Monthly Archives: November 2015

My French Flag Profile Picture Isn’t Shallow, and It Certainly Isn’t Meaningless

In response to this post:

We are in an age where news travels faster than it sometimes happens, and virtually all western civilization has access to social media. 

When tragedy strikes, we feel helpless. We feel horrified. We feel outraged. We desperately search for something, anything we can do to show solidarity and strength. And so, #prayforparis and the French flag profile picture were born.

And it’s not shallow. It’s definitely not meaningless. It’s connectedness. It’s solidarity. It’s support. It shows that we care about more than what’s going on in our immediate vicinity. And in our immediacy, it is something we can do right now to tell Parisians that we love them. 

To some, maybe many, this is all they can do. This is their capacity. And that needs to be okay. Why are we shaming those that take a second to acknowledge this tragedy in the simple way they can? Why are we telling them that if they can’t do more, then it’s not enough – and to not even bother? 

Should you “do more” if you have the means? 100% absolutely. Paris DOES need more than just our prayers. It’s important that those of us who can, do. But I promise you that those who do won’t stop at a profile picture. 

Should we be just as outraged at Beirut? Oh goodness yes. And it’s incredibly unfortunate that we weren’t exposed to that the same way we were Paris. It’s a gross testament to the power of news outlets and the potency of a tragedy involving white men over PoC. We need to do better. I’m not denying that. But that’s a bigger problem and bigger conversation, one that is being highlighted largely due to the events in Paris. Until yesterday, I saw no mention on my feed about Beirut. Today, I see chastising that all we care about is Paris. We eat what we are fed, friends, and before yesterday you were just as hungry as the rest of us. 

I stand with Paris. My profile picture reflects that. I am feeling helpless and compassionate, and I’m not convinced that one simple sign of support makes me shallow, superficial, naive, or shortsighted – but hey, to each their own.

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Posted by on November 14, 2015 in Random Shit


My Butt’s Just Fine, Thank You Very Much

No.  We are not the generation of “butthurt” individuals (sidenote: what a terrible term). We are not just “overly sensitive” these days, and we are not looking for random excuses to be upset.

We are a generation of more aware individuals.  We’re not perfect, not by a freakin’ longshot, but we’re trying.  We are slowly getting to a point where marginalized people feel comfortable enough to speak up and tell us when something is hurtful and harmful.  That’s progress, not problematic.

Omitting a word or phrase with horrific connotations isn’t as inconvenient for you as it is respectful to those who are continually oppressed by the rampant use of stealthy micro-aggressions.  Not to mention that calling something “gay” or “retarded” does nothing to properly articulate the underlying emotion you are trying to convey. Buy a dictionary and move on.

Appropriating someone’s culture isn’t flattering, nor is it showing appreciation.  You can’t appreciate a culture by taking only the parts you like, and ignoring the rest (or worse, actively trying to erase the rest).  You don’t get to pick and choose what parts of marginalized populations you’d like to showcase, and which you’d rather not think about.  So when someone tells you not to dress in that Halloween costume, or to cut off those dreads, it’s not them being sensitive. It’s them pointing out how you are perpetuating a harmful message.  It’s them asking you to be a decent human being. Try it out.

Making a joke that enforces stereotypes isn’t funny.  Normalizing the likes of violating and belittling a group of people at their expense only serves to reinforce the notions that these people are “less than” the rest of us.  It’s not just a joke, we don’t need to calm down, and our senses of humour are excellent. There is truth in joking, after all – by making these jabs at marginalized populations, you are also saying there is truth in what is supposed to be “just a joke”.  Perhaps it’s you that needs to find your sense of humour, one that doesn’t come at the expense of people we’ve historically been gigantic asshats to.

No friends, we are not too sensitive.  We are more aware.  We want to do better . We want to teach our children better.  We want to hear the voices of those we’ve typically silenced.  We want to believe them, because it is their lived experience.  And we should.

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Posted by on November 2, 2015 in Random Shit

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