BBFH: Ida B Wells

Damn, I knew this lady was a badass bitch, but when I dove into this research I was thrilled to learn exactly how few fucks she had to give. T Thomas Fortune, a Black civil rights leader, journalist, and publisher, once said of Ida that she “has plenty of nerve; she is as smart as a steel trap, and she has no sympathy with humbug.” And like damn if that’s not accurate. Let’s dive in and see just how little sympathy with humbug this badass bitch had.

Born into slavery about six months before Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation*, Ida’s childhood was informed by the Reconstruction era and the work that Black folx of the South were doing at the time. Something that may be important to note here, that I certainly never learned in high school history, is that in the years directly following the end of the Civil War, there were as many as 1500 Black officeholders elected to office before white southerners began enacting voter restriction laws. Ida’s father was not in government, but he did help to found Rust College, an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), which Ida attended. So she comes from a family of Badasses.

Unfortunately when she was a teenager, she lost both of her parents and one of her siblings during a yellow fever epidemic. Out of this tragedy, she arose, pulled up her badass britches, and stepped into the path of no humbug that she followed her whole life.

Although she was only sixteen at the time, she convinced a local school administrator that she was eighteen and qualified to be a teacher (1). In this manner she was able to continue to support her five younger surviving siblings.

A few years later, a rather inciting incident took place. She bought a first class train ticket and hopped on board with all the other first class passengers. Once the train was underway, she was asked to move to a car designated for Black riders. Like Rosa Parks would nearly a century later, Ida refused. She’d paid for first class, for fucks sake. Having no respect for human beings, the crew tried to physically remove her at which point she, in her own words, “fastened [her] teeth in the back of his hand (2).” Fuck yeah you did, Ms. Wells! While that particular dudebro would not go near her again, other crew members dragged her out anyway. Ida wrote, “They were encouraged to do this by the attitude of the white ladies and gentlemen in the car; some of them even stood on the seats so that they could get a good view and continued applauding the conductor for his brave stand (2).” She sued the railroad and won. For a time, anyway. The decision was eventually reversed by the Tennessee Supreme Court (1).

So, like so many badass bitches, she began writing. She had articles published in various newspapers and even went on to own two papers herself (1). However, because she preferred to remain not murdered, she used the pseudonym “Iola” (3). She continued teaching even while she was writing and often wrote about the inferior conditions of Black schools, demanding equality.

When three of her friends were lynched, she responded in the only way she knew how: she spent two months travelling through the south, collecting information on lynchings and writing about them, and eventually publishing a pamphlet and taking her anti-lynching campaign across the Atlantic to Europe and Great Britain (3). She was not fucking around. No sympathy with humbug.

It feels like such a silly detail to follow that epic part of her story with, but in reality I think it’s remarkable to remember that when Ida got married in 1895, she was one of the first American women to keep her maiden name (1). Fuck yeah. No sympathy with humbug patriarchy, y’all. Never forget where we come from, fellow women. It may be commonplace today to keep our names, but it was revolutionary at one time and Ida got in on the ground floor.

But she wasn’t just an investigative journalist, writer, publisher, orator, educator, wife, and mother. She was also a suffragist.

(Fun fact because I like fun facts: “suffragette” is a term that actually only applied to one small group of suffragists in Great Britain who were kinda known for their mild violence. Throwing bricks through windows and whatnot. Everyone else was a “suffragist.”)

When I am educating people on feminism and feminist ideals, I often remind them that feminism has historically been exclusionary. The suffragists excluded Black women, the women’s libbers excluded lesbians, and today some so-called feminists attempt to exclude transwomen. I use this fact as proof that it’s time to learn from our history and do better. Ironically, it’s always been an attempt to appeal to the perceived majority that prompts the exclusion. An attempt to “find the middle ground” (lol sorry but it’s not the middle ground if all of the people aren’t welcomed into the space).

Ida faced this directly. Having no sympathy for humbug, she did what Ida always did: what she fucking set her mind to.

