Originally posted on Media Diversified:
by Emma Dabiri There is no love left between a black man and a black woman. Take me for instance. I love white women and hate black women. It’s just in me so deep that I don’t even try to get it out of me anymore. I’d jump over ten…
Originally posted on Left at the Lights:
I am trying to understand where I’ve gone wrong and coming up with a blank. It is my belief that I trust survivors, no exceptions. I stand by that belief, I put it into practice. Of all my feminist principles, believing survivors of patriarchal violence (entitlement that is positively encouraged by society as opposed to other forms of violence/’hate crimes’) is the most important and mandatory. ‘I believe them’ was not a new concept for me, my politics didn’t suddenly change for the better when I got a Twitter account; this is the truth I have been living ever since I escaped my own abuse. I have worked in refuges, I have worked incognito in the community, provided court based advocacy and accompanied survivors to the police station, the rape crisis centre, the homelessness office. I believed EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. I didn’t ask for proof, I knew there would be many occasions where my severely traumatised clients would have to retell the events that lead them to the authorities. I became an advocate because I wanted to make that process gentler on the women who would be painted as liars and cheats and because they don’t behave like victims.
Trauma does extraordinary things to people. Perhaps silencing is one of its most visible effects. When you are repeatedly violated and you’re not sure people would even believe you if you told them, you physically lose your voice. It’s not possible for a victim to issue a statement covering every last detail of their own assault as soon as it is over. There is a period of time before a victim makes a decision about whether or not to pursue a criminal trial and it is in that short space of time that we MUST believe survivors or we risk silencing them for good. Now, for all the people quick to defend their friends/partners against rape/harassment ‘allegations’ this past week, the ones who failed to comment on the survivors lifelessly falling away from Twitter, your actions have meant those survivors have probably been silenced forever, not just with perpetrators of the incidents discussed here but also for future violations). The processes we were muddling through on Twitter were radical because they have never really been implemented before; a survivor led process that would let people speak about their concerns, their highly tuned antennas picking up on ‘nuisance’ men (because we’re all repeat survivors right?) who it turns out didn’t just make one of us feel uncomfortable, rather pretty much every single one of us in the group. I see you all talking to these people. Twitter has effectively become a safe space for patriarchal perpetrators. Argue the toss all you like here, speaking on behalf of myself and advocating on behalf of the few people who stand by their principles, this is what has been achieved.
The system meant we could keep an eye on prolific perpetrators and warn potentially vulnerable targets. Just because you’re ok with sexual attention despite your own experience of patriarchy does not mean that other people will think certain things ok. So your partner isn’t a perpetrator of anything because you love them and they’re just not like that.. How do you know? You don’t.
Not your grandma’s chicken soup. I make this soup when my husband or I aren’t feeling well. It’s easy to make, and fast. Yes, you can roast a chicken and make broth but this soup is for days when you don’t really feel like doing much. Before I was gluten free, I would add Grandma’s Frozen Egg Noodles, and it was delicious.
I pair the soup with Against the Grain’s baguettes and make garlic/basil butter for the bread. Delicious.
1 pound chicken, chopped into small pieces
2 green bell peppers
1 bulb garlic, peeled and chopped
1 red onion
Bag of frozen veggies (peas, carrots, corn)
6 small red potatos
Heat olive oil in a pan or pot. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper. Saute chicken until thoroughly cooked.
Chop ginger root into small pieces. Cut up lemongrass stalk and grind lemongrass. Add to chicken.
Add rosemary, sage, and thyme. I use fresh herbs but dried will also work well.
When chicken is cooked, add chicken broth. I use 2 quarts. Add potatos. Simmer 30-45 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
I feel like this is me and @LynxSainteMarie. We were always going to be friends, the internet just gave us a way to do so.
“Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another or you’re in love or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don’t know if that makes me believe in coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something.”
unknown, via tumblr.
Over the last year, I’ve gained about 50 pounds due to developing painful tumors between my toes and steroid treatment for them. Prior to that, I’d lost 30 pounds with diet and exercise, but the tumors were so painful, all I could really manage was work.
My husband has also been gaining weight. I’m putting down our weight loss and exercise plan here because I want to keep it simple and document what we are doing.
1) Exercise 3-4 times a week, at least twice in the gym with weights.
2) Smaller portion sizes with more vegetables. Vegetarian/vegan meals 3-4 nights a week.
3) Better snacking. Rice cakes and almond butter. Veggies and Hummus. Veggies and salsa
4) Less alcohol. If we want more than one beer or glass of wine an evening, we have to walk to a bar.
5) If we want a splurge meal, we go to the gym, walk or bike to it.
6) Take a 30 minutes walk after dinner every night.
Most of my plan is activity oriented. I’m getting really good at planning meals as well. I wanted to put this down because I don’t believe in diet fads, but I know where John and I could be doing better to lose weight.
Along with this, I am working to be more accepting of my body. I’m never going to be a size 8 again, but I can get stronger and more comfortable in my skin. I am still in much better shape than when I started exercising 2 years ago. That’s really important. I also need to be accepting that I have Meniere’s Disease, which causes me vertigo, so I cannot always exercise, and I should not make myself feel guilty about it. This diet and fitness plan is not just about changing my body, but about accepting my body.
Tonight, I’m just going to write about my day and things that are going in my life. I don’t often share these things with my public blog but I really feel like it tonight.
Backstory: last Monday I was in the ER with chest pain from pleurisy. Tuesday Comcast jacked up our cable rates and we cancelled cable because we’ve been spending too much time on the couch. We wanted to exercise more, read more, talk more, and actually be present in each others company. It’s been such a good week.
It starts at Saturday evening, 5 PM. That’s when I woke up, had dinner and went to work. I had a good shift at work, REALLY nice patients, worked with a new grad I like, and got off on time. I came home and slept for 4 hours.
After I got up, my husband John and I went to the gym. We worked out. On the way home we stopped at Vitamin Cottage and I got the ingredients for the awesome dinner I made Sunday night. We came home, I worked on my homework for Community Health (I’m in college to get my Bachelor’s of Nursing Science, I have an Associate’s Degree), made that kick ass (like really) dinner.
Last night, I didn’t sleep. Maybe I slept an hour, but I just couldn’t fall asleep. This isn’t new for me. I see a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders and it is not unusual for me to go several nights without good sleep. The last month has been particularly hard because I had bronchitis and now I have pleurisy. It’s extremely painful. I’m on prednisone, a steroids, which has been keeping me awake at night.
This morning, I got up with John after a sleepless night. I think I slept about an hour. I was in a lot of pain. A LOT. Our automatic cat box, the Cat Genie (which is normally awesome) malfunctioned and smelled. Smells keep me awake, but John had a long work day ahead so I didn’t want to wake him up. Also, I didn’t realize the extent to which it had malfunctioned. We heard the engine start moaning a week ago, so we had the new Cat Genie ready to go, thank goodness.
I couldn’t sleep so I got up and made John breakfast while he made me coffee. He said it was an awesome start to his week. John left for work. He works part-time in office, part-time from home, which is a great arrangement because he works about 60 miles from home. My husband sold his house and drives that commute so that I can live near my hospital. I’ve never met anyone so supportive of my career and life goals.
After John left, I cleaned. I stripped the Master and Guest bedrooms, mopped the wooden floors upstairs, cleaned the guest and Master baths, and did a ton of laundry. My sister is coming to visit in a couple of weeks, so I want everything really, REALLY clean. While in the guest bath, I saw the Cat Genie wasn’t working properly, so I sent John a text to tell him we needed to work on it tonight.
Then I called my doctor’s office and was seen. They gave me a prescription for percocet to take at night. I can manage the pain during the day with tylenol, but at night, the pain is so nagging I just can’t sleep. I still had not slept. I went to the grocery store. I got home, put the Master bedroom back together, flipped the laundry again, and finally started feeling like I could sleep, so I took a 2 hour nap.
I had physical therapy this evening. He’s been working on my severe plantar fasciitis, which is getting better. He also did dry needling, on my back and shoulders. All of the coughing has really thrown my back out of whack. My PT helped me stretch my body back into place and I’m feeling much better.
I got home, and after last night’s fancy dinner, just made some gluten free chicken nuggets and steamed broccoli. After dinner, per my weight loss plan, we went for a 2 mile walk. It’s a beautiful night in Denver, not too cold, and we had a nice walk. We made plans to get a puppy by the end of the month.
So here I am, very little sleep, in a good mood, but in pain, heading towards delirium.
When we got home, we decided to tackle the Cat Genie because if the odor is too much, the cats like to pee on the couch. We do not want the cats to pee on the couch.
We took it apart and John assembled the shiny new one. This left scrubbing the old one (we want to save it for parts) to me. I scrubbed and scrubbed. IT WAS A LOT OF CAT SHIT. There was SO much. Finally, the worst happened. A washer, still covered in poo, flew off and hit me in the face. I came close to losing my dinner, but I’m not a nurse for nothing. I scrubbed my face with antimicrobial dish soap and kept going.
On the way back upstairs, I stopped and poured John a whiskey and myself a glass of wine. We finished assembling the new cat box and watched it’s inaugural run while toasting each other’s awesomeness.
My house smells SO good now.
Getting rid of cable TV has been the best thing we could have done for our marriage. I was watching way too much TV when I could have been out doing things. I wasn’t exercising. At night, we weren’t talking, just watching MSNBC or Aljazeera. When the news wasn’t on, we were watching shows we didn’t really like because nothing else was on. We weren’t talking. We ate every night in front of the TV.
Then Comcast raised our rate by $50 and we had a serious discussion about it. John and I have been cutting our expenses by turning down the thermostat, planning meals and eating at home, planning shopping trips, etc. No way was I going to see money I’d been saving to donate to heat Pine Ridge Reservation and Keep Marissa Alexander out of jail go to Comcast. So we got rid of it.
It’s only been a week, but I feel like I got my husband back. Sitting there in the bathroom, watching the robot do it’s thing, drinking wine with my geeky husband, it felt so good. Like when we were first married. We were such a team. We are that way again.
