Wound Up


In my chapter “Feminist Killjoys” in The Promise of Happiness (2010), I described a scene that is painfully familiar (1). It is a table scene. Around a table, a family gathers. We are having polite conversations, where only certain things can be brought up. Someone says something you consider problematic. You respond, carefully, perhaps.  You might be speaking quietly; or you might be getting wound up, recognizing with frustration that you are being wound up by someone who is winding you up.  And then being wound up becomes audible as well as visible: a raised voice, a frown, sweaty surfaces, a thickening of an atmosphere. These tangible signs might become a conversion point: the moment a happy occasion ceases to be happy, the moment a dinner is ruined.

It is the significance of “recognizing with frustration that you are being wound up by somebody who is winding you up” that…

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Wear Your Label

The Honest Consumer


I’m Emily and this is one of my best friends, Sarah. We both struggle with anxiety.

Anxiety is something I have not been open about. I struggle to tell people about my anxiety, in fear that they will not understand. However, that is changing. Today Sarah and I want to start the conversation with Wear Your Label. Our “anxious, but courageous shirts” allow us to feel confident, while acknowledging that anxiety is definitely apart of us, but does not define us. Truth is somedays are really hard for us. Sometimes we get worked up about instances that may seem silly to others, but we are learning how to work through it. This is one of the many reasons we need to talk about mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Creating a community of people who know they are not alone through their struggles is important while educating others on…

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I Believe Survivors… because I am one of them. This is my story.

Melanie M. Doucet

At age 7, I was sexually abused by the teenage son of a pastor of a non-denominational church my parents joined when I was 6. This abuse continued for many years. It wasn’t until a sexual abuse prevention program came to present to my 4th grade class in public school that I realized what was being done to me and that it was wrong. I later confronted my abuser and he promised to stop if I didn’t tell anyone about it. I was then bullied by himself and his sister for years, they would beat me, restrain me, pull my hair, tell me I was ugly, tell me that I liked the attention – they were trying to make me weak and afraid so I wouldn’t let the big secret out. I became increasingly angry and disgusted with myself and with the abuser the more time passed. During this…

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