Demand Buzzfeed Retract Articles About Steenfox (Christine Fox) and Apologize!

Twitter user @SteenFox held a beautiful conversation among sexual assault survivors that was healing and loving. Before the conversation had even finished, Jessica Testa of Buzzfeed had quickly gotten foggy consent from some users, but not @SteenFox and created a salacious piece of clickbait to up Buzzfeed’s ad revenue. They they wrote an article defaming @SteenFox’s repeated requests to have her own tweets and images taken down, which is her legal right. Your tweets are your own intellectual material, per Twitter’s privacy rules.

Please sign this petition to demand Buzzfeed retract and apologize for their articles about SteenFox (Christine Fox). If you can, go a step further and block Buzzfeed’s quizzes and “news” from your Timeline. You won’t miss them. I promise.

Please, please, please share this post!

JoAnne’s Cold Killer Soup

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

Olive Oil

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 basil.

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.

Feel better!

On consent and sensitivity.


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’ve been on steroids and sick since the beginning of February and it’s added 10 pounds to me. I am at my highest weight ever.

250 pounds. I’m going to have to buy some new, bigger clothes at this rate. I already bought scrub pants, but my bras are tight and everything is tight. I tell myself I can lose weight, but I really don’t think I can do it fast enough. I have an interview today and I’m just praying my jeans won’t be too small. I’ve been living in yoga pants since I got over 230.

I feel so ashamed of myself. I tell myself I couldn’t help getting bronchitis. I can’t help that I got pleurisy and I have tried to exercise but it’s also difficult to go out when I have asthma and it’s cold. I tell myself steroids make you gain weight, and I needed the steroids to breathe. This is all true.

But there’s another problem.

I have an eating disorder. I binge eat. I particularly binge eat when I lose any weight at all. Seeing the scale drop makes me want to eat. Seeing my clothes get looser makes me want to eat. I see a doctor about this but haven’t had much success with the anxiety that comes with weight loss.

I grew up very poor, and we didn’t always have food. My mother always praised us when we gained weight. She was probably relieved that we weren’t starving. We didn’t always have food when we were growing up. This lasted from the time we moved to Nashville, Tennessee, until the time she met my first step-father, Merritt, when I was about 7 or 8. After we met him, we were abused, we were hit and emotionally tormented, but we were fed.

We also had plenty of food in the Summer when I visited my grandparents. There were snacks and my grandparents always made sure we had plenty of them. I wasn’t hungry for most of my childhood, just a small part, but it has stuck with me.

I remember once, I was hungry and there wasn’t much food in the house. My mom was at work. I found a can of tuna and ate it. When she got home, she was furious. She said “that could have fed us for a week!”

Of course it couldn’t, but I remember that. I remember her yelling at me whenever I ate something that wasn’t specifically for mealtime. Snacks weren’t really something we had around the house, even after we were better off financially, and oh my God, I felt hungry all the time.

I won a scholarship to Germany my senior year of high school and it was the first time I really was offered enough to eat for a long period of time. I didn’t react appropriately. I started buying food at the local market and hiding it in my room. My host mother really didn’t understand and I know her feelings were hurt. But the sight of the food in my bedroom cupboard was comforting. I didn’t know it, but I had started to hoard food. I didn’t know it was a psychological condition at the time.

Then I got home. Shortly after arriving back in the States, my mother and step-father kicked me out. Then I really didn’t have enough food. I literally would count change to buy a can of soup or ravioli. When I got paid, I would go to the store and buy as much food as I could. I would buy so much food that I could barely make rent. The food hoarding got out of control. I put food on credit cards. I would buy and buy and buy food and not eat it. I’d stock my pantry and fridge and then go get fast food. None of it made sense.

When I moved to Colorado, I tried to change. Several times, I took my load of food to a food bank, only to buy another hoard with my next paycheck, putting myself at risk of homelessness again. I didn’t have a great job, but I had a job that paid enough for an apartment, bills, and a reasonable amount of food. But I had to have more. I had to have cans and cans and cans of food. To preserve the hoard, I’d still go to restaurants and get fast food, so I wouldn’t have to touch my hoard.