Tomorrow night, we’re going to have a gym date and workout, then go out for burgers afterward. It’s going to be awesome.
I’m so relieved to have my husband back. Also, very relieved my mouth was closed when that shit covered projectile aimed for my face.
Good night, world.
Without the garlic bread (for which I used Against the Grain’s Gluten Free French Loaf and butter), this meal is vegan. I’m cutting out dairy but didn’t want to throw away half a loaf of awesome bread.
So vegetarian and gluten free. Vegan if you have vegan bread. You can use olive oil, garlic and basil to make a nice topping for garlic bread. Broil on high for about 3-5 minutes, watching closely for your kitchen to catch on fire. Such is the life of someone who doesn’t broil very often. BUT I DID NOT BURN MY BREAD TODAY.
Sauteed Salad with Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinagrette (Vegan)
You will need:
Salad (I used a mesclun salad, but any base will do)
Cold veggies – any you like, I used carrots, celery, radishes, cherry tomatoes, cumber and an avocado
Veggies for sauteeing: I used snap peas, baby bella mushrooms, a yellow bell pepper, and an orange bell pepper. This would also be great with asparagus.
Extra firm Tofu
3 cloves Crushed Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: Daiya “cheese”
In a tofu press, press the tofu until as much water as possible has been drained. Then pour in a small bit of olive oil and 2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette. Marinate for at least an hour.
Wash your salad and vegetables thoroughly. Chop veggies, setting cold veggies in one bowl and hot veggies in another bowl. Set out plates with your base salad and the cold veggies so you have them ready for later.
Chop about 1 tablespoon of ginger root into very small pieces (or grind).
Crush or grind at least 3 cloves garlic.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil, several tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette, and 2-3 tablespoons of honey. When water begins to evaporate from vinegar, add garlic and ginger root. Cook until fragrant. Add hot vegetables.
While the ginger and garlic are cooking, take out tofu and cut into small squares. Toss squares with remaining marinade. Add to oil/vinaigrette mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until squares are thoroughly saturated. Add veggies to be sauteed. Saute veggies until tender and fragrant.
Add hot veggie/tofu mixture to salad, making sure to pour any extra oil/vinaigrette mixture onto salads. Salt and pepper to taste.
The daiya cheese tasted good, but honestly the salad didn’t need it. I won’t add it when I make it again, but I will add asparagus.
This salad was unexpectedly satisfying and flavorful. The honey and balsamic vinegar compliment one another nicely, and the olive oil & avocado are healthy fats. This meal is high in fiber and nutrients. It is NOT a cheap salad to make unfortunately, but it is delicious. I will be making this salad for a future episode of #cookingwithjoanne on Twitter.
Why ‘feminist infighting’ is coded language for ‘pipe down I don’t want to hear about your intersectionality’
(Inspired by @SamAmbreen’s post here: We will not let white feminism divide and conquer us)
Today I’ve been talking with @HadleyFreeman about a series of posts she made to @JudeinLondon earlier in the day. Short story: Freeman wrote a problematic article, Jude discussed it on Twitter without linking to Freeman, someone emailed Freeman about Jude’s response and Freeman demanded, repeatedly, that Jude take the discussion offline. In my opinion, she abused her platform and privilege. She called Jude’s preemptive blocking of her account “childish” when it was an act of self care. Eventually, she used the same tone policing on me and I believe she has blocked my account, although I fully admit to blocking her and not checking back. Maybe later. It was yet another example of why I don’t belong in White feminism and why many other white feminists feel the same way. Today, @SamAmbreen asked for White feminists who practice intersectionality to discuss this, and after a lot of thought, here I am.
I’ve been writing in one form or another since I was a little girl. Poems, short stories, papers. I’ve edited papers for publication. When I used to perform poetry, I was often called a “feminist writer.” At the time, I really didn’t know what that meant. I was raised in a very anti-woman environment with more than a few religions. I shied away from the term “feminist” in direct conversation but that didn’t stop me from allowing the label to promote my writing. Few poets and writers have writing careers, and I am not an exception. I’m okay with that. As I have said many times, I love nursing, and these days, I find my energies are better spent in active campaigns, protests, phone calls and letter writing.
But then came the internet. I played with learning about feminism, and quickly found early online feminist communities to be battlegrounds. After witnessing a few virtual bloodbaths, I left the communities. I don’t like being flamed, I really didn’t like direct confrontation (but I’m getting better at it).
I read. I went to college. I started to learn more about feminism. But it was in a conversation with a women’s studies major that I realized I would never quite fit into mainstream White feminism. I’ll get into that. While women of color were happy to talk about feminism in class and online, recommending sources and books and Twitter accounts, White women were less welcoming. Still, I got involved the day Caroline Criado-Perez started receiving rape threats. It was too much. At the time, I had no idea how prevalent rape threats on Twitter were, but I found out, because I received my own. I quickly followed her account and my tweets in her support rapidly gained me new Twitter friends. FEMINIST friends. I was so excited. Finally I could learn. And I did.
Then one day, I saw a heated, excited Twitter conversation. Flavia Dzodan (@redlightvoices) had written a blog post at http://www.redlightpolitics.info, and one line kept ringing throughout the discussion. “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be BULLSHIT.” At the time, I thought a different Twitter user had coined the phrase. This is important later. I knew nothing about intersectionality. In fact, most of the books on feminism recommended to me were written by white women. I was also ignorant of how readily information was available. I asked a close Twitter friend, @judeinlondon what intersectionality was. Jude gave me a brief explanation and told me to check Wikipedia. I realize now I really should have gone to Google myself. Jude, I love you and I thank you so much for your direction and that we are such good friends.
I read. I realized ~ MY FEMINISM WAS “BULLSHIT.” It wasn’t intersectional. Intersectionality is really a simple theory and easy to understand if you want to understand. My feminism wasn’t transinclusive. My feminism didn’t recognize the different struggles faced by women of color, women in poverty, sex workers, or even the struggles I faced as a disfigured woman with a disability. I began to see feminism in a new light. I began to see where I might fit in as a feminist.
Eager to learn about trans issues, I went to Google. I read GLAAD’s page on trans terms. And I followed a few Twitter accounts run by trans individuals. And then something happened. I began to see drama. I hate drama. I really do. The drama I saw was linked to a couple of terms I had never heard before. TERF, SWERF. This feminism was “bullshit.” I started tweeting about it. I started talking with trans individuals, and one day, my follower count dropped by about 20 people. All white feminists. Mainly British white feminists. I was really hurt, but I quickly learned I wasn’t alone.
I mentioned talking with a women’s studies major. This is important because it was this young White feminist’s opinion that because I chose a female dominated field and not something else, I was supporting the patriarchy and had no place in feminism. I didn’t talk further with that young woman because her feminism wasn’t open and inviting and uplifting. She was kicking down. I realized her feminism was “bullshit.”
One day, I was tweeting along and I incorrectly credited Flavia Dzodan’s (@redlightvoices) now famous quote to Judith Wanga (@judeinlondon). Someone told me I was wrong but I was quite certain I was correct. I could have easily verified it but I was lazy. Flavia let me know how wrong I was. I deserved it. I apologized. In talking to Flavia, and reading her blog and Twitter, I realized how much education I was losing. But I didn’t want to impose upon her. So one day, I asked her if I could follow her. I reiterated my apology, and the most amazing thing happened. Flavia forgave me. She followed me back. We have had a few very enlightening and uplifting conversations. She doesn’t kick down.
I’ve screwed up several times. initially, apologizing wasn’t a skill I had. I got into an incredible, damaging argument a few years ago with @amaditalks and we blocked each other on my primary account. I still followed her on my nursing account and eventually I began to feel very guilty and intrusive about following her when she didn’t know who I was. So I brought it up. I apologized. And we are friends. We are good friends. If I had not apologized, my life would be poorer. Amadi has taught me, along with others, how to more skillfully debate. She has reminded me to use inclusive language and given examples of what this is. I was wrong, so wrong in our argument, and while Amadi had forgotten it, I never had. Because I was wrong, and I knew it.
So here I am. In intersectional feminism, I have found a place. I have come to terms with my own gender fluidity. I am out to my husband and online and I will never deny my queerness or gender fluidity in person. I have learned about White privilege, and learned to check it. I have become a better person. I have become a better nurse. I have learned to confront people, first online, and then in person. Thanks to Ngọc Loan Trần, I have a new method of calling out problematic behavior. in their article Calling IN: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable, I learned a way to call out bullying behavior without crying and shaking. It has made work easier.
I don’t fit inside White feminism’s neat bubble. I’m not going to take extra classes when information is so readily available. I do not need a women’s studies degree to practice feminism. I need my brain and my heart, both of which are currently functioning. I’ve been called “divisive” by White women when I back up women of color, primarily when I back up Black and Muslim women. It’s pretty obvious. I’ve been told that feminism needs to focus on the needs of ALL women instead of subgroups.
White women are a subgroup of feminism. It is true that placing the focus of feminism on subgroups is divisive. This is why White women must learn to stop crying for “unity” (Adele Wilde-Blavatsk) and realize that women of color, trans women, trans men, and others are moving on in unity WITHOUT us.
Am I going to screw up again? ABSOLUTELY. That’s the thing about White privilege, it doesn’t go away because you start recognizing it. You have to actively work to be a better person. You have to actively work to change the world. I doubt I’m going to change many minds with words, but I hope I do so by actions. That is the inspiration behind my @TransDyingYoung project, and my tentative decision to focus my NP on care of the transgender population. This is work, and with work comes mistakes. But I have learned to apologize. I have learned to Google. These are not difficult things to do with practice.
I don’t believe mainstream “White feminism” wants to change. Instead, it will die a painful death by attrition. A few days ago, I tweeted that White feminists are angry because they didn’t come up with intersectionality and make it about white women and I really believe this is true. I have seen White women say “we have to come up with a better term.” This rebranding of intersectionality is nothing short of plagiarism and theft of its founder, Kimberlé Crenshaw. It wasn’t a White woman’s idea. It wasn’t about White, cis gendered women. This is appropriate. This isn’t “bullshit.”
