AL 893B: TBINAA Content Intern

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Fat Acceptance

During this last week, I made the mistake of watching an episode of “Extreme Weight Loss” even though I knew better. It made me feel shitty, as I knew it would, so I decided to make the most of the situation and write about it when the show was over. Then, because TBINAA has cross-posted stuff from Rachel C’s personal blog, I asked Sonya if my piece could be cross-posted, and today it was! It’s gotten a decent response (and I got a few more followers, which makes me happy.) If you’re interested, the piece is called “Extreme Weight Loss: Fucking Up My Head Edition.”

Having written that piece, and especially having shared it with the TBINAA audience, I’m even more comfortable with the idea of infusing personal stuff into my next content week. My plans for the week are still a bit rough, but here’s an idea of how I see some of it going down:

Day 1: Intro to fat acceptance/why is fat acceptance important?

Here I’m planning to talk about my own coming to fat acceptance, how important it’s been for my own journey, how I’ve been progressing on that journey, stuff like that.

Day 2: One of the videos I linked to last week

I want to start the week with a text post rather than a video because the video last time didn’t get much engagement.

Day 3: Self-love Selfies

It might not be true in every situation, but taking pictures of myself is helping me feel better about myself. I want to talk about how seeing bodies like your own helps normalize those bodies (and your own, by extension), and sometimes, to see a body that looks like yours, you have to put your own body on the internet. And that’s okay, and not necessarily narcissistic like older generations keep saying.

Day 4: Obesity as a disease

There have been lots of amazing pieces written about this, so my piece might be more of a synthesis than really coming up with anything new. Or it might be more about my reaction to those pieces—how I’m thinking about those reactions through a social justice lens.

Day 5: Maybe the other video

Day 6: Clothing My Fat Body

I want to explore how I’ve internalized pop culture’s opinion of uncovered fat bodies, and how that internalization affects what I choose to wear on a daily basis.

I’m not sure yet what I want to day on day 7. I need to do more research next week on topics that fat activists have been addressing lately, or perhaps things that’ve been in the media pertaining to fat people.

Next

Although it’ll take place after this for-credit part of the internship is over, my next content week is already looming. Thus far, I’ve basically been avoiding the thing that’s most important to me, the thing that I really really want to talk about—fat acceptance—because I haven’t been brave enough to address it, particularly somewhere that my name will be attached to what I say. But I think that, for my next content week, I want to delve into fat acceptance.

I’m not entirely sure what the week’s content arc will look like, but I definitely want to find pictures and videos like this one or this one wherein fat people stand up for themselves, deal with hatred gracefully, and illustrate that weight discrimination is harmful and that everyone deserves better. So maybe one of those videos to start the week off?

I also definitely want to talk about some of the things that I think about/experience because of my weight. Like clothes stuff. I might write something about how difficult clothes shopping can be, and how limited I feel to garments that conceal most of my body while other people are basically encouraged to show off as much of themselves as possible. (Especially in the summer—tank tops, bikinis, short shorts, etc. But fat people are never supposed to wear those sorts of things, and I’ve internalized that. Part of the reason I don’t wear those things is my own desire to not offend people’s delicate eyes with, God forbid, my uncovered body parts.)

Or, for example, how I always notice whether I’m the fattest person in the room. Do other people think about these kinds of things? I don’t know, but I do, especially in situations where I don’t fit in, literally. Like last year’s WRAC beginning-of-the-year meeting took place in one of the auditorium-style lecture halls in Bessey and those chairs are super unforgiving. As in, it’s kind of miraculous that I managed to sit in one. So I felt weird (and also super uncomfortable) for the whole meeting, which was especially shitty because I was new and didn’t have any friends yet.

I’d also like to do a piece on selfies—how selfies are usually seen as the realm of selfish, immature millenials but can actually serve a valid, important function. Namely, taking lots of selfies can be a way of practicing self-love. I’d want to call that piece Self-Love Selfies or something like that and talk about my own experience with putting pictures of myself on the internet. (It’s been a lot more liberating than I was expecting and a lot better for my self-esteem.)

I could write something about dealing with post-diet rebounding, too. One year I did a really calorie-restrictive diet, lost a lot of weight, then couldn’t hold out anymore and failed and gained it back. (And then some.) But I want to explore how even my new knowledge of fat acceptance—dieting generally leads to net weight gain and is generally bad for you—fights against the things I’ve been told and taught and doing for so long. For example, even though I know dieting won’t work, I still have that urge to diet. And, interestingly, I’m kind of mad at myself for dieting in the first place because that in and of itself is largely the reason I’ve ended up where I am. So it’s hard not to 1) diet or 2) hate myself for having dieted. And I want to put that out there for other people who may experience similar things.