In March of 1913, Alice Paul and other suffragists had planned a march on Washington. Ida traveled to Washington DC with the Alpha Suffrage Club, an organization she helped to found in Chicago, with the intent to March. Although Alice was sympathetic to Ida, in the end it was decided that Black suffragists would have to march at the end of the parade instead of with their respective organizations. Ida was like fuck no everyone knows I’ve got no sympathy for humbug and she waited in the crowds along the street until her group marched by, at which point she just fucking joined them (4).

The Chicago Daily Tribune published a photo of Ida B. Wells marching in the suffrage parade on March 5, 1913. Credit: Chicago Daily Tribune, found at (4)

God I love this woman.

There is so much more she was involved with that this mini-bio doesn’t have time to go into. She’s considered a founding member of the NAACP, for instance (1). I highly recommend you go forth and google some shit. If each of us can find just a fraction of the amount of No Sympathy For Humbug that Ida did, we could change the world for the better real fucking fast. Keep that in mind, friends.

*Remember, slavery did not end until… well, technically ever if you read the thirteenth amendment, which specifically allows for slavery as “punishment for crime,” but the amendment’s act of ending chattel slavery was not proclaimed until December 18, 1865.

Works Cited
1. “Ida B. Wells (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 30 Dec. 2020,
2. Leider, Polly. “Excerpt from ‘Lighting the Way.’” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 16 July 2007,
3. Smith, Clint, host. Ida B. Wells: Crash Course Black American History #20. Crash Course,, 8 Oct. 2021, Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.
4. “Standing up for Her Principles: Ida B. Wells and the Suffrage Movement: Ida B. Wells: Chicago Stories.” WTTW Chicago, WTTW Chicago, 21 May 2021,

Adidas Reveals New Ad That’s Just Boobies

Have you seen this new Adidas ad?? I know it’s still trying to sell us something and I don’t trust any major corporation to be interested in anything but profit but even still I’ll take this bit of representation of how varied bodies can be. And if you needed this today, don’t forget to check out the o.g. body normalizing site, 007 Breasts.

All boobies are good boobies.

[Image shows a tweet by Adidas advertising their new sports bras by showing off 25 topless women with all sorts of boobs. Small ones, large ones, white ones, boobies of color, perky ones, ones pointing down, lopsided ones, ones with vitiligo.]

Let’s not “Just Be Friends”

A quick hello to my readers, and a thank you for being so patient with me as my family struggles through the worst year of our lives. I am working on slowly getting back to work here at SOAM.

Joe Biden has been elected the new president of the United States!

I hadn’t realized exactly how much the election (and the Trump presidency) had been affecting me until Saturday, which I spent crying with relief. Since then, each day has felt like I am floating. My god, it’s like the weight has been lifted (that’s a Killers lyric and I am absolutely making a Killers reference, you’re welcome).

But it’s vitally important that we not become complacent in our relief because there is much work to be done. This pandemic has shown us the weaknesses in our society that existed even before Trump – lack of access to medical care, predatory landlords, the fact that the 1% really does not give a shit about their workers, only their capital gains. We’ve also seen how deeply racism runs in this nation – this isn’t new, it’s merely awoken. We were broken before Trump and now we have a chance to fix things for now and the future and we cannot fuck this up. Or we will be back here in four more years.

It will be a lot of work.

And that work may feel uncomfortable to some of you at first because we are taught from an early age that we should work to create peace with our enemies. And that isn’t untrue; it is a noble ideal. And it works if both parties are willing to examine themselves and move forward. But that is not the reality most of the time.

It’s hard to examine ourselves. BTDT.

I’ve seen a lot of liberal folx calling for peace and love right now. I’m fully down with that!

But I want to be very clear that peace and love are not merely passive things. Peace and love don’t mean just sitting back and smiling because everything is okay. Peace and love are void if there isn’t a basis for peace and love holding them up.

Peace and love are fierce. Peace and love are the mama bear of the social justice movements. Peace and love are out there fighting for the peace and for the love of marginalized folx. I’m not Christian but I know that Jesus wasn’t out there just sitting around saying “love each other” – he was also flipping tables and hanging out with prostitutes. Love is for the ones who need it. Love fights for their peace. Love prioritizes those who are marginalized and protects them.

