social statement

“This is Ben.
Ben made racist statements on social media.
Ben allowed Trump to gas him up.
Ben provided a half-ass apology.
Ben believes Trump can save him from an ass whooping.
Ben is unaware that he is also a marginalized minority.
This is the result.
Don’t be like Ben y'all.” - Fellow High School Alumni

SHARE THIS LIKE WILDFIRE. I went to highschool with this trash. I am simply spreading awareness, that is all.

like um.

if you don’t want to tell a story based on real world political or social context then uhhhh maybe don’t create a lesbian character and then give her a primary emotional arc that boils down to ‘is love right or wrong?’ and then certainly don’t SHOOT HER

Nonviolent Communication can hurt people

People who struggle interpersonally, who seem unhappy, or who get into a lot of conflicts are often advised to adopt the approach of Nonviolent Communication. 

This is often not a good idea. Nonviolent Communication is an approach based on refraining from seeming to judge others, and instead expressing everything in terms of your own feelings. For instance, instead of “Don’t be such an inconsiderate jerk about leaving your clothes around”, you’d say “When you leave your clothing around, I feel disrespected.”. That approach is useful in situations in which people basically want to treat each other well but have trouble doing so because they don’t understand one another’s needs and feelings. In every other type of situation, the ideology and methodology of Nonviolent Communication can make things much worse.

Nonviolent Communication can be particularly harmful to marginalized people or abuse survivors. It can also teach powerful people to abuse their power more than they had previously, and to feel good about doing so. Non-Violent Communication has strategies that can be helpful in some situations, but it also teaches a lot of anti-skills that can undermine the ability to survive and fight injustice and abuse.

For marginalized or abused people, being judgmental is a necessary survival skill. Sometimes it’s not enough to say “when you call me slurs, I feel humiliated” - particularly if the other person doesn’t care about hurting you or actually wants to hurt you. Sometimes you have to say “The word you called me is a slur. It’s not ok to call me slurs. Stop.” Or “If you call me that again, I’m leaving.” Sometimes you have to say to yourself “I’m ok, they’re mean.” All of those things are judgments, and it’s important to be judgmental in those ways.

You can’t protect yourself from people who mean you harm without judging them. Nonviolent Communication works when people are hurting each other by accident; it only works when everyone means well. It doesn’t have responses that work when people are hurting others on purpose or without caring about damage they do. Which, if you’re marginalized or abused, happens several times a day. NVC does not have a framework for acknowledging this or responding to it.

In order to protect yourself from people who mean you harm, you have to see yourself as having the right to judge that someone is hurting you. You also have to be able to unilaterally set boundaries, even when your boundaries are upsetting to other people. Nonviolent Communication culture can teach you that whenever others are upset with you, you’re doing something wrong and should change what you do in order to meet the needs of others better. That’s a major anti-skill. People need to be able to decide things for themselves even when others are upset.

Further, NVC places a dangerous degree of emphasis on using a very specific kind of language and tone. NVC culture often judges people less on the content of what they’re saying than how they are saying it. Abusers and cluelessly powerful people are usually much better at using NVC language than people who are actively being hurt. When you’re just messing with someone’s head or protecting your own right to mess with their head, it’s easy to phrase things correctly. When someone is abusing you and you’re trying to explain what’s wrong, and you’re actively terrified, it’s much, much harder to phrase things in I-statements that take an acceptable tone.

Further, there is *always* a way to take issue with the way someone phrased something. It’s really easy to make something that’s really about shutting someone up look like a concern about the way they’re using language, or advice on how to communicate better. Every group I’ve seen that valued this type of language highly ended up nitpicking the language of the least popular person in the group as a way of shutting them up. 

tl;dr Be careful with Nonviolent Communication. It has some merits, but it is not the complete solution to conflict or communication that it presents itself as. If you have certain common problems, NVC is dangerous.

In the most recent issue of Travel and Leisure magazine, Hilton Worldwide placed this ad showing two men smiling and sharing a pair of headphones in a bed (fully dressed, by the way), presumably in a Hilton hotel.

The American Family Association, one of the most anti-LGBT organizations around, is having a meltdown. They released the following statement:

Travel and Leisure isn’t a gay-specific magazine sent directly to homosexual’s homes. It’s a widely distributed mainstream publication that can be found in many public places such as doctors’ or auto repair waiting rooms. If Hilton had advertised two men playing tennis, cards, or having lunch, that would have been reasonable. However, Hilton chose to make a cultural and social statement by purposely marketing the promotion of homosexuality to a large segment of the population who finds the idea of two men sleeping together unnatural and offensive.

Hilton, on the other hand, is unfazed by the AFA’s whining and says they’re proud of the ad. Boom. (via the Huffington Post) //


Friendly reminder that Tropes vs Women definitely does not come from a place of love for games and passion for the industry, not even a little. (If the many inaccuracies in their videos, Anita Sarkeesian on camera admitting that she disliked games and thought they were gross lying about her history of loving them, and some of their social media statements weren’t enough of a dead giveaway already.) 

It’s not automatically sexism if these people or their project get critiqued.

I never know whether to laugh or cry that people like this are now constantly placed up on a pedestal of infallible authority in the media concerning a subject that so many people care and know more about.

Let me make this plain. For most black women in America (although not all), if we allow our hair to simply grow out of our heads in its natural state, most people will assume that we are making a social and political statement. If we allowed our hair to simply grow out of our heads, many of us would be barred or fired from our jobs. If we allowed our children’s hair to grow similarly, many of our children would be dismissed from their schools. It is 2016. Sit with that for a moment. Most non-black folks fail to grapple with the profound implications of living in a society that institutionally requires an entire group to intervene so utterly in its own bodily reality and sanctions so heavily those who refuse to conform.
—  Melissa Harris-Perry, in her excellent critique of ELLE’s August cover
Men are told to apologize for being weak. Women are told to apologize for being strong.
—  Jade Crimson (

kanye used ordinary people on the street as his models to completely reject class structure, front row celebrities and couture designers literally looking up to average people off the street in adidas sneakers, if that isn’t making a social statement through art then idk what is. / /@jaded_culture 

Trouble communicating with your partner? Try using an I-Statement!

I created this handy little guide to making your own I-Statement, which will help you frame your emotions in a non-threatening manner – and encourage your partner to listen to your concerns without the emotional explosives. 

For a more detailed look into making your own I-Statement, check out Morning Wellness!