The hatred of laziness is deeply embedded in the history of the United States. The value of hard work and the evils of sloth are baked into our national myths and our shared value system. Thanks to the legacies of imperialism and slavery, as well as the ongoing influence that the United States exerts on the rest of the world both in media and in military force, the Laziness Lie has managed to spread its tendrils into almost every country and culture on the planet.
For over ten years I have taught at the Jesuit university from which I also received my Master’s degree and my PhD. I’ve been a student here, a postdoctoral researcher here, a part-time adjunct instructor, and now I’m a full-time professor. My relationship to the school runs deep. So too do my ambivalences, particularly in a month like Pride month, when it’s most clear to me that my existence as a transgender faculty member is contradictory and fraught.
Today I entered the university’s information commons (a computer lab and studying area connected to the library) to find this display celebrating…
On Saturday Night Live this week, Telsa CEO and Grimes’ paramour Elon Musk came out as having Asperger’s syndrome. During his opening monologue, Musk joked that he was the first-ever SNL host to have the disorder — or at least the first to admit to having it openly.
There’s a couple of issues with that remark. The first is that SNL very much had an openly Autistic host in the past, former cast member Dan Aykroyd. For years, Aykroyd has been vocal about being Autistic and has discussed how his own autistic special interest in the paranormal informed the writing…
The Psychology Department of Loyola University Chicago has requested I make the following public statement.
I previously posted incorrect or misleading statements pertaining to my more senior faculty member who co-authored a paper I published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology titled “When Self-Perceptions of Expertise Increase Closed-Minded Cognition: The Earned Dogmatism Effect” (Ottati, Price, Wilson, Sumaktoyo, 2015). The following statements are correct. A researcher requested that the authors of this paper provide experimental materials for SOME of the experiments in the paper, which the researcher wanted to replicate. My more senior faculty member (not I) encouraged and instructed his co-authors to send the researcher materials for ALL of the experiments in the paper. As attested by the researcher who requested the materials, my more senior faculty member was cooperative in sharing experimental materials, helping this researcher perform his replication experiments, and helping this researcher publish his work.
I am a social psychologist, clinical assistant faculty member at Loyola University Chicago, and the author of the book Laziness Does Not Exist. Over the past few years, I have written extensively about the harm done by the Laziness Lie, an unspoken, yet pervasive cultural belief system that preaches the following:
2. You cannot trust your needs and limitations
2. There is always more that you could be doing.
The Laziness Lie has a deep and troubling history, dating back to chattel slavery and the dawn of European imperialism. To this day, the…
In the name of protecting vulnerable children from a supposedly menacing, corrupting outside world, much is done to render kids restricted, uninformed, and powerless. This despite the fact all evidence demonstrating that when children are well connected to a broader community, and have access to education and exposure to a variety of different lifestyles and points of view, they are far more likely to flourish. Most child abuse happens within the private confines of spaces we’ve been told keep them ‘safe’; the home, the family, and the church.
Last summer, a family friend began circulating Q Anon-adjacent rhetoric about the…
Like far too many people, I spent the majority of 2020 curled up in an awkward ball, fighting back tears, my phone craned in front of my face and giving me a nonstop tour of all the world’s horrors. I was adrift in a sea of uncertainty, and the graphs of COVID cases posted to Twitter promised me empowering knowledge but only left me more filled with dread. I was lonely and emotionally starved and Instagram and Facebook DMs offered me social snacks, with a side of secondary trauma and shame.
I was thankful to have the internet to keep…
The ability of transgender people (particularly transgender kids) to access affirming healthcare is under attack. In the UK, a high court recently ruled that transgender teens cannot meaningfully consent to puberty blockers, and thus may not be granted access to such treatment until after turning eighteen. In Arkansas, a bill recently passed restricting minors’ access to gender-affirming healthcare, and similar bills have been floated in Missouri, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Oklahoma, Colorado, South Carolina, Kentucky, and South Dakota.
Last January, I was out thrift shopping with my friend Imani when my phone suddenly stopped working. We’d made it about halfway through a long row of wool coats when I went to check my email and found I had no signal.
“That’s really weird,” I said to Imani. “My phone isn’t connecting to any towers.”
“Maybe the store just gets a bad signal.”
“No, that’s not it,” I said. “There are no bars, not even empty ones. And no little LTE or 4G symbol.”
“Try restarting it?”
I turned my phone off and back on again, and still there…
Trigger Warning: This piece discusses suicide ideation, emotional abuse, eating disorders, and gender dysphoria.
Tom and I had been living together for nearly a year when it happened. Over the summer we had been almost literally attached at the hip, subletting a studio apartment and playing N64 together all night on the couch. I loved him passionately and fantasized about merging my soul with his completely. I couldn’t get close enough. I wanted to disappear into him. No amount of time by his side was ever enough. Then one night in the fall he told me that we needed to…