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And how to avoid them.

Photo by Michael Barón on Unsplash

I can’t believe it has been over ten years since I set off from home, with a one-way ticket and a backpack that towered over me, for my first solo trip. I never looked back. Traveling is like a drug, it opens your mind to new dimensions, but unlike psychedelics, these dimensions are real. You get to befriend the people who inhabit them, and amongst your country’s own quirks and your differences, you often realize that all the important things are the same. You learn things about yourself, and you learn not to judge other people. …

A crazy dose of inspiration!

Photo courtesy of L’Après M via Facebook

When Macdonald’s announced in December 2019 that it would closer its branch in the 14th district of Marseille, locals were distraught. For many, it was the only place in the area to find employment, apart from the local supermarket. It was also the only place they could eat out in their impoverished neighborhood.

There are many criticisms to be made against the fast-food chain: its environmental impact, use of unhealthy ingredients in already unhealthy dishes, the fact that they market to children, the chain's role in destroying smaller businesses, etc. …

It’s not OK.

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

For the past few months, I’ve been staying in a small town in the Bulgarian mountains. One of my neighbors, George, always stands in front of his restaurant and amicably trying to charm every passer-by into entering his establishment. He’s a funny, sweet guy, and so I was shocked when, one day, he picked up a brick from the floor, ran into the convenience store next door, and threw it at the shopkeeper’s head. The brick missed, narrowly, and slammed into the shelves of chocolate, which collapsed in a sea of Kinder Buenos and Lindt balls. …

The misogynist ideology is creating terrorists. We should be worried.

Photo by King's Church International on Unsplash

Last month, 22-year-old Jake Davison killed five people, including a three-year-old girl and his own mother, in Plymouth, England. Then he shot himself. Initial media reports spoke of a “domestic incident” but as investigations went on it was quickly revealed that Davison was deeply enmeshed in the misogynist online “incel” community. He went on hateful rants about women on his YouTube channel, that has since been taken down. He described women as shallow and stupid, saying most of them only care about money. He complained about being a virgin, and even justified sexual assault because “women don’t need men no…

Prince Andrew has been accused of rape three times. He is hiding out in his palace, unpunished and untouchable.

Photo by Kutan Ural on Unsplash

Can princes and billionaires rape with impunity? It appears the answer is yes. Prince Andrew is accused of abusing Ms. Virginia Roberts Giuffre on three separate occasions. He allegedly initiated a sexual encounter with her knowing that she was a minor coercively sex trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier and convicted sex offender who was close friends with the prince. She says she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times between 2001 and 2002, when she was 17 years old.

He has consistently denied the claims, and in a Newsnight interview in November 2019, Andrew even claimed…

The southern state has become the first in decades to ban abortions from six weeks.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Even as Texas Republicans decry mask mandates as being a violation of bodily autonomy, they are poised to pass a law preventing women from getting abortions past six weeks. They are using the language forged by decades of feminist activists to defend policies that endanger the entire population. Meanwhile, they are casually stripping women of their rights. Bodily autonomy is for everyone except women, it seems.

“Sue thy neighbor”

The SB8 law doesn’t criminalize abortions so much as it encourages people to bombard abortion providers with lawsuits. It allows any individual to sue those that help women seeking abortions for a minimum of…

Most girls are still children when they are first harassed by men.

Photo by Aedrian on Unsplash

Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault, Harassment, Pedophilia

Our society has normalized paedophilia, and it needs to stop. Most women encounter sexually explicit comments in their early teens, or even before. The overwhelming popularity of porn categories like “barely legal” and “teen” show the depth of the problem: men are literally searching for the youngest possible woman they can have sex with without going to jail. Yet more often than not, it is the young women being sexualized who are taught to feel shame, while the creepy men face no repercussions.

I’ve written before about how girls encounter sexual harassment and are…

What I learnt from getting lost in the Paris catacombs

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

“We won’t get lost! I promise,” my roommate, Charlie, assured me. The guy we’re following is an expert. He’s been going into the catacombs for years.” ‘Isn’t he your drug dealer?” I reply. “Yep. Why do you want anything?” Charlie asked innocently.

I am not sure why I agreed to go into the Paris catacombs when I suffer from severe claustrophobia. I think the lure of this mythical alternative realm under the city was just too strong to resist. My sense of adventure got the better of my nightmarish visions of getting stuck in narrow tunnels, buried in a cave-in…

My mind escaped my body when I was sexually assaulted. I spent years finding my way back.

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

When I got raped, my brain ran away, slipped out the back door. Such a petulant thing, the mind, it analyzed the situation and was like Nope, I’m not having this. Bye losers. It’s for the best because I don’t know if I could have survived if I had experienced the assault fully. If I had felt it all, I would have broken apart, imploded, never got up from the cold, muddy ground he pinned me to. Later, I look at the bruises on my arms and wonder where they came from.

I didn’t go very far, of course. I…

When a relationship ends, it feels like a version of us dies. But what if that version was still out there, somewhere?

Photo by Shashank Sahay on Unsplash

“We have a memory for you!” Google Photos says and shows me an image of a girl and a boy in a thunderstorm. My ex-boyfriend and me. We are soaked through but smiling, our heads resting on one another’s.

Tom and I lived in a small flat on the top floor. The skylights made us feel like we slept in the middle of the elements. He was obsessed with storms, and whenever there was thunder, we would run out, scramble into the car and drive as close as possible to the heart of the disturbance. We held each other close…

Stark Raving

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