“I tried to explain to my friends that maybe I was the crazy one — the intense individual who caused these emotional explosions — I was met with hearty laughs, pats on the back and assurances that this was not the case. But why not? Because girls are crazy, man! We all know it. God they can be so emotional and needy, right? Good thing we don’t ever get like that. Nope, never. See, the world doesn’t need more male-driven narratives about “crazy” females. It’s absolutely a played out angle, but more than that, it hurts our female friends.”—We Have To Stop Calling Girls “Crazy” (via sociolab)
The following are link and book recommendations, all evaluated myself, as helpful resources that relate to genderqueer and non-binary concepts and identities. If there is a resource you would like to suggest, please use the GQID submit form (select Submit a Link from the drop-down or copy and paste a list into the default text box). See also Marilyn Roxie’s genderqueer tag on Delicious. If you are instead looking for the bibliography for the Genderqueer History and Identities project, click here.
The Trevor Project: “The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services” to LGBT youth: 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) Also available for matters of less pressing urgency, Dear Trevor is an “online, non-time sensitive Question & Answer resource for young people with questions surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity.” A directory of previous questions in the category of Transgender/Genderqueer is also available.
I have so many feels about this topic, as it’s one that people aren’t ever really taught properly. Basically I’ve been told that screaming “NO” and fighting back signals lack of consent, and every other form of behavior is seen as consent. This is a horrifying attitude.
So let’s break it down
Your partner being intoxicated and mumbling “yes” or “sure” does not signal consent. If your partner has said to you before going out “I can’t wait to have stoned/drunk sex with you!” or something to that effect and they still say yes (not begrudgingly) when intoxicated then you can perhaps take it as genuine consent. If the decision was agreed to before they were intoxicated and this is still agreed upon once intoxicated then consent appears to still be there. HOWEVER if your partner expressed that they didn’t want to do anything sexual tonight before they were intoxicated or you two have never done the act that you’re about to do before then you need to seriously assess whether this is in their best interests. If they don’t appear to be interested or are distracted then you need to not go ahead. It’s much better to have a partner go to bed pissy and horny because you’ve said “I think we should wait” rather than assault your partner or perform sex acts without their true consent.
If your partner is sleepy or falls asleep during any act, no matter the circumstances, YOU NEED TO STOP. Someone being asleep means that they can’t tell you what is and isn’t acceptable and you may cross their boundaries unintentionally. If they fall asleep or appear sleepy stop all sexual activity. They may just need a small nap before they’re completely alert and willing to give consent.
If your partner checks out or appears far away while engaging in any sexual act, stop and ask if they’re alright. Don’t continue and ignore it. Your partner may have withdrawn consent or feel regretful but not know how to approach you about it.
If your partner has said that they do not want to do a particular sex act before you began this particular sexual encounter DO NOT ask them during the act. I personally feel obligated to say yes during sexual activity and my response isn’t always what I’m truly comfortable with. Make sure if a non-aroused them stated what their boundaries are you don’t ask to cross them during the moment.
Sometimes fantasy and reality aren’t the same thing. If you’re trying to enact a fantasy (especially with consensual non-consent/rape play/rough sex) you need to continue checking in with your partner. If it’s the first time I’m a huge believer in saying things like “Would it be alright if I choked you? How’s the pressure?”. It may kill the mood but from then on you know where your partners boundaries are. Make sure there’s a safe word so if you’re in character in future and their boundaries shift they can stop you before they’re harmed in any way.
Discuss your sex life openly. In a non-sexual setting (having dinner, watching television, snuggling) talk about your sex life. What do you like? What don’t you like? What terminology do you enjoy during sex? It’s often a lot less threatening to hear about boundaries when the environment isn’t sexually charged.
COERCION IS NOT CONSENT.
There is nothing sexier than consent. Having a non-consensual sexual experience can ruin ANY relationship, no matter how healthy. Having your boundaries crossed isn’t something that ever really leaves you, so be mindful of other people’s limitations.
Drawing on the conversation analytic literature, and on our own data, we claim that both men and women have a sophisticated ability to convey and to comprehend refusals, including refusals which do not include the word ‘no’, and we suggest that male claims not to have ‘understood’ refusals which conform to culturally normative patterns can only be heard as self-interested justifications for coercive behaviour.
I read through quite a bit of this article and it was actually very interesting so check it out!
This is a really great article that I had to read for school and which prompted really interesting and often problematic discussions with my students. The authors are arguing that we need to expand the ways we understand “no” in sexual encounters because in other conversational situations we understand a variety of types of “no”s and in fact “just saying no” is really conversationally unusual. It’s a really interesting read.
