Shannon Weber, Ph.D

Content Writer at The Body Is Not An Apology. Contributing writer at AlterNet and Bitch Media. Anti-racist and feminist news and culture analysis to influence and change the world.

The Body Is Not An Apology

7 Things You Can Be Proud of Doing by the Time You’re 35— Even If You Didn’t Save Twice Your Yearly Salary

It’s safe to say that the vast majority of us are definitely nowhere near able to save twice our yearly salary by age 35, despite the newest out-of-touch punchline from the financial sector. As an American in my early 30s who, like most of “our” generation if you’re also American, has a negative net worth thanks to graduating post-financial crash, trying to build a career under the crappy economy, and accumulating vast student loan debt—I get it. You’re probably broke, or at least perpetually a
Bare Mystics

Meet the Woman of Color Behind the World's Most Popular Tarot Deck

Most magical folks are probably familiar with what is typically known as the Rider-Waite tarot deck, as it has become the iconic face of tarot for more than a hundred years. But did you know that the phenomenal woman of color artist and occultist Pamela Colman Smith played a prominent role in the deck’s creation as its illustrator, yet has received almost no credit throughout the deck’s history? Born in Pimlico, London in 1878 to a white American merchant father, Charles Edward Smith (son of th
The Body Is Not An Apology

Self Love Isn't Easy: 10 Difficult Things I Do to Practice Radical Self Love

Self-love is crucial for surviving and thriving in an oppressive society hellbent on making us feel like we’re wrong or not enough. But precisely because of this society, cultivating self-love can be difficult. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety, I know how much energy it can take just to get through the day. When you’re stuck treading water, self-love can feel like an unobtainable luxury. But none of us were meant to be trapped in a constant state of self-hating inertia.
The Body Is Not An Apology

Gaslighting on the Job?: 7 Ways to Know if Your Workplace is Abusive

As I have entered my thirties, I’ve become aware of a pattern in my life: finding myself in toxic situations, strategizing to break free from them, and following my heart to move forward like the resilient goddess I am. As a working-class high schooler, I escaped a dead-end rural town I hated, moving thousands of miles away to attend a top-tier college (with, admittedly, sky-high student loan debt to match). Later I extricated myself from an emotionally abusive marriage with someone I met at tha
Bitch Magazine (Summer 2018 print issue)

Turning 20: Practical Magic Travels Through the Realm of Outsiders

Twenty years ago, Alice Hoffman's 1995 novel Practical Magic was adapted into a heartfelt film that—along with other pieces of '90s pop culture such as The Craft, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Charmed, and Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation—kicked the renaissance of empowered, female-driven witchcraft into high gear. And America has been enchanted ever since, with interest in witchcraft continuing to surge in recent years.
The Body Is Not An Apology

Let the Light In: 6 Ways to Use Body Magick to Heal From Trauma

No matter what type of trauma we are working to heal, it’s a fact that the effects of trauma live in the body. Many of us concerned with justice and trauma reject the Enlightenment-era thinking that our minds and our bodies are discrete components separate from one another, instead recognizing that our bodies, psyches, and spirits are holistically connected. As a witch, and a spiritual person more generally, I use the idea of body magick to practice bodily healing at an energetic, deep soul lev
Bitch Media

Walpurgis Night Lets Witches Celebrate the Resiliency of Spring

If asked to name a holiday associated with witches, most people would immediately think of Halloween. But there is another holiday, exactly six months from October 31, that has been associated with witches for centuries: Walpurgis Night. Walpurgis Night, or Walpurgisnacht in German, has traditionally been celebrated in northern Europe and Scandinavia on the evening of April 30. It’s named for Saint Walpurga (sometimes spelled Walburga), an English 8th-century abbess—basically a nun queen. When
The Body Is Not An Apology

Let’s Stop Acting as if Queers Need to Look a Certain Way to be Queer

In my city, there’s a monthly queer-women-and-company dance event called Flannel Takeover. It’s supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to the visuals of being a queer woman: someone who wears lots of flannel. Line up, ladies and trans gents and non-binary folks! Grab a beer, don your snapback, aaand let’s perpetuate the lazy stereotype that queer woman equals masculine. A memory: my best friend since college, when I first visited him almost seven years ago in the city I now call home, wante
The Body Is Not An Apology

How Conservatives are Using Cis Women's Bodies to Destroy Trans Women's Lives

With very few exceptions, almost every woman and non-binary person closest to me has been a survivor of sexual violence, often committed by people in their own families. The perpetrators of these crimes have overwhelmingly been cisgender men, correlating with national data demonstrating that (cisgender) men are, by far, the gender group most likely to commit sexual violence. Fueled by the #MeToo movement, we are, as a society, finally starting to talk about our appalling rape culture and the pe
Alternet

Stormy Daniels' 60 Minutes Interview Points Out Something Hugely Problematic About How Women Have Sex

