Holidays. While most people look forward to the time off, seeing family and friends, and all the delicious food that usually comes with them, if you’re in recovery, that last one can be quite the challenge. It’s something I struggled with a lot while I was still in recovery, so I thought I’d share some of the things that got me through difficult times.
Bullying has changed profoundly in the Internet era. Yet it has simultaneously stayed the same in how it disproportionately targets the most vulnerable identities in our communities. Prevention starts with this understanding. But understanding the problem does not necessarily inspire action. The problem itself can seem too overwhelming. But we have to empower our communities with tools!
Revenge porn – never heard of it? This new internet craze, specifically focused on women, occurs when a person shares a sexual or nude photo or video with a partner or hookup who later decides to make the private photo public. And in most places, it’s perfectly legal. You heard that right. It’s legal in every state except California and New Jersey.
You’ve probably thought before about the implications that feminist ideals can have on your relationships. Society’s social norms can make things tricky, especially when not all of our relationships exist with equally as feminist people. But how you chose to relate to and with others is completely up to you. The ultimate feminist act is to practice this.
Many a misguided attempt at flirting or misread signal can result in feeling pressured to have sex when you don’t want to. If it crosses into forceful action, or coercion, then your best course of action may be to call the police. But what about the run-of-the-mill misunderstandings? How do you handle those situations and make your intentions clear?
Superhero films are known for their male-centric nature. Women are left sorting through the female characters that we are offered, and boy, is it grim. The common question that comes up when chatting with people about the role of gender in superhero films is: “Well, he is sexy too, isn’t he? It’s unfair to both sexes.” And the answer is yes, it is. But there’s more.
I’m not saying that it makes sense for everyone to center all conversations around the patriarchy and drop everything to get a Master’s in Gender Studies. That would probably leave you friendless and broke. As selfish as it sounds, it can be helpful to ask “What’s in it for me?” And human issues are all interconnected, so making someone else’s life easier can help you, indirectly or otherwise.
The real issue isn’t how different boys and girls are, but how parents react to those small differences that turn them into the much larger differences society associates with boys and girls. If we can identify areas where we may have a bias, we can direct our awareness there to overcome it or compensate for it. Let’s look at some ways to compensate for implicit bias in our parenting.
Typically, we only discuss sexism in terms of gender, but it also has applicability to biases related to sexuality. Monosexism is synonymous with biphobia in many ways because it perpetuates the myth that a person can only truly be attracted to one gender. But someone’s identity is not a tool for you to reassert your own social legitimacy at the expense of others.
The Internet is very much a public space – with all of the same sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia of our streets, but often, much worse. Women are the targets of a lot of this ugliness. Not unlike street harassment in the way we feel its hovering, ominous presence and the way it can control our actions — or at least try to — online harassment is an issue to be taken seriously.