The Apotheosis of a Creative Soul

Aesthete. 22. Canada.

Last update
2018-11-29 23:15:45

    The history behind tipping is racist.


    Interesting but not surprising. As a server/bartender, I know the drill.

    Damn son..

    This is so important this needs a million notes! I just barely learned this last year from a mutual on Tumblr. I’m from California and currently live in Nevada and our system allows servers to be paid minimum wage along with tips. Minimum wage ain’t shit as is ($8.25hr) but DAMN to learn that people really out here forced to live off of $2.13 an hour is truly literally modern slavery.

    And please consider that not everyone has the option to “ just get another/ job.” Not everyone lives in a big city with lots of stores or has a vehicle or even access to public transportation. Not everyone has the time or money for college. Not everyone has family to help them out. Not everyone has the resources you do.

    Please Boost

    In August of this year, for the first time, I felt absolutely bereft of myself.

    I remember the dawning realization I felt as I looked up at a night sky in Georgian Bay, and something that had never failed to inspire wonder in me made me feel emptiness and fear. I have described the feeling as absolute flatness. I thought the world was ending, in fact I was sure it was, but I could muster nothing more than indifference about this.

    The job I had once loved began to slip away from me. I watched deadlines glide by on my calendar. The numbers outlined in red circles on my cellphone began to climb at an alarming rate. I felt tired, so I slept.

    My longterm partner was fed up. I was too sad, I sucked the joy out of everything. I was selfish, I wasn’t going to get better. He felt tired, so he left.

    I deserved that, I thought, flatly.

    The formal diagnosis, which came later, was clinical depression. A psychiatric nurse told me a mood disorder is like a parasite that adapts to its host, but I think it bears a closer likeness to an abusive partner. It is adept at making you loathe things you once enjoyed, shrink your life, and alienate people who care about you. It wants you alone, preferably horizontal, feeling and wanting to feel nothing else.

    Most of my young adult life I have spent vacillating between extremes. I have often considered my life and the lives of others on a highly polarized spectrum. Could you be attractive if not skeletal or ideally proportioned? If your paper wasn’t perfect, was there any point in submitting it? If he could leave you, did he ever really love you? How can it be alright not to know everything, to ask questions, to accept failure?

    I grappled with questions of my inadequacy and the inadequacy of others when it came to grieving too.

    How could I be sad if others have experienced more pain than I had; or how could I be unhappy if others have less than I do? I internalized this feeling. I accepted a lot of mistreatment at the hands of others who I perceived as having life worse than I did. I struggled quite a lot with the notion that I had the right to assert my needs. I suffered deeply but largely quietly, for fear that I was unfairly burdening others with my pain.

    Even as I write this I feel uncomfortable with my position of privilege and how it informs this piece. I understand that these issues more often befall and have a greater impact on people from demographics other than mine, who do not have access to the same resources or support that I do.

    Nevertheless I feel inclined to tell my story to contribute to a growing chorus of women choosing to publicly address their psychic pain, and to illustrate the dangers of casting judgement on others who have done and will do so.

    About a week before my sixteenth birthday, I had something crucial stolen from me. It was January in Ottawa, and I sat in a park down the street from my parent’s house and cried until six a.m. when my fingers were white with cold and I had no tears left in my body. I wasn’t sure, but I suspected I was ruined. It was no small event in my life, but in part due to my own response to it, very few people took it seriously. I tried to fix a problem someone else had created by offering him affection and forgiveness he did not deserve. I tried to do this because I thought it was what I was supposed to do. I was painted as an alarmist and an attention seeker. I had unfairly accused John Proctor of witchcraft. Many of my peers told me that I had made it up, more of them told me I deserved it. Enough to make me genuinely wonder if they were right.

    Little by little I was approached by other young women who had quietly suffered the same fate at the hands of the same person, but I never went to the police or reported my experience to my family. I felt profound shame and humiliation, so I never spoke openly about it again. I believed I could choose not to let that event or anyone’s reaction to it govern my life, but the wound wouldn’t close. It was infected.

    When I woke up years later to two men assaulting my unconscious body, I felt I deserved it. I felt, as I still do, that I deserved every bad thing I got at the hands of a man.

    Later I would feel conflicted as I watched both women and men ardently defend Jian Gomeshi. If these women had sought him out again; if they had forgiven him, could he really have hurt them? I didn’t know the answer. This I added to the series of questions I asked myself regularly about my own entitlement to pain.  

    I can say that I am one of the lucky few who has not experienced sexual harassment or assault at the hands of a colleague or employer, but I have been on the receiving end of advances by men in positions of power around me. These are experiences I have never discussed overtly. As they occurred, no one pressured me to keep them a secret, but I felt the pressure existed nonetheless and it made me feel equal parts shame and confusion. Why did I want to protect someone who had made me so uncomfortable? I did not feel that my pain warranted consequence.