I want to thank so many people, mentioned in this post, and unmentioned, who have let me learn, who have told me when I was wrong, and who have taught me what my White, racist parents never told me: it is okay to be wrong. Apologizing doesn’t make you weak. Learning new things makes you stronger, and we will come through this with a more unified feminism.
Originally posted on Left at the Lights:
I’ve always wondered how this manipulative tactic comes so easy to colonisers, even when they aren’t drawing up borders in countries that do not belong to them but in everyday life. I have watched incredulously as the white feminists of Twitter have attempted to do the same to Intersectionality. This movement was started by people of colour, yes but its foray into the mainstream has been enabled by white folk. Black people just don’t have that power. It is white people who will ultimately change racism by educating themselves and their peers, who must learn to accept we are all human. White supremacists don’t listen to black people, they murder them. So it was with great interest and perplexity I watched as various white fems of Twitter lay into our white allies, the few white people that do recognise our humanity. This is the kind of reaction they got.
At the time I thought it was genuine ignorance but now I’m not so sure. I think the white feminists knew that having white allies would make the transition from theory into practical change easier. At first they blamed prominent white intersectionalists like Zoe Stavri for fanning the flames in a bid to further their own agenda, she was somehow brainwashing us into giving her competition a hard time because of those column inches she’s after. This may be how the white fems of Twitter operate, manipulating the truth for self-serving reasons but I know Stavvers irl. We both belong to a diverse friendship group; black, brown, white, queer, trans*, bi, straight, able and disabled. Stavvers doesn’t need to pretend she is an intersectionalist; she lives it every day unlike the very white, very middle class people pointing their fingers at her. When white intersectionalists backed down to examine their praxis, white fems returned to attacking oppressed groups as if they were suddenly the problem.
Originally posted on Skeptical Software Tools:
I’ve written many times about how skeptics need to take care when linking to bad information that we intend to rebut. Because links are used by search engines to measure the importance of content, linking to a piece of pseudoscience or misinformation (in the process of rebutting or debunking it) might actually have the effect of making it more visible to others. That’s not desirable. I would even say it is unethical to increase the visibility of such content, insofar as it has the potential to cause harm.
If you doubt my thesis, read this New York Times article. It tells the story of how negative reviews of a particular business actually had the effect of catapulting that business to the top of the relevant search result, thereby bringing it more customers. Talk about a skeptic backfire!
In blog posts and other web content, I’ve long recommended a best practice for skeptics to use the HTML NOFOLLOW attribute to prevent this from happening. It’s straightforward, it’s an industry standard and there’s no good reason not to do it. Australian skeptic Joel Birch even built a WordPress plugin to make it easy for bloggers on that platform.
Originally posted on Nurse Eye Roll:
Today while I was driving, I came up behind a car with an “organ donors save lives” bumper sticker and I immediately thought, that driver or a loved one of his must have received an organ.
I thought of the times at work when I’m comforting a family who have faced the terrible and sudden death of their loved one who decided to donate their organs. I thought of the gut-wrenching pain that I’ve seen them experience.
And then, the scenario immediately played in my head of what it would look and feel like if my husband became brain dead and was a donor.
Made this dish tonight inspired by this recipe which called for shrimp.
1 tube premade polenta (or make your own polenta)
About 2 OZ cheese, any kind
1/4 c milk
1/4c water (optional)
1 bag frozen spinach (or fresh)
1 container baby portabello mushrooms
1 onion (use your fave)
Garlic (4 cloves – to taste)
Basil – at least 3 tbsps
Amchoor Powder – 2 pinches (optional)
Smoked Paprika – 3 teaspoons (more if you want)
Plenty of Olive oil
Salt (to taste)
Slice the mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil.
Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add garlic, basil, dash of salt, liberal black pepper, paprika.
Heat for one minute, until garlic is aromatic, add onion.
Cook until onion begins to become translucent
Add mushrooms and frozen spinach. Mix well until everything is coated with the oil and spices. Cover and cook over medium until mushrooms are desired tenderness.
Spray with lemon juice. Layer over polenta. Serve.
If you have made your own polenta, just add the cheese, stir until melted and serve.
If you are using premade polenta, cut it into chunks.
Heat a small amount (1/4 c or so) of liquid (I used milk), then add the polenta,
With a potato masher, get to mashing that polenta. When it’s really mashed, switched to a spoon and stir that polenta.
Add the cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted.
When the cheese has melted, YOU ARE DONE.
Spoon the polenta onto a plate, cover with the veggie mixture. Eat and be happy.
Originally posted on Evette Dionne:
My former sister-in-law is Caucasian, originating from the trenches of the low-income Russian slums. Her blonde tresses, piercing blue pupils and pale—almost tanned, but not quite—complexion signify her Whiteness when she enters the room. The pompousness of Whiteness is the looming shadow behind her slim hips. But my Black American brother sidestepped the privileges and the centuries of oppression and put a ring on it.
Their union was blissful and two children were bore from their happiness, until her Whiteness rose without warning or provocation. Purchasing a home out-of-their price range and enduring the subsequent financial turmoil was the catalyst for her arrogance. In a simple exchange between man and wife, she told my brother that the crumbs he was delivering to the kitchen table weren’t enough.
My dear friend @LynxSainteMarie’s labor of love is coming to fruition. Today, their website “Queer Of Gender” launched, with it’s first article, by Mercy Medusa Mahogany Immanuel Thokozane Minah.
Take a moment, read the links, and if you are Queer of Gender, contribute!
Today, thanks to Meniere’s Disease, I am confined to my bed. My husband is here to help me and I’m going to be okay, if not miserable.
By now, most of us have already read the piece of clickbait that was Jen Caron’s: It Happened To Me: There Are No Black People In My Yoga Class and I’m Suddenly Feeling Uncomfortable With It. (Clicking these links will not up their page counts). This piece was wrong in so many ways. Most likely, the unnamed black woman (because they are always unnamed, see Eve Ensler’s article on “Congo Stigmata“).
Now, I’ve been told repeatedly that white privilege does not exist. This argument pales because I see it on a daily basis. Getting served first. The extreme politeness of POC towards me when I’m at the grocery store. Often, I want to to stop and say “I’m not one of THOSE white people, please just act normally.”
But I don’t. There are reasons for this.
I use my white privilege when it is helpful to me or my friends. Indeed, when I helped @Suey_Park with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, I had several people accusing me of abuse of white privilege, even though AAA has a policy dealing with gifting accounts instantly. Many people assumed that because I was white, I was able to do things a person of color would be unable to do. In that circumstance, my knowledge of AAA’s policies was what was useful. I had learned about them while working in Customer Service.
Honestly, I wasn’t using white privilege at that moment.
Times I have used white privilege? When I’ve seen a POC being treated poorly at the hands of white customer service agents. When I see a POC being treated poorly by another nurse. When I’ve seen a Hispanic person clearly struggling with a language barrier who needed help with translation. My college education is a form of privilege. I am determined to use it where ever I can to pull people up, not to bring people down. This is how I use my white privilege.
There are other times White Privilege has benefited me without my intent, so many circumstances I will never know. Other times, I become aware of it as it is happening, and I try to stop it. When I see a white person invoking their privilege, I try to say something about it, if I am able. I do not have Male Privilege, and I am aware there are times when speaking out could cost me my job, and I really need my job.
But how did I become aware of this privilege? Slowly, very slowly. I was raised in Nashville, Tennessee, very close to the projects, and until I went to a private high school on scholarship and my mother scraping by, I went to schools where white people were a minority. Still, I had white privilege.. I wasn’t aware of it, but I was given opportunities black people were not. Classes for the gifted. Extra time with teachers.
I am smart. In some situations, such as memory and language, I have been called “scary smart.” Still, this didn’t earn me additional time with teachers. Indeed, I should have been okay if left alone. So why did I receive so much attention from white teachers in a mostly black classroom? White privilege.
Still, it was years before I learned about white privilege. I credit @judeinlondon with so many things, and through reading her tweets, I learned about white privilege . I also saw Jude say over and over that it was not her responsibility to educate. I googled. I learned some more. I was horrified. All this time, when I thought what had been achieved on my own merit was probably influenced by white privilege. Was I even equally qualified for my job? (After a great deal of thought and introspection and looking over the lives I have saved, I believe I am completely qualified and very good at my job).
Then I did an Ancestry.com search on my family. It wasn’t particularly easy, but eventually I came upon what I didn’t want to see. My distance descendants were slave owners. While I had been told, repeatedly, I was descended from Native Americans, I couldn’t find written proof of this (I have been told by Native Americans I have distinct Lakota features, but I do not know how distant the relationship is). There are several pictures of Native women owned by my family, and I have been told they were my great great great grandmothers, but there is little proof. Definitely not enough proof to claim discrimination due to my ancestry, as many white people do.
The facts, staring right at me, were sickening. I am the descendent of slave owners, which means, like many white Americans, I am unknowingly complicit in the horrible treatment of African Americans and other people of color. I closed the program. I was nauseated. I opened Twitter. I needed to talk to someone. But who? Who would be the right person to talk to? I was very close to tears. I felt sick. But I remembered the words of so many black women, that it was not their job to comfort me, and I decided to respect that. I had never harmed them, but by asking for forgiveness for crimes I personally did not commit, I could become a vehicle of harm.
I closed my computer.
Discovering white privilege and distant relationship with slave owners is painful, but it is not the duty of black people, particularly black women, to comfort us. @TheTrudz has spoken out many times on Twitter about the tendency of white people to seek out comfort and forgiveness from black people when the first pangs of white guilt hit our hearts. This morning, we had this exchange:
Trudy has made herself very accessible online, and paid a heavy price for it. Here is my point: It is not the job of black people to comfort us. For the most part, they do not want to comfort us. The desire of white people to have forgiveness from black people from things done hundreds of years ago does not require white people to “prostrate” themselves to black people. What it really indicates is a desire to have the love and attention of the “Mammy” figure.
