Mind + Body


Sunday, March 18, 2018

40 Alternatives to These Ableist and Oppressive Words

Image via Shutterstock

There has been lots of conversation surrounding ableism and the language used to insult or describe faulty behavior to people. Before we move forward, let's define ableism-according to is discrimination against disabled people. Ableism can take the form of ideas and assumptions, stereotypes, attitudes and practices, physical barriers in the environment, or larger scale oppression. 

One way to change ableist behavior is to start with the language we use. We often use words that are ableist that we aren't aware of because sadly it is everyday language. Words such as stupid, crazy, lame etc. There are many words we can replace these with to stop contributing to ableist behavior, check them out below. 


If you mean frustrating or perplexing – ”This is so stupid!” or “That’s retarded!” –consider:

1. Frustrating
2. Pointless
3. Annoying
4. Irritating
5. Obnoxious

If you mean intense – ”Woah, crazy!” — consider:

6. Intense
7. Awesome
. Amazing
9. Wild
10. Fascinating

If you mean bad or unpleasant – ”Wow, that’s lame!” — consider:

11. Bad
12. Awful
13. Uncool
14. Gross
15. The pits

If you mean it as an intensifier, positive or negative – ”She’s a crazy good artist!” or “This is insanely difficult!” — consider:

16. Really
17. Very
18. Intensely
19. Wicked
20. Considerably

If you mean unreasonable or absurd – ”That’s crazy!” — consider:

21. Unreasonable
22. Absurd
23. Outrageous
24. Unacceptable
25. Ridiculous

If you mean to describe someone with a bad, dangerous character – ”She’s psychotic!” or “He’s a sociopath!” — consider:

26. Dangerous
27. Menacing
28. Threatening
29. Evil
30. Murderous

If you mean to describe someone who’s doing something a little dorky – ”They’re such a spaz!” or “Are you retarded or something?” — consider:

31. Silly
32. Dorky
33. Cheesy
34. Nonsensical
35. Illogical

If you mean to describe something that’s difficult to understand, or totally bizarre – ”These mass shootings are just crazy.” — consider:

36. Fathomless
37. Daunting
38. Overwhelming
39. Bizarre
40. Bottomless

What are some words you use instead of popular ableist language? let us know in the comment section below!

By: Naima "Queen" Muhammad 
Queen is a 30 something from the Bronx, NY. She created Ms. Vixen to spread her thoughts on feminism, Black pride, it's the first stop on her quest to be a media mogul. 

Follow Queen 
Twitter @TheQueenSpeaks_
Instagram @TheQueenSpeaks_

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Help! I Want to Wring My Partner’s Neck!-PART 1: Communicating With Your Loved One Through The Veil Of Anger

“I feel like all of my relationships are doomed.”

“It’s all well and good until they do something to piss me off and then it’s all ‘you to wild for me ma.’ These dudes get their feelings hurt one good time and are ready to run for the hills.”

Is your relationship “smooth sailing” until you guys argue?
Did you recently have an argument with your partner and, at some point, in the argument, you realized that one of you done FREAked up?

Welcome to the wonderful world of vaginas. A place where people with vaginas (namely me, so maybe just one person) talk inclusively about stuff that affects pretty much everyone. This edition? How to be in a relationship when HOPPING FREAKING MAD.

Okay, so let’s delve into my experiences for a quick second. I have anger management issues. I sometimes see red. I get enraged. Things happen to me that feel out of my control when I get mad, upset, or frustrated. I have literally hopped with anger. This is not a joke for me and I assume it isn’t for any of you either. So, how is it that I manage to have a partner that gets on my nerves all the time, without sending him running for the hills when I’m aggravated with him? There are some things I had to realize about myself first, some tips and tricks I use to prep myself for ‘an episode’ and some things I try to do DURING my anger to try and head it off. So, I’m going to dish out the tips to you lovelies in a two-part series Help I want to wring my partner’s neck!  

The first part in this duo will make you take a hard look at yourself and your expressions of anger. To do this, we will be identifying what are some common expressions of anger, their triggers, and expressing them to our partners.

