They’re seeking connection through domination, at the expense of gender equality.

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Fake Smile Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

My husband and I are in bed at the end of what felt like a very long day.

We aim for equality every day: equal time working, equal time parenting. Time together. Time apart.

But today it felt like I was holding the world together by myself.

I’m trying to tell him how hard it was, looking for appreciation, looking for a promise that he’ll help me get more me time tomorrow.

He’s not hearing me: He’s defending. He’s explaining. He’s excusing. He’s rationalizing.

I take a deep breath, measure my words, make sure this comes out as an “I statement”:

“I feel unappreciated and alone.”

“Well, you’re choosing to feel those things.”

Clearly, we need some help communicating.


I’m confident in my sexuality, but my husband’s makes no sense to me

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Photo: Xiaoyi Cheng Xiao Yicheng/EyeEm/Getty Images

“Sometimes I feel like I’ll never be enough for you,” my husband says, “because I’m just a man.”

“You know I’m happy with monogamy,” I tell him. “You’re enough. You’re the person I chose.”

“But how can I be enough?” We’re spooning under the covers.

“With me, you can’t do everything.”

“Who needs to do everything?”

“I want to do everything.”

“Well, not everything,” I say, pulling his hand to my lips and nibbling his fingers.

“I want to do everything with you.”

I’m pansexual: I’m sexually attracted to people of all sexes and genders. Sometimes I use the word bisexual instead because “pan” makes me cringe with visions of a cartoon Peter Pan. But bisexual implies — duh — a binary. …


To my shock, he actually responded

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Credit: ti-ja/iStock/Getty Images Plus

A few years back, I read a children’s book about the moon landing to my then-3-year-old daughter. It’s a great book in so many ways. But one thing stood out to me: Men.

Men, men, men. The word men over and over, in glowing terms, and nowhere a mention of anybody else.

The book, Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, written and illustrated by Brian Floca, is a gorgeous, informative read, made to inspire another generation of stargazers. Unlike many dry books on the topic, this one has a gripping narrative. It managed to keep even my 3-year-old engaged.

Still, as I read I found myself changing words to make the story more gender-inclusive. Instead of “men,” I said “people,” “astronauts,” “scientists.” I wanted my daughter to be able to picture herself on that rocket ship, or in Mission Control. …


Battle through that election anxiety and make your voice heard!

Bright colored geometric mural of the word VOTE with VO at the top and TE at the bottom
Bright colored geometric mural of the word VOTE with VO at the top and TE at the bottom
Photo by Jennifer Griffin of Chicago artist Mac Blackout’s new VOTE mural

Have you voted yet?

The chances are good that you’ve already voted. Turnout is epic this election. In my Washington State county, a whopping 78% of registered voters have already voted by mail and dropbox return. And that’s just as of Friday!

Washington State auto-registers eligible adults, so around here, registered voters is really almost the same thing as voting-eligible adults. Wow!

Here’s how to check if your ballot was counted

If you voted by mail or drop-box, in any state in the US, check your ballot status here: Check Your Ballot.

Mine’s marked as received! How about yours?

If you still need to vote

If you’re still planning to vote by mail, consider sticking that ballot in an official drop box instead, to make sure your vote is counted right away. Different states have different rules about whether your vote needs to be received or just postmarked on Election Day (and Conservatives are trying to change these rules even during the election in order to disenfranchise voters), so a drop box is your best bet. …


I’m writing letters for Sierra Club, and you can too!

Movie theatre marquee with the word “VOTE” and a tree, at night
Movie theatre marquee with the word “VOTE” and a tree, at night
Cropped Photo by Noah Pederson on Unsplash

Want to get Trump out of office, but not sure what you can do besides vote?

Here’s something tangible you can do with the time you usually spend panic-scrolling social media, weighing the probabilities of various civil war scenarios (hey, I do it too).

Write letters to like-minded people in swing states, urging them to vote!

Yes, talk to your friends and family. But right now, I’m talking about writing letters to strangers.

I don’t know about you, but the Electoral College makes my presidential vote pretty worthless. Because I live in a reliably blue state, it doesn’t really matter what I do with my vote. …


I love you, dear friend, even if there’s a screen between us.

