upon the waters

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Your Hands Matter: An Open Letter To Healthcare Professionals


[trigger warning: this was not an easy letter to write and it will probably not be easy to read if you choose to either so be careful with yourselves :)))) <3]

To the doctors and nurses and EMTs who I have known and who I will know and to all the others as well:

I want you to know that your hands matter. 

Of course, you already know this. You work with your hands every day. Your hands clean woulds, hold heaving shoulders, grasp delicate medical devices and make fine tuned practiced movements that make our cells work together again, that sometimes even give us back our very lives. You do amazing wonderful things. You are appreciated, admired, and respected by so many and I am one of those people. 

Your hands though, they are touching my body. 

My body matters too.

Although I may not always have known this, it has always been true. My body held my niece when she fussed and soothed her when she wouldn’t sleep for anyone else; my body cried crimson when i ran a compass across its extremities each night at twelve years old, trying to fight pain with pain; my body pushed me lovingly forward, forward, forward across three miles of streets every day rain, shine, or snow in stained Adidas for years so I could breathe that runner’s high; my body bent and ached and screamed in pain through untreated dystonia that lasted for three days while locked in a tiny dirty room and still fought for me; my body danced to the thriller in full 80’s costume with my best friends for youtube that one summer; my body clenched iron against a monster-man eight times my size until it tore countless times since before I could count to ten; my body sleeps next to the love of my life now and breathes the calm of ocean air; my body still writhes at night strapped down in nightmares of sweat, fear-stench, and ugliness. My body, the very same body that sits silently now on your examination table, has been poked, prodded, punched, kicked, hit, spit on, slapped, thrown down on tile floors, raped, violated, stepped on, choked, cut open, and torn apart. My body has been a varsity athlete, climbed mountains, danced in the rain, wrestled siblings, eaten homemade ice cream, embraced loved ones, saved lives, slept well, loved and been loved. 

My body is precious.

My body is tender.

My body is sensitive and it has every right to be that way and you are required by me and my new found ownership of myself to treat it with respect. 

I’m not saying you don’t.

I’m just saying that I need you to know that your hands are important.

The brush of your fingernail against my skin may not even register for you, but for me any and every one of those things my body is and was might well gush forth. 

You press your hand against my back without letting me know before hand, without asking if it’s okay, because there is no reason for you to let me know before hand. No one ever told you that was even a thing. Because why would anyone think of that, I know, it sounds so insignificant, and unimportant… and why would it matter and don’t people brush past you on the subway anyways? You didn’t know, or maybe you did and you didn’t see the point, or maybe you just forgot, but it doesn’t matter because:


Your hands are still important.

And your hand is on my back of this body and you ask me to breathe in and I can feel the heat of your hand and the skin or maybe the glove and it’s not even a millisecond before: my body is raindrops, pain, baby, run, stop, sunshine, compass, hey stop never blood can’t breathe stop no stop-pain-fear-pain-fear-no-pain-fear-stopnopainfearownopleaseno… 

You will see none of this on my face. You will see none of this on our countless faces and there will be no warning on my record and yet Iguarantee you I am only one of thousands of us each with our own important bodies.

Our bodies are precious.

Our bodies are tender.

Please, even if we don’t know it yet, treat them that way. 

All I ask is that before you touch us, ask if it is okay and mean it. All I ask is that you offer to have another person in the room. All I ask is that you tell me what you are going to do to this precious body that is mine before you do it and why. And please if I do cry if I do flinch, don’t tell me about your sister’s kid who used to get locked in the closet so you know what it’s like and don’t worry you won’t hurt me because there isn’t anything you can say that will change what my body is and was right now, and it isn’t your job, just respect me and my body and I’ll be okay. All I ask is that you take the time because each and every one of us is worth it. 

I’m not saying you don’t know or don’t care or that you are anything less than the caring and careful professional that I hope you to be.

I’m just saying I need you to remember it is important. 

Your hands are important. Our bodies are important. 

You never know which one of us is me, so please, be careful with all of us.

Thank you.

Filed under this should be posted on every doctor's wall it should be mandatory reading for them like once a day at least

60,246 notes

The basic plot, which cannot be ignored even in the films, is that Harry, Hermione and Ron give up everything for their political struggle. They drop out of high school, they go illegal, defy the government, belong to an underground organization [The Order of the Phoenix], operate out of safe houses and forests and even raid offices of the government and banking offices. This is all done in principled opposition to the Dark Wizard Voldemort and a corrupt bureaucratized government that has been heavily infiltrated with his evil minions. This is revolutionary activity. But the movie version does not present it as such or emphasize these radical aspects of the plot, thereby entirely missing the dramatic sweep and action present in the first half of the last novel.

The novels recognize the importance of alternative media for political struggle. The mainstream press [The Daily Prophet] is shown as unreliable and unprincipled, eventually deteriorating into a fear-mongering propaganda machine for the Voldemort-controlled bureaucracy. For a while the alternative but above ground media [The Quibbler] publishes the real news, but it ceases to print after the daughter of the publisher is kidnapped. In the book, friends of Harry [Lee Jordan, with Fred and George Weasley as frequent guests] start broadcasting the real news from an underground radio station, encrypted with a password. This radio station becomes a critical link for the resistance, which is scattered and weak. Although we are treated to some radio broadcast updates in the movie, they are delivered by a disembodied and professional sounding voice, not our friends the Weasleys. This undermines the important message - a guiding principle behind the media coop - that in a serious situation it becomes necessary to produce your own media and not to rely on ‘professionals’.

The novel makes it clear that in this phase of the struggle the characters romantic lives take a backseat to their political activity, as Harry breaks up with the love of his life [Ginny Weasley] so as to avoid making her a target for Voldemort’s forces, who are known to use torture and kidnapping as tactics. The ‘love triangle’ that becomes the focus of the movie isn’t even really present in the books. In the books, the relationship between Harry and Hermione is totally platonic - Ron is shown as jealous, but the feeling is entirely without foundation. In the book Harry says to Ron: “I love her like a sister and I reckon she feels the same way about me. It’s always been like that. I thought you knew” (pg 378, DH US Hardback). This conveys that men and women can be close comrades and friends without being involved romantically. But in the film, Harry and Hermione are shown dancing romantically, and Harry’s line to Ron about his brotherly feeling towards Hermione does not even make it into the film. This completely undermines the important message that jealousy is counter-productive and has toxic effects, which is an important feminist message for young people.

How Hollywood Defanged Potter’s Radical Politics  (via girl-germs)

Worth a repost

(via wolvensnothere)

HP is one of the most fundamentally anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian, radical books in a WHILE. The books are incredibly diverse in race and gender, including villains. While everyone was screaming about Pullman, and hanging their hats on the witchcraft in HP, Rowling basically put out a roadmap of revolutiinary youth.

Everyone likes to pull the, “Deatheaters are Nazis,” subtext but if you look at the timeline of the text and publication, it’s pretty clear that politically, this is an England/Ireland/Scotland/Wales under Tory rule and in the midst of the Troubles & Thatcherism from the start, with subsequent books written and published in a post-9/11 world.

Rowling wrote the root, branch, and flower of politics and power creating death and despair, where love and unity by choice were the strongest powers. There are reasons for that.

(via carnivaloftherandom)

Can someone make a master post of academic discourse surrounding Harry Potter? Now that I’m not in college anymore I do sorta miss reading research papers and essays… but not so much that I want to read ones that aren’t about HP.

(via yeahwriters)

(Source: itchesandtugs, via yeahwriters)