On Trigger Warnings

On Trigger Warnings

TW: mentions of rape, sexual violence, ptsd, police brutality.

I love trigger warnings. This is a controversial topic and I have trouble understanding why.

For those who don’t know, a trigger warning is “a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc., alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material (often used to introduce a description of such content).”

But a quick search on urban dictionary has some pretty nasty things to say about people that need trigger warnings. Like…

  • Its purpose is to warn weak minded people who are easily offended that they might find what is being posted offensive in some way due to its content, causing them to overreact or otherwise start acting like a dipshit. Popular on reddit SRS or other places that social justice warriors like to hang out.
  • Trigger Warning is a disclaimer for [redacted cuz it’s too offensive] emotionally unstable people who cannot read certain words without having a self diagnosed ‘panic attack’ due to their self-diagnosed PTSD.

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On Freedom

On Freedom

When I was in college at UMBC one of my favorite professors was Dr. Kate Drabinski. In my first course with her, Studies in Feminist Activism, one of our term paper options was to write about “freedom.” While reviewing the list of final topics Dr. Kate said , “and freedom, because why not?”

I was in that class in 2013. Nearly 4 years later as I write this in 2017 I still find her questioning of that topic deeply meaningful as I think through my life, my politics, and especially the current political situation.

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On Care and Emotional Labor

On Care and Emotional Labor

I’ve been thinking a lot about the care and the emotional labor I perform in my life. I’m glad that I can serve as a resource for the people I love to talk about and work through their feelings, their problems, and their experiences. At the same time, the disparities in the amount of this work I perform compared to that of other people in my life is pretty remarkable.

If you’re unfamiliar with emotional labor, this is a good place to start.

Emotional labor or emotional work is composed of tasks that require a high degree of understanding or management of emotions. Women are disproportionately believed to be good at these tasks as a function of their gender, regardless of their actual skill or willingness.” from Geek Feminism Wiki

I use the terms “care” and “emotional labor” interchangeably here. Women perform FAR more emotional labor than men. There is little information about the emotional labor that nonbinary and gender nonconforming people are performing compared to others, which is frustrating to say the least.

As a very specific and intentional life choice I am no longer close to men that are incapable or unwilling to take care with the people around them. As such, I am close to very few men in my life at the moment. What I see is that women and nonbinary people carry extreme loads of both self and community care. We are performing massive amounts of emotional labor, all the time.

TW: Mentions of sexual assault, emotional and mental abuse, trauma, death.

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Chronically Chill or Trauma as a Lifestyle.

Chronically Chill or Trauma as a Lifestyle.

Last week I had my follow up appointment with my rheumatologist. We had thought that I likely had a connective tissue disorder, like Rhuematoid Arthritis or one of the other few hundred diseases of that category. I walked into the appointment excited to get some answers about why I was feeling as bad as I was, and hopefully get some treatment to make life a little easier.

All of my test results came back negative. The physicians assistant didn’t say, but might as well have said “there’s nothing wrong with you.” As much as an auto-immune disorder would have been difficult to deal with, the result of “nothing” was pretty devastating. I thought finally I would be taken seriously.

Ya’ll this post gets really graphic from here on out. If you are someone in my life who doesn’t want to or shouldn’t hear details of assaults I have experienced I would strongly advise you NOT to read this.

Very strong trigger warning for: trauma, abuse, rape, assault

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There Will Be Dancing

There Will Be Dancing

I’m having a really hard time right now. Most of us are. Today in the midst of a highly political and apocalyptic lunch discussion at work I told myself out loud, “there is definitely something happy to think about” to which a co-worker replied, “yeah there’s only 4 more hours until the work day is over.”

There are few things I can string together right now to make my daily life feel worthwhile, productive, and meaningful. Just to name a few of the awful things happening: Trump’s whole cabinet is anti-LGBTthe Coral Reefs had another major bleaching event due to Global WarmingAmericans are overwhelmingly proving their commitment to deep-seated racial and xenophobic terror.

Graffiti I saw on a visit to Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, Utah.

What can we find in all of this that makes it possible to get out of bed every day? I am asking you genuinely from the bottom of my heart, collectively, how do we keep going? In the face of the monolith of terror and hatred we’re uncovering (p.s. it’s always been there) and experiencing, how do we keep moving?

CW: drug overdose, death, trauma.

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