Fight Despair Together

Men’s Ignorance Is The Devastation of Women

The moment I opened my mouth to talk about what’s happening in Afghanistan, someone was kind enough to remind me that, “It’s happening to most women in the world, as a majority of the population is in such countries.”

Giving others the benefit of the doubt saves a lot of time, but even assuming this PSA is earnest still feels less than helpful. More and more of us are speaking up, and this is a good thing. 

Speaking for myself, I usually focus on things at home because that’s my area of expertise. I don’t presume to speak for women in faraway countries.

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Revitalize Feminism By Coming Down To Earth

The outside world will save us. I know it exists, because I lean on it all the time.

We all do – Medicine relies on it to make diagnoses and treatments. We’re using it right now because, of course, technology counts on particles, materials, software, and even human intuition to function in expected ways.

But we don’t really like applying this predictability to ourselves. Each of us is a brave pioneer in her own universe! We’re all soaking in Choice Philosophy, the spread of Gender Religion just the latest wave of neoliberal nonsense to wash over us.  

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Regressivism: Let’s Call Them What They Are

Tribalism has really gotten out of hand, hasn’t it? Everything must be on one side or the other in the Culture War, no front line is too remote.

But tossing everything in two huge piles throws together things that have no business anywhere near each other.

The simple dichotomy of Conservative = Republican / Progressive = Democrat has shown itself inadequate for a while now. For one thing, a ‘conservative’ is someone who wants to conserve things as they are. But this makes the Biden administration’s Back-To-Normal schtick a little weird, doesn’t it?

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US Counterintelligence Plays Divide&Conquer With The Left

Ever wonder why so many of the people arguing with you seem brainwashed? Wonder no more!

Gabriel Rockhill lays it all out, but his article isn’t getting the attention it deserves. That’s probably because it’s a slog to read, but it’s as important as it is wordy.

He tells us about a declassified CIA report that describes exactly how the Agency helped to mastermind the current mess:

“In recognizing it was unlikely that it could abolish [the left] entirely, the world's most powerful spy organization has sought to move leftist culture away from resolute anti-capitalist and transformative politics toward center-left reformist positions that are less overtly critical of US foreign and domestic policies.”

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Without Meaning To, Reddit Shows The Way

Watching Reddit go down in flames this week was way too satisfying.

Supposedly, they got to know ‘Aimee’ through a volunteer relationship. But no one ever bothered to Google the name!

Many people, myself included, had at least a passing familiarity with the Challenor crew before these latest events. David the Elder had gotten himself expelled from two political parties in the UK for generally being a nasty, pedophilic fuck, but especially for doing it in public a little too often.

‘Aimee’ the younger is a well-known validation junkie. So it was no surprise that, upon being given full Moderator powers, this person set about hacking away at anything that hindered this quest.

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Warning: Violence Against Gender Criticals Erupts In Canada

Just a quick note of warning to readers and the wider feminist community.

This afternoon in Montreal, a man who calls himself Billboard Dad was out doing his thing. Interestingly, that thing is protesting the Canadian government’s stance on gender politics.

“I was having peaceful conversations on Saint-Catherine Street, joined by a local man. A bunch of these thugs suddenly swarmed me, I'm told there were about 7.“

He got footage of several people surrounding him, one of them shouting, “Transphobes, fuck off!“ while hitting Billboard Dad with a traffic cone!

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“Abortion Is Already A Lost Cause”

Hey guyns, get this – Abortion is trending again! Zipidee-do-dah!

Ovarit’s comments on my post this week took a discouraging turn. Alongside a lively discussion of Mitt Romney’s Child Allowance Plan, an unexpected consensus emerged that abortion protections at the Federal level are basically gone.

The Sad State of Women’s Rights, US Edition

“It’s just a matter of time. It’ll be off the table soon, and it makes moderate Republicans a lot more appealing to me.“

This sounds reasonable until you remember that all Romney needs to look like a hero is a little integrity. 

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Moms and Feminism Need Each Other

I think men convinced themselves women were just a little too stupid for all those centuries, so they wouldn’t have to face what they had done to us.

Exploiting a natural weakness to strip an intelligent, self-aware person of their individuality, and put them to work for the benefit of others – Well, that would be pretty evil. One might be tempted to empathize with such a person, to imagine what it’s like to let go of any thought of personal achievement.

To have no dreams, plans, or hobbies of your own. That’s a miserable existence for any mildly intelligent person, without some serious brainwashing.

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Emily Wilding Davison: Original Women’s Lib Martyr, Publicist Extraordinaire

I’m not sure I understand her methods.