I need to run this stuff by Sonya first to see what she thinks, but my guess would be that she’d approve. Hopefully.

Content Week 2: Wrap-Up

First things first. A Beginner’s Guide to Intersectionality, the piece that Sonya hadn’t yet linked to on Facebook by the time of last week’s blog entry, never saw Facebook. I’m fairly certain Sonya didn’t intend to be dismissive or hurtful, but the dynamics of the internship have left me with relatively less agency than I’d prefer (as we’ve discussed), which drives me a bit up a wall.

Okay, that being said, here are the stats for the last piece of my second content week:

Posted 7/14

But _____ism Doesn’t Affect Me: Why You Should Care About Intersectionality
Tumblr notes: 31
Facebook likes: 75
Facebook comments: 7
Facebook shares: 31

I had originally wanted “But _____ism Doesn’t Affect Me” to go up on Saturday so that the piece I really wanted to write—the one about oppressive language—would be the last of my week, on Sunday. Obviously, though, it didn’t pan out that way.

For my first content week, I determined all the content that I covered; every post sprang from my desire to write about a topic. It was interesting to have Sonya request a particular post from me, especially because I wasn’t enthused about the subject matter. (Yes, I have lots of feelings on intersectionality and how it affects even the people who don’t think it affects them, but that wasn’t the piece I wanted to write.)

After I’d written the piece and sent it to Sonya for her approval, she asked me to include more about my own experiences with intersectionality. I’d kind of intentionally avoided talking too much about myself—I’m not a fan of feeling vulnerable to thousands of people (which, to be fair, might be seriously exaggerating how many people actually read my pieces). Still, I did what she asked, and it seemed to go over fine.

One super interesting thing that happened, though, was that someone outside of The Body is Not An Apology pulled a direct quote from my Tuesday piece and put it on Tumblr (that quote can be found here). And that quote has gotten a lot of notes. (247.) I only know about it because one of my friends follows someone who reblogged it—otherwise, I’d have no idea. So someone who doesn’t know me and isn’t affiliated with the organization I’m interning with thinks that what I said was cool enough to warrant a Tumblr post. And people thought that that quote was cool enough to warrant 247 notes. (To be fair, I reblogged it also, adding a note.)

The funniest part, at least to me, is what piece was pulled:

“For example, I’m not a trans* person, but I’m able to recognize lots of instances of transphobia. I’m even able to intervene when I see transphobia happening. But if a trans* person were to tell me that something I’ve said is transphobic, I would have to accept their assessment as correct even if I didn’t think I was being transphobic. I don’t get to decide what’s transphobic. I haven’t had their experiences, I might not recognize embedded transphobia, and I shouldn’t get to speak over a trans* person. My voice isn’t the one that needs to be heard in this situation.”

Not exactly the section I would’ve thought would resonate, but the people who reblogged or liked it have Tumblr names like “breakingthegenderbinary,” “qrookedqueer,” and “queerdeviance.”

It’s pretty cool that people think that the things I write are cool.

Besides that ego boost, Sonya wrote to me after my week was over, saying this:

“I just wanted to thank you for your week!  the content was very good and the piece on intersectionality really hit a chord.  Folks are engaged.  Thank you for your hard work.”

Even though this internship has been frustrating in a lot of ways, this past content week was also awesome in a lot of ways.

Content: Week 2

My second content week is nearly over, and, if possible, this week has been even more frustrating. Although I’ve had control over when I post my content to Tumblr, Sonya’s still in charge of linking on Facebook, including the language used to speak about the content. Here are the numbers thus far:

Posted 7/8
“White Privilege” by Macklemore
Tumblr notes: 13
Facebook likes: 8
Facebook comments: 0
Facebook shares: 1

Posted 7/9
Who Should Be Considered An Authority On What’s Oppressive?
Tumblr notes: 29
Facebook likes: 52
Facebook comments: 13
Facebook shares: 1

Posted 7/10
WHAT ABOUT ME? How privilege is often invisible to the privileged
Tumblr notes: 17
Facebook likes: 73
Facebook comments: 2
Facebook shares: 28

Posted 7/11—guest post by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg
Authority, Privilege, and Oppression: A Response to Rachel Seiderman’s Who Should Be Considered an Authority on What’s Oppressive
Tumblr notes: 10
Facebook likes: 20
Facebook comments: 3
Facebook shares: 0

Posted 7/12
A Beginner’s Guide to Intersectionality
Tumblr notes: 26
Sonya hasn’t posted this to Facebook yet

As you can see, none of these posts took off, but Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s did okay. Yesterday’s did okay on Tumblr but hasn’t yet gotten cross-posted to Facebook.

