I could never get through discussing traumatic events without humor. It was perhaps a way to dip a toe into sharing painful, broken pieces of myself, but with one foot out the door, ready to bail if someone looked at me with even the faintest hint of pity or disgust.Read More
When Kaia* was a baby, I would put my feet up on the coffee table at my parents’ house with my knees bent and sit her up on my legs facing me. She was only 6 weeks old when one day, I kept staring into her eyes, sticking my tongue out at her over and over again. This went on for several minutes, until all of a sudden, she stuck her tongue back out at me and I was so surprised that I shrieked and started crying and laughing uncontrollably. I could not believe that she was so smart and engaged. And then she smiled and did a little chortle right back at me. She had a sparkle in her eye as she kept sticking her tongue out at me, waiting until I would laugh, and then she would let out her own little laugh. I knew she would be a troublemaker like me. It was the first primal connection that I had ever had in my whole life, other than the ones I do not remember because of death.Read More
My depression is a patriarchal, oppressive abuser. It taunts me with how I don’t live up to the standards that my culture has set for me—standards that are fucking bullshit, impossible to achieve, and have nothing to do with what I want in life.Read More
It is so incredibly difficult to carry grief, guilt, and fear yet still allow myself to sit in love, happiness, and gratitude. On the days that Lu is not here, I often allow myself to dive deep into the grief and sadness I feel over the decline of Kaia.*Read More
“The first thing that Kaia* would ever teach me is that I can trust myself.”
I found a story I wrote in 2002 about giving birth to Kaia and how it was something that gave me personal peace. I was stunned by how much the story’s themes still thread themselves throughout our lives.Read More
There’s a short window in many young women’s lives—after they are primarily daughters, and before they are primarily wives or partners or mothers. I think about this period of time a lot, maybe with similar fascination that the photographer Sally Mann had with the age of twelve for girls. It’s a transition from one you to another you, and we can learn a lot about womanhood by gazing into this window.Read More
In 2019, I hope to read a LOT more books than I did in 2018. I think I averaged about one book per month in 2018, and I’d like to make it more like one book per week in 2019. Going through the ones I read, here are the ones that stood out to me as ones that felt important to me, because they deeply resonated with me or opened my eyes to new perspectives.Read More
I wish that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had put a stop to the catfight narrative that emerged a few days ago between her and former-Senator Claire McCaskill.
Women are eager for solidarity with one another within the Democratic Party. That is why it is disappointing that Ocasio-Cortez took the media’s bait to lash out at McCaskill not much more than a week after Ocasio-Cortez herself said, “One disappointment about DC is the gossip that masquerades as ‘reporting.’”Read More
When I said that I was taking a social media break, I didn’t mean it like how normal people regularly take time off from social media to focus on the important things in their lives. I meant it in a way where I realized a while ago that social media engagement and mindless scrolling are specific behaviors that I use to avoid feeling anything, and so I decided to begin a break on a very specific day—a day after the election was over.
Another reason that I decided I needed a social media break is because I have started to realize that I create a lot of content that people enjoy and find helpful and that it all belongs to someone else and can be taken from me at any time. I learned that lesson when I was randomly—and apparently permanently—suspended from Twitter, without any recourse. There is nothing that you can do to guarantee your access to any platform. You can follow the rules like I did, and you can still be arbitrarily banned.Read More
Imagine a Facebook where the major decision-makers, policy advisers, and public relations folks weren’t one hundred percent wealthy white people. Imagine a Facebook where half of these folks were black, Latinx, Muslim, and immigrants. Imagine that when racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim propaganda began to appear on Facebook back in 2010, 2013, or 2015, that when CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg asked what Facebook should do about it, the team he asked wasn’t the all-white team he asked, but a team that has experience with racism, discrimination, hate crimes, political assassination, and genocide. But as we know, that’s not what happened. A new article in the New York Times shows us all of the bad decision-making that led to the consequences we all live with today.Read More
I bought my first suit during my second semester of law school. I needed it to wear to an oral argument I had to make before three judges at the Intermediate Court of Appeals for my Appellate Advocacy class. So I waited for my next paycheck and I went to Ann Taylor for the first time in my life. I was only going to be able to buy one suit, and since our Dean told us that for job interviews, women should buy a skirt-suit and go with classic colors like black and gray, I did just that. I found a beautiful black skirt-suit set. I loved it and I looked amazing in it. I felt powerful and confident. I bought some sheer black nylons and black heels with a pointed toe, as well as a pearl necklace and earrings set (fake, I think? I don’t know a lot about pearls, but I bought the set at Ross). My Dean said that pearls were “so classic, so traditional.” I spent around $250 for everything, which was a lot for a single mother putting herself through law school, but I felt like a million bucks in that outfit and I knew I’d use these classic pieces for many years to come.Read More
In a single day, I heard three white women declare that Republicans are not monsters.
“I’m not a monster,” a white woman in one of my Facebook mom groups typed in a comment on a post about Republicans. The women in the group are professionals. Most of us hate Trump. A growing number of us are persistently vocal about our disgust with Republicans for their complicity in harm to marginalized people. We see no real difference between enthusiastically supporting racist policies and expressing concern about these policies but ultimately pulling the trigger to vote for them.
Earlier that same day, another white woman I know defended her Republican family members on Facebook, saying that they’re not monsters.
Later, I listened to an interview on NPR where a young white woman talked about how—after meeting some Republicans at work—she learned that, unlike she had been raised to believe by her liberal family, Republicans aren’t monsters, and so she’s now open to voting for them.
These women gaslight us to protect their monsters.Read More