry and you have the opportunity to do it, you take a time out. You walk away, you collect your thoughts. You try to evaluate what’s happened. Have you been wronged? Are you misunderstanding the circumstances? What will be the ramifications and results and consequences of the various actions you might take to address a situation? Not everything needs to be resolved immediately. Sometimes you need to take a break and think things through instead of acting impulsively.

MTV: What help is out there for people with anger management issues?

SCHWARTZ: Seeing a counselor or a therapist can help you understand how you may be contributing to difficulties. Sometimes people see things from one particular perspective from their life experiences and tend to assume that people are always dumping on them or making fun of them, when we know that almost any interaction can be understood in a lot of different ways. Sometimes we make assumptions or misperceive what’s going on, and that leads to particular kinds of conflict. If you’re getting into repeated and persistent difficulties that seem to be the same story playing over and over again, that may be a strong indication you’re playing out your own problems in your relationships with other people.

If you’re in school, the school might be able to help you find a counselor. Your primary care physician might be able to make a recommendation. If you’re part of a religious community, a clergy person might be able to help with these things. The federal government has a therapist finder on their website. Local mental health associations can also help people find treatment in their community.

MTV: The housemates go out drinking before the fight, and it seems this might affect their reactions to things, so they react differently than they would if they’re sober. If someone is going to drink, how can they do so in a responsible and safe way?

SCHWARTZ: If you’re of the legal drinking age, you should drink with friends and in a setting where there are positive feelings going on. If you’re drinking because you’re angry or upset or already in a conflict, that just increases the chances there is going to be an even more problematic response.

MTV: If someone physically attacks you, what can you do to protect yourself?

SCHWARTZ: Obviously the best thing you can do is get out of the situation. If you can’t do that, call for help as much as you can, in any way that you can, whether it’s calling 911 or the people around you.

If you want to learn more, visit

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China Anne McClain Talks Valentine’s Day Activism [Interview] Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:52:57 +0000

Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be about romantic love. Need proof? China Anne McClain and know a way you can make some smiles by writing cards to senior citizens.’s annual Love Letters campaign asks young people to write Valentine’s Day cards to elderly people who might be feeling lonely on the holiday. How you make your card is up to you (maybe a heart out of construction paper with lots of glitter?) and then will connect you to your nearest Meals on Wheels location. Meals on Wheels will do the delivering. Check out the campaign’s page for all the deets — including the possibility of winning a $10,000 scholarship. In the meantime, let’s hear what China has to say!

+ Watch Love Letters PSA

MTV: Why did you want to get involved with DoSomething’s Valentine’s campaign? Is this an issue that is very personal to you?

CHINA ANNE MCCLAIN: The issue of older adults being isolated during Valentine’s Day is very personal to me because no one really thinks about it or considers how those people may feel. I loved the idea as soon as DoSomething told me about it.

MTV: Why is this such an important campaign for young people to take part in?

MCCLAIN: I think it is important for young teens to participate in this campaign so they don’t feel as though a boyfriend or girlfriend is necessary during this holiday. Valentine’s Day is about love, and there are no rules about how you’re suppose to express it.

MTV: What’s your favorite thing about Valentine’s Day?

MCCLAIN: I love watching my Dad surprise my Mom with flowers, chocolate, etc. It’s so sweet.

MTV: What are you up to career-wise? What do you want to be known for?

MCCLAIN: I am putting together an R&B album with my sisters that’s going to drop this year, as well as a single that represents our new sound. I want to be known as a respected artist all around.

MTV: What other causes matter to you?

MCCLAIN: The Make A Wish Foundation and The HollyRod Foundation are both very close to my heart. I also want to get into supporting more causes.


Photo: (

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Heather Watson’s Australian Open Loss Highlights The Last Taboo In Female Sports Thu, 22 Jan 2015 16:16:43 +0000

Tsvetana Pironkova knocked Heather Watson out of the first round of the Australian Open in two sets, but it’s the reason why Watson lost that has everyone talking. The British player, currently ranked 38th in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association, said her performance was affected by her period.

Anyone who has taken an introductory biology class knows that periods generally come around each month, and that they bring with them a fair share of annoying symptoms. After the match, Watson said she was “going to consult with a doctor to prevent this from affecting her play in the future.”

