News Round-Up: September 30, 2020

Greg Bloomer and Bisquit (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Woof Wednesday: Chicago InstaHunk Greg Bloomer and his handsome pooch Bisquit (above) make Hump Day just that much better 🙂

CNBC: U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign broke its single-hour fundraising record as the Democrat’s debate with President Donald Trump wrapped up on Tuesday, pulling in $3.8 million, a campaign official said.

VoteVets: Air Force veteran and fighter jet pilot Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger endorses former Vice President Joe Biden for president. “Leadership isn’t just about sitting in the pilot seat. It’s about knowing what you’re doing and taking responsibility.”

* Celebitchy: Coronavirus depression nearly caused designer Tom Ford to skip his next collection. “I was irritated when I had a Zoom meeting because it meant washing my hair and perhaps trimming my beard. At the time, the thought of designing a collection seemed frivolous when so many important and disturbing things were happening in our world.”

Reuters: Results from an early study of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine showed that it produced virus-neutralizing antibodies in older adults at levels similar to those seen in younger adults, with side effects roughly on par with high-dose flu shots, according to researchers.

Twitter: After telling the violent group Proud Boys to “stand by” at last night’s presidential debate debacle and refusing to denounce white supremacy, Trump told reporters today he doesn’t know who the Proud Boys are but “Antifa is the real problem.”

What Is The ‘Man Box’ And Do You Want To Be In It?

(stock image via Depositphotos)

A new study (published today in Preventative Medicine) found those men who hold more rigid beliefs about masculinity – including attitudes about acting tough, hypersexuality and homophobia – also tend toward bullying, sexual harassment, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

The researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital based their study on the “Man Box” report from 2017 conducted by Promundo, a global consortium that works to promote gender equality.

In the 1980s, activist Paul Kivel developed the “Act Like a Man Box” as a way to help men discuss how society can place pressures on men to act a certain way. Men “in the Man Box” are those who most internalize messages of having to ‘be tough’ in life or being hyper-dominant in sexual roles. Young men “outside the Man Box” are those who have broken out of the box and reject these ideas.

Dr. Robert Coulter, one of the new study’s co-authors, told Business Insider that for the purposes of their study, the “man box” is defined as a “rigid set of beliefs that men have to ascribe to in order to be a proper man.”

The 3,600+ male participants, aged 18-30, in the U.S., Mexico, and the U.K. were asked to rank on a scale of 1 to 4 (from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”) 15 statements regarding attitudes on self-sufficiency, hypersexuality, sexual prowess, gender roles, and homophobia.

Some of the statements included:

• “It is not good for a boy to be taught how to cook, sew, clean the house and take care of younger children”

• “Men should use violence to get respect, if necessary”

• “A ‘real man’ would never say no to sex”

• “A guy who spends a lot of time on his looks isn’t very manly”

The researchers found higher scores on the “man box” scale often indicated higher levels of verbal, online, or physical bullying as well as sexual harassment.

Additionally, men who landed higher on the “man box” scale were twice as likely to admit experiencing depression and/or suicidal thoughts.

The five statements that had the strongest associations with violence and poor mental health were:

1. A man shouldn’t have to do household chores.
2. Men should use violence to get respect if necessary.
3. A real man should have as many sexual partners as he can.
4. A man who talks a lot about his worries, fears, and problems shouldn’t really get respect.
5. A gay guy is not a “real man.”

In regard to that fourth statement, it makes sense that men who repress or tamp down personal concerns or emotions would be more likely to experience challenges in terms of mental health.

Dr. Coulter told Business Insider his research team was “quite surprised to see harmful masculinity is associated with negative outcomes (like depression and suicidal thoughts) for the men themselves.”

‘Harmful masculinity,’ sometimes referred to as ‘toxic masculinity,’ can be defined as damaging beliefs that can lead to strict, controlling, heteronormative and violent norms about what constitutes a ‘real man.’

The research team hopes their “man box” scale might be a tool for health care providers and public health workers to help “measure progress toward changing harmful stereotypes and advancing both gender equality and healthier versions of masculinity.”

(source: Business Insider)

Gus Kenworthy Shares Isolation Struggles, Announces Fundraiser For First Responders

Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy

Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy checked in via Instagram on Wednesday noting that while he’s been “MIA” for several weeks on social media.

Kenworthy candidly shared that the stay-at-home isolation thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 health threat has weighed heavily on him and his mental health.

“One thing I’ve learned is that just because we’re in isolation it does NOT mean that we’re alone,” wrote Kenworthy. “We really are in this together! If you’re struggling w/ depression and you’ve been feeling down and worthless know that I have been too.”

“In school, in sports and in life I’ve always hated asking for help because I’ve wanted to seem strong, brave, tough, self-assured, etc but I’ve realized that sometimes you just need help and when you do you need to ask for it,” he continued. “It’s literally what friends are for. Swallow your pride and text a friend saying ‘I’m feeling really down, can you talk?’ It will help.”

