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Category Archive: psychology

May 24 2014

Masculinity, Violence, and Bandaid Solutions

[Content note: violence, guns, mass shootings, misogyny] We’re all familiar with the pattern now: a solitary young white man goes on a shooting rampage. People die. The media describes him as “crazy,” “disturbed,” “troubled,” “insane.” Everyone collectively bemoans the failings of our mental healthcare system, presuming that its failure is relevant here. People with mental …

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May 23 2014

On Hating Yourself, And All Of Your Selves

[Content note: depression] The self, as everyone learns in an introductory psychology class, is not a stable or definable entity. “Self” is not a biography or a fashion style or a set of identity labels–it is something more contextual, more situational, more fluid than that. Selves shift depending on who we’re with and what we’re doing …

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May 14 2014

“When one is in the penalty box, tears are permitted.”

Captain Picard comforts Lieutenant Yar in her penalty box.

I recently discovered Star Trek. Don’t laugh! I have foreign parents who were unable to expose me to such things in a timely manner. In episode 9 of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Picard and his crew are confronted for the second time by the mysterious “Q,” a member of …

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May 09 2014

“But a feminist was mean to me!”

Every so often a man publishes some screed about how he’s no longer a feminist because feminists have been mean to him. Every very often, some white person opines that they’d be totally on board with this whole anti-racism thing except that people of color are just so damn rude to them all the time. Or a religious …

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May 09 2014

You Can’t Diagnose Mental Illness from a Tweet

Today at the Daily Dot, I discussed the strange Twitter behavior of a former Paypal executive and the predictable mass rush to claim that it’s evidence of “mental illness”: Is Rakesh Agrawal mentally ill? I have no idea, and neither do you. There’s a long history of using mental illness as a multipurpose scapegoat when people do …

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May 06 2014

Confidence Is Not the Solution To Gender Inequality

My latest piece in the Daily Dot discusses research on the double bind that women have to navigate in the workplace, and why I’m so fed up with all the demands that women Just Be Confident and Ask For What You Want at work: Women face a classic double bind: if they confirm female stereotypes of …

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Apr 29 2014

Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace

[Content note: mental illness, including eating disorders] This post was requested by Kate [not FtB!Kate], who donated to my conference fundraiser. She wanted to hear my opinion on mental health in the workplace and how employees and employers can foster a culture that values and promotes mental health. She had some of her own suggestions, …

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Apr 26 2014

How Young Girls Internalize Rape Culture as “Normal”

[Content note: sexual assault and harassment] My newest post at the Daily Dot is about a study showing how normalized sexual violence is for young women: They grab you, touch your butt and try to, like, touch you in the front, and run away, but it’s okay, I mean…I never think it’s a big thing …

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Apr 25 2014

Can You Be Happy for 100 Days in a Row?

The 100 Happy Days project.

“Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?” the website wants to know, taunting me with its cheery font and yellow color scheme. No, I can’t. “You don’t have time for this, right?” the next line asks rhetorically. I’ll answer anyway. I have time. I, despite my grad program and 3-hour commute, have …

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Apr 20 2014

Online Bullying and Trauma: What’s At Stake?

[Content note: online bullying/harassment] Since I wrote my last blog post, I’ve been treated to a number of enlightening debates about the issue of online bullying and PTSD. And by “enlightening,” I don’t mean that I changed my mind about anything or learned very much about online bullying or PTSD. Rather, I gained an understanding …

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