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On Violence and Self-Preservation

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by Emma Glassman-Hughes | 06/16/2016

We're about to take one out of Samantha Bee's book, so buckle up, folks ~~~

*deep breath*

I'll start by saying - I am grateful to be alive. We are lucky to be alive. That said, it's fucking devastating to live in an age when people are constantly forgetting just that. It is devastating to live in an age when not only are mass shootings as frequent as Kim Kardashian selfies, but when those shootings are broadcast and fed to us for 24 hours straight--on TV, on Facebook, on Twitter, everywhere. There is no escape from the severe, communal grief; no respite from the helpless pleas for “change” because we’re so “angry” and “tired.” And as long as these things keep happening, we should remember how it feels to read the headlines about “this many dead” and “this kind of shooter” and “they were only this many years old.” We should remember the flood of emotion and the paralyzing fear and the agonizing empathy for families we do not know. We should remember to hold politicians accountable for failing us time after time, and we should remind ourselves that the NRA is the biggest terrorist threat to this country--more insidious and more dangerous than ISIS. We should also remember this from The Onion, because, well, ouch.

But in all of this remembrance, we should also reflect on how to hold one another. We should remember how to laugh. We should remember how to access the bits of humanity that don’t make us want to throw up our hands in defeat. We should remember that we are smart and miraculous and we actually don’t need to put up with this bullshit; that we are powerful, capable, and, despite how it may feel in this unpredictable time, we are in control of ourselves.

At THINX, we take shitty situations and make them better. It’s what we do. Periods can suck; women hate them, men hate them, the New York City subway hates them. We took that and flipped it on its lace-adorned ass. We dug our hands in and found the magic in our cycles, and turned that into a physical change that improves the lives of millions. We’re healing those who menstruate, one pair of underwear at a time.

With respect to the culture of violence we inhabit--the one we all know and fear--we’ve tried to do the same. We’ve tried to dig and find something healing; and in that, we discovered that the most healing exercise is hearing our laughter. That the only way we can progress and learn from senseless tragedies like Orlando, or in this case, Stanford, is to take the power back, and to make ourselves laugh. To laugh at rape culture, to laugh at ingrained violence, in hopes that we will finally see it for what it is and we will heal it.

In hopes that we will heal us.

All my love,

Now let's go on a date.

by Emma Glassman-Hughes

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