Martyrdom is pretty universal, although volunteering takes a special kind. Emily Wilding Davison devoted her life to gaining women the vote in England. At the age of 40, Emily was already a catalyzing force in the Women’s Movement. 

She had been a gifted student, eventually attending Oxford University. This being the Victorian era, she never earned a degree because Oxford didn’t award them to women at the time.

Emily became a teacher and, by and by, a political activist. Denied greater exercise of her talents, the obvious first step to liberation was civic engagement. She joined the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1906, a very active group of agitators founded by another famous suffragist, Emmeline Pankhurst.

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The Feminine Hustle – Is ‘Having It All’ Worth Doing It All?

I was 20 when I read The Feminine Mystique.

Six months after dropping out of college, my education had become self-lead. My newly-minted adulthood, the oversized title of Woman, demanded some effort to understand my place in the world.

Plus, my boyfriend had dumped me over Xmas, so angry distraction seemed like just the thing.

At the time, I assumed I didn’t understand it. Bored suburban housewives didn’t have much to say to an anxiety-riddled romantic.

And her advice boiled down to, “Get a job, honey, but do it for you!“

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Millennial Women Rising

I’m worried about becoming a bitter old woman.

Things started out alright. Those of us born in the 1980s were given bunk beds, Kool-Aide, an education in the foundations of computing, and the assumption that we’d eventually end up better than we started.

I doubt we would have welcomed the new millennium with such enthusiasm if we had any idea just how disappointing it would be.

Graduating in 2002, I promptly moved out and into the dorms of a big state college. A year and a half later I found myself back in Mom’s family room, having left school to focus on a doomed relationship. It’s always a boy, isn’t it?

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World’s “Freest” Economy Squeezes Citizens Into Boxes

What do words like ‘freedom’ and ‘liberal’ actually mean?

Hong Kong has been in the news for a while now. Many of us will have at least a passing familiarity with the fact that the Chinese government is experimenting with various methods of running them into the ground.

But a more long-standing problem – in the country deemed 2020’s Freest Economy by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal – is the spiraling price of real estate.

Vox recently published a video addressing the issue. Land scarcity, the obvious suspect in an island nation of millions, is not the problem. Only about 3% of Hong Kong is zoned for urban housing.

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Something Positive: The Great Green Wall of Africa

It’s been a very long year so far. Between disease, financial crunch and political upheaval, it seems like the world is just plain confusing, if not actively out to get us.

In times like these, it’s important to occasionally take time out for something majorly positive.

Today’s installment of Something Positive features climate change. I know that sounds weird, but bear with me.

Women in underdeveloped countries often suffer the most from the personal and economic effects of climate change. So it was with no small relish that I learned how successful (and cheap!) the Great Green Wall of Africa has been so far.

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Elder Millennials: Watching the World End, Over and Over

“A civilized divorce is a contradiction in terms.”  So says Danny DeVito’s lawyer character, narrating the 1989 film The War of the Roses. This dark comedy was released the same year my parents divorced. Mom has told me she can’t watch it, “It hits too close to home.” Such drama, Mom.

Personally, I think it’s hilarious. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner chew the scenery and DeVito twists the Greek Chorus he loves so much. A farcical gem and definitely one of the best comedies of the era.

The divorce rate peaked in 1981 and has been slowly declining since, for everyone except Boomers. So I venture to say that my experience is a pretty common one. I can think of two friends my age whose parents were still together by the time they turned 20. A couple had parents divorce in high school. Contrary to common wisdom, this seemed to hit hardest.

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Father’s Day Madness: Guns, Guns Everywhere

Just popping in to bring attention to something I noticed in the news this morning.

This weekend was Father's Day in the United States. Usually, this holiday passes with little more fanfare than some cards at the drugstore and persistent Home Depot commercials.

This year, as we will all have noticed by now, is unique. This year, Father's Day was marked by random outbursts of violence across the country.

I'm not even talking about the protests. Or the riots. Or the looting. Or the brutal acts of political pageantry.

Chicago had it worst, with 60 people shot across the city. Nine of them have died, in unrelated situations where someone decided to start pulling a trigger. New York City has seen 18 shootings this weekend.

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Class War! America’s False Choice

The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal has done us the service this week of openly arguing that their bottom line is more important than our lives.

It’s behind a paywall, but Fox Business was kind enough to provide a free version for our perusal. The headline, ‘Rethinking the Coronavirus Shutdown‘ vaguely presages its thesis subheading: “No society can safeguard public health for long at the cost of its economic health.“

Yes, yes they can. Many countries around the world are running a skeleton crew of essential services to stave off, ya know, a pandemic.

