‘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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What comes next? The dawn of a new era of cultural somatic activism

I believe that we are right now at a threshold of a burgeoning movement towards cultural somatic activism. Before jumping into this subject though, I would like to take a bit of space to reflect on the passing era and what it has meant to us. Over the last decade, we have seen concepts such…

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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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Imagining ancestral justice

What happens to a people when they lose their ways? Well, one thing we do know is that they lose their medicines. They forget the names of plants and other beings in their world that can help them restore their balance. They forget the rituals that are able to activate the natural healing mechanisms of…

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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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The hidden cost of call-out culture is bigotry

How does your body respond to the following statement? Call-out culture enables bigotry. And healing it within our relationships is one of the first responsibilities we have as radical/progressive/liberal people. One of the problems with how we talk about call-out culture is that we tend to treat it as an internal dialogue within activist communities about…

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Is the Trump-era a morbid illness or healing crisis? I think it can be both.

In this piece, I would like to speak to a question that many of us in social justice community have asked since the beginning of Trump’s presidency: is this the foreboding of a terrible sickness overtaking our culture or the beginning of a deep healing process? My understanding is that the above two possibilities are…

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What quantum physics can tell us about activism: that change is messy

Quantum physics has shown us that the everyday reality we live in is actually founded on a super-tiny befuddling unseen world that is completely topsy-turvy. Matter behaves both like waves and particles. Time is all over the place. Everything exists everywhere. The laws of physics that help us make sense of the tangible visible world…

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