Doctor WHO? An Opinion on the Announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor

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Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor

Yesterday it was announced that the 13th Doctor in the popular British television show Doctor Who would be Jodie Whittaker. Up until now, the 12 ½ Doctors, including Steven Moffat’s controversial War Doctor regeneration (that’s the ½), have been arguably straight, cisgender, white men. I say arguably straight because all of actual romances, primarily from New Who, have been with women, though the New Who Doctors have occasionally flirted with men – that could easily have been joking or queer baiting. As for Classic Who, I don’t know much about it, but the First Doctor had a granddaughter (implying a son or daughter of some kind), and wasn’t involved in much romance as far as I know. So for all intents and purposes, he was likely assumed straight, though he may have been asexual as well, from what I’ve heard. But again – I don’t know much about Classic Who.

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More on Dating and Realizations

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I’ve actually internalized recently a realization about my ex and my past relationship. I’ve realized that I don’t want to get back together with him, but I do wish we were still in a relationship. What I mean to say is, I miss what we had, and I wish that was a thing that was still happening, but since it’s not, I don’t want to actually get back together. He hurt me really badly. Really, really badly. But I’m okay with being friends with him for the most part. I still feel jealous and hurt when he’s affectionate with literally everybody else but me. I’m jealous when my friends hang out with him, and not me. (They’re MY friends, my brain tells me. I introduced them to him. Why do they choose him over me?) And I still have a lot of baggage regarding the relationship. But I don’t want it back. I wish it was still happening, but I don’t want it back.

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“The Hate U Give” – More than a book review

f043712f-4655-4c8a-b60f-fca1e4c6ca9fLet me preface this whole thing by saying: I am white. I am Jewish, and that does mean something in terms of not being “white enough” – but I am white Jewish. I consider myself white. People who aren’t white supremacists consider me white, and I get all the privileges that come with being white and growing up in a white, suburban, middle-to-upper-middle class family. There certainly is anti-Semitism that affects my life, but it is not racism, and the difference does matter.

With all that said, I read a book yesterday called “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. It’s the story of a young black girl named Starr Carter who lives with her family “in the hood” but goes to an elite “bougie” school. Her father is a former gangbanger who went to prison, but now is successful as a grocery store owner. Her mother works in a hospital. Starr is dating a white boy from school. She feels she has two separate personalities – the one at school and the one at home, but neither of them are really her, and both of them are really her. But one night, on her way back from a party, Starr’s friend Khalil is shot by a police officer right in front of her. Starr becomes a key witness in a case much like many we’ve seen in the U.S. all too recently: A white police officer shoots first and asks questions later. Now Starr is caught up in an absolute circus of events, where she has to recount the events of the night over and over to people who don’t believe her, or who believe because Khalil was a drug dealer, that he deserved to die. And SPOILER ALERT – at the end of the day, at the end of it all, the white police officer doesn’t get indicted. Even as we see the story from Starr’s point of view, and know what truly happened, the police officer gets away scot free with killing a young, unarmed black boy. And even though this book is fiction, it closely mirrors real world events. I can’t even name all of the “incidents” like this that have happened in the past year in the US. Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Philando Castile – those are some of the names you may have heard on the news, but it’s not all of them. Not by a longshot.

I think everyone should read this book. First of all, it’s a good book. But it’s a young adult novel, so it’s written as something that’s easy to digest. It’s not inflammatory like a news article might be, but if you truly understand it, you will get angry on behalf of Starr, on behalf of Khalil, and on behalf of all the real world black men and women, boys and girls, who have been mishandled, mistreated, and outright abused by the police. What happens in this book is what happens in life, and it’s something everyone should know, but doesn’t.

As a white person, I can say this and hopefully other white people will listen: All white people say and do racist things. All white people are, to a certain extent, racist. Because of the way our society is built, on the backs of slaves and at the deaths of Native Americans who had their land stolen to create what is today our country, it is impossible to not be racist if you don’t actively work to be anti-racist. It’s hard, and it’s exhausting, and you’re going to fuck up, over and over again. You’re going to put your foot in your mouth over and over again. But the point is to learn from it. And it’s the very least you can do. (I say you – but I also mean me. I also have to work to be anti-racist. And I’m still learning! I fuck up! But I keep going to work to live an anti-racist lifestyle to the best of my ability, and use the privileges I’ve gotten from being white, from being middle-to-upper-middle-class, from being able-bodied if not quite neurotypical, et cetera, to help make the world a better, more equitable and equal place.)

Angie Thomas has done us all a favor by writing an incredible book that can help us, as white people, have a very necessary conversation with our friends and family. Because even though the particular situation she writes is fictional, the story she tells is not. This book should be on summer reading lists. This book should be at the top of bestseller lists. And from there, white people should research. They should take what they learned from this fictional account and go read about the realities of police violence and abuse. It shouldn’t stop there. “The Hate U Give” is where the conversation should begin, not end.

And I’m here to help get the conversation going. Any of my non-white friends and followers, I may not have much influence, or a loud voice, but if you need a platform to speak from, I will do my best to give it to you and step aside. Because this country is racist. But I do have hope that one day it won’t be. But we have a lot, A LOT, of work to do first.

