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If only this feminist hadn’t curved the nice guy, she could be a real woman! by Mila Salander Throughout my life, I have faced the challenges of working and living with men whose fragile egos required constant attention, pandering, and suppression of my own personality and strength in order to keep their masculinity secure. I spent many years married to such a man (we’ll call him David). The magnitude of capitulation required to prevent upsetting his self-image was all consuming, destructive, and oppressive. The challenges to David’s ego were omnipresent.

Trigger warning: sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape Recently, when I watched the now infamous video of Trump bragging about grabbing pussies, I was reminded of one man in particular: my stepfather, Tom.     Tom used to crawl into my twin-sized bed and lay next to me while wearing his white briefs.  Tom used to speak of wishing I were ten years older so he could marry me. Tom told me once, with much vengeance in his voice, that he wanted to break me in a way he’d never been able

It was more than forty years ago, when I met this tall gangly fourteen year old, it was my first day of high school, and I’m wearing jeans. This was only a few years after girls were allowed to wear pants in public schools, I was feeling radical, and pretty damn cool. I walked into Spanish class and slipped into an open desk. The kind of desks where the seat, desk, and storage are all connected. I scanned the room for a familiar face and found none. I noticed the

Trigger warning: domestic violence, gun violence Anniversary Hail to the guardians of sleep, for one year ago last night, they stood at the foot of my bed, or at the entrance to the baby’s room, in shifts, maybe even drugged him out cold on the couch so I might still have my head when I woke. Hail to the living room drywall, which absorbed fists meant for me the next morning, didn’t care if he tore it to shreds, and he did. Hail to my broken laptop, my broken phone, my

by Kim Jorgensen Gane I wrote “Trigger Warning: Mothering Boys” months before the news of the Stanford rapist’s sentence infiltrated every social media platform, and rightly so. These were my words, my truth. I wrestled with them. I worked with Shawna to make better sense of them. To be clear. To find the love in the experience and be able to express that, too. I read the words before a live audience. My dad was in the audience. My mom was. My brother left before I read my piece. We

My mother had a long-term boyfriend when I was 10 years old. She was going to marry him and, wow, he was like a father to me. My dad had exited my life at the age of five. He was a serial cheater; a man that loved to have women at every port whilst his wife was back at home barefoot and pregnant. He had come into my life again a year beforehand, willing to mend broken ties. His dad had just died and when Mum and Dad were at the funeral she

I am not an emotional person.  Well, the old me isn’t anyway.  My prior profession, serving in the military, made me void of any emotions long ago.  It was seen as a weakness to truly care about the soldiers that you were in charge of.  The culture of the military is to mask your emotions and get on with the business of defending this country. I was lock, step and heel in that philosophy, too.  Don’t show any emotions so that your subordinates, peers and superiors don’t mistake it for

  Drew Sheldon is a disabled veteran and a feminist. A survivor of numerous traumas and PTSD sufferer, he advocates passionately for his fellow survivors and all people struggling with mental illness. He was raised by a single mother whom he dearly misses and lives quietly by a little lake with his beautiful kitty, Francesca. Find more from Drew on his site Straight White Male Seeks Knowledge. Find his essay, The Beast Within Me, here on The Honeyed Quill.

Trigger warning for abuse. As a survivor of childhood abuse, it’s hard for me to accept compliments. Many people describe me as sweet and sensitive. I often deflect these compliments by crediting my mother or even the abuse I suffered. It’s easy to be nice to people so that you can feel that you’re not like your abuser. The problem is, though, I am sometimes like my abuser. I try to warn people about the beast within me, and they often refuse to believe me. Very few people have seen

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