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Rita Arens
My name is Rita Arens. I like to write. A lot. Many pages.
Recent Activity
*snort*
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Here are some more examples of how the media could walk a straighter line when portraying people: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/media-black-victims_n_5673291.html
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Good examples. Thanks for sharing them.
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:) good
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AND DOESN'T IT SUCK THAT THOUGHT WENT THROUGH MY HEAD? FUCK. That I might worry someone might think I was being condescending and calling you well-spoken. This is going all when I named my cat again.
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And not because you are black, for those who are new here. Because we are sisters in grammarly justice.
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After the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown hashtag started getting traction, I saw the other picture of Mike Brown on the news. I think that's what we do. We keep talking and talking and talking. And those of us who are not afraid to talk to each other about it publicly just keep doing that, too. In other news, I love that you used the correct "effect change."
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"I'm glad I had lunch with you guys today," I said. "I'm having trouble with my anxiety because of what's happening in Ferguson." That we were well into our lunch was not lost on me. It's all I can think of when I see other people: that I want to talk about it, that it's like the sixties out there, that it's still happening and so many white people still think the protests are unfounded at worst or an overreaction at best. But I didn't immediately launch into it because of my white privilege. I wanted to talk about it but I waited for my window, even knowing these friends felt the same way that I did about it all. Because I wasn't positive they'd want to talk about it. She asked me why I didn't write about the anxiety. I thought to myself because Stacy Morrison already did it so well, and also because I don't want to co-opt the pain for myself when it is not my pain. My pain is watching their pain, and it seems selfish to claim my pain. I didn't say that part, though. I don't know why. I feel like I felt after Hurricane Katrina when I saw all those black people standing on bridges, shielding their babies from the hot sun, squished into that dome, stuck. Just. Stuck. And then white people focused on any little bad thing those black people did while they were stuck instead of pulling them out faster. She called me this morning to say she'd been thinking of our conversation. We'd talked about how there is racial tension and even genocide going on all over the world. We'd talked about the Holy Land and Ukraine. We talked about this again, and I wanted to cry and I... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Surrender, Dorothy
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I had some hard conversations at BlogHer '14 with white women who thought the women of color at Voices of the Year were exaggerating their feelings of otherness. It's true, world: White people still think people of color are making this stuff up. The events of this week in Ferguson, Missouri, once again magnify the truth: My friends of color are not exaggerating. White people may not see it because we are not treated this way, but stigma/skepticism/suspicion is still their reality in 2014. We can wish it weren't true. We can pretend it isn't true. Or we can amplify what is true. We can continue to insist on the education of our white colleagues and friends and strangers about how we intentionally or unintentionally are contributing to the racism problem we have boiling in this country. We can continue to insist on change. If you're confused about what I'm talking about, click here. It's time to share what's being said. Here are some posts written about race this week that I believe are worth reading. Please amplify them. The Ferguson Shooting Has Me Scared for My Son by Janene Davis Affected by Karen Walrond #IfTheyGunnedMeDown Hashtag Calls Out Media's Portrayal of Black People by Betty Fokker Racial Bias, Police Brutality and the Dangerous Act of Being Black by Kristen Howerton Tonight my friend and colleague Feminista Jones has organized a 90-city National Moment of Silence for Mike Brown. Details are here. The gathering for Kansas City is at the Plaza fountain. Gather at 6 Central, moment of silence is 6:20. Wear red. I would be there but we are headed to a preplanned family reunion tonight. If you can't see things on Facebook, here are the details: Peaceful vigils honoring the innocent lives lost and pay respect to those... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2014 at Surrender, Dorothy
Last night I made my best friend meet me twenty miles closer to my house than she originally intended because on Saturday, I broke my ass. Okay, I don't know if I broke it, because I can't get in to my doctor until Thursday, but I fell backwards on tile and bounced, so let's just say it together: OW OW OW OW OW. Also, I really hate driving right now. I tell you this partly in an obvious bid for sympathy (hello, I'm supposed to be training for another half-marathon, not trying to type with my butt on three pillows) and also partly to maybe explain the following, in that about 80 percent of my brain is thinking about the pain in my butt at all times, leaving only 20 percent left to process actual thought. Her: Have you friended your fifth-grade teacher on Facebook? Me: What? Why? Her: She's, like, awesome on there. Me: My mom was friends with her ... sister? Cousin? That's crazy, since they didn't live in the same town or anything. What was the teacher's name? Martha? Her: Mary. Me: I think her cousin's name was Martha. (pause) Me: Oh, wait. Maybe that was Jesus. Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2014 at Surrender, Dorothy
OMG, LETTERS.
Toggle Commented Aug 7, 2014 on When Talk Gets Cheap at Surrender, Dorothy
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Sometimes just knowing the name of the thing is helpful. I'm sorry you have them, too.
Toggle Commented Aug 6, 2014 on On Intrusive Thoughts at Surrender, Dorothy
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I try to call people when I'm in the car, which is probably not the safest thing to do, but it's when I'm not glued to my keyboard or talking to my daughter. By the time she goes to bed, I have time, but then it's late to call most people and besides, I'm really tired. It's tough.