    In a course I took in my third year at school, I learned that laws had been codified in the Early Modern England to keep women from challenging their prescribed place in society. One of these crimes, being a ‘scold,’ which essentially meant nettlesome, angry or difficult, was punishable by public humiliation. That sounded familiar. Later I discovered that in the 19th century, women could be institutionalized and even sterilized for a condition known as ‘hysteria.’ It was poorly understood and encapsulated a wide range of symptoms. In an article for Vogue published by Alison Espach, she explains that a hysterical woman could be nervous, depressed; uninterested or overly interested in sex. In fact, by the late 1800s, a woman could do very little that challenged her expected course of behaviour without being labelled a hysteric. The term was employed frequently to malign the burgeoning feminist movement. In 1887, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, reported that the treatment her doctor recommended for what was likely depression was to ‘live as domestic a life as far as possible,’ to ‘have but two hours’ intellectual life a day,“ and "never to touch pen, brush, or pencil again” as long as she lived. ‘As a general rule,’ a French physician wrote in 1883, ‘all women are hysterical. And every women carries with her the seeds of hysteria.’ The condition was not declassified as a mental disorder in the United States until the 1950s.

    The same behaviours that warranted a ‘scold’ conviction or a ‘hysterical’ diagnosis then are still leveraged against us today. Women who are emotionally assertive, sexually confident, or who object to sexism are still often labelled as flawed or diseased. The President of the United States referred to the 13 women who have accused him of sexual assault as ‘sick,’ and journalist Megyn Kelly as ‘bleeding from her wherever,’ while conservative commentator Piers Morgan refers frequently to ‘rabid feminism.’ Over at Brietbart, feminism has been referred to in a headline as ‘worse than cancer.’ ‘Crazy ex girlfriend,’ sex panic,’ ‘nasty woman,’ ‘feminazi,’ the list goes on.

    As I grappled with the shame surrounding my mental illness and my own experiences with sexual assault, I began to conjure those images of other scolds, hysterics, and witch hunters of Arthur Miller lore. I remembered being called a slut, difficult, crazy, and a drama queen. I remembered how I was told time and time again that my suffering was uncomfortable or damaging to the men I forgave and supported, unnecessarily I might add, but in keeping with what’s expected of my gender.

    Though the ways in which we are silenced today are less openly malignant, they are dangerous in their ambiguity. Women in North America are no longer being sterilized for ‘hysteria,’ but they are still expected to temper their feelings to make them palatable. This is a particularly potent problem for women of colour, LGBTQ individuals, sex workers, indigenous women, and women who live in poverty who are characterized as angry or vengeful when attempting to rightfully point out the structural injustices they face. 

    There is a strong intersection between the way society deals with women, their feelings, their sexuality, and their desire for equality. Many of the expectations that still characterize women’s lives are centred around supporting and protecting others. We are taught that our role in the world is to be caregivers. We are not entitled to make a fuss, or be emotionally or sexually assertive. We are expected to protect the people who have shown us disrespect or hurt us, accosted us, exposed themselves to us, or even raped us. We are taught to shield others from our ugly, negative emotions. In this way, our bodies and minds belong in some small part to the comfort of other people. 

    It needn’t be that way, but change will require acceptance and discomfort. Having emerged on the other side of a dark corridor this year, with the support of a group of friends and family I am very grateful for, I have begun to accept that it is alright to be a woman with wounds, capable of both feeling and causing pain. Each day I work to accept that my sadness does not render me damaged, difficult, or undesirable, but I watch many other women around me considering that possibility while deciding how to present themselves to the world. Though this has undoubtedly been a watershed moment for our gender, we must be cautious about its failings too. The act of a white female writer in a position of great influence publicly questioning the assault of Aurora Perrineau, an actress and a woman of colour, was a particularly poignant reminder that we have a long way to go in terms of how we treat female expressions of pain. We should not be teaching our girls that some acts of courage are ok, but others are aggressive, dubious, or insignificant. To my fellow survivors, you are still here, you are strong, but you are entitled to your softness too. To our harassers, abusers, and would be silencers: your time’s up.

    Please consider a donation to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund https://www.timesupnow.com/

    He was an activist who inspired millions to fight for their rights. He knew what was wrong with our country and risked his life to help his people achieve equality.  In the society where black were treated like animal he did everything possible to change this. His brave soul, his will and courage changed the history of America , changed the people. He made us believe we can win this war. He payed for it with his life. He will always be remembered.


    Respecting his memory also means acknowledging that his fight is far from over, black people are facing the same issues that ha birth to the Black Panthers, and that the FBI is basically trying to launch COINTELPRO 2.0 against BLM and other black activists. Hampton should be more than a history lesson, he should be a rallying point.

    native, latina, and black girls have been pushing boundaries and trends with what little monetary means we have for as long as the collective american fashion memory exists; it’s been us who have been making and wearing jewelry considered gaudy, cheap, and obnoxious, it’s been us making fashion statements our of dollar tube tops and high waisted leggings, it’s been us doing our hair tight or big, we are the origin of resourcefulness, girls on reservations and in the poorest neighborhoods were drawing on their beauty marks and getting glossy long before girls on instagram, we are queens of the dollar store and beauty shop, and it astounds me that not only are these looks being taken without a nod to the source, they are being put at designer price points. meanwhile we’re still out here doing our highlighter with two dollar shimmer eye shadow and scrubbing thrifted white adidas shoes clean with plastic toothbrushes, and we’re looking great