1. big sis, lil sis

    So I finally talked to my sister. I explained very carefully. 

    "What you said to me yesterday was very rude and disrespectful. There was nothing wrong with what I was wearing. I liked my clothes and I liked how I looked. I am allowed to put on whatever I like as long as I am comfortable. It’s okay if you wouldn’t wear it. If you were to put on the same thing and decide that you didn’t feel okay in it, that’s fine. Just like how Sophie (our other sister) wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing the shorts you have on right now. But you don’t get to decide what ‘comfortable’ means for other people. You don’t have the right to do that. Got it?” 

    So I think she understood.


  2. brklynbreed:

    I’m proud to be a queer entrepreneur. Society would have you think it’s impossible to be successful and queer. I believed that for a long time.

    Then came The Brklyn Store.

    I want to thank everybody who has purchased, or even checked out the store. You guys have helped me find the kind of confidence I didn’t think I could experience. Thank you so much.

    - Brklynbreed,
    Owner of The Brklyn Store

    (via black--lamb)


  3. i struggle with romanticizing people a lot of the time, and this is a habit of mine that i find especially problematic and actively try to work on when i can. it helps to be able to recognize when i am doing it, and then i look for ways to reassure myself that they are just a regular person like how i am. 

    (celebrities are a good target for this exercise. i practice a lot with convincing myself that underneath the makeup and gloss is a regular face, someone i could walk past on the street without being starstruck)

    you have to ground people in reality as much as you can. there’s nothing as troubling as having a person right in front of you and failing to see them because you’re projecting all your insecurities onto them, or all of your fantasies, or your other nonsense. hence why i dispel the aspiration to be or meet a ‘hopeless romantic’. you just have to accept a person. allow them to exist without trying to change them or without neglecting who they really are. 


  4. glorianas:

    is it a good show or is it just dark and gritty with a high production salary and middle age white dudes?-a question y’all need to ask yourself

    (via aravenwritingdesk)


  5. luvyourselfsomeesteem:



    Do NOT support Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. It’s creepy, fetishizing, and only serves to other Koreans. The book constantly builds on stereotypes of Asians and exacerbates the problems of Koreans living in America today.
    (It should serve as a warning that the author is not Korean or even Asian at all yet tries to write from the perspective of a Korean-American.)
    If you see anyone (for example, influential people like John Green*) supporting this creepy novel and its author in any way, please tell them that this book is very harmful to Asians all over the world.
    (*John Green already retweeted something about an Eleanor and Park movie.)

    I had been considering reading this because it’s been showing up a lot in the “What Teens Are Reading” section at B&N. Probably in the same way I handle John Green’s work, I’ll end up reading it with the intention of being well-informed of its flaws.

    I believe authors shouldn’t write from races or cultures they aren’t to familar with because then you end up going on steroypes. It’s a bigger gap than writing from a different age or sex. If you are going to attempt to write from another race or culture you need to have respect to do proper research.

    No, I think authors should definitely try. Lack of racial representation is a real problem, and there’s always this attitude of “Well PoC should just write for themselves if they want to do something about it” and blah blah blah (but then those stories end up being about the PoC “experience” instead of stories about other things, but I digress.) Like you said, proper research is key, because there are plenty of ways to create a character without fetishizing them or relying on a handful of stereotypes to fill in their personality. It comes down to poor writing at the end of the day, and this author should have been held accountable for that before her work made it to the bookshelves for distribution. 


  6. the-perks-of-being-korean:

    Do NOT support Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. It’s creepy, fetishizing, and only serves to other Koreans. The book constantly builds on stereotypes of Asians and exacerbates the problems of Koreans living in America today.
    (It should serve as a warning that the author is not Korean or even Asian at all yet tries to write from the perspective of a Korean-American.)
    If you see anyone (for example, influential people like John Green*) supporting this creepy novel and its author in any way, please tell them that this book is very harmful to Asians all over the world.
    (*John Green already retweeted something about an Eleanor and Park movie.)

    I had been considering reading this because it’s been showing up a lot in the “What Teens Are Reading” section at B&N. Probably in the same way I handle John Green’s work, I’ll end up reading it with the intention of being well-informed of its flaws.