@TheTrudz has suggested this article: 28 Common Racist Attitudes and Behaviors That Indicate a Detour or Wrong Turn into White Guilt, Denial, or Defensiveness. She also has multiple articles at her blog, Gradient Lair that are very useful. I have never read an article by @TheTrudz and not learned something valuable. She also suggested this reading: Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? By Beverly Tatum. It contains step by step instructions. I have started reading this book and found it powerful. Unfortunately, my tablet is dead and I’m waiting for it to completely charge.
Mammy is long gone. Yes, black women can be incredibly nurturing and kind. So can all women, should they choose to do so. But black women are no longer obliged to give us comfort. To expect comfort for your white guilt from black women or other women of culture IS AN ABUSE OF YOUR WHITE PRIVILEGE. This is why I don’t just come out and say “I’m not one of those white people.” Instead, I use a different tactic. If there is someone I want to be friends with, I gently approach them and over time they will see I’m not one of “those” white people, and if they are willing, and like me back, friendship will grow on it’s own. There is no need to force it.
Still, I see people, hundreds a day, coming into the mentions of my black friends on Twitter, demanding education. They refuse to read links, valuable links, that could educate them. They will only take education from a black person, THIS black person, as a matter of fact. THIS IS AN ABUSE OF YOUR PRIVILEGE SO OBVIOUS SARAH PALIN CAN SEE IT FROM HER HOUSE. If she weren’t so blind to white privilege herself.
So here is my proposal. If you are feeling a big dose of white guilt, come talk to me. You can reach me at @grimalkinrn on Twitter, and I will be happy to talk about your feelings. These feelings are a part of growth. They are valid, and they are necessary. What is not necessary is burdening women (or men) of color with your feelings. If you need privacy, you can email me at email@example.com or DM me on Twitter (though you will need to let me know you need me to follow you back ). Needless to say, trolls will be blocked.
If white people talk to one another about our white privilege and white guilt, we will be better prepared to use our white privilege to the advantage of others, and not just ourselves.
Originally posted on Left at the Lights:
White feminists sit around daydreaming about their next campaign. They’re not fighting for basic recognition like the rest of us, they’re thinking of even sillier ways to assert their power and so they have the luxury of poking at the institutions to look as if they are doing something worthwhile. So we show them how bullshit their feminism is and how do they respond? Do they take on board our feelings about how we are being erased? Do they accept that there is a kyriarchal structure they personally maintain? Do they fuck.
Last week various WoC had to push down triggers of domestic and sexual abuse in order to defend the perpetrators of these acts of violence against women. The two men in question; Mike Tyson and Stan Collymore. Y’see if you’re a white woman and you know that so and so is a prolific abuser, you can condemn them without needing to think of the intersection where men of colour are victims of the system also. I mean, Caroline Criado Perez thought it ok to share a platform with Collymore as long as she got her message across about the unacceptable abuse she alone suffers so bear with me a sec. He was taking a stand against the racist abuse he suffers and so, instead of ‘no platforming’ him on the grounds that he is violent and a danger to women – as should be my right as a feminist and campaigner against domestic abuse – I was contemplating the ways in which he would not have been given the same opportunities as white abusers to accept his actions, to be rehabilitated. I had to think of the ways in which he is racially abused and whilst I believe he should be ostracised on grounds of his violence against women, he should not be punished for the colour of his skin. Tyson is also an example of this.
Of course I was livid when I heard that Tyson had had “distressing problems with women”. He is the reason for the distress felt by many women but then I had to think about the way in which those lines were presented. Those were not his words, they were written by the author of the piece Donald McRae. The white man writing the piece severely understated the nature of Tyson’s ‘problems’ with women. The interview could have been structured in a way where he was given a chance to apologise for his behaviour and condemn it in others, instead there’s a garbled quote about how he found God. This is how white people want you to see Tyson.
This semester, I have my community health class. I have to spend 56 hours volunteering and gathering data about a population in my community and a disease that affects that community.
I’ve thought all week about where I should focus my project on, and I’ve come to a decision.
Individuals who are trans face incredible odds, particularly if they are people of color. They also dying younger and by more violent causes than the general population.These are my friends and neighbors I am losing.
I identify as genderfluid but generally do not bring it up because to do so would invite scrutiny, accusations, and mockery. But I am saying this here because even though I have the privilege of passing, passing limits my free expression of who I am and one day I truly hope to be free in that expression. I would love to have a closet divided into thirds. One for woman. One for man. One for the days when I don’t feel like any gender expresses who I am.
Reasons for this project:
We have the horrible last days of Dr. V, now etched into a webpages walls for clickbait for all the world to see and judge and mock. (Note: link posts to @ParkerMolloy‘s eloquent synopsis and take down of how the article could have been written without outing Dr. V. and causing her and her loved ones so much distress.
We experience hate crimes all over the world. Countries where being trans is a death sentence.
We experience higher rates of STDs, especially HIV among trans individuals.
Most members of the medical community receive ZERO training on the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of the trans population. Because of this, trans individuals are often afraid to go to a hospital or doctor’s office, even in an emergency. This must stop.
I am going to make my Community Health project about death in the trans community and what could be done to prevent the early deaths of my trans friends and family. I am going to be able to present to at least 60 nurses and my professors what can be done to improve the mental and physical health of the trans community. While I am doing this, I am also going to create a presentation that can be easily emailed and blogged and shared about the healthcare needs of the trans community.
I am going to tweet about my project and the work I am doing under the hashtag #transdyingyoung.
Because I am new to this, I am going to enlist the help of anyone who would like to review my project and my posts. If you would, please email me at grimalkinrn at gmail dot com. I will not out anyone. I will not post personal, identifying information about anyone who does not want to be identified. I WILL listen to members of the trans community and solicit their instruction and advice.
I have a pretty good idea why I think trans individuals are dying so young, and of so many things that cis individuals do not, but I also know there are cultures that embrace multiple genders. We have people that embrace multiple genders.
My hope is that with this project I will bring education to more than 60 people. I am going to share my research and blog about these 56 hours of data collection and service. And by sharing this blog post, I am going to out myself to my classmates, and fellow nurses. I am genderfluid, and I am not going to be silent about it anymore.
This is not going to be a journey down a rabbit hole where things get stranger and stranger. I am going to work to put the healthcare needs of the trans community into the light of day, and move the practice of medicine FORWARD.
This study, performed in the UK, shows the correlation between tasks left undone during a nurse’s shift and staffing on a hospital unit. Tasks that are most often left undone include talking with and educating patients. This affects patients far after they leave the hospital, especially if they do not receive vital instructions for maintaining their health, such as how to care for wounds, when to take (or not to take) medication, and when to call a doctor. This is yet another study that shows nurse staffing affects patients not just while they are in the hospital, but also when they have left.
On my unit we try to keep the mentality that it’s a 24 hour job and the next shift can get to things if we cannot get to them ourselves. But this primarily addresses tasks that a nurse is not able to get to, not patient education and counseling. It would be so nice to have adequate time to talk to my patients and educate them thoroughly. Currently this feels like the exception rather than the rule. I know busy nurses everywhere are suffering from the same chronic disappointment in our jobs. We got into nursing for the patients, it is upsetting when you are forced, due to staffing, to give only the care written down on paper and not the vital care that nurses are trained to give every patient: emotional support and comfort. The ability to spend time with your patients and care for their emotions is part of what makes nursing a rewarding occupation, and the inability to do so is what causes many nurses to develop compassion fatigue, burnout, and to leave the profession.
Originally posted on walkerwrackspurt:
I fancy my husband and I as purposeful parents. In addition to the basic necessities (you know, tons of books), we try hard to ensure our child has well-rounded access to her traditional Lakota/Ojibwe cultures, feminist teachings, and spirituality. She picks herself up when she falls, has clear concepts of right and wrong, and – especially because she is an only child – is encouraged to grow her creativity and independence as much as possible utilizing a combination of modern technology, craft projects, and the outdoors. Her teenage self may throw shade my way for using her so often in my blogs, but I think most people who know her would agree my 5-year-old is a well-adjusted child.
But this kind of purposeful parenting is hard and actually pretty tough to keep up on top of all of life’s other stuff (jobs, writing, and Harry Potter marathons, among other things). My husband and I are constantly being tested. Two things happened recently highlighting a need to do better – do more – as parents: (1) My kid came home last Friday and started pointing out every Black person she saw as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and (2) more and more, she’s been describing the English language as “normal,” as in, “Mom, stop counting in Lakota and say it the normal way.” #crickets
Originally posted on aoifeschatology:
If you are a trans person contemplating suicide, please visit here for information on how to find help. I’m not going to tell you it gets better; but I will assure you that your survival is important and meaningful. Please consider alternatives. ♥
Originally posted on David Gaughran:
It had been discovered that Hitler’s pre-war memoir Mein Kampf was a digital bestseller, leading to a global bout of media hand-wringing and pontificating. One excitable commentator even suggested it was a sign the second Holocaust was imminent.
The only problem with this story is that it’s not true. At all.
Originally posted on Sometimes, it's just a cigar:
The occasional ‘these are jst my first thoughts’ warning hangs over this blog. Comments are welcome
Overnight I’ve re-tweeted a number of tweets about a man called Caleb Hannan. Caleb wants to be a journalist, and one day he may be, but right now he’s an unethical piece of work who unapologetically writes about an ‘investigation’ he has conducted that may have led to the suicide of his victim. Not subject, but victim.
A number of the people I’ve re-tweeted identify themselves as trans, and the victim of Caleb Hannan was herself trans. I haven’t re-tweeted the things I’ve re-tweeted because I am an ally of trans people, but because I agree with the tweets in question.
Originally posted on Left at the Lights:
It creeps up suddenly; self-consciously you adjust your posture to close in a little on yourself. Your eyes drop downwards. Suddenly you feel very exposed. This happens frequently; whether in a meeting at work or walking into a bar and almost certainly when walking home late at night. By slouching, we hope to divert attention away from our breasts, by avoiding eye contact, we can hope they won’t think we brought it on ourselves. We are reminded everywhere we turn, of the temptations we promise, and if we don’t fit the bill, we can be stuffed and pumped up with man-made fillers and human bum fat. If we’re healthy, we’re “starting to waddle”, a timely reminder we shouldn’t eat so much else who will fancy us?
