How To Set Social Media Boundaries For Yourself — And Stick To Them
During what has felt like a year-long public upheaval about healthcare legislation, being on social media has really drained my energy. I’m disabled, so decisions about healthcare affect me and my community personally, and there are a lot of ableist comments online whenever the topic is brought up. Lately, I’ve felt like stepping back completely from social media, but it’s not as easy as some people think to just drop it. Should I deactivate or delete all my accounts and stop using them? This is hard, particularly if you use it as a primary or secondary form of networking, social connection, or employment. It left me wondering: Where do I go from here? In today’s social and political climate, it feels necessary to be online at all times. What if you miss important breaking news? With 62% of users getting most of their news from social media, it can feel like a lifeline to staying informed. But social media use can feel inescapable even as it can contribute to our mental and physical health. You can also find yourself feeling exhausted by it. Whether it’s the fact that you’re using it too much or that what you’re seeing online is overly negative, just face it: you may need a social media break. It’s totally possible to set reasonable, realistic social media boundaries for yourself and stick to them so you can use the platforms effectively for personal, professional, and activism activities (and so you don’t completely burn yourself out). Here’s how: 1. Set time limits for yourself. When you know you can’t just hit the delete button, temporarily or permanently, it helps to give yourself reasonable limits that you can stick to. Many people use social media as a form of connection, and know that they’ll miss out on much-needed online support systems that they’ve built, whether it’s because they don’t have many friends in real life or because it’s physically or financially difficult to make plans in person. Some of us have to use social media in our jobs, and even if we’re on the clock, scrolling through Instagram for work-related inspiration can lead to a depressing political news spiral. I know that I can’t deactivate my Facebook, but I can limit myself: I’ll only work on social media-related tasks for work for two hours today, and I’ll only use it for personal reasons for one hour. It’s important to set realistic boundaries when you’re starting out, and not get too frustrated with yourself if you have a hard time sticking to them. We’re often m
17 days ago
Self-Care In The Time Of Instant Information
As my friend made her way to my door, she brushed past a harmless looking fleshy green nopales cactus (which I’d always chalked up as a mystery variety). Later when we sat talking, she sharply lifted her hand from her thigh shooting me a confused look. As she held her palm out towards me, we both saw tiny brown thorns embedded in her skin. On her pant leg, there was a dark patch where hundreds of thorns clung to her. A longtime resident of this desert, she took a deep sigh, rolled her eyes and asked me for tweezers. Slowly tweezing out each thorn, we sat huddled under the brightest light we could find and caught up on what was happening in our lives. Every once in a while, we’d pause and laugh about how annoying this was. I felt horrible, yet, as we sat there, tweezing out thorn after thorn, I also realized how nice it was to spend some in-person time together talking and sharing. I had been so busy lately that any energy I used on socializing was mostly spent passively skimming through social media. As we peeled the last of the thorns away from her pants with tape, I promised to trim the cactus back a safe distance from the walkway. Later when I set up to trim the cactus, I was prepared with all the tools — a shovel, tree clippers and a small saw. Normally, when trimming a nopal with tree clippers, the flesh of the pad is tough, hard to slice through. However, this cactus easily yielded, deceptive in its surrender. Slightly overconfident at how easy it was to trim I scooped up a large section of cactus with a shovel to throw in the trashcan. Suddenly a gust of wind blew across the yard. Thousands of tiny thorns flew downwind onto me like a fine mist. Overwhelmed and humbled I cautiously dusted off what I could before going inside to shower and tweeze out any remaining thorns. Tweezed and thorn free I settled in to rest on the sofa and pulled up my social media. Hundreds of pieces of information swept into my awareness creating a shower of discomfort. Before social media, information came at me in a more singular way. Talking on the phone with my Grandma, she’d share family news. Cable news stations highlighted stories as headlines flashed below. At local activist meetings, we’d hear about how efforts were working towards affecting local change. Even though information could be more limited, the world then didn’t seem any less huge. The biggest difference now is how information comes. I can’t imagine, back in the day, watching the news there’d be a stor
17 days ago
You Are Already an Abolitionist
The Trump administration has proposed its first federal budget. As expected, it promises to cut back or remove funding for environmental protection, after-school programs and the arts, while dramatically upping spending on the military, law enforcement and national security. Criticizing it for its shortsightedness and implausibility, a popular statistic cited by its opponents is that it costs more to guard Trump Tower in New York—where Trump’s wife and son live in lieu of the White House—for a year than it does to fund the National Endowment for the Arts for the same amount of time. While the numbers of that statistic have yet to be corroborated, the point stands: The proposed budget exposes not just an imbalance in priorities on the part of those proposing it, but a personal vendetta against social services and environmental regulation, designed to enrich the wealthiest at the expense of the majority. Spending on security for Trump Tower and Mar a Lago is wasteful, say opponents, and were those funds freed, they would benefit millions. I have enjoyed hearing these arguments because, whether those making them realize it or not, they are engaging in abolitionist thinking. When I say ‘abolition’, I am not referring (directly) to the movement of the mid 1800s, heralded by ex-slaves and white progressives, to permanently end the institution of chattel slavery. Rather, I am speaking of the modern movement to abolish the prison and police systems as the remaining vestiges of chattel slavery. This growing school of thought is heavily influenced by the original abolitionist movement, and one of its primary tenets is pulling resources from police, prisons and the military and reinvesting them into social services. While there are jarring political shifts happening in this watershed moment, it’s notable that many of the same parties—mainly white liberals—that have called prison and police abolition impossible are now calling for the defunding of the president’s private security to bolster arts and education. These are the types of demands Black and Brown organizers have been making for decades, if not much longer. One of the most surprising points of this argument is from where it suggests funding be cut. While Trump may be one of the most disliked new presidents in history, it’s a big deal for a swelling portion of the public to believe that security for the president is not actually that important. It would be easy to make the same arguments that are always u
17 days ago
Negotiating With The Dragon: Role-Playing Games As Group Therapy
