Parents need to have a serious talk about racial bias

(Credit: Santi Vedrí on Unsplash)

How old must a child be until they can be considered racist? While parents often wait until their child is at least five years old to talk to them about racism, children notice race far before that. Many children develop racist beliefs in pre-school.

Just like when a kid says a bad word, when a child says something racist, parents often give their child a brief lesson on why it’s not acceptable to say those things. Often, children will feel embarrassed or ashamed. Parents might not ever hear them say anything racist again. Their white kid might even have black…

With practice, women can unlearn the social cues that have made us smaller

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

When I was in elementary school, a teacher came up to me to quietly tell me that I was sitting incorrectly. I was reading a book and I had my ankle on my knee. She told me that it was impolite; that’s how men sit. According to her, women sit with their legs crossed more closely, one thigh over the other.

What? I remember feeling embarrassed but confused. It didn’t make sense to me. …

A reflection on feminism, parenting, rebellion, and nonconformity

(Photo credit: Caroline Hernandez, Unsplash)

The first time another kid called me a “tomboy,” I remember feeling a burning frustration.

“I’m not a boy,” I said, even though I knew that’s not what the term meant. I had been hearing that word ever since I was 5 or 6.

“No, it means you want to be one,” she said like she was diagnosing me.

“No, I don’t. I’m a girl. Just like you. I’m not a tomboy. That’s a stupid word.” My voice trembled. I rarely cried in front of other kids, and I rarely used the word “stupid.” I was mortally shy, and even…

Men’s voices on feminism and masculinity deserve support.

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When I first started reading Medium, I made a comment about how I had read a few good articles by male feminist writers who support women’s equality and speak out against the harmful pressures of masculinity. My friend, a passionate advocate for gender and racial equality, surprised me with her response, referring to feminist articles written by men:

“Better than nothing, but not the voices I want to hear. I’ll be hopeful when they stop being outliers and people stop praising them for meeting the bare minimum of humanity.”

I never said anything about anyone praising these men. In fact…

Texas Abortion Law 2021: Freedom for Corpses but Not Women

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I moved to Austin, TX, from upstate New York a little over a year ago. Sure, I didn’t like being in a red state, but Austin is a different breed—it boasts a high percentage of college graduates, a diverse population, and Austin’s LGBTQ community is acclaimed as one of the most prominent and active in the country. It’s even been called “one of the best places for liberals to live.”

During my time here, the Texas legislature has passed disturbing bills that have made it harder for accused people to get out of jail unless they had enough cash, restricted…

The thought-provoking fragmented state between wakefulness and sleep

(Artist: Jenna Barton. Website: Dappermouth)

“Reality is not always probable, or likely.” Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges was preoccupied with the concept of time, dreams, and reality. His short stories are interwoven with recurring images of tigers, mirrors, labyrinths, coins, and fictional cryptic tomes twist and weave throughout vivid and disorienting plots.

As someone who has experienced sleepwalking, sleep paralysis, lucid dreams, and regular vivid dreams, Borges' stories captivated me like no other work of fiction. …

The scary and unexpected ‘Kundalini awakening’ that changed my perspective

(Photo credit: Motoki Tonn, Unsplash)

Whenever I try to join a conversation about meditation, I can only say so much before I end up alienating people and wishing I kept my mouth shut.

Many people start meditating because they’ve read about its benefits—for relaxation, stress relief, improving focus, inner peace, etc. Other people get into it through yoga. Whenever I ask these people if they’ve had a life-altering or scary meditation experience, they look at me quizzically.

I’m really interested in reading about the science of meditation, but it’s lacking in many ways. As someone who is driven by questioning things and seeking logical answers…

Hiding ADHD symptoms behind a social mask

“Comédie” by Victor-Edmond Leharivel-Durocher (source: user:Rama, Wikimedia Commons)

On the surface, it may seem like ADHD is typically accepted amongst younger generations, who have a better understanding of neurodiversity now than ever before (especially since mental health disorder diagnoses are on the rise).

Despite the overall social acceptance of ADHD, the reality is that many neurotypical people only understand the disorder through a textbook definition — they can only recognize a few ADHD symptoms. This is especially true for women with ADHD, who often aren’t diagnosed until their 20s or later.

This lack of understanding, and the stigmas about it that remain, causes people with ADHD to have…

How students can actually become fluent in four years

People often call language classes “a waste of time and money.” What would it take for students to actually become fluent in a second language from high school classes? Not much, and the results could drastically change Americans’ international competency.

Teachers, professors, and business professionals often explain the advantages of knowing a second language in the work world. They tell students even if you’re not fluent, putting a second language on your resume will help you stand out, show that you’re more culturally aware, and open doors to jobs that you might not even know existed.

If this is true…

The Controversy Explained

Why don’t some kratom vendors sell their kratom under a strain name?
Are kratom strains even real?

Mitragyna speciosa leaves showing red veins (Credit: Wikimedia Commons, User: Thehealingeast)

One of the first things you learn as a kratom beginner is that red veins are relaxing, white veins are energizing, greens are in-between, and yellow kratom is more subdued. Many different sites offer an ultimate guide to kratom strains that describe the characteristics of each kratom strain.

But if you’ve researched kratom long enough, you’ll run into some kratom vendors, as well as some consumers, who don’t believe in kratom strains — they think that all kratom strains are the same type…

Rickie Elizabeth

Questioning everything, accumulating facts. Tea-lover, long-distance runner, introspective overthinker. Finding humor in the absurd.

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