Anna’s Personal Roundup, March 26

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I love magazines. I love the lack of commitment, the ability to flip through pages and only look at the pictures if I want to, the variety of information, the recipes juxtaposed with news. The internet is like one giant magazine and I can never get enough. So, I’m sharing. Here, specially curated just for you, is the best of my internet this week, along with some long weekend photos.

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Ghomesi. I don’t like talking about it, but to not share is to continue to silence survivors. Two of my friends, Amelia and Mary, have written very personal blog posts about their experiences of sexual assault and their reactions to the trial verdicts. They are important. If you read nothing else, read their brave thoughts. And then let’s do something about it.

Speaking of trauma, the ever brilliant Rebecca Solnit posted this on facebook today, with this link to information about women’s stress paradigms:

Short sexual assault conversation in light of the decision in the Ghomeshi case:

—There really are three terrible decisions that people have to make when they are in danger: fight, flight or freeze. None of these responses ever, ever indicate consent.
–You forgot placate, smooth over, vacate. Which don’t indicate consent either, but sometimes happen in conditions of fear of dissent or lack of confidence in your right to dissent.

That is, too many women are trained to make it all seem pleasant no matter what, to accept other people’s definitions of acceptable, and that some survivors of any gender survive horrific experiences by checking out, or vacating their bodies or memories or souls. That the victims of Ghomeshi’s serial assaults didn’t always reject him afterward was used against them by his attorney and swallowed whole as discrediting by the judge. But a good conversation has ensued.

There’s a fourth response to stress that doesn’t come up often but is attributed to women in particular: gathering and caring. Not that men and children are proscribed from this or that gender is airtight. Adding from comment below that telling (and being believed and respected) is an important part of surviving the trouble itself and the trauma after. Maybe this is an aspect of gathering and caring. The conditions to do this don’t always exist: too many survivors get prurient, ignorant interrogations instead. Or people who don’t want to know about priests or relatives or respected figures. (When the revelations about Ghomeshi initially broke, the confidently disbelieving attacked the deliverers of the news with fury.)

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But not all is lost. Keep reading Rebecca Solnit on Hope in the Dark, over on Brain Pickings, which a very fabulous corner of the internet. Or this podcast on Granta.

Speaking of podcasts, the latest Ideas episode on the science of mining is revealing as Cultural Anthropologist Stuart Kirsch explains how mining companies manipulate science to make their projects appear less damaging, to the detriment of the environment and local communities.

Or, how about a house in the desert? Yes please!

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Here in Colombia, we didn’t sign a peace deal on March 23. While it is important to remember that progress is still being made in Havana, there is a worrying increase in attacks and threats by paramilitary groups.  Yet women continue to build peace out of conflict all around the country, peace deal or no peace deal.

How is peace even classified, however? What does it mean to study peace, as opposed to conflict?

What if it can be seen not as timeless, but as dynamic; not located in the beginning or in the end but in the unfolding; something not of the ether but of lived soils and grounds? What if peace is, actually, something flawed and rough-grained? Well then, social science can handle that. It can do dynamics. It can look towards the longue durée, settling happily into the study of actual, imperfect behaviour. That kind of research doesn’t require calls to the angels or to Elysium. You just look into the faces of real people and the connections they make or don’t make with each other, and the stories they tell or don’t tell, and the ways they decide or don’t decide to treat a stranger as one of their own….Peace is knowable — in gorgeous, imperfect detail — down to the level of everyday habit and choice. And what are those choices? To walk down streets with unfamiliar faces and to open your own countenance as you do; to buy baskets of fruits from someone whose accents are not your own; to allow the happy, teary scramble as your children figure out how to play with new arrivals to their school; to open the door at the threshold of your home even when storms threaten outside; to hear of the vivid suffering of others even when it weighs down the heart; to invite to the hearth, to break bread, together now. The foot crosses the threshold, the face is open, the habits — discernible to the eye — over time, become fixed (and knowable) and sure.

How is peace waged? Eye to eye.

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Also, this:

And food. The latest science says eat like your grandparents. I’m done with vegetables and am only eating boiled or fried dough with cream gravy or Paska with lots of icing.

Because it’s Easter, we made these eggs. It was more challenging than it looked, although the results were beautiful!

Have a great weekend!

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