How Do You Deal With Upsetting Current Events?

How Do You Deal with Upsetting Current Events(via dttsp)

This week’s Feminist Fridays post is another installment of the How Do You Deal series and this month marks its one year anniversary! When I started this series, I had no idea how amazing it would turn out. I have connected with bloggers online in a whole new way and have seen such a great response from Clear the Way‘s readers. Thank you so much, everyone, for being a part of this great series with me.

Because there are certain issues in life and in feminism that are tough to talk about on our own, the HDYD series allows many voices the opportunity to share in these discussions, making it easier for us to talk about our beliefs, opinions, and feelings. Each month I ask contributors how they deal with an issue and we each share our thoughts on the matter. This month we are talking about upsetting current events. Here are my feelings on this topic:

I sometimes feel like every time I read the news, I hear about a new shooting, a new rape, a new unwarranted arrest or some other terribly upsetting event. While I want to remain informed about the goings-on around me, I feel the need to step back occasionally in order to handle some of the more gruesome stories. I have found the best way to deal with upsetting current events is to digest them slowly and decide the best course for action. This can mean reading articles only a little at a time, processing the information slowly, and talking through my feelings with others. When I take action (either by raising awareness, donating to funds or some other response) regarding these events, I feel able to repurpose my distress into something that may help.

Now let’s hear what my contributors had to say about upsetting current events, and feel free to share your thoughts on the matter in the comments.

lix bio

A checklist for dealing with upsetting current events:

1. Assess your mental health, and assess your knowledge and ability to help. Will you make things worse? Can you add something important? Change a close friend’s mind? Measure this against the toll it takes on your health, if this is a concern. Detach if needed.
2. Remember you don’t owe anyone engagement. If someone wants to “debate” a topic that dehumanizes you, you’re allowed to say ‘fuck off.’ Unfollow, block and mute indiscriminately, during event fallout and every other time. Cultivate a safe list.
3. If the event involves someone less privileged than you, support their voice. Link them (make sure they welcome it), retweet them, distract their trolls, listen when called to action. Listen.

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There’s always so much going on in the world, but lately it does feel more overwhelming. My positive spin on that is that these injustices have been going on for a long time, and now they’re just being brought to light more frequently and with more outrage. And maybe that will translate to change. The news still gets me down quite a bit, but responding to that with anger and activism just means I’m not too jaded to care about things, so there’s even an upside there. Healthy outlets for that (like volunteer work and talking with my partner and friends) are key.



It seems like there’s been a lot of crazy huge events lately in the news. With that comes a lot of online (and real life) controversy – I usually try to stick to my own business, even though I’m a pretty hardcore feminist. My main problem with current events and the upheaval they bring is that whether you’re on the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ side, everyone hates on each other. We should all be able to have (and express) our own opinions without a hate storm coming our way from the opposing side.

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Oh man, current events! It seems there’s always something on the news that’s upsetting in regards to women or just upsetting overall. To be honest, to deal with horrible current events I like to rant to my friends or my mom, someone whom I know will “get it” and can rant with me. That definitely makes me feel better!

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It might sound heartless, but I’m rather good at switching off from those horrible feelings that come with upsetting current events and news. I know that there is no point in fretting and being sad or angry for a longer period of time, so after my initial feelings of sadness, anger or frustration, I tend to push them away, rather focusing on positive things, and putting energy into other things. That said, I think hearing about horrible stuff happening definitely deepens my frustration with some part of our world, and makes me want change to happen more quickly.

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In general, I flatly refuse to read any of the comments for news stories that I see online–it is so disheartening to see how hateful people can be to one another, and I want no part in it. As of late, blatant gender inequality is one of the topics I get most frustrated about. The pay gap infuriates me, and I can’t understand how, in this day and age, it’s still okay to pay a certain group more just for having a Y chromosome. I don’t actually have a solid way to deal with this yet (other than carrying on with my life) since I’m still a student, but I’m going to have to learn how to negotiate fair pay in the future.

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I have learned that the greatest way to deal with upsetting current events, especially ones that involve violence or hatred, is acceptance. Not in a sense that is cavalier or dejected, but in a way that honors any victims and keeps a rational view of the circumstances. These events do not take away from the aspects of living that are beautiful and good; chaos is, in its nature, an aggregation of destruction and creation, of violence and peace. Only you have the ability to make something good or bad, no one else has the power to fashion your life into something amazing. Once you truly accept that you have this power, then contentment and compassion can bloom even when it seems the darkest.

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Corinne - The Feminist Feline

Good news barely makes the papers. I get CNN alerts on my phone and although I like staying informed, it’s heartbreaking to get an alert of another mass shooting, another death of an influential person, another natural disaster. I’ve found the best way to deal with upsetting current events is to seek out the good news; it’s harder to find but it happens every day. June 26 was a beautiful day this year because the news focused on joy and love with the Supreme Court’s ruling that made same-sex marriage legal. That day reminded us all that love really does win and that the world is at its best when we support each other and put love first.

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So now you tell us:  How do you deal with upsetting current events? Do you relate to anyone above?

Browse the rest of the How Do You Deal series.
See more Feminist Fridays on the blog.