“the fact that “love your body” rhetoric shifts the responsibility for body acceptance over to the individual, and away from communities, institutions, and power, is also problematic. individuals who do not love their bodies, who find their bodies difficult to love, are seen as being part of the problem. the underlying assumption is that if we all loved our bodies just as they are, our fat-shaming, beauty-policing culture would be different. if we don’t love our bodies, we are, in effect, perpetuating normative (read: impossible) beauty standards. if we don’t love our individual bodies, we are at fault for collectively continuing the oppressive and misogynistic culture. if you don’t love your body, you’re not trying hard enough to love it. in this framework, your body is still the paramount focus, and one way or another, you’re failing. it’s too close to the usual body-shaming, self-policing crap, albeit with a few quasi-feminist twists, for comfort.”—
“Women owning their sexual pleasure veers dangerously close to women wanting to own their bodies. And we can’t have that! The more sexual agency you possess, the less of an object you become. That’s threatening to a lot of people.”—On Slut Shaming (via ceedling)
“To me, “sex positive” means being comfortable with the idea of sex and sexuality whether or not one engages in sexual behaviors and regardless of past sexual experiences. Being sex positive means being inclusive of all gender and sexuality minorities, understanding the human body, and taking pride in being a sexual (or asexual) being.”—
Cassandra, CSPH Development and Outreach Intern Summer 2012
[Part of our weekly Sex Positive Saturday series! Visit http://thecsph.tumblr.com for more, or to submit your own definitions.]
“Since most mainstream feminism focuses on “empowering women” and not challenging male privilege—-mostly for the understandable reason that challenging male privilege creates a much more negative reaction than empowering women—-we’ve created a generation or two where the number of women who feel empowered way outstrips the number of men who are truly ready to relinquish privilege.”—Why Empowering Girls Isn’t Working (via thecranium)
“Why do some folks feel that transgender people need to disclose their history and their genitalia and non transgender people do not? When you first meet someone and they are clothed, you never know exactly what that person looks like. And when you first meet someone, you never know that person’s full history. Why do only some people have to describe themselves in detail—and others do not? Why are some nondisclosures seen as actions and others utterly invisible? Actions. Gwen Araujo was being herself, openly and honestly. No, she did not wear a sign on her forehead that said “I am transgender, this is what my genitalia look like.” But her killers didn’t wear a sign on their foreheads saying, “We might look like nice high school boys, but really, we are transphobic and are planning to kill you.” That would have been a helpful disclosure.”—Law Center (via mermaid-vision)
The past week or so, I’ve seen a high number of posts and talk about Title IX and its 40th anniversary. Considering its significant role in my path to feminism and activism, I wanted to at least share a few thoughts about the law and how its intended protection of rape survivors has helped me on a path to recovery after rape.
When a student doesn’t perform well in school and is kicked out or drops out or fails a class or three after being sexually assaulted, their access to education has been hindered. If a school knows about this student’s rape and refuses to help them, then they are denying that student their equal access to education guaranteed to them by Title IX.
Years ago, I found myself in this very situation. I want to share with you my Title IX story.
Seven-six years ago, I was raped by another student when I was at Tufts University in Massachusetts. I did not really understand how those incidents affected me in addition to the very toxic, emotionally abusive relationship of sorts that I had with the other student. He was very good at manipulating his power and my learned helplessness to not only make me feel like I had no value, but to make my school administrators to think so as well.
A few years later—after his graduation and departure from the area—I strained to regain a voice and I tried to speak up about what happened. I started to be more public about how the school ignored my police report(s) about sexual assault and physical assault, violated their own rules about holding students accountable to a high standards of conduct, and failed to provide any support or remedies to the emotional damage I had endured as a result of all these things.
However, the biggest blow was being expelled from school. The heartless letter from my abuser’s former academic adviser saying they were sorry about the “incident,” but I was no longer welcome there as a student. He wrote that Tufts was not only not responsible for what happened to me in terms of the rape (yes, that was the abuser’s fault), but they were also not responsible to help me try to help remedy the hostile environment create as a result of their inaction.
It is needless to say it is already very disempowering to live through an abusive relationship, to be raped, to be isolated and ignored. It is another thing to take away my education and reverse the years of hard work I had done, being a scholarship kid of colour at prep school and going to a top university. I felt helpless and disillusioned; I felt that I lived in a world that regardless of what I do, my fate was in the hands of rich white people who were so far removed from my situation.
