Cover Art: J. Curtis Main
Issue 65, December/January 2014
BROAD A Feminist & Social Justice Magazine
BROAD A Feminist & Social Justice Magazine
Seeking submissions on the topics of: sex, gender roles, sexual encounters, fetishes, sexually transmitted diseases, BDSM, pregnancy, sex toys, safe sex, sexual preferences, abstinence, sex education, sexual health, and how these interact with feminism and social justice. Send your artwork, poetry, and writing to
firstname.lastname@example.org by January 22nd
The Discourse of Intercourse February
Living in Color: Race, Color, & Ethnicity March pt 1
Feminism: Then & Now March pt 2
Activism, Action, & Academia April
The Body Politic April
2014-15 BROAD Team Application & Interviews May
The Issue of Men
A feminist is a person who answers “yes” to the question, “Are women human?” Feminism is not about whether women are better than, worse than or identical with men. And it’s certainly not about trading personal liberty--abortion, divorce, sexual self-expression-for social protection as wives and mothers, as pro-life feminists propose. It’s about justice, fairness, and access to the
range of human experience. It’s about women consulting their own well-being and being judged as individuals rather than as members of a class with one personality, one social function, one road to happiness. It’s about women having intrinsic value as persons rather than contingent value as a means to an end for others: fetuses, children, the “family,” men. ~ Katha Pollitt
broad | brÔd |
adjective 1 having an ample distance from side to side; wide 2 covering a large number and wide scope of subjects or areas: a broad range of experience 3 having or incorporating a wide range of meanings 4 including or coming from many people of many kinds 5 general without detail 6 (of a regional accent) very noticeable and strong 7 full, complete, clear, bright; she was attacked in broad daylight noun (informal) a woman.
broad | brÔd |
slang a promiscuous woman
phrases broad in the beam: with wide hips or large buttocks in broad daylight: during the day, when it is light, and surprising for this reason have broad shoulders: ability to cope with unpleasant responsibilities or to accept criticism City of broad shoulders: Chicago synonyms see: wide, extensive, ample, vast, liberal, open, all-embracing antonyms see: narrow, constricted, limited, subtle, slight, closed see also broadside (n.) historical: a common form of printed material, especially for poetry
BROAD Mission: Broad’s mission is to connect the WSGS program with communities of students, faculty, and staff at Loyola and beyond, continuing and extending the program’s mission. We provide space and support for a variety of voices while bridging communities of scholars, artists, and activists. Our editorial mission is to provoke thought and debate in an open forum characterized by respect and civility.
WSGS Mission: Founded in 1979, Loyola’s Women’s Studies Program is the first women’s studies program at a Jesuit institution and has served as a model for women’s studies programs at other Jesuit and Catholic universities. Our mission is to introduce students to feminist scholarship across the disciplines and the professional schools; to provide innovative, challenging, and thoughtful approaches to learning; and to promote social justice.
BROAD Love In this issue you will find submissions covering various topics under the overarching theme of love. From parental love, to first loves; from the love for your pet to polyamory, this issue tries to cover as many different forms of love as possible. As well as personal submissions, you can also read on to hear about some great books, videos, music, and advertising campaigns that adequately address love.
Gaby Ortiz Flores
Diversity and Outreach Editor
Katie Klingel Editor In-Chief
Contetnt and Section Editor
J. Curtis Main Consulting Editor
Take a Seat, Make a Friend?, SoulPancake A Poly Love Story, Gaby Ortiz Flores This is a Story About True Love, Rebecca Moen
Romance Novel Covers
Love is a Battlefield?, Steve Klingel
Gap and JCPenney
The Polyamorists Next Door, Elisabeth Sheff US: Americans Talk About Love, John Bowe
FROM YOUR EDITOR Katie Klingel BROADS BEHIND THE SCENES
THE DISCOURSE OF INTERCOURSE AD
tents Girl Gang conspiracy
Girl Gang Conspiracy has a Crush! And Then Things Go Bad, Nina Berman
What does love feel like to you? How do you know love has ended?
Love in Relation, Nichole F. Smith
The Feminist Voice Vol. 1 No. 3: Poems
Sister, Sister: A Brief Story on Loveship, Emma Steiber
My Crazy Stupid (and Weird, Exciting, and Awesome) Love, Katie Klingel
Columns middle eastern musings
Portrait, Abeer Allan
radical (self) love
Loving Like a Parent, Gaby Ortiz Flores
Inside r out
Roll Your Dice, J. Curtis Main
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi Ani DiFranco Kath Weston
BROAD SCHEDULE 2013-2014 CONTRIBUTOR GUIDELINES BROAD MISSION AND PEOPLE
From Your Editor
I usually start out each “From Your Editor” with a photo of myself that somehow pertains to that issue’s topic. But, when it comes to love, I am very lucky, and really couldn’t pick one photo over another. So, I was greedy, and chose a bunch. I tried to find ones that represent all of the types of love I have in my life, finding some concrete examples of a lot of the types of love described in this issue. So, starting from left to right, top row to bottom row, here we go: 1) Feminist solidarity. What? The Editor In-Chief of a feminist magazine finds love in these kinds of groups? WHAT A SURPRISE. But, for real, I love doing this, I love the people that I get to work with, and I love creating these types spaces. This photo is of Loyola’s Vagina Monologues Cast 2013, which was my third year taking part. Being a part of this production my first year of college made a HUGE impact on me and my feminist identity. 2) My best friend. People get confused sometimes, because we are over 10 years apart, but that really doesn’t make a difference to us. We have done so many things together, from wine tasting, to joining a skeeball league, to concerts; we are definitely partners in-crime when it comes to adventures. She has also taught me a lot about the importance of putting myself first, as her life experiences have not always been kind, and reminds me when I need to reevaluate things.
feelings for them, and really anyone that I truly value having in my life. 6) My parents. It has been a rocky path getting to where our relationships are now, but thankfully those relationships are stronger than ever. They have stuck by my side for a lot, and I am so incredibly lucky to have them as parents. They divorced when I was 14, but in all honesty, it only improved our relationships with each other. They didn’t let me get caught in the middle, they don’t bad mouth each other, they are both incredibly respectful of each others’ relationship with me, and they value each others’ place in my life. 7) My sister. We didn’t grow up together, she and the rest of the family had a bit of a falling out, but when I was 16, we re-met, and have been super close ever since. We really didn’t have a lot going for us, but we have been able to put so much aside in order to kindle that sisterly relationship that, at least for me, I know I always wanted. 8) My friends. Holy crap, are they awesome. Seriously, I need to put them all in my phone as “For a good time, call...” because that is what they guarantee me. This photo is our latest Fappa Fappa Gamma sorority pic, sorority squats and all. Yeah, we really never understood sorority culture, so we kinda make fun of it... 9) My brother. So, the story behind this picture kinda sums up our relationship. My ex had just broken up with me, and when I texted my brother about it (he had really liked him) he does the whole “I’m sorry” spiel and then says “I have something that will cheer you up.” And he sends me this photo. Of him. Drunk. In a spider costume. And holy hell did it work. I couldn’t stop laughing. That’s how we are. Not overly sentimental, but there for each other when we need it, in the best way possible, through laughter.
