I remember when I first discovered porn. Fascinated by this world of unleashed sexual expression, I couldn’t get enough of it. I thought I’d outgrow my porn habit over time. But I never did. I didn’t know it then, but porn had become an addiction. I didn’t realize how much watching porn manipulated my mind, warping my sexuality, numbing my feelings, and impacting my relationships with women.
Have you ever noticed how violent our language is? Even when we aren’t even talking about anything inherently violent itself? You’ve probably also noticed that that’s a lot of sexual violence. This language might seem unimportant or coincidental, but our language shapes the way we see our world. So how can every one of us work to stop using language derived from sexual violation?
Some detrimental cultural ideals run so deep that no one even questions whether they might operate as support beams of status quo oppression. Let’s take the word “bitch” for example. As an exercise in identifying some potentially hibernating connotations that can perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes, here are a few common uses of the word “bitch” and their problematic subtexts.
Trans* people have experienced exclusion, hate speech, threats, and harassment at the hands of the feminist movement — and that is truly tragic. Trans* issues are feminist issues. And if we are to build an intersectional and effective feminist movement, it is imperative that we work to make feminism not just trans-inclusive, but a movement that places trans* voices and experiences at the center.
There seems to be a disconnect between the reality of eating disorders, and what most people think is the reality of eating disorders. Our media misrepresents EDs so much that most people don’t recognize their complexity. Here to lay down the facts is Melissa A. Fabello! Whether you’re trying to learn more about EDs, or are feeling frustrated and alone, be sure to watch Melissa’s informative video.
Pronouns are an important part of our language. And while using the right pronouns in our own daily language isn’t enough to change the extreme transphobia trans* people experience, it is a simple way to challenge gender-based oppression. Laura Kacere joins Sandra Kim in a discussion of why respecting trans* people’s preferred pronouns is a key part of trans*-inclusive feminism.
Fat shaming is very detrimental to a person’s health, mental well-being, and relationship to their body. Eating disorders are also very detrimental to a person’s health, mental well-being, and relationship to their body. Dealing with both of these at the same time? Unbelievably difficult. But we have to learn how to effectively deal with it. Recovery is possible.
Generational violence is a huge normalizing factor, and challenging a youth’s parents, or at least their teachings, can be very difficult for some kids. Do I think we need to back off? No. Do I think we need to dumb it down? No. Do we need to acknowledge that violence is a foundational part of the lives of many young people? Absolutely. So how can you be a translator?
Effective communication is hard. Especially when we’re dealing with a topic as sensitive as our feelings, which we’re often taught simply don’t matter enough to be worthy of attention. It’s not something that we’re taught how to do effectively, and so that can leave us really at a loss for how to go about it. So here are a few things to keep in mind.
As important as self-care can be, for many of us, communal care is equally as vital. Healing community is about holding space: holding space for love, care, reflection, laughter, crying, feeling what we’re feeling, dancing, screaming, sorting through, moving past, sitting with, or for whatever else we may need. Because even when my personal life feels burdened, community exists all around me.