Role-playing games like "Dungeons and Dragons" have risen in popularity in recent years, even being featured on hit shows like Netflix's "Stranger Things." But a Tampa Bay area mental health therapist is putting a new spin on it. In the back room of the large warehouse-style building that houses Emerald City Comics, Matt Fahy doodles on a whiteboard that has been laid across a long table. Hena Rogers, 13, squints at his squiggles. "Are these all buildings or are they large footprints for a dinosaur?" Hena Rogers asks. "These are trees,” Fahy replies. Fahy and the small group of 11 to 13 year olds don't know each other, but came together in Clearwater to play Dungeons & Dragons, a role-playing game created in the 1970s that lets players go on an adventure through fantasy worlds inspired by mythology and J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. You roll dice to create characters, choose traits and weaponry, and weave together personalities and back stories. But this isn't your ordinary Hobbit and dragon-filled game. Tonight, Faye and the kids are launching a pilot program aimed to redesign how mental health counselors approach group therapy. He said traditional role-play is dry, and doesn't always appeal to children. "[The therapists] are like, 'Talk to the bully at school. I'll be the bully.' And then that just stops there. The kid just looks at you and they don't want to go any further,” Fahy said. “Whereas you say, 'An orc comes into the bar and he stars arguing with you about how you stole his coin purse. What do you do?' Now the child has to think, 'How do I talk to this orc without him hurting me?'" Fahy said kids with behavioral disorders, anti-social traits, and those who are on the autism spectrum, find Dungeons & Dragons role-playing particularly helpful. That's why Fahy's employer, the Holistic Mental Health Clinic in St. Petersburg, supports it. The clinic's Chief Financial Officer, George Nelson, steps away from watching the game to say it's gaining popularity across the country in the form of nonprofits, after school programs, some prisons, and private therapy. "Gaming is a big thing and it's very popular and children love to play,” Nelson said. “And hey, everybody needs help. Why not try negotiating with the dragon instead of trying to kill him?" Fahy's program was influenced by the Seattle-based Wheelhouse Workshop, which was founded in 2013 by two licensed therapists to help teens build their social skills. Several other groups, lik
17 days ago
Why It’s Moral To Defy Trump’s Immoral Crackdown On Immigrants
“An unjust law is not a law,” wrote Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from his Birmingham jail cell. The letter is well known – less so the fact that he was writing to fellow church leaders who disapproved of his breaking the law in the name of civil rights. I was saddened to read my colleague, boss, and friend Jane Eisner recently make the same argument as King’s critics. Religious institutions, she writes in a column about the burgeoning sanctuary movement, “serve as a prophetic voice against government corruption and cruelty. That standing comes from respecting the law and working within the system. If the good guys step away from that compact, the bad guys will surely follow.” As a rabbi, journalist, and Jew, I totally disagree with that statement. It is wrong on religious morality, wrong on politics, and wrong on the aim of the sanctuary movement. First, the moral value of civil disobedience does not derive from whether it breaks or obeys the law. On the contrary, precisely the point of such disobedience is that the laws it disobeys – be they segregation orders in the 1960s or deportation orders today – are themselves unjust. If the underlying law is immoral, it is moral to resist it. According to the theories of nonviolent resistance put forth by Dr. King, Gandhi, Emerson, and others, when the injustice of those laws is laid bare, in all its sickening, violent glory, good people will oppose them. But it takes what Dr. Heschel called moral audacity to reveal such laws for what they are. This is true on right and left. Jane worries that churches might break the law in the name of “protecting the unborn,” for example. But that’s been happening for years. And as long as they aren’t interfering with the rights of others, I have no problem with that. It’s only when their actions torment women, threaten doctors, or restrict other people’s choices that I object to them. (The Johnson Amendment incidentally, prohibits religious institutions from backing specific candidates, not taking moral-political stands. It’s not analogous.) To take such actions isn’t to politicize religion; it’s to give it purpose. What’s the point of perpetuating religion if all we do is remain seated for the next responsive reading? Jane’s false politics/religion dichotomy is not how most religious people understand themselves and their values. Personally, if my religion doesn’t lead to action, I’m done with it. And if I can’t do that in a group, I’m going to find another group.
17 days ago
What The Poor Won’t Tell You
Poor people are forced by society to justify our existence. If we fit in with the stereotypes and poverty myths, we’re screwed. If we don’t, we’re also screwed.
17 days ago
Your Brain is Your Phone
Smartphones are changing how we think—because they’re a part of how we think In 370 BC, Socrates worried about what new technology was doing to young peoples’ brains. As younger scholars moved from oral arguments to written ones, Socrates argued against writing, which he felt would “create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories.” Millennia later, little has changed: in the 20th century, moral panic erupted over television, which detractors worried would turn us all into zombified couch potatoes, incapable of creative thought. Decades later, video games were even worse, turning our children into amoral, trigger-happy monsters. In 2017, more than any other item of everyday technology, the smartphone is the focus of our fears. This isn’t surprising—we use them to remember precious memories and factual information, to find other people and to talk to them. Our smartphones have become an externalized part of our brains. The first time you lose your phone, it can feel like losing a limb—and that feeling can be startling. But some new technologies have that effect, coming to occupy a part of your mental map of yourself. For those who’ve grown up with smartphones, an inability to imagine existence without one is normal. But if you remember life before smartphones, you might worry about how the world is changing, and how these new devices are changing us. It’s important to think about what, exactly, the relationship is between our brains and our smartphones, and the impact that that relationship has on our mental health, our social lives, and how young people perceive the world around them. But to focus our worry on how smartphones might be “rewiring kids’ brains” is missing a bigger point. We should think less about changing brains and more about whether we can trust the devices that are doing the changing. After all, they’re designed and built by people trying to make money from us. If you believe everything you read in the media right now, it can paint a bleak picture. We’re supposed to be increasingly lonely, anxious creatures — and it’s particularly bad for young people. A recent piece in The Atlantic by psychologist Jean M. Twenge — asking “Have Smartphones Destroyed A Generation?” — is the latest prominent example. It presents a compelling, dystopian picture of an isolated, vitamin-D-deficient, digitally-native generation, locked in their rooms and negatively impacted by being constantly connecte
5 weeks ago
On Sexuality, Representation, and Being a Lonely Brown Girl
Yet, in the aftermath of our recent separation, I realize that the cost of never seeing yourself in representations of love is not only that you look for love, as I did, in harmful places; it also inures you to love that is there in healthy and healing places–or that, at the very least, might be there if you simply ask for it.

The seemingly perpetual absence of love makes you anticipate rejection where there might, in fact, be acceptance; it commits you to the small space of your loneliness even when there is the possibility of life outside that loneliness.
{article} 
5 weeks ago
Body positivity and its discontents.