While Title IX and its grievance processes are far from perfect, it gave me some hope of some sort of justice. I did not get my “day in court” to face the person who had some irreparable damage to my life course, but perhaps I can get a shot at showing a powerful administration that ignoring domestic violence on campus/at the hands of a student is not only ethically wrong, but it is also legally wrong.
It’s been a difficult, slow, and confusing process to try and get some justice from Tufts from their indifference towards me and their lack of value of the bodies of survivors of colour. However, I am thankful that someone like me with little to no resources (read: money for an attorney) has a shot to hold an institutional accountable and to tell them that *all* students matter and survivors deserve justice and education, too.
To read more about how Title IX is not just about gender equity in sports, but also in regards to sexual violence, feel free to check out these links.
“Do you think it matters how many people someone has slept with? No, and it particularly bothers me that women are held to a different standard on this than men. Also, it’s such a weird thing to care about. Like imagine if I started eating Cheerios for breakfast, would Cheerios be like, ‘I’m the 48th cereal you’ve tried eating?! I don’t feel special!’ Well then screw you, Cheerios. I can’t go into the past and un-eat all those cereals, but that doesn’t mean I don’t genuinely enjoy your whole-grain crunch.”—John Green (via damnitfeelsgoodtobeavegan)
Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.
And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.
I certainly don’t think that if you don’t paint your nails, dress up, and party, that that is an issue. I do, however, like this quote, because for me personally it holds true in that, if I can’t wear and do what I want (yes, even if it means being femme), then how does the movement differ from white cis dudes telling me what to wear and how to act? Plus I think the whole “if you wear makeup, etc., you are not a ‘true’ feminist” thing is bullshit^2 because it’s also continuing to devalue that which is thought of as feminine in our culture. Let people do what they want when it comes to their bodies - that doesn’t mean we can’t critique the white supremacist capitalist ableist heterosexist patriarchy and the isms that are entrenched and perpetuated in its systems.
Now that that is out of the way, I think we can all appreciate the difficulties we face from speaking our truth and the empowering message here that says: Keep doing it.
Society has allowed rapists to define what resistance is: screaming, crying, scratching, pushing, kicking, biting, punching. I didn’t resist like that. My resistance was to wriggle a bit, turn my head away when he tried to kiss me, try to stop his hand going into my bra and knickers, push him ineffectually, talk about wanting to get my cab; all things which normal men recognise as not being enthusiastic participation when they are engaging with women but pretend it’s a grey area when they talk about rape. Rapists have managed to get society to believe, that what I did, was consent.
Because I didn’t resist in the way rapists - and society - say that women should resist, they define our non-participation as consent.
BOOM, rape culture at work… Can I also add, when you are in a situation that involves rape or you think might involve rape or looks like it might involve rape in a few minutes, its usually pretty scary to scream and kick… Especially if you know this person and sometimes might even care about them and think they care about you too. It is much more likely that you’ll say “No.. Lets stop.. I don’t want to right now..” etc
for a while i hadn’t been wanting to talk about rape discourse within mainstream feminism. one might say i was afraid.
rape is such a sensitive topic. & i felt i would be trivializing it if i talked about what had been on my mind since i came out with the fact that i myself was raped.
which is, that mainstream feminism does a fucking sucky job at examining the politics of rape with in [T]Woc communities and men also.
i was scared to tell white rape survivors, that [T]WoC need space in the survivor conversation as well. that they are dominating it. that they need to recognize [T]WoC are raped at higher rates. that they cannot claim to have survivor solidarity with [T]WoC if they continue to ignore that mainstream feminism is shitty. but as Woc rape survivor, I can no longer worry about white fee fees. i can no longer worry about those who get the most attention, the most services, the most comfort.
yes, i know, rape culture affects EVERYONE. & makes it so survivors’ experiences aren’t affirmed and we are blamed for our own violation. we all deal with triggers. we all deal with trying to get our lives back.
but WoC aren’t even seen as victims. ever. we’re always impure. always dirty. always hypersexual. always hoes. white womyn dont have to deal with that. we’re starting from scratch.
