Category Archives: Uncategorized
I talk about living in Germany a lot but I don’t talk about the impression the remnants of the war and my German history education taught me. I’ve talked about it on Twitter, but I haven’t talked about it here.
A young woman in class talked about learning that her grandfather was a war criminal. That he had killed thousands in the Holocaust. Jewish, Queer, Trans, Romani, so many people.
And she said she would think about it at night and that it felt like a weight on her chest, the weight of all those bodies and souls, smothering her. She knew it wasn’t her fault but she said she needed the weight to remember why the Holocaust should never be allowed to happen again.
I follow a couple of other people on here who I knew back then. I’d like to ask you to talk about what you saw and lived when we were in Germany, back right after the Wall fell, and what you learned from it.
I used to run (I know) every morning in Germany. I would run on this path and there was a fallen down building there. When my host parents learned where I was running, they were horrified. I was on a path, sure, but it was a path through where an old minefield had been. The fallen building was a bombed out bunker.
That’s when I learned that in 1993, they had fished out a bunch of mines from around that bunker and the path. My host parents thought they were all gone, but weren’t sure. I ran on the sidewalk after that.
When I went to Dresden in 1995, I saw the Frauenkirche, this magnificent church that was bombed out and left to stand by the people of Dresden so that it would never be forgotten. In 2012, I stood inside the Frauenkirche, rebuilt. I think they rebuilt it too soon.
Today, when I woke up, I thought I had gone insane. Someone I barely knew, but definitely someone who would be targeted by Nazis, was defending a group of Nazis. I couldn’t believe it. I had to run an errand and when I came home, the post was still there. I don’t need a new friend that bad.
I want to remind all my folks.. Trans, NB, Queer, activists. The people who share my marginalizations.. they will come for us, and we won’t be the third or fourth group they come after. Get with the fucking program. We are on the list. You should feel that weight on on your chest, because it is going to smother us.
If you don’t believe this is a serious threat, please talk to me. Talk to someone. There are enough people out there who know the seriousness of what our country and the world are facing with this swing to the right. We are facing another cascade of atrocities, and we will not all survive this.
(Note: Text is copied from information at petition site!)
Jeanette Vizguerra, a Colorado community leader and mother, is facing deportation. Jeanette has lead the fight against her own deportation for over 6 years to great success, part of her secret to success is her die hard community. She needs it again, today! Share this and spread the word.
Jeanette has lived in Colorado for over 17 years, has 3 small children who are US citizens, started a small business with her husband who is a cancer survivor, and has given selflessly as a community activist. She worked for SEIU as a labor organizer and volunteered with her children’s schools, the Aurora Neighborhood Watch Program, Rights for All People, AFSC and contributes to the Romero Troupe.
Jeanette has worked hard to build her community in Colorado and has inspired many with her courage and passion. Jeanette’s story exemplifies the brutality of our immigration system that is unjustly separating families and denying many the ability to live with dignity. Although this immigration system has tried to destroy Jeanette’s dignity, she is still fighting to be with her children and she needs our support!!
Jeanette Vizguerra (A# 089-826-036), came to the US in 1997 with her husband and daughter. They fled after her husband, a bus driver, had been threatened at gun point for the third time. Jeanette worked cleaning office buildings and became a key member of her SEIU local, 105. Eventually she became an organizer, leading the fight for better pay and benefits for all janitors. She also joined a local advocacy group called Rights for All People as one of its founding members. She worked to establish trust and relationship between the immigrant community and the police. She and her husband started a moving and cleaning company and eventually had three more children, all US citizens.
Jeanette’s case began in 2009 when she was pulled over for an expired license plate and then arrested for driving without a license (at that time Coloradans couldn’t get a license if they couldn’t prove status). That traffic stop led to a police officer discovering documents she was going to use to apply for a third job this discovery resulted in a misdemeanor. The economic downturn had impacted the moving company and her husband had taken ill so she was the only breadwinner for her family.
In 2013, as she was awaiting an appeal in her case, she received a call from Mexico that her mother was dying. Despite 17 years in the US and thousands of miles, Jeanette and her mother spoke weekly. There are no humanitarian visas or programs available for those circumstances and Jeanette decided she had to be at her mother’s side before she died. She flew to Mexico the next day and, as she was in the air, her mother died. After 7 months of trying to build a life and send for her children, it became clear to Jeanette that at 40 she was too old to get good paying work in Mexico and decided to return to the US. She was detained at the border, and with the help of community, released back to Denver where she’s been granted repeated stay of removal for brief 6 month periods. Month to month is a hard way to live, grateful for more time with your family but unsure if you’ll continue to stay with them.
This is why Jeanette needs your support. Sign and share this petition widely.
#FreePurviPatel – women should not be jailed for miscarriage
Originally written for and performed as part of the pre-show for a performance of The Vagina Monologues. When I finished, I walked out.