So why is Watson’s menstrual admission making headlines on sites like BuzzFeed and The Guardian? As former tennis champion Annabel Croft says, the period is the “last taboo in female sports.” According to BBC’s Radio 5, Croft explained that “dealing with these issues at any time is hard enough, but actually trying to go out there and play high-level sport…it’s just really unlucky.”

And that’s just one more thing female tennis players have to worry about when Wimbledon comes around in the summer. According to BuzzFeed, tennis player Tara Moore said “she has nightmares about bleeding through her uniform during Wimbledon, where all players must wear white.”

To find out why periods are still such a taboo topic in 2015, we turned to Naama Bloom, the Founder & CEO of Her site, the one that came out with that brilliant period commercial last year, offers “one-of-a-kind care packages to help women and girls through transitional times in their life.” is also concerned with educating, inspiring, and entertaining the people who visit the site.

According to Bloom, the taboo has much to do with “years of history and training.” The problem lies in the fact that we tell girls and women to be discreet:

“We tell them to strive for perfection. To be polite. Talking about blood coming out of your vagina each month is not considered polite. But if I’ve learned anything over the last 2 years of running HelloFlo, it’s that if you give women the freedom to speak openly, they are relieved and delighted to do so.”

There’s also the issue of the stigma and shame surrounding women’s experiences with their bodies. Bloom says our “cultural dependence on euphemisms and avoidance of specifics is harmful for women in general and girls in particular.” And so the question becomes: “If we don’t teach a girl how to speak openly about her body, how can we expect her to seek help if something goes wrong, or manage her fertility?”

Thankfully, all is not lost. According to Bloom, women just need to start speaking “openly and honestly about their bodies” in order to battle this stigma. Bloom’s team recently launched a campaign to address this, #TamponLiberation, which “urges women to take a picture of themselves with a tampon.” Although Bloom says that women are often embarrassed to do so, it’s “just another tool we use to manage a natural process.”

Want to learn more? Check out what’s going on over at here.

Photo: (Getty)

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This Week, Two Documentaries Spotlight Campus Rape Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:52:42 +0000

By Robin Lempel

One in five women is sexually assaulted in college, and yet just one percent of attackers are punished. We’ve all heard the statistic before. Campus rape has been a huge issue in our country that’s finally getting attention, and many schools have completely mishandled their cases. And the way we treat victims and talk about rape has created an entire rape culture. But now two documentaries on campus rape are coming out this week.

As The Huffington Post reports, “It Happened Here” is a documentary by Emmy Award-winner Lisa F. Jackson that premiered on Pivot. It follows women from Amherst College, Vanderbilt University and the University of Connecticut who went public about the way their sexual assault cases were handled. Meanwhile, “The Hunting Ground” — a film directed by Kirby Dick, who directed “The Invisible War” — will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

+ Watch It Happened Here Trailer

IT HAPPENED HERE – TRAILER from Marjorie Nielsen on Vimeo.

And both films are set to make a wider release. “The Hunting Ground” will play in theaters and on CNN. “It Happened Here” will be playing on college campuses as a part of the White House’s It’s On Us campaign. “It’s a powerful movie,” said Kristin Avery. As the director of It’s On Us, this is a subject she knows well. “It lays out some of the problems schools have and how much more this issue has to be dealt with.”

The trailer for “The Hunting Ground,” which was just released, really shows how horrible things can get with schools. “They told me despite the fact that I had a written admission of guilt that I presented to them, [it] could only prove that he loved me,” one woman said.

+ Watch The Hunting Ground Trailer

The documentary argues that the schools are victim-blaming and covering up for perpetrators. But these women are fighting back, networking with other schools, and making their complaints public.

“We’ve got a lot further to go,” a woman said at the end of “The Hunting Ground” trailer.

Photo: (YouTube)

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Mic Drop Aside, What Did YOU Think Of Last Night’s State Of The Union Speech? Wed, 21 Jan 2015 20:44:48 +0000

Last night’s State of the Union (or, in Twitter talk, #SOTU) covered a number of areas. And while President Obama’s line about winning twice is getting plenty of attention and memes, we want to concentrate more on the serious issues being discussed, like the economy, climate change and the possibility of free community college.

READ: Obama Just Dropped The Ultimate SOTU Burn: Watch Now

Stating that nothing poses a greater threat than climate change, President Obama said, “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.”