[T]WoC’s suffering from sexual violence will never be accurately recognized until we are recognized throughly as human beings with basic needs & emotions. & mainstream feminism refuses to do that. we will continue to be murdered, raped, and beaten because it is profitable for the US. Mainstream feminism has shown that they side with US imperialism and politics, therefore, white feminists and others who engage in mainstream feminism as is are complicit within [T]WoC’s death and suffering. they are NOT in solidarity with [T]WoC survivors and I can no longer be in solidarity with those who refuse to criticize and complicate mainstream feminism. This is why this blog is crucial, it is important for us to connect with each other, to create spaces where we are resist in our existence, where can talk about the failings of mainstream feminism, where we carve out our own space based on recognizing and affirming each other’s experiences, humanity, and identities.
with that being sad, i’d just like to say what a rewarding experience for me (& I’m sure all of the other admins) to facilitate this space. thank you all for following. please continue to spread the word. if you feel comfortable, please submit suggestions, critiques, pictures of yourself doing self-care, tips, or stories, and send us questions! You may submit or ask anonymously.
“The best way to dehumanize someone while claiming you’re not is to believe you are just the same. You erase their experiences and perspective, their struggles and obstacles, their unique way of having to deal with those things in a world that also erases them. With the words, ‘but humans are humans’ or the bullshit dramatics of ‘we all bleed red’ normal people can simply pretend that if we all did things the way they did, then everything would work out okay. But, yes, we all bleed red but you don’t treat a papercut the same way you treat a gash, you don’t treat an infected wound the same way you treat one that isn’t, you don’t treat a wound to the leg the same way you treat a wound to the gut. You are not acknowledging someone’s personhood when you ignore the very things that make their lives different than yours, and when you refuse to understand that their circumstances have given them their own perspective that is just as valid as yours. More valid in fact – their perspective about their experiences that you haven’t been through is far more valid than anything you could ever think about it.”—The danger of worldviews (Speaking when the world sleeps)
“It is important that the visceral vocabulary of women’s bodies is part of the abortion debate. It is difficult to imagine true equality for women when our internal organs are a public space. It is necessary for them to abstract women out of the debate otherwise they may find that forcing a woman through the trauma of an unwanted pregnancy or putting her life at risk by leaving her no other choice than an unsafe abortion, might make them look somewhat vicious”—Vaginas aren’t dirty, even in Michigan | Naomi McAuliffe | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk (via feministlibrarian)
“Some days you will feel dirty
Some days you’ll remember how hard it is to breathe in public, like your heart beat is climbing to the attic of your throat only to suicide itself out on the pavement
But know this: the person who did this to you is broken, not you.
The person who did this to you is out there, somewhere choking on the glass of his chest, it is a windsheild, and his heart is a baseball bat saying wreck this, wreck this
NOTHING WAS STOLEN FROM YOU.
Your body is not a hand-me-down
There is nothing that sits inside you holding your worth,
no locket that can be seen or touched, sucked from your stomach and left on the concrete
And I know sometimes it’s hard to feel perfect
when you can’t tell an adam’s apple from a fist
because some ashtray of a man forced you to play his eden.
If you're a feminist who understands the (apparently not) radical concept that women can have penises and men can have vaginas (and that there are people with either or both of those who may very well identify as neither a man nor a woman), would you mind reblogging this? I could really use a little faith in humanity being restored right about now.
Anyone who donates this week will be entered into another raffle for a scarf! Donate between $5 and $20, you’ll be entered to win a hand-made, solid blue, crocheted acrylic scarf. Donate more than $20, and you’ll be entered to win a hand-made, crocheted wool Colorado flag scarf! We know it’s not the season for scarves now, but we’ll get you ready for next winter!