What happens when your body doesn’t qualify for body positivity? I remember when I first heard body positivity uttered aloud. I was a fat, queer twenty-something, surrounded by the loving embrace of friends whose bodies had pushed us to the margins — trans people, people of color, fat people, queer people. We had formed fast and deep friendships, aided in…
6 weeks ago
A Working-Class Strategy for Defeating White Supremacy
This article was originally published on In These Times. It has been lightly edited and republished here with the author’s permission. Ever since the earth-shaking election of Donald Trump, there have been innumerable articles arguing that Democrats brought this upon themselves by losing white, working-class voters in the Midwest. These articles have been met with […]
6 weeks ago
The Dangling Carrot: White Women, Colonization, Patriarchy, and Solidarity
Or “How to (maybe) Keep Yourself from being Raped, Beaten, Forced into Poverty, or Publicly Shamed by your Friends and Family” by Heather Jo Flores The White Pants Girls. That’s what we used to call them. We never called them “the white girls,” ironically, but yes, they were all white. Though I have to admit I don’t really know. Any of them could have had all sorts of genetics coursing through their veins. But that didn’t matter to us. What mattered to us was the confounding fact that these girls could somehow get through an entire day of high school in a pair of virgin-bride-white cotton pants. Every morning they stepped out of brand-new air-conditioned sedans and tastefully bumper-stickered green Subarus that had been promised to them when they drove off to college somewhere, next year or the year after. And every morning they were pristine. Every nail, every strand of hair perfectly aligned. Matching clothes, socks, earrings, purses and backpacks full of cheerleader costumes and diet pills. The White Pants Girls never had bad panty-lines or muffin tops. Their pants looked sleek, smooth. They never had blood spots on the back or grass marks on the knees. Sometimes they’d even wear those pants to PE class, hopping gracefully back and forth on the volleyball court then dashing off to class looking like they’d stepped out of Teen Magazine. Me, the new girl (always the new girl — we moved every year or so) who sat at the front of class and rode a rusty BMX bike to school, tended to ruin anything white before lunch. I wanted to hate the White Pants Girls, but to be honest, I was in awe of them. I imagined them going to get pedicures with their mothers, Barbie pink toenails and new sandals to show them off. I imagined being able to apply to colleges with my straight-A transcript, and being confident that I would have the financial and emotional resources to actually go. I imagined those girls felt safe, cared for, nurtured by their families. I imagined they felt loved. There were White Pants Girls at every school, and they didn’t even see me in the halls. I was invisible to them. Also in every school was a group of dark-clad brooders who skipped PE class and found things to smoke. I ran with them, and we had great fun mocking the White Pants Girls. Though we never would have said anything to their faces, because these were the same girls who could make your life hell if you crossed them. The White Pants Girls were also the Mean Girls, in every single one of
6 weeks ago
When It’s A Popularity Contest: Here’s How To Redistribute Social Capital In Activist Spaces
The ideas around social capital and popularity often run alongside privilege and desirability politics. Previously, I wasn’t aware of these terms. But after a few, let’s say, “discussions” with other organizers, I’m  was made aware of the ways social capital can create hierarchies in organizing spaces. These conversations led to a few things: Some folks felt that those with less social capital were simply jealous and others felt that folks with more social capital weren’t asking for notoriety and therefore should not be blamed for it. In the end, these discussions weren’t effective. They went back and forth and, ultimately, only lead to a lot of hurt feelings. I was drained by those conversations. I felt like nothing productive was accomplished and, often, they turned into a rat race of airing personal grievances. Because, well, social capital is tricky.  Social capital is defined by the value of your social networks. It informs the opportunities and resources you have access to, including who you know and what opportunities you can access. The more social capital you have the greater access you have to housing options, job opportunities, and public influence. As a student and community organizer, my primary goal is to fight for the liberation of all Black people. The reality is that we live in a world plagued by racism, ableism, capitalism, cissexism, and heteronormativity — these circumstances create the society we all must navigate. Ideals of beauty and acceptance encourage us to only listen to certain voices. Usually, the voices we choose belong to the able bodied, cis, light-skinned, class-privileged, and thin. In most organizing spaces, it is rare for the voices of trans women, Black femmes, gender non-conforming folks, and those on the margins to be uplifted unless we are the ones leading the space. In the past, I took a semester off of school and had to adjust my ideas about organizing outside of a college context. I found some amazing organizer friends who taught me a lot about scholarship and how to put folks and their identities at the forefront. At my first meeting with my beloved MLM Study group, folks explained what a “progressive stack” was. My little cis queer self was very confused because, why can’t I talk first? But it also made me step back and acknowledge the privilege I have. In our meetings, progressive stack looked like this: folks who wanted to speak were put on a list and those with less privilege or more intersecting
6 weeks ago
10 Things I Wish My White Teacher Knew
This article originally appeared on Wear Your Voice and was republished here with the author’s permission. If you think that race does not have an impact on the way that an educator teaches school children, please come on in and take a seat. I, a Black student, owe a lot of my academic intelligence to my white teachers over the years, but I know that I have never felt that the expectation for my performance was lower than when I had a white instructor. Oh, the well-meaning microaggressions! It may have been me; as for my racist ass chemistry teacher, in particular, I am sure it was him. But there are a few things that I wish my white teachers knew. White teachers: here are 10 things to keep in mind when interacting with and teaching your Black students. 1. It’s not all your fault. Please do not think that students will learn about slavery and start to view you as a descendant of the overseer. And if they do, this is a great opportunity to share that all white people were not slave owners — some of you just got here. So since we got it out of the way that slavery was not your fault, can we talk about it, please? Talk about the subjugation of darker people, the indifference paid to the poor. Let’s talk about the boy who was shot by the police and the mayor covered it up. Turn your classrooms into petri dishes of opinions and conversations for a child’s mind. Do not tell them what to think, but challenge them to back up their one-dimensional views with facts and research. Yes, the ones they get from Instagram memes and ear hustling. 2. Words mean things. Words mean lots of different things. You need to be clear on what you say and how you say it. A linguistics study was performed by the University of Michigan that examined children who ask “Can I have a piece of cake?” versus children who ask “May I?” The study also showed that the kids who asked if they “can” have a different perception of their abilities and potential for success. This is juxtaposed to the children who ask “may” to be more submissive and tie their success to the permissiveness of others. Hm, so what does this mean? Many Black kids, who were taught to ask “may,” fear or respect authority on another level than the white child who thinks in the “cans.” Put that in your toolbox for a rainy day. 3. They yell. And it is not personal. They were yelled at, they yell to you, they want to be heard. Everyone yells in Black homes all the time. I have personally never been to a white h
7 weeks ago
Caitlin Is Not Groot: Finding Proper Communication Adaptations in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Lately, she really, really identifies with Groot. Which, hey, that’s understandable! Groot is awesome: he’s kind, strong, loyal, a little bit silly, and he saves the entire team at the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. Rocket “translates” for him wherever he goes, and Groot sometimes has difficulty processing information clearly (especially Baby Groot in the second film).

Groot is also a sentient, mostly non-verbal non-human tree.

Is this how Caitlin sees herself in science fiction? I think she deserves better than that.

Why is the need for communication adaptations so rarely applied to human characters in SF/F?