4) Cooking. I love to fucking cook. I really can’t say it any better than that. Cooking is my “me” activity, what I do to wind down, relax, and de-stress. Here is a photo of some lovely beer pretzels I made during #Chiberia, because what else is there to do to stay warm but bake all freaking day.
So, BROAD people, I have to say, making this little collage was fun. I would recommend it, as it really makes me realize how lucky I am, to be able to find love in all of these different places. I am very grateful for what I have in my life, and this photo collage (although it can’t sum up EVERYONE I love, for space constraints!) reminds me to make sure I adequately show how much I value each and every piece of my life that allows me to feel love.
5) My partners. Only one is pictured, but the people I am currently dating obviously play a huge role in my experiences of love. I had never felt unconditional, romantic love until I got involved with them. While this love is felt at varying degrees for each partner, love is definitely the right term for how I describe my
Stay Strong, Katie
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3) Bay Lake, Minnesota. My father’s family went to the same lodge resort for 50 years, for one week every summer. This place became my summer retreat, my thinking place, my time away. It has definitely been my home away from home, especially when it has been the most stable thing in my life. With moves, divorces, family breakups, Bay Lake was my rock. Sadly, we spent our last year there this summer, but it will forever have a special place in my heart.
BROADs Behind the Scenes
Bookmark Here Get Your Read On. Genre: Non-Fiction Storytelling Price: $20.20 Released: 2010 Pages: 422 Back of Book / Quotes: ”From the wards of New Orleans to the fields of Iowa, from the raves of San Francisco to the hollows of the Appalachia, Americans talk about love. By turns poetic, shocking, amusing, wise, and astonishing, and always frank, Americans talk about broken hearts; sexual infidelities; hidden, forbidden, preposterous love; and endurance against all odds. From the mouths of and hearts of mail order brides, Amtrak conductors, high school students, polyamorous cosmopolitans, and octogenarian ranchers, these extraordinary tales from high and low chronicle the essential human experiences of our time. Us contains America’s real love stories, unadorned, straight from the heart. An addictive read, full of joy, surprise, and wisdom, this is storytelling at its best.”
Cons: What about “queer” love or “queering” love? Where are more of the polyamorous relationships and of the transgender experiences of love? These are some of the questions I asked while reading Us. While it is revolved around a specific idea of love, some experience love separate from the term “relationship,” which I feel the book slips into this label. The preface includes interesting statements, such as “...[O]ur emphasis was on love, not relationships” (even though it seems to focus on relationships), and explains the book’s emphasis on “romantic love.” However, some may not define their experiences and interactions as “love,” yet still find their stories as equally profound. While I like the book’s focus on romantic love and people’s diverse tellings of it, it would be great to read multiple areas of love (from love of religion to love of country). Yet, this is not a complaint, just an idea for the future.
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The back cover alone shows how varying the versions of love will be upon opening the book. Broken up by the length and/or types of love (“One Month to Five Years” all the way to “More than Sixty Years,” as well as a “Multiple Relationships” section), these stories discuss, not the length of relationships, but the length of time since the individual(s) “first realized, ‘I’m in love.’” Focusing on romantic love only, this book compiles real stories that can be raw, but compelling. Each story has its own ideas, experiences, and time frames. Whether the story is on same-sex love or of finding love after hardship, these stories are well-rounded, and, at points, encompass said-storyteller’s growth and family history. For example, María Sierra starts in the beginning with her growth in Mexico City, then Atencingo with her family and concludes with her ending a ten-year relationship and wanting to find love again. Overall, this book makes the definition of love complex and more compelling than a Nicholas Sparks’ fictive version of love.
J. Curtis Main
Inside R Out? White? Male? Feminist? YES
Roll Your Dice
I feel love in my life, and it keeps me going. Sometimes I feel full of love. Sometimes I am full of love to give. It’s an intense feeling for me, and quite simple. Why it’s there, though, is deep and complex, with meaning that I cannot express with words. In the past couple of years, love and loneliness have been two intense places for me that shift back and forth on a constant basis. Sometimes the shift is so sudden that my mind and body can barely handle the
leadership, and resources (wisdom included), we may increase our efforts to care for others, be they children, friends, partners, strangers, and so on. Depending on our health, mood, wealth, power, and many other shifting characteristics, we move back and forth from receiving and giving care with ourselves and others. Giving and receiving care certainly often if not always happens simultaneously.
For connection, sharing, empathy, and fate/chance
If I had to describe love, though, I believe three words almost serve as synonyms: acceptance, care, and connection. shock. For instance, upon returning to Chicago from a five day visit to my hometown in NC for Thanksgiving, I was sad and depressed for almost a week and a half. The deep love I received from family and friends, and gave in return, was swiftly absent on the long highways back to a place I inhabit for my good job and free master’s degree.
For my column this issue, I want to express some of my experiences with love. As I said, this is hard for me. I feel love; I do not speak it nor write it well. For me, language is a poor descriptor in and for love.
For care, I believe an integral part of love is that we have an unequal (person to person) but balanced (in communities and the world as a whole one can hope) output of care for others. We start and end our lives, with bumps along the way, often needing much more care than what we can or know to give. As we age, toward adulthood, toward increased independence,
When I enter into thought and space with those I love, acceptance, care, and connection pour from me. These feelings of love are stronger than my logic, rational, and common sense. For me, though, I am not worried too much about this. In a long-term relationship that was unhealthy, though, I accepted and cared for someone to a fault. What we tried to share together contained love, but it also lacked acceptance, care, and connection that helps stabilize and build love. When and if we can realize that something isn’t working for one or all people involved, moving on is a showing love. Don’t be afraid to love, because in the words of Shirley from “Community,” “You can’t keep waiting, you gotta throw your dice when you can, or you’ll have to wait for another turn.”
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If I had to describe love, though, I believe three words almost serve as synonyms: acceptance, care, and connection. For acceptance, I like to think of the many people in my life who take me for who I am. Whether or not they like or agree with my personality, actions, and beliefs, they allow space for me to be me. In accepting my walks of life, they also offer assistance (when they want and can) to help me realize my (better) self. For me to be accepted by them, the reverse should occur.
come to mind. Whether we plan it or not, we connect in hundreds and thousands of ways with those we share love. Maybe it is knowing the inflection and tone of someone’s voice. Or sharing in the joy of favorite foods. Or working through challenges together. Or teasing one another to work through tensions and conflicts. There is fate and chance, but who am I (or anyone for that matter) to know which is at work at any given time with any aspect of our lives? With acceptance we can try to understand others when we do not share in their experiences and beliefs, but when others have shared experiences and beliefs, empathy is possible and is a part of love.