Eventually, I got into therapy, but I never really talked about food hoarding. As my anxiety lessened, I was able to give away food a little bit at a time and now while I do have more food on hand than my husband and I need, I don’t have so much food that I regularly throw it out. I have started making recipes out of the things I keep in the fridge. I keep food in the freezer, but I eat it. And when I went gluten free, I went through my cabinet and donated things I could no longer eat.

But what I can’t seem to do is stop eating. Whenever I lose any weight, I feel a compulsion to eat. I have to eat. I can’t not eat. I eat until my stomach hurts, and then as soon as the pain lets up, I eat some more.

I gave up soda, I gained weight because I replaced the soda with other food. I gave up gluten, I gained weight because I found lots of substitutes. Last year, I tried to become a vegetarian and gained weight so fast it was alarming.

My doctor doesn’t really get it. I used to take Wellbutrin and that was very helpful for appetite control. Then I started having hand tremors from Wellbutrin and I’m on a different medication for depression that is really not helping my anxiety.  I honestly don’t know what to do. When I think about looking for a support group, I feel so embarrassed. When I think about dieting, I want to eat. When I think about exercising, I want to eat.

I really can’t throw all of this blame on my mother. She was a single mom, and we were incredibly poor. My father didn’t pay child  support until she managed to have it removed from his paycheck. But things happened when I was a child, and these things make me prone to hoarding food. I’ve managed to stop hoarding food in cabinets, but instead, I now hoard weight on my body.

If I can’t stop doing this, I’m going to get diabetes. I’m going to get joint issues, I’m going to get high blood pressure. I already have slightly elevated blood pressure.  My asthma is getting worse. My clothes don’t fit. They are painful, and I really can’t afford to buy new ones right now.

This isn’t about accepting my body as fat and loving it. I don’t feel good at this weight. I feel awful.

I’m not asking people for solutions, I’m just getting this out, writing it down. I’m going to try to find help for my specific problem.

I don’t blame my mother for being hungry but I do blame my childhood for these habits I have now. I hope that by writing it down, admitting to the world I have a problem, I will be able to start changing my habits and my body.

I want to emphasize here: I do not want dieting advice. I do not want to hear about Paleo or veganism or anything like that. I have learned that restricting my diet triggers me to binge eat. I am going to work at exercising more and learning not to go eat when the scale goes down. That’s going to be my first step.

Thanks for listening.

Why I’m Not Your Ally

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.


45 Minute Chili with Vegan Option

Several people have asked for my super easy chili recipe, so here it is:


Ingredients (makes 4-6 servings)

1 pound ground beef

2 cans kidney beans (drained)

2 cans tomato sauce

5-6 cloves of garlic

2 jalepenos

2 green bell peppers

1 large red onion

Chili Powder

Cayenne Pepper

Salt and pepper


Sour cream

Grated cheese



Chop the vegetables and add to a large skillet or non-stick pot

Use caution when cutting the jalepenos. If you don’t want hot chili, remove the seeds.

Add ground beef. Season with salt, pepper, chili powder, and cayenne.

Saute until beef is thoroughly browned.

Add tomato sauce and kidney beans

Add more chili powder and cayenne pepper until you have achieved your desired level of heat.

Simmer covered for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with sour cream and grated cheese (optional). Also goes great with cornbread.


I have a vegan variant to this recipe. I use tempeh and add corn as an extra veggie.

If you use tempeh, chop it into small squares. Add grapeseed or another flavorless oil. Then add chili powder and saute until tempeh cubes are completely covered in chili powder. Then add vegetables and saute until onions are translucent. Follow the recipe from there.

I’ll post a picture of my chili the next time I make it, probably next week.

Help Lynx SainteMarie find their poetic voice!!!

My dear friend Lynx is trying to raise money to go to a poetry workshop for people of color in Canada. Transportation is already covered and they’ve received a $100 scholarship to help them attend.