{article}  ableism  representation 
10 weeks ago
How Princess Leia Changed My Life
I get that there’s still a lot of people who believe that little girls go through a “princess stage” because of the nice clothes or elevated social status or the idea that they want to be rescued. But the truth is, there’ve been stories about princesses in every culture throughout the history of the world, and in every one of those stories, those princesses have something normal little girls completely lack:

Power.

And in every one of those stories, those princesses get that power taken from them.

But in the end, they get that power back—something that almost never happens to us normal girls—and, more importantly, they get justice. Whether they marry for love, destroy their enemy’s Death Star, or simply find out they’re heir to a throne, for once, girls get to be the ones in charge.
{meta}  [star.wars]  +leia.organa  feminism  social.justice  representation 
11 weeks ago
Why Do We Need More Women Journalists? This Excellent TCA Question Is A Perfect Example.
But I also want to point out that this sort of question – which keeps showrunners accountable, ensures that the final series are more historically accurate and inclusive, and makes it impossible for white men to erase other demographics from history – is so, so important for journalists to ask. It may seem small, but if directors and producers expected this sort of question from every press tour, they’d be a lot more dedicated to making inclusive art. It’s true that women and minorities are not the only ones who can ask these questions; white men can and do hold each other accountable for racism and sexism. But it’s also true that all-white or all-male groups of journalists can more easily forget to ask important questions, recognize problematic content, or advocate for oppressed groups.
{article}  sexism  racism  social.justice  representation 
12 weeks ago
Is Your God Dead?
Building walls, banning refugees and ignoring the poor are the social expressions of bankrupt theologies....
june 2017
Southern Gothic, Slavery, and the White Femininity
Erasing people of color in favor of white female narratives is neither empowering nor feminist. This feels like a common misstep we’re seeing often nowadays, in the ways Hollywood will, say, cast a white woman in a role that’s traditionally played by a woman of color and cry female empowerment or white-wash a character because they don’t want to repeat racist tropes. The truth of the matter is, this practice does little to nothing for women of color. Which brings us to The Beguiled and Sofia Coppola’s decision to erase the character of Hallie and most references to slavery in her tale about Confederate woman during the American Civil War. In the 1971 film, Hallie is a slave played by Mae Mercer who tends to the injured solider The Beguiled house takes in, but her role is mostly absorbed into that of Nicole Kidman’s Miss Martha. The only notable reference to slavery is a line in the beginning that tells us the slaves have left, and the women are alone. In an interview with  Buzzfeed and former TMS-er Alanna Bennett, Coppola said: “I didn’t want to brush over such an important topic in a light way. Young girls watch my films and this was not the depiction of an African-American character I would want to show them.” Coppola notes that she’s not opposed to telling more racially diverse stories in the future, saying “I feel like you can’t show everyone’s perspective in a story. I was really focused on just this one group of women who were really isolated and weren’t prepared. A lot of slaves had left at that time, so they were really—that emphasized that they were cut off from the world. [Hallie’s] story’s a really interesting story, but it’s a whole other story, so I was really focused on these women.” To be fully honest, I don’t know how equipped Coppola would have been to approach this story. It’s clear that it’s not one she wanted to tell. With a filmography that’s so invested in white femininity and white characters (implicitly or explicitly), I have some doubt that she would have handled it well. What I will argue, however, is that The Beguiled is a story that depends and relies on slavery despite never including a single black character, and erasure is not an acceptable alternative to challenging and difficult representation. Even if Coppola asserts she “wasn’t really looking at the political aspects,” they are inescapable in this story. These characters are not just women, they are Confederate woman. They proudly assert their southernness, emphasi
june 2017
How To Talk To Your White Best Friend About Racism
It’s better to have extremely difficult talks in a real friendship than to ignore the issues and pretend they don’t exist. After 20 years of friendship, I’m finally starting to talk about intersectional racism with my white best friend. Not racism in a metaphorical way. Not racism like: “Hey, did you happen to leaf through that Ta-Nehisi Coates book I left on the coffee table?” Not racism like: “Wasn’t that Margaret Cho joke so dead-on?” Racism like: “I need you to acknowledge our lives aren’t the same.” For a long time, I pretended our lives were the same. Sarah (name changed) and I went to the same politically radical college, where we first bonded over our love for practical joke-oriented performance art, cooperative living, and television. She goes to racial justice meetings and founded an arts residency for social justice. Now, Sarah works at an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse hospital. But (and this is a duh) none of this means she will ever completely understand lived-through racism, and its impact on me. In college, where we bounded across campus discussing Marxism with pine-scented oxygen in our lungs, noshing bagels on the sunny quad, and baking bread in our cooperative house together, it was easy to pretend that Sarah and I were equals in the eyes of society — even though an unconscious part of me always knew that we weren’t. For starters, there were the basic economics. Sarah’s parents procured internships for her at prestigious museums, took her skiing in the Alps, and spoiled me like I was their second daughter. My parents, meanwhile, hadn’t been to a museum in years, and their idea of leisure as immigrant restaurant owners was sleeping more than six hours a night. It was easy to pretend that Sarah and I were equals in the eyes of society — even though an unconscious part of me always knew that we weren’t. But there were also racial inequalities between Sarah and me. When I moved to a small white rural town in the Catskills to live with Sarah, I discovered how hard it was for a politically radical person of color to fit in. While some of my new acquaintances were friendly, others were outright hostile when I talked about cultural appropriation. I was told wearing a sombrero at our Halloween party was not cultural appropriation because cultural appropriation is a relic of the past in our post-racial millennial society. When I asked why there were no local anti-Trump protests, I was told that our town was indeed doing activism, b
{article}  racism  social.justice 
june 2017
Don't Overinterpret The Handmaid's Tale
In other words, Christian evangelicals—or for that matter conservative Jews and conservative Muslims—who oppose abortion, gay marriage, or refuse to dine with women or men other than their spouses are not any less American. What would make them less American or un-American is if they believed, as a matter of faith, that democracy should be done away with and that there was only one truth that could be expressed by the state. Then the rest of us would have, quite literally, no choice. It is the closing of the avenues of possibility—and therefore of hope—that makes dictatorship, and not just the religious kind, so terrifying.
{meta}  [the.handmaids.tale] 
june 2017
Abolition Culture
Recognizing and owning abusive behaviours without being thrown away is integral to building a world different than the one we live in. It also takes the onus off of those harmed to do the work, endure in silence or be gas lit. More creativity and investment is needed around holding people accountable.
june 2017
6 Signs Your Call-Out Isn't Actually About Accountability
It’s “performing activism” – when we’re more worried about how we look to other activists than our larger vision of what we’re trying to build together.
