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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Equality

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🧽 Talk to your partner every day about who’s doing what tasks.

The division of household chores can be a sore spot for even the happiest couples. One simple solution comes via Don and Carrie Cole, therapists and master trainers with the Gottman Institute, a relationship-focused research organization: Have daily check-ins to ensure that each of you feels okay about who’s doing what household tasks.

As Brigid Schulte writes in Forge, couples should approach these check-ins as “a regular ritual of connection to make sure you’re both on the same page.” All it takes is a few minutes of each…


The pandemic threatens to set gender equality back a generation. Here’s how to temper that in your own home.

Photo: Giselleflissak / Getty Images

All happy couples are alike — or at least, the happiest couples tend to have something in common, which is that they’re either fairly egalitarian or they’re seeking to be.

Relationships with fairer divisions of labor aren’t just happier; they’re also more stable and healthy, more fun, and more intimate. And research has shown that most people would prefer to equally share the labor of work and home — even though, as the past year has laid bare, that’s rarely how things shake out in practice. …


How to keep doing the work

Protestor holding a sign that says “OUR VOICES COUNT.”
Protestor holding a sign that says “OUR VOICES COUNT.”
People gathered near the Post Office in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to celebrate the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States. Photo: Paul Weaver/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

For many, 2020 has been a time of increased civic awareness and involvement, whether we focused our energies on helping our neighbors deal with Covid, living more ecologically sound lives, joining in the fight for racial justice, or just devoting our attention to the election as if everything hinged on our all-caps rage-tweeting. Now we find ourselves in a new place, post-election, and many have breathed, finally, tentatively, asigh of relief.

But we are also exhausted, and there is still work to be done. Maybe you’re drained from 9 months of a pandemic. Maybe you’re depleted from navigating a recession…


Niceness is about maintaining the status quo. Kindness is revolutionary.

Photo: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

At the beginning of the pandemic, Gal Gadot produced a video featuring an array of celebrities singing John Lennon’s “Imagine.” It was supposed to be a declaration that we’re all suffering through this crisis together. But it didn’t exactly come off that way. As viewers watched the stars croon lyrics like “imagine no possessions” from their isolated mega-villas, those of us in the real world were losing our jobs, health insurance, homes, and loved ones. Many viewers described the video as “out of touch” and “cringe-worthy.”

Gadot insists she was just trying to do something nice! In a recent Vanity…


The New Self-Help

Every day, I was rewarded for behavior that I was previously punished for

Book jacket for Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man by Thomas Page McBee
Book jacket for Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man by Thomas Page McBee

This story is part of The New Self-Help: 21 Books for a Better You in the 21st Century.

When I first began injecting testosterone, I clocked the changes primarily in aesthetic terms: the T-shirt that now fit me, the graceful curl of biceps, the glorious sprinkle of a beard. I loved being a man; I loved having a body.

Those first few years of testosterone injections coincided with a period of anxious headlines about men in economic turmoil. Post-recession, surges in suicides, drug addiction, and even beards were all blamed on a broader insecurity about the massive loss of jobs…


Can we learn to live without the people we once revered?

Photo: MartinFredy/Getty Images

In the past few months, the American media has been filled with images of protestors pulling down public statues of racist historical figures — many of them Confederate soldiers. A startling number of these statues were created during the Jim Crow era for the express purpose of intimidating Black Americans; these sculptures depicting “heroes” of the Confederacy are often little more than monuments to what those supposed “heroes” stood for: slavery, segregation, and anti-Black violence. These sculptures were, quite literally, putting prejudices on a pedestal, and there is something powerful in seeing them removed.

As I’ve watched the triumphal toppling…


It’s a good-faith expression of expecting better

Photo: Epoxydude/Getty Images

There’s a lot to be angry about right now: A global pandemic given free rein in the United States by callous and incompetent leadership. A righteous uprising against anti-Blackness and state-sanctioned brutality met with more brutality and martial law. Millions of people squeaking by on unemployment, many of whom may now also be facing eviction. The upcoming start of a school year that holds worrisome unknowns, particularly for the most vulnerable among us.

Despite all the reasons to feel angry, I find in my therapy practice that it is somewhat rare for my clients to bring their anger into the…


For women and people of color, career advice meant to empower can have the opposite effect

A Black businesswoman wearing a face mask negotiates with a client. There is a plastic divider for social distancing.
A Black businesswoman wearing a face mask negotiates with a client. There is a plastic divider for social distancing.
Photo: Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

“Always negotiate.”

“Ask for what you want.”

“Charge what you’re worth.”

If I had a dollar for every piece of career advice I’ve read that boiled down to have more confidence, I probably wouldn’t need to negotiate anything ever again.

And of course, advocating for yourself makes a difference. I asked for more money for this very story. But for women and people of color, headlines like “Why You Should Always Ask for More Money” can ring hollow. Like much of the professional world, they weren’t created with us in mind.

So much traditional career advice perpetuates the idea that…


The New Self-Help

You’ll better understand the complexity of oppression, and what we can do to challenge it

This story is part of The New Self-Help: 21 Books for a Better You in the 21st Century.

Sometimes people assume that outspoken Black women — perhaps especially outspoken Black women professors — came out of the womb wearing a “Black Girl Magic” T-shirt and quoting Angela Davis. But the truth is that like most people in this country, I was not socialized to take Black women’s knowledge seriously — which of course means that I was not socialized to take my own knowledge seriously.

Many Black women have had to struggle against the intertwined forces of patriarchy, racism, and…


There’s a role for everyone in this fight

Community members arrange donations at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 30, 2020. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Two questions I keep getting are “What can I do?” and “What resources do I start with?” While the general answers are “anything and everything” and “Google,” I thought I’d drop some specifics for the different situations you may find yourself in. There’s a role for everybody in this, even if it’s not on the frontlines. Find yours and get to work.

If you’re just now joining the fight and not sure where to start:

If you have racist family members or friends who are making sideways comments:

  • Respond with open-ended questions. “What do you mean by that?”…

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