You might notice that there was a guest post from my co-intern, Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg, on Thursday. She messaged me Tuesday after my piece was up to tell me that she liked the piece but had some fundamental disagreements with it and did I mind if she wrote a response. I said I didn’t mind, so she wrote a response, which Sonya okayed me posting. (And, actually, Sonya wanted me to post it on Wednesday, but I work on Wednesday and didn’t get that email until she’d already said never mind.)

Anyway, I posted Rachel’s piece and it didn’t get a big reaction on Tumblr. Then Sonya linked to it on Facebook on Friday, even though I posted something Friday. And didn’t link to my piece. And…

So here’s the thing. I was already feeling like Rachel is Sonya’s pet (she spends more time talking to her, they Skype, Sonya always seems more enthusiastic about Rachel’s pieces than anyone else’s), and then Rachel directly quibbled with my stuff. Which I know should be fine and seeing other people’s points of view facilitates learning, etc, etc, but…I’m just so frustrated that on top of everything else it feels kind of awful. Particularly because, in the end, it sounds like Rachel and I are advocating for similar things except apparently I’m not nuanced or smart-sounding enough for her.

I guess my lesson of the week is trying not to take things so personally.

Also, I sent Sonya stuff for today and tomorrow, my last two days, and she hasn’t gotten back with me on either one, so I haven’t posted anything today. Which means I’m losing a day. I think she’s traveling, which I understand, but, again, I sent my piece to her Thursday around 1am. She had the two days she asked for. I hope she’ll send me something about tomorrow’s stuff because part of what I want to post is this video that argues against calling things “so gay.” I think (I hope) it would really resonate with our audience. But if Sonya doesn’t say anything to me, I can’t/won’t post it.

Moving Right Along

The planning phase of my next week of content is well underway, but I was really hoping to have some feedback from Sonya before writing this blog. She asked that we send her our pieces two days ahead of time so she’d have enough time to really look at them, which I did—in fact, I sent her my Monday piece on Friday. So perhaps completely reasonable to assume she’d have something, anything, to me about what she thinks. I’m particularly frustrated that I haven’t heard back because I also laid out my plans for most of the rest of the week, and I’d really like to know what she thinks of those plans before I put the time into writing the pieces. Hopefully I’ll hear from her today, or else I guess I’ll just have to post my Monday piece at my own discretion.

Here’s some of what I’m planning for this next week of content.

Monday:

A quick introduction to privilege and the song “White Privilege” by Macklemore. In “White Privilege,” Macklemore talks about the cultural appropriation of hip hop (and jazz and rock and roll, to a lesser extent). One of the clearest statements of his white privilege affecting his career is when he says, “Hip hop started off in a block that I’ve never been to / To counter act a struggle that I’ve never even been through” and “‘Cause we got the best deal, the music without the burden.” In other words, hip hop sprang from a place of oppression that Macklemore can’t begin to understand because he didn’t experience it.

So what’s Macklemore’s option? He goes the route of recognizing those who came before him. He says, “I feel like I pay dues but I’ll always be a white emcee / I give everything I have when I write a rhyme / But that doesn’t change the fact that this culture’s not mine.” I’m offering this kind of recognition of cultural appropriation as a way to counteract privilege’s harmful effects.

Tuesday:

A piece that analyzes an image Sonya posted on the Facebook page last week that evoked some really negative responses. The image basically asserts that people in positions of power shouldn’t get to decide what oppression looks like, something that I completely agree with, but some of our followers seem to have gotten the wrong idea. Part of my strategy was to flip the construction of the image’s quote to emphasize the positive rather than the negative.

For example, this is the image:

positions of power

And this is what I’m offering as perhaps the way the quote should’ve been expressed:

Women get to decide what is misogynistic
Gay people get to decide what is homophobic
Trans* people get to decide what is transphobic
People of color get to decide what is racist
People not in positions of power get to decide what is considered oppression
That’s how we move forwards, not backward

This way, it’s clear whose voices should matter most in particular circumstances.