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Coronavirus Exposes Cracks Under All of Us

Around the world, the spread of the pandemic has illustrated the existing social patterns in real time.

Here in Tennessee, we are almost last in line. West Virginia was recently declared the 50th state to see an official case.

Watching it take over Reddit, Twitter, and finally YouTube, was like studying a bowling ball from the POV of a pin.

I got to learn which of my friends pay attention to the outside world. Which of my friends, whether on purpose or not, had been absorbing right-wing talking points.

My state was also one of the last places to roll out closure rules, closely following President Trump’s timing. The US’ lack of readiness appears poised to puncture our arrogance. We’re about a week away from getting to see just how bad it might get.

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OK, Boomer: Daddy Was A Gerrymandering Villain

….OK, Boomer.

Two words have crystalized our generational friction as we slip into the second decade of the 21st century. The “entitled” Millennials and our

Zoomer cousins are beginning to see we are in for a struggle to inherit the world.

Stephanie Hofeller has it worse than most. Her Dad, Thomas Hofeller, was the architect of today’s political landscape. Called “The master of the modern gerrymander” by The New Yorker, Tom died in 2018 and left a lot of interesting things behind.

Stephanie has been using her father’s files to chip away at his work. She was instrumental in the Supreme Court ruling against including a citizenship question in the 2020 census, after Tom’s cache revealed a study showing the question to be “advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.” Which, obviously, is a faux pas.

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Social Justice as Abuse

The phrase ‘social justice’ often describes lofty principles individuals and institutions are expected to follow. But what happens when people misuse the power of these ideas?

An Independent Thought

This fascinating article details seven ways social justice language can become abusive in intimate relationships:

It kind of feels like this author was stretching for length, but they do present an interesting angle.

We all know people are amazing at rationalizing our actions. Those who are most passionate about social justice causes often have their own trauma. It makes sense that sensitive souls might use their interpersonal defenses to shield themselves in a weak moment.

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You’re A Man, Honey, and That’s Okay

Male Violence is The Enemy

Hey, guys, I get it. As much as any lady can, I sympathize. Being A Man is a big freaking deal. Men are kinda nuts.

Forced Into the Butch Box

If you are just not much of a hard ass, if you find yourself drawn to the lighter side of life, you may also find yourself targeted by the Man Police. They are regular guys, your friends, your boss, your teacher. Your Dad. Any or all of them may take it upon themselves to kick your ass if you step out of line.

I’m not going to dig into why that happens. It’s pretty foreign to me, and I truly don’t mean to patronize you.

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Fight Despair Together: What Does Life on Your Terms Look Like?

You see the well-trodden paths in your life. You learn ways to stop getting stuck there. You go, killer! The next question is, “Where do we go from here?”

We have to forge new paths, create new ways of relating to people around us. If we are doing our inner work well, this should be obvious to us. We recognize familiar situations and remember how we would have reacted in the past.

Take Responsibility for Your Reactions

Personal example, a weird thing I have is I hate waking up alone. Like, if I went to bed alone, okay. But in that half-awake haze of the Night Owl at 8am, I seek out the comfort of my beloved.

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Fight Despair Together: How Do I Know It’s Working?

When we are going inward and doing personal work, the most important thing is to stay on-task.

How Do I Choose Which Path to Take?

Stay focused on a simple goal, don’t be distracted by side paths that may pop up. If you are working on expressing yourself more clearly and you realize that you are experiencing social anxiety, it’s tempting to run off and treat the anxiety.

But why? Who’s to say the communication issue didn’t cause the anxiety? Or they could both have origins in a single, forgotten event from childhood.

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Is Fear of Abandonment the Root of Narcissism?

No one talks about it this way, but lots of people selfishly sabotage their relationships. Lots of them are called narcissists. 

But most of us have some kind of damage… How do we know who’s who?

Narcissistic people, who appear grandiose but are actually cripplingly insecure, usually follow a cycle in relationships.

One big tell is that the Narcissistic Cycle dominates a person’s life. All their hang-ups, all the time. Abandonment phobia is only triggered in certain circumstances.

But both people enter relationships with high expectations that they can’t help – They are needy to a fault, and they don’t see it.

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Fight Despair Together: Healing Through Self-Compassion

What is stopping you from working through your problems and becoming who you want to be?

Depression and anxiety are both subsumed anger over how we have been treated. 

Over and over, researchers have shown that those who suffer from such things are overwhelmingly victims of abuse as children. 

Of course you would be angry if those who were supposed to care for you instead treated you like crap. Or otherwise made you feel lesser. And there’s a good chance you don’t even realize it. Or the depths to which it shapes your experiences to this day.

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