The link to Lynx’s Gofund me is here


Created by Lynx Sainte-Marie on March 10, 2014

From Lynx:

Hey everyone,

For those who don’t know me, I’m Lynx. I am a (gender)queer, black feminist, afrogoth poet and student of love.  I run a little website that helps to showcase queer/trans, two-spirit and gender variant people of colour and Aboriginal folk as a way to give back to a broad community that is under-appreciated and mostly overlooked.  I am also chronically ill and am working towards wellness and wholeness, both physically and emotionally. And here I am, after many years, once again starting a journey into the world of performance art and spoken word poetry. How amazing!

I stopped creating and performing for several years because of a number of reasons, including trauma (I am a survivor of abuse), the onset of my immune issues, Depression & Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Because of these issues, the impact of them I still live with, and because most of my money goes towards medicine, supplements and/or my part-time post-secondary studies, I don’t have much money for anything else. So the idea of going to a retreat or workshop that might further my creative potential and provide me with creative contacts is mostly a dream to me. So here I am, asking for your support.

I was reluctant to create a page like this and fundraise but some of my dear friends reminded me that there are folks out there who believe in my words and who would support my going to a poetry workshop to help with my journey of regaining my voice and love for the stage. So here I am, sharing my story in the hopes that you believe in me like they do 🙂

d’bi young anitafrika is a world-renowned dub poet and educator, offering education to poets and performance artists from all walks of life. The workshop she is offering is called “finding my poetic voice and it is through the watah school: womb arts healing. It would be an amazing and humbling experience to attend this interactive, interpersonal and healing workshop and such an honour to work with d’bi since she is my favourite Canadian performance artist.  It would be an absolute dream for me to attend this workshop and learn as much as I can from her and my fellow workshop attendees.

The cost of the workshop is $700. Because of my situation, I was offered a $100 discount (Which would bring the fee down to $600) but because of “GoFundMe’s 5% per donation and WePay or PayPal’s 2.9% + $0.30 per donation“, I left it at $700. This money needs to be paid IN FULL by April 5th.  Travel expenses will be covered by me and it helps that it is every week for six weeks so it won’t cost very much to take public transportation to Toronto.

Give what you can and ONLY what you can, however small, I appreciate it. This would be an amazing opportunity for me that I would remember for the rest of my life.  I would love the chance to hone my skills as an artist with one of the greats! Once I am able to attend, I will document the journey as best as I can so that all can see my progress. How wonderful!

So much love for you all,


Please donate and if you can’t donate, please reblog to signal boost and spread the word. It’s so hard to find opportunities for enrichment as a writer, please think of Lynx and if you even have $5 to spare, send it their way!

The History of Breastfeeding Among Black Women – What White Nurses Need to Know

If you are a nurse, particularly a white nurse, working in postpartum or NICU and teaching new parents how to breastfeed, it is vital that you understand the history of breastfeeding among Black women. Up until late in the last century, Black women were still employed as wet nurses for White families. This robs a Black woman’s own child of nutrition. It also explains why many Black women have a negative connotation with breastfeeding. Rather than blindly push forward with lactation education, nurses need to work to further develop cultural competence and understand why Black women may choose not to breastfeed, and why their relatives may encourage them NOT to breastfeed.

Ultimately, breastfeeding should be the choice of the individual involved, not the choice of a nurse or family members surrounding the new parent.

@FeministaJones made a series of tweets regarding the history of breastfeeding and black women, as well as the history of how Black nurses were treated in homes. It is hard to read, but necessary to learn. I storified the tweets yesterday, but am also placing them here so that I can quickly point to them.


On Black Women and Breastfeeding

In her #WomensHistoryMonth discussion, @FeministaJones discusses the history of Black women and forced breastfeeding of White children in the United States, up to modern times, pinpointing reasons for low levels of support among Black men for breastfeeding among Black women today.