Okay, so first of all, anger is a cycle and you need to get to know it. You can hop into these tips wherever you are IN the cycle. However, you need to know that there are things that will upset you, triggering anger, which then needs to be addressed or you will enter that loop you always hear from people. “Didn’t I ask you not to do X, Y, and Z?! You always do it and you KNOW it makes me mad! So, WHY do you do it!?”

Step 1: Learn how your anger manifests itself.

This step requires some internal troubleshooting. You need to look inwardly to make changes outwardly. Okay, people!

Image result for he lives in you gif
Like Simba’s dad, your anger lives in you. And also probably frowns like that.

Everyone is different, therefore everyone’s anger manifests itself differently. Here are some common expressions of anger. Figure out which set sounds like you and let’s get to work.

Verbal bashing: This includes yelling, arguing, put downs, insults, and threats.


  • Non-verbal bashing: This falls into the category of giving someone the ‘cold shoulder’ withdrawal of affection, dismissiveness, hostility, and contempt. (Contempt is the funeral bells of all relationships, so especially watch your non-verbal indicators people!)
  • Suppression: When you feel anger and try to push it down internally (please note that your anger is AN ENERGY. According to the Law of Conservation of Energy in physics, energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed from one form into another. Suppressing your anger usually transforms itself into stress, which can lead to digestive problems, heart disease, chronic tension, fatigue, and high blood pressure for you. Just keep that in mind.

CAPTION: This is hades. Don’t be hades.

  • Displacement: When you are angry at someone you feel you can’t express it to (like your boss) so, you take it out on someone else (like your spouse). Unfortunately, this is how many people consciously or unconsciously release some of the negative energy that they build up.
  • Passive aggression: This one has become famous for television shows, but it is usually characterized by activities that have plausible deniability of angry feelings. This can range from things like sarcasm, to pettiness which could sound a little something like “oh they want that new Chanel perfume? I wanted sex last night, so regardless of any previously made promises they are still going to smell like feet.”  or “I know I said that I would do X thing for my partner, but they can suck it because I didn’t like the way they talked to me last week.” Ect.
Aggression: Throwing things, punching walls, pushing, slapping, punching, or anything involving weapons or turning household items into any sort of weapon.

CAPTION: Princess?

Step 2: If you see something, SAY something.

When you encounter something that has the potential of making you angry, try to head it off in conversation before it happens. This is called “identifying a trigger.”

“But, how can I do that Alisha?” This is when the idea of hanging out with your partner can really help come in handy. You can come across many anger inducing situations while watching television, reading the news, surfing social media for other couple’s drama, etc. When you see something that you just KNOW would get you angry, bring it up to your partner in conversation. Looking at YOU ‘She’s Gotta Have It”! Seriously though, if Nola’s rampant disrespect of her partners would irk you, pause the show. Tell your partner that it’s not about the fact that she is polyamorous and needs her space. The problem is, she is unwilling to give herself in any arena but the sexual one, which makes it an unhealthy partnership regardless of how many partners she tries to juggle. Emphasize that, because healthy partnerships are the way by which you run your life. In YOUR relationship you will need to give and take, because should you might wake up one day and find that you’re the ONLY one giving. This will set off a serious bout of passive aggression that both of you will want to avoid. See how easy that was?

CAPTION: Enough said

Step 3: Trigger trends

Once you identify the things that make you angry and you’ve pointed them out to your partner, you will begin to see trends in the things that make you angry. If you get angry at similar situations on a consistent basis, it’s time to buckle down into yourself, and learn WHY these things make you flip your wig.

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CAPTION: Do elaborate sideburns count?

This way you can start to backpedal before the trigger becomes an issue that makes your face change color. Let your partner know what your coping mechanisms are for anger and tell your partner to watch out for them. If you really need to leave the room to compose yourself when you’re angry, you don’t need a partner that is going to follow you around arguing with you while you’re trying to remain calm. Let them know what your needs are and expect them to follow through. The flipside of this, is that you are helping your partner, not giving them another task. When you feel yourself being triggered, or becoming reactionary, take a moment, and try to step away from it while it still isn’t a huge issue. If you identify yourself as someone who is naturally aggressive, when you catch yourself clenching your fists, take a deep breath, unclench, and go do something that actively makes you happy. Let your mind clear out. The key to anger management is addressing your core triggers and doing your best to head them off.

