Category Archives: News stories

Back to blogging

It’s been a good (and long) social media break! And an interesting one… as you may know I decided to take a break from FaceBook, which just naturally turned into a “no social media” break. Online, I only used email, and I only read BBC news, The Guardian (being careful to access the UK edition), and some of The Washington Post. It was sort of glorious – there was an instant feeling of superiority (oh come in, there is… don’t believe me? Check out this simultaneously hilarious and too-close-to-the-bone video:

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… which soon faded, a lot of extra free-time …which I soon filled with online shopping, US Weekly and ALL the episodes of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and a strange feeling of loneliness at times… which soon passed.

The superiority, free-time and loneliness passed soon enough, and I was left with just a little bit more a rounded view of world knowledge and a much heavier text messaging bill. Weirdly, I missed Instagram,  and my blog, and Buzzfeed – but never FaceBook. Like, I thought FaceBook would be the thing I missed most, and I would be chomping to get back to… but as 2017 rolled around and I felt my self-imposed social media hiatus should come to end I just had no particular impetus to rejoin. Despite some “did she have the baby yet?” style curiosity (and yes, there are emails and texts for that), I just never felt the urge to reactive my profile.

So, I didn’t. I started to post on Instagram again (hey, I am way too obsessed by food, my cats and my kids not to, alright?), and I started to read Buzzfeed (while trying to continue to read more reputable news sites, with admittedly limited success), but through general inertia just never got around to really joining FaceBook again in a meaningful way (secret confession: I have a profile solely so I can buy LulaRoe clothes. Don’t know what LulaRoe is? DON’T TRY TO FIND OUT OR YOU WILL GO BROKE!). And although I missed my little blog it was hard to find the time to post, and hard to be motivated when I didn’t have a social media platform on which to share my posts. But, even so, some 4 months later I am sad, because I have this chunk of my family’s life that there is no record of now (Memory? What is this memory if which you speak? If it isn’t recorded on social media, it didn’t happen… mmmmkay?). And, especially, the kids’ development is no longer chronically in any meaningful way what with them having grown out of their baby books and all (and my ‘phone breaking and losing moths of pictures too – sob). I miss seeing pics of them and watching the grow up. And I miss being able to stay in touch with my friends through the comments sections.

So, I hope to start blogging again, and I super hope that some of y’all will join me back on this journey 🙂

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We need to talk about white privilege

We need to talk about white privilege.

We need to talk about white privilege because many people refuse to believe it exists. I know white privilege exists because – and it has taken me a long time to feel I can admit this publicly – I perpetrate it. We need to talk about white privilege because I feel more uncomfortable when walking down the street at night among black hooded boys, than among white hooded boys.

We need to talk about white privilege because I have been the victim of crime twice – and both times the perpetrators were white. We need to talk about white privilege because once I was in a potentially dangerous situation where a drunkenly out of control homeless (white) person was pushing me for money, and a black man helped me out. Yet, I still feel safer surrounded by white people in some low income areas.

We need to talk about white privilege because even the people who know it exist sometimes respond with ‘and who is committing the majority of the crimes, huh?’. I don’t need to know who are committing the crimes, I just need to know that there are black people out there who would never commit a crime, but live under the constant suspicion that they will.

We need to talk about white privilege because even the people who know it exists sometimes respond with ‘so what? Can’t ‘they’ pull themselves out of it, and rise above it?’. Yet Psychological Science knows the effect of a single instance of telling someone that they are less likely to be successful at a task do drastically reduces their success. Yet people are growing up in constantly being told that they are more likely commit crime, they are less likely to finish school, they are more likely to have a broken marriage….

We need to talk about white privilege because we accept that it is a dreadful thing to do to raise a child telling then that they won’t succeed, and we love public health messages which tell us that if women are told their capabilities are limited their success will be limited, but somehow it is OK to tell whole races of people that their capabilities are limited.

(Above is an embed of the famous Verizon ad encouraging women, but if it doesn’t display, you can see it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP3cyRRAfX0)

We need to talk about white privilege because women need positive messages, support and encouragement,to overthrow unfair expectations, but I am told that colors need to stop making excuses.

We need to talk about white privilege because I am so damn sick of hearing about black-on-black crime without hearing that 84% of US murdered white people* are white on white (http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf). And that’s not the damn point anyway.

We need to talk about white privilege because I don’t want my son growing up in a world where people are treated differently because of how they look.

We need to talk about white privilege because that in no way takes away from rich privilege, or male privilege (or sometimes female privilege), or Christian privilege, or high IQ privilege, or having a PhD privilege.

We need to talk about white privilege because it is oppressing people, and people are dying because of it.

Please, let’s talk about white privilege.

This was a very hard post to write, and I am really worried about a backlash. But I don’t want to be someone who buries this in the sand, and won’t acknowledge it, and let’s it continue. I want to talk about, understand, and remove white privilege.

* Thank you to my friend Robert for correcting the original statement.

It’s time for America to make a choice

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The above picture is not a Scientific experiment. However, it’s a succinct reflection of the wealth of evidence, including one randomized controlled trial (the gold standard for intervention effects), which shows that free and readily available contraception does not increase the number of population sexual acts, but does reduce the number of unwanted children and the number of abortions. However abstinence only sex education has no effect on reducing sex or any of its unwanted consequences.

It is time to make a choice America:

You can pay for unwanted children, abortions (if you make it illegal, then you can pay for the consequences of backstreet abortions), and all the societal and intra- and inter-personal consequences of those. Or you can pay less, and put it towards contraception.

Where do you want your money going?

Abortions or contraception?

You have no other choice. On an individual level you are welcome to abstain, and you are welcome to educate your children / nearest and dearest to abstain. However, on a group level, this is the choice you have to make: your taxes and your medical insurance can be used for abortions or for contraception.

Think about that if you call yourself “pro life”.