I don’t fuck with Eve Ensler. I just need you to know.
Don’t get me wrong, I love vaginas – mine, vaginas in general, and each blessed one I’ve gotten to encounter up close. And I love women – myself and each amazing one I’m lucky to have encountered in my life.
I don’t fuck with Eve Ensler ‘cause at these things I can never tell if we’re celebrating vaginas or celebrating women and they’re not the same thing.
I don’t fuck with Eve Ensler for my sisters without vaginas and my brothers with them. For my siblings of all genders – men, women, both, neither – who wish we we could get away from this vaginas equal womanhood construction.
I don’t fuck…
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#DefendDenver – #Denver Community Defense Statement on “March Against Police Terror”
On Saturday February 14, over 300 people marched through the streets of Denver to show solidarity with families who have lost their loved ones or had their loved one’s lives threatened because of police violence.
When the March arrived at the Denver Police Headquarters, a bucket of paint was thrown by unknown March participants at a memorial to police officers who have been killed while in performance of their jobs. This single action has gained the most attention in the media, and has become a rallying call for Denver police and those who defend their actions.
We, as the members of the Denver Community Defense Committee, the organization that planned the March against Police Terror, voice our unwavering support and solidarity to all those who participated in the protests and March yesterday.
It is telling that at this moment, local media and the Denver Police…
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Solidarity with Those Arrested During the March Against Police Terror!
During the march against police terror on February 14th, multiple people were arrested. These people are going to need our help and support. We are asking for any and all donations to help with court fees, bond, and other associated expenses. If you would like to donate, go to our Fundly at: https://fundly.com/donate-to-denver-anarchist-black-cross# You can also donate via paypal at email@example.com We thank you all in advance for your support. Solidarity with the arrestees and the families and friends of those murdered by the DPD!
It’s been a year since my blog post went viral and I have faced some rather scathing remarks from people online and offline for my blog post, which was just advocating for nurses to care for our mental health, and for my refusal to take it down. Yes.. I could have taken it down but I continue to receive emails from nurses who have found comfort in that post. Who have found validation that yes, nursing is this hard and yes, people break down, and no, the need to take a day for your mental health does not make you a bad nurse.
First, I just want to reiterate that I am non-binary and do not use “she” or “he” or “they” pronouns. My name is Jo. When you tell me I am a horrible person, please go through the effort to not misgender me while doing so.
Excuse me while I double down.
Frequently nurses are required to go above and beyond. While going above and beyond should be something reserved for doing weekly.. monthly, at the most, once a shift… recent changes at my place of employment now require nurses to go above and beyond multiple times a shift. Indeed, going above and beyond is now the daily order of things and this is becoming incredibly stressful. Nurses have spoken up and I believe we will find resolve to these changes and I hope we come out of this better and stronger and more united.
Last night, I went above and beyond. I took a patient load that most nurses on my floor could not have handled. I notified the charge I would need her to be at my side and she was. How busy was I? The Up – Move pedometer stopped registering my steps and recorded a 3 hour cardio work out. I gave blood. I checked vitals. I assessed and reassessed and reassessed and at the end of my 12 hour shift, there are 4 human beings looking better than they did 12 hours before.
I did so much critical thinking that I started to critically think through this post and that is the last thing we need.
I didn’t do it alone. I had the intern on the floor for the first 5 hours of the shift, working side by side with me, reminding him of protocols and giving suggestions on what we could do. My fellow nurses checked in on me frequently and gave prns. They were also at their max patient load. The aides checked in and did walks, did some of my frequent vitals. I had a lot of help. We all went above and beyond.
My first near break came at 1 AM. That’s when a new grad who has known me for years told me “you need to eat, I can tell.” She was right. I ate. I once more believed in the validity and importance of life and kept on truckin’.
Things got better. Through hard work, my patients all stabilized. I got my charting done. I actually took a break off of the floor. It was amazing.
And then … something horrible happened.
At 5 AM, I ran out of fucks to give.
I remember it clearly. I was priming tubing to give a bolus. And as I watched the fluid roll down the tubing (always satisfying when it doesn’t bubble), I saw the ghost of my last fuck fade away.
I don’t remember who it was who first told me about the importance of rationing your fucks, but as a nurse, this knowledge, this ability, is so important. You must ration the number of fucks you give throughout the course of a 12 hour shift so that if someone falls apart at 6:55, you have a fuck. If you see a wreck on the way home and your feet and back are screaming, YOU NEED THAT FUCK…
And lo, I had no more fucks.
That is how, at 5 AM, I ended up talking to a new grad who has probably never uttered the word “fuck” about the importance of rationing fucks. I used the last dried up wisp of the last fuck in my arsenal to tell her.. do better. Ration. Mete them out appropriately.
Fucks allow you to go above and beyond. Fucks allow you to listen to complaints that you can’t fix but you need it to look like you have TRIED.