 

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I know I’ve been MIA for the past month and a half but tbh this whole thing has been really hard on me. I know has been a struggle for most everyone. One thing I’ve learned is that just because we’re in isolation it does NOT mean that we’re alone. We really are in this together! If you’re struggling w/ depression and you’ve been feeling down and worthless know that I have been too. In school, in sports and in life I’ve always hated asking for help because I’ve wanted to seem strong, brave, tough, self-assured, etc but I’ve realized that sometimes you just need help and when you do you need to ask for it. It’s literally what friends are for. Swallow your pride and text a friend saying “I’m feeling really down, can you talk?” It will help. I’m thankful for my friends and all of you for being my support system; I’m thankful for the people who have used this time to create fun, funny content that has made me laugh and offered levity amidst the darkness; I’m thankful for my health and, most especially, I’m thankful for my family. We had some serious scares this past month and it’s put into perspective, more than ever before, the importance of family. My 9-month-old nephew, Bodhi, had a bad cough/ fever and started having trouble breathing. He ended up being flight for life’d to Denver Children’s Hospital to be put on a respirator and spent a week in the ICU. Shortly after he returned home my 4-year-old niece, Bobbie, fell ill and had to be rushed to the same hospital to undergo two emergency surgeries. They’re both finally home again and recovering! I’m incredibly thankful and forever grateful to our healthcare workers on the front line of this pandemic. I can’t show my gratitude enough but, in an effort to help out, I’ve decided to join Cameo to make personalized videos for anybody who wants one w/ 100% of my proceeds going to #FirstRespondersFirst to raise money for the doctors & nurses risking their lives to save others. If you wanna buy a video there’s a link in my bio and I’ll match whatever we raise up to $10,000! Thank you all for staying home to help flatten the curve and also for reading my unsolicited novel of a caption. Let’s #BeatTheVirus ❤️

A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on

Kenworthy added that both his 9-month-old nephew and his 4-year-old niece had recently experienced two health scares involving some pretty serious maneuvers.

Now that both are home and recovering, Kenworthy plans to show his appreciation for healthcare workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic

“I can’t show my gratitude enough but, in an effort to help out, I’ve decided to join Cameo to make personalized videos for anybody who wants one w/ 100% of my proceeds going to #FirstRespondersFirst to raise money for the doctors & nurses risking their lives to save others,” says the woofy Olympian.

For those not familiar with Cameo, the website allows fans to connect with celebrities and purchase personalized video greetings for just about any occasion. Kenworthy says he’s only joining the site for a limited time during the COVID-19 isolation.

Donations to #FirstRespondersFirst will provide essential supplies, equipment and resources for protecting frontline healthcare workers and their patients.

In addition to doing the personalized videos, Kenworthy announced he will match whatever he raises up to $10,000.

You can find Gus Kenworthy’s Cameo page here.

Podcast: Trump Addresses Anti-LGBT Conference, National Parks Service Pulls Out Of Rainbow Flag Event, Colton Haynes Shares Struggles With Depression

In this week’s Randy Report podcast:

• The National Parks service pulled out of an event where the rainbow flag would fly, for the first time, on federal land

• Donald Trump became the first sitting president to address anti-gay hate group’s Values Voters Summit

• Out actor Colton Haynes (Arrow/Teen Wolf/American Horror Story) shared his struggles with depression & anxiety on World Mental Health Day

• In queer cinema, Tom of Finland and Professor Marston & the Wonder Women open in theaters

• Randy Rainbow parodies the summer mega-hit “Despocito” with a sharp as nails commentary on Donald Trump

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Canadian health official: Ecstasy is safe to take

The chief health officer of British Columbia said today that ecstasy, or MDMA, is safe for consumption and may not have negative long-term health effects.

HOWEVER – the official, Dr. Perry Kendall, who gave interviews to several Canadian media outlets, wants to be clear about one thing: There is a big difference between pure ecstasy and the stuff that gets cut with other chemicals and makes up the vast majority of what’s sold on the street.

“Unless you are getting it from a psychiatrist in a legitimate clinical trial, at the present time, you can’t guarantee what’s in it, how much there is, or its safety, so I would say, as we have said in the past: Don’t take it,” Kendall told CBC News.

As you might have inferred, ecstasy is indeed being given to volunteers in clinical settings. For that matter, so is ketamine, a club drug also known as “Special K” that’s shown promise in treating severe depression, as NPR’s Jon Hamilton has reported.

Canada has long had a more lenient attitude toward drugs. Vancouver’s city council is currently debating marijuana decriminalization; advocates for decriminalization say the illegal drug trade fuels violence in the city.

Kendall told media outlets that if ecstasy were legalized, it would also take control out of the hands of criminals and give the government the chance to regulate the trade.

Other physicians are exploring the use of MDMA for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.

More at NPR