What do you want? #rapeculture #vaw

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative, Sexual Violence
People who have witnessed the recent steps on my journey have sent me good wishes and hopes for the outcome I want. Truth be told, the healing, the outcome I wanted for myself, happened long ago. But I've started to talk publicly about it. And I recently told my ex my thoughts about our past. This has inspired the following question from many corners: What do you want? I want to agitate. I want to make people feel uncomfortable. I want to counter rape culture. I want people to stop blaming victims. I want to add my voice to the chorus of survivors. I want partners to question their entitlement over another's body. I want people to talk. Especially men to their friends and brothers. To their sons and lovers. Rape…
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Just asking. #rapeculture #vaw

30 Day Blog Challenge, Sexual Violence
Is it possible he really forgot? It's been twenty years. I'm the one who was traumatized. I'm the one who said nothing. Did nothing. Well, that's not really accurate. I buried it. Allegedly got over it and got on with it. Honestly, I tucked it away from sight, but it was never very far. I carried it with me into each new year. Into every new relationship. It colored every subsequent encounter. Every single one. So it leads me to wonder: is it possible for someone to inflict such harm upon another and not recognize it as such? Apparently it is.
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On family narratives. #NaBloPoMo

30 Day Blog Challenge
The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative. This line comes from a recent New York Times piece about the importance of understanding from whence you came.  The more you know about the characters, settings, and other elements that contribute to your life story, the better prepared you are to make intentional choices about your own life. You can be a more sophisticated author of your life if you have a strong sense of your biography: Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your mom and dad went to high school? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know an illness or something really terrible that happened in your…
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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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Yes, yes, yes. | #vaw #fem2

30 Day Blog Challenge, Sexual Violence
In rape culture, "no" is not always honored as "no." No was an important aspect of my experience of sexual violence, because I had initially given consent. I said yes. The problem came when I changed my mind, and my "yes" became a "no." I was alert, angry, and unambiguously vocal in my "no." Sometimes the situation isn't as clear. One lesson from #Steubenville? Yes, boys and men need to be taught how to prevent rape. But some also need to be taught what rape even is. — Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) March 17, 2013 In Steubenville, OH, two high school football stars were convicted of raping a teenage girl too drunk to give consent. She was too drunk to say yes or no. By taking advantage of her inability to respond, the…
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Sun goddess.

30 Day Blog Challenge
9 p.m.  contemplative. quiet. slumber soon come and then morning. glorious gift. first light - stirring. stretching. deep sighs. promises made in silent darkness. black skies give way to lavender wisps. daybreak - salutations. skies warm and brighten, heralding crimson dawn. ---- I took this photo just after 7 a.m. I had planned to write a short missive on morning, my favorite time of day. Well, the day came and went before I had the chance to write. Here it is, nearly 10 p.m., and I'm looking forward to morning again.  xoxo
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Midpoint check in! #NaBloPoMo #amwriting

30 Day Blog Challenge
[caption id="attachment_1499" align="alignleft" width="225"] Jorge and me getting our salsa on![/caption] Cue the salsa music! Let's dance! I've made it to the halfway point. I committed to writing 30 blogs in 30 days, and so far so good. I'm amazed and inspired this time around. I've wondered why it feels so much easier than August. I think it's because: There's no angst. It's something I've accomplished before, so I began with the foreknowledge I can definitely be successful. Whether stream of consciousness, quick check-ins, or other short entries, I can blog every day. I'm wiser. I discovered a lot about my writing process, so I realize my morning brilliance may or may not be written (much less published) by afternoon. Sometimes thoughts need time to germinate. Related to that... I'm more…
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On ironing and grief. #NaBloPoMo #amwriting.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative
I remember when I stopped ironing. As a young girl, I ironed all the time. And to some degree, ironing suited me. I'd iron shirt after shirt, and soon enough I'd be in a mindless rhythm. My thoughts were free to imagine new scenes for my current short story, or remember favorite scenes from a Judy Blume in progress. Usually I'd iron in the den on weekends. Daddy stretched out in his easy chair watching sports of some sort, momma half-watching, half-devouring a novel. It was easy, ironing was. As I grew older, I continued ironing as needed. Didn't think much of it. Maybe I no longer ironed clothes on weekends. Maybe I simply ironed the night before, as I laid out clothes for school. In college, ironing happened decidedly…
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A word on hope. #NaBloPoMo #Buddhism.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Spirituality, Temple Building
What is your philosophy of life? Does it involve action, momentum, value creation and good cheer? Is it passive, reactive, somber? Quality of life is more about how we decide to live, rather than what happens to us in the living of it. There's risk in choosing to live optimistically. We can't predict or control the hurricanes or floods, the disappointing diagnoses, the betrayals. Sometimes we don't see that knock out punch coming, and there we are dazed, contemplating the wisdom of standing. The decisions we make in difficult moments are grounded in our approach to life. I advocate a philosophy of hope. It's funny, because I've often said, "hope is not a strategy." But that's incomplete. What I mean is hope is not going to write your paper, deliver…
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On looking and leaping. #NaBloPoMo #amwriting.

30 Day Blog Challenge
Do you always look before you leap? Of course. Gravity is real and objects are solid. Not looking where you leap can lead to injury. Or worse. That said, looking first doesn't negate the leaping. It simply means assessing the situation beforehand. I weigh pros and cons. I mull things over and consider multiple angles. I do a gut check: How does it feel when I think about leaping? I can't say if I put more stock in feelings over facts. It depends on the leap in question. I don't do all of this to talk myself out of leaping, but rather so I can leap mindfully. I think a related question is Have you ever taken a leap you've regretted? The answer to that is a solid no. Regret…
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