Online Dating, Hooking Up, and Self-Esteem

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So I’ve been doing the online dating thing for a while now but I haven’t really been what you would call “successful.” I’ve been using OKCupid, and I’ve gone on a bunch of dates, but I’d only been on a second (and third) date with one guy. Nobody else even approached a second date.

As for the guy I went on three dates with, I enjoyed his company, and we had fun, but I came to the conclusion that I don’t want to date him for various reasons I don’t feel like getting into. I don’t want to just date anyone, I want to date who I want to date. And that didn’t happen to be this guy.

So I started reevaluating what I wanted. I wanted to date someone, that much was true, but if that was it I could have dated this guy and would have theoretically been happy. But I don’t want to date someone for the sake of dating. I want to feel a spark, a connection – someone I know I could have fun with but also lie together in silence with. Someone I want to get down and dirty with and someone I want to kiss me on the cheek as we walk through a park. I want physical and emotional connection. I am affection starved both physically and emotionally.

But at the same time, I’m feeling more stable emotionally than I have in a long time. I want to date someone, but I don’t need to date anyone. But what I did want is physical affection. So…I turned to tinder.

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Life Update

Hey all! Long time no blog. I just…haven’t had much to say recently. Or at least nothing new.  I mean, I got a job in my field, and I’ve been working. The semester ended well. I’m doing pretty well in general so I haven’t had too much to update there. There has been plenty to talk about if I wanted to do a Current Events Corner – but I never felt I had anything to contribute that hadn’t already been said by someone else. And my personal life has had its ups and downs, but it’s mostly the same stuff that I’ve talked about in previous blog posts. I’ve been particularly feeling what I wrote in my last blog post – the one about Affection and Shadows and true selves and friendship. I’ve been feeling lonely still. Feeling like my friends have abandoned me. But then I think of my friends who /haven’t/ abandoned me, and although I may not be as close to them as I once was, we’re still close, and they still love me and I love them.

One instance recently that bothered me was pretty stupid. A couple of my friends had gone out somewhere and posted a picture of it on Instagram. Now, normally that wouldn’t bother me – people have lives and the right to go out and do things and I don’t have to be involved. What bothered me was that they invited my ex, and not me. And I always considered myself closer to these friends than my ex was to them, so seeing the picture with my ex in it and them all having fun, I just wondered, “Why did they invite him and not me? Do they like him better than me?” and all sorts of fun spiraling nonsense. And like I’ve said before, my ex and I are still friends, but there is a lot of heartbreak and baggage there. So when I see him hang out with the people who are our mutual friends – but who I know were closer to me before we dated – it hurts me, even though it’s stupid, and my brain says to me that they chose him over me and that they will continue to choose him over me. It puts up that stupid scenario that if both of us were drowning, and they could only save one of us, they would pick him, and let me drown. Of course, that’s a stupid scenario that actually makes no sense. But my brain also provides the scenario that if I happened to go to the hospital again, no one would visit me, and I would be alone. So I was actually having a great day before I saw that photo, and then suddenly I was having a shitty one. I crawled into bed and cried. I hate the power that other people have over me. But after falling asleep from crying and exhaustion, I got a text from a different friend inviting me to dinner. And that reminded me that I do have friends who care about me, people who think about me and want to hang out with me and do things. And that made me feel better.

So this has already gotten longer than I intended it to be. I’m going to make another post today or tomorrow about online dating, which is the other big thing that has been going on in my life recently.

Selfies for Self Esteem: The Final Assessment

A week ago I finished my year-long Selfies for Self-Esteem project. Overall, it was a lot of fun, and it turned into a daily diary of myself. Below are all the pictures I took for my selfies for the past year.

Did the project work? Has my self-esteem improved? Yes and no. I’ve gained more weight over the past year, and now I’m definitely working to fix that. But that makes me feel bad about myself. But also, I know I can look cute in spite of that, so that has helped. My self-esteem is probably in the exact same place overall, actually. But I enjoyed the project, and I’m glad I took a photo (almost) every day for a year!

 

The Best Advice?

I like to say the best advice I ever received was from an airline instruction pamphlet. Well, technically, I got it from the book Deadline by Chris Crutcher, and he got it from an airline instruction pamphlet, but I digress.

The point being, the best advice I ever received was “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others”

You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. It was this advice that helps get me through my depression. It’s this advice that allows me to say, “I can be a little selfish, just this one time.” It’s this advice that makes it so I can’t hate or resent my ex, no matter how much he hurt me, because he was putting his own oxygen mask on first. He needed to take care of himself first, before he could take care of me. And that meant, well, that he couldn’t take care of me. I needed too much from him, and he had to get out. Him not being able to handle my depression isn’t a reflection on me, as it took me a long time to learn, but a reflection on him, and his need to take a step back.

But in today’s political climate, can we afford to put our own oxygen masks on first? It’s a privilege to be able to take a step back and say, “I need out of this.” It’s a privilege to be able to think like this. It reaches a point where you have to ask yourself, what is putting on your oxygen mask first, and what is denial or avoidance? You need to help yourself before you can help others, but the point of that is, after you take that moment to help yourself, you need to actually assist others. Put on your own oxygen mask. Then make sure you use your privilege to help others who don’t have it breathe.