READ: President Obama Made History In His State of the Union Address

He also discussed the middle class, and called for affordable childcare, paid sick leave and, of course, better access to education with free community college. With his proposed idea, you’d have to work for that free community college, but it could be a great start for many students.

READ: Macklemore And Janelle Monae Stan Over President Obama’s State Of The Union Mic Drop

Another highlight of the night? The fact the president talked about transgender rights, the first time a president has ever done so at a #SOTU.

Let’s see how some of our favorite organizations, politicians, and young activists reacted to the big themes of the night.


Tweet us your thoughts about the night’s big highlights.

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Teen Scientist Invents Braille Printer — With Legos! Wed, 21 Jan 2015 15:45:33 +0000

By Robin Lempel

Talk about a child genius! Shubham Banerjee, a 13-year-old, has created a Lego printer — which he came up with as a science fair project — that can print in Braille. That’s right. Legos.

After Intel Corp invested in his startup, Braigo Labs (which combines the words Braille and Lego), Banerjee has high hopes. He wants to sell the printers for $350; similar products normally go for at least $2,000. That would make the machines available for a much larger group of consumers.

His goal is to make printers more accessible for blind people. With Braille printers normally costing so much and weighing more than 20 pounds, they really aren’t the most accessible product you can get. So he got to work creating a product using his Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit, and later a desktop printer and an Intel computer chip. He created Braigo 2.0.


After coming up with the idea for his science project, Banerjee got a $35,000 investment from his dad, who works for Intel. And then Intel themselves ended up investing in his startup. “He’s solving a real problem, and he wants to go off and disrupt an existing industry. And that’s really what it’s all about,” Edward Ross, the director of Inventor Platforms at Intel, said.

Banerjee’s goal is simple. “My end goal would probably be having most of the blind people … using my Braille printer,” he said. And with him creating an affordable, accessible, incredibly creative printer that prints Braille, that’s not a bad goal to have. It’s no wonder that Banerjee’s become Silicon Valley’s youngest entrepreneur.

Photo: (Neil Banerjee)

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‘Get Schooled’ Honors MLK Day By Supporting Students Tue, 20 Jan 2015 20:34:06 +0000 swaygetschooled
As Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are we doing for others?” From the looks of it, Get Schooled, an organization which works to keep high school students motivated and prepare them for college, took that quote to heart this MLK Day.

On Monday, 3,000 Chicago area high school students were honored for their commitment to success with Get Schooled’s ‘Get Connected Challenge,’ in partnership with Comcast Internet Essentials. The ‘challenge’ was a semester-long initiative working to prepare students ages 13-19 for college life.

As part of the celebration, the participating students were all rewarded for their efforts with a big performance, featuring Christina Milian and MTV’s very own Sway Calloway. Sway opened up his inspiring speech by revealing, “A great education can transform a young person’s life like almost nothing else.”

“Opportunity is everywhere you look,” Christina Milian told students. “Don’t be afraid to say hi to people and talk to people, ask people for help.”

On her involvement with the campaign, Milian said,”It was exciting to be in Chicago to recognize students that are following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s example through their dedication to their education and futures.”

Did you and your friends find a way to help others this MLK Day?

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10 Female Playwrights Tell Real Abortion Stories Tue, 20 Jan 2015 19:12:58 +0000 Shayna-Blass-and-Celeste-Jones-MainPhoto 1: Shayna Blass and Celeste Jones, Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign (Advocates for Youth). Photo by Lloyd Wolf.

Abortion has became a political issue where politicians argue and vote and rhetorize, and get so caught up in it they forget to ask women about their real experiences. The fact is, one in three American women will get an abortion by the age of 45, but this common medical procedure is so stigmatized that many women are frightened of speaking up. Having different emotions after an abortion is normal, but most women feel relief, a far cry from the supposed guilt or grief anti-abortion activists try to say all women feel afterward.

Wanting to let women’s voices finally talk about something only women can experience, Advocates for Youth is putting on the play “Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign.” Ten female playwrights worked on the play, and the stories told in it come from more than 600 real stories women submitted about their personal abortion experiences. MTV spoke with three of the playwrights about this important production, which premieres today in D.C. at the Studio Theater.

+ Jacqueline Lawton

MTV: Why is it important for you to be part of this project?

