After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.
Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost.
Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” I think this poem may be making the rounds, this week, but that’s as it should be. (via oliviacirce)
When I lose hope in the world, I remember this poem.
Always remember that women who call themselves feminists will be accused so many times of being man-haters, but when a man kills women just for being women, he is called mentally unwell, and a madman rather than a woman-hater or misogynist.
When I was 16, I had a fake I.D. and decided to go to a gay bar by myself because some friends bailed on me. While there, an older gentleman bought me a drink. He wasn’t a creeper, and he definitely wasn’t unattractive. I accepted the drink and began talking to him. No big deal. As the hour progressed, I felt myself feeling strange. I mentioned that I felt like I had a headache, and this guy helped guide me out of the bar. As we were walking down the street, the thought of, ‘Oh god, he’s drugged me, I’m going to die’ came to my head. I tried to get away, but I was so drugged up that I could barely walk, let alone speak. It also didn’t help that I had really large ‘goth’ platform shoes because I was going through a phase. Anyway, this guy brought me to his suv and began undressing me. As a final act of defiance, I hit him over the head with my platform shoe. He then punched me, and I remember thinking, ‘Why don’t they ever give workshops to gay guys about being victims of rape too?’ While I was as careful as possible, I never saw the guy slip something in the drink. I even watched the bar tender make the drink. Anyway, I lied there completely paralyzed while this pervert was lubing up. I locked eyes with his for a moment, and that’s when it happened. A very large and angry drag queen opened the door of the vehicle and beat the shit out of my attempted rapist. She and her other drag friends helped dress and care for me while the police arrived. I was saved by a group of guardian drag queens. They were basically the modern day ‘angels from heaven.’
So, there’s this girl. She’s tragically orphaned and richer than anyone on the planet. Every guy she meets falls in love with her, but in between torrid romances she rejects them all because she dedicated to what is Pure and Good. She has genius level intellect, Olympic-athelete level athletic ability and incredible good looks. She is consumed by terrible angst, but this only makes guys want her more. She has no superhuman abilities, yet she is more competent than her superhuman friends and defeats superhumans with ease. She has unshakably loyal friends and allies, despite the fact she treats them pretty badly. They fear and respect her, and defer to her orders. Everyone is obsessed with her, even her enemies are attracted to her. She can plan ahead for anything and she’s generally right with any conclusion she makes. People who defy her are inevitably wrong.
I really wish your second episode wasn’t “sex-bots.”
Which are, of course, all women. And all wandering around in lingerie. Which the males treat like disposable objects.
Depressing AND demeaning.
I totally agree with op and was dismayed to learn that the show I was looking forward to would drop the ball so soon, but as this post points out there are male sex-bots in the store as well as female customers coming into store looking to purchase. So I guess it’s not completely hopeless then?
A couple of weeks ago, I was scheduled to take a trip from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles on JetBlue. Every year, my family goes on a one-week pilgrimage, where we put our work on hold and spend time visiting temples, praying, and spending time with family…
“You don’t really have to be some movie expert to be able to play the subtext game. You know, you can watch any movie and it doesn’t matter what the director was thinking or what the people making the movie were thinking. If you can make a case for it, you can lay in a subtext into a film, make it a lot more—a much more enjoyable way to watch the film. Like gay subtext, for instance, always makes every movie better!”—Quentin Tarantino (x)
I’m just saying, if Kristen Stewart’s life and career are ruined by this bizarre cheating scandal while Chris Brown continues to make money, we have failed as a society and everyone should feel deeply ashamed of themselves.
“Stop being so negative!” “You choose to be sad” “You don’t even have anything to be sad about” “There are millions worse off than you, just get a grip!”
