Demystifying Fast Fashion

Today on the subway I saw an advertisement for an $8 jacket from a brand called Missguided. Was this meant to be Ironic? No. It made me angry. Because this is ridiculous. An $8 jacket means the fabric, likely cotton grown with pesticides, which destroys soil and contaminates water and is proven to cause cancer or maybe polyester made from oil, is almost certainly covered in disgusting cheap chemicals to dye it. The person who

Demystifying Gender Expression

For 22 years living as a straight, cis-gendered, white woman in Wisconsin, I experienced varying degrees of pressure to adhere to the dress-code of my employer. At age 16, my first job was as a waitress at a drive-up burger joint. Employees had the choice between a T-shirt or a tank top with the restaurant’s logo. I was encouraged to opt for the tank top because I would “get better tips.” When dressing for professional

Demystifying Abortion Doulas

There’s a line a fellow doula always says, that being an abortion doula is providing unconditional love to a stranger for fifteen minutes at a time. I have yet to come across a more succinct way of describing what we do. Officially, our job as doula volunteers is to provide nonjudgmental emotional and physical support before, during, and after an abortion procedure. In the specific clinic I’m at, the doulas wear scrubs and can be

Demystifying Incontinence

The fear started to set in after a couple of moments. There I was, a 34-year-old woman doing jumping jacks in front of a class of 7-year-olds, pleading my pelvic floor to hold on so that I wouldn’t pee all over the school yard. This was about a month ago now…and the last time I tried doing any sort of open-legged jumping I needed to change my pants. I am one of the many people,

Demystifying Passing as Straight

Up until the age of nineteen, I navigated the world as a straight tomboy who would not shy away from a dress. Societal influences told me who I should love and how I should dress; and I really came to not only believe it, but also to live in its constrained box.   As a young adolescent I witnessed my gay brother struggle with understanding his identity, coming out, and coming to terms with the

Demystifying Ageism

When exactly did being “older” become bad? As the fifth child of eight, being older was always better than being younger. For example, during summer vacation, we younger ones had to go to bed early, while the older ones could stay up.  The older ones also received choice opportunities. We were a football-obsessed family and had season tickets to the New York Jets for several years in the late 1960s and 1970s. Each Sunday, my

Demystifying Making a Feminist Film

As an female actor, aka actress, I was tired of a lot of the female roles out there. I was tired of being typecast as “blonde, female victim” (actually the name of a role I was asked to audition for) and of women being secondary, inactive characters often reduced to the sum of their parts. I recently saw a notice for a role where “on a scale of 1 to 10, she’s a 12” was

Demystifying How to Start a F*cking Revolution

How can I make a difference? I’m only one person. In the face of immense human suffering and grave injustices, I have wondered this exact thing. How can my actions, the actions of only an individual, change anything? How can I contribute in a meaningful way when the paralysis of inaction takes over and hiding under the covers seems like the only option? And yet, where does change begin if not with the individual? It

Demystifying Reactions to Trumpmerica: Millennials

To start, I hate it. I hate Donald Trump and everything that he stands for—racism, sexism, and, in most cases, rich, white supremacy. He represents so much of what we as a nation claim to have overcome. It feels sad and embarrassing to be an eighteen-year-old woman of color in 2017 after the extensive amounts of oppression that Trump has portrayed, which affect myself and my community. I feel disgusted that we women once again

Demystifying Demystified: Why We’re Here

Demystified was born a year ago over a couple of glasses of wine. Though we were new-ish friends, we knew immediately that we’d stumbled onto something new and exciting. (Our enthusiastic follow-up emails and texts the next day confirmed it.) But as two extremely busy women, we didn’t think we were quite ready to give the project the energy and time it needed. So the idea kept quietly whispering at us as we carried on