  1. If were going to talk about #WomensHistoryMonth, can we tell all of the stories, please?
  2. Check out the link in that last tweet. Jarring images of the history of Black women as caretakers of White children
  3. “Recent study, 54% of black mothers breast-fed their infants from birth, compared with 74% of white mothers and 80% of Hispanic mothers”
  4. One has to wonder where the suffrage movement would have gone without Black nannies at home raising their children while they marched…
  5. @FeministaJones breast feeding my son was a trigger 4 my grandmother. I couldn’t figure out why she was so upset but now.. that pic #tears
  6. The only acceptable feeling when shown images like those, IMO, is rage.
  7. Maybe I can spark enough rage to incite a revolution…
  8. When I discussed the idea that Black women, esp in the 60s and 70s were largely anti-breastfeeding bc of being forced to nurse White babies
  9. People suggested I was too militant and talking crazy but… I’m right.
  10. There was, on the part of many Black women, an outright rejection of breastfeeding bc of what it meant to them historically.
  11. Racism kept many of us from giving our children the nourishment they needed from us. Let that wash over you.
  12. We were forced to give milk produced for our own children to the children of our owners, forced to neglect the needs of our babies
  13. Then we were blamed when our babies got sick or died and called “bad mothers”.
  14. The connection btwn Black American women and breastfeeding has not always been positive and BF advocates have to know this.
  15. So when I see WW, esp, coming down on BW for not breastfeeding, I cringe… it’s clear they’re not employing culture competence
  16. I say barely half of Black women breastfeed, after several tweets talking about why (including historical violence) and then…
  17. When BW were working and out of the home 16+ hours a day or barely allowed to go home to their children at all, how were they to nurse?
  18. BW had few choices but to NOT breastfeed and supplement their babies’ diets with whatever was available.
  19. And yet… BW have been perpetually vilified as being “bad mothers” when they’ve been forced into these conditions
  20. @FeministaJones So would their relationships with their children, esp. from having to nurse & nurture White children at expense of their own
  21. Re: #LRT, but BW were called “bad mothers”! Without acknowledging how much mother-child connection was sacrificed for work
  22. Only in the last 20 years or so have we seen a significant cultural shift among Black women to nurse their own children, thankfully.
  23. Because, real talk…? Sistas in the 50s, 60s, and 70s weren’t nursing, in large part bc they worked so hard and so long away from home.
  24. And the stigma of BFing was “thats for them White babies”, which we can see how it came from resentment of forced nursing of White babies
  25. @FeministaJones I see that as yet another form of economic violence. Formula isn’t free but we couldnt nurse cuz we had to work so much.
  26. Let your mind wrap around one woman demanding that another woman take the milk she is producing for HER own baby and give it to hers
  27. Breastfeeding, in the mid-late 20th century, was somewhat of a privilege for those who could afford to be around their babies
  28. How can we demonize economically disadvantaged women for NOT breastfeeding at a time before pumping, packaging, etc?
  29. That was passed down through generations and only in the last one, w/advances in BF support tools, are we seeing more BW embrace BFing
  30. My mother and all of her sisters formula fed. No one breastfed. My mom asked “What formula you plan on using?”
  31. Cultural competence means not assuming a new Black mom is automatically taking the “Duh of course I’m breastfeeding” approach
  32. It means understanding that our historical connection to breastfeeding is one of oppression, violence, and denial of “womanhood”
  33. “From 2000–2008, the percentage of women who initiated breastfeeding went up from 47.4% to 58.9% for blacks” …
  34. Like I said, this is a relatively new cultural shift and it’s important to unpack and respect the negative connections to BFing
  35. @FeministaJones My aunt was a “wet nurse” in the 80s in the south. When people act like this stuff is archaic…it’s not.
  36. @FeministaJones That’s why I am always so wary of white women organizing and educating BW on BFing. They gotta do the knowledge!
  37. Not just for Black women, for Black men as well. So yeah… we gotta unpack this stuff.
  38. #WomensHistoryMonth The story of the Negro Nurse (an oft-overlooked figure in American history) …
  39. “It’s a small indignity [..] no white person at the South ever thinks of addressing any negro man or woman as Mr., or Mrs., or Miss”
  40. ” It is a favorite practice of young white sports about town–and they are not always young, either–to stop some colored nurse +
  41. ” inquire the name of the “sweet little baby,” talk baby talk to the child, fondle it, kiss it, make love to it, etc., etc.+
  42. “and in nine of ten cases every such white man will wind up by making love to the colored nurse and seeking an appointment with her.”
  43. So remember when I said that not standing up to defend Black women is a behavior learned and socialized into BM?
  44. And how, historically, when Blk men stood up to defend Blk women, they faced violence, imprisonment, or death?
  45. If every time you tried to defend a Black women, you were on the receiving end of violence, what might you do, eventually? Stop.
  46. “If their fathers, brothers, or husbands seek to redress their wrongs the guiltless negroes will be severely punished, if not killed” Oh
  47. When I hear “Black women ain’t worth it…” talk, at the end, I hear the unspoken laments abt the repercussion for making us “worth it”
  48. It gets passed on… it’s self-preservation…it has to be unlearned
  49. If we loop Black men into the BF discussion, we have to ask how many are supportive of BFing and the economic implications for them
  50. We have to think about how maternity leave affects Blk families where the men are struggling to find work. That’s loss of wages…
  51. And if women feel they have to hurry and get back to work, they might not opt for BFing if formula feeding is easier.
  52. Reading the nurse narrative, I wouldn’t be surprised if BFing was a trigger for Blk men back then too, in light of the WM “advances”
  53. I wonder if any BM discouraged BW from BFing bc it reminded them of maybe what their own moms went thru as wet nurses for WW
  54. Hard to think of breastfeeding as violence against women, but for Black women in America, the history shows it has been.
  55. !! RT @Alivada: @FeministaJones keeps periods at bay too …in an era pre bc …so if partner was wet nurse, couldn’t parent themselves
  56. If BW were forced to keep lactating for wet nurse purposes, the impact on their own fertility/reproduction would likely be great.
  57. So that’s my #WomensHistoryMonth chat for the weekend.