The shaming begins early. They make mini-skirts and boob tubes for 3 year olds. I will always feel sick to the stomach remembering the fascination with Emma Watson’s impending sweet sixteen. Her boyish figure on the turn, she still looked like little Hermione Granger to me. But the lad mags cooed and pushed and towed the line. The difference a day makes, predatory behaviour now legal. The men writing these articles, having this ‘fun’ ‘banter’ are in their 20s and 30s. What kind of meaningful discussion could be had between a young person and a fully grown male adult?
“Getting a bit podgy” they remark when you embark early adolescence. Girls get called sluts for letting boys kiss them. And frigid, for refusing to bow to pressure. The shaming naming begins; slut, slag, whore, cunt, bitch, pussy, ho, sket, ‘punaani’ and many others I’m glad not to think of off the top of my head. When these words are spat, they are designed to cut to the core of woman, what lies between your legs is dirt and because of it you choose to be shamed in this way, with the very same words they use to describe your vagina. They cut deep. Toxic and humiliating, they are effective. The world has made it so. Half of the world’s population has a menstrual cycle, the most crucial component of the human condition and yet, it is considered unclean. In many religions, women are forbidden from intercourse/intimacy at this unholiest of times of the month, forbidden from entering places of worship or from handling holy texts. A ritualistic bath is required to cleanse the body of impurity once bleeding ceases. This dirty blood provides the cushion for nestling cells from which all life springs forth! It nurtures life! It is creation! But they would have us believe it’s a punishment for eating an apple, bleeding comparable to a “stuck pig”.
But last night was one of the best nights of my nursing career. Right up there with the night I saved a baby’s life and the moment a patient had a stroke in front of me and left the hospital with minimal residual effect. Right up with the night I started my first IV. my first NG.tube, hell, the first time I did anything, last night was up there with that night. Adequate staffing, manageable patient loads, and something I can only say a great once in a while “Just this once, Rose, EVERYBODY LIVES!!!). To say more than that would risk identifications. But damn, I had a good night. I gave good care. My patient got good news and I’m writing this down now to remember on all the nights where we’re nurse poor patient rich, when my healthy patient suddenly gets ill, when I have to work thirteen and a half hours without a break, I’m going to remember last night and find energy in that memory to keep going.
(Quote from Doctor Who)
Whatever veggies you have on hand. Today I had:
Carrots – 3
Celery – 3
Red potatoes -4
Mushrooms – 9
Can of corn
Can of green beans
Half clove of garlic, chopped.
1 ½ cups green lentils.
Cayenne pepper (because John has a cold)
1 carton vegetable stock
(I WISH I HAD AN ONION BUT DID NOT)
Chop vegetables, except for mushrooms and lentils, throw in a large pot and add garlic, salt, pepper, curry powder and turmeric. Be generous with the curry powder and turmeric. Saute with olive oil for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are well coated with spices.
Add vegetable stock, bay leaves, mustard seeds (however many you want), additional curry powder, ginger powder, fennel, large amount of poultry seasoning, dash of cayenne. Bring to a boil.
Boil for 10 minutes.
Add lentils and mushrooms (if you are using mushrooms)
Simmer for 15 minutes. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to taste.
Simmer 5 more minutes.
Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, a nice gravy will form.
Goes great on its own, would also go great with basmati rice. Would probably also go nicely with coconut milk or plain yogurt. Lots of possibilities.
Ready for a happy story?
Respiratory therapists are responsible for a lot of things all over the hospital. When they are on our floor, I can hear their phones ringing to call them to another floor. We see them doing treatments frequently, we call for help occasionally, and they are always included in a rapid response (a team effort to get to a deteriorating patient and avoid a code).
I am good with trachs, due to extensive training while I was a tech, and later homecare experience. So I am very comfortable with suctioning and trach care. Often, if the RT is very busy, I’ll do as much as possible to make their night smoother. I also volunteer to take the trach patients as often as I can because I know most of the nurses on my floor don’t like trachs. These patients often request for me to be their nurse again and again, and I do. It helps that I’m an excellent lip readers and intuitive. I rarely feel fear with a trach.. it’s a stable airway.
Recently at work, I felt helpless. It was a busy night, I had a 6 patient load with some really heavy patients. My patient was deteriorating and a call to the resident was fruitless. I suctioned, but it was like tar. It was bad. My patient was grey. The oxygen level was okay so far but could get worse at any moment.
For the next 1-1 1/2 hours, two incredibly knowledgeable RTs worked over my patient, performing procedures I’d never even heard of. They told me what medications to get from the doctor. I phoned and phoned and phoned. I brought the meds in. I medicated the patient for pain. Other respiratory therapists in the hospital started to pick up their work, but I know they got behind.
It’s the middle of the night in the hospital. We ran out of suction catheters. The house supervisor went to central supply and when she couldn’t find what we needed, so she called floor after floor and suction catheters start to appear. We were good.
I was so impressed by the variety of the things they could do, and within that hour to hour and a half, my patient began to breath better. Partially from pain medication, but mostly from sheer force of will. We are all very bonded to this patient and he to us.
I was also impressed by the nurses and CNAs who left their floors running with the equipment we so desperately needed.
When I left that morning, the patient put out a hand. Thanked me for all I did. I said
You’re welcome, but it was a team effort and you are the most valuable player in the team.”
A lot of times, you’ll have a bad shift and you’ll feel you didn’t give the best care, and you’ll say to the oncoming nurse “well, they’re all breathing.” It’s nurse code for “I could only do the bare minimum, but we all survived, can I go home now please?
That night, I learned more about what respiratory therapists do. Like nurses, they run hard, unlike nurses, they are spread throughout the hospital covering several floors at a time. I knew they were smart, good in a crisis, but I am so moved by gratitude.
When I left work, everyone was breathing. And that is because the respiratory therapists I work with put their feet down and said “no.” It was a rough night, but we gave excellent care. And honestly, I don’t begrudge that patient my break (I did manage to eat). In a perfect world, nurses could get breaks everyday but medicine is by its own nature an imperfect science, and while I complain if I don’t consistently get breaks, it is absolutely worth missing a break to improve your patient’s health.
I plan on writing a series of blog entries about my interactions with other medical professionals. As with my patients, I will not name names or identifying features. The only person’s privacy I am giving up is my own.
I’ve been very public about my feelings regarding Ani DiFranco, her “Righteous Retreat,” its cancellation and her short apology she made earlier this week. I have been going through my own process while I try to decide if DiFranco’s apology was sincere, if she is living her words, and if I can continue to support her label.
Tonight, at the New Orleans House of Blues, DiFranco made the comment “”It’s an upside down world, when your sisters cut you down and Fox News defends you.”
It’s making the rounds and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another apology from DiFranco in another couple of days. Maybe the quote is out of context, but it’s hard to imagine what context it could be in that didn’t involve some sort of self righteous anger. It’s a sign of the times. A decade ago, a statement like this would have gone unnoticed. Thanks to social media, it is everywhere.
I am a white woman. I have a lot of interracial friends. This doesn’t mean I don’t screw up. I am very lucky to have friends who will call me out when I say something racist. It’s not always gentle, but it is always needed, and when I look beyond my initial shock, I always learn something. I try never to make that mistake again.
Ani DiFranco didn’t get “cut down.” She got called out. Fans of all backgrounds called to her and asked that she cancel the retreat and apologize. When she cancelled the retreat and offered and explanation but not an apology, we continued to tell her, Ani, it’s not enough. Finally, she issued a short apology, stating she was “digging deeper.”
Getting “cut down,” “dragged,” and other terms are when people put you down without reason. Without caring about you.
Getting called out is different. When you say or do something racist and your friends of a different race call you out on it, they are taking the time to offer you education. It’s not their job to educate you, but if someone is taking the time to do it, you should appreciate it and reciprocate by trying to learn the lesson they are trying to teach you. Getting called out can hurt, sure, it can hurt like hell, but we have to ask, do I hurt because I’ve been wronged or do I hurt because my ego is wounded?
Ani DiFranco is many things. A songwriter, an activist, a feminist. She has this image of a kind, crunchy, kick ass artist. I don’t believe she is a racist at heart but I do believe a person who is not a racist can do racist things. This is when the people who love you call you on your shit.
I’ve talked about white privilege and the fact that while white people may not be aware of its existence, they sure as hell get mad when people refuse to extend it. I think DiFranco is unaware of the amount of privilege she is currently demanding.
I don’t know Ani personally, though like many of her fans, I have always felt a connection through music. This connection is why I’m writing tonight. I know she’ll never see this, but I feel the need to write about my feelings. This entire week has been a process of learning to let go of someone I always saw as a role model. I know she’s not perfect. It’s not a lack of perfection that is making me angry. It’s the clear abuse of privilege. DiFranco has a lot of privilege, built from years of hard work, and I think she believes she deserves to be sheltered.
DiFranco may have apologized, but she appears angry. Statements like the one from tonight make it seem like she personally thinks she did nothing wrong. From her statement tonight about living in an “upside down world,” she is not taking the change in her status very well. DiFranco has always been someone who has managed to not do racist things in the public arena. That changed. She made a mistake. I feel like a lot of us wanted to forgive that mistake, but we cannot accept her apology if she is not going to live her apology. She could have said “I fucked up, I was wrong. I could tell I was wrong because Fox News was defending me but my own sisters weren’t.” There are a lot of things DiFranco could have said, but what she did say tonight shows me she is not living her words.
It’s not enough to apologize when you are called out. You have to make a conscious effort to change the behavior that got you called out in the first place. Perhaps DiFranco needs more time to change, but for now, the effort she has made is simply not enough.
I’m really happy my post “The Effects of Nursing on Nurses” is still generating commentary and discussion among nurses and other individuals. Unfortunately, there are a few trolls who have latched onto the post, attacking people in order to get more attention for themselves.
When I think of a troll, I don’t think of a hairy little dude under a bridge. Rather I think of a fisherman, slowly making his way around the water, with several baited lines, waiting for a bite.
That’s all trolls are. They drop aggressions, make offensive commentary, and hope they get a rise out of us.
