Stream of Consciousness: Planting

Feminist Thought, Spirituality
A bitter heart is fertile ground for the dream of revenge. It can extend beyond heart and mind, into body, into world. Enact the vengeance, and the recipient may agree, yes, this is justice. Or she may not. Her family may agree, or they may not. Her friends may agree, or not. What if? The wronged heart, too, grows bitter then. Poison cultivates a new dream of revenge. Imagination and courage dance, a perverse action. Then. Pain inflicted on another. What if... Newly wounded burn with anger, rot with pain, and poison the ground for a dream. And so it is, the potential in actions born of bitterness. With life comes pain. But in pain, do you seek restoration or destruction? But what of a family, community, or nation? What is in the heart…
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From silence to action

Feminist Thought, Sexual Violence
One of the insidious things about rape culture is silence. Survivors of sexual assault remain silent, fearing retribution, shunning or disbelief. Community members remain silent unsure of how to respond. Is she lying? Is {insert celebrity or well-liked neighbor here} the type of person who would do something like that? The perpetrator is often silent. Sometimes because he scarcely believes he is guilty, or perhaps to keep a low profile in preparation for the next victim. But just as there is silence, there is often sound. We hear the voices of perpetrators, maintaining innocence in some cases; claiming she deserved it in others. Voices of community members who support the offender and/or berate the survivor. Voices of advocates who offer comfort, righteous indignation and activism for survivors. And sometimes we hear the voices…
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Powerful and Feminine

Feminist Thought
Power Posing is heralded as a technique women can use to close the gender gap at work. Women can raise their testosterone (which brings more confidence) and lower their cortisol (which lessens stress) by adopting certain poses before high stress situations. This, in theory, helps to level the playing field. Writer Jessica Bennett referenced the work of Amy Cuddy, whose TEDTalk details the research behind power posing. Inspired by dramatic differences in class participation between male and female MBA students, Amy sought to encourage women to participate more - to "fake it until they make it." [ted id=1569] We understand the power of nonverbal communication with others, Amy explained, but we often forget that our nonverbals can also influence ourselves. She and her colleague, Dana Carney, asked two research questions: Do nonverbals govern…
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Freedom Fighters

Feminist Thought, Politics, News & Notable
Freedom fighting, creation and imagination my favorite topics to mull. Last night I was  awake past my bedtime, and a trip down the rabbit hole known as the Internet led me to this great find. It's a podcast in two main parts. The first features Angela Davis and Grace Lee Boggs speaking at the Empowering Women of Color Conference. The second features an excerpt from Daniel Rasmussen's book, American Uprising: The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt. The cast is from 2012, but conversations about freedom are always timely. Shout out to Renina Jarmon for the recommendation.
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My Lover Kissed My Belly

Feminist Thought, Personal Narrative, Women's Health
I wrote a piece for the Body Narratives, a project founded and curated by Hana Riaz. The project creates space for women of color to reclaim and share their experiences. It's a beautiful platform, and I'm honored to have a piece included in this body of work. Here's Hana's introduction: Our bodies are often physically and emotionally tied, and yet the disconnect experienced, the gap between the two can often seem overwhelming, painful, difficult. In this moving and deeply honest piece, nicole d. collier talks about living with fibroids and the body as a site of trauma. Read the piece here.
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At dusk, I’m thinking

Feminist Thought, Politics, News & Notable
It's Wednesday and the sun is setting. I'm enduring a rare headache. It has not drowned in water nor drifted away in sleep, despite my best efforts. I guess it's here to stay a bit. I'm due to stay up this evening and watch American Horror Story. I'm not normally a night owl, but I'm doing it this one time in solidarity with Sojo and Ms. Smart so we can do one of these. Just this one time though...I'm thinking about compassionate capitalism. I imagine such a thing exists. I want you to imagine it, too. I aim to find it, and write about it, as to expand our understanding about what's possible in a loving society. I'm thinking about practitioners of restorative justice, especially those in Georgia or in the south.…
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Today at lunch…

Feminist Thought, Personal Narrative
I mentioned my plans to transition out of K-12 and into reading/writing/teaching about women's issues. I highlighted rape culture and sexual violence and fibroids by name, although my net is cast a bit wider than these. The woman who inquired about my goals made the raised eyebrow/pulled down lips/impressed face and nodded. "Wow. Good for you. What got you moving in that direction?" Who knows? It brings to mind a similar question asked of Angela Davis. In a lecture recorded as The Prison Industrial Complex, she discussed her activist beginnings: "What made you decide to become an activist? What was that pivotal event in your life? And for years and years I thought about it." She went on to mention the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four little…
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Pondering love.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Feminist Thought, Love
Love has been on my mind a lot in recent years. Romantic love, sure, but most often I'm mulling societal love. See, I have a theory: much of what ails society is rooted in distrust and competition. The way we go about healing is rooted in love. Love is as love does. Love is an act of will - namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love. ~M. Scott Peck as quoted by bell hooks From where I stand, it seems a lot of what transpires in daily life is a deliberate choice to avoid love. It's like we go out of our way to be cold and closed off or simply mean. All day in schools we yell…
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Justice, conflicted. | #vaw #abolition

30 Day Blog Challenge, Abolition & Justice, Feminist Thought, Sexual Violence
The defendants in the Steubenville rape trial were found guilty yesterday. My initial reaction was elation. Jane Doe was sexually assaulted, then publicly humiliated, and despite the attempt to cast her as consenting to the abuse, her violators did not get away it. Only that's not exactly true. The chain of complicity in this case is long and tightly woven with bystanders who refused to intervene, friends and acquaintances who felt the ongoing assault of another human was worthy of laughter and sport, and still others who felt the need to rally against Jane, for the sake of young men who ostensibly had the rest of their lives ahead of them. These complicated factors aside, two people were found guilty, and for that I was glad. But I was also conflicted. They…
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Speak to me. #NaBloPoMo.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Feminist Thought, Personal Narrative, Sexual Violence
Yesterday I touched on the risk of remaining silent. I have more thoughts on the topic, but I wanted to broach the other end of the continuum – speaking up. In this case, I don’t mean speaking out, per se, but rather truth-telling to yourself. And of course I am afraid, because the transformation of silence into language and action is an act of self-revelation, and that always seems fraught with danger. ~Audre Lorde Silence into Language As a narrative inquirer, I investigate stories. I wonder what we can uncover when we treat stories as data; when we mine them and make sense of them. I encourage women to tell and delve into their own stories, to engage in deep reflection about the gems they unearth during this work. This…
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