Privilege

On Wednesday, I met with Sonya and two of my fellow interns (Rachel C. and Sally) via Google Hangout to talk about our progress thus far, learn how to use TBINAA’s Tumblr, and divvy up the next round of content weeks.

According to Sonya, TBINAA’s Tumblr has regularly added four or five followers per day with spikes around an article of Rachel C.’s (The Curiously Oppressive Power of Positive Thinking) and an article of mine (The Body Positivity Paradox: Shaming the Thin Body). Apparently my article demonstrated that there was a place for people who hadn’t known whether they were welcome at TBINAA’s table or not, which I feel really good about. Our mission is to be radically inclusive, so actually showing people that they’re included is pretty awesome.

Then we were given a quick tutorial on how to publish stuff on TBINAA’s Tumblr. My main takeaways from that were login information and tagging strategies. The login stuff is pretty basic, but the tagging strategies are slightly more complex. The first tag should always be “the body is not an apology” but then basically Sonya wants us to think outside the box when we’re tagging our posts and try to pull in as big an audience as possible. For example, a post may focus on weight, but we know that weight issues disproportionately affect women, so we could tag “women,” things like that.

My next content week will begin July 8. Because we’ll now be posting articles, links, and videos on our own now, I made sure to ask Sonya whether she still wants us to run our content by her first. She does, and she requested that we give her two days’ lead time so she’ll have enough time to carefully consider our material—so my Monday post should be to her by next Saturday.

Speaking of, I’ve done a bunch of reading since the last time I posted and have decided to go with privilege as the theme of my next week of content. I landed on this theme in part because I read a really engaging article, The Distress of the Privileged, that sensitively addresses how the privileged (read, usually straight-white-Christian, often men) might react to what they see as threats to their lifestyles. This accounts for things like Men’s Rights Activists and Christian pushback regarding marriage equality. The note that the article ends on—“Ultimately, the privileged need to be won over. Their sense of justice needs to be engaged rather than beaten down. The ones who still want to be good people need to be offered hope that such an outcome is possible in this new world”—struck me as incredibly important to our movement.

Additionally, I’ve read a few things about Christian privilege and able privilege recently that pointed out things I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. (I’ve experienced my fair share of Christian privilege, though I’ve never thought of it as particularly harmful; I realized that a lot of words I regularly use are ableist [crazy, bipolar, lame]). Since my audience should be interested in being as inclusive and sensitive as possible, I hope that they’ll react similarly to these ideas and see that they’re taking things for granted that other people experience differently.

I also ran the theme by Sonya, who said that she “really like[s] the idea of exploring privilege. It is a great dialogue to begin unpacking intersectional identities and how we might hold one privilege and be under privileged in a different area.” My next step is to do a lot more research and get busy formulating what my week is going to look like, particularly because Sonya wants our weeks to build coherent narratives.

Radical Inclusiveness

I haven’t run this past Sonya yet, but I think that I want my next content week to revolve around radical inclusiveness. TBINAA already addresses a few intersectionalities, but I think that we could address a lot more—there’s rarely, if ever, anything specifically for trans* people or indigenous people; we don’t generally talk about things men might experience differently; there’s not much acknowledgment of the vast variety of people that the acronym “POC” encompasses. In short, we’re not nearly inclusive enough.

I’m a little bit wary of taking this topic on because I know that there’s a lot I don’t know. My embodiment, of course, affects how I perceive and talk about particular issues, so, although I want to cover things like experiences that indigenous people might have, I don’t feel qualified to do so. And I don’t want to be offensive.

One of the ways I’m thinking about trying to acknowledge and circumvent that issue is to conceive of my position as one of opening a conversation rather than one of providing information. So I might find a few Tumblrs that provide opposing viewpoints on an issue and ask my audience to engage with me on the topic: What do you think about this issue? Are your thoughts molded by the identities you claim? If so, how?

This is where I’m really seeing that being a professional writer is important. Rhetorical analysis is difficult because I can surmise things about my audience based on their reactions to past posts (both my own and others’), but I can’t know all the identities that my audience members may claim. And I don’t know if saying particular things or asking for feedback on particular topics will alienate them.