Love is a Battlefield? Steve Klingel
Pat Benatar let us know in the early 1980s that love is not a bed of roses. “We are young. Heartache to heartache we stand. No promises, no demands. Love is a battlefield.” according to Ms. Benatar’s hit single. So is she correct? Are we doomed to slide from one broken heart to another in an endless cycle? Is real love based on no promises or demands? Maybe for the young there is a bit of reality in those lyrics, attributable to the angst that accompanies early romance. But in general I think not, acknowledging my view is shaped by who I am, a 62 year old twice divorced man with four incredible children, currently in the midst of a late in life 5 year love affair with a truly amazing woman I adore. First the history; I didn’t discover non-familial love in high school or in college. I missed the puppy love phase, the going steady stage in high school and the exploration of physical love in college. It wasn’t until I was 24 that I had my first love affair with the woman who would become my wife a year later. Our marriage was all one expects - warmth, support, early money struggles, mutual respect, compromises, plenty of physical love and happiness. Three wonderful children came along, but 11 years into the marriage, when the youngest was two things fell apart. My wife became involved with another man and I became the single parent of my three kids.
loving partnership. I have many wonderful memories of loving times, along with the painful recollections of the tough times as well. So on to round two: I met my second wife at work a year and a half later, and of course she was everything my ex-wife wasn’t so she must be perfect! And she was - intelligent, independent, beautiful, accomplished and fully accepting of my children. I was instantly in love. We shared passion, values, life goals and ambition. Our love blossomed and the wedding took place 9 months after we met. It was an incredible time - a job relocation and a new house all in the same 3 months as our wedding day. And of course an instant family for her, although my oldest was off to college at this point. We loved each other very much, and we created a loving household. Our intimate moments were very special, we really liked each other in addition to being in love. Three years into our life together the baby arrived, creating a special family excitement I still recall with great fondness. I was enjoying tremendous career success and I knew her support was a major factor in my progress. Within weeks of our baby’s arrival I was promoted again and we were off to another city and a new house, which we worked on together to make a family home. In our 17 years together there were many peaks, a few valleys and more career success for both of us. But we did drift apart, slowly. Our love melted away, neither of us really understanding why. There were challenges with the kids, and more and more we differed on how to handle
Let me be clear, I was no victim. There were plenty of signs that our relationship was in danger. There is a strong shared responsibility for what happened. I didn’t see it that way then, but with age comes perspective and wisdom. Today I cherish all that came to me through that 11 year marriage. Obviously I am eternally grateful for the kids, but I also gained an understanding of what love is, what a joyous relationship feels like and how I show up in a
them. I became more liberal as she became more conservative. As we grew our values shifted apart. Ultimately we discovered neither of us was happy with our marriage but were staying together “for the kids sake”. What we discovered was the outward behaviors of our growing incompatibility was hurting the children, seriously so. We are both very logical people, and all the logic said it was time to split up,
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But we did drift apart, slowly. Our love melted away, neither of us really understanding why.
so we did. I was immediately happier which came as a big surprise to me. My relationship with my children became even more loving and genuine. And they were happier. The most loving gift my ex wife and I gave each other was our freedom to be happy, and we are. So we arrive to present day. Two years after splitting up I met “the girl of my dreams”. I didn’t know that at the time, and I was certainly hesitant at entering another relationship. But I missed the sharing, companionship and mutual support that comes with a loving relationship. My kids are grown up, moved away and on their own. My love for each of the four of them has never been greater. The woman in my life now brings me constant joy, acceptance of who I am and trusts me enough to share with me her innermost fears and
appreciate the gifts of insight bestowed by each of my lovers has been the basis of my ongoing happiness in my current relationships, with my partner, my children my extended family and people in general. While I am happy for those couples who found their “true love” early in life, I am not envious. My brother is celebrating his 40th anniversary this year with his high school sweetheart, and I think for them that is wonderful. But not for me. I wouldn’t be the loving partner and father that I am if I hadn’t experienced the triumphs and the tragedies of my first 60 years. So if not a battlefield, what is love? For me it is an adventurous plane ride. Sometimes I’m at high altitude, sometimes way down low. Sometimes the air is
I have no regrets for my failed marriages, no shame in having two divorces on my life resume. I have fallen in deep wonderful love three times, each time different because I grew from my experiences in each relationship. wishes, as I do with her. My lover and I have been living together for five years, and we both are continually amazed at how our love and appreciation for each other continues to blossom. So back to the question - Is love a battlefield? If it is I can certainly claim veteran status, but my perception is different. I have no regrets for my failed marriages, no shame in having two divorces on my life resume. I have fallen in deep wonderful love three times, each time different because I grew from my experiences in each relationship. The process has made me a more genuine and authentic person, able to understand and communicate my needs, and to respond to the needs of others. My married life was not filled with hand to hand combat. While there was pain there was no destruction. I have an incredible inventory of personal love memories, created over my life with three different women. And those experiences collectively have had a profound and positive influence on me. Learning to
clear and the views are spectacular. Sometimes there is nothing but fog out the window and I feel lost. And yes, this flight can get bumpy and includes plenty of turbulence, which is scary. In retrospect I relish every mile flown. The love flight is thrilling and rich with experiences that shape each of us, and make us better. So drop your battlefield weapons, reign in your fear, buckle your seatbelt and embrace the journey. The pain of heartache is simply part of that human growth process that nurtures us as we seek our ultimate potential.
“Love Is A Battlefield” - Pat Benetar 1983, Co-producers Neil Giraldo and Peter Coleman
Promiscuity is nothing more than traveling There’s more than one way to see the world And some of us like to stick close to home And some of us are Columbus What can I say?
My love gives me hope My love gives me pride My love gets me past The land mines inside When I am next to you I am more me
And monogamy is that carnival trophy you earn When you throw that ball into that urn It’s somewhat dumb luck, somewhat learned And you just know when it’s your turn
I mean how you gonna know Who you are What you feel Till you feel a few things That just don’t feel real
And honesty is the hardest part Yeah honesty is the highest art And honestly i myself just started And eureka I’m less broken hearted
- Ani DiFranco
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Look here I just tattooed A wedding band On what looks like to me My mother’s hand I’m no blushing girl No innocent dove It took me a long time to find love
MadAds Busted Advertising, Bustling Economy
• How are men and women represented differently? • How are different groups marginalized/exoticized? • What partnerships are represented, and what is not?
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Gaby Ortiz Flores
Radical (Self) Love An act you do for yourself is an act of Love.