Fucks allow you to realize you are running low on fuel and need to regroup so that you can keep being an awesome nurse.
So I dug deep. I found one last, shriveled fuck down in my soul. The fuck that happens when someone gets a hard on at three in the morning and the other person is like… well… okay, why not? It wasn’t an enthusiastic fuck, but it got me where I needed to go. I pushed through the rest of the morning and here I sit, waiting for my melatonin to kick in, once again, begging nurses to care for one another.
I was so busy last night. I am so tired this morning. My patient load was not unsafe for me because I have been on my floor for a long time and I had good support. An energetic charge nurse. Helpful co-workers. AWESOME CNAS (you live and die by your CNA and so do your patients).
I did well last night because other nurses & staff looked out for me. Everyone knew I had made a sacrifice in order for the team to work efficiently and everyone helped out as they could. I have a stack of thank you notes to write out to people who really did so much to get us through the night.
On multiple occasions last night, others also offered to cover me so I could take a break. They made sure I took a break, when my own inclination was to skip it. That break was what gave me the last fuck I needed to get through the end.
A year after an impassioned, exhausted blog post about the need for nurses to practice better self-care, I am happy to say that thanks to my co-workers (and yes, even my manager), I am better at caring for myself as a nurse. I am better at scheduling my shifts so I do not get overtired and I am a better person for it.
I have learned to ration my fucks. I really hope, if you are a nurse, and you are going to work tonight, you stop and think about how many fucks you have to give and realize you’ll need to parcel them out. You might need to borrow a fuck from someone else.
If you truly have no fucks to give.. tonight might be the night you take that mental health break, and that is still okay. You are not a bad nurse for taking care of your own mental health. Nurses should not fall on the pointed tips of our nursing pins to be martyrs for the cause. Take care of you, take care of each other. Be careful with your fucks, for they are precious. This will make you a better nurse, and even a better person.
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Call In Campaign for #SherodKindell – who was unarmed, shot by police& being held in #Denver w/o pain meds.
I was so tired when I got off work that I slept too long. I can’t sleep tonight.
I am working on the Coloradans for Justice FB page and Twitter and the Colorado Activist Calendar because that is what I can do at this very moment to not feel helpless. Pretty sure there are a lot of people up late tonight.
Last night I went to a meeting and struggled to find hope through it. I work with amazing people. We are stronger in numbers. I am glad to have the opportunity to use the skills I’ve developed in a manner that does not serve the system. Last night, there was also a vigil for Jessie Martinez, and the Denver Police watched the attendants from the shadows.
I am not going to argue the vague details of the case released to the media by the police department. The witnesses were all arrested and cannot speak. If people can ask for all the facts when 25 women accuse Bill Cosby of rape, I can doubt 2 Denver police officers.
Three miles from my house, there’s an empty bed where a teenager should be sleeping. If you watched the news, you will see her portrayed as a grown woman. She was a girl. She was a woman of color, she was queer.
I am struck again by her name and face. Tonight, we all shared her face on our pages, calling for action, calling “enough!”
We have been saying “enough” for a very long time.
I should not ever have known these faces. I should not ever have known these names. These people should have been allowed to live their lives and have a future.
I will say it again. Stop killing people. Their lives matter. Black lives matter. Brown lives matter. Women’s lives matter. Queer lives matter. Trans lives matter.
If the police and sheriff’s departments around the country want to stop the protests, then you must stop the unjust killing of thousands of brown, black, queer, trans people each year, and stop the schools to prison for profit pipeline, I’ll calm down. I’ll go back to writing poems about pointless things. I will spend more time on my couch and go back to live tweeting movies and TV shows.
Honestly, I would love to have my old life back, but I know that’s never going to happen.
It is already too late for justice for Jessie Hernandez. Justice only comes if you survive. What I can do, what you can do, is work to create justice. The creation of justice is the cessation of hostilities against marginalized people.
From my Facebook Page:
I am going to make a request. While i have tried to be very vocal about this, and the majority of people are respectful, I need to make it clear:
I am a night shift nurse. This means I only work 2-3 days a week and occasionally have meetings at my hospital. This allows for a lot of time to organize and to go to meetings.
What it does not mean is that I can skip sleep to go to meetings. I cannot sleep for a few hours, then go to a meeting, and then go back to sleep. I cannot exist on less than 7 hours of sleep. It is not safe for me. It is not good for my patients. It is also not good for organizing because there is a big chance I will forget what we have been talking about if I have been up for 24 hours.
I work at least 2 weekends a month. I do not have a set schedule, and my work is scheduled 2-3 months in advance. Yes, this can be inconvenient. No, it is not unfair. Most nurses work at least every other weekend and many holidays. Many other careers have unpredictable hours. This should not exclude us.