Toggle Commented Aug 6, 2014 on When Talk Gets Cheap at Surrender, Dorothy
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When I was a kid, my uncles and aunts and my gran would call from far-away places and all action in the house would cease as we passed the phone from person to person, sometimes picking up a second extension that rendered the first person mouse-voiced for the remainder of the call. Time morphed from bulbous drops of homework hell to the fast lane where every minute cost thirty-five cents. We couldn't get enough of that long-distance. When I was a senior in high school, my boyfriend went off to college, taking a little part of my teenaged heart with him. After watching me mope around the house for a few weeks, my parents allowed me one hour a week to talk to him on the phone on their dime. I would sit in our basement in the most private possible room and talk on my sister's leftover princess phone. My boyfriend told me about his new fraternity and how different college was and how long it would be until he'd be home for a visit. I sat with a travel alarm clock between my feet, watching the second-hand sweep as we paused, listening to each other breathe, and each breath cost so much money. To be able to communicate for only one hour a week was torture. We sent letters, but they took so long to arrive the news was old and all there was to do was caress the ink and know the other person touched this piece of paper, too. Somewhere in there, along came cell phones and affordable long-distance plans. The cheaper talking got, the less I seemed to do it. I was quick to email and slow to text. Now I communicate via words and pictures on all manner of social media with my friends,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at Surrender, Dorothy
Sure do! http://www.blogher.com/getting-your-first-great-book-deal
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2014 on Gone PhotoBlog: BlogHer 2014 at Surrender, Dorothy
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I'm glad it didn't bring on more instrusiveness! Have fun in Mexico.
Toggle Commented Jul 31, 2014 on On Intrusive Thoughts at Surrender, Dorothy
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Yeah, the imagination thing has its pros and cons.
Toggle Commented Jul 31, 2014 on On Intrusive Thoughts at Surrender, Dorothy
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I don't often have snake thoughts. Snakes don't really scare me, but when she was little I kept thinking about them wrapping around her.
Toggle Commented Jul 31, 2014 on On Intrusive Thoughts at Surrender, Dorothy
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When the little angel was a baby, we lived in This Old House. If you're new here, you may not know that This Old House was a beautiful Arts & Crafts with a screened-in porch in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City. It was built in 1921. It had push-button light switches that sometimes threw sparks, it was not ducted for air conditioning (making my home office nearly unbearable in the summer) and it had decorative metal grates with holes big enough to pass my fist through, lovely as they were. While in the throes of postpartum something, I became convinced that snakes could climb up through from the leaky, Silence-of-the-Lambs basement through the ductwork and slither out the very large grate holes into my daughter's bedroom. Every time I looked at those grates, I had to push the thoughts away, but it was hard. It was so hard. These thoughts, I now know, are called intrusive thoughts, and they are closely associated with anxiety disorder, OCD, eating disorders, and psychosis. I still have them from time to time, but they are much lessened after medication and meditation and all manner of my managing-my-anxiety-disorder daily rituals. I feel a kinship with Stephen King. Here is a man who must suffer, as I do, from intrusive thoughts. I first read PET SEMETARY in high school, and then I thought it was a horror novel. I've been rereading it this week, and I now understand it is a book about grief. A parent's grief. I got the ebook copy, and there is a foreward in this version written by King in 2000, in which he admits something very similar to what happened to Gage in the book happened to his own son (almost) when his own son was two. He wrote: "But... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at Surrender, Dorothy
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Y'all, I am so tired. I got home around seven last night, dumped my stuff out of my suitcase and handed it to my husband, who left for his third week-long business trip of the month this morning. But I had a great time moderating the Getting Your (First) Great Book Deal panel and the leading the Grammar Clinic with the amazing Arnebya. Why didn't I get her looking at the camera? Or better yet, with me? I don't know, either. I ran into my friends Maria Niles and Katherine Stone. Celeste Lindell, my real-life Kansas City friend of 15 years, and me. My co-workers/friends, Diane Lang (left) and Julie Ross Godar. Backstage at VOTY, a sweet baby was attached to Janelle. I took this right before Multi-Culti shut down for the night. Arianna Huffington and Guy Kawasaki. Check out BlogHer's new initiative with HuffPo and the Center for American Progress, Make Life Work! Great keynote on intersectionality in blogging could've gone on for hours. I got photobombed by the author Margaret Dilloway. She had to leave early, so she asked me to keep her updated on the rumored appearance of Khloe Kardashian. Also 15-year-real-life-KC-friend Kelly Oliver George and I missed Khloe Kardashian at the Hairfinity booth. We were krushed. But all was right in the world after I got a big smile and hug from my friend Luvvie. Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2014 at Surrender, Dorothy
I'm so proud of you. Keep up the good hard work.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2014 on Watching 'THIN' at Surrender, Dorothy
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Thank you, Becca!
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I'm watching a documentary about eating disorder treatment called THIN. I think I understand better why so much in-patient treatment doesn't work. I don't see staff showing compassion. They refer to the patients as antidepressant junkies, even the suicidal ones. The parents seem clueless. I'm angry, watching this. I get 3-4 emails a week from people who have read my ED posts. I can't believe there is so little out there that is real. I want to wrap my arms around these women and girls (and sometimes boys). They are so scared of their own bodies. They should be more scared of their minds, and their minds are being sadly neglected. ED is about the mind. It's about looking into your future and asking yourself if you can stand the thought of suffering at this level in five, ten, fifteen years. If you have ED, you have three choices: you can suffer indefinitely, you can recover, or you can die. Those are your choices. Some of us contract terminal diseases. The difference between those people and the general population is that those people know how they will die. We will all die someday. The human mortality rate is currently 100%. The question is: Do you want to speed it up? I didn't care when I was sick. When I looked at recovery, I started to care. I reached for happiness, for peace. I didn't want to go on like that. That daily struggle between life and death is awful. How can anyone keep it up indefinitely? At what cost? It is my hope that anyone reading this while hating his or herself can see the three choices clearly and want, seriously want, to eliminate the more dismal two. There are evolutionary reasons our brains can drive us for perfectionism that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2014 at Surrender, Dorothy
thank you!
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Yes, absolutely she is.
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