Loving Like a Parent
“An act of love is not an act for you and not for me. It is an act for you as well as for me. Love is for us.” ― Vironika Tugaleva Lately everywhere I go I see hearts. I see them on the sidewalk. I see them in abstract paintings. I even see them in bruises and in the coagulated blood just beneath my skin that is the result of getting my finger caught between a drawer. It’s not just that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner--is it really almost February? I think the universe is trying to send me a message. I should also state that I very frequently have no idea how to interpret the signs the universe puts out into the world. The again it could just be that the universe is reflecting my thoughts back at me. I’ve spent the past couple of months trying to figure out how radiate more love. It all comes down to self-love when all is said and done. That said, I have no idea how to explain parental love. Mothers love their children even when they don’t love themselves--how on earth does that work? I know that there is science behind this, chemicals and hormones are involved. I know this and yet it seems miraculous the way parents can love their children. One day you’re walking around and the next day, you’re deeply and passionately in love with someone who didn’t exist the day before.
My mother used to tell me (and still does) that I will one day understand the how and why she did things for me and my sister. That day will be the day I have a child. I do not doubt this for a minute. I have no idea what a child will do to me but I see what it has done to my parents. My parents may fight about many things but one thing they never fight about is how much love they give me and my sister. That sounds weird, right? But think about all of the times we withhold affection from others--when we’re mad, upset, etc. We do this at times with
Many parents, however, love their children fiercely and completely. My father wakes up super early when I am home to make me breakfast. When I lived at home for year, he carefully packed my lunch nearly every day. My mother texts me an inspirational quote two or three times a week to let me know that I am on her mind. She’ll stay awake and talk to me even though she’s only had four hours of sleep and will have even less if she stays up with me. The idea of going on vacation without my sister and me is so appalling to my parents, that they have never done it. Instead they find ways to take us with them. Different parents express their love in different ways, of course. My parents express their love in the best way they could but I have never truly felt unloved. I have always known that I could count on my parents in a way that is often hard for me to imagine counting on anyone else. I don’t think my parents realize just how much I love them but I also don’t truly understand how much they love me. I wonder what would happen if we loved everyone the way we love children. What if we didn’t hold back our love and just let it flow free? What if we gave everyone around us the same care and love that we give children? Would the world be a bit better? Would we feel less scared to share our deepest feelings?
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Last January, one of my best friends gave birth to this squishy, chubby ball of flesh. Her loving husband, sent out a picture of this new dewy being. I remember sitting in my livingroom early in the morning in awe of this child. I was falling in love and was so overwhelmed that I wept as I stared at the tiny picture on my phone. I remember thinking, “If I’m feeling this way, I can’t even begin to imagine what they must feel.”
friends and lovers and partners, with siblings, and even our own parents. When we start dating people we gauge to see how much interest is too much or too little. Maybe if we pretend we’re not that interested, they will like us or love us more. We sometimes think that the people we love know that we love them and so we forget to express or show that love. We are shy about showing others how much we love them and we are shy about loving them completely for fear of getting hurt.
Queer Thoughts Turning Theory Into (Inter)Action
Sister, Sister: A Brief Story on Loveship
With it being the season and all for getting together with friends and family, I have decided to get personal for this column. By personal, I mean familial. I am veering from specific theory and focusing on familial experience. Could it be interpreted as queer? Yes, in the sense that my sister and I have dealt with our own set of struggles and identity crises amidst familial struggles. It could be revisioned as queer in the way my sister and I cannot be summed up by a specific theory, other than our own, personal-
full name is not as important as what makes up my sister and, as cliche as it may sound, us. As young as I can recall, I would crawl into her bed at night because I would hate the loneliness of my room and my active imagination. I hated my imagination then, although I do not regret how active it was looking back on it. Her room was there every night, in case I was scared, upset, or thinking of our parents’ mutual hate for eachother. They made for
With S, it was peaceful and our anger toward our struggles was mutual. It helped us decrompress, even if it was just in silence. ized one. One could take bits and pieces of different theories and create us, but we, like every familial relationship, are distinct in what we have done individually, as well as collectively. Going back to what I stated about it being the season, though, the holidays always bring in films on holidays and (dys) functional families coming together. It is the tired plot line that tends to follow a certain pattern, but, nonetheless, I find myself wanting to write about my love for my sister. It is not that I do not love my twin brother, my parents, and other members of my family. However, my sister and I have had quite the relationship, friendship, and love that has persevered throughout the rough and tumbles of our individual lives, as well as our collective experiences.
It became rough for us when my anxiety turned into anger. S now says I had and have a right to be angry, and I believe this. But my anger had scared both her and my mother at points. I threw things and became detached as a form of relief. However, I still loved S and it would not stop me from staying with her at her apartment in New York City. The five-year age gap may have separated us from going to bars and the like, but she found ways to take us out. It was with one of her boyfriends about five years later,
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I looked through theories of love (trying to extend past the theories of Freud), looked through Alice Munro’s story collection, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage and considered writing on her short story on love and old age, “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” I grabbed Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir Are You My Mother? and considered writing on my own mother, and even thought of writing on my ever-growing love and passion for queer theory and identity. But I have returned to the story of my sister. No specific theories are involved, except my own general statements on my relationship with my sister. In order to begin, I will give her a name. I will call her S because the
awful spats, in which my siblings and I were often in the middle of the battle. With S, it was peaceful and our anger toward our struggles was mutual. It helped us decompress, even if it was just in silence. Later on, though, our mother sold our house to live a life we could afford and my sister, in her teens, separated herself more from home life, while I had my own distractions. Yet, my anxiety started to grow and my awareness of the dysfunctionality of the home filled my head. Alcoholism, car accidents, rage bouts, and child support battles made up my life. But thoughts of being like my sister and moving away to college helped. S and I were both fearful of our parents’ dysfunctions and its effects on us. Thus, the comfort of staying in the same room at night continued for us. It was a habit, a familiarity outside of the unknown of what would happen next for our family. Money troubles persisted and moving became the norm. But S and I were family.