This is what silencing looks like

Left at the Lights

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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Magic Chicken Vegetable Soup

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

Olive oil

Ginger root

Lemongrass stalk





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.

A Fitness and Diet Post

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.

A Day in the Life Of

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.



Sauteed Salad with Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinagrette with Gluten Free Garlic Bread (Vegetarian)

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

Ginger root

Balsamic Vinagrette


3 cloves Crushed Garlic

Olive Oil

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’

Why ‘feminist infighting’ is coded language for ‘pipe down I don’t want to hear about your intersectionality’.

Why I Stopped Identifying With White Feminism

(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, 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.

We will not let white feminism divide and conquer us

Left at the Lights

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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Protected: Why I have my locked account

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Do Not Link allows you to ethically criticize bad content

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.

Do Not Link: link without improving "their" search engine positionIf 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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Sometimes I Hate My Job

Cheesy polenta with Paprika Mushrooms & Spinach

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)

1/2 lemon


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.


We can’t be friends.

Dugans InCahoots


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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Your Spouse May Be Black, But You’re Still Racist

Interracial Love

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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Queer Of Gender Posts Its First Article!

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!

Dealing With White Guilt

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 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 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.

White Feminism 101

Transgender Dying Young Project

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.

Care Left “Undone” During Nursing Shifts

‘Care left undone’ during nursing shifts: associations with workload and perceived quality of care

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.

Calling Out Vs. Calling In: How Activist Techniques Can Be Used to Decrease Lateral Violence and Bullying in Nursing

A little while ago, I had the privilege of reading Calling IN: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable by Ngọc Loan Trần. The essay is well written and thought provoking, and brought a new idea to the way I practice feminism and activism. I keep thinking back to this essay and what it could mean in my personal life. What if we brought Trần’s idea of “Calling In” to nursing? Could we find a method of speaking to each other that comes from a place of concern and love? When speaking from that place of concern, could we use language and tone in such a manner that lateral violence and bullying on our hospital units is decreased? Could we actively support one another to improve our patient care without bringing someone to tears? I think we could.

From the essay:

“Most of us know the drill. Someone says something that supports the oppression of another community, the red flags pop up and someone swoops in to call them out.