Love is here to comfort the afflicted. Love is here to afflict the comfortable, to help them grow and change. If they aren’t willing to do that work, they aren’t a part of the game. If they are unwilling to stop abusing, they don’t get protected. I’m here to include everyone except the excluders.

Or, in not so many words:

Now it’s time to do the dirty work. It’s time for education on racial, gender, sexuality, class, and other social issues. It’s time to shame those who refuse to move past our dark history and leave them behind in their hatred. They are always more than welcome to rejoin us when they are ready.

But here’s the thing that your family and friends who are queer, BIPOC, Disabled, and/or experiencing poverty want you to know:

as long as you are trying to “make the peace” without doing any of the work below the surface, you are not only not making peace, but you are actively upholding all these oppressive systems

demanding that marginalized folx “just be friends” is silencing

silence in the face of oppression is the side of the oppressor

if nobody calls out the racism (homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, misogyny, etc) the racism thinks it gets to say and we get another Trump in four years

allies call out racism even if it’s “ugly” or “uncomfortable”

Don’t silence marginalized communities. Just. Don’t.

Here are some resources you can donate to if you are looking for ways to help keep the momentum from the election and turn it into real social justice activism to create a better world now. (Many of these are local to San Diego, but some have national affiliates.)

San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium
San Diego Food Bank
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
San Diego LGBT Community Center
Border Angels
Planned Parenthood
Indigenous New Hampshire -thanks to reader Rikki who wanted to add that BIPOC are the folx who made this election happen and the indigenous of Arizona are credited with flipping their state. If you’d like to learn more or donate to the people whose land you are living on, you can find which nations once flourished where you live here.

Just a quick note before I close here because I know there are some of you readers out there saying “I’m not here for politics! Get back to talking about body image!”

Body image is inherently a feminist issue.

Feminist issues are inherently political.

Every single aspect of your life, from the roads you drive on, to the access to medical care you may or may not have are decided by politics.

Identities cannot be separated from each other: because some women are Black, or disabled, or queer – feminism must also stand for those movements or else it is only for white women (and I am not here for that).

Finally, the world has become so unstable and frankly outright dangerous, that body image may need to be set aside a little bit while we focus on, say, eliminating fascism from US government. I’ll never stop talking about body image and how important it is, or all the issues associated with it, but if people are dying body image doesn’t mean much, so let’s triage the issues and get folx safe before we drop these other pressing issues.

Black Lives Matter (Anti-Racism Resources)

I’m officially back, Readers!

I apologize for not having a whole beautifully written statement on the events that have transpired here in the US and across the globe this week. I have long stood with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and I have been sharing everything I can on SOAM’s space on Facebook, so check that out for more resources including an album I am creating with various thoughts and perspectives on racism in the US.

For understanding racism more fully, including historical context:
A Timeline of Events that Led to the 2020 “Fed-Uprising” (Hint: it starts in 1619)

Ben & Jerry are not fucking around.

John Oliver killed it last night with his post on the events in the US this past week. Other timely John Oliver recommendations:
Ferguson, MO and Police Militarization
Police Accountability

Here is a list of Ted Talks to help you understand racism in America

A list of Facebook pages to help parents discuss racism and decolonization.

Resources for protestors:
Teen Vogue killing it again: How to Safely and Ethically Film Police Violence

Broadcastify is a website that allows you to access thousands of local police scanners. I often listen to my local police when I hear a lot of sirens, but during the riot in La Mesa, CA the other night, it was especially helpful.

How to talk about racism, riots and looting, and other related topics:
Why you should stop saying “All Lives Matter” explained 9 ways.

How to respond to “Riots never solve anything!”

Affirming Black Lives Without Inducing Trauma

Tone Policing Is Just Another Way To Protect Privilege

Let me know if there is anything else I should include here. There is a lot to take in here, but I’m sure it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Keep doing the good work, readers!

Taking a Break- be back soon!