though, that physically separated us. F is the guy’s name and it is not a nickname for “Fucker.” However, he deserved a nickname like that. At this point, S briefly moved back to Chicago after she graduated from The New School in New York. This is where she met F. He was going to Northwestern University for another degree and would eventually go to Columbia University for his masters in creative writing. His family could afford for him to do this. I am not judgmental of this, though. When given the opportunity, I say go, but he was (and most likely still is) dependent on this and the power it afforded him. He could also afford to travel internationally, which opened my sister’s eyes to education and traveling even more. I was happy that she was able to travel again. F had an air of respect, care, and sociality about him. You would not think of him as verbally, even physically, abusive. Yet, I knew S well enough that when she
she has a loving and lovely new partner. F is f-ed and S and I will make sure he is out of the picture. However, independently we have both found ourselves, our paths, our own identities. I have taken one and she the other. I used to be afraid that people would perceive my actions as influenced by her’s, but now I take pride in that. Yes, she has influenced me in ways and still does, but so what? Most importantly, we are both influenced and inspired by our love. I hear from her every week, despite the two-hour time zone difference and her big-adult job in San Francisco, and my allover-the-place schedule. And when we are together, you can still bet on us spending the night in the same bed, talking to crazy hours of night, whether we are in Thailand in a rented apartment in Bangkok or the childhood bed at our mother’s house. We are our own version of the Elizabeth and Jane of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Place it in modern day, though, and we call each other if we are thinking about our family history, our anxieties, our individual struggles, our happiness, and even if it is a quick talk while we are in
I used to be afraid that people would perceive my actions as influenced by her’s, but now I take pride in that. Yes, she has influenced me in ways and still does, but so what? Most importantly, we are both influenced and inspired by our love. stopped contacting me on a regular basis and visiting every once in a while, that this was beyond her doing. When I bought a plane ticket with my former partner to stay in New York City and stay with S and F at their place, without hesitation she agreed. Then, she left with F to Sweden, but said I could still stay at her place. This was fine, but the issue was bigger than her leaving to Sweden unexpectedly. When it got bad with F, though, and she began to call me and others with concerns and tears, I bought a ticket to be with her in the city again. I would not hesitate and I know neither would she if I was in a similar position. This story could go on endlessly, but, to make it shorter, F became a controller and an abuser to my sister. She was and still is affected by it, even though
transit. A man at a party S and I were at creepily told us, “You two have got a vibe going on.” And I told him, “It’s called the sisterly vibe.” As titled in Alice Munro’s short story, our relationship is loveship, hateship (at points), and friendship all in one.
WLA (Re)Animated Artifacts from the Women and Leadership Archives
The Feminist Voice Vol. 1 no. 3: Poems
The Feminist Voice. These poems were published in the November 1971 issue.
Commentary: These poems, “Hard Time Woman Blues” by valerie walker and “Love Poems” by Liz Leblanc, signify the personal struggles and positive moments of women in relationships. Although potentially personal in writing and limited to heterosexual relationships, these poems signify feelings and moments felt by many others, whether it is a “hard-time” individual ending up in a “hard-time” relationship or the physical appearances that are often noticed in a relationship.
WLA Mission Statement: Established in 1994, the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) collects, preserves, organizes, describes, and makes available the materials of enduring value to researchers studying, as well as to all others interested in, women’s contributions to society.
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WLA Description: A section featuring poetry and often artwork was a reoccurring feature of each issue of
Message Me We Asked, You Answered
What does love feel like to you?
It recharges my emotional batteries Complicated Something I donâ€™t have to think about, I just feel Like warm, gooey chocolate melting in your mouth I did a lot of singing and dancing the last time I was in love A choice Listening, respecting, understanding
Like the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches my mom used to make me for lunch It feels like I never want to go to bed
tell-a-vision visions & revisions of our culture(s)
â€œTake a Seat, Make a Friend?â€? - SoulPancake Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfHV4-N2LxQ
Do you think you could personally make a new friend in this situation? Are there any limitations to this approach? What other small acts of love and friendship can you include in your life?
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Middle Eastern Musings A Dive Into The Dead Sea
Talk to me about love... I tell you love is more than broken promises and red roses covering your bed... I tell you love is greater than dignity... And surely nowhere near selfish... I tell you… “no pride”… two souls in one I tell you… it is to find pleasure in pain… happiness in sorrow Talk to me about love… I tell you it’s holding your hand... walking by your side... and not letting you go when you’re afraid of saying that you need me... I tell you it’s when we put arguments aside... give you a shoulder to cry on... and a best friend to lean on... I tell you it is loyalty... It’s not allowing any stains to destroy that pure feeling... I tell you it is losing yourself completely… in my arms I tell you it is to find home in your eyes I tell you it is to wake up in the morning… just to see your beautiful smile I tell you it the trust… to break down your walls and to know you will be locked in my heart Talk to me about love… I tell you it’s a memory framed in the pages of forever... I tell you it’s the never ending story... A book with no last chapter... I tell you... It is the strength... The power... The hope for a better tomorrow... It is what keeps us going… Talk to me about love… I tell you… it is you
I tell you it’s more than blood and formal bonds I tell you it’s not occasional visits... or just a last name to hold I tell you it’s more than a teardrop when facing a bad situation or saying goodbye... I tell you it’s the non-stop support through whatever... It is the unconditional love no matter who you grow up to be... I tell you it’s the laughter and crying shared under any sky in whatever time... I tell you it’s what makes you rise when falling... what makes you reach your peak when at your lowest...
Talk to me about freedom... I tell you it’s to sing with no fear of being judged... I tell you it’s to write... With no one trying to stop you from telling the truth... I tell you it’s to be able to breathe... and to live for a better tomorrow... I tell you it’s to move from one city to another... without worrying about holding your ID and passport in your own country... Talk to me about freedom... I tell you it’s that beautiful feeling... of running... laughing... dancing… smiling... without worrying whether it’s right or wrong... I tell you it’s to have a choice... to have a voice... to have your own imagination... and to have peace... Talk to me about Freedom... I tell you it’s simply to be you... with no one else trying to take that away... Talk to me about happiness... I tell you it is to feel sorrow… I tell you it’s you knowing that it is okay not to be okay… I tell you it’s how you define it ... It’s when you’re satisfied when you have absolutely nothing... Talk to me about Happiness... I tell you it’s to have them three... Love, Family and Freedom... Talk to me about my Life... And I tell you this is my Life... or at least... This is how I paint it to be...
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Talk to me about family...
Talk to me about family… I tell you it’s having faith and believing in you when the rest of the world has turned its back on you...
AltStyle Musings of a Non-Normative Hopeless Romantic
My Crazy Stupid (and Weird, Exciting, and Awesome) Love
My lifestyle can be described as... alternative. It’s different, far from conservative, and can make people uncomfortable. But being alternative, I recognize that everyone’s experiences of love are different, and they all may define it in a different way. That being said, I have no umbrella wisdom on love. There is nothing I can say about love that I feel would be appropriate to recommend to all of our readership. Mainly because, my experiences of love do not come from the mainstream. Ok, ok, I don’t mean to sound so arrogant with all of this “alternative” and “mainstream” talk. I also recognize that a lot of things about love can be true among all how experience, like how it can be amazing, how it can hurt, how at times it is easy, and at others it is incredibly difficult. But for the most part, people know that. That is what we see in the movies, books, music. I want to present what love is in my life, both romantic and non-romantic, and the parts that don’t always make it into pop culture. Love can be... ... getting the family back together again for Christmas after having a falling out fifteen years ago. ... having a sibling who cares enough about your ability to defend your feminist position that he will play devil’s advocate to make you a better feminist. ... having your parents face their fears about therapy and go because your depression has a lot to do with your relationship with them Love can be...
Love can be... ... deciding that the jewelry you’ve seen online is not the right match for your “relationship jewelry,” and making it for each other instead. ... climaxing at the same time, while looking into each other’s eyes, and having your partner hold you afterwards while you cry a little from how beautiful that moment was.
