tiffani&co

For every funeral we planned, there were sixty we couldn’t.
— 

Emi Mahmoud - “People Like Us” (WOWPS 2016)

Performing at the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Emi won the tournament, along with co-champion Imani Cezanne. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!

Want to be on Button? Submit your poems to our chapbook contest! Winner receives publication, $500, fifty free author copies, and an invitation to perform at a Button Poetry event and be filmed by Button. Not sure about a full chapbook? We’ve launched our first-ever video contest as well! You even can (and should!) submit to both! Check out all the details here.

  • Montparnasse:jehan.
  • Jehan:yes?
  • Montparnasse:I thought we agreed on what to name our new kitten
  • Jehan:we did.
  • Montparnasse:yes, we did. we already have one named after a poet and two named after plants. so this one we were going to name Aubrey, right?
  • Jehan:right.
  • Montparnasse:so tell me. why does the vet certificate say her name is aubergine?
  • Jehan:huh. wonder how that got there....

Tumblr is so hellbent on “reclaiming” the word “fat” for girls like me that they have literally forgotten to ask girls like me how we feel about it.

To me, it’s a dirty word. It’s been used against me as a weapon and I cannot now stop associating so many negative connotations with it. It’s a word that I use to describe myself disparagingly, it is a word that I tried to carve into my thigh with the edge of a broken protractor when I was 15, it’s a word that gets stuck in my throat and makes me want to stick my fingers down there and purge my body. I do not like it. You can try and tell me it’s simply a descriptor all you want but the fact of the matter is, it can no longer be “just a descriptor.” It has too much vitriol attached.

That’s why it pisses me the fuck off when someone makes a post about “fat girls” (ugh) and another person might reblog and say “Hey, actually, can we maybe not use that word to describe these people?” and they are completely ignored or met with an “….anyway” or “It’s not a bad word.” Fuck you. To me, and presumably to others, it /is/ a fucking bad word. There are other words that mean what you’re trying to say that are so much better, so much more positive: Rubenesque, voluptuous, curvy, chubby, plump, full-figured….even simply “big” or “bigger.” Those all have positive connotations for me. If you wanna use the word “fat” to describe yourself, more power to you. But stop throwing it around and using it on me and countless other women. It doesn’t feel progressive, it still feels downright cruel.

Just to be clear:

My discussions about Dean’s love v Sam’s have little to do with Dean sacrificing for Sam or hurting himself for Sam. Those are things I would consider the result of abuse. What I am talking about is the actual communication of love/ value for another person you are in a relationship with (particularly in a close relationship or a partnership). It’s not about the big things (though I would say that we shouldn’t totally factor out love as a motivator there, either. I don’t think there has to be only one thing acting on a person at a time, and when forces combine, it only makes an action that much harder not to take). It’s about all of the small things. And it’s not even about “feelings” so much as communication. I’m working on a meta surrounding this where I hope I can expound it fully, because I think there IS a big deficit in the communication of love and value in the relationship from one brother to another. And I do see that as destructive and part of the problem between them (from both sides. Dean in letting himself be used as a doormat, Sam in being too focused on his ever growing need for affirmation he takes advantage and runs rickshaw over his brother).

And while I am sort of criticizing Sam’s behavior when I talk about this, my main purpose is really to diagnose ways that could possibly help in starting to heal the relationship. Of course, from a psychology stand point, the ideal situation would be that they separate, possibly indefinitely. Sam’s narcissism fuels Dean’s co-dependency and vice versa. But as I doubt that this will happen, because the show needs these two characters together, I’m looking at the next best thing. But first, I need to suss out what I see as the major problems. Sam demanding affirmation and support while failing to support or affirm his partner is a MAJOR issue. Dean being trapped in the caretaker role? Instead of a more “we take care of each other” situation? Is a MAJOR issue. Overall, the unbalance in the relationship is a MAJOR issue. And one way to address an unbalanced relationship is to move toward balancing it. That means Sam actually carrying equal weight and responsibility for the relationship. That means learning to consider Dean’s feelings and needs as much as his own. That means Sam affirming that Dean has worth apart from what Dean can do for Sam (at least a fraction as much as Dean does this for Sam). (Ideally) That means communicating that Dean won’t be worthless/ easily thrown away if he does not “perform.” At the very least it means Sam needs to stop affirming the opposite.

This would ALSO be good for Sam, who tends to be both desperate to prove he can do things, while also convinced that (or at least acting like) many of his decisions/ actions are someone else’s fault. If he stopped being so obsessed with the outcome of feeling trusted and learned giving trust (aka being honest) and actually being trustworthy, are better ways to go about obtaining what he seeks (instead of lying, thereby undermining the very thing he’s trying to achieve). Just proving to himself that he can be reliable, I think would boost Sam’s self-efficacy, not lower it.

And again, I’m not talking about Sam doing something self-destructive to save, help, or take care of Dean. I’m talking about simple value messages and actions. I’m talking about communicating that the partner in your relationship matters as much as you do, that their needs and feelings deserve equal consideration to yours (and that they don’t have to put away those needs, or act like they don’t have them, just to meet yours). I don’t want Sam to sell his soul to save Dean. I just needed him to stop and go “hey, are you okay?” or “I’m sorry you got hurt in all of this” after BUABS. I just needed him to say what Anna said in Heaven and Hell “You don’t have to tell me, but I care about you and I’m here if you need to talk.” I just wanted him to show he cared more about what Dean was going through with his deal than just “what’s wrong with you? hurry up and get over it b/c we’ve got work to do.” I just wanted his remember that he wasn’t the only one going through something in S4, and that maybe now is not the time to “declare Dean weak and demand he do what I want,” so much as the time to encourage and reassure him, to remind him that I still have his back, no matter what horrible things happened to him. THAT is what I’m talking about.

When Dean stops to ask Sam if he’s alright. When Dean offers to listen to Sam’s troubles without pushing him to say more than he’s comfortable saying. When Dean notices Sam is sad and tries to cheer him up. When Dean tries to get Sam to laugh or play to take his mind off of things. Even when Dean tries to dampen the blows of what he’s endured, so that Sam’s experience is better. When Dean takes time to focus on Sam’s feelings.When Dean notices Sam is feeling doubtful or insecure and tries to encourage him. When Dean notices that Sam is feeling guilty or worried and he reassures him. When Dean is affectionate. When Dean compliments Sam’s intelligence or quick thinking. I just wish (and think it’d be a step in the right direction if) Sam would do more of the same.

Does that makes sense?