Hello, friends! As you know, I struggle with a few disabilities and illnesses. Even before this stupid pandemic, my life was already a major struggle. Right now I can only do a very few things each day and I have some personal chores that need my attention urgently. So I’m going to spend the next two or three weeks catching up on all that and then I’ll be back here again working hard for you!

I will still be active at our Facebook page, sharing memes or information. And if you’d like to help support the work I do here you can join our Patreon.

I plan to be back by May 25 and will keep you updated if that changes.

Thank you for always being so supportive and understanding!

It’s official- I’m back!

This little plant, surviving on its own among rocks and dirt, with its green spikes and its delicate purple flower? This plant is my role model.


Life is messy.

There’s this idea that we are supposed to grow up, get a degree and a career, find a husband, make some babies, and live happily ever after.

I did it wrong. No- differently.

I dropped out of college, married as an escape from an abusive childhood, had beautiful babies, grew up and began my life.

I’ve just turned 42 and I’m only one year out of University and LET ME TELL YOU IT’S BEEN A HELL OF A YEAR.

Because another thing about Life is that not only does it come in whatever order it comes in, but it likes to throw curveballs, too.

Immediately after university I found a part time job tutoring junior college students in writing (and oh man it was like my FAVORITE job I’ve ever had). I intended to use the other part of my time to grow SOAM.

But here’s the thing.

Turns out I’m neurodivergent. I’m seeking diagnoses right now but I’m confident that I have ADHD and likely autism as well (grown women discovering this about themselves in middle age or later is a Whole Thing).

I’ve watched over the years as bloggers who were just beginning at the same time I was succeed well beyond me, but I’ve felt paralyzed all these years because I don’t understand how to move forward. How do I write a book? How to I create and launch new projects? Etc. I’ve spent literal years saturated in my own shame for not succeeding but I didn’t know what else to do. I came to believe I was just “bad” at being self-employed.

I now recognize this as executive dysfunction. And I know it’s not my fault. My brain is just built differently. Having this information is key to moving forward in literally every aspect of my life. It’s absolutely a positive thing, but it’s also a huge thing. With understanding one’s own neurodivergence later in life comes the need to deconstruct one’s own psyche, learning how it works, what it needs. It takes time to rebuild it. Right now I feel like I have pieces of my psyche, my soul, littering my living room, like a car’s engine in a hobbyist’s garage. It’s a lot.

But that’s not all that happened last year.

I also found out my bones are dying and, later, that my hormones are trying to kill me via PMDD.

Like I said. Hell of a year, I tell you what. (Hank Hill voice)

I tried to go into my tutoring job one day in November and before I even clocked in, I began sobbing out of nowhere. I couldn’t stop. In fact I didn’t stop for a whole week until my stupid period started. I had to leave my job behind.

This all comes on the heels of three years of dealing with my child’s disability which has been wildly unstable at times.

I am burnt out, y’alls.

I am seeking disability payments, but that is a Whole Process and can take years. I looked into cash aid, but they would take my other income from me and now allow me to make more (and also not give me more than I currently get. ??? Vogons never make sense).

So I am shifting gears again. I tried it in the “real world” and the Universe not so gently nudged me back here, because it knows that this is where I belong.

Understanding that I have problems with executive function not only lifts years of shame off my shoulders, but it also allows me to know that I need to seek resources and what resources to look for. I’m excited to re-begin my career with this new understanding of myself; I can’t wait to see what I am really capable of – what SOAM is really capable of!

Back here to SOAM, back to where my heart is and where my psyche is nourished. Working a flexible schedule allows me to support my body and mind in my healing and growth, and to support my children in their various needs (and disabled kids have SO MANY appointments) while not further stressing myself into a world that was built for neurotypicals and not neurodivergents. This is my path to healing myself and my family, but also to do the good work in the world that I am passionate for.

Future goals for SOAM are (and have always been) to create more online community and education through webinars, book clubs, Q&A, and more. I also hope someday to create more irl community through talks, classes, and conferences. Most immediately I am creating a body positive message board for my Patrons (more on that below).