For example, I’d like to write an article about marginalized groups reclaiming or appropriating slurs that they’ve been called as a way of taking back or enforcing their agency. (In said article, I’d talk about things like women reclaiming slut in things like Slut Walks, gays reclaiming queer and using it to self-identify, people with disabilities reclaiming cripple to talk about themselves, and fat people reclaiming fat in place of euphemisms like chubby or full-figured. Of course, not all people in each of these groups uses those words that way—I wouldn’t be making blanket statements but rather pointing out instances.) Because, despite the old adage, words have a lot of power, and I think that reclaiming or appropriating words that used to have so much negative power can be really, well, empowering.

My worry is that, since I’m not part of some of these groups, my opinions of these reclamations might be acceptable in academic or theoretical contexts but still harmful on the ground. So if, after I run this by Sonya, she approves, I’ll have to be really careful about the assumptions I make and how I go about defining the terms I’m planning to define. Outside of that, I need to find engaging outside sources—spoken word poetry on YouTube, memes, stuff like that—relating to the theme. Should be doable.

Reflect

Unfortunately, my boss didn’t actually end up posting my last article—I was kind of expecting that, but it was still frustrating, particularly because I thought that what I wrote was really relevant and had the potential to elicit a lot of engagement. I’m not sure I’ll be able to reuse the article either, so that content may just disappear, though I’m considering asking Sonya if I can post it on my personal blog since she didn’t use it for TBINAA. (I’m actually not sure where ownership lies as far as what I write for TBINAA but doesn’t get used. Definitely something to look into.

All told, during my first week of content: 3 out of the 4 articles I submitted were posted; 0 out of 2 pictures were posted; 0 out of 1 item was reblogged; 0 out of 2 links to a video and a project were posted. It’s frustrating because, especially compared to the exposure and enthusiasm that other interns have merited, I feel like I’m the odd one out. To be fair, I know that Sonya was traveling during my content week, so maybe what feels to me like neglect was actually just her being busy. Still, though, it’s difficult not to be frustrated because she’s the gatekeeper to how much exposure I can get.

I did email Sonya at the end of my week asking if she might be available to talk sometime soon to touch base on how my first week of content went, but she hasn’t gotten back with me yet. Not surprising, but, again, off-putting.

My next task, now that my first content week is over, is to figure out what theme my next content week will revolve around and start researching what I’ll write about, link to, and try to promote. Honestly, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about body positivity, feminism, dis/ability, and so on, but I’m not sure what I’ll actually settle on. The topic I feel most able to write about it definitely fat-related stuff, but I worry that others in our demographic will feel left out. (Which is part of the reason I wrote about shaming thin bodies during my first content week.) I want to be inclusive, but I’m not confident I’ll be able to write about identities other than my own.

For example, I think it would be interesting to write about/explore issues surrounding indigenous peoples, minorities, trans*, and other nonnormative (and largely ignored, even in body positivity movements) bodies. I’m afraid, though, that I’ll get it wrong and just end up alienating the audience members who might claim those identities while also tarnishing TBINAA’s image. Beyond that, I’m not sure I could sustain that topic for a week, given that I’m not anywhere near an expert, I’m not familiar with resources, etc. This is a place where I’ll probably contact Sonya—I’m only slightly apprehensive about emailing her too much—and see what she thinks.

Content: Week 1

First week of content almost complete! So far, three of my articles have been posted on TBINAA’s Tumblr and cross-posted to Facebook and Twitter. (It looks like I’ll have one more article posted tomorrow and that’ll be that.) Here’s a breakdown of engagement by post:

Posted 5/27
“Valuing the Body as Subject: Empowering Embodiment”
Tumblr notes: 33
Facebook likes: 28
Facebook comments: 5
Facebook shares: 12

Update 7/10
Tumblr notes: 35
Facebook likes: 28
Facebook comments: 5
Facebook shares: 12

Posted 5/29
“XOJane’s Fabulous ‘How Not To Be A Dick’ Series: Seeing Others as Subject”
Tumblr notes: 8
Facebook likes: 8
Facebook comments: 3
Facebook shares: 1

Update 7/10
Tumblr notes: 15
Facebook likes: 8
Facebook comments: 3
Facebook shares: 1

Posted 5/31
“The Body Positivity Paradox: Shaming the Thin Body”
Tumblr notes: 50
Facebook likes: 127
Facebook comments: 20
Facebook shares: 48

Update 7/10
Tumblr notes: 63
Facebook likes: 131
Facebook comments: 20
Facebook shares: 50

(The first post, “Valuing the Body as Subject,” was intended to be my big contribution this week, but obviously “The Body Positivity Paradox” trumped it as far as reach goes.)