JACQUELINE LAWTON: The work that Advocates for Youth is doing with the 1 in 3 Campaign is critical, empowering, and inspiring. This grassroots movement aims to start a new conversation about abortion by creating a space for women to tell their stories, on their own terms. They are also hoping to end the stigma and shame around abortion. The bias against women is one that needs to be addressed in every aspect of our society. As we strive to bring gender parity and pay equity in the workforce, we must also ensure access to basic health care, which includes legal and safe abortion care.

MTV: Did you have any trepidation about participating in this play?

LAWTON: Not at all. I knew right away that Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign was a project that I had to support. Personal storytelling and theatre are the strongest ways not only to bring communities together, but also to raise consciousness around a complex issue and build compassion, empathy, and support. This project combines both forms of narrative, so I knew the work would be rich, powerful, and relevant. Originally, they asked me to write a play that featured multiple voices or vignettes. However, my summer schedule wouldn’t allow me for another project, especially one of this magnitude and scope. I was thrilled when Advocates for Youth agreed to my proposal that we should commission a diverse, intergenerational group of local women playwrights to adapt the stories. I have never been more proud to be a part of an experience than I am to have coproduced and written for this play.

MTV: How has sharing stories about abortion inspired you as a reproductive rights activist?

LAWTON: Sharing these stories has strengthened my commitment to support and raise awareness around reproductive rights. Prior to working on this project, this commitment showed up in my personal life, political preferences, writing, and social media advocacy. I’ve supported friends and colleagues who have had abortions. I also champion politicians who are working to honor the reproductive and health care rights of women. What’s more, I write plays that address the impact and importance of the women’s rights movement. Finally, I read and share articles about reproductive rights on various social media. However, this is the first time that I’ve collaborated with an advocacy organization to bring these issues to light. I hope this is just the beginning of my work with Advocacy for Youth because there’s so much that theatre can do to bring their mission and vision to a larger and more diverse audience.

MTV: What do you hope people walk away with after they watch this play?

LAWTON: I hope that audiences are moved by these stories and that they’ll have a greater understanding of the power and significance of choice. I hope they understand how deeply personal the decision to have an abortion is … that there is no room for judgment, only compassion and empathy in the face of such a decision. I hope that the people who make policy and laws walk away knowing that placing impossible restrictions on reproductive health is damaging.

MTV: What can young people do to continue to fight for reproductive rights this year?

LAWTON: Young people must stay active, engaged and informed of these issues. They must have the courage to speak out and create spaces for dialogue amongst their peers and elders. This is an issue that impacts all of us, each and every one of us.

Tuyet-Pham-and-Celeste-JonesTuyet Thi Pham and Celeste Jones, Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign (Advocates for Youth). Photo by Lloyd Wolf.

+ Nicole Jost

MTV: Why is it important for you to be part of this project?

NICOLE JOST: As an artist, I often think about real issues in terms of story. And I think the story we hear about abortion — what kinds of women have them, what their reasons are — is overly simplistic (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has a term for this: the “single story”). The 1 in 3 Campaign provides a platform for real people to tell their real abortion stories, to complicate this narrative with the truth of their experiences. I was honored when I was asked to participate.

MTV: Did you have any trepidation about participating in this play?

JOST: Sure. I worried about whether I was the right person for the job — whether I was smart enough, talented enough, well-informed enough. But then I read the stories, these real women’s stories, and it was easier to take my ego out of it. All I had to do was try my best to serve the stories, and the women behind them. And they’re so powerful. It became a whole lot easier.

MTV: How has sharing stories about abortion inspired you as a reproductive rights activist?

JOST: It’s been really cool how people in my life have responded to my involvement in this project. People I’ve known for years have suddenly opened up about their own abortion experiences. It gives me hope that the play will really make an impact and help others break their silence. There is no shame in this. We can and should talk about abortion.

MTV: What do you hope people walk away with after they watch this play?

JOST: I hope people hear a perspective they hadn’t heard before, find a way to think about abortion through another person’s lens. For me, I had that experience writing about fetal anomaly. It was something I hadn’t really thought about before, that a fetus could be so damaged that it would be cruel to bring it into the world. I was inspired by one story in particular, submitted by a woman named Judy. At the end of her story, Judy said she was fortunate to live in a state where second trimester abortion was legal, that she might not have been able to get an abortion if she lived in another state. I was floored. I can’t even imagine that pain, on top of the already impossible situation of wanting a child but knowing this child would have no life to speak of — but then being unable to get an abortion on top of that? It really stuck with me. I guess I’m saying that I learned something. And I hope others will too.