“[Donald Trump] was sitting, you know, on the edge of the bed when I walked out, perched,” Stormy Daniels told Anderson Cooper Sunday night on an explosive episode of "60 Minutes," one that drew the highest ratings in 10 years as Americans tuned in to hear more about the president’s latest sexual scandal. “I realized exactly what I’d gotten myself into,” Daniels continued, “and I was like, ugh
The Body Is Not An Apology

10 Ways to Check Your Privilege With Fast Food and Other Service Workers

My brother is a service industry worker. He works at a hamburger restaurant doing all sorts of tasks, from taking orders from testy customers who want to order items that don’t exist on the menu, to cleaning up the messes people leave behind on their tables, to cleaning bathrooms and taking out garbage as swarms of flies buzz around his face. All for ten dollars an hour. Many of the ways that poor and working-class people, as well as immigrants and people of color in general, are demonized also
Alternet

Why We Need Black Feminism More Than Ever Under Trump

In April 1977, members of the black feminist Combahee River Collective—named after Harriet Tubman’s 1863 raid in South Carolina to lead more than 700 enslaved people to freedom—published a document called the Combahee River Collective Statement. In this document, they made a case for understanding how racism, sexism, class oppression, and homophobia are all connected, writing, “If black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would
The Body Is Not An Apology

What It's Like to Get a Queer Divorce After Fighting for Marriage Equality

In a few words: it sucks. Breakups are horrible things, even if, as in my case, they really need to happen. And getting a divorce, with the complications of being legally entangled with someone else and having to get government institutions involved in order to start rebuilding your life, is a unique brand of horrible. But getting a divorce after being denied the right to enter into a marriage, fighting for it in high-profile ways for years while being attacked by the Right and often mocked by
The Body Is Not An Apology

5 Undeniable Reasons We Need To Talk About Christian Privilege

When I was four years old, my parents moved me from Los Angeles to northern Idaho, where I would live for thirteen years—plus a year-long stint in heavily Mormon Utah during first grade—until I moved away to New England for college. During this time, I was exposed to a poor and working-class, white-dominated culture in which evangelical Christianity was the reigning religion, and anything that deviated from it was seen as shocking, suspect, and potentially evil. Living in Idaho meant I had a fr
Political Research Associates

Olympics Row Reveals White Supremacist Pagan Foothold

This week The New York Times reported that the uniforms of this year’s Norwegian Olympic Alpine ski team have caused a stir among those concerned about neonazi co-optation of Viking symbols. The Viking-themed uniforms include the runic Tyr symbol, used chiefly in a linguistic context but which also refers to an ancient Norse god of war. It’s also become a symbol used by the Nordic Resistance Movement, a neonazi organization founded in Sweden in 1997, with additional official chapters in Finland
Alternet

Conservative Attacks on Obama-Era Education Guidelines Ignore How Racism Works

Betsy DeVos and company are at it again. The DeVos-led Department of Education is currently cooking up ways to get rid of the 2014 Obama-era guidelines for K-12 public school discipline, which was aimed at ameliorating discrepancies based on race, class and disability when it comes to how students are punished in school. In November, conservative think tanks Center of the American Experiment and the Fordham Institute helped coordinate a meeting at the Department of Education wherein teachers cr
The Body Is Not An Apology

10 Ways to Check Your Privilege Around Poor and Working-Class Friends

It’s important to come to terms with your class privilege and disrupt your assumptions about how your friends from poor and working-class backgrounds relate to money and wealth. As someone who grew up working-class, my idea of being wealthy was living in a two-story house. The types of extreme wealth I would encounter in adulthood just didn’t exist in the Northwest towns I lived in. Even though my parents had no health insurance or salaried jobs, and I would hear them frequently fighting about
The Body Is Not An Apology

10 Ways I Was More Resilient After 2017 Tried to Kill Us All

As relieved as so many of us were to close out the dumpster fire of a year that was 2016, most of us in the United States—and everyone around the world impacted by American foreign policy—also probably looked toward 2017 with trepidation. Whose lives would be destroyed by the monster just elected to office? Which communities already living on the edge of precarity would be thrown into the abyss? Would the world be annihilated by nuclear war? How quickly will the earth hurtle toward irreversible
The Body Is Not An Apology

Why White North Americans Need to Understand Ourselves as “Settlers”

If you’re white, this land was not made for you and me. Like many white North Americans, I grew up with a vague idea of where my ancestors came from. In my case, they were scattered across Western Europe, and I was fascinated by what their lives must have been like. But I had no real connection to what it means, culturally, to be Irish or Scottish or British or German or Norwegian. One time as a Girl Scout, my troop leader had us create a cookbook with recipes from all of our different cultura
Everyday Feminism

How to Survive the Holidays in a Cross-Class Relationship

The holidays are supposed to be a time of warmth, joy, and pulling family closer. But, as so many of us know, the reality is often far messier. For those of us dating partners who come from a more privileged class background, the holidays can be awkward and even demoralizing. The good news is that none of us want the holidays to be an alienating buzzkill or a (re)traumatizing culture shock for our partner(s). With a healthy dose of humility, a touch of humor, and a lot of self-reflection and c
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