A Monday through Friday, 8-5 job, is a privilege. It affords you opportunities shift workers do not have. When people ask that meetings be scheduled at more inclusive times, or if multiple meetings can be scheduled around one topic, this is an opportunity for inclusivity.
I love my job. I love organizing. I can do both.
As I have gotten more involved with activism online and out in the world, I have tried to make myself very accessible and available. It is time to set some limits. I will check phones messages, emails, tweets, Facebook updates, etc frequently if I am not asleep, at work, or driving. If I am doing those things, I will check in during my break, before I go to bed, and after I get up. I will no longer receive alerts for Twitter DMs on a regular basis. This is for my mental and physical health.
I know a lot of other shift workers feel this way. I would really appreciate if you are a shift worker and you have trouble with people respecting basic needs, that you post here and talk about it.
Read this. Now.
I’m so sick of talking about Lena Dunham. I’m even sicker of talking about what’s wrong with white feminists. Feel free to read any missing backstory here on how those things intersect for this piece. It’s a lot to rehash & really the Google machine exists for a reason. But, people keep asking me about why I am not on the “Lena’s being maligned unfairly” bandwagon. And no, it’s not about my personal distaste for her work. I don’t like it, I’m probably not going to like it. I’ve long since accepted it’s not for people like me. And I have a long running policy of mostly ignoring it & by extension her because I don’t find “ironic hipster racism” funny or quirky or whatever it is that people are going to tell me her schtick is. That’s life. I don’t like Sarah Silverman, Lisa Lampanelli or a dozen other…
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An important nursing reminder.
The know it all.
The so-called ‘seasoned veteran’.
The ‘I’ve taken care of one of these patients (Diabetic, Heart Failure, Atrial Fibrillation, etc.), so they’re all the same’.
Yep. I was one of them. I had been a nurse a whopping14 months and I thought I had learned all there was to learn. I had seen it all. I had done it all.
Pffffttttt! I’m and EXPERIENCED critical care nurse – don’t ask me if i know how to do that, or know how to treat that.
Seriously. All joking aside, I really was that nurse. It took a swift kick in the rear from a few knowledgeable and smarter nurses before I started to listen. And even then I stomped my foot like a temper-tantrumed child.
Then I had the life scared out of me by some pretty sick patients. Realizing…
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In which I discuss laws against anonymous whistleblowing in Texas, which has led to a culture of fear among medical staff and patients, which could lead to a worsening outbreak of Ebola in Texas.
Facebook information here: on.fb.me/YU8WKx
Since 1996, protests around the country have been held on October 22nd to remember victims of police brutality and speak out against this ongoing practice of violence against the citizens of this countr.
Coloradans for Justice, in coordination with other groups, has added Denver to the group of locations around the country.
We will gather at 5:00 PM MST with the event to start at 5:15. There will be speakers from the community: family members who have lost loved ones to police brutality and those who have experienced it first hand. In addition, you will here updates on progress in the community made since our September 3rd forum.
Please come out! If you would like to be added to the CoForJustice mailing list, email us at COforJustice@gmail.com.
We need volunteers!!! If you cannot come to the event, if you could pass out flyers close to the event, even just to your local coffee house, it would be extremely helpful. Flyers for the event are in the works. If you are a graphic designer, we could really use some assistance creating a logo for COforJustice, as well as a basic flyer for this event. Please contact us at CoforJustice@gmail.com or tweet us @COforJustice.
Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements
Some people may have seen this article already, which has been making its rounds on Facebook and the blogosphere, but INCITE! blog editors loved it so much that we wanted to share it here. The piece was originally published in make/shift magazine’s Spring/Summer 2010 issue and written by Courtney Desiree Morris.
In January 2009, activists in Austin, Texas, learned that one of their own, a white activist named Brandon Darby, had infiltrated groups protesting the Republican National Convention (RNC) as an FBI informant. Darby later admitted to wearing recording devices at planning meetings and during the convention. He testified on behalf of the government in the February 2009 trial of two Texas activists who were arrested at the RNC on charges of making and possessing Molotov cocktails, after Darby encouraged them to do so. The two young men, David McKay and Bradley Crowder, each faced…
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This really bothers me, as does any attempt to “prune practices that should be prohibited.” We must teach the true history of the United States and students must be aware they have a right to dissent.
I feel like this is pushing us more and more towards a society where people do not question the government and when the government is question, we are punished.
I have had the very great honor of working with Kenny Wiley for the last few weeks as we organized events to bring the community together against police brutality after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Kenny speaks here openly about being Black and fighting depression. Black people are often told to be quiet and be strong, erasing their need for assistance and visibility at a time of trial in their lives. I am sharing this because I want you to read about how depression and race intersect, and because these words are powerful. Please read Kenny’s post and forward it on.
I have depression.
I am young and black.
These two basic truths of my existence do not directly correlate, nor did the latter clearly cause the former. Yet the statements ought not be separated. I am depressed. To the extent that depression ever has a ‘cause,’ mine is both chemical and situational.