This week has taught me a lot that I wasn’t exactly expecting. First, the internship looks different on the ground than it does on paper. Though I sent my boss a total of 5 blog posts’ worth of content, 2 photos to be used on Facebook, 1 link to a video, and 1 link to a project TBINAA followers would be interested in, only 3 of the blog posts have actually been used. (The rest, to be fair, will probably show up sometime in the future.) It’s not necessarily that I have a problem with my material being edited or omitted, I just hadn’t fully realized that that would happen.

Second, the spacing of those three posts has been different than I’d thought it would be. My boss received four days of content by Tuesday, but the articles were posted Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Which, again, is fine—my boss is incredibly busy, she was traveling this week, etc. But I realized that, since she controls what’s posted, I’m dependent on her to disseminate my work. It’s humbling to have my exposure in someone else’s hands.

Third, the varying engagement with my content surprised me. My first post was based in no small part on ideas born out of my final project in 841, so it was more academic than the others; I wasn’t expecting an explosion of love about it, but it was really really heartening to see comments like, “This is written/worded so perfectly” and “Brilliant writing and so true.”

My second post was basically a redirect to a great series that illustrates the embodiments of lots of different kinds of people. As is clear from the stats above, there wasn’t too much engagement with that post; one comment on it asked, perhaps a bit pointedly, why “an organisation who maintains they support self love and body empowerment [is] encouraging the use of the word ‘dick’ as a negative and stigmatised term?” and went on to say that doing so “[s]eems like a double standard…” I was kind of floored by this response because, well, that thought hadn’t crossed my mind but also because a woman wrote the comment. Who knows.

So then, after the rather lackluster reception of the second post, the third post’s relative popularity was pretty awesome. Commenters said things like, “I have waited for an article like this for so long…Thank you, My Body is not an Apology, for sharing this. It means so much to me on my own journey to self love” and “thank the fucking lord for this article! people need to read this and TAKE IT IN!” Which was great for me to see.

My boss will hopefully post the last article, “What’s Beauty Got To Do With It?”, tomorrow. In it, I talk about how “beauty” as the go-to for body empowerment language doesn’t go far enough because it still objectifies. (When beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there always has to be a beholder.) Let’s see how that goes over!

Groundwork

Some background on my involvement with The Body is Not an Apology (TBINAA). I discovered the organization in January through a YouTube video of the founder, Sonya Renee Taylor, presenting a spoken-word poem titled “The Body is Not An Apology.” The poem combats some of the ways that bodies are stereotypically conceived of and fosters self-love instead. If I understand correctly, the poem launched the movement, which has now been around for just over two years. For the majority of that time, Sonya alone has been in charge creating and maintaining content; my cohort of interns appears to be the first.

TBINAA is an “international mov[e]ment focused on Radical Self Love and Body Empowerment.” The movement fits perfectly into the arc of my journey toward both a professional writer and someone who’s able to love her self despite (or because of) its non-normativity.

I applied for the position of content intern at The Body is Not an Apology (TBINAA) around the beginning of March and was invited to participate in the next round of selection around the beginning of April. As it turned out, “the next round” was actually just informing the top five candidates that we were all being offered positions.

Since then, I’ve attended a number of meetings and exchanged a number of emails detailing what the internship actually requires and encompasses. My cohort is, as I mentioned, made up of five people. We’re all white women, but beyond that we’re quite different. I already knew Katie (and in fact suggested that she apply for the internship). So far I’ve met Megan, a Canadian who just finished a BA in Political Science and Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice and Rachel C., a Jewish disability blogger who’s pursuing her second master’s; Sally, the fifth intern, hasn’t been available to meet at the same time as the rest of us, but I know that she’s a Quaker who’s worked with Planned Parenthood.

At our last meeting—a conference call on May 9—Sonya solidified what she wants each intern to do. Basically, each of us is assigned one week per month during which we’re responsible for all of the content that appears of TBINAA’s Tumblr and Facebook pages. That entails one original piece (minimum) and seven smaller pieces (which can be original, but don’t have to be) that fall under a theme of our choosing.

My first assigned week begins next Monday, May 27, and continues through Sunday, June 2. My tentative theme, “Bodies as Subjects,” will explore the importance of valuing embodiment (=bodies as subjects) over the body (=bodies as objects). I submitted a tentative final draft of my long blog post to Sonya today and should get feedback from her tomorrow. Otherwise, my main mission of this long weekend is to find secondary sources that fit with my theme.

Coming next week: How my first week of content is going!