Let’s get the textbook explanation out of the way first.
In a nutshell, Power Struggling is a weekly column with new articles coming out every Monday all about the ways in which tiny differences of power between systems and individuals affect our personal lives.
Yes, it’s one of those columns. The pretentious, overly wrought kind that half the internet loves and half the internet hates.
When I was asked to come up with a concept for a column, it came with the advice that it should be something I sincerely wanted to write about and that I could go on writing ad nauseum for an indefinite period of time.
Okay, I thought, there’s a lot of stuff I could write about. Internet aesthetics was the first thing to come to mind. Then I remembered I already milked that topic in my first three months at A Little Bit Human.
Still, my brain was stuck on writing about clothes.
That’s when it hit me: my first experience of inequality and discrimination was related to clothes.
My first year of high school was at a strict Catholic school that held mandatory mass every first Friday of the month. We had to wear a gala uniform — an all-white uniform made of thick, barely breathable fabric. The dress code dictated that we couldn’t unbutton or roll up our sleeves. This meant that all the guys, gals, and closeted non-binary pals suffered as equals in the sweltering 93-degree heat.
At least, I thought we were equals until it became clear that when the heat wouldn’t let up, the school administrators told the guys they could roll up their sleeves. The girls? We had to pay for Eve’s transgressions. Heaven forbid we showed our upper arms at church. That would be so unladylike.
That experience changed me. It made me sensitive to every little thing that could possibly be unfair. I started to see how I was treated differently for being a girl. It was my feminist awakening.
Dramatic, I know.
But isn’t that what everybody says when a victim of inequality points out that something is unfair?
‘Stop being so dramatic, you’re just not working hard enough.’
‘Stop being so dramatic, isn’t it enough that we tolerate you freaks?’
‘Stop being so dramatic, you know what they say about you people isn’t entirely untrue.’
Admittedly, there are flaws in what is flippantly labeled “Twitter and TikTok activism,” but behind these advocacies are real people who take that stance because of their lived experiences.
Power Struggling is about those experiences and why they occur in the context of a wider, and yes, super unfair, system.
Depending on how much coffee I’ve had, we’ll talk about HOA redlining, whether the pay gap actually exists, what it’s like to be a minority within a minority, the intricacies of “acting white,” and why even seemingly good people have racist sentiments. You know, all the risky stuff that will be hit or miss.
If you’re into that, stick around and you might just see me get canceled on Twitter.