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Human Parts
A publication about humanity from Medium: yours, mine, and ours.

Sexism

In Human Parts. More on Medium.

Express Yourself

You have nothing to prove. Sometimes, the best thing to do is walk away.

Closeup of a Black woman’s eye, with light shining in a strip where her eyes is. Rest of face obscured by shadow.
Closeup of a Black woman’s eye, with light shining in a strip where her eyes is. Rest of face obscured by shadow.

A couple of months ago I wrote an essay about my experience growing up as a light-skinned Black woman in the United States.

I wanted to speak honestly about internalized racism and how it has manifested throughout my life. My hope was that by turning a critical eye inward and engaging with my flawed journey — still flawed, by the way— I might be able to offer a road map for people working through similar issues.

It was a tough piece, and I received a wide variety of responses. Some were complimentary. One of the first was from a mother…


There’s no such thing as a fake geek girl

“F*ck you for buying chibi xenomorphs,” read the Reddit notification that blared across my phone’s lock screen. For those of you who don’t speak geek, a chibi is a style of collectible figurine characterized by a large head, squat body, and broad legs, and a xenomorph is the titular monster of the Alien series.

I was bewildered at first, mistaking it for a trending topic. Then I realized that it was a comment on an old post in which I’d shared photos of my extensive collection of figurines and memorabilia related to the Alien franchise.

Normally I don’t engage random…


Abby Byrd

If I had been a boy, my parents would have named me “Jeremy.”

Trying to imagine myself as the opposite gender is uncomfortable. It’s a mental chasing of my own tail; I keep going around and around until I feel slightly sick. I can’t know exactly what Jeremy would be like, but I want to know. I keep thinking about him.

I want to know how he would feel about women.

I used to think I didn’t feel anything about women. I visited a women’s college but chose not to go there. I’d competed in a…


“I’m not going to apply for the job because I want you to get it.”

I was in my mid-20s and a promotion opened up in my division at work and I planned to apply for it. Given the hierarchy in our department, one male coworker and I were the natural ones to consider for the job. When the topic came up, that’s what he said to me: “I’m not going to apply for the job because I want you to get it.” I don’t remember what I said in the moment, but I remember quietly seething and…


I spend a great deal of time on Wikipedia. If it’s a good day, I’m researching while pretending to be Olivia Pope, synthesizing data and writing new copy based on third party sources. I discuss my work with other editors on Wikipedia until we collectively agree to make changes to an article.

On a bad day, one of those volunteer editors calls me biased and incompetent before deleting what I’ve written. When I click on his user page, I see he’s featured several photos of dripping wet women in bikinis. (Nothing wrong with a bikini, but… context, dude. …

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