Learning when and how to call people in

Image Credit to Shutterstock

Last year, I blacked out on Labor Day.

I’d only had one formal kiteboarding lesson and a handful of informal lessons, so I was still new to the sport. As I stood at the edge of the river, a forceful gale suddenly caught the sail of my kite, and I was swept off the ground. Even though I knew about the safety pull mechanism, the wind caught me so quickly that my reflexes didn’t kick in. What followed is a blur, but I do remember being jerked up into the sky, floating there for a minute, slamming into the ground…

A transnational feminist look at the roles of colonialism and capitalism in the objectification of Asian bodies

Art by @arjolee (Instagram)

As we saw this year in the tragic Atlanta spa shootings in the United States, the continued stereotype linking Asian women to sex is incredibly harmful. Of the eight people shot in this tragedy, six of them were Asian women, and the motive given by the shooter was that he wanted to resist sexual temptation due to “sex addiction.” [1] Since the pandemic began and president 45 made some notably harmful remarks about the Asian community, there has been an increase in reported microaggressions towards Asians in the United States. According to a report put out by the Stop AAPI…

Art by Lena Yang

Let’s be real, I am guilty as charged — as an opinionated, early millennial, I’ve posted a whole lot of political content in my years on the internet. If I’m honest about it, my goal in posting has been primarily to suss out my inner circle of like-minded individuals, or to unload my rage. When I’ve gotten pushback about posts, I’ve sometimes unfriended, blocked, debated, or ghosted people.

But as I move through my 30s and consider the trajectory of my actions, I’ve realized that I want to be more intentional about my activism. Like, it would be cool if…

Image credit goes to Adobe Stock @ grivina

When the 2016 election happened in the United States, I lit myself on fire with rage. I took to the streets with crowds of other demonstrators in Portland, OR. I screamed my feelings on social media. I unfriended people rapidly, and those I didn’t unfriend witnessed my steady stream of angry posts online. Did making angry posts feel good? Absolutely. Did I feel solidarity with others who were posting similar sentiments? Definitely. Did my angry posts change people’s minds? I agree with Kazu Haga, an activist in the prison reform movement, who says, “You can’t shame people into transformation.” …

Lisa Simpson says it all

A witch hunt signifies the persecution of the historically marginalized and vulnerable. The witch herself, in an empowering reversal of centuries of systemic and institutional oppression, is turning into an emblem of resistance. To this day, witchcraft is often disregarded as a legitimate religion, although a resurgence of interest in Pagan themes has been emerging in Europe and the U.S. Outside of the spiritual and into the secular realm, some view the reclamation of the witch as a “positive outlet for collective catharsis” and a means to resist “the rampant misogyny, white supremacy, and bigotry” of our current political leadership…

Graphic courtesy of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on and reshaping my idea of personal accountability, specifically in relation to my individual response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some people have had enough of quarantine. They long for access to their community, they want to disrobe the rhetoric of fear and run naked from its claustrophobic mantle. I long for this, too. And, if individuals were all acting on this desire, we would not have successfully curbed the disease as much as we have. This sense of exceptionalism — largely, white, American exceptionalism — has become alarming to me. …

Leah Baker

Leah resides in Portland, OR, USA and teaches language arts at an international high school. She is a current PhD student.

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