Love can be... ... having your friend tuck you in on the couch when you’re too drunk to go home ... laughter that makes you look ugly as all hell, the crying, guffawing, snorting laughter, and seeing it bring more laughter and smiles to the table ... always being down for sushi and a board game. Love can be... ... taking your dog to the hospital in the middle of the night because he mouthed a poisonous frog ... your mom buying you stuffed animals that match your two dogs for when you go off to college ... having one dog break out of its crate and manage to pull the other crate with the other dog in it across the room towards the door, in a “no man left behind” escape attempt. Love can be... ... fighting for covers with your sleeping partner(s) all night, and still wanting to cuddle up with them in the morning. ... grabbing brunch with your partners and their kids ... being given a stuffed animal that wasn’t getting as much love at your partner’s place. Love can be... ... accepting that failure happens, but that does not make you a bad person ... taking time to cook, write, or turn on some mindless T.V. ... learning that the love you experience in your life via others does not need to impact the love you feel for yourself. Love is more than just a feeling, it’s an action. Personally, the feeling of love means absolutely nothing if there are no loving actions behind it. What is the point of love if you cannot or do not act on that love in meaningful ways? Maybe that’s the underlying wisdom I can impart. That love cannot be sustained without constant cultivation by meaningful actions. That’s what I would say about love. What would you?
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... being able to spend time with all three of your partners at once, and having it be comfortable, supportive, and loving. ... being close friends with my partner’s other partner, where he doesn’t even need to be involved for us to text/hang out. ... interrupting date night to go check in with partner’s other (and very sick) partner, because we are so worried about her.
... having completely open and honest communication
“Reason is powerless in the expression of Love.”
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”
“They say there is a doorway from heart to heart, but what is the use of a door when there are no walls?”
“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.”
- Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
tell-a-vision visions & revisions of our culture(s)
â€œA Poly Love Storyâ€? Gaby Ortiz Flores Link: https://luc.box.com/s/8r1m0tpp1s5id5q8svyw
Did you have any preconceptions of what poly relationships were like before this video? Has seeing this relationship changed or added to your perspective? What are your thoughts about this type of relationship and/or identity?
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What stood out about the relationship between Sarge, Amy, and Katie?
Girl Gang Conspiracy Sounds of the Grrrrrl Underground
Girl Gang Conspiracy Has a Crush! And Then Things Go Bad
1. Aphrodisiac by Bow Wow Wow A song about just wanting to get your heart go pitter pat not because you have a crush on anyone yet but because dammnit you want to have a crush! Set to sweet drums and entirely danceable. Very New Wave. Also this song is featured in Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. 2. Puzzle Pieces by Tiger Trap This song is twee as fuck and is totally slap happy. Like when you are totally falling for someone and you just kind of hop up and down a lot and have mysteriously way more energy and everything looks extra beautiful. And you unabashedly dance around in your underwear and sing into a hairbrush. 3. I’m So Happy When You’re Near by The Shaggs So The Shaggs were a band of sisters formed by their dad who wanted to horn in on the girl group thing back when. But his daughters have like zero musical talent in the traditional sense and their only album Philosophy of the World is practically outsider art. But this song speaks to the deep squishy part of my heart. Just listen to this song a few times and let it sink in. 4. Colour Me In by Broadcast A woozy dreamy love song that makes me think of a crush or two I had in high school. It’s a little sad, a song about wanting a new love to fill in the spaces in the singer who’s “just an outline, sketchy but fine” and waiting for someone to color her in. Ideally we should all be coloring ourselves in but wanting to have someone to fix us and make us better and more whole feels pretty universal too.
6. Later Operator by All Girl Summer Fun Band Because sometimes we all have boyfriends, girlfriends, squirrelfriends, and lovers that are really weird and socially awkward and we love em anyway. Or maybe because they’re quiet and nervous and have motorcycles.
8. Chase It To the Grave by The Babies “Who do you think you are? Just another boy with a guitar trying to fix me?” I’m such a sucker for songs that comment on the whole sad guitar boy thing. Maybe because I’ve for sure fallen for that a time or two and now like to think I know better. The Babies is a side project of Kevin Morby of Woods and Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls. 9. Cheap Trick Record by Bratmobile Excellent breakup song by Riot Grrrl queen b’s. This one is also about how stupid musician boys can be and how self-absorbed. Bratmobile doesn’t want an ex to write a stupid song about their relationship and just want their damn Cheap Trick record back. 10. You Think You’re a Man by The Vaselines Originally by the Filthiest Woman in the World, Divine of course, this song has got to be one of the best eff-you break up songs of all. And divinely catchy. Follow this link to listen! - http://8tracks.com/nnbrmn/girl-gang-conspiracy-has-a-crush
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5. What I Like by Charli XCX Charli XCX is one the bad bitch behind Icona Pop’s song “I Love It” and one of the reigning princesses of 90s throwback platform shoes, choker necklaces, and Gwen Stefani-inspired singing. This song is all about undressing and fooling around with someone cute and smokin weed. Also check out the music video because there is a dog, a slumber party, pizza, and literally what else do you need?
7. 20 BFs by Needlecraft Now defunct girl gang out of Missoula, MT, Needlecraft singing about how they already have 20 different boyfriends and STILL WANT MORE all set to charming surf garage pop.
Nichole F. Smith
New Levels Building From the Bottom
Love in Relation
The idea of love really is broad. When I think of love my mind goes to the love I have for others- my friends and family, my partner, my daughter. The idea of love sparks up for me emotions of what it feels like to be loved, to give love, to share love, to lose someone I love. Among these thoughts and emotions, there is a thread that connects my experiences with love. This thread is spun around the idea that the ways I understand and feel love are experienced in relationship to others. To take it a step further, those relationships impact my capacity to love myself. In fact, I have found when talking amongst my friends and family that the values and
and unempowered that can create difficulty for women who aim to love ourselves. I have recently been through what has been one of the biggest changes in my life. My husband found work in Rhode Island and we decided to move and take advantage of his opportunity. As a result I have moved away from family and friends and for the first time in my life since college have been disconnected from work. My relationship to work is an important part of my identity. I love working and feel a great sense of accomplishment, fulfilment, and worth from having a job. Since
Those relationships impact my capacity to love myself. In fact, I have found when talking amongst my friends and family that the values and beliefs of people outside of ourselves impact our self love. beliefs of people outside of ourselves impact our self love. I have found this especially true for my friends and family members who are women of color.
