Not Your Auntie

That’s the title of my essay that went up on The Rumpus yesterday. I wrote it weeks and weeks ago, and I’m thrilled to be able to share it here.

The use of the title “Auntie” for Representative Maxine Waters both amuses and troubles me. I tried to write my way through it. From some of the feedback I’ve received, I’m seeing that I left some people struggling to figure out how they can support and praise the Congresswoman without taking an offending misstep.

I’ll be honest and say that I hadn’t given much thought to the idea that people would read my essay and instantly decide to change their behavior. I’ve received a few comments from people who are swearing to make different choices from this moment forward. That’s powerful … but also jarring. This is a good reminder for me of the power of words, of the impact writing can have on people.

Curious to hear your thoughts!


This piece on The Rumpus makes my 30th essay of this essay-writing year. I’m far behind the count–I think this is week 43? But I’m a lot closer than I thought I might be by this late in the year! It’s November, so I’m turning this year’s NaNoWriMo writing over to creative nonfiction: My NaNo work is going to be essays, I want to see how much I can catch up over the course of the month. I wrote an essay today that I’ll post tomorrow, and started a draft of another idea … so I’m off to a pretty good start!

I’m following Vanessa Mártir‘s lead, she launched #52essays2017 after writing an essay a week in 2016 … and then deciding to keep going.
I’m months behind on my #GriotGrind, and it’s unlikely that I’ll write 52 essays by year’s end. But I’ve written more this year than in in the last two combined, so that looks like a solid WIN in my book! Get ready for #52essays2018!

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