    (via wednypls)


  7. xn—b6h:

    re: this tumblr rape situation

    i don’t know anything about the person who is the suspect in that sexual assault case, but y’all have to understand that most of y’all who were in cohorts with that guy likely share similar characteristics with him and thus are easily associated with him.

    no, generalizations and clumping all similar people in the same boat as him isn’t logical at the surface, but when you add the element of 1. a lot of women on here have been victims of sexual assault/abuse/molestation and 2. rapists/abusers have a lot of similarities amongst themselves, you should be wary in trying to debunk someone’s emotional response of assuming you might be a rapist/abuser yourself.

    if anything, understand it’s a defense mechanism and no one wants to be cool with someone who runs in circles with suspected rapists/abusers.

    society raises men to be sexually assertive to the point where what may seem like “normal” behaviour for a dude is actually pretty rape-y, intimidating, and uncomfortable for women.



    walls of text


  8. it’s a sobering thought that the interactions you have with people on tumblr do not exist in a vacuum. that you cannot cleanly separate an online persona from who they are in real life, etc. 

    that’s really important to remember. 


  9. Quick Note on the Art of Conversation.

    a recent rumination on the subject of flirting led me to conclude that the practice is very much like a game of chess. i’ve never played chess, but the analogy to be made is that conversational flirting has a very strategic element.

    the more i thought about it, the more i realized this to be true of even just regular talking. conversations are probably less like chess and more like catch. you say something (throw), the other person responds (catch).

    we all know, for example, that if you respond with “k” to a person telling you about something, that the conversation with end there. because it’s dismissive. you caught their statement, and didn’t toss back any commentary for them to work off of. game over. just like we also know that if you want to keep talking, a helpful tactic is to ask a question, and you can at least guarantee some back and forth for a while longer.

    I like to think of conversations like this, as a game. writing dialogue is, after all, something i feel really good at, so it’s important to understand the little nuances of how people communicate. one of my pet peeves is actually watching tv or a movie and having to listen to conversations that flow terribly because the dialogue doesn’t build on what the people are saying. i prefer to liken each response to that person’s “turn” in the game of conversing, and the topic at hand is like a “round”. you have different effects at your disposal. tone, a big factor. interest, for another. humour is always great to employ. 

    I personally like being contrary as a way to test people. I find that playfully disagreeing is interesting in terms of being lighthearted but also learning about the other person. one of you will have to explain yourselves in defense, and it’s interesting to see what people get passionate about. i suppose that’s why i do it - i like to see what people care about. so i poke holes in their opinions. 

    being “good” at conversations is not an easy skill for me, especially considering i mostly suck at small talk. i like being able to skip such things, and with close friends, it’s really easy to jump from “how was your day?” to a long rant about how their sister is driving them crazy. I like face to face conversations and I like phone calls more than texting, but they’re all good ways to communicate. 

    in the end it’s not really about being chatty, but about being able to direct a conversation based on the other person. as a skillset, it feeds into flirting and empathy and charisma, so i guess mastering the art of talking should be a goal for everyone. 


  10. "Recently, when one of us mentioned suck-teeth to a new arrival in Jamaica (a White woman from the US), the woman knew instantly and without explanation just what Figueroa was talking about, commenting that it was one of the first things she had noticed. Indeed, it is so ubiquitous, so important interactionally, that we can hardly imagine a Jamaican exists – of whatever social background – who is not fully competent in its production, contextualization and interpretation. It is much more than a mere snort or tic: it is a sign both verbal and embodied, unwritten of course, known throughout the Atlantic world, shared and passed on like a dance riddim."
    — Figueora, Esther, and Peter L. Patrick. “The Meaning of Kiss-Teeth.” University of Essex

    (Source: epinglerunnuage, via breathethedownbow)


  11. loveistheessenceoflife:



    I find it incredibly odd that Olivia Pope is not on this list.  Or telling….

    Sleepyheads, check this out.



  12. a guide to seduction based off of personal experience and learning, part 1:


    So I’m writing this based off of what I’ve found to be the three most important traits a person must possess in the process of seducing a person. These three traits are intuition, adaptability, and confidence.

