Photo by jurien huggins on Unsplash

At my local off-price department store a few months back, I rummaged through a small clearance rack for a new cell phone case. The options here, brand-name items at a discount, are often disorganized. There were full-priced cases mixed with sale ones with little regard to what type of phone or model they belonged to. Some cases hung haphazardly on their respective hooks, some no longer hung at all. I picked up a clear, hard plastic case with a delicate rose print that did not have the necessary label, just a “$5.99” sticker hanging by a thin clear t-shaped tag.

Photo By via Wikimedia Commons

Someone sexually assaults a teenage girl. They steal her agency, disrespect her bodily autonomy, and disregard her ‘no.’ She asks for help. The adult she tells ignores it, diminishing her suffering, thus punishing her courage to disclose the assault. The teenage girl is left to address her pain in whatever way she can grasp.

(Image courtesy of the author)

The most common questions I receive while walking my 5-month old puppy:

  • Where did you get your dog?
  • How do you find a dog?
  • Where is your dog from?

The answers in order:

  • Indiana (I’m from Boston).
  • Through months of research.
  • An ethical purpose breeder.

Light brown dog behind a rusted cage with only upper face showing
Light brown dog behind a rusted cage with only upper face showing
Image by Valerie Blanchett on Unsplash

On March 5th, 2020, days before the world exploded into a deadly pandemic, I woke up and decided I had to get a dog. I thought about getting a dog for years, actively searching animal shelters and national rescue websites for months. Last year, I decided my waiting a long time meant I was somehow prepared or deserving. I was not deserving of or ready for the responsibility of a dog. No one is entitled to anything beyond fundamental human rights, not even things that could make us incredibly happy.

Photo by Mika Brandt on Unsplash

On a good day, I am an average-sized fish in an average-sized lake, with fins just strong enough to get by. There is no tide in a lake, not much adventure. I simply exist.

Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash

There is new information coming out about coronavirus every day. However, the problem facing many of us now is not fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath. It’s that a lot of the information being spread is not true.

What is coronavirus, and what has been its toll?

  • Coronaviruses can cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold (meaning many of us have already had a coronavirus) to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan, China…

Photo by Piotr Wilk on Unsplash

Sometimes I say ‘sorry’ for no reason: when I have to squeeze by someone in tight spaces, in situations where I almost bump into someone, even when someone else bumps into me. ‘Sorry’ rolls out of my mouth before I can assess whether I am to blame because no matter the issue, women are accustomed to bearing the burden.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Congratulations! You just finished your last midterm exam. Now the end of the semester is rushing towards you. There are research papers and problem set deadlines approaching. You have five internships to apply to by mid-December. And when all of that’s over, you can return home to a different breed of stress: lectures from your parents on what you should or shouldn’t be doing with your life and your grandma incessantly probing you on why you haven’t brought a “nice gentleman friend” home to meet her. The days are getting shorter and colder, darkness drags on, and seasonal depression is…

Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

I stood in a grocery store aisle deciding between slivered almonds and crushed ones when I noticed a store associate standing in my peripheral vision for a while. A few minutes into our conversation that began when he approached to offer his help, I realized the man wasn’t wearing a Stop&Shop apron. It turns out he didn’t work there at all. He told me he had been watching me, and just knew he had to talk to me.

My professor assigned a film that contained rape scenes for a homework assignment and I don’t hate him for it. But maybe I have a right to. At the time, he simply told us we should try watching with a friend in case the “sensitive content” was upsetting. Some may argue that this professor should have done more. Others will argue that he should have done less.

“Trigger warnings increase peoples’ perceived emotional vulnerability to trauma and [they] increase peoples’ belief that trauma survivors are vulnerable.”

Now, before we burn these researchers…

Michaella Henry

Storyteller, scholar, feminist, writer of prose and code.

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