“Something softens me
Softens my desire
Something helps me breathe
Something spills out my pores as light
Is like hope blanketing me
Something bleeds as me…”
– excerpt from ‘So the Second Thing I Bought Was a Mirror’ by Aisha Sasha John
I come from a culture where talking about most things are taboo.
(Insert trope about conservative Asians here.)
So when I first moved to the U.S. close to a decade ago, I was surprised by how easily the topic of sex came up in everyday conversation. And I had moved here from England, by the way.
I heard coworkers go into graphic detail about fetishes, brand-new friends disclose fantasies that I wouldn’t to my oldest friends, and get casually asked about my boudoir habits over coffee.
What wasn’t — and still isn’t — brought up, was money.
I’d get quickly diverted if I asked what a job would pay, shot down if I asked for more money, and told in the most (condescendingly) surprised of tones, what a “good negotiator” I was when I did.
But not talking about money only works for one set of society; cisgendered white men.
When womxn are considered impolite for asking for what we want, what we deserve, or what the white man next to us is making, we’re accepting a world where only certain people deserve to make what they’re worth. So they can be nonchalant about it.
I don’t need to tell you how power structures are dictated by money.
And I won’t insult your intelligence by reminding you that “women make XX cents to a white man’s dollar.”
But I will ask you this: if it’s polite to talk about that weird thing the guy you met on Tinder did in bed, then why the hell can’t we talk about how much money you make?
With love + solidarity,
By Cici Zhang
In a bone marrow search, most people try their families first.
But 70% end up looking for a match among strangers.
Because there are fewer minority donors in the registry, it’s harder for minority patients to find a match.
According to statistics, black people have a 66% likelihood of finding a matched, available donor in the registry. It’s 97% for white people.
As with everything, race matters as much in sickness as in health.
How ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ Upends The Asian BFF Trope
By Andrea Ruggirello
Growing up, when I saw any Asian woman or girl on TV, even as an extra, my head would snap to attention.
Even if I didn’t consciously think about representation at the time, the lack of Asian characters was obvious, and made me internalize our invisibility even more.
As a Korean adopted into a white family, the characters I saw on TV were some of the most intimate looks I had at Asian American family life.
Living in a mostly white neighborhood, my friendships mirrored those I saw on TV — friendships like Rory Gilmore and Lane Kim’s on Gilmore Girls or, later, Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang’s on Grey’s Anatomy; I, too, was the only Asian friend among a group of white peers.
Similar to the trope of the “sassy black friend,” the Asian BFF is an often-tokenized attempt to include a person of color on screen.
The Asian BFF rejects her Asian heritage, and the character’s identity revolves around attempts to emulate whiteness.
By Claire Rudy Foster
A woman’s treatment for addiction shouldn’t require her silence about sexual abuse.
The culture of silence and “anonymity” that surrounds recovery is harmful to women, and allows leaders, elders, and trusted community members to prey on women with little fear of repercussions.
There’s a commonly held myth that the wrongs committed before getting sober don’t count. Victims of harassment or assault are told to pray for their attackers, rather than report them.
Some are encouraged to “see their part” in the attack, or try to reframe sexual assault as a spiritual gift, a gateway to growth.
Noah Levine, a recovery leader who is accused of sexual misconduct said, “We all sort of have a different doorway to dharma or spiritual practice. Suffering is a doorway.”
For women, that doorway is often sexual assault.
By Andrea Grimes
They say that smartphones are tearing us apart. That technology is building walls, not tearing them down. That the internet makes us dumber.
Not in my family. In my family, the presence of a goofy ole gal named Siri has fundamentally, and forever, changed us. For the better.
Every family has its special holiday traditions and quirks. Some folks all wear matching pajamas for Christmas morning, others all share a beloved pancake or latke recipe, or escape to their favorite skiing locale.
My family argues about facts.
Lead image: Unsplash/Olga Delawrence