{article}  social.justice  101 
june 2017
Our addiction to links is making good journalism harder to read
A 2005 study suggested that “increased demands of decision-making and visual processing” in text with links reduced reading comprehension — a challenge we face every day as we try to parse the web’s infinite information.
{article}  science 
june 2017
While many people think fanfiction is about inserting sex into texts (like Tolkien’s) where it doesn’t belong, Brancher sees it differently: “I was desperate to read about sex that included great...
"While many people think fanfiction is about inserting sex into texts (like Tolkien’s) where it doesn’t belong, Brancher sees it differently: “I was desperate to read about sex that included great friendship; I was repurposing Tolkien’s text in order to do that. It wasn’t that friendship needed to be sexualized, it was that erotica needed to be … friendship-ized.” Many fanfiction writers write about sex in conjunction with beloved texts and characters not because they think those texts are incomplete, but because they’re looking for stories where sex is profound and meaningful. This is part of what makes fan fiction different from pornography: unlike pornography, fanfic features characters we already care deeply about, and who tend to already have long-standing and complex relationships with each other. It’s a genre of sexual subjectification: the very opposite of objectification. It’s benefits with friendship."
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june 2017
‘Good Grammar’ Comes From Privilege, Not Virtue
Good communication is a constantly moving target and a cultural construction. Let’s not freeze our expectations in a place that puts marginalized people at another undeserved disadvantage.
{article}  social.justice  language 
june 2017
If You’re Suicidal, Staying Alive Is The Most Selfless Thing You Can Do
If the past few weeks have made one thing clear to me, it’s that our culture treats narratives about suicide as not belonging to the people living (or dying) them, but rather being everyone’s to consume. As if by completing suicide you lose all right to privacy, to autonomy, to the secrets that you’ve struggled your whole life to keep from slipping from your fingers.

Who’s selfish, then? The people who spend every day fighting the urge to die? Or the people who get some kind of voyeuristic frisson from reading a dead woman’s hospital records?
{article}  mental.health  social.justice 
june 2017
The Heineken Ad Is Worse Than The Pepsi Ad, You’re Just Too Stupid To Know It
This commercial is the worst type of propaganda. It tricks you into thinking social problems can be resolved if only people tolerate their oppression just a LITTLE while longer. It pushes the idea that bigotry, sexism, and transphobia are just differences of opinion that are up for debate, and deserving of civil discourse and equal consideration. And it makes folks think that four minute commercials are a viable way to address societal ills that corporations have no interest in fixing.
{article}  social.justice 
june 2017
The Loneliness of Donald Trump
Equality keeps us honest. Our peers tell us who we are and how we are doing, providing that service in personal life that a free press does in a functioning society. Inequality creates liars and delusion. The powerless need to dissemble—that’s how slaves, servants, and women got the reputation of being liars—and the powerful grow stupid on the lies they require from their subordinates and on the lack of need to know about others who are nobody, who don’t count, who’ve been silenced or trained to please. This is why I always pair privilege with obliviousness; obliviousness is privilege’s form of deprivation. When you don’t hear others, you don’t imagine them, they become unreal, and you are left in the wasteland of a world with only yourself in it, and that surely makes you starving, though you know not for what, if you have ceased to imagine others exist in any true deep way that matters. This is about a need for which we hardly have language or at least not a familiar conversation.
{article} 
may 2017
Allies Should Be Seen, Not Just Heard
Advocacy is at the heart of being an ally. It’s not always about being on the forefront of the fight. It’s about assisting people by giving them access and the tools necessary to affect change. In short, the best allies are the ones who act as a catalyst for change.
{article}  social.justice  101 
may 2017
White People, It’s Time To Prioritize Justice Over Civility
In turn, more cover means white supremacist views can gain footholds and start influencing beyond the dark corners of the internet. The Trump Administration is no accident. The growing international support of such populist, racist movements is not by chance. We saw this coming because white people don’t listen and don’t want to listen. Think about the fact that non-racist, diverse modern societies are new. Our entire history has been one of inequality. These ideas aren’t emerging from nowhere: Indeed, we’re fighting against humanity’s collective history. But that’s all the more reason we need more white people speaking out against it, interrogating their own privilege and seeking out people of color’s perspectives.
social.justice  racism  {article} 
may 2017
Can Having Genital Preferences for Dating Mean You’re Anti-Trans?
It’s fine to not find people attractive, but it’s mean to constantly yell about how unattractive you find those people, especially when those people are oppressed.
{article}  trans  gender.identity  cissexism  social.justice 
may 2017
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: A White Feminist’s Dystopia
Underlying all this is an unsettling message that has been carried from the book to the series. Atwood describes her novel as “speculative fiction,” meaning that she believes the events she depicts are a credible possibility. It seems to me the peak of hubris to “predict” events as a possibility that we have already seen come to pass, just to a different set of people. The Handmaid’s Tale suggests that the brutality of slavery alone is not impactful enough to serve as a universal wake-up call; instead, we’re only drawn to this “feminist” rallying point when the person enduring these heinous crimes is a college-educated white woman.
{meta}  [the.handmaids.tale]  racism  sexism 
may 2017
I’m So Tired of Being Told that my Fat Body is Going to Kill Me
What’s funny is that while my body has not been trying to kill me, something in my body has for a long time. I’ve been battling deadly chronic disease my entire life. Disease that is actually attacking the body that everyone tells me is my enemy, and my body has been fighting so hard against it. But my doctors don’t regularly remind me that this disease is trying to kill me, society hasn’t made countless memes about my impending death. That would be cruel. In fact, society doesn’t actually give much of a fuck if my disease kills me or not. But my body, the body that is my only defense against this disease, is constantly treated as the real enemy that I should be fighting. Guess how often I have to tell doctors I don’t want to get on a scale vs how often they proactively ask how my disease is progressing?
fat.acceptance  social.justice  {article} 
may 2017
Jane Austen And The Persistent Failure Of The White Imagination
At the heart of these adaptations — and their inability to capture the ways that Austen’s writings could easily reflect the lived reality of a diverse spectrum of modern Austen fans — lies a failure of the white imagination. When institutions from primary school onward amplify white-centered stories and histories as the only “great” art, it becomes easier to imagine zombies in an Austen landscape before people of color can be inserted therein. When non-white voices and stories are erased — or, worse, in their rare depictions, consistently presented as less than, negative, or one-dimensional — white people are rendered incapable of imagining people of color as fully human, complex, and equal to themselves, living lives just as rich as (if not richer than) the white experience.
{meta}  &jane.austen  racism  social.justice  representation 
may 2017
We’re Bad at Death. First, We Need a Good Talk.