Because I want discussion to continue, but I want to limit the amount of trolls on my blog, I have placed comments back under moderation on all posts. I have generally approved all comments, as anyone can tell by the number of “quit your job, you lazy nurse” comments I have received. As long as you are not attacking other users, comments will be approved.
I will continue to check the blog several times a day to approve comments. I appreciate your patience and understanding.
In addition, I have gotten a lot of new followers. I like to follow people for conversation, if you’d like me to follow you back, please post something here about the theme of your blog.
Originally posted on Media Diversified:
Originally posted on Les Reveries de Rowena:
“I don’t see race; I’m completely colourblind.”
The above is an unhelpful statement that is thrown around way too often. When people say this I often wonder why. Could it really be true that they don’t watch the news? Yes, race is a social construct but the implications of race are something that affects many of us. Race is a reality; the more pigmentation one has in their skin, the more difficult it can be to navigate society without a headache and much stress.
The “I don’t see race” comment doesn’t need to be stated to prove that one isn’t racist, or that one is open-minded or liberal. I acknowledge that we members of the human race are a diverse bunch but because of colonialism and other issues we have all had our minds colonized; we believe things about ourselves and about others that just aren’t true. And our beliefs unfortunately place people in a racial hierarchy (also gender, sexual orientation, religious hierarchies etc.).
Originally posted on Left at the Lights:
Well now. Intersectionality was so powerful when it came down to it they tried to steal it from us. In order to understand we need to label why certain groups of people have reacted in this way. Even in the face of condemnation and bemusement white fems aren’t letting it go, the most prominent amongst them making fools of themselves by backtracking. So what are the facts and what is the main reason for this white feminist backlash?
As minorities, as marginalised peoples, we know who controls our access to any kind of social justice; white people. We have identified that the basic standard for existence is much easier to achieve if you are white. Before you argue this point, take a look at this thoughtful video that explains it in no uncertain terms. Learn it. Where do we go from there?
As a white person you can apply for a job without thinking your name might affect your prospects. You can pass through airport security without scrutiny. You don’t have to think about whether wearing a backpack on the tube might mark you out to The Watchers. This is privilege whether you care to acknowledge it or not. Non-white people cannot access this, it is white privilege. Whether you are working class or a woman or you have a disability or even if you are trans* in some circles, white privilege stretches far. Of course this is not to say that white privilege negates the lack of privilege in other areas rather each strand of identity has its own meaning. If the baseline to a standard existence where our human rights are valued is that of a white middle class man (in a white supremacist heteronormative patriarchy) then being non-white, religious, working class, a woman, disabled, trans* loses you privileges for not being as brilliant as the white menz in power. With each separate identity comes the loss of power for not conforming. White women have shared in some of the white man’s privilege. The banknotes saga demonstrated white patriarchy in action, all the white people smiling with their toothiest of grins, powerful white woman shaking the hand of the powerful white man at the bank. She probably knows she didn’t achieve much and he knows it too but as long as they keep up their façade the power stays between the two of them. They’ll give each other small victories to maintain white power, to the exclusion of us all.
Originally posted on HealthCetera - CHMP's Blog:
by Rosemary Gibson, Senior Advisor, The Hastings Center and Author, Battle Over Health Care: What Obama’s Reform Means for America’s Future
Hospital budget cuts became viscerally visible earlier this month when Vanderbilt Medical Center announced that nurses must now perform housekeeping duties — cleaning patients’ rooms and bathrooms.
In case you missed the video of the internal announcement secretly recorded by a nurse that aired on Nashville’s WSMV television station, here it is.
On December 29, Ani DiFranco cancelled her “Righteous Retreat” at Nottoway Plantation, but did not apologize.
it has taken me a few days but i have been thinking and feeling very intensely and i would like to say i am sincerely sorry. it is obvious to me now that you were right; all those who said we can’t in good conscience go to that place and support it or look past for one moment what it deeply represents. i needed a wake up call and you gave it to me.
it was a great oversight on my part to not request a change of venue immediately from the promoter. you tried to tell me about that oversight and i wasn’t available to you. i’m sorry for that too.
know that i am digging deeper.
I am glad to see Ani reach this point within herself and find the strength to admit she was wrong. She additionally posted a link to this article: 5 Ways White Women Can Address Our Own Racism.
I still feel that if she wants to hold a retreat to encourage growth and music creation, that she should offer one or two scholarships to the retreat, as reparation to the black community, and as a recollection of her own roots. With camping tickets to the original retreat starting at $1100, such an experience is far out of the range of independent artists who could really use such an event.
I still feel upset on a deep level about the initial choice of a plantation for a retreat, but I believe DiFranco’s words to be sincere. You cannot live your life and be a perfect person. When you are famous, your mistakes are going to get a lot more attention. My decision on whether or not buy DiFranco’s music in the future will be based on the black community’s response to her apology, as well as future actions.
Originally posted on Another angry woman:
Trigger warning for rape
If what his own defence lawyers say is true, Julian Assange is a rapist.
He described Assange as penetrating one woman while she slept without a condom, in defiance of her previously expressed wishes, before arguing that because she subsequently “consented to … continuation” of the act of intercourse, the incident as a whole must be taken as consensual.
In the other incident, in which Assange is alleged to have held a woman down against her will during a sexual encounter, Emmerson offered this summary: “[The complainant] was lying on her back and Assange was on top of her … [she] felt that Assange wanted to insert his penis into her vagina directly, which she did not want since he was not wearing a condom … she therefore tried to turn her hips and squeeze her legs together in order to avoid a penetration … [she] tried several times to reach for a condom, which Assange had stopped her from doing by holding her arms and bending her legs open and trying to penetrate her with his penis without using a condom. [She] says that she felt about to cry since she was held down and could not reach a condom and felt this could end badly.”
Originally posted on Left at the Lights:
If like me you’re somewhat amused but also bewildered by the events today, you’ll probably want to talk about it so I’m gonna write this and you can tell me your feelings in the comments below.
We predicted this right? Just yesterday Jude wrote “.. (white) feminism will step up its attempts to co-opt and appropriate intersectionality. They’ve seen it’s not going away and now they regroup to try and control it”, but none of us could have anticipated the imminence of the biggest about turn in feminist history. The cisters, the same ones that have mocked and scoffed at intersectionality for the duration of the past year are now claiming we’re ruining intersectionality for them. They want to “free it from their toxic grip”. Who’s ‘they’, Caroline? Do you mean me? See, as far as I can tell, feminism was taking a serious nose dive before we turned up. Look, I wrote about it last year. Was I being toxic in this piece where I asked you to consider the ones you othered? How about this one? Or this one?
Intersectional feminists have been livid at your banknotes ‘activism’ because you have the fucking privilege of daydreaming, wondering about what bit of the white male world you can change next cos like, equality between (white) men and women, yo, instead of standing together with trans* women, WoC and disabled women in some of the most abusive situations they have faced in their activism. This was the year that saw a rapid increase in the number of Muslim women attacked for wearing hijabs. Your banknotes were an insult to them. Whilst you exchanged winks with the menz in charge, a woman had her unborn foetus kicked out of her in a Paris suburb. Where were you for intersectionality then? The racist UK government stepped up a campaign to show Britain’s immigrants they are not wanted by being as matter of fact as possible about it actually and made us relive the triggers we all experience when white supremacists control us with the allusion to a racially abusive word. ‘Go Home’ was a sinister campaign that didn’t need to say anymore and of course, like a lot of other racist patriarchs, they targeted the women, parking their van outside the offices of Southall Black Sisters, an organisation that assists women with no recourse to public funds. Y’see there is a domestic violence concession that allows you to stay in the country if you can get your application and a thousand pieces of evidence in before the UKBA HOUND YOU DOWN AND SEND YOU BACK, MOST LIKELY TO YOUR DEATH. Why hasn’t white feminism worked harder to banish the racist sexist immigration rules? Women are dying because of them.
Originally posted on Lifting As We Climb:
My mother is in a nursing home, out-of-state. I’m trying to move her to me or move to her. With insurance and health concerns, it has been a daunting task.
But for the holidays, I am spending precious moments with her. Doing, doing. Getting the promised occupational and physical therapy going. Requesting barber services. Checking on meds. And on and on, the work of it.
I’m going to address a few things I read repeatedly in the comments of my original post:
What about the CNAs/PCTs/Aids/etc? I was a tech prior to becoming an RN, while I went through nursing school. I personally know how exhausting and backbreaking the job of a tech can be. But this post wasn’t about CNAs, it was specifically about nurses. CNAs do not have the same responsibilities nurses carry, although we share many of the same tasks. The RN is ultimately responsible for the task to be completed, and will be held responsible if it is not. I do recommend CNAs take time to practice self care and realize when they are overly stressed, or if a patient is being abusive . I have personally seen patients abuse a CNA who would not abuse a nurse. CNAs are not mindless automatons, they are living, breathing people with a lot of their own responsibilities, and deserve to be treated with respect by nurses, doctors, and patients. Ultimately, my blog post was about nursing, and because I was not dealing with a CNA at the time, CNAs were not mentioned in my post.
If I don’t like my job, I should quit it. Also, I should have known nursing was hard when I went into nursing school. - I’m not going to quit my job. I’m very good at my job. My blog post was about encouraging all nurses, including myself, to practice self care techniques to avoid the effects of compassion fatigue. For those who are unaware, compassion fatigue is not the same as burnout. Compassion fatigue is the result of repeated exposures to extreme stress over time. When units have high levels of compassion fatigue, they have higher incidents of falls, medication errors, and infections. Nurses suffering from compassion fatigue do not answer call lights and alarms as quickly. Compassion fatigue is a real issue among healthcare providers. The recommended treatment for compassion fatigue is time away from the source.
If every nurse who suffered from compassion fatigue, stress, frustration or burn out left nursing, healthcare as we know it would be irrevocably changed.
I’m a nurse. I’ve never called in sick, taken a mental health day, or complained about the long hours and working holidays.
Congratulations. Maybe you should write your own blog post about the stressors you experience on the job, and how you deal with them so the rest of us can learn. Maybe you are one of these nurses who practices lateral violence, and are part of the problem.
