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Tag Archive: communication

Mar 18 2014

Surprise Weddings are Nonconsensual and Icky

Okay, I promise I’ll actually write something for this blog soon, but for now I have another Daily Dot piece, this time about “surprise weddings.” (It’s as icky as it sounds.) Here’s an excerpt: It’s incredibly ironic that an event meant to celebrate the joining of two people in marriage would be so one-sided, and …

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Feb 17 2014

I Don’t Demand Respect Because I’m Upset; I Demand Respect Because I Deserve It

At some point in my life, probably in college, I decided that I was going to (mostly; when I’m not too scared to speak up; when I can think of the words to say, etc.) stop taking shit from people. So, online, I often say things like, “Actually, I wasn’t asking for advice, thanks!” and …

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Feb 15 2014

Shifting The Blame For Sexual Harassment (Or, Damn Those Mysterious Women And Their Weird Mystery Feelings)

I’ve written before about how it’s actually not very difficult to tell the difference between flirting and sexual harassment. I’d like to get at this issue from a slightly different perspective by talking about the purposeful obfuscation of women’s* desires and boundaries that I often hear as a defense of those accused of sexual harassment. …

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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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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 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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Aug 02 2013

“They’re Your Friends/Family/Neighbors!”: On Activism and Appeals to Kinship

This post may have more questions than answers. You have been warned! For a while I’ve been noticing a certain tension in activism of various kinds. On the one hand, we want people to care about our causes not because those causes are necessarily proximal to them and impact their lives directly, but because these …

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