Category Archives: Society

Tennis Helped Transform Me from Sad and Lonely to Righteously Angry at the Patriarchy

My current crush fell in love with another man last fall. We agreed to stop talking a couple of weeks ago, so he could have space to figure his life out. Who knows if he will reach out again. I spent a lot of last week sad about this, listening to melodramatic Ariana Grande and Jason Derulo songs and posting angsty selfies on Snapchat. On top of that, I felt that one of my friends had not been putting as much effort into our friendship as I had, and when I expressed this, she did not react well. I also waited to hear back from an internship I wanted yet received no word about. To describe my emotions with great eloquence: everything sucked.

Two Tuesday nights ago, as I moped about V – my crush who said he also had a crush on me and also fell in love with someone else – I went to one of my weekly tennis leagues. Continue reading

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The Very Serious Function of Racism in Academia

I feel so hurt and I feel so scared.

I feel hurt because in my professional life I have encountered awful experiences of racism as of late. I feel scared because if I share these experiences, people may hurt me further. They may gaslight me and say I exaggerate. They may stereotype me as the angry queer academic of color, when my anger, a justified anger, stems from having experienced racism. I feel sad, too, because I wish I could share specifics about what has happened on this blog like I often do, but right now, my fear of retribution – that someone will find this blog and attack me for my sharing – makes me unwilling to provide specifics.

This processing takes up time. Continue reading

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Ariana Grande Practiced Cultural Appropriation and I Needed Some Moments to Sit with That

Over the past few months, the discourse surrounding Ariana Grande’s problematic behavior has gotten pretty intense. More and more people online have called her out for blackfishing/latinafishing, referring to how she has darkened her skin to pass as racially ambiguous while still reaping the benefits of her white privilege. This criticism reached a fever pitch when she released “7 rings,” the second single from her upcoming album Thank U, Next, in which she engages in outright cultural appropriation through rapping a verse toward the end of the song. Though more people have called her out on this behavior than ever before, as of midday January 21 she had not responded to this criticism in any meaningful or substantial way. I will not go too much in-depth about the actual critique because Google exists and as a non-black person of color I am not the best person to speak on it, but for a great summary you can read user superultra’s fantastic post about it on this page.

I have to admit: my heart broke a bit when I read the scathing criticism of her on online forums like Popjustice Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Pop, Society

To All the Three Men Who Taught Me to Trust Men Sometimes

I have had pretty bad luck with men. From neglectful family members to abusive professional advisors to subpar dates, I often want to throw my hands up in the air, climb a ladder onto the roof of a tall building, and scream “men are trash” at the top of my lungs. I once told the therapist I saw in my undergrad years, L, that if someone gave me a pill to swallow so I could stop feeling attracted to men, I would swallow it without a moment’s hesitation – not because I dislike my gayness, just because I dislike my attraction to a gender that is socialized to value stoicism and achievement over emotional openness and caring.

Over the past week I have spent time processing my most recent somewhat failed crush, perhaps my oddest one yet. While the support of my close friends, my therapist, and myself have helped, I still feel this tugging resentment, like a voice saying “ok, if this guy didn’t work out, I might as well declare a vow of celibacy, never try to invest in a man again, and channel all my love to the people who deserve it: Ariana Grande and BlackPink.” But, because I work as a therapist and have gone to therapy, I noticed my thought pattern (i.e., a cognitive distortion, if you want to get boring about it) and went, “wait a second, not all the men in my life have been trash, even if a large number of men do practice toxic masculinity and are subsequently trash.” I have had deep and healthy relationships with three men in particular aside from the fictional men I fanboy all the time, looking at u, Willem from A Little Life. Continue reading

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A Love Letter to My Favorite Dead Writer, Caroline Knapp

Dear Caroline,

Your memoir Appetites saved my life. I first read it four years ago, at 18, the summer after my freshman year of college. You see, I had anorexia too, several years ago in my early adolescence. I starved myself for many of the same reasons you did. I wanted control over my life and didn’t have it, so I starved. I wanted to erase all the emotions I felt but I couldn’t, so I starved. I learned from my mother and the media and so many other sources that I could and should change my body, so I starved.

But I didn’t truly understand why I starved until I read Appetites. Continue reading

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Self-Love Will Help You Grow Wings and Fly Far Away from the Patriarchy (basically)

So I went on a date with this really cute guy named James and we talked for two hours and he had a gorgeous smile whenever he laughed and seemed to reject capitalism and I sort of wanted to see him again. We had some honestly mediocre because he’s a white man who hasn’t been socialized to communicate effectively decent text exchanges before he told me that he would like to see me again but not romantically because he hasn’t been into guys lately. Here are some thoughts I could have had, if not for my queen Audre Lorde: Continue reading

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thank u, bri

In my last blog post, I wrote about a friendship ending with distance. In this one, I write about a friendship that with distance has only grown stronger. Friendships are hard to form in a patriarchal society that celebrates the heteronormative nuclear family above all else adulthood, so I want to celebrate my friendships on this blog, especially this one, which helped motivate me to take care of myself in a time of darkness.

I met my best friend Bri in my freshman year of undergrad at William & Mary. Continue reading

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