The one takeaway from this series, is that at every single point in your interaction with your partner, especially when you’re angry, you should take the situation dissect WHY exactly you are angry, talk about what that means for you, how your anger will manifest itself, and tell your partner to steer clear. This process is all about giving your partner a roadmap to helping themselves and you. Our emotions aren’t things we can or should weather on their own.

By Alisha Smith, Alisha is 24-year-old recent graduate, writer, blogger, gamer, and corporate drone by day and rampant blabbermouth by night. She currently writes for Ms. Vixen and on Medium and spends her free time shamelessly pursuing her interests and avoiding other humans. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Surviving Loss: A Personal Story About TryingTo Get Pregnant After A Miscarriage

About a year ago I wrote about my experience with pregnancy loss. It was an extremely emotional time for my husband and, but unfortunately somewhat common. No, I am writing against not to talk about loss,  but about my conception journey.

Surviving a loss: A Personal Story About Experiencing Miscarriage

I’ll be honest when I first thought about trying to get pregnant I thought this would be pretty easy. I come from a big family (i’m one of five children) and my mother had an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 39. My Sister also has four kids of her own, so I've never really questioned my fertility. I figured when the time came it would be as simple as stopping my birth control and letting nature run its course. Yea. . . it’s not that simple.

Most of the information I’ve read says that most “normal” couples will get pregnant within a year if of trying. Of course, there are many factors that go into this like overall health, underlying fertility issues, age etc. now although I nor my husband are the pictures of perfect health (I’m anemic, and have a Vitamin D deficiency), we’re according to our Doctor’s relatively healthy. There has been a push for us to lose weight which if your been reading ms. Vixen for a while you know I have struggled with FOREVER. . . . ok so not forever but for the past 10 years or so.

Ideally, I would love to lose a ton of weight before getting pregnant but if I’m honest with myself I don’t know how realistic it is. Since maintaining my weight has always been such a struggle for me. I mention this because if I DID need fertility treatment to assist me, losing weight would be mandatory. Last I remembered I was told I would need to lose 30-50 pounds to even be considered for fertility treatment. Apparently, your overall health isn’t nearly as important as the number on the scale but I digress.

If I’m being honest, that’s why I’m here bearing myself to all you lovely readers. Trying to get pregnant is HARD AF. I mean not the act, of course, that’s fun. I mean the emotional impact of trying to have a Baby a planned pregnancy. Of course, it’s not Hard for everyone you have the lucky ones (or not so lucky ones depending on who you ask) who get pregnant without even thinking twice about it. Who don’t even really have to “Try” it just sort of happens.

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I am not one of the “lucky ones” in fact most of the women who I personally know who have gone through this journey aren’t either. Although my journey has not been that long. Got pregnant after 5 months is trying before which did not go to term. It’s been about 4 months this time around and that by no means compares to the women who have been trying for YEARS. None the less I wonder like most Women in this position, will I ever get pregnant? Will I ever have a family?

This is hard Y'all, you do everything in your power I mean literally. The ovulation tests, the prenatal and fertility vitamins, you eat right you try to be healthy. You do your baby dance (trying to conceive talk for sex. Lol) and then you wait and you wait. You do obsessive google searches, like is (fill in the blank) and early pregnancy symptom? Cross your fingers it is so you have some hope that THIS is the month that you see those two little lines finally! And if not you do it all over again, I believe the definition of Insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting a different result which is pretty much what trying to have a Baby feels like some time fucking Insanity.

I’ve cried at the sight of my period because it meant once again, I wasn’t pregnant. Had to speed walk through the baby section at Target before having another moment of tears coming. Mother nature is messed up the way PMS mimics pregnancy so closely. Hormones are a motherfucker.

Now don’t get me wrong it isn’t all woe is me, trying to have a baby can be fun. I mean for starters your encouraged to have as much sex as possible. I know more about my body then I EVER did before being able to know for certain when my body is doing normal and not so normal things.

I’m sharing all these details about my life to hopefully help someone out there, you aren’t alone. I see you.

What is your conception story? Let us know in the comment section below!

Electa is a self-proclaimed foodie. She is a Wife, a domestic goddess, aspiring chef in training, and a Writer/Blogger from Brooklyn with serious Wanderlust. follow her on twitter: @emazing17, Instagram @emazing17 and snapchat @Emazing1787 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

An Open Letter to All Around The Way Girls

My examples of womanhood came from the throwaway pile. The women that took no shit, and smacked their gum like the smacks were words necessary for their sentence structure. Those girls from the hood with a loud boisterous vernacular, it’s musical and fast, and if you don’t know the vocabulary they’ll leave you in the dust, lost, with no idea you’ve been cut into pieces until your bloody limbs fell to the ground. Those were my champions.

For most of my life, the world told me to despise those girls. Their existence something shameful, there being should disappear and this should be great for our Black queens. Queendom is the goal, the pinnacle of Black women hierarchy, which we all should be aiming to reach. My childhood was filled with messages such as; I was different, and of course, I was better than these women around me. Although I lived in the same projects, wore the same clothes, use the same food stamps,  spoke with the same cadence,  ate the same pickle out of the plastic cellophane bag from the corner store, I somehow was a rose amongst concrete the elite love raving about, I was special.

Girlhood was spent reading lots of books, learning to do hair, and playing on tire swings. My parents were dope about providing safety and comfort.  Kept my siblings and me out the streets and occupied before my adolescence. Attending every kind of dance class you can image- track and field, and I love gymnastics and participated in that from the age of nine until about 13. Girlhood was great and I loved all the experiences presented to me through art and sports, but I never fit with the girls I met in those spaces my parents fought to put me in.  There were missing puzzle pieces, or maybe the wrong pieces forced together with no consideration to the cohesive image of a puzzle. There was no comfort or safety by those surroundings.  I’d go home, to the ghetto and I’d feel safe again, but I'd tell no one how comfortable I felt. The hood, safe? That’s foolish.  I would walk past the girls on the block, they looked so free to me, and then I’d remember the respectability push down my throat that says I shouldn’t look at them lovingly. I’m supposed to rise above, so I’d’ roll my eyes at them, put my nose in the air and walk past them, like a queen. . . .Right?

e.l.f. cosmetics

By adolescence, I shred these thoughts, because I came from a legacy of hood chicks. These ratchet Black women that were resourceful, quick and knew the streets. For a long time, the world told me to not love those things about myself. Speak softer, wear fewer colors, your earrings should be smaller, and many other things I loved about women that fit that description. I was told not to exist, and I thank the Goddess in me for never listening to that white supremacist elitist vile.  They will tell you everything about you is ugly and worthless so you can give it away for free. Then they’ll steal your fly and act like they invented it. This is the stories of poor Black girls all around the world.

Being her has saved my life, the intersection of being unapologetically Black and a woman was taught to me in those spaces, my oppression wasn’t going to result in me muting my carefree. It is those women, the BAPs, the chicken heads, hood rats (and the other vermin euphemism people use for us) that showed me strength in adversity, helped me stay equipped as I battled brutality from White people and Black men.  Through them, I’m still able to laugh and smile, while the odds are piled against me. It is with them I feel the sisterhood, a coven of safety.  How something as colorful as a Black woman from the hood could ever be compared to a weed is beyond my mental reach, but still, we grow. My allegiance to the women who actively taught me what womanism feels like will always be, they are my sisters, and no weapons formed against could ever win because our superpower is evolution.

By Queen 
Queen is a 30 something from the Bronx, NY. She created Ms. Vixen to spread her thoughts on feminism, Black pride, it's the first stop on her quest to be a media mogul. 
Follow Queen 
Instagram @TheQueenSpeaks_

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