Rebel Well: when everything seems terrible or nowhere feels safe

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Wed, 01/17/2024 - 13:58

This piece is part of Rebel Well: a Starter Survival Guide to a Trumped America for Teens and Emerging Adults.

There are safe places in the world, and there are good things, many within easy reach. Go to or spend time in the safe places. Think about and seek out⁠ the good things you value and love. These are important parts of how we survive whatever we’re struggling with, whether it’s our government or a breakup.

What are some safe places?

  • Libraries
  • Hospitals
  • Places of worship
  • Daycare centers
  • Book stores, coffee shops or cafes
  • Your friend’s house with that family you wish you had
  • Grocery stores, family markets and food courts
  • Embassies
  • Community or youth centers, including YMCAs and YWCAs
  • LGBQT centers
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Public health clinics
  • Staffed public transit stations
  • Assisted living facilities

What are some good things?

  • Baby animals
  • Cookies
  • Your favorite song you know by heart
  • Street vendors and farmer’s markets
  • Your favorite book from when you were a kid
  • Your best friend (human, canine, feline or otherwise)
  • Cereal
  • Hot cocoa with those tiny marshmallows
  • That the Cubs did win the World Series before everything went straight to hell
  • A blanket when you’re cold
  • Petrichor (both that there is a word for the scent of dirt after the rain and the smell itself)
  • Cooking with friends
  • Your body, feeling alive
  • A wanted hug or hand-hold
  • A nap
  • Otters
  • The best dream you ever had
  • You

all of rebel well: front page •  why we made this guide • for everyone • healthcare • relationships & sex • conflict resolution • for those suffering harassment online, at school or at work • for those in abusive/controlling relationships, or who are homeless, transient or in the foster system • for those who are trans or LGBQ • for those who are of color • for those who experience religious intolerance or who are undocumented citizens • for those who are disabled • for those interacting with the justice system • for those engaging in active protest • when everything seems terrible or nowhere feels safe • how to help each other & improve this godawful mess • resources and helplines

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  • Mona Eltahawy

The Iranian Revolution was co-opted by the clerics who then claimed as an achievement the mass covering of an entire nation’s women’s hair. Who owns my hair, let alone my body, when a revolution in which women fought alongside men soon after declaring victory, enforced hijab? When you shave the hair under that enforced hijab, are you then the revolution of one, defying, disobeying, and disrupting? When you rip off that compulsory hijab in public and shave off your hair in public, are you finally completing the revolution that the theocrats and the misogynists stole from you?