People struggling with self-harm:
“You’re just doing it for attention!” “Those cuts aren’t even that bad” “You don’t even have a reason to cut/burn yourself” “You freak! Hide your scars, no one wants to see those disgusting things”
People that attempt suicide/are suicidal:
“You’re so sefish!” “You don’t care about anyone but yourself” “Don’t you realize what this would do to your Mum/Dad/Family/Friends. You need to think about other people and not just yourself” “Just get over it. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and just get on with life”
People suffering from Anorexia Nervosa:
“JUST EAT!” “You’re just doing this to hurt others” “There are children dying of starvation and you’re just choosing not to eat, that’s so selfish” “If you don’t start eating you won’t —- (stay over at your friends this weekend, get your allowance, etc)
People suffering from Bulimia Nervosa:
“Ew! That is so gross!” “Just stop eating too much!” “I’ll take all your money off you so you can’t buy binge food” “I’ll lock the bathroom door to stop you purging”
SURVIVORS of Rape, Sexual Abuse, Molestation and Incest:
“You probably asked for it/insinuated it/gave permission” “You’re lying/I don’t believe you/(s)he wouldn’t do that” “Just get over it already! It’s in the past!” “That is so disgusting. Aren’t you ashamed? I wouldn’t tell anyone if I were you…”
Victims of Bullying
“Just stick it out. They’ll give up soon enough” “Well maybe you’ve pushed them to it” “Don’t stick up for yourself or tell anyone ‘cause it’ll make it worse” “Who cares? They’re not even being that harsh… You’re lucky compared to some people!”
Victims of Domestic Abuse
“Maybe you did something to provoke them?” “Just fight/argue back” “Get out of there! You’re doing this to yourself the longer you stay there” “A lot of people have it worse than you…”
Victims of emotional trauma/abuse
“Maybe you should just do as they ask, then they won’t get angry” “Just ignore them” “What they’re saying doesn’t matter. Stop letting it affect you” “You’re just too sensitive”
People struggling with general/social anxiety
“You’re just socially awkward” “Why would anyone be afraid of that?” “If you don’t want to hang out with me anymore, just tell me straight! Don’t make up all this crap about being anxious” “Just get over it!”
Most common ‘insult’ that is misunderstood:
“Attention-seeker” - Ever been called that? When you’re struggling with any of those things above, or similar things and someone calls you an “attention seeker”, it can be like being stabbed in the stomach and feeling the knife twisting.
After years of people calling me an attention seeker, I will admit that just this week, I was called it and it hurt… But here’s the thing: We are ALL attention-seekers. Attention is a human NEED. So why do people insist on making us feel guilty about that? Why do people insist on making it out to be a bad thing, that only selfish people seek? Each and every one of us seek, or at least long for, attention.
But when you’re struggling with depression, self-injury, an eating disorder, or any mental health illness, “attention seeker” seems to pop up again and again. Why does this hurt those people more than it would hurt someone else, if we all seek attention? Because when you have a mental illness, there’s an underlying issue(s) that made it develop. It could be a whole bunch of contributing factors, or just one thing so huge, that they have to reach out for it, in any way they can, in order to survive.
I need you to just stop for a moment, and think about those times when you’ve needed attention. The times you’ve been angry and needed someone to rant to. The times you’ve been sad and needed someone to tell you it’ll all be okay. The times you’ve felt alone and desperately needed someone to spend time with you. What if, in the very midst of those strong feelings, someone called you an “attention seeker” and told you to just get over it? What if you’d spent years upon years dealing with things on your own, and the moment you broke the silence and had the courage to speak out about your suffering, someone told you to “sit down and shut up, and stop seeking attention”. Can you just imagine what that would do? Now imagine that happening to someone who has already been starved of love, doesn’t know acceptance, has never heard encouragement, never experienced trust, or is just in so much inner turmoil that they feel they need someone to listen and notice they’re struggling, and someone tells them to keep their mouth shut because no one cares.
I just want you to know that “attention seeker” needs to stop being an insult. We ALL need attention: it’s just a basic human need, and right, that we receive it - in a positive way, of course. I need you to realize that by using that as an insult, you’re stripping the already-vulnerable and hurting of their courage and strength to speak out and receive help. You’re pushing them into their silent suffering even further. Those two simple words could result in another scar on someone’s skin, another day without food, or another life lost.
Don’t ever, ever underestimate the power of your words. Words are more powerful than any of us will ever be able to comprehend. So today, I’m asking that you use your powerful words to spread love, encouragement and hope instead of encouraging self-hate.