“Trauma impels people both to withdraw from close relationships and to seek them desperately. The profound disruption in basic trust, the common feelings of shame, guilt, and inferiority, and the need to avoid reminders of the trauma that might be found in social life, all foster withdrawal from close relationships. But the terror of the traumatic event intensifies the need for protective attachments. The traumatized person therefore frequently alternates between isolation and anxious clinging to others. […] It results in the formation of intense, unstable relationships that fluctuate between extremes.”—
“It is a grave injustice to a child or adult to insist that they stop crying. One can comfort a person who is crying which enables him to relax and makes further crying unnecessary; but to humiliate a crying child is to increase his pain, and augment his rigidity. We stop other people from crying because we cannot stand the sounds and movements of their bodies. It threatens our own rigidity. It induces similar feelings in ourselves which we dare not express and it evokes a resonance in our own bodies which we resist.”—Alexander Lowen, The Voice of the Body (via bookmarrow)
“Sex is no more an immutable binary than is gender. There are intersex people who are born with non-binary genitalia, as I have already mentioned. There are people with hormonal anomalies. In fact, hormone levels vary wildly within the categories of cis male and cis female. Chromosomes, too, vary. If you thought “XX” and “XY” were the only two possible combinations, you have some serious googling to do. In addition to variations like XXY, XXYY, or X, sometimes cis people find out that they are genetically the “opposite” of what they though they were– that is, a ‘typical’ cis man can be XX, a ‘normal’ cis woman can be XY. The fact is that the concept of binary sex is based on the fallacious idea that multiple sex characteristics are immutable and must always go together, when in fact many of them can be changed, many erased, and many appear independently in different combinations. “Female” in sex binary terms means having breasts, having a vagina, having a womb, not having a lot of body hair, having a high-pitched voice, having lots of estrogen, having a period, having XX chromosomes. “Male” means having a penis, not having breasts, producing sperm, having body hair, having a deep voice, having lots of testosterone, having XY chromosomes. Yet it is possible to isolate, alter, and remove many of these traits. Many of these traits do not always appear together, and before puberty and after menopause, many of them do not apply.”—
The Siwe Project’s first annual No Shame Day will be held on July 2, the first Monday of National Minority Mental Health Month. We are asking people to publicly share their mental health journeys or speak as allies for loved ones in their lives.
The Siwe Project, a global non-profit dedicated to promoting mental health awareness throughout the international black community is launching a campaign that focuses on stigma reduction through storytelling and community building. Though The Siwe Project gears its efforts mainly toward people of African descent, we do realize that mental illness is an issue that affects EVERYONE and we hope that the first annual No Shame Day will be an opportunity for people of all nationalities, all around the world, to rally around mental health care. The Siwe Project website will host candid discussions about mental illness stigma, diagnoses, and treatment options. The purpose of No Shame Day is to encourage more people to seek treatment without shame.
Here’s where you come in: The Siwe Project believes that sharing stories not only fosters individual healing, but community transformation. The Siwe Project strategically uses new media to cultivate safe spaces to share new stories. To that end, we’re looking for bloggers (with their own blogs) to write about their personal experiences with mental heatlth for No Shame Day to open the dialogue on a broader public scale. If you’re interested in blogging about your or a loved ones mental health journey, please email Bassey Ikpi email@example.com.
Bassey Ikpi, the organization’s founder, has chronicled her illness for a variety of outlets such as Essence, The Huffington Post, XOJane.com and The Root. Please join her in keeping the conversation going by lending your voice to the cause. Let your readership know that when it comes to seeking help for mental health issues, there is No Shame.
[tw - rape, racism, slavery] I need white people to stop pretending consent was possible during slavery.
Stop lying to yourselves that those black cousins are the result of illicit love affairs & grasp that slaves could not say no.
When consent is not an option, when you’re only seen as 3/5ths of a human being & you have no legal standing? You can’t say yes.
I need white America to sit down for a sec. Look into the faces of black Americans with the same last names & figure it the fuck out.
Our ancestors were raped by your ancestors. Regularly. Some of the kids were treated kindly. Most were not. They were sold.
White mistresses punished the slaves for “tempting” master & congratulated themselves on that bloody work. Read the narratives.
Not the cleaned up ones either. Read Incidents in The Life of A Slave Girl & understand that Mammy was a victim, not the one who loved you.
She couldn’t care for her kids, couldn’t choose her husband or their father most of the time. She was a slave.
Millions of people died on the Middle Passage. Millions more died here at the hands of your ancestors. Own that.
Now you want to sing Kumbaya & keep oppressing our communities & erasing our contributions. Spare me the tired bullshit.
Male slaves fared no better. There’s a long history of them being raped, tortured & killed too. That was slavery. Stop romanticizing it.
Our children were fed to alligators as bait (feel free to look that up) died of starvation or exposure & that was slavery too. Yep, we were livestock & you use sickly livestock as bait.
Stop watching Gone With The Wind & fantasizing about beautiful plantations if you can’t accept what happened on those plantations.
House slaves had it better in the sense of access to food & possibly better treatment, but they were still slaves.
14 year old slave girls weren’t falling in love with the men who could beat them & everyone they loved to death.
Read the tales of enslaved women who killed their children to spare them. Read about people beaten to death as an example.
Sally Hemings could have left Jefferson in Paris. Of course her entire family was still in his power. And his “love”? Didn’t free her. Ever.
Go look at the pictures of former slaves backs. Whipped until they bled & left to scar so they were maimed for life & couldn’t run.
Also before you talk about the cleaned up narratives, remember that the people relating their stories knew lynching was always possible.