Talking about death will never be easy, but it is increasingly necessary. As medical technology advances, there will be more and more we can do — but it’s not always clear there’s more we should do. Only through earlier, deeper conversations can we ensure that what we want is what we get. And only by acknowledging our gaps can we ensure everyone, everywhere gets it.
{article} 
may 2017
Money Isn’t Everything…Unless You Don’t Have It, And Then Yeah, It’s Everything
I’ve retained this belief that both writers AND Black people — and Black writers specifically (and Black writers who write about race even more specifically) — retain some sort of authenticity and community through a shared financial struggle that we’re never, ever, ever, ever to speak of aloud, and the psychic acceptance of this new financial status hasn’t been easy. Even now, as I type this, I’m tempted to delete this paragraph and continue pretending even as I recognize that the money I currently have may have saved my life — and the morass of indecision of not having it could have ended it.
{article}  social.justice  economics 
may 2017
The Census and Right-Wing Hysteria
Nonetheless, the “minority-majority” forecast, as it is commonly interpreted, is likely to be proven wrong. Not only could whites remain a majority well past midcentury, but they will retain political, economic and cultural control of the country long after that.

Simply put, the demographers have not taken into account how the perception of race is likely to change in the coming years. For example, whites are already seeing the descendants of some Asian and Latino immigrants as being similar to them. Consequently, whites treat them as white. This “whitening” process will only increase in the future.
{article}  racism  usa  social.justice 
may 2017
I’m a Trans Woman, and I Was Socialized Female
My gender was policed. I was molested. I was raped. My worth was systematically defined by my emotional labor. Men treated me like a sexual object. My appearance was considered up for public debate. This was clearly, unequivocally female socialization, and when feminism and the social justice community realize that trans women have been treated like women from the start, they can finally start fighting for trans women’s liberation, as they should have been doing all along. We are your sisters, we are also suffering from misogyny, and we need your help.
{article}  feminism  trans  social.justice  sexism 
may 2017
Questions To Ask If You Have More Privilege Than Your Partner
By Anis Gisele When I’m vastly outnumbered by straight people, white people, or people who know each other, I want my partner to leverage his privilege on my behalf. (CW: mention of death; eating disorders; misogynist, racist, anti-queer, and anti-trans violence) I learned to be a girlfriend through ’90s American rom-coms. 90% of the time, I learned, I had to be laughing or cutely disagreeing with my white leading man. At some point, I had to pose a challenge to him, more along the lines of, “Pick me, love me, let me make you happy” and less along the lines of, “Please realize that patriarchy is hurting us and work with me to dismantle it.” My partner learned to be a boyfriend by dating girls who could play these American characters better than I could. I’m not straight nor white. My most honest gender is non-binary. I grew up in what we call a developing nation. I spent a decade of my life starving myself and imagining myself dead. I’m also straight-passing, cis-privileged, and light-skinned. In many ways, my partner and I proceeded with our relationship as if I were a straight, white, “all-American” gal. In many ways, my partner and I proceeded with our relationship as if I were a straight, white, “all-American” gal. His family and friends know I’m important to him. They cook me vegan food, lend me winter coats, and call me “vibrant” and “pretty.” I tell myself to be grateful — and I am. But once, his friend’s wife, a white woman, told me, “People get so offended since the Civil Rights Movement.” Once, over the course of a game night, his friend called me a bitch and a slut, and then asked if my partner and I have anal sex. And once, his friends were cackling over an iPhone screen, and when the phone reached me, all I saw was the Tinder photo of a genderqueer person. In all these situations, instead of making a decision I could respect, I chose to be, first and foremost, a girlfriend — a quiet, indistinct, likable girlfriend. I said nothing because an evening with friends had to go smoothly. I stopped asserting my needs as a queer person, a person of color, a person of the female experience, a survivor of trauma. The more time I spent with my partner’s community, the more agitated I became. I would sob afterwards in his car, in his room, drilled down to my core by a feeling I couldn’t define. That feeling was invisibility. That feeling was namelessness. That feeling was invisibility. That feeling was namelessness. To my partner’s face
may 2017
What’s the Problem When Black British Actors Play Americans?
Is otherness necessary to make the black American experience palatable to casting directors or audiences? If otherness is undetectable to the American viewer through use of a convincing accent, does its privilege disappear?
{article}  racism  hollywood  social.justice  representation 
may 2017
From Reparations to Regeneration: A call for the redistribution of wealth, resources, and access
Reparations are commonly understood to be a method for oppressors (directly or as benefiters of the oppression) to pay harmed persons for the trauma, disadvantage, and violence they inflicted on them. However, the word itself suggests that something (or here some people) will be repaired. That would require an entire system shift. Can money do that? Nevertheless, rather than disregard the method outright, I propose a reframing. What I propose is for the regeneration of Black people’s economy, health, and education. For this, it is necessary that systems be completely redesigned and that there be a redistribution of wealth.
{article}  social.justice  racism  usa 
may 2017
Craft’s Long History In Radical Protest Movements
Knitting, embroidery, and other crafts can be powerful tools in the fight against fascism and the patriarchy. Even those who’ve never attended an anti-Trump protest are likely aware of the pussy-hat phenomenon. The pink-knitted caps have quickly become the almost-official symbol of resistance against The Orange One, even making the cover of Time and The New Yorker magazines. While some have justly questioned the hats’ inclusivity, others have seen them as a novel and playful form of protest providing a welcome break from traditional forms of activism. But these hats aren’t as unique as you may believe. In fact, women have been using knitting and other crafts, such as sewing and embroidery, in their activism for well over 100 years. In addition to advancing progressive causes, using craft as a political tool helps to rebuke patriarchal notions of femininity. Society likes to view craft-making as the dominion of docile, domestic ladyhood — but this has never precisely been the case. Ann Rippin, a researcher at the University of Bristol in the UK, who specializes in the role of cloth in society, explains that although craft was historically used to oppress women, it also gave them a creative outlet. “Traditionally, women were taught embroidery as a way of learning ‘feminine’ characteristics,” she says. “It taught them to follow a pattern, to be neat and docile, to be inside the home rather than out in the world. You learned embroidery to advertise your marriageability.” But, she adds, “there was no way of controlling what women were actually thinking about while they were stitching.” In the early 20th century, the suffrage movement saw women turn their needlework skills into a tool for liberation. In the UK, the artist’s suffrage league produced around 150 embroidered banners for marching with, as well as posters and postcards. ‘There was no way of controlling what women were actually thinking about while they were stitching.’ Of course, this was partly due to the limited technology of the time, making textiles and needlework the easiest modes of communication. But even as technology advanced, women continued to turn craft into an effective protest tool. Betsy Greer, an artist, activist, and writer from North Carolina, is credited with coining the word “craftivism.” She tells me she was inspired to embrace the movement after she attended a parade in Greenwich Village around 2000, and saw some people with political puppets they had made. “They were real
may 2017
What Does ‘Mental Illness’ Mean In The Era Of Trump?