Long have questions and thoughts about race consumed me—and, for nearly as long, I have wished I could stop caring. During my childhood small books on Rosa Parks, SNCC, and the March on Washington littered my room.
Even as I came of age in mostly white external spaces, from school to church to friend circles, questions of race—of supremacy and history and inequality—did not let me alone. In high school I grappled with black voices across the political spectrum, trying to find my way without a guide. I read books from Toni Morrison, Malcolm X and Shelby Steele, feeling…
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And the sooner we both acknowledge this, the sooner we can begin to address the problem. So let’s talk.
“Wait just a minute here, Rachel. You’re like, the least racist person I know. You’re always sharing stuff about race and racism. You couldn’t possibly be racist.”
Here’s the deal. Racism isn’t just guys in white robes and Paula Deen shouting racial slurs. Racism is subtle, racism is insidious, and our culture is so deeply steeped in it that it’s impossible to grow up in the US and not be racist. It’s a kind of brainwashing: a set of default configuration files that come with the culture. It’s a filter, built up from birth, that alters our perception of the world. (Literally–racial bias makes people see weapons that aren’t there.) Racism isn’t just conscious actions; it’s judgements that happen so fast that we may not even be aware of…
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Look between your couch cushions, your kitchen drawers and in your pant pocket…right now!
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I am so proud of my community tonight. So amazed at how many people came out to protest in solidarity with Ferguson. So incredibly lucky to be a part of it all. Thank you, Denver.
A few years ago, after a mental breakdown that had been a long time coming I made the decision that I was no longer a feminist because I felt so utterly let down and victimised by women I’d assumed were feminists (due to the nature of the work we’d done together). At the time I was going through another period of acute mental distress as a reaction to my father abusing his new family. I’d been as transparent as I could about it at work but I didn’t feel supported and eventually the toll of dealing with domestic abuse in my own life (along with a myriad of cultural oppressions) whilst trying to prevent it in the lives of many others manifested in a few very bad decisions that ultimately led to my seclusion from society.
Yes, I was guilty of dissociating when my triggers were at their worst. This…
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A response I wrote in my Women’s Studies class that I wanted to save.
1) How does the ideology of “the ideal nuclear family” affect people’s ideas and public policies concerning personal relationships and family life? Use material in Chapter 7 (readings by Crittenden and Chambers) and Chapter 8 (reading by Parrenas). Think in terms of micro-,meso-, and macro-level factors.
2. What are the opportunities, limitations, and losses for women in the global South arising from the globalization of the economy? What responsibilities of people living in a relatively rich country like the United States to address social and economic problems faces by women from countries of the global South? What can be done? Think in terms of race, class, culture, and nation. Also think micro to global levels of analysis and action.
In the United States, we have bought into our own myth. We have been raised to believe that a nuclear family consisting of a husband, wife, and assorted offspring – heterosexual and of matching race – is the cornerstone to our society, when really, if we looked at our history, the ideal of the nuclear family is the result of a romanticization of a brief period in United States history when the White middle class was briefly able to sustain itself on the income of one individual.
It is important to acknowledge the romanticization of this time period. Post World War II, pre-Vietnam War, the Baby Boom. These times are held up as idyllic when even a rudimentary examination of what life was actually like for the majority of individuals around the world at this time. In Europe and England, massive reconstruction and redrawing of borders, and wars would continue to take place for decades. In Japan, reconstruction from the devastating fall out of two nuclear bombings, and in China, the oppression of it’s dicatorial system and one child policies continued to ensure that infanticide of female babies was often seen as the only hope. And in the United States, the Civil Rights movement was underway. In Ann Filemyr’s essay “Loving Across the Boundary,” she discusses the embrace of White people of their own naivete about what was so eloquently described by W.E.B. Dubois as “the color line.” Indeed. The color line is not invisible. It’s not indescribable. And that brief, romanticized era of United States history is not what we should set as our life goals.
Programs to encourage marriage in the United States and demonize single mothers or working mothers draw heavily on the myth of the 1950’s working family. Wealthy White families who are able to thrive on one income are held up as examples to the working poor. You should be able to have this, the US says to its people. You can have this! As long as you remain married, have children, go to church, and work hard, you should be able to have an ideal life, own a home, retire well, and relax as your life nears its end. I mention going to church because the Conservative movement in the US has a deep investment in marriage as a religious institution. In order to maintain this highly unlikely promise of the benefits of marriage, modern Conservatives have done what White religious movements have been doing for centuries: demonizing single women, especially single mothers, and in the US, especially Black single mothers.
Essays throughout our chapters document this pressure felt by women, but most especially felt by Black women. The pressure to give back to a poor family and community is felt by all children who do better than their parents or better than their siblings, but it is most acutely felt in the Black community. Veronica Chambers writes about how a couple who set aside $500 of their monthly budget to give to family. She also writes about Angela Kyle, who said “I felt that I didn’t have the right not to marry a black man. I felt I had a responsibility to have a Black child.” (Kirk & Okazawa-Rey, 2013, p.351.”