But what happens when that someone is a person we know — and love? What happens when we ourselves are that someone?

And what does it mean for our work to rely on how we have been programmed to punish people for their mistakes?

I’ll be the first person and the last person to say that anger is valid. Mistakes are mistakes; they deepen the wounds we carry. I know that for me when these mistakes are committed by people who I am in community with, it hurts even more. But these are people I care deeply about and want to see on the other side of the hurt, pain, and trauma: I am willing to offer compassion and patience as a way to build the road we are taking but have never seen before.” (Trần)

While Trần’s essay deals primarily with actions within the activist community, I see a lot of parallels with nursing. A good example is shift report. Generally, report is a smooth transition, performed by thousands of nurses each day to get one shift in and another shift out. Everyone’s goal is to get through report quickly so the oncoming nurse can get to work and the offgoing nurse can get some sleep. Report isn’t always seamless, and a big part of that comes from nurses. There are nurses who approach report aggressively, and by the time the offgoing nurse has finished, that nurse feels like they have been through a battle. This is lateral violence.

There are nurses who seem to look for mistakes and consider themselves blameless. Now, we are all going to make mistakes, and because we all make mistakes, we are all going to FIND mistakes. Some mistakes are big, and have a lot of people involved. Some mistakes are small, and are the result of action or inaction by one individual. Regardless of the level of mistake, we should never berate one another or treat one another in a hostile fashion. Rather, we should deal with the mistake, and if we are in the presence of someone who has made a mistake, we should not talk to them as if they did not have a nursing education. We should keep in mind that this is our co-worker, someone we trust and have worked with as a team member. We should tailor our language and our tone to maintain professionalism, patient confidence, and the relationship of trust we have built as members of the patient care team.

When another nurse is aggressive during a nurse to nurse interaction, it is lateral violence. When a nurse is aggressive toward a CNA or other member of ancillary staff, it is BULLYING. This happens to CNAs more often than nurses are willing to admit. It can happen as a result of stress. It can happen as a result of miscommunication, but it happens. We need to be aware, as nurses, of the potential we all hold to be bullies on our units, and to watch our tone, watch how we delegate, and to be aware when our CNAs simply cannot handle one additional task, and that we need to do something ourselves. We are ALL working hard. When viewing bullying by a nurse to ancillary staff, it is important to speak up and stop the bullying behavior. Trần’s idea of “calling in” gives us a new technique to use when we see bullying behavior in a co-worker for whom this behavior Is abnormal. What is causing the behavior today? What can we do to stop the behavior and save the relationship between the nurse and the ancillary staff?

So what is the difference between calling out and calling in?

Trần works to define (and states this is a work in progress):

1) “The first part of calling in is allowing mistakes to happen.”

(Now, in nursing, if we see a medical error about to happen, if we see a safety issue, we should always speak up. I am not advocating that we allow preventable medical or safety errors to happen. In nursing, we should be aware that mistakes will happen and we will have to deal with them, but it is how we deal with mistakes that either brings us closer together or pulls us apart)

2) Think about “what makes my relationship with this person important?”

            Are they a long time co-worker? Are they a new graduate? Are we friends? Do we know they’ve been having a rough time lately? What do we know about our co-worker that makes them valuable?

How do we start these conversations? Again, Trần has put a great deal of thought into this, and nurses do not need to stretch far to see how Trần’s model could be used to decrease lateral violence and bullying on our units:

I start “call in” conversations by identifying the behavior and defining why I am choosing to engage with them. I prioritize my values and invite them to think about theirs and where we share them. And then we talk about it. We talk about it together, like people who genuinely care about each other.”


“I picture “calling in” as a practice of pulling folks back in who have strayed from us… Calling in as a practice of loving each other enough to allow each other to make mistakes; a practice of loving ourselves enough to know that what we’re trying to do here is a radical unlearning of everything we have been configured to believe is normal.”( Trần)

Trần discusses how we have “configured to believe it’s normal to punish each other and ourselves without a way to reconcile hurt.” This is where nursing needs to look up and examine itself closely as a profession. Too often do we see a mistake and rather than deal with it quietly, we mention it to our co-workers. We say “someone was having a bad day” or make comments that lead others to believe our fellow nurses are now not as trustworthy as they might be. Comments like these undermine nursing as a profession. They undermine the teamwork on our units, and they break down the relationships among nurses.