These are just a couple of examples that come to mind
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These relationships with others that impact my capacity and ability to love myself include things like my relationship with media. And I have seen media play a role in the way my friends evaluate whether they are worthy of loving themselves. For example, Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man was popular among my heterosexual women identified friends and family. These women were told by the book’s author that their natural way of navigating relationships was full of errors, and the author devalued the female conscious and ways of being while urging women to adapt a “male” point of view. Adapting this perspective, he assured his readers, would lead to success finding and maintaining romantic relationships with men. The message this author spread to his readers indicated that we, as women, are flawed, not worthy of being understood or valued as we are, and that we should reach for the more valid male ideology which is outside of ourselves in order to fix ourselves. This book is just one example of the types of messages sent to women through popular media. It is messages like these, messages that tell us we are inexplicably errored, flawed,
moving I have decided to try being a stay-at-home mother. During this time I am getting to know other stay-at-home mothers in addition to my working-mom friends. From the conversations I have with my mother friends I have noticed that womyns’ value is often defined by people who have an opinion about the value of their work in, or outside of, the home. It seems that a woman who decides to be a stay-at-home mother is valued by the amount of cooking, cleaning, errand running, and child rearing she can do each day (it is noteworthy that a stay-at-home mother is expected to continue that work well after 5 o’clock). A woman who works outside of the home is assigned value by those in her work environment on her ability to complete her responsibilities on the job. After the outside-of-home working mother comes home she is then assigned value by her family and friends on the amount of cooking, cleaning, and child rearing she can accomplish after her 9 to 5 ends. As a mother who has worked inside, and outside of the home, I feel pretty much the same at the end of the day. And in both scenarios it is difficult feeling like I am worthy of my own love when I feel too tired to clean, maintain my temper with a new baby, or cater to my partner.
when I consider the types of relationships that have impacted the way I calculate my lovability. For me, my relationship with my work environment and with media are the most pervasive. These two relationships are also the ones where my racial identity is a large part of my experience. In the media and in work environments the messages of women as flawed, without power, and not working of being understood take on another element when race is included and I will refer to my earlier examples in order to explain how. My Black women friends who eagerly and anxiously searched Steve Harvey’s book for answers did so because we are looking for ways to stop others from labeling them as the insane Black baby momma, or hypersexual Black video vixen, or even just the crazy black girl stereotype. We are looking to shed these labels because these labels give other people the power to write us off and devalue us. We look to Steve Harvey because our ways of being are not valued, in fact they are invalidated by society. Because society says that Black women are inherently wrong in our ways of being we are continually without power and others will continually have the right to tell us how to act “better.” Being Black and being a woman, those identities are tied together, making it more difficult for Black women to differentiate ourselves from the stereotypes that devalue us. While in the presence of men, the slightest flirtation, or maybe dust in the eye of a Black woman causing her to blink could be observed by others as a wink and then all of the observers subconsciously put her in the video vixen box. Does that thought progression sound extreme? It might be extreme, but that is an honest thought process for a Black woman trying to navigate the world. There is constant self-editing, self-judging, self-questioning, and self-doubt stemming from the color of our skin. These constant self-edits and doubts often stand in the way of me figuring out what about myself is good, worth celebrating, and worth loving. Being a Black womyn, finding a place of self-love has been a long and laborious journey with peaks and valleys. There are days that I question whether there is anything about me to love and there are days when I love myself immensely. Being stereotyped, misunderstood or ignored by the media or by people in my workplace can lead me to questioning my worth and create obstacles to loving myself. But I have recently discovered what has become one of my most valued resources to finding self love. That resource is other women of color. Like me, these woman fear that speaking their opin-
ions and perspective will scare others into calling them angry, aggressive , or hot headed. These women question the beauty of their dark skin and coarse, curly hair. These women change their vocabulary and speech patterns so that they will be heard and not written off as uneducated or “ghetto.” These womens’ strength and color are negatively compared not just to gentility, but White gentility. Without these women, I would have no one to reflect with or to laugh the hurt and confusion away. I did not love myself when my all white peers questioned my food, language, and appearance. I did not love myself when I felt it was necessary to change in order to fit in or to just stop the questions that pointed out how different I was. It is because of these women that I find ways to love the experience of being a woman of color. While this identity brings together two identities that carry most of the burden in my daily experiences, that of being a woman and being Black, these women are teaching me how to love myself. There is a South African word that describes this community of women of color who support, challenge, and celebrate one another. I have seen this word used among women in the community to describe their feelings of solidarity with one another. Recently, President Obama brought even more awareness to this word during a speech remembering the honorable Nelson Mandela. This word is, unbuntu. Translated loosely through my understanding, unbuntu is the idea of collective solidarity. The idea that women of color, even with our vast differences in appearance, background, spirituality, economic status, gender identity, and age can feel that we are one community that celebrates and stands up for one another. The idea of unbutu has been described by the saying, “I am, because you are.” To me, this saying is the definition of love. I adapt this phrase to create a sense of self love and to show the womyn in my community that they are loved. I have friends who are amazing and blessed in many ways, and maintaining this community becomes a resource for us to share those amazing strengths and blessings with one another in a way that builds us up. Because of these womyn, I can say confidently that I am strong, I am loving, I am intelligent, I am funny, I am unique, I am beautiful. Knowing these things are true is important because believing these things are what it means to me to love myself.
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Ad(vance) Advancements toward Positive media Inclusion
â€˘ How is love represented in these ads? â€˘ Who benefits from these inclusionary advertisements? â€˘ What can still be done to improve these ads?
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Bookmark Here Get Your Read On. Genre: Price:
Review of Content: Marriage and monogamy are not what they used to be, and today many couples are opting to start families before getting married, or deciding not to get married at all. At the same time, gay couples in states that recognize same-sex marriage are getting married in droves. Some people prefer non-monogamy and have relationships that include swinging and polyamory. The landscape of American marriage and relationships is changing, and a variety of family systems are developing and becoming more common. The Polyamorists Next Door introduces polyamorous families, in which people are free to pursue emotional, romantic, and sexual relationships with multiple people at the same time, openly and with support from their partners, sometimes forming multi-partner relationships, or other arrangements that allow for emotional and sexual freedom within the family system. In colorful and moving details, this book explores how polyamorous relationships come to be, grow and change, manage the ins and outs of daily family life, and cope with the challenges they face both within their families and from society at large. Using polyamorists own words, Dr. Elisabeth Sheff examines polyamorous households and reveals their advantages, disadvantages, and the daily lives of those living in them. While polyamorous families are increasingly common, fairly little is known about them outside of their own social circles or of the occasional media sensationalism. This book provides information that will be useful for professionals with polyamorous clients/educators who wish to understand or teach about polyamory, and especially people who wish to better understand polyamory themselves or explain it to their potential partners, adult children, or in-laws.
What became clear from talking to hundreds of lesbians and gay men is that they expected coming out to yield insights into relationships. Would kin ties prove genuine? Could familial love endure? What kind of power dynamics might be uncovered in the process?
It has become almost a truism that â€œfamilyâ€? can mean very different things when complicated (as it always is) by class, race, ethnicity, and gender.
- Kath Weston
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The very notion of gay families asserts that people who claim nonprocreative sexual identities and pursue nonprocreative relationships can lay claim to family ties of their own without necessary recourse to marriage, childbearing, or childrearing.
