SOCIAL PRESSURE

I’ve never seen anything on TV that is so eerily like my life as Welcome to Sweden. Instead of an American emigrating to Sweden to be with a partner, I’m a Canadian in Denmark with my partner. Either way, the culture shock for a North American living in Scandinavia is almost a little too real to watch.

The show really captures how depressing, alienating, but also hilarious the first year of the “immigrant experience” here is like when you are with a local person: constant queues and waiting lists in government offices, long term unemployment, massive amounts of time alone, being socially pressured to drink liquor in the middle of the day while people sing songs, and generally a total inability to say and do the right thing socially.

It’s also strange to see a representation of a blended nationality couple, and the way they’ve done that is so true to my experiences. We kind of retreated into our private life together, because we are both stuck in this “third culture” that can’t be translated to outsiders. My partner and I speak a mixture of Danish and English that involves a lot of exaggerated mispronunciations of both (I put on a very hard Albertan drawl and say Danish words, and he Danifies English cognates), and since German is a second language for both of us, we tend to use German words for comedic effect.

10

Sisters, don’t be afraid to DEFY GRAVITY.

GO FOR IT!

Shout out to Americans adult who won't be voting today

If you’re an American adult, there’s a lot of intense pressure to vote right now.

And I know that, for all kinds of reasons, a lot of you won’t be able to vote today. And all of you matter too.

Some of you may be unable to travel to the polls.

Some of you may have been convicted of a crime (rightly or wrongly).

Some of you may have been declared mentally incompetent by a judge.

Some of you may not have been able to figure out how to get a ballot in time.

Some of you might be at home taking care of kids with no one available to watch them so that you can go to the polls.

Some of you might have abusive partners who are preventing you from voting.

Some of you might be avoiding a stalker who knows your polling location.

Or any number of reasons.

Voting is important, but it is not the end all and be all of civic responsibility. If you for whatever reason aren’t able to exercise your right to vote, you’re still an American, you’re still an adult, and your voice still matters. (And if you’re neither an American nor an adult, your voice also still matters.) You have not failed or forfeited the right to have an opinion on political issues.

Whether or not you vote today, you matter and it’s good that you care about things, and it’s ok to keep caring about things.

This is why I build walls.
  • Me:-Crying. Alone. Upset.-
  • Friends:Stop being so dramatic, you're such an attention seeker. Get over yourself.
  • Family:I know you're a teenager but that doesn't give you the right to sit around feeling sorry for yourself. When I was your age I just had to get on with it. Don't be so pathetic.
  • Society:Just stop trying. You're never going to fit in anyway.
  • Teachers:We need to have a talk about these grades. You have to work for it or you're going to fail life. You don't want to fail life do you?
  • Peers:God, look at you. You're a mess. Pull yourself together.
you don't have to earn the right to like things

It’s ok to like things. In particular, it’s ok to like stories, and it’s ok to talk about liking them. It’s also ok to write things like headcanons, fanfic, and happy rants about how awesome your favorite character is.


Every story is problematic in some way; that’s not necessarily the most important thing about a story. Which things are and are not dealbreaking is deeply personal.


You don’t have to earn the right to like things. In particular, you don’t have to listen to endless commentary about how the thing you like is actually terrible. You don’t have to talk about it actually being terrible every time you mention the thing.

It’s important to be considerate of others and not try to pressure others into liking the thing you like. Just as it’s ok for you to like it, it’s ok for other people to find the problems dealbreaking.


It’s ok to like something. It’s ok not to. It’s not ok to be a jerk about it.

6

Upon My Daughter (2010) - Afghan Artist GAZELLE SAMIZAY

In this short video (6:30 minutes), a bride is seen struggling as women around are preparing her for the wedding, engaging her in a process of transformation that is heavily influenced by social expectations and personal attachments that can sometimes cause an inner conflict. The struggle according to Gazelle symbolizes the constraints and demands implicated by those social expectations. Gazelle explains that each thread and stitch goes throw the process of an advice being given, and at a moment one stitch might be light, but when combined with others they become extremely powerful and influential in that process.

A Short Excerpt Here from Upon My Daughter!

Sometimes distance is better than forgiveness

Sometimes, someone hurts you in a way that’s permanently and forver dealbreaking.

Some people will tell you that you have to forgive the person who hurt you in order to move on. Sometimes, they will put lots of pressure on you and tell you that if you’re still suffering, it’s your own fault for bearing a grudge.

But… you don’t have to forgive someone to get distance. You can do that by creating a boundary. Sometimes that means you limit contact with them to areas in which they’re safe for you. Sometimes that means you break off contact entirely. In any case, it’s something you can do unilaterally. 

You can break away and build a life that has nothing to do with them. They don’t have to loom large in your life forever. 

And you don’t have to get closure or resolution or anything like that in order to move on. What you have to do is move on and do other things.

It takes time and it doesn’t fix everything (neither does forgiveness, despite cultural tropes). But it allows you to build space for yourself, without that person’s hurt taking over everything. And you don’t have to forgive them or do anything at all regarding them to get that space.

Your life is about you, not the person who hurt you.

The power of "I can't"

People will try to tell you that you can do things you can’t do.

It’s hard to insist that no, you can’t do them. Or that you can’t do them safely. Or that you can’t do them without using up all your spoons and losing the capacity to do things that are more important.

They will tell you that this is giving up, or being lazy. They will tell you this with their words and their body language. And by pretending that you have not said anything, and just refusing to take into account your actual abilities.

They will tell you this with hate. They will tell you this with good intentions. They will tell you this as concern trolls and terrified parents. 

Sometimes, in that situation, it’s easy to feel like you aren’t allowed to say no until you’ve run yourself into the ground trying, or until you’ve tried and failed and things have gone badly wrong. Because people won’t believe you, and will put pressure on you in all kinds of ways.

The thing is, they’re wrong, and you don’t have to believe them or comply with their demands.

It helps a lot to be confident in your ability to judge what you can and can’t do. Sometimes you have to say no over and over. 

Knowing ahead of time that something won’t work for you and insisting on planning accordingly isn’t lazy.

It’s being responsible.

Being vegan is easy. Are there social pressures that encourage you to continue to eat, wear, and use animal products? Of course there are. But in a patriarchal, racist, homophobic, and ableist society, there are social pressures to participate and engage in sexism, racism, homophobia, and ableism. At some point, you have to decide who you are and what matters morally to you. And once you decide that you regard victimizing vulnerable nonhumans is not morally acceptable, it is easy to go and stay vegan
—  Gary L. Francione