    First: Intuition

    Read More

    (Source: bee-belly)


  13. tranqualizer:

    how can we talk and write about being immigrant child and/or being the children of immigrants and the emotional complexities of it without painting our relationships with our parent/s as one-dimensional and as us always being the ones with their dreams and them being dreamless, vicariously living through us? how can we humanize the people in our lives who have experienced deep and complicated traumas instead of keeping them as the context for our immigrant guilt? how can we be gentle with ourselves and the people who have raised us?

    i just have a lot of feelings about the immigrant parents have no feelings mentality and us being okay with leaving it at that 

    (this is something i have to remember to internalize and acknowledge as I go about the writing of my vignettes. I keep remembering how helpful it is to understand that my story does not exist in a vacuum, and that to uncover all the layers of my parents requires digging up a lot of memories and turning them over? i have to keep learning who they are. seeing them for the first time, repeatedly. it’s easy to fall into that one-dimensional slump, to de-contextualize and sometimes flat-out dehumanize one’s parents. it’s so, so messy. plus a lot of the stories that trickle down about their own childhoods are ones they tell us to emphasize a point, a lot of them lacking agency,.) 

    (via revengeofthelostboys-deactivate)


  14. "i.

    “Your name is Tasbeeh. Don’t let them call you by anything else.”

    My mother speaks to me in Arabic; the command sounds more forceful in her mother tongue, a Libyan dialect that is all sharp edges and hard, guttural sounds. I am seven years old and it has never occurred to me to disobey my mother. Until twelve years old, I would believe God gave her the supernatural ability to tell when I’m lying.

    “Don’t let them give you an English nickname,” my mother insists once again, “I didn’t raise amreekan.”

    My mother spits out this last word with venom. Amreekan. Americans. It sounds like a curse coming out of her mouth. Eight years in this country and she’s still not convinced she lives here. She wears her headscarf tightly around her neck, wades across the school lawn in long, floor-skimming skirts. Eight years in this country and her tongue refuses to bend and soften for the English language. It embarrasses me, her heavy Arab tongue, wrapping itself so forcefully around the clumsy syllables of English, strangling them out of their meaning.

    But she is fierce and fearless. I have never heard her apologize to anyone. She will hold up long grocery lines checking and double-checking the receipt in case they’re trying to cheat us. My humiliation is heavy enough for the both of us. My English is not. Sometimes I step away, so people don’t know we’re together but my dark hair and skin betray me as a member of her tribe.

    On my first day of school, my mother presses a kiss to my cheek.

    “Your name is Tasbeeh,” she says again, like I’ve forgotten. “Tasbeeh.”


    Roll call is the worst part of my day. After a long list of Brittanys, Jonathans, Ashleys, and Yen-but-call-me-Jens, the teacher rests on my name in silence. She squints. She has never seen this combination of letters strung together in this order before. They are incomprehensible. What is this h doing at the end? Maybe it is a typo.


    “Tasbeeh,” I mutter, with my hand half up in the air. “Tasbeeh.”

    A pause.

    “Do you go by anything else?”

    “No,” I say. “Just Tasbeeh. Tas-beeh.”

    “Tazbee. All right. Alex?”

    She moves on before I can correct her. She said it wrong. She said it so wrong. I have never heard my name said so ugly before, like it’s a burden. Her entire face contorts as she says it, like she is expelling a distasteful thing from her mouth. She avoids saying it for the rest of the day, but she has already baptized me with this new name. It is the name everyone knows me by, now, for the next six years I am in elementary school. “Tazbee,” a name with no grace, no meaning, no history; it belongs in no language.

    “Tazbee,” says one of the students on the playground, later. “Like Tazmanian Devil?” Everyone laughs. I laugh too. It is funny, if you think about it.


    I do not correct anyone for years. One day, in third grade, a plane flies above our school.

    “Your dad up there, Bin Laden?” The voice comes from behind. It is dripping in derision.

    “My name is Tazbee,” I say. I said it in this heavy English accent, so he may know who I am. I am American. But when I turn around they are gone.


    I go to middle school far, far away. It is a 30-minute drive from our house. It’s a beautiful set of buildings located a few blocks off the beach. I have never in my life seen so many blond people, so many colored irises. This is a school full of Ashtons and Penelopes, Patricks and Sophias. Beautiful names that belong to beautiful faces. The kind of names that promise a lifetime of social triumph.

    I am one of two headscarved girls at this new school. We are assigned the same gym class. We are the only ones in sweatpants and long-sleeved undershirts. We are both dreading roll call. When the gym teacher pauses at my name, I am already red with humiliation.

    “How do I say your name?” she asks.

    “Tazbee,” I say.

    “Can I just call you Tess?”