MTV: What can young people do to continue to fight for reproductive rights this year?

JOST: I’m sure there are many more knowledgeable people than me to ask! But I will say that I believe in the power of self-expression. I would encourage young people to speak their truths, in whatever form that takes: a painting, a poem, a play, a sculpture, a dance, a conversation with a friend. Speak up.

Jon-Hudson-Odom-and-Celeste-JonesJon Hudson Odom and Celeste Jones, Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign (Advocates for Youth). Photo by Lloyd Wolf.

+ Anu Yadav

MTV: Why is it important for you to be part of this project?

ANU YADAV: When Jackie [Lawton] asked me to be part of it, it was really exciting. I got a chance to read interviews and stories of women who had had abortions and see the huge diversity of people’s experiences with something that doesn’t get talked about enough. The thing that was most important to me was learning how vicious and how deep the stigma is around abortion and the wide variety of feelings people have [after an abortion]. A number of years ago somebody asked me to do a project working with an abortion clinic and documenting some of the tensions between that clinic and the local community and putting that into a play. At the time I was like, Oh, that doesn’t interest me. Looking back on that, why didn’t that interest me? A women’s issue is a human rights issue, so why wouldn’t I be interested? It got me to reflect more deeply on how sexism had landed on me and my perception of what I deemed important got challenged.

MTV: Did you have any trepidation about participating in this play?

YADAV: I think my trepidation was wanting to represent and write about this in as truthful a way as I could given this wasn’t my direct experience [getting an abortion]. I came at it with a sense of wanting to honor the stories I was gifted to read and process.

MTV: How has sharing stories about abortion inspired you as a reproductive rights activist?

YADAV: It’s inspired me to look more deeply at how I as an artist supply my skills at supporting — writing, producing, creating — a broader diversity of stories about people affected by abortion and reproductive rights. It’s something that affects so many people, and there’s a rich treasure trove of stories that are not being produced in the way they could be.

MTV: What do you hope people walk away with after they watch this play?

YADAV: I hope they walk away with questions, with wanting to talk about it with people they know, to challenge their own assumptions of the nature of abortion. More than anything, we support their ability to emphasize with the stories of people they didn’t think they would, or validate their own stories and support their own courage and bravery to be able to share things about themselves with their friends and family and community. Basically, to smash stereotypes and break the silence.

MTV: What can young people do to continue to fight for reproductive rights this year?

YADAV: My charge for myself to is read more, learn more about what’s happening with the pushback. The fights going on now keeping abortion as a right for women. Talk about it with people in your community. You have a right to your own voice. It’s important for people, youth included, to get involved with organizations on the issue of reproductive rights. Speaking and working as individuals is important, but as a group of like-minded people working towards a larger goal, so much more can happen. That’s what makes a movement. I’m proud to be part of this campaign.

Photo: (Lloyd Wolf)

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Androgynous Photoshoot Shows Weddings Are For Everyone Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:58:19 +0000

By Robin Lempel

Love Inc.’s wedding magazine is radically changing the way we look at weddings. In a beautiful photoshoot with androgynous model Dylan Stephens — who modeled both bridal and groom outfits — Love Inc. proved just how beautiful and meaningful weddings should be regardless of the couple’s gender, sexuality or identity. With Stephens wearing everything from an Inbal Dror wedding gown to a tux, the photoshoot completely confronts traditional notions of weddings.


“It was important to us that we remove gender from the equation and put the focus on the individual. And to celebrate that the individual found the person they want to spend the rest of their life with,” Love Inc.’s editor-in-chief Brittny Drye told the Huffington Post. “There is such a variety of human orientations and identities and we wanted to showcase as many different types of wedding fashions without feeling restricted by society-driven gender barriers.”

Drye also wrote a blog post about the shoot, admitting that she was nervous this would seem campy or insulting. But she and Love Inc.’s fashion editor Krista Roser wanted to create a shoot that “shatters gender barriers and highlights our mission of creating a resource that effortlessly represents all love, equally.” And so they went for it. And by the end, Drye admitted she cried because it was so moving.


Her mission was simple. “My goal for this particular feature is to make you think,” she wrote. “Whether you draw a socio-political message from it or pin it to your Wedding Suit or Wedding Dress Pinterest boards, I hope that it inspires you, in one way or another.”

Photo: (Love Inc, Ryan Carville)

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