When you combine Chamber’s essay with Ann Crittenen’s essay about “The Mommy Tax,” we quickly see this is a trap women cannot escape. If you work to have a successful career, you may face the inability to have children later in your life. If you have children when you are young, even if well educated, you can expect to be hired for less and to receive smaller increases in income throughout your life. If you have a child in the middle of your career, the need to take maternity leave or the desire to take a few months to spend with children is likely to affect you for the rest of your career. All of these factors will affect you when you reach retirement. In these years, when you would want to help your children attend college, your retirement may hold hundreds of thousands of dollars less than it would otherwise, and you may find yourself inable of assisting your children, even after a long life of dedicated motherhood and work. If you are single, all of those numbers go down. And if you are single and Black, you are now termed “pathological.” What is seen as the descent of the United States way of life and economy has been placed on the shoulders of single Black mothers as solidly as a yoke, and the burden is destructive to the body, soul, and mind of Black women, and Black children. By placing false blame for a perceived deterioration in society on Black single mothers, Conservatives and the Liberals who take part in this game maneuver Black women into a corner they cannot escape.
Women living in the global South, and traveling as labor from the global South to Northern areas face similar persecution for perceived abandonment of their families. While men also travel, a large portion of the blame for increased stress upon children and family bonds is placed not on the shoulders of the father, but again on the shoulders of the mother. While carrying this burden in their hearts, women from the global South work as housekeepers, nannies, nurses aides and caregivers. Because they cannot find work at home that would provide their children with food and shelter, they move to other countries to do so. They are rewarded by being shouldered with the blame for the perceived decrease in the quality of their society and culture.
When the United States exports its idealized tv shows and movies that continue to extoll the virtues and rightness of the White, 1950’s US family, it places pressure upon families in other countries. It creates dissatisfaction with one’s primary culture and way of life. Additionally, it creates unrealistic explanations for those who migrate to the United States, Australia, Europe, and Canada. Very few migrant workers who come to the United States will more than scrape by. There are horror stories everywhere about the treatment of the women who care for the families of those in so called “developed nations.” Denial of health care, denial of food, sometimes denial even of personal space or a place to sleep is a common theme about what happens to women who come North looking for work to support their families.
I see a rather radical need for change in the global economy that would improve the lives of women around the world. And yes, White women, I mean our lives would be improved as well. What needs to occur is a split from the ideal of the 1950’s US nuclear family. A push toward fair wages for domestic workers, as well as fair working conditions. Implementation of funds for parents to assist them as they raise their children in order to prevent them from needing to leave the country to work. And for the upper echelon of businesswomen, a move away from viewing having children as a bad thing in an employee. Paying mothers less is ridiculous and companies do it because they can get away with it easily. Mothers, especially single mothers, know they have to take jobs that come their way. They know they have to buy the most economical products, which often means using items made in terrible working conditions in factories in the Global South.
In short, the woman occupying Earth in the year 2014 is trapped in a cycle that only few escape. And when those few escape, they are held up as models of society, without acknowledging the backs of the other women they had to walk across, or the fact that they may have had additional skills, additional resources, additional advantages that other women did not. They managed to find that high paying job, have their children at exactly the right moment, and then they are able to afford the advantage of paying another woman to leave her family in order to care for their own. Even at the height of the pinnacle, women like Sheryl Sandberg are caught in “The Mommy Trap,” and perpetuate its cycle. Instructions to “lean in” or “ban bossiness” in little girls are only instructions to continue the system of least resistance that we all are a part of: the patriarchy.
I do not write personal essays. This is the first, and likely the last, you will see.
I write articles that have resonated with millions of people, often in an emotional way. But I never write about myself or my personal life. I have multiple platforms and if I wanted to, I could. I choose not to – in part because I think focusing on myself distracts from the social and political problems I depict, but also because I value my privacy.
I am like this in “real life” too. I have been described as aloof, but I try to be generous and kind. I take care of my family and my community. I don’t care about fame, which is much more of a curse than a gift. I reject most media interviews. My priorities are my loved ones and my work. Yesterday I was reading Charlotte’s Web to my…
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In January, I met with my ENT. He is still a fairly new doctor for me and believes I don’t REALLY have Meniere’s disease, but that I have an autoimmune or allergic response to something in my environment. I’ve tested negative for autoimmune diseases many times. I’m going to get an allergy test done, but I don’t think we’ll find an answer there. My doctor’s opinion is that my Meniere’s should have burned itself out after 10 years, there is no way I should have Meniere’s for 13 years. Because of this, he had taken me off my medication, to see how I would do. I immediately had a return to severe vertigo attacks.