Beyond SOAM, I’m also working on a memoir about my childhood in a hoarder home, a novel about a midwife navigating a post apocalyptic world, and other writings to be published in various places. All of my work comes from an intersectional feminist perspective and you can read some samples (more coming) at my website,

As a part of my recommitment to SOAM, I’m re-launching my Patreon with the hope that I can find some financial stability doing what I love to do and what I am good at doing. If SOAM has meant something to you, consider becoming a Patron for as little as $5/month.

This past year has been a wild ride but I want nothing more than to use all I’ve learned to continue to grow my work in our world. All difficulties and stressors aside, I am genuinely glad the Universe pushed me back here. Let’s stand together and make the world a better place.

A Sad Announcement

My hips. They are dying. Literally.

As many of you know, these last few years have been a challenge for my family. As a single mom of two kids with special needs, I have been worn thin for a long time. Managing health care in the US, particularly for those who are low-income such as myself, and especially managing mental health care, is draining in and of itself. I am so tired, you guys.

But this summer I added a new diagnosis to the list. A rare disease where my bones are dying. Literally. (And I mean that “literally” literally. It’s called avascular necrosis.) I was immobilized for nearly all of July from the pain. The flare seems to be over so I am able to move physically again, thank goodness, but the disease has added a new fight to my life. Because it’s rare, even specialists don’t necessarily know how to diagnose and treat it and I have spent too much of my very little energy this summer trying to get appropriate care for this disease. I have not yet succeeded.

You can see the AVN collapse here.

Anyway. All this to say that I had hoped to spend time and energy after my graduation last December in growing SOAM to something new. I have to set that aside indefinitely for now.

Poverty is a very real trauma and I am so tired, you guys. So very tired.

SOAM will stay up and active as long as I can manage it. Please submit your stories! If any media wants to do interviews, I’m still open to that! But as for the in-person classes, parties, workshops, and events? That is a dream that I must lay aside for now.

This summer I was not working (I work during the school year as a tutor) but I had planned to do other work to cover the lack of income. Unfortunately that did not happen due to my new diagnosis and its flare up, as well as some other shit the Universe thought would be fun to throw at me (I see you there, Universe, and I am not amused). So we are behind on so many things financially, including some essentials like, you know, mortgage and HOA payments. If you can help us during this difficult time in our lives, I would be so grateful. We have a gofundme you can contribute to, if it you prefer, you can ask me for my Venmo or Paypal. Feel free to share the link as well.

Thank you all for everything through the years and for everything that will be coming to us in the future!

A Brand New Profession

Hello from the other side of my first official tabling event! THANK YOU to those of you who donated to help get me here! Hello to all my new readers from BabyFest!

It was a fun day, connecting with other local birth workers. Everyone who stopped by the table was supportive of the concept and it was great to be able to share our message with more people. It was especially exciting to meet some of you who already knew about SOAM!

It’s taken me awhile to be able to post something here, and I apologize. My illnesses have been flaring and spending a day doing all that social work was a lot to process and recover from.

During the afternoon lull, while everyone stopped in at the Great Cloth Diaper Change, I had a moment to reflect on the morning and I was hit with a realization that’s left me equal parts excited and apprehensive: I’m not merely trying to start a business, I’m trying to create an entire profession. Obviously, I suppose I knew this on some level, but it wasn’t quite this clear, or this close to the surface. Knowing this, I’ll approach future tabling or public events differently, but I’m not exactly sure how. Perhaps a flier or brochure with more in-depth information? I don’t know. How does one find a way to create a whole profession? How do I find a place to fit in the birthing community (or, where do I fit outside the birthing community, because my work on body positivity does not begin or end with mothers)? I’m not sure of the answers to these questions. Perhaps I should have been a business major? haha

I am still moving forward with all the work we are currently doing, and I will continue to learn how to grow SOAM into something even more revolutionary. If you are local, consider booking a Body Positivity Party. If you believe in our mission at SOAM, consider becoming a patron – SOAM has helped thousands of women over the years, if only 250 people donated $5/month, we’d have over $1,200 a month to work with and everyone knows that starting a business (or profession!) costs.

Thank you, to my readers, to those who have submitted, to those who have contributed. You are what makes SOAM possible.