From Medium

The Pervasiveness of Abusive Men

Photo: surdumihail on Pixabay. (Image description: a blonde woman holds a handwritten white sign reading “#METOO” is in front of her face. She has red fingernails.)

I’m feeling some kind of way about Brett Kavanaugh. From Medium:

We cannot escape this crap. Men who have done shitty things to women are everywhere. They are on TV and in movies and making music and writing books. They are getting away with it, or at the very least, being offered redemption arcs so condensed they’d make a soap opera writer’s head spin.

Read the whole post here. Especially if you’re angry like I am.

From Medium

What We Talk About When We Talk About Mansplaining

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash. (Image description: A woman sits at a conference table while a man leans over her, pointing to her laptop. The woman does not look amused.)

I liked this week’s newsletter so much that I put it up on Medium, too. It was inspired by a tense conversation in a private group I’m in, and I couldn’t not take it on at more length when I had time to write about it:

Earlier this week […] I found myself having to clarify — not for the first time, either — that yes, mansplaining is a real thing and no, we can’t just write it off to someone being an asshole, and yes, lots of people “-splain” but no, that doesn’t mean mansplaining isn’t its own, specific thing. Over the course of the conversation, this flowchart was brought up, first as an explainer of mansplaining and then with the argument “but anyone can be guilty of doing this,” which is a fair point. Yes, the chart outlines behavior that’s rude and condescending regardless of who it’s coming from. What’s missing is an initial question: would you feel compelled to offer this explanation if you were talking to a man?

Want to read the rest? You’ll find it here.

From Medium

Stop Asking People for Free Work

I get approached a lot by people who want me to help them do something, but they don’t see why they should pay for it—and I’m not alone.

I can’t tell you the number of times while pitching work and applying for jobs that I’ve been asked to create a marketing plan, or to write a piece of thought leadership, or to conduct a comprehensive edit of existing materials, for free. Not only is this exactly the kind of work I charge clients for, but if I agree to do it, I’m also taking time away from that paying client work. If I had agreed to write this marketing plan, it would have taken about four hours of my time; they would have wound up with a functional marketing plan, and I would have wound up four hours of billable time in the hole.

Want to learn how you can do better? See the full piece on Medium.

From Medium

Your Cheap Overseas Social Media Team Is Awfully Expensive

There are a lot of ways to be bad at social media, but I was recently exposed to one of the worst examples I’ve seen:

After a brief illness that I wrote about here, my cat Simon (pictured above) died in bed with my husband and me this Monday morning. It sucked. It really, really sucked. But what sucked even more was looking at my phone that afternoon and seeing that, in response to my Instagram post about saying goodbye to Simon, the Philadelphia Injury Lawyers left this comment:

The saga continues on Medium.
From Medium

Schrödinger’s Cat

Simon came home from the hospital with a cancer diagnosis and an upper respiratory infection, and we had to keep him isolated from the rest of the cats until the later was no longer infectious. I spent a lot of time thinking about the paradox of Schrödinger’s Cat while Simon was in isolation, always wondering what would await me when I opened the door to his quarantine area:

The bathroom in which Simon currently resides is at the top of the stairs, so I pass it several times daily. Sometimes I continue with whatever I was doing the had me going up or down the stairs in the first place. Sometimes I come in and sit with him for a few minutes, like I’m doing now. Most times, though, I stand in front of the door, debating whether to open it.

More reflections on slowly losing a beloved pet are on Medium.

From Medium

A Few Words on Empathy

When I wrote this essay about my discomfort with laughing at the pain of others, I just felt like I had something I needed to get off my chest. I wasn’t expecting it to resonate with strangers the way it did, but clearly something hit a nerve.

have been accused of being too much of an empath. I cry when I see other people cry. I’ve gotten physically ill listening to people describe particularly painful injuries or medical procedures. A few weeks ago, while catching up on the excellent Every Little Thing podcast, I sobbed as host Flora Lichtman played audio clips of people witnessing the summer 2017 solar eclipse because I was so in awe of their awe. I am, I’m certain, an embarrassment at weddings and funerals, and I cried myself to sleep twenty minutes in to the movie Up. (I was extremely confused to wake up to a talking dog.) I gave up on my earlier aspirations to be a clinical psychologist when I realized that I’d only ever be able to keep up a professional poker face if all my patients were happy. And any time someone suggests I consider running for office, I know that I’d wind up bawling at a town hall when one of my constituents tells me their tragic tale—and as a woman, that would be all it took to ruin my political career. I will, I’m sure, be the world’s most embarrassing mother.

The full essay, which was inspired by the famous video of a Philadelphia Eagles fan colliding with a subway support column, is available on Medium.

From Medium

Pelvic Pain Should Be Taken Seriously

I’ve written a lot about the pelvic pain disorder I was diagnosed with in 2013, so writing about pelvic and sexual health has become a passion of mine. After reading an article about the lack of knowledge most mothers have around what childbirth does to their bodies, and how frequently their concerns are ignored by their physicians, I wrote:

We (as a society) do a terrible job of listening to women* about the problems they have with their pelvic floors and reproductive organs. We do a terrible job at listening to women* when they talk about the psychological problems that can arise specifically because of issues related to their pelvic floors and reproductive organs. And we do a terrible job at encouraging women* to be proactive in speaking up about these issues without embarrassment or shame.

*And those with female anatomy who don’t identify as women.

More thoughts on this on Medium.

From Medium

On Gene Wilder and Our Ownership of His Afterlife

After Gene Wilder died, one of the most common sentiments I saw expressed online was that at least he was reunited with Gilda Radner—never mind that he had been married to someone else for nearly two decades at the time of his passing. I wrote about our collective lack of empathy for Wilder’s widow:

Imagine for a second that your beloved partner previously had a beloved partner whom he lost to a vicious disease. Imagine that you have spent your entire relationship hearing about your beloved partner’s beloved late partner. Imagine your beloved partner dies, after more than two decades of complete commitment to you, and LITERALLY ALL ANYONE CAN TALK ABOUT is how nice it is for him to be reunited in the afterlife with his late beloved partner.

The full essay is available on Medium.