Women Are Burnt Out—What Can We Do About It?

By Nicole Mitchell

I’m tired. In fact, I’ve been tired for years, and I’m not alone. When I ask my friends how they’re doing, most of them say they’re exhausted. How could we not be? We’re 20-somethings who work multiple jobs, lack a set sleep schedule, are in school, and more.

While fatigue can be a sign of physical illnesses, including thyroid issues or anemia, it could also be a sign of burnout. According to CNBC, 53% of women in the U.S. are burnt out and experiencing fatigue, brain fog, and chronic stress, since the pandemic hit.

One of the root causes of burnout is lack of fairness—something women are far too familiar with. Mothers typically take over most of the childcare and housework, working women have to work harder for their voices to be heard in the workplace, and high school girls are being discriminated against by their school’s handbook policies, to name a few. Being a woman is unfair in itself.

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Shop Local: Artists at Van Go Open Holiday Art Show, Online Store

By Nicole Mitchell

One yearly project of local art nonprofit Van Go is Adornment, which is centered around holiday shopping. The organization hires youth to create works of art for its Annual Adornment Art Show and Sale, which are then sold to the public. This year’s theme is “A Seat at the Table” and is inspired by Shirley Chrisholm, the first Black woman to serve in the United States Congress, along with her quote, “if they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

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How The Kink Educator began her path to sex education

Bad Ass Babe Emerson Karsh

By Nicole Mitchell

Emerson Karsh (she/her) is a sex and kink educator and creator of the Instagram account @thekinkeducator. She often shares information on the world of kink on her Instagram account, such as aftercare conversations that need to be had or discussing sexual stereotypes. She’s also written a few articles for Rachel Wright, an online sexual health blog, including Your Guide to Ghosting: Why it Happens & How to Recover and 12 Important Facts About Orgasms That Are All Based In Science. Sex is all about feeling comfortable and connected, as well as having fun. Today, Karsh talks about how she got started in sex education and where she’s planning on going next.

Tell me about your background. What did you do before you taught sex education? 

Before I became a sex and kink educator I was actually in sexual assault prevention and education actually! I would present to fraternities, sororities, and other college organizations on topics surrounding sexual assault prevention like consent 101, bystander intervention, alcohol and consent, and healthy relationships. I loved this work but as a survivor myself, it was draining. At this time I also realized I wanted to put my personal love for kink and my sexual assault prevention education background together as one of my assaults occurred within a D/s dynamic I was in when I was young and didn’t have the right tools to understand the importance of vetting, safewords, negotiation, and aftercare. I have also worked as a personal assistant in a few different fields to make money.

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I am a coward.

By Lauren Conaway

I am a coward.

When the doctor told me I was pregnant, I was dumbfounded. The room was cold. I was vulnerable in my little robe, and his words echoed for what seemed like hours.

How could this be? I was on the pill. Every month, I called Planned Parenthood. I made sure to pick up that prescription, and I took that tiny, politicized pill religiously. 4:00 p.m. on the dot, every day. I later came to find out that I’m what’s called a “fast metabolizer,” a concept I didn’t even know existed until it was too late.

I was almost two months along. I was almost 20 years old.

My periods had always been a bit irregular so the first tip-off was the constant vomiting. I was so, so sick. From the moment I woke up to the moment I put my exhausted head on the pillow, I felt like an absolute trainwreck. Unable to keep food or even water down, I lost almost 20 pounds over the course of a month. Later, as I watched Kate Middleton grapple with hyperemesis gravidarum during her first pregnancy, I felt a pang of recognition. Is that what I was experiencing so many years ago? I’ll probably never know.

At the time, I was 3 months past a PTSD-fueled nervous breakdown and the subsequent ending of my brief and dramatic college career.

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Trauma Bonded: How writing a show about my assault helped me heal.

By Chloe Burns

“You need to address this now,” my therapist told me at a regular appointment in December of 2019, her tone more stern than I’d heard her before. “The longer you wait, the harder it will be to correct.” 

She was referring to my laundry list of trauma symptoms—a collection of hyper-vigilance, chronic insomnia, disorganization, nightmares, panic attacks, and dissociation—I had been dismissing for years until I experienced an assault at work in October of 2019  and those symptoms came crashing back. I was then unemployed, living off of my dwindling savings, and spending my days alternating between crying and watching TV with my eyes unfocused. I hadn’t been in Los Angeles for a full year, and already, I was at an impasse.

In June of 2019, I moved to LA to pursue acting and filmmaking, and the business of my life had helped me manage my existing trauma symptoms so far. Running between background acting jobs on television sets and acting classes to my various jobs left me happily exhausted at the end of the day, my mind distracted from the anxieties and hyper-vigilance that tormented me in the quiet. 

But when I was violated at work that fall, my systems shut down completely, and I could no longer lean on my lifestyle for distraction. My ability to sleep was destroyed. My body felt so numb that I frequently mistook my own heartbeat for the earthquake tremors I had experienced since moving to the coast. Anxiety flooded my veins so ferociously that I was exhausted before my day even began. Yet, rest was out of the question. Unexpected noises caused me to lurch out of my seat,  but my limbs felt so heavy I doubted my ability to defend myself against even the slightest threat. I was somehow moving one hundred miles an hour while stuck completely still. Every day that passed meant more of my savings vanished, and by the time COVID sent the nation into their homes, I knew something needed to give.

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