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The Price of #MeToo (Trigger warning)

Posted on October 17, 2017

I’ve never liked the secret FB meme approach to advocacy. Susan Niebur taught me that the playful nature of standing up for breast cancer was, in fact, a big drag on those battling it. Posting the color of your bra with no explanation is confounding for some, but worse, for the women who no longer have breasts or who don’t shop in a sea of blush colored lace it’s almost mean-spirited. Usually, I just ignored the private message invites and then moved along.    When #MeToo started* I was torn. I began seeing the stark updates:     #MeToo     I nodded my head, remembering the texts and DMs over the years from many of these women. We’d shared the weight of the Cosby story and…

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Our Bodies Aren’t Coatracks for Your Guilt

Posted on October 14, 2017

“Be careful with that neck, it’s dangerous. Men can’t resist a neck like that.” I was 18 and his name was Jesús. I was an exchange student in Spain and had never met him before. He was ten years my senior.   Already I was so conditioned to believe that attention from men was a success—I am good enough —that I struggled to find balance between the programmed response and the way my hair stood on end on the back of my neck. I felt danger. It had only been about a year since a man had raped me in the front seat of his car. The whole time he spoke to me like I’d asked for it, like I was enjoying it. Powerful…

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Misogyny, sexism, Trump, & my daughters

Posted on October 10, 2017

I want to write about the girls, gush about how they’ve grown inches in months and how their heads sit differently on their necks. I crave exclaiming that when Ave hugs me she puts her arms over my shoulders without going on tip-toe.   I want to revel in this moment of being aloft on a wave of growing up, but there is another headline about a man who used his power and was given pass after pass to mistreat women. Three decades of settlements and confidentiality agreements, longer than some of his victims have been alive.     I peek over Briar’s shoulder at something she has discovered on Instagram that makes her whole face light up. The screen I’d been looking at…

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It’s time to step up-Gun Control

Posted on October 2, 2017

A few months ago I participated in a campaign to promote #WearOrange . The truth is, I happened to be wearing orange on that day. The campaign was completely in line with my views and I appreciated Moms Demand Action for taking the initiative to mount the campaign among people in my circle. It was Wendy who first tipped me off to the hashtag. I had Ave take my picture, Fin asked to sit in my lap, and BOOM, I had acted. But had I really? Sure, I sent money to Newtown, I shared articles, and ached for a writing friend whose nephew died in the school, but did I really do anything? Fast forward from the hashtag 4 months, and 4 years from…

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The Power of Language

Posted on September 30, 2017

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.   The rhyme rattles around in my memory, the words a threadbare security blanket I used in grade school to keep the tears from breaking through. I had an image to uphold. I notice the same tendency in Finley. She doesn’t want to be seen upset and she works hard at it, sometimes even here at home. Tears are for private. Finley is acutely aware of the power of language. She has the words that she’s collected and categorized as hurtful. She bans them from her vocabulary and is vigilant about defending anyone who she witnesses them being used on at school. I try to model behavior that she can be…

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