Other healthcare professions experience the same thing. Why weren’t we included in this post?
I’ve said it repeatedly in the comments: this post was about a specific interaction between nurses. Other healthcare professions certainly experience stress, compassion fatigue, and lateral violence. We all have a lot of responsibilities. I cannot write about problems experienced by respiratory therapists, paramedics, EMTs or other healthcare workers because I have only been a secretary, a tech, and a nurse. I write what I know. If you would like to write a blog entry about your specific profession, I would be happy to link to it on my blog.
Since last August, I have taken several steps to improve my personal stress level and mental and physical health. Because I am attending a BSN program that has clinicals, and am very fortunate to have a very supportive spouse, I have decreased my work hours for the next several months while I have nursing clinicals. This will also allow me an opportunity to help my feet heal, as the pain during work is quite significant. I realize not everyone can do this, and that I am very fortunate. I will still be spending 36+ hours a week on the hospital floor, as well as time in classes, so I will remain pretty busy.
I would like to recommend some reading for those interested in the problems facing nurses
From Silence to Voice: What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public – Bernice Buresh and Suzanne Gordon
In 2012, I lost 30 pounds with diet and intense exercise and the help of a personal trainer. I don’t lose weight unless I exercise a lot.
Then I developed Morton’s Neuroma’s between my toes. Extremely painful and they made work, let alone exercising, hell. The treatment? Either surgery that would immobilize me for weeks (not an option while working and attending college) or cortisone injections between my toes. They were excruciating. With my doctor’s encouragement, I purchased a $400 pair of orthotics, only to have them blister and bruise my feet. I had them adjusted multiple times and they never fit right.
An effect of the neuromas is that they can cause the muscles of your inner foot to break down, so now I have severe plantar fasciitis, another problem that plagues any population of people who work on their feet.
After multiple treatments by a podiatrist, I was only getting worse. I also had some issues with the doctor, who pushed surgery on me heavily, even when I told him it was really not an option for me. It would take me a year to save the sick time needed for such a procedure, and I do not want to delay my BSN any further.
I switched podiatrist’s and went to one recommended by my primary care doctor. I really trust my primary care. We have a good relationship and I trust him. My new podiatrist is really nice and much more gentle. He prescribed physical therapy and I’m shelling out even more money for new orthotics. I really hope they work. I also got cortisone shots in my heels, OW, and that has helped the pain somewhat.
Tomorrow, while a large part of the country is waking up, I’m going to my first visit with a new personal trainer, as my beloved trainer left my gym. I only have 8 sessions left, but I’m going to use it to kick start exercising again. I want that weight back off and I want to feel good in my body again. Ultimately, it will also help my feet.
Weight loss seems like such a lame goal for a New Year’s Resolution, but I also want to get back into the shape I was before my feet gave up on me.
Other resolutions: Read more books. I read about 20 non school related books last year, and I want to read about 30 this year. I have 4 new books on feminist history and current feminist theory to kickstart me.
Next Resolution: Graduate. I’m due to graduate in August with my BSN, which will grant me a WHOPPING raise. *sarcasm* But if I want to move on to study for my NP, it’s a necessary step.
Additional goals: After Graduation, I’m going to learn to play the guitar and apply to the NP program to start in 2015. I’m going to keep my house cleaner (if possible) and I’m going to work on being kinder to others and being kinder to myself.
Last, I’m going to write more. It is a good coping mechanism that helps me deal with my stress without unloading too much on my husband, friends or coworkers. I’m going to write a few more poems, maybe a story, but I’m going to write.
I have approved all pending comments. I will not be making any further comments on the “Effects on Nurses” blog for a couple of days.
I’m really overwhelmed by the amount of attention this post has gotten.
I’ve seen a lot of people tell me to just get another job, like it was easy to switch from being a nurse to being something else. You’re missing the point. The point is that hospitals, nurses, administrations, need to work together to avoid the dread many nurses feel before a shift. We need to ask, what is it about nursing that makes injury seem preferable than going to work.
For those of you unfamiliar with compassion fatigue, I suggest you look it up. It is different than burnout.
For everyone who has told me to get another job. I’m really good at my job. I like the majority of my coworkers. I like my boss. I love my hospital. Just because my job is physically and emotionally stressful doesn’t mean I want to leave it. With my post, I wanted to encourage nurses to support one another and to practice self care.
Going to sleep now. Have a nice day.
Originally posted on The Social and Global Justice Project:
Carie Rael and John Belleci
The Social and Global Justice Project
On a recent trip to New Orleans, we decided to tour Nottoway Plantation, which is tucked away, off the beaten path, on the banks of the Mississippi River about sixty miles northwest of the city on the way to Baton Rouge. Our creeping sense of apprehension began already on the drive in, as we wound our way through Cajun Country past drive-up crawfish stands and some of the most abject rural poverty of Black Americans in the South. That there were so few people and so many churches also spoke to the paternalistic nature of oppression that we found ourselves immersed in.
Nottoway boasts that it is the largest antebellum plantation left in the South. The main product produced by the more than 155 slaves who once toiled here was the sugar cane that was grown on over 1000 acres of highlands and swamps. As historians, we were drawn to this place, and hoped to gain some understanding of our past. But at what cost? By paying for an opportunity to gain access to an historical site with a past as brutal as this one, would our own quest for knowledge somehow parallel the paradox of American history? Would our own otherwise well-intentioned voyeurism perhaps feed a capitalist system that caused so much harm to the people who were once enslaved here? We were truly conflicted as we wandered the grounds and then took the guided tour.
I have been an Ani DiFranco fan for nearly 20 years. I have so much of her work. I have quoted her so many times. I have sung her songs in a circle with other women, but as of today, that is over. I’m angry. I’m hurt.
A little while ago, @CatPennies made me aware of the blog post: Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Retreat: Please Use Both Hands to Cover Your Ears
Even if I wasn’t horrified, the $1000 price tag for the event would put it far out of my means. The retreat will be at Nottoway Plantation, in White Castle, Louisiana. Nottoway currently functions in many capacities, including offering white washed tours which talk about the “kindness” of the former plantation owner toward his slaves.
There are multiple white feminists going after black feminists on the page, and there’s a lot to be offended by, so please be prepared to be angry.
I have personally emailed firstname.lastname@example.org:
To whom it may concern,
As a longtime fan of Ani DiFranco, and a woman who grew up in the South, I am incredibly disappointed in your choice of venue for your “Righteous Retreat.” I am sending this email to let you know if this retreat moves forward, my financial support of Ms. DiFranco and her label, as well as the vendors and participants in the retreat will cease. As a white feminist actively working in support of black feminists, I am appalled. As a woman from the South, I cannot see how paying money to a venue celebrating a system of oppression that also oppressed all women in different ways, on different levels, is a feminist action.
Right now, on the Facebook page for the retreat, white feminists are telling black feminists to take the opportunity of the venue as an opportunity to grow from the pain of slavery. White people are telling black people how to feel about slavery. Is this where Ms. DiFranco’s message now lies? Have we gone from “Subdivision” to actually dividing and shutting out people and ignoring our history while allowing a symbol of patriarchy, white oppression, and colonization to profit?
Earlier this year, when news of the depth of Paula Deen’s racism and her desire to dress black men as servants for a plantation event surfaced, we were horrified, and Paula Deen has not made a living promoting equality and feminism. If I am hurt by the choice of a Southern plantation, I cannot imagine the hurt feminist women of color must feel. I do not have that experience. Because of the this, as I said in my email, I am calling for a boycott of Ani Difranco’s label and any vendors at the event.
I am not calling for a change of venue for the event. I am calling for a cancellation of the event, reparations to the black community, and if DiFranco still wants to hold a retreat, finding a new location at a different date with some of the proceeds going to fund programs for women of color, and an acknowledgement of why the “Righteous Retreat at Nottoway Plantation” was the wrong venue for a feminist event.
The first time someone told me “check your privilege,” I was incensed. I didn’t have privilege! I am a woman! I have been oppressed. Everything I had learned from feminism told me so. I was hurt and confused and I refused to back down and quite frankly, I made a fool of myself. A friend blocked me, and didn’t want to hear from me again. I was absolutely certain I wasn’t guilty of the “privilege abuse” practiced by men. I was trying to learn more about feminism, and I honestly didn’t see (at the time) how I was being intrusive. I was reading a lot, but I was reading white feminists, and there was NO mention of racial disparity in those books.
Everyone’s life should be an evolution, and one day, mine came. Feminists on Twitter were going as fast as they could, and they were talking about something called “intersectional feminism.” I messaged @JudeinLondon, who gave me a short explanation and suggested I check google. Suddenly, everything made sense. Intersectionality was the missing piece that I needed. The more I researched, all online, the more I understood. The next time someone said “check your privilege,” I knew what they were talking about, and could examine what I’d said. I was still hurt, inside I felt defiant. But I apologized, and asked what I had done. They were absolutely right. I learned, and I grew from the experience.
I’m not perfect. I want to jump into conversations where I don’t belong all the time. I get excited about trending hashtags, and I want to share my opinion. Maybe if I think of something witty, it will be okay. It’s not okay. Hashtags like #solidarityisforwhitewomen by @Karnythia and #notyourasiansidekick by @Suey_Park are not intended for everyone to be included. They were created for and by women of color for feminist discussion. A lot of really amazing discussion has happened and there’s been a lot of opportunity for learning, because unlike having a closed door meeting, we can all see what is going on. This is good and bad, because there’s been a lot of trolling of the hashtags as well. This is where white people CAN be allies. Call out the the trolls. Report them for their spamming of the tags. Use your tweets & account as a shield so the discussion can continue.
This morning Huffpo posted a blog post by Adele Wilde-Blavatsky: “Stop Bashing White Women in the Name of Beyonce: We Need Unity, Not Division.” and the nonsense that has been her Twitter mentions has not stopped.
After a discussion about white privilege, today, I made this tweet:
I then talked to a user who was convinced white privilege doesn’t exist and gave me the “white women are oppressed, too!!!” line. I tried. I failed. I blocked.