Of course, there is a thing called atypical Meniere’s disease in which you don’t burn out, but because I agreed to get an allergy test in the next few months, my doctor agreed to prescribe me the fabulous medication that keeps my attacks at bay : 25 mg Spironolactone. Not exactly looking for crack here.
A couple of weeks after getting on the Spiro, my Meniere’s symptoms began to lessen, like they always do. Frankly, I don’t really care if my “label” is Meniere’s or not, but my condition sure seems well controlled by a weak dose of a diuretic.
The first week of February, I got bronchitis. I got really sick, and I just didn’t get better. I tried to fight through it, going to work, doing breathing exercises, but no matter what I did, it got worse.
End of February/Early March, I had severe chest pain and went to the ER. After a cardiac workup, I was told I had pleurisy, given robitussin with codeine, and sent home. The pleurisy hung around, so I went to my regular doctor’s NP for a prescription for pain killers, which really helped.
On March 17, my husband took me to the doctor’s office because I was unable to go alone. I had pneumonia. They put me on strong antibiotics, and over the last several weeks, I’ve gotten stronger. I was finally able to take my new puppy for walks and go back to work, of which I missed about 3 weeks. I kept getting better and was planning to start working out this week.
Then Thursday, I woke up to get ready for work and had severe shortness of breath, chest pain, and a 101.5 fever. I took tylenol, used my nebulizer, and called in for my shift, knowing I couldn’t make it through a 12 hour shift. Finally, the pain got so bad, and the fever wasn’t going down, so I went to the ER. There, I learned my white blood cell count was 24. That’s really high. I was nearly septic. But just nearly. So they wrote me a prescription for pain medicine and sent me home. I’m seeing my doctor’s NP for a blood exam Tuesday and then meeting with my primary care doctor next Monday.
THAT’S THE THING ABOUT BEING A NURSE. ONCE YOU ARE A NURSE, YOU’RE NOT REALLY QUALIFIED TO BE ANYTHING ELSE, BUT BEING A NURSE IS EXHAUSTING AND IT’S NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE TO WORK WHILE SICK.
This was not the plan. The plan was to heal the sick and when I went to nursing school, I knew I had Meniere’s, but it wasn’t bad. I had no idea I would develop asthma. Because I have asthma, when I do get sick, I get sicker than people usually do.
So here I am. Up in the middle of the night, which isn’t a problem, because I work nights, but feeling like crap. I’ve used my nebulizer, taken my pain meds, used my Incentive Spirometer, which helps to increase lung volume. Once again, I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do to get better.
I feel like my health care providers don’t give a shit, which is awful because these are people I know. I know I’m on the edge of a “final warning” for attendance at work. Because I dropped to part time to finish my BSN, I don’t qualify for FMLA. It’s so frustrating, all together.
And the only good thing is that my attacks have really nearly stopped with the medication. But I’m at my wit’s end with being sick, with being in pain, with not being able to breathe.
This is the thing about chronic illness… you spend every day barely getting by, and then when acute illness hits you, recovering is a battle you don’t have the resources to fight. That’s where I am.
Just a note: I don’t like “spoon theory,” it doesn’t work for me, so I really don’t want to hear about it on my blog. I’ll delete comments suggesting I use spoon theory for focusing energy. I don’t have the luxury of limiting the energy I have when I’m at work, when I’m at home. There’s too much that MUST be done.
Tonight, I’m having a Meniere’s attack – vertigo and nausea. I know part of the reason is that my sinuses are really inflamed. My husband has a terrible cold. I have a bad sinus headache. I decided to make a soup to try to make us feel better. Initially, I was just going to drink broth with spices, but then I decided to make it a meal, so I added edamame, spinach and veggies.
Serves 2. Prep time 20 minutes. Cook time 40 minutes.
1 bag shelled edamame
1 bag frozen spinach
6 baby bella mushrooms, chopped.
5-6 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons roughly chopped ginger (or more)
2 inches lemongrass, chopped and pressed
1 teaspoon (or to taste) cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons fresh basil
Salt and black pepper to taste.
1 quart chicken broth. (you can use vegetable broth and then it will be vegan)
Heat olive oil in a soup pot. Add garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. Saute until fragrant.
Add chicken broth
Add Cayenne pepper. Add as much as you want. I know I put in at least a teaspoon, probably more.
Add black pepper.
Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add edamame, spinach, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil.
Simmer for 20-30 minutes (I simmered until my husband got home from work).
This soup is HOT. It works really well to help you clear your sinuses, chest, and you feel a lot better after eating it.
About 10 years ago, I was a staff writer for the Hyde Park Herald, a community weekly that paid in Trident Layers. One day, I was assigned a story on neighborhood chess players who’d been kicked out of a Borders bookstore for ruining the aesthetic, or something. I interviewed the store manager, who later claimed that I quoted her without permission.