It should not be “normal to punish each other.” Instead, when a mistake is noted, deal with it. If the mistake needs to be reported, do so quietly and efficiently without involving others, if possible. If you need to involve someone, involve someone who will also be discreet. Offer your fellow nurse a shoulder, support them if they need to take a moment for self-care. Be aware of the signs of compassion fatigue or burnout.

By incorporating the idea of “calling in” rather than calling out, we can decrease the incidence of lateral violence and bullying on our units. We can make our workplace more professional, and less stressful. We can encourage each other to participate in self-care to stay mentally and physically healthy. We can be better nurses, and we can elevate the nursing profession.

I would like to address the issue of “calling in vs. calling out” as it relates to ancillary staff. If a nurse finds an error made by a CNA, “calling in” can still be very useful, but nurses need to remember the potential for bullying in these situations. There are different power dynamics involved with nurse-CNA interactions than with nurse-nurse interactions, and the potential for harm here must be acknowledged. Remember how humiliating it can be to be “called out” at the nurse’s station, in a patient’s room, and afford all of your co-workers the same respect, and do not use these power dynamics to better yourself, but to better all staff.

Raising an urban Native kid in a white bubble

Righting Red

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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Afterthoughts and Aftershocks: Why a Dozen Different Editors Failed Dr V

Fake Controversy Alert: Hitler’s Mein Kampf Was Not A Digital Bestseller

Allies and alliances

The shame we feel as women

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…

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I can’t tell you about this

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, 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)

Curried Lentil Vegetable Soup

curried lentil vegetable soup

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.
Olive oil
1 ½ cups green lentils.
Curry powder
Poultry seasoning
Cayenne pepper (because John has a cold)
1 carton vegetable stock
Mustard seeds
Brown Sugar
Ginger powder



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.

What About the: Respiratory Therapists?

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.


“You’re Pretty for a Dark-Skinned Girl”

Media Diversified


The Continuing Significance of Skin Tone in “the Black Community”


“There’s a rapper, I’ve forgotten his name, he just did a video recently and on the call sheet for auditions, he literally stated “no dark-skinned women need apply.” Isn’t that something?” — Bill Duke,Bill Duke airs dirty laundryof skin prejudice in Dark Girls”

“Here was an ugly little girl asking for beauty. A surge of love and understanding swept through him, but was quickly replaced by anger. Anger that he was powerless to help her. Of all the wishes people had brought him — money, love, revenge — this seemed to him the most poignant and the one most deserving of fulfillment. A little black girl who wanted to rise up out of the pit of her blackness and see the world with blue eyes.” — Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

During a recent dinner…

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The Difference Between “Cutting Down” and “Calling Out”

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.


Trolls and Patience

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.

Who Stole all the Black Women from Britain?

“I Don’t See Race.”

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…

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Measuring Privilege

Nurses as Housekeepers at Vanderbilt Medical Center: An Untold Story Behind the Story

Ani DiFranco Apologizes

On December 29, Ani DiFranco cancelled her “Righteous Retreat” at Nottoway Plantation, but did not apologize.

Today, she posted this to her Facebook page:

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.

I think Julian Assange is a rapist. I still like Wikileaks.

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 ……

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TERFs/SWERFs/Bigots are not intersectionalists

My Mother’s Body

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.

Today when I went to visit, the nursing staff was in a bit of an uproar. “She’s refusing to let us bathe or change her. She says that you’re going to do it.” 

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Update on – The Effects of Nursing on Nurses

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

Nursing Against the Odds: How Health Care Cost Cutting, Media Stereotypes and Medical Hubris Undermine Nurses and Patient Care – Suzanne Gordon

Obligitary New Year’s Resolution Post

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.

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