Mad Feminist Activism in the Global Feminist Movement

A Mad Feminist Dialogue for a Mad Archive: “Mad Feminist Activism in the Global Feminist Movement: A Dialogue on and of Dissent”

This event was part of the 7th Biennial Seneca Falls Dialogues, in 2020, hosted by the Women’s Institute for Leadership and Learning. The dialogue brought together mad activists and scholars to discuss old and new directions in Mad feminist activism and to consider mad activism’s role in a larger feminist agenda. It will also touched on the rights and positionality of women, Black and Indigenous People of Color, and LGBTQ+ folx living with psychiatric labels or who have had psychiatric experiences, and those fighting for their rights from unique locations within larger social justice efforts. The dialogue considered non-normative activism and elicited discourse on what mad feminist activism has been and is becoming, considering the ways that mad feminist activism has dealt with and deals with identity, erased histories, and contested activist and advocacy tendencies and trajectories. By exchanging ideas and sharing experiences on mad feminist activism, our hope was that our dialogue would serve as a moment of mad grassroots organizing.

Continue reading “Mad Feminist Activism in the Global Feminist Movement”

Betty Aubut

Jody

“Hi, I’m Jody. I’m a lesbian but don’t worry, it’s not like I’m going to attack you in the middle of the night.”

            I spun around to see a stocky woman with close cropped hair standing a bit too close for comfort. Jody appeared to be 20-something, like me, and wore tattered dungarees, left-overs from the 70s, like mine. I had been unpacking and quietly checking out my new digs on the unlocked unit of this prestigious, private, psychiatric hospital south of Boston. I think I did feel a bit attacked as Jody’s booming voice jolted me back to reality. I likely jumped a mile.

Continue reading “Betty Aubut”

To Seek Help or Not to Seek Help: Taking Precautions and Being Proactive Choice-makers

Two years ago, a friend of mine who works and advocates within the mental health system in Erie County, NY asked me to write something for the Anti-Stigma Coalition. I wanted to write about the RISKS involved with asking for help because this is a topic that is often avoided because those who work within the mental health system do not want to deter potential consumers from seeking services, but the reality is that there are risks involved with seeking help – and that sometimes force and trauma are packaged as or folded into help, and this is something that every consumer and person deserves to know before they seek help for themselves or others – or have help forced upon them.

Below is what I wrote for the coalition – it didn’t jive with the campaign’s mission but it does jive with MITA’s mission, and so it’s been sitting in a folder for two years, but I decided to post it up in the event that someone out there reads it and finds it meaningful or helpful. This short essay was written primarily for people who identify as consumers but is likely to be relevant to those who do not identify as consumers or those who identify as psychiatric survivors. It was written by someone who was harmed, not helped, by the mental health system, and by someone who does not identify as a consumer – but, rather, as a survivor. Continue reading “To Seek Help or Not to Seek Help: Taking Precautions and Being Proactive Choice-makers”

Gaslighting

What Is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting: manipulating someone, by psychological means, into doubting their own sanity.[1] This may involve saying something and later denying having said it, making you question your memory, making you feel that everything is your fault, and even outright lying to you (and possibly those around you). Continue reading “Gaslighting”

On Being Well

When you’re ill, and you reach the threshold of what you consider ‘enough pain to warrant treatment,’ you can do a number of things: you can continue to live with the pain, you can try at-home remedies, you can seek out holistic forms of treatment that exist outside the medical realm, or you can go to the doctor.

Pain is a matter of perception. Continue reading “On Being Well”

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