When I joined the disability activism community, I learned a new frame of reference that changed how I engaged with the world at large: Accessibility. I had no idea that this concept would expand for me from a branch of activism to a life philosophy and identity: How to be an accessible person.
The focus of Yopp has always been to discuss all things related to social justice and civil rights. But another important topic that emerged fairly early on was issues related to abuse and trauma. Without much thought, we started writing a number of articles specifically about the experience of being abused, the aftermath, what recovery looks like, etc. We never really considered that the connection between abuse and trauma, and social justice may not be obvious to everyone. It occurred to us that it might be valuable to spell out these connections in article form.
Boundaries are magic. They are protective and allow us to navigate our life as empowered and autonomous individuals. Most of us come to learn our boundaries through trial and error, and may not get good support around forming or establishing boundaries in relationships. As we approach a season of gatherings, including those with family we don’t have good relationships with, taking intentional time to reflect on who we’re connected to and how we want those connections to look can be valuable.
For every blatantly malicious bigot, there are 10 people who “meant well” or “didn’t mean it like that” or “had good intentions” when they said or did something that actually had a harmful effect on a member of an oppressed group. This excuse is used so frequently that it’s hard to see a single online argument about social justice without someone having to explain that good intentions does not negate or remedy impact.
In Power Dynamics Part 1, I looked at the traits and patterns that can be used to identify uneven power dynamics in interpersonal relationships. In Part 2, I explore how these patterns manifest themselves between marginalized and privileged groups in society.
One concept that is central to understanding the nuances of social justice activism is to have a thorough understanding of power dynamics. This post helps get you there.
Over the course of three months, guest blogger Lucy Merriman put together an amazing 5-part series entitled, How to Lend a Hand in a Mental Health Crisis. The series looks at the gaps in our current mental health care system and provides information on how to fill those gaps on an individual basis, even if you yourself have little to no crisis training. This post puts the links and summaries for those five articles all in one place.
If you were to make an off-color comment to me and defend yourself by saying that you don’t have a racist/sexist/classist bone in your body, or that you are “colorblind” your response would give me an important piece of information about you. Because as the song goes, everyone’s a little bit racist.
Privilege can bring you many benefits, and eliminate many obstacles for you. But privilege can also mask negative traits such as incompetence, unethical behavior, and dishonesty. Privilege can give you literal get-out-of-jail-free cards, to the detriment of people who lack that privilege. Privilege is an invisibility cloak.
We often talk about privilege in terms of the positives, the benefits you receive: Resources, freedom, trust, and benefit of the doubt are extremely common ones. But what about the flip side? The opposite of privileged groups receiving the benefit of the doubt is the scrutiny of oppressed groups.