    I want to say yes. Call me Tess. But my mother will know, somehow. She will see it written in my eyes. God will whisper it in her ear. Her disappointment will overwhelm me.

    “No,” I say, “Please call me Tazbee.”

    I don’t hear her say it for the rest of the year.


    My history teacher calls me Tashbah for the entire year. It does not matter how often I correct her, she reverts to that misshapen sneeze of a word. It is the ugliest conglomeration of sounds I have ever heard.

    When my mother comes to parents’ night, she corrects her angrily, “Tasbeeh. Her name is Tasbeeh.” My history teacher grimaces. I want the world to swallow me up.


    My college professors don’t even bother. I will only know them for a few months of the year. They smother my name in their mouths. It is a hindrance for their tongues. They hand me papers silently. One of them mumbles it unintelligibly whenever he calls on my hand. Another just calls me “T.”

    My name is a burden. My name is a burden. My name is a burden. I am a burden.


    On the radio I hear a story about a tribe in some remote, rural place that has no name for the color blue. They do not know what the color blue is. It has no name so it does not exist. It does not exist because it has no name.


    At the start of a new semester, I walk into a math class. My teacher is blond and blue-eyed. I don’t remember his name. When he comes to mine on the roll call, he takes the requisite pause. I hold my breath.

    “How do I pronounce your name?” he asks.

    I say, “Just call me Tess.”

    “Is that how it’s pronounced?”

    I say, “No one’s ever been able to pronounce it.”

    “That’s probably because they didn’t want to try,” he said. “What is your name?”

    When I say my name, it feels like redemption. I have never said it this way before. Tasbeeh. He repeats it back to me several times until he’s got it. It is difficult for his American tongue. His has none of the strength, none of the force of my mother’s. But he gets it, eventually, and it sounds beautiful. I have never heard it sound so beautiful. I have never felt so deserving of a name. My name feels like a crown.


    “Thank you for my name, mama.”


    When the barista asks me my name, sharpie poised above the coffee cup, I tell him: “My name is Tasbeeh. It’s a tough t clinging to a soft a, which melts into a silky ssss, which loosely hugs the b, and the rest of my name is a hard whisper — eeh. Tasbeeh. My name is Tasbeeh. Hold it in your mouth until it becomes a prayer. My name is a valuable undertaking. My name requires your rapt attention. Say my name in one swift note – Tasbeeeeeeeh – sand let the h heat your throat like cinnamon. Tasbeeh. My name is an endeavor. My name is a song. Tasbeeh. It means giving glory to God. Tasbeeh. Wrap your tongue around my name, unravel it with the music of your voice, and give God what he is due"

    Tasbeeh Herwees, The Names They Gave Me (via cat-phuong)

    That was beautiful.

    (via thelazyscholar89)

    (Source: rabbrakha, via domonique-rochelle)


  15. i was thinking earlier about how growing up, i managed to avoid poisonous ideals of beauty. i don’t really know how but herely i am, moderately well-adjusted, with a lot of self-confidence in regards to my complexion, hair, weight and general desirability. i watched the same disney movies and played with the same dolls as everyone else, but i also grew up around people who looked and talked like me. so i didn’t internalize any of the poisonous beauty standards and self-hate a lot of women my age are now trying to unlearn. 

    but i’ve been thinking that while i escaped all the shit about beauty, i don’t have a genuine understanding of relationships. as a child, i wasn’t really looking for things of this nature. in terms of how to expect to be treated, and how to respond when i feel my boundaries are being crossed. my understandings of interpersonal relations were all trial and error, a mess of me getting myself into uncomfortable situations and then teaching myself to shrink. i don’t really “get” flirting, or chivalry, and even coming to terms with my bisexuality was surrounded by a cloud of misunderstanding and uncertainty and apprehension to people and never really knowing where i stood with people. even just friendships were confusing to navigate as i grew up. how to know when someone wasn’t acting in my best interest. 

    and maybe these things can’t be taught. but they are still important to know, still important to develop so that when you are a young adult, you are able to communicate with people and relate to them and avoid unhealthy company with toxic individuals. 

    i think there’s not a lot of focus on that, on paying attention to how people treat you. on relationships that are healthy. i have less examples of this in my immediate life. and the media gets its kicks out of showing the same flawed equation for love. and the same unattainable ideals. and the same mess of manipulation and confusion. I have less baggage and inner turmoil than most people, but still. I worry that I’m not “prepared” for anything.