A common piece of writing advice I see floating around is that adverbs are bad, you shouldn’t use them in your writing, and the best authors use adverbs extremely sparingly. As a writer, I know how hard it can be to actually do this and I’ve grappled with trying to improve my work following this advice in the past. With time and experience, however, I’ve realized that this advice is given in a bit of an over-simplified light.
The legacy of J.K. Rowling is a long and prolific one—Harry Potter is a household name and Muggle is in the dictionary. She’s also a well-known public figure and has a massive online presence, particularly on Twitter. But, as with all things, sometimes she garners attention for… not the best reasons.
It’s no secret that "feminism" is something of a dirty word to a lot of people, to the point that “feminist” can be considered an insult (Waugh 2015). But where does this come from? Is the movement that started with women getting the right to vote (Ruiz) and progressed into fighting against environmental destruction (We Rise; Kapoor 2015; Ruiz), capitalist oppression (We Rise; Red Letter Press 2007; Kapoor 2015; Ruiz), and racism (We Rise; IWDA 2018) really such a terrible thing?
In the days leading up to Thanksgiving in Canada, you’ll often see social media flooded with more posts and memes about First Nations’ rights, land theft, and colonialism. That the indigenous peoples of Canada were here first is common knowledge, and that settler society has done harmful and racist things against First Nations people is well-known. But there is still a fairly large gap in the general understanding of what, exactly, happened—and about what issues First Nations people in Canada continue to face.
I don’t think it’s a secret that the MOGAI community is complicated, or that there are a lot of misconceptions about the many, many identities encompassed within that umbrella. From contention around the term "queer," to questions about what the “A” in "LGBTQIA+" stands for, there’s a lot to learn and remember and unpack—and a lot of misinformation to contend with. Moreover, when dealing with such a large community, it’s inevitable that you encounter differences of perspective and opinion, which unfortunately can turn heated.
There is no question that the political climate of the US is highly charged in recent years, or that President Donald Trump has been accused of heinous actions. In the Ukraine scandal alone, he is accused of numerous crimes, including bribery, extortion, and conspiracy. (Walter 2019) There’s been ongoing, consistent outcry about the border camps and practice of separating migrant children from their families to live in squalor. (Dalton 2019; Holmes 2019; Helm and Tapper 2018; Miller 2019) But the conversation around these border camps—these concentration camps, as they have been called (Holmes 2019; Miller 2019)—falls woefully short of acknowledging the biggest, most central problem with the practice of separating children from their families as a matter of government policy.