Digital drawing of a smiling person with flowing black hair, a corona of sun behind her head, and a red heart in front of her
Digital drawing of a smiling person with flowing black hair, a corona of sun behind her head, and a red heart in front of her
Art by Alejandro Guipzot from Mixkit (cropped)

Lately, I’m saying, “I love you,” a lot. To my husband, yes, and my daughter of course. But also to friends, including people I’ve never said it to before.

Technically, I’m saying “I love you” to my germ-covered laptop screen, hoping the connection is clear enough for my words to reach you. And I’m pounding it out with my thumbs, wondering why it’s 2020, and my phone’s autocorrect still won’t change “I love tou” to “I love you.”

We are social beings, desperately desiring to love and to be loved. Through social distancing and stay-at-home orders, so many of the ways we once communicated our love are gone. I can’t hug you. I can’t look you in the eye, dear friend, to assure you you’re incredible. I can’t laugh while playfully batting your arm, to share that feeling like we both understand each other completely, without needing to say a word. …


I want to stay relevant, but is it harming my mental health?

Drawing of a pink-haired person looking into the distance with a gentle smile, holding a cup, in front of an open laptop.
Drawing of a pink-haired person looking into the distance with a gentle smile, holding a cup, in front of an open laptop.
Art by Casandra Banuelos from Mixkit

My husband won’t talk to me anymore about the coronavirus.

“The news isn’t good for my mental health,” he says. And while that statement reminds me of the media fasts people attempted after Trump got elected — and the privilege involved in that willful ignorance — in this case, he’s not hurting anybody.

We’re under a Stay-at-Home order in Washington State, for another month at least. We’re already fully on board with #StayHome, so why do we need to keep up with case counts and mask efficacy statistics?

“Why stress ourselves out more?” he asks, as I wonder aloud if this crisis will persuade anti-vaxx folks to reconsider vaccines. “There are just too many factors here. No matter how much we learn, we can’t predict the future. …


Thanks for eating plant-based, but save some for me!

A grocery store refrigerated shelf stocked with many tubs of tofu — firm, extra-firm, and silken in different colors
A grocery store refrigerated shelf stocked with many tubs of tofu — firm, extra-firm, and silken in different colors
Photo: Nandaro via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA

I haven’t had tofu in 3 weeks. No tofu scram; no tofu teriyaki; no sandwiches filled with fried, nutritional-yeast-coated tofu slabs. My local grocery stores have plenty of toilet paper, but there’s not a tub of tofu in sight.

Aside from people dying, and the possible long-term effects of social isolation on our children, I would say lack of tofu is my #3 problem. Okay, that’s not true; my list of worries is epic right now. …


When difficulty breathing is anxiety, not COVID-19

A flat respiratory face mask with the words DON’T PANIC with a pink background
A flat respiratory face mask with the words DON’T PANIC with a pink background
Photo by Tonik on Unsplash

“So many people are freaking out right now,” my husband said to me, back when all of us were still touching. “They live these lives where they think they’re in control, and then something like this comes along and shows them control is bullshit.”

We were talking about people even more privileged than us: rich, suburban people fighting over toilet paper, posting on Facebook about whether their dogs might get the coronavirus.

We patted ourselves on the backs about how punk rock we were, how flexible, how ready to weather the dissolution of modern society. He’d lived in a park. We’d spent years eating out of Dumpsters. …


What testing is like, plus an update with my results

Freckled woman with dark hair and red lipstick puts hands to face in frustration
Freckled woman with dark hair and red lipstick puts hands to face in frustration
Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash

Friday it got hard to breathe.

My 5-year-old daughter and I hadn’t left the house in three days. We called in sick to school — Last week, school was still a thing children went to.— even though I figured we probably just had colds. Tuesday I started to feel feverish. I checked her temperature — 100.4 — and gave us both acetaminophen without even bothering to check my own temp. That’s parenting for ya.

We decided to self-quarantine, but I wondered if we were overreacting. Sure, we’d just been in Seattle, staying with a friend who had “fever and the worst respiratory sickness I can remember,” but he did a great job of staying in his bedroom. …

About

Darcy Reeder

Empathy for the win! Published in Gen, Human Parts, Heated, Tenderly —Feminism, Sexuality, Veganism, Anti-Racism, Parenting. She/They darcyreeder.substack.com

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