A couple of hours later, I got a response from @TeamOyeniyi:
After a bizarre conversation, I thought she’d gone away. But she came back again. And again. And then she left this post in my mentions (Trigger Warning: Racism):
In her blog post, Robyn Oyeniyi attacks the use of the term “white privilege,” and claims it ignores matriarchal societies and that use of the term “white privilege” actually oppresses women of color. She talks a lot about Yaa Asantewaa, a woman who led the Asante people in rebellion against the British. She also claims we need to get rid of the term “intersectional.”
This is my comment to her post:
Yaa Asantewaa remains a figurehead to her people, but Yaa Asantewaa died in exile, under British oppression. While white women certainly have been and continue to be victims of oppression, they are also in many circumstances the oppressors.
Being told to “watch your privilege” is not the same as being oppressed. Women of color discussing their shared experience have the right to request that white women back out of or stay out of the conversation. Because we cannot share their experience, what we’re really doing when we try to join conversations about shared racial experience is hijacking their conversation and appropriating it for ourselves.
Cries of “telling me to check my privilege is oppression” actually furthers white oppression of women of color because you’re literally telling them they have no right to request a conversation remain among women of color.
Refusal to self-check our own white privilege is why many women of color want nothing to do with feminism. Feminism is so focused on white women that women of color feel they no longer have a place. If we want feminism to be an ongoing movement that includes all women, we need to check our privilege. Knowing when to be silent is a powerful gift that you not only give to yourself, but a gift you share.
I feel like all day long I’ve been told by white people that white privilege isn’t a thing. That it doesn’t exist. Yesterday, I was told that the DC area is a magical land where racism does not exist. At the same time, I grew up in the South, I witnessed oppression, I’ve seen men use their privilege and I’ve seen the wealthy use their privilege and I’ve seen white women use our privilege. I’ve seen a lot of people use their privilege in good ways, but usually, it’s people who aren’t aware of their privilege. We are so steeped in privilege we just expect it to happen and when it doesn’t, we (white people) are shocked and offended when people of color aren’t surprised at all.
My fellow white people, we do have privilege. White women, we are oppressed in many ways by a society that favors white men over us. But we are still privileged. When someone says “check your privilege,” they are not necessarily calling you a bad person. They are asking you to examine what you are saying so that you can be a better person. Of course, if you are a bad person, or refuse to acknowledge your privilege, you probably deserve the smackdown that’s coming.
Originally posted on The Belle Jar:
As Charlotte Raven helpfully pointed out in the Feminist Times this morning, wearing high heels is not feminist. Nor, apparenty, is staying in an abusive relationship. After reading her piece, I hope that both shoe aficionados and domestic violence victims see how badly they’ve been fucking up and either shape up or ship out, because the feminist movement isn’t interested in the likes of them. I would also like to thank Ms. Raven for being brave enough to say what no one else was women to say – namely, that women who like fancy footwear and who just sit there and let their partners abuse them are failing all women everywhere and just need to find another way to get their kicks other than Louboutins and men who make them fear for their lives.
If I have one criticism of Raven’s piece, it’s just she didn’t go far enough. Sure, high heels are anti-feminist, but so are a lot of things! What we really need is a handy-dandy guide put together by a privileged white woman telling us exactly how to be as feminist as possible. Since Raven has failed us in this regard, it’s obviously necessary for someone to step in and correct this failing. Please allow me, a privileged and lily-white member of the feminist tribe, to be of service.
Feminists Do Not:
It’s happened to nearly every nurse I know. You work your ass off for a patient, and at the end of the day, the patient or family member try to give you a large cash sum in thanks for your work. I’m not talking about a $5 gift card to Starbucks, I’m talking about a gift of over $50 cash, or of a great deal of worth.
I remember caring for a woman who had emergency surgery but also had Alzheimer’s. She was traumatized to be out of her nursing home. She refused to eat anything. I worked with her for 3 days, helping her walk, making sure she didn’t fall, bathing her, and ordering different foods until I found something she would eat. It involved calling the nursing home and finding out from their staff what her favorite foods were.
I became close to her family over this time. Her son repeatedly thanked me for all my work, which was really nice. He nearly cried when his mom started to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cut into perfect squares. Every morning when he arrived and saw her clean and cared for, he knew his mom was safe.
At the end of my third shift with this pleasantly confused and challenging patient, her son pulled me into a corner and tried to give me $100. “Take your husband out to dinner.” I politely refused, and told him his thanks was more than enough. He insisted he wanted to give me a gift, so I suggested he send the floor a fruit basket, something we could all share. He begged me to take the money, but I told him it wasn’t right, because caring for his mother was my job. He said I did more than my job, but nurses know, I may have gone a little bit above and beyond, but not far. I politely said no a third time, and told him to take his own wife out and relax now that his mother’s health crisis had passed. He finally agreed.
After the patient was discharged home, multiple fruit baskets arrived for night and day shift, for each side of our unit. Everyone was really happy about that.
Not taking money from patient family members is one of the basics of nursing ethics. It could be construed as a bribe to give one patient better care than another, which I just won’t do. You get care based on how much care you need, not how much care you can afford.
So imagine how I feel every time I hear about a politician taking bribes for things like hot tubs, home repairs, vacations, etc.
It makes me want to vomit. Consider Bob McDonnell, who has been accused of taking multiple bribes. He makes enough money. He didn’t need those things. If it comes out to be true, it’s going to be horrible.
I am always amazed at the frenetic energy the wealthy or well-to-do spend on BECOMING MORE WEALTHY. You already can support yourself in luxury. The governor gets free food! A mansion! After he’s done, he’ll have speaking opportunities, book opportunities, maybe a pension (I don’t know what happens to Virginia governors after they leave office). Before this bribery scandal, even becoming Vice President was a realistic option. Instead, he had to take money and services from people.
Shame on Bob McDonnell, and shame on every politician who takes bribes. I’m not even talking about funding for political campaigns, I’m talking about out and out bribes. Shame on you. I would never solicit bribes from a patient or family member, how dare you do this to your constituents, who look up to you.
A long time ago, my friend Andy was going to be evicted. He couldn’t make rent. His apartment was a wreck, and everything was crashing down on him. So we held a fundraiser. I was broke, but I carefully handcrafted two books of handwritten poetry and sewed them together and other friends bought them at auction for $50 a piece. Andy was saved. The support of our friends helped to bolster him, find ground to stand on, and get back on his feet. It was great. No one ever begrudged Andy a dime.
Crowdfunding sites were really unique not too long ago. First there was Kiva, and I happily chipped in $25 and have watched it be repayed and reloaned over the last couple of years.
Then I joined tumblr, and saw a couple people trying to pay for top or bottom surgery, and threw in a few bucks. Someone’s dog was sick. Someone needed a new laptop for college. A friend of mine needs a car, I don’t mind. An independent band I love is trying to record a new CD. Someone else is going to be evicted. Anything and everything. I try to throw in $5 as often as I can. Sometimes more if I know the person well.
But in the last week, I’ve gotten about 15 requests for Kickstarter funds from different people and I have to say.. I’m tapped out. Financially and emotionally. There are so many people who need money, and me? I’m a nurse. Not exactly raking it in, and I had to face the fact that the amount I’ve been donating to people is starting to seriously affect my life, especially because I don’t always get a full paycheck myself. Every time I miss work due to Meniere’s disease, it’s unpaid.
But still, I want to give. It used to be I could sign up to volunteer some time. Maybe donate clothing or things I didn’t need as much as someone else. Now, it’s just money. Everyone needs money. People need food, people need rent. The Kickstarter funds are starting to be everywhere, for everything.
I really, really wish I had more money to donate. I really don’t have any more. I’m in college. I have bills. I need food. I need all these things I’m donating for. I need to feel okay about not donating to every person who is seeking money for something or other. I don’t know how.
It occurred to me last night that if my husband knew how much I donate he’d be pretty frustrated with me, because he’s taken on a lot of expenses incurred by my doctor’s appointments, exams and college.
I am so very privileged to have what I do have. I’ll probably keep donating every now and then, but I needed to write this down. I feel so goddamned guilty every time I see a new funding request. They are never trivial things. I’ll never say “oh, you should get a job” because these people HAVE jobs. Or they can’t find a job. These are valid needs. I just can’t help everyone and I really, really wish I could.
I remember hearing somewhere that the majority of charity comes from the middle class, not from the wealthy. I feel like these crowdfunding ventures are the middle class, trying to save itself, trying to keep itself afloat. It’s like a bucket brigade, and we’re going to run out of water and people really soon.
So if I don’t donate to your fund, please understand, I just can’t right now. It doesn’t mean I’m not your friend. I’m still your friend with the same job I’ve had all along, unable to get by on my own as well. Hopefully, in more years than I’d like to think, I’ll have my NP license and a better income and I can donate more freely. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to go back to full time at my job, although with my Meniere’s it’s unlikely.
I feel so selfish, and whiny, for going on the internet to seek validation for not donating to every cause that comes by. But I’ve felt this way for a while and it’s not going to get any better. The requests aren’t going to stop coming. I just needed to write this down, get it out somewhere, and hope people understand.
Originally posted on Violent metaphors:
“A cousin of my mom’s survived Polio and lived the rest of his life with its effects. He was not expected to live past his teens but made it to his 40s. I am grateful that modern science can protect us from Polio and other diseases and I choose to take advantage of modern science to give my kid better odds of not dying from a preventable disease. I had heard a lot of noise from people claiming vaccines caused Autism, but never saw any clear evidence. It just seemed to me like people really wanted to point to something as the cause and they latched onto vaccines.”–Jennifer
I have been getting into a lot of discussions about whether vaccines are safe in the last few days. I’m not sure if it’s because of a post going viral about a (terrible) Italian court ruling last year (In contrast, American courts side with doctors and scientists on vaccine safety) or Jenny McCarthy’s recent hiring as co-host on “The View”, or simply (as a friend suggested to me today) the fact that a new school year is starting soon and parents are having to provide vaccination records to schools.
“(I got my children vaccinated) because the science supports it and I don’t want my kids to die. And civic reasons. It’s so straightforward.”–Britta