Posts from the “Roar” Category

Your Disbelief Doesn’t Eliminate My Reality

Posted on September 23, 2018

Would you mind if we spent a little time here on context? I ask because just yesterday I bumped into someone and I watched it take a minute for her to place me. When it registered she smiled and blurted, “Amanda” triumphantly. We both laughed, there were no hurt feelings or judgment. “Context matters,” I said. It can be pretty easy to assume that everyone has the same perspective or familiarity with something—whether something is a person, an event, or an experience. Over the past several years there have been attempts to contextualize people’s perspectives on pain: Trigger warnings, #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo. These hashtags and qualifiers are an effort to bring to the surface the pain or obstacles that people have and to honor them.…

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And just like that, it’s normalized.

Posted on September 18, 2018

“Mom, why is there so much sexual harassing in the news all the time,” Finley said as she plopped down beside me holding one pink and one black rubber band for the picture-day braids she’d asked me to do. “Well,” I started as I looked at the Today Show on TV. The kids like Al Roker and the Emmys were last night—there was sure to be coverage of the event and in turn, opportunities to see the Stranger Things kids on the screen. As the commercial break ended and coverage of sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh played, Orrin Hatch filled the screen and referred to the woman accusing Kavanaugh of attempted rape as “mixed up.” Another sound bite had the…

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I Never Wanted #MeToo But We Need It

Posted on May 9, 2018

I walked toward the office and tried to make sense of my emotions. I was able to smirk at the irony of the “Cosby Found Guilty” alert coming as I made my way across a parking lot where I feel unsafe. There is always a man smoking outside who leers at me, slowly taking in every inch of my body. It is an uncontested fact that my body is a visual buffet for men to sample on the street. When I say my body, I mean it for all women, we are involuntary dishes at a feast of insatiable appetites. It doesn’t matter what we wear. It doesn’t matter the time of day. The truth is sometimes it doesn’t bother me. I feel the…

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Dad2.0: A Conference for Dads & a Conversation About #MeToo

Posted on February 13, 2018

A little over a month ago I received a message from Doug French about speaking on a panel at the Dad2.0 Summit in New Orleans. I was at work and found myself slipping on my readers and leaning into the monitor to see the words in the small window. “…it’s about gender relations going forward, and how men in particular can contribute by listening, etc. You’ve written a lot about it, and Asha and I thought of you when we were discussing it. If this is even a possibility at this point, could we set a time for a call?” The timing could not have been more perfect or more challenging. I’ve been stuck; not knowing how to channel all that I’ve been feeling, but…

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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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