‘Amae (甘え)’ and the sweet indulgence of social justice culture

I want to start this piece with an inconvenient thought. Over the last years, online social justice communities have been shouting down the idea of reverse sexism or racism – I’ve done it myself. The logic that is given is that bias towards men or white people isn’t in the context of a larger system…

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When the personal isn’t that political: what we can learn from the Rubber Hand Illusion about hyper-sensitization in activist communities

Even as a therapist and consultant who specializes in working where trauma and social injustice meet, I have always had some suspicion about how the connection between relational dynamics and systemic oppression is talked about in activist spaces. My primary concern with this has been about how dominant social justice discourse tends to completely skip…

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Understanding ‘accountability abuse’

‘Accountability abuse’ is an abuse of power pattern that happens when we take on self-policing roles within a community without the appropriate checks and supports for ourselves. For me, accountability abuse is a more succinct way to define violent behaviors that tend to be categorized under ‘call-out culture’ or ‘cancel culture’, spanning from brutal accountability…

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Believing survivors isn’t the same as holding their trauma

CN: Discussion of racial and sexual violence I want you to know that, even as I write this, I’m a survivor of childhood abuse. Being received and believed by others has been a big part of healing all aspects of this. I firsthand understand how healing it can be for survivorship to be believed. I…

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Why justice needs ritual: on the sacred origins of harm

NOTE: This article contains graphic depictions of childhood sexual abuse as well as other possibly triggering material. Please read with care. Everything we do is sacred I would like to start off this post by sharing an experience I had on Lekwungen territory in the November of 2017, that taught me about the inherent sacredness…

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