From the witch hunts of Joseph McCarthy to the legislative initiatives of the New Right, conservatives have accused gay people of spearheading this invasion from within: because gays selfishly pursue nonprocreative relationships, they threaten civilization by promoting a society that declines to reproduce itself.
This is a Story About True Love
This is a story about true love. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of finding it. My childhood wasnâ€™t that great; the old, familiar story of a lonely child in a broken home. I dreamed of my handsome knight, someone who would take me away, love me deeply, adore me, protect me and never leave me. I prayed to God that I could someday find that one person in the world who would change my life into a fairytale.
I was on a quest for unconditional love. I met him in my freshman year of college. He was older, intelligent, Australian and, of course, gorgeous. To a seventeen year old girl from Minnesota he was worldly and exotic. I was friends with a girl who knew him and she introduced me to Baxter at a party. He was surrounded by a large group of peo-
ple, intimidating to me, so I was surprised when he offered to walk me home as I was leaving. I hardly remember the conversation, but I do remember that he asked to see me again. And, wow, did my life change! Falling in love with Baxter was a whirlwind of fun. I had a social life, I had a large group of friends, but most importantly, I had love! He was more than I had ever dreamed that I deserved. Baxter came from a wealthy family and often took me on weekend trips away, always picking up the entire tab. He doted on me, respected me and made me feel thoroughly worshipped. He promised to marry me one day and take me halfway across the world to live in his seaside home in South Australia. You can then understand then, why I ignored the signs. While most people see red flags, I was getting a full checkered flag – to run. Whispers of a girl or two on the side. He had moments of rage induced by almost nothing. By the end of the year he was complaining that I never contributed any money to our relationship and he was sick of it. He tried to break up with me and I should have let him. But I cried, I begged, I sacrificed my dignity to keep him. I took a second job to save money so that I could go away with him to Alaska over summer break. My grades slipped, I saw him less but I was content. Even if he was having doubts now, a month in Alaska would fix everything between us. And I was right. Alaska was one of the most amazing vacations of my life. And after that, we traveled to Europe. I never went back to college, I spent the next year and a half globetrotting with the man of my dreams. I received some “coming of age” money from my grandmother and I spent it all. In Ireland, he asked me to marry him. In Australia, I finally became his wife.
Baxter locked my passport in his gun safe and wouldn’t give me the combination. I trudged on through a life I hated and felt I could never escape. I became depressed and then, to my utter devastation,
I called the American embassy the next morning after he left for work. They sent a taxi, put me in a battered woman’s home for a few days, issued me a temporary passport and sent me home. I heard Baxter was furious but I didn’t care and eight years later, I still ignore his emails. In June of that year I gave birth to a baby girl. I cried for two days after she was born because I wanted to give her the world but I didn’t even have enough money to buy her a $4 stuffed bear from the gift shop. Life was difficult, I had no skills, no degree, no car and was barely making ends meet. I was on state assistance and I was in debt to the Treasury Department. But I was the happiest I had ever been in my life! My daughter, Natalie, was worth every blister, every dirty look a single mother receives, every night of tears. My whole life I had been looking for a great love to change my life and I had finally found it! In the end, it wasn’t someone loving me that I needed, it was me who needed someone to love. I vowed to never fail her and I never have. I put aside deep wounds and grievances with my family because they are great people and Natalie deserves great people in her life. My globetrotting days were over but life in that 650 square foot apartment was more fulfilling than swimming in Loch Ness, wine-tasting in France and glacier-climbing in Switzerland, combined. Seven years later, I am no longer a single mother. Natalie has an adopted father who is a truly gentle-spirited man. We have a house, stable jobs and a peaceful life. Natalie has thrived and will never know what could have been. If I had stayed in Australia, if I had let the fear stop me from walking out of that life. Fear of being alone, fear of Baxter’s wrath, fear of failing my tiny human. Because none of that did happen. Instead of a house of fear and hate, she has a house of sanctuary and unconditional love. And isn’t that what this story is about?
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We moved into his home on the beach and my life was amazing – at first. It started with a little drunken verbal abuse. I was gaining weight, I was an ignorant American, I wasn’t making enough money at my job. I forgave him because people say things they don’t mean when they’re drunk. Surely I was guilty of it too. But little by little the relationship became unstable. He threatened me, he locked me in rooms and, finally, he hit me.
I became pregnant. As I wallowed in the first weeks of pregnancy I wondered if I could ethically bring a child into this home. Baxter told me if I refused to get an abortion, he would make sure our baby had a horrible childhood. I believed him. I was lost and alone in a foreign country with no one to call back home. I took no action until one night, he pointed a shotgun at me and then elbowed me in the stomach. The incident shook me from my apathetic slumber and I awoke with a fury.
Feminist Fires Beyonce, Performer Major Works: Destiny’s Child Solo Career Acting and Film Fashion & Perfume Lines Inspired by: Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Prince, Cher, Mariah Carey, Josephine Baker, Etta James, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey. Each of these, and others, have influenced Beyonce to explore her talents in singing, acting, dancing, social justice, business, and entrepreneurship. Inspires: While Beyonce is quite popular in the US and abroad across many communities, much of her fanbase includes underrepresented populations, such as women, people of color, people of lower SES, LGBTQ people, and others. Her music, art, and work are often characterized by themes of empowerment, including female success and sexuality. For example, she tours with her all-female band, which she claims is a way of empowering women where men often dominate. Likewise, her longstanding success as a woman of color inspires many in a country and culture where women of color have long been barred from much access and success. Personal Life: Born in Houston, Texas, she has always aspired to a career of music, dance, fashion, and acting. Throughout her childhood and early career, she was in singing and dance competitions often until becoming the lead singer of one of the most successful female groups of all time, Destiny’s Child. After four successful albums, Destiny’s Child split into solo careers. Beyonce’s solo career has reached over 120 million albums sold, including successful tours, singles, videos, and many awards. She is married to rapper, producer, and media mogul Jay-Z, with whom she has one child. Importance to Social Justice: Beyond her inspiration to many underrepresented groups to seek empowerment and success, Beyonce is a self-described modern-day feminist. She intertwines popular culture and art into less popular themes of feminism and social justice. Her recent songs, “Run the WOrld (Girls),” “FLawless,” and “Pretty Hurts,” directly tackle feminist themes, sexism, and empowerment. Her recent music videos, “No Angel” and “Superpower” also bring up social justice issues. These are some examples of many. Beyonce often tackles social issues and inequities in her political beliefs, film roles, and art. For example, in many of her films she portrays African-American artists of the past, who were often underrepresented themselves and faced racist and sexist record companies and media. Beyonce also intertwines femininity and masculinity into her self, image, and career.
We Asked, You Answered
How do you know love has ended?
When the physical embrace feels uncomfortable
When all efforts seem futile
The worst is when you don’t know When it doesn’t seem worthwhile to hold onto their things anymore
When there is no more trust
When you don’t care what happens to them anymore
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When selfishness and ego become more important than taking care of others
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