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Monthly Archive: September 2013

Sep 30 2013

“What do you have to be depressed about?”

If you have experienced depression while living what appears to be a fairly nice life, you’ve probably had someone ask you, “What do you have to be depressed about?” Sometimes people who ask this question are genuinely curious because they think that depression is necessarily “about” something and they just don’t understand what, in your …

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Sep 29 2013

Of Pranks and Playboy: The Pros and Cons of Online Hoaxes

Header for Playboy's fake party guide.

If you were online at all last week, you probably came across a Playboy article called “Top Ten Party Commandments.” The article was in Playboy’s usual style, but rather than emphasizing your typical dudebro disregard for women’s feelings, opinions, and preferences, it’s all about how you can’t truly have a good time without consent and …

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Sep 29 2013

Capital-W Writers and lowercase-w writers

A conversation with a friend has me thinking about how I still, despite everything, don’t consider myself a capital-W Writer, just a lowercase-W writer. I wonder what it would take. I wasn’t a Writer when I wrote poems and short stories just for fun. I wasn’t a Writer when they got published in my high …

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Sep 18 2013

Why You Shouldn’t Use Mental Illness As A Metaphor

And speaking of the dilution of language, I’m going to talk a little about how the language of mental illness gets co-opted regularly. Sometimes this is done completely innocently, as metaphor. “The weather’s really bipolar today.” “I’m kinda OCD about this, sorry.” “I’m so depressed about the Blackhawks losing!” Sometimes it’s a little less innocent, …

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Sep 12 2013

Occasional Link Roundup

Hello! It’s been quite a while since I last did one of these, so it’s going to be quite long and include some slightly-older links. Such is life. Speaking of life, it’s been pretty busy/weird. I moved to New York, started grad school, started my field placement (all social work students do it three days …

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Sep 12 2013

All Nonconsensual Sex is Sexual Assault: How We Categorize and Minimize Rape

[Content note: sexual assault, statutory rape] People, as it turns out, really love to categorize sexual assault. They like to speculate about which ones are worse or more traumatic. They like to refer to certain sexual assaults with sanitized language that either glamorizes or minimizes what happened. If at all possible, they like to leave …

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Sep 11 2013

[guest post] Thoughts on the Assumption of Good Faith

Mitchell of Research to be Done wrote this post after he and I and some other friends had a great discussion about social justice and giving people the benefit of the doubt, and how to adjust our beliefs and expectations when we’re proven wrong time and time again. It wasn’t so long ago that Lawrence …

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Sep 10 2013

[repost] At The Edge Of The Known World: What It’s Like To Consider Suicide

[Content note: depression and suicide] Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I wrote this post for it a year ago, and I decided to repost it today because I still think people should read it and I doubt I could write another one that’s better. Somebody, somewhere in the world, kills themselves every 40 seconds. …

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Sep 09 2013

You Remember The Weirdest Little Things

My routine begins with stripping off whatever uncomfortable, poorly-fitting clothes I was wearing to make myself presentable, and replacing them with athletic shorts and a tank top. Then plain white socks, which I almost never wear except for this. I reapply my deodorant. I make sure my phone is charged and updated with the newest …

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Sep 04 2013

Herbal Abortions and Editorial Responsibility

Content note: graphic descriptions of abortions and miscarriages Being both a feminist and a skeptic means walking the fine line of critiquing the way science and medicine are practiced without denying their importance and validity, of empowering individuals who have faced abuse by these institutions without promoting at-best useless and at-worst dangerous pseudoscience to these …

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