This amazing performance piece by student Madiha speaks for itself:
Acid attacks are devastating, debilitating, deadly, and yet they are often motivated by petty power plays, greed, or for no reason at all. Perhaps that’s why I wrote a play about acid attack victims – to try and honor their perseverance to live in a world when their physical identities are stolen, their faces destroyed, their skin-deep beauty obliterated.
CNN recently did a story about acid victims in India posing for a photo shoot. These women are brave & beautiful, and I’m inspired by their honesty and strength. Take a moment to let them inspire you, too.
The more I write this blog, the more surprised I am at how many times random ideas, links, people, and events connect and come around, full circle – like the film Six Degrees of Separation and the parlour game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, and Kevin Bacon’s charity SixDegrees.org
Here is my latest “six links of separation” story from my last blog:
1. Visiting my husband at his work, I saw a clipped article from 5280 Magazine taped to the desk of one of his co-workers and, after reading it, it stuck with me (not literally – I left it taped to the desk).
2. When I started writing a blog, I remembered the article and thought I could write a post about it, so I got an emailed copy of the clipped article – no headline or byline – and put it aside.
3. In the meantime, I wanted to write a post featuring a clip from the film Amelie, in which the main character receives advice on sassy comebacks from a man whispering through a basement window, but I couldn’t find that particular clip on YouTube. Instead…
4. I found “Young Amelie Gets Her Revenge” which was even better (go back one blog and watch it again!). Then I remembered the article. I pulled up my email, loved the quote all over again, so I went to the 5280’s website and searched for “gas lighting”.
5. The whole article appeared, and I could reference it properly. To my surprise, I recognized the author: Laura Pritchett is not only an award-winning author, 5280 columnist, editor, & parent, she is also a University of Denver professor, and she taught one of my creative writing classes when I got my Masters. I remember her because she was creative and kind and generous – wonderful attributes in anybody but particularly appreciated in creative writing instructors.
6. I made a donation to SixDegrees.org – an homage to the connections and coincidences that make this large world seem slighter smaller and more familiar.
“Although both men and women can be bullies, [Huffington Post writer Yashar] Ali argues that women in particular are susceptible to gaslighting; it’s much more common in our culture to place our emotional burdens on the shoulders of women. “It’s a whole lot easier to emotionally manipulate someone who has been conditioned by our society to accept it,” he writes. “We continue to burden women because they don’t refuse our burdens as easily. It’s the ultimate cowardice.”
Here’s a clip from one of my favorite films, Amelie, about a man who gaslights Amelie as a young girl, and her delicious revenge.
A definition of Gaslighting from Pritchett’s article:
“‘Gaslighting’ is a widely used term these days. It comes from the play and movie Gaslight, in which a husband flicks a house light on and off and then teases his wife for observing it, thereby making her think she is insane and ultimately achieving his sinister goal of having her admitted to a mental hospital.
In real-world gaslighting, bullies do something malicious to create a reaction. When the targets comply, the “gaslighters” make them feel uncomfortable and insecure about their responses. If the poor souls feel absurd or start to second-guess themselves, the bullies have gained even more power. The term once described an extreme form of bullying; now, it’s become commonly used in clinical and research literature.”
Talking to a friend recently, he told me that one of his wealthy buddies, divorced for the fourth time, was simplifying his life.
I immediately pictured a man cleaning up his act, eating lean meat and more vegetables, maybe hitting the gym a few more times a week.
“He sold his plane and his boat,” my friend confided, “and he’s having sex with prostitutes.”
Before I could think of a suitable rejoinder, my friend chuckled and said, “He has a new motto in life: if it flies, floats, or f$@&#s – rent it.”
Typically tongue-tied, I managed to grimace and flee from the conversation, but here are my witty and clever retorts, over twenty-four hours later. Which one should I have used? Can you think of something better?
a. I’m going to cross-stitch that onto a pillow.
b. Impressive alliteration. Is your friend a writer?
c. With that financial acumen, he should be selling Ponzi schemes.
d. If he buys, rents or rapes to f$@&#, ARREST him because it’s ILLEGAL.