Three days later, I was sacked. I was livid. I didn’t understand why the woman would lie. She never deferred to a corporate rep, nor did she state that she wanted anything off the record. It was just a story about chess players. What was the big deal? I didn’t consider that the woman might have wanted her identity hidden for reasons, and I didn’t care. I was out of a job, and over a story I didn’t even want. So I chalked it up to cowardice and started…
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I support a lot of causes and I support a lot of people. I am uncomfortable with calling myself an “ally.” One reason is that I’m not particularly fond of labels and the other reason is what the world “ally” represents to me. When I think of allies, I think of the allies that grouped together to fight the Nazis in World War II. They were together for one particular cause, even if they had different forms of government and different opinions on different sociopolitical and economic issues.
The thing about the Allies, though, they were in the front lines. They were in the trenches. They were dying. Once they were in, they could not leave. They did not leave until the war was over and the last prisoner free.
Even the white people who aligned themselves with the Civil Rights movements were allies. They took beatings. They marched for miles, and some of them were murdered along with their Black comrades. They were true allies.
I have marched in protests. I have signed petition after petition. I have voted my conscious even when I knew my candidate would lose because they were, in my heart, the right candidate for the job. I have spoken up at the Supermarket, at the bank. I call my coworkers on racist behaviors and let my Black and Hispanic, and Indian coworkers know that I will back them up if they need it.
But when I write, when I speak out, people do not threaten me. People do not threaten my children. No one is trying to find out where I live and publish that information. When I talk about my struggle with depression, no one tries to contact my primary care doctor and send them my Twitter logs. I am generally unafraid of the police. All of these things come to me because I have white privilege. I am not straight, and I am not cis, but in not being vocal about my gender status, people assume I am. I am weak because I do not speak out about my status, but I am not ready for that battle.
I do speak out. I do speak up. When someone is being attacked on Twitter and asks for help, I join in. When someone is being discriminated against in public, I say something. If I see a mother struggling with groceries, I try to help pay. I donate what I can. But when I speak up, the tone of the conversation immediately changes. The person being racist changes their bearing. Now they are talking to a white person, and they are suddenly more respectful. If they are being a troll online, I can use the same derailing tactics they are using to get them away from the person they are trolling.
I’ve been called a race traitor, I’ve been called a N—– lover. None of that is anything near what people of color go through. No one has threatened my children. No one has threatened my life. No one has threatened my safety. Indeed, even on my most controversial, viral blog post, the most that happened was that people said I should quit my job. Even though my boss read the post, she never thought I should quit, and her opinion is all that matters in that situation.
So I am not your ally. I wish I could say I was. But the things I do are not sufficient for me to call myself your ally. I am your supporter. I will support you, with words, with money when I have it, with friendship if you need it, but I cannot be an ally. I cannot be on the front lines of the fight you are in. You cannot leave the fight you are in, but I can. White privilege affords me that opportunity. My efforts are not enough to call myself your ally. If there is another war, I will join you. I will put myself in 100% and I will not leave. And then I will be your ally.
I didn’t celebrate International Women’s Day. I didn’t feel I had the right to. I’ve known for a while that maybe I’m not allowed to call myself a feminist because of the way feminism isn’t really much about real equality (justice), or hasn’t been for quite some time even though I’ve always believed it was my calling in life, to be a professional feminist, to ‘be the change I want to see’. The movement is so fractured and ugly, there is no solidarity and as I’ve said before, what are we without it?
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…
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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.
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.
Everyone knows how white people colonised the world by pitting neighbours against each other. My own grandparents wouldn’t speak about partition, all my gran would say was that there was a time when Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims lived in the same villages, they were different but they respected those differences; going into the mountains to slaughter meat for food for example, acknowledging that this practice might be offensive to Hindus and Sikhs. The only other thing I recall my gran mentioning was the horrific state in which the trains carrying respective Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus arrived at their destinations, all passengers on board slaughtered by the other side. I can understand why they didn’t want to talk about it. That said I won’t ever forget their belief that the British were to blame.
I’ve always wondered how this manipulative tactic comes so easy to colonisers, even when they aren’t drawing…
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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…
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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.
See that picture above?
Thats my life. 90% of the time- that beautiful mess is my life. Despite my best efforts, it is crazy, chaotic and absolutely unorganized.
I like you. I think you are sweet, and fun to hang out with. But let me give it to you straight. If I have to clean for three hours before you come over…
We can’t be friends. We just can’t.
It’s just way too stressful, and trying to keep my home perfectly neat in this stage in life is impossible and overwhelming. I used to be more put together, believe it or not, I am naturally organized ( and a little OCD) . But then my kids became mobile, they ganged up on me, and my life and time were no longer my own.
If you do come over, and I really want you to, I won’t pretend that I…
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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.
Her exact words were, “You need a better job,” as if the fortune of her White brothers and father would be bestowed on…
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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!
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…
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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.
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)…
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