Not only can you not tell if someone has a mental illness by looking at them or how they behave, they themselves may be mentally ill and not know it. And some of us who have been labeled with an illness may in fact not have one, either because we were misdiagnosed for being female and upset, because we’re actually autistic but present differently because we’re not white boys, or even because we’ve fully recovered but can’t shake the stigma.
So is Donald Trump mentally ill? That’s not the conversation we should be having.
{article}  social.justice  ableism  mental.health 
may 2017
It’s Time To Ignore Caitlyn Jenner
This fundamentally affects her political judgment and enables her to separate economic conservatism from social conservatism — she can claim to support her community while not understanding the systems of oppression that keep trans people disproportionately in poverty.
{article}  social.justice 
may 2017
Why Trumpian Conspiracy Theories And Anti-Semitism Are Intimately Connected
As Alana Newhouse put it in Tablet Magazine, anti-Semitism is not a social prejudice against Jews. It has very little to do, Newhouse writes, with any individual’s distaste for perceived Jewish traits, or even antipathy towards specific Jews. Anti-Semitism in its classic sense is the belief that there is a malevolent entity behind the curtain, pulling the strings, and that that entity is a Jew.
{article}  social.justice 
may 2017
What It Means To Be Highly Empathetic, And Autistic
The truth, unsurprisingly, is that you can be empathetic (even highly so) and autistic. You can be extroverted and autistic. You can be outgoing and autistic. You can be a people person and autistic. Of course there are autistic folks who are introverted as well, but as the saying goes, “If you met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person.” Ascribing generalizations to a diverse group of people only serves to harm us.
{article}  ableism  social.justice 
may 2017
We Must Choose Revolution Over Privilege and Complacency – Here’s How I’m Doing It
You already know we can’t be complacent in this age of Trump and bigotry. Here’s a reminder of how our power to resist gives us hope for change.
april 2017
Congressional Memo: If Republicans Blow Up the Filibuster Over Gorsuch, Is Legislation Next?
“That would dramatically change the character of the politics of America,” said Byron Dorgan, a former Democratic senator from North Dakota. “The filibuster is a set of brake pads of the speed of the passion of the moment. The Senate is the place where cooler heads prevail and you need a larger group of people to find common ground. It’s an unfortunate situation.”
{article}  usa  politics 
april 2017
Isolation, Abandonment, and Desert Planets: How I Connected With Rey’s Loneliness
I grew up with siblings who were too old for make-believe or hide-and-seek, so I spent much of my childhood entertaining myself. My imagination was a fertile place where ideas bloomed like flowers. I kept myself busy by inventing eccentric characters and unusual worlds. However, pangs of loneliness struck when I reached adolescence, a time where I was trying to figure out my identity and place in the world. There was always a deep-seated need to connect with others, but I never fully realized it until I saw The Force Awakens. I saw my own loneliness in Rey, the movie’s central protagonist. The most poignant scenes were the ones in which the scrappy scavenger was alone and fending for herself. Though Rey’s background is still a mystery, a hot topic for fans of the franchise, those silent moments at the beginning of the film unveil the very core of her character. As I watched her prepare her own dinner and scarf it down alone, I felt this profound connection with her. There were so many nights where I silently ate by myself.  I frequently crave interaction and human connection, but it’s difficult to make friends when you suffer from social anxiety. It’s almost impossible to express yourself when your words stick like tar to the roof of your mouth. I was always the quiet kid in class, the kid that never raised her hand or uttered a single word. I had the desire to be both visible and invisible. The need to be seen and understood was always bumping shoulders with the urge to vanish and distance myself from those who might do me harm. Nobody bothered to get to know me, but then again, I never bothered to open the door. When Rey runs away from Maz, the miniscule alien that understands the Force, she’s actually running away from a better future. I’ve definitely closed the doors on better opportunities because I was too afraid. Though Rey’s circumstances are much different from mine, her vulnerabilities don’t define her and that’s one thing we have in common. Rey’s strong and capable and there’s a lot to her. She gets herself out of sticky situations, and she doesn’t shy away from her weaknesses. My favorite scene is the one in which she takes the lightsaber from Kylo Ren, the film’s antagonist. The moment the lightsaber connects with her hand, it’s like she’s holding a deadly serpent instead of an elegant weapon. In other words, she has a visceral reaction to it. It’s obvious she doesn’t want to fight with the lightsaber, but she has to in order to survive.
april 2017
Let’s Expose the White Double Standard for ‘Playing the Race Card’
“He was only accepted because he’s black.” There’s some real hypocrisy going on when white folks complain about people of color “playing the race card.”
april 2017
A Reality Check for Your Typical ‘White Men Aren’t the Enemy’ Objection
Being able to see us all as simply being human is a privilege for those who aren’t dehumanized.

I love to see each individual as being simply human. But by the very virtue of the fact Trump was elected, that Milo had such amplification, that the problems of centuries have not been acknowledged  –  much less fixed  –  basically tells us that our external appearances are seen, even if we, ideally, would prefer to live in a world where we don’t.
{article}  racism  sexism  social.justice  101 
april 2017
How To Win With Identity Politics
Thanks to efforts in North Carolina, we have answers on both fronts. Here are some crucial lessons we can learn from the state and its activist organizations to shape a future Democratic revival that doesn’t rebuke identity politics.
{article}  politics  social.justice 
march 2017
5 Bad Ass Japanese American Women Activists You Probably Didn’t Learn About in History Class
Since history tends to sideline the central role so many women played in the major social movements of the 20th century, here’s a little herstory lesson about five women warriors whose incarceration during World War II inspired them to fight back–some more widely known than others, all supremely talented and fierce activists who nuh care if them hurt hurt hurting your stereotypes about quiet, submissive Asian women.
{article}  history  feminism  social.justice 
march 2017
Men Grin and Women Scream: A New Analysis of Gendered Words in Fiction
Author Ben Blatt recently wrote about some of the findings from his new book, which uses statistical analysis to examine trends in literature, for The Wall Street Journal. As part of his research for the book, Blatt used computer models to look at the gendering of certain words and descriptions in fiction. The results revealed a whole lot about our cultural subconscious.
