How marginalized people can overcome imposter syndrome

Studies show it, anecdotes illustrate it, and entire movements are built around it: When it comes to professional and even personal success, historically marginalized people — women, racial minorities, sexual minorities, people with disabilities, and others — are judged negatively for their strengths. Whether it’s women being punished for academic success or people of color being judged less…

Complex PTSD: How a new diagnosis differs from standard PTSD

Your palms sweat. Your heart races. You don’t remember where you are — are you here, now, or back in another, scarier time? This is a flashback. And for many people living with PTSD, it’s a common experience. Faced with a reminder of a traumatic event, someone with PTSD can be jerked back into the…

My abusive partner promises they’ll change. Will they?

“I promise I’ll change.” These are four words most people in a relationship with an abusive partner have probably heard. Longed-for yet dreaded, the words can offer both hope and disappointment. Hope that things really will get better this time, and disappointment when, inevitably, the abusive behavior—whether emotional, physical, or verbal—begins all over again. We’ve all…

Is it a normal fight or verbal abuse? Here’s how to tell.

Even the most dynamic of duos has the occasional fight. Whether it begins with “Who forgot to take the dog out?” or “Do I really have to go to your brother’s birthday party?”, having arguments is a common — and healthy — part of any relationship. But in some cases, what we call an “argument” is actually…

What is second-hand anxiety?

Your friend comes over after a bad day. Huffing and puffing, he brings it all to you: His boss was a jerk, he accidentally deleted his presentation, and spilled coffee on a new white shirt. Suddenly, you find yourself tense, even though you were having a relaxed day. What gives? There’s a name for the phenomenon of stress…

Farmers march, students strike, and women rise: This week in Indian social movements

You don’t need me to tell you that these are dark times. From Mississippi’s recent (and definitely unconstitutional) banning of abortion at 15 weeks, to Trump’s revolving-door series of government appointments which are now slated to include a known torturer, the news is bleak. And it’s not only in the U.S.: Authoritarian right-wing governments are on the up worldwide. Including in…

Is #metoo a moral panic? Not if we’re clear about our values.

Last month, in response to a profile of pornography literacy programs, conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote an op-ed entitled “Let’s Ban Porn.” In it, Douthat argued that banning porn was not just feminist but also the logical conclusion of the #metoo movement’s quest for better sex. After all, Douthat argues, “It was only a generation…

What the New York Times Gets Wrong About Obesity

I hope you’re not valuing your dignity as a human person — or worse! feeling good about your body! — while you read yet another stilted and shame-y diatribe about the moral perils of snack food. If you are, you may catch a serious flaw in much of the New York Times’ recent obesity coverage: we continue blaming and…

Interviewed for Playboy article on “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Check out Adam Howard’s great piece on the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise over at Playboy It’s a great examination of the contradictory appeal of this very contradictory franchise—featuring some commentary from yours truly: I do think it’s an interesting franchise because it’s premised on this whole idea of the forbidden,” Reina Gattuso, a columnist for Feministing who writes about gender,…