Radium Girls

You hate a story about a corporate coverup. And you hate it the entire time because you get to know the humans who suffered, and you don’t know if they’ll be around to see justice served. You don’t know how people running these corporations are ok with concealing evidence and deceiving employees and the public about how dangerous working conditions were.

Many, many women suffered.

But they persevered. And they were loved and had tireless lawyers who did not stop until justice prevailed. Until regulations changed.

Their families and friends supported them. Loved them. Spoke fondly of them. And wistfully.

Heartbreaking.

And then other corporations can’t learn from the past and try the same shit.

Infuriating.

You hate it.

(But you love it because the story is so important, and its effects extend to our day. And your heart opens to the families of these sufferers.)

I guess there’s a Netflix movie about it. The review this photo came from said the movie could have been better.

More Quotes from Hood Feminism

Some powerful thoughts:

1. Feminism that encompasses all the issues that impact women, from poverty to criminal justice reform to living wages to better protections for immigrants to LGBTQIA issues, is feminism that ensures voting rights for all as a foundational issue.

2. For marginalized people, feminism is failing them by being so focused on whether middle-class white women have what they need and want, but not on protecting voting rights for everyone else.

3. Because institutions are not designed to help parents raise high-needs children, it becomes much easier to argue that children with disabilities are a burden to be avoided instead of addressing the paucity of resources.

4. Anger can be cathartic, motivating, and above all else an expression of the innate humanity of any community. Demands that the oppressed be calm and polite and that forgiveness come before all else are fundamentally dehumanizing.

Please read Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot, by Mikki Kendall. Straightforward, practical; applies ideas to real actions for including everyone in building feminist momentum for all marginalized communities.

Progressive Lenses as Metaphor

Not obsessing, I promise.

Just wanted to show you what my glasses do.

See how the text in the top half of the lens is smaller, and in the bottom the text is bigger? My eyeballs need these adjustments. I have contacts that behave like the top half of these lenses, and I’m waiting on my readers to have the correct lenses put in so that I can see up close.

This book is called World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments, by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. It’s lovely so far. She discusses different species–flora and fauna–and how they relate to her life and humanity in general. I love her perspective. I love how different people can help us see life in so many different ways.

Aren’t axolotls cute?

Damn, This Album: Outside Child, by Allison Russell

A lot of critical acclaim erupted for this album, which does one of two things for me: makes me wait until the hype dies down, or makes me super excited and listen to it immediately.

I ended up waiting a couple of weeks and listened to it yesterday, back to back. I wanted to listen to it sooner, but I wanted to make sure I had enough time to give it my full attention. And since it’s so fresh on my mind, I didn’t do what I usually like to do when actively listening to an album, which is take notes and jot thoughts that cross my mind as I experience the music.

I will do this, I promise. But for now I’ll post the album here for you listen for yourselves. It seriously blew my mind. I hope you appreciate it as much, or more.

Thoughts on May’s Final Sunday, 2021

On May 20, President Biden signed a bill aimed to do the following, as reported by NPR:

Make the reporting of hate crimes more accessible at the local and state levels by boosting public outreach and ensuring reporting resources are available online in multiple languages.

It also directs the Department of Justice to designate a point person to expedite the review of hate crimes related to COVID-19 and authorizes grants to state and local governments to conduct crime-reduction programs to prevent and respond to hate crimes.

This is definitely a step forward. Will Asian hate crimes decrease along with falling COVID numbers? Are people going to stop hating others for their race? Probably not. I won’t get my hopes up. That’s not a constructive feeling, I know, but it crops up frequently. I try often to improve my behavior, which often coincides with feeling discouraged.

The end of May leads to the beginning of June. Which is complicated.

From Instagram Today

For my birthday yesterday we went to Paris.

JK! I got a green screen, and we’ve been playing with it.

I also got some books and cards and music and clothes, and a fun meal out with the family. And time with friends.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes. You sure do know how to make a gal feel excited to be alive.

Happy Sunday, y’all.

45, let’s go.

Do I Know You? Come Celebrate with Me

Saturday is my 45th birthday. Right between 40 and 50. When the former United States President was in office, I used to tease friends turning 45, you know, because he was the 45th president, and anything associated with that number was bad luck or something. But now that he isn’t President, turning 45 ain’t so bad, right? (Wink, wink.)

Monday I went to a work picnic to send off a coworker moving far away. I saw people that I haven’t seen in over a year. Like, all of us were vaccinated, and we were able to share a space. An open space in a park. Under a pavilion. It was weird and glorious and a lot of fun. In fact yesterday I woke up with a slightly sore throat from talking more in those two hours than I have the entire time in isolation. Or at least it was from talking two hours straight, which I really don’t do.

This socializing probably also contributed to the excellent sleep I got Monday night. Because: introvert energy depletion. (See yesterday’s post.)

Saturday: more socializing! Whoa.

For Saturday, I ordered a cake. We might do games. But we may just end up hanging out. When people I care about are involved, it’s one of my very favorite things to do.

45: I’m ready for you.

Damn, This Album: Blue Heron Suite, by Sarah Jarosz

A friend recommended this album a couple weeks ago and added her own warning of its emotional impact. This morning I finally played it. The songs carved out my flesh and left my soul bare.

This album is a song cycle Jarosz created to contemplate her mom’s cancer diagnosis coinciding with the destruction of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. (See story here.) Jarosz explores place and nostalgia in a Gulf Coast town her family frequented during her childhood. She employs symbol in a blue heron fleeting the coast.

These songs are well-produced, yet its rawness rekindles (revisits? revives?) some of my own grief. It’s not the same initial process of mourning, though: every opportunity to remember death of loved ones lets me see how my grief has evolved over time.

I may try providing commentary of individual songs later. Sarah Jarosz is indisputably talented, both as an instrumentalist and songwriter. She can tap into the heart of our most cherished experiences, our precious memories, our suppressed and neglected heartbreaking moments.

This one’s going into the rotation.

Better

One the way back from dropping Z off at school, this song came on the radio:

Ah, 1990s. The song makes me feel good.

I woke up feeling better. Headache gone, but left nostril plugged.

Last night I did take a luxurious bath. We live in a desert, and I try to save water when I can, but sometimes I need a bath. Turned the water on as hot as I could stand, added some bubbles with epsom salt and lavender, let the water fill the tub to halfway, and I lay back and relaxed.

Maybe it was also the ’90s when I first heard about the conflict between Israel and Palestine. So much conflict and turmoil between those two countries. Populations. Cultures. It seemed so distant when the news reported about this when I was a teenager. For some reason now, my heart more strongly senses their suffering and yearns for their peace. The internet has a lot of resources for providing aid and support. Gotta be a better global citizen.

I recorded this today. Just wanted to include it.

Have a good weekend, everyone.