{article}  language  social.justice 
march 2017
What a Start-Up’s Scandal Says About Your Workplace
In her book “The New Prophets of Capital,” Nicole Aschoff writes sympathetically about the stories we spin not only to make sense of the world, but also to help ourselves bear its indignities. To uphold a profit-driven society willingly, workers must believe, in the face of contrary evidence, that such a society “is worth their creativity, energy and passion” and that it “meets their need for justice and security.”
{article}  social.justice 
march 2017
Taking an Irish Stand against ‘racist’ Donald Trump
We Irish should recognise this sentiment, because we were once on the receiving end of this kind of hateful suspicion and stereotyping. We are an immigrant nation. We have known the horror of fleeing our homeland in “coffin ships”, just as Syrians do today. We fled hunger and conflict in this land as others do today. We were called terrorists when Irish-made bombs murdered men, women and children in British cities, just as others are called terrorists today. And Irish Catholics suffered suspicion and prejudice in the UK and US in the early part of the last century, just as Muslims suffer today.

Any Irish-American who doesn’t understand this misunderstands their own history and our collective story. As Daniel O’Connell once said of the Irish slave owners of the 1800s: “How can the generous, the charitable, the humane and the noble emotions of the Irish heart have become extinct within you?”
{article}  racism  history  social.justice 
march 2017
How Moms Still Get Pushed Out of the Workplace (And Dads Don’t)
“Without careful design, expanding work-life accommodations can unintentionally reinforce archaic gender roles and lower the glass ceiling, Temple of Doom style. That’s because women are much more likely to take advantage of these policies, and employers know it.

“If you want to create policies that promote women’s labor-force participation without curbing their career achievements, you also have to address why family-friendly policies aren’t being used by men.”
{article}  sexism  social.justice 
march 2017
Work Is My Self-Care
It should come as no surprise that self-care, as coopted from black women and marketed largely to white women, has come to be synonymous with idleness. For white women, taking care of oneself has historically meant abstaining from work. When Charlotte Perkins Gilman experienced post-partum depression, her doctor prescribed the now-infamous “rest cure.” She was to “lie down an hour after each meal. Have but two hours’ intellectual life a day. And never touch pen, brush or pencil as long as you live.”
{article}  social.justice 
march 2017
Nazis, Please Keep Your Hands off Our Jane Austen
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a bigot in possession of an internet connection must be in want of attention.
{article}  racism  sexism  social.justice  &jane.austen 
march 2017
We Can’t Talk About Standing Rock Without Talking About Cultural Appropriation
Understandably, the whole thing can be emotionally and mentally draining, but the debate about cultural theft takes up more space than it should. In reality, white supremacy is the battleground; cultural theft is the fallout. It’s one very visible and particularly painful symptom of a power imbalance that is both systematic and directional. The minute a people’s attributes are reduced to fodder, substance, material to be culled and used at the whim of a dominant group, power shifts. When we normalize the cultural theft of indigenous traditions, decorations, images, histories, language — the very details that facilitate identity — indigenous people are reinforced as the playthings of white supremacy.
{article}  racism  culture  social.justice 
march 2017
The Death Of Trumpcare Is The Ultimate Proof Of Obamacare's Historic Accomplishment | The Huffington Post
This, in the end, is what Obama, Pelosi and their allies achieved with the Affordable Care Act ― not the creation of a jury-rigged system of regulations and tax credits, or the expansion of an overtaxed Medicaid program, or any of the myriad smaller policy initiatives the Affordable Care Act. The true legacy of Obamacare is the principle that everybody should have health insurance.
{article}  politics 
march 2017
“Whiteness”: The origins and evolution of “whiteness” in the West
This was all done so that the poor white-skinned Europeans would identify with the rich white-skinned Europeans, even though their social positions were vastly different and the poor white-skinned Europeans were still being exploited by the rich white-skinned Europeans. In many ways this was an ingenious way to prevent revolt in rather turbulent times. In past times strong cultural bonds and loyalties to king, country and religion would maintain stability and guard against internal revolt no matter how oppressed the poor were. However, in the turbulent times of colonialism, a time of revolution, of mass immigration, of religious schisms and new opportunities, these old loyalties were unstable. Something new was needed and “whiteness” increasingly became the locus of loyalty that protected against revolt, especially in the American colonies.
{article}  racism  social.justice  history 
march 2017
The Case For Inter-Personal Reparations
Interpersonal reparations is a necessary first step for state sponsored reparations. Blacks asking the state to force unwilling white people to pay reparations depends on and therefore invests in the state’s ability to take commit economic violence on its populace. For reparations to not invest in a new ability of the state to commit economic violence it would have to rely on a pre-existing value or structure.
{article}  racism  social.justice 
march 2017
Social Justice Must Be Complicated, Because Oppression Is Never Simple
When starting a major company, it is not enough to say, “I will create a successful major business.” The Secret will not work here; you cannot manifest success through your wishes. If you start a major business, the first thing you do is say, “I have a dream, now I need a team.” And you don’t look for people with the same skillset and experience as you. You don’t look for people with the same focus as you. You look to cover your bases. You do not cut out your finance department because you are not personally interested in finance. You do not tell your web designers that their talk about color schemes is distracting you from your main vision. You regularly look around the room and say, “Who is missing? Who do I need to help cover all the angles?”
{article}  social.justice 
march 2017
Befriending Becky: On The Imperative Of Intersectional Solidarity
Each of those times I had the wrong way of thinking. I came to that realization by listening and learning and surrounding myself with people who were gracious enough to share insights that I lacked. I believe this has led me to not only be a better feminist, but a better human being. I haven’t quite yet reached the pinnacle of intersectional Shangri-La, but I know some stuff. And in the interest of sharing my own insights, I’ll leave you with three things I try to consider when partaking in liberation work.
{article}  feminism  racism  social.justice  101 
march 2017
"Not All"
Unfortunately, non-racist, non-queerantagonistic, non-misogynistic, non-abelist/disableist, etc. systems and institutions do not prevail in this country. They are exceptional–as are the people who, at the very least, grapple with, question, confront, challenge, undo, excise, abolish, and heal their privileged roles in the various hierarchies. And the proof that they are exceptional rests in the fact that oppressive categories, institutions, peoples, and systems not only exist, but thrive. And beyond thrive, they set the tone for existence.
{article}  racism  social.justice  101 
march 2017
Fearless girls shouldn't have to save us
Women in leadership matter and representation matters, but leaning entirely on the perceived endless strength of women, which apparently is inborn and therefore present and completely available to us as children, does nothing to hold men accountable for the inequalities they benefit from disproportionately. What doesn’t kill you doesn’t make you stronger, it just gathers momentum and causes you to drain your own bravery just to get through the day.
march 2017
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