Big News


I have some really exciting news to share with you. I’ve actually known for a while now, but I haven’t shared with you yet because I think it has taken time for me to really process that this is actually happening. Do you ever get like that with big deal stuff? Sometimes it just takes a while to sink in before you can share…. So what is my big news?

I’m moving to San Francisco and attending
San Francisco State University this August.

AHH!!! For those of you who know my story, you understand what a big deal this is for me. I finally have the opportunity to return to school and get a degree in something I actually care about, like really really care about with my whole heart and mind. I’ll be majoring in Gender and Women’s Studies, attending one of the most beautiful colleges in California, and living in my favorite city in my own beautiful little studio.

I’m busy cleaning and packing my life in preparation for the move, but as soon as I get a chance to set up my new place, I will share photos and update you on my transition.

I’m so excited to share this journey with you on Clear the Way. Many of you have been here with me for my trials with unemployment, the stresses of starting a new business, and all the many joys along the way. Now you can join with me in this exciting new endeavor.

Thanks so much for being here for me, guys.
You mean the world to me.

Apps I Use Most Often (12 Lists)

12 Lists Prompt #7: Make a list of the apps you use most often.

My sister Gillian from Chez Gillian and I created the 12 Lists series which is a monthly list-making series for those who love writing lists. Each month we announce the topic, write our lists accordingly, and invite you to do the same on your blog. You are welcome to add your post to the link-up below so we can get to know you a little better, one list at a time. This month’s topic: the apps you use most often.

A list of Clear the Way Kate's most used apps.

  • Messages (for texting)
  • Google Hangouts (because my boyfriend doesn’t text)
  • Mailbox
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Afterlight (for editing photos for Instagram)
  • Chrome
  • iPhone Clock for alarms/timers
  • Spotify
  • Timehop

Check out Gillian’s list of which apps she uses most often, make your own list, share it on your blog, and be sure to submit your post to the link-up below (and use #12lists2015 on social media). Feel free to use the post header provided, just be sure to link to the original posts. Happy list-making!

Stern Grove Festival

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Hello, dear readers. About eight days ago, I mentioned I would be “taking a break” from posting on Clear the Way for a bit, but I can’t ever stay away long. I wanted to share a little glimpse of what I’ve been up to and see how you were all doing. This week has been spent apartment searching in San Francisco, working with awesome clients through Clear Creative Consulting, and spending time with loved ones. I had a fun sister date with my two younger sisters at the Stanford Theater, a theater in Palo Alto that plays old movies, and we enjoyed watching Sabrina together. We ended the night with Cranium and wine.

I went to Stern Grove Festival yesterday with my boyfriend and a friend to see tUnE-yArDs. We had tickets to see tUnE-yArDs awhile ago, but #hellastorm kept us from making the concert. I was happy for a re-do and the opener, DakhaBrakha, was a great surprise. I had never heard of them before, but they put on a really good show. (I shared my favorite song of theirs below.) If you’re ever in San Francisco in the summer, you should check out the Stern Grove Festival, a fun and free outdoor concert series. I recommend donating the suggested $10 amount because ten bucks is still super cheap for a great time. Bring a picnic, a blanket, a bottle of wine, and lots of sunscreen.

Stay tuned in the coming week for a special announcement. I’ve been keeping a secret from you all, but it will soon be out.

Take A Break

Take a break

With the exception of a few previously-scheduled posts, I’ll be taking a break from Clear the Way for a little while. My mind is jumbled with big dreams and my heart is pounding to make them happen, but my spirit is telling me to take a break before I jump straight into it. With time, you’ll see these dreams become plans and these plans hatch new things. I won’t be fully absent during this break. I’ll be working hard behind-the-scenes renovating and creating, and I’ll certainly make time to continue reading all the blogs I love visiting.

Until next time…

The Art and The Feminism 8

The Art + The Feminism - Add Your Own Lines

Kim Cornelison

The Art and The Feminism is a sub-series of Feminist Fridays where I share art with you that has somehow inspired or evoked my feminism. I show the artistic inspiration with you, write from my experience viewing or engaging with it, and then ask for your thoughts. This month: this beautiful photograph by Kim Cornelison.


Sometimes you have to draw your own lines to complete the picture. You’ve gathered and collected parts of the picture, throughout your life, from various sources, by different means. When it’s ready to assemble, there will always be something lacking: you. You are the one who makes sense out of your life, out of the things you’ve been given. You are the one who draws the lines, connects the dots, completes the picture. Maybe the lines you draw are outlines—like “insert here” placers for things you’d like to collect in the future. These lines are like your goals. They define what hasn’t happened yet. They help guide you. Maybe the lines you draw are markers for things or people you used to have or know that no longer exist in your picture. You keep them there with the decided strokes of remembering them. You add them into your picture in the form you choose.

Draw your lines. Complete your picture. But make sure it’s your picture.

The beautiful thing about feminism is that it does not always directly relate to a social justice issue or theory. Feminism is a way of living with your mind and heart open to what’s true, healthy, and loving. It is just as much about seeing a message like this in a piece of art as it is seeing a need for justice in a societal problem.

How does this art speak to your feminism?
Plus, see more Feminist Fridays.