By Guest Contributor Tressie McMillan Cottom, cross-posted from TressieMC
This is one of those posts that can go nowhere but down.
There are things you simply cannot do in this life and slaying unicorns is one of them.
What do I mean by “slaying unicorns”? It’s an old Livejournal term. It means providing evidence that one’s sacred emotional belief or object is either not a) universal b) all that great or c) grounded in reality or supported by empirical evidence.
I am really, really bad about this. I tend to slay unicorns even when I only mean to make an observation or intend to honor my own truth or even when I just mean to get through the day. I end up slaying unicorns way more than I’d like. My hands are filthy with their rainbow blood.
An initial tentative reaction about not seeing my experience as a black woman in the article provoked such passionate responses that my mentions on Twitter took two days to recover. And, I don’t mean the responses that disagreed with me. I mean I got tweets that charged me with not being a feminist or not understanding because I don’t have children and one lovely message that seemed to intimate that I was just too stupid to “get it”.
I decided to leave that unicorn alone.
But that did not mean that I did not want to make sense of it myself. After a great deal of thinking I think I can finally articulate my reaction and I owe much of that process to this tweet:
I’m a Reagan baby. You can’t say “trickle-down” to me and not evoke a response.
I went back and re-read The Atlantic article. I’ll try to take my thought process step-by-step in an effort to do minimal damage to the unicorn.