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Category Archive: people things

Dating, relationships, communication, friendship, all that fun stuff.

Jan 23 2014

I Check My Phone While Out With People and If You Don’t Like That Please Don’t Hang Out With Me

I recently made a Facebook status/Tumblr post that read as follows: Since APPARENTLY this has become a huge contentious debate all over Facebook, let me make my position on it clear: 1. If we’re hanging out in person and you want to check your phone, go for it. If you need to take care of …

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Jan 22 2014

My Long-Distance Life

When I was 17, I went to Israel on an educational summer program. I was sort of dreading it for various reasons, not least of which was the fact that I finally had a serious boyfriend and I’d have to be apart from him for seven weeks. This fact terrified me and I had plenty …

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Jan 19 2014

I Finally Saw the Movie “Her” and I Loved It and Had Feelings

"Her" film poster

[Warning: ALL of the spoilers ahead] Last night I saw the movie Her, which, if you haven’t watched or heard of it, is about a man who falls in love and starts a relationship with his artificially intelligent operating system. The OS, who names herself Samantha, is with Theodore wherever he goes: on his home computer, …

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Jan 16 2014

Having To See It To Believe It: Men and Online Sexual Harassment

Screen Shot 2013-11-09 at 3.26.56 PM

[Content note: sexual harassment] Jezebel recounts the tale of Reddit user OKCThrowaway22221, who pretended to be a woman on OkCupid and was so dismayed, disappointed, and disgusted with the messages he received that he shut it down after two hours. OKCThrowaway22221 is pretty clear about the fact that, at the outset, he did not truly …

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Nov 01 2013

(How) Should We Call Out Online Bigotry? On “Somebody Said Something Stupid Syndrome”

Anti-racist Doge to the rescue!

Over at The Chronicle of Higher Education, Ben Yagoda has a post called, “Must Attention Be Paid?” In it, he describes what he called “Somebody Said Something Stupid Syndrome,” or “SSSSS”: SSSSS (as I abbreviate it) begins when an individual writes or is recorded as saying something strikingly venal, inhumane, and/or dumb. The quote is …

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Oct 29 2013

In Defense of Having Big/Serious/Difficult Conversations in Writing

This post grew out of a conversation I had with Chana Messinger and was also influenced by this great old Wired piece that has resurfaced on my social networks lately. You may not think that, in this day and age, the value of digital communication still needs to be defended. Maybe it doesn’t. But the …

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Oct 15 2013

Intent: Just How Magic Is It?

There’s a saying in the progressive community that intent isn’t fucking magic. It comes from this fabulously snarky post about how not intending to hurt someone doesn’t magically keep them from being hurt. “Intent is not magic” is one of those simple, catchy phrases we use to get a point across, kind of like “consent …

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Aug 21 2013

Flirting and Sexual Harassment: Not Actually the Same Thing

I could do a whole series on harmful and irrational responses to sexual harassment claims. First we had the “but it’s a learning opportunity!” defense, and now there’s this sort of thing: “But people are going to flirt. We’re all sexual beings*. We’re all adults here and should be able to deal with some harmless flirting. …

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Aug 17 2013

Women Are Not “Mysterious”

A man opens a huge, several-feet-tall book. Caption reads, "The book 'Understanding Women' has finally arrived in bookstores."

I came across this meme in my Facebook newsfeed (with criticism, thankfully): It was shared by the page “Engineer Memes,” which makes sense given the trope that it references. You know the one: the brilliant, successful scientist/engineer/mathematician who can solve any problem, invent a lifesaving drug or device, and understand the most complicated theories of …

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Aug 10 2013

How to Be a Responsible Devil’s Advocate

Devil’s advocate is a tricky rhetorical strategy. On the one hand, it can be extremely useful for exposing the flaws in an argument, helping others clarify and strengthen their positions, and practice your own argumentation. Using devil’s advocate when the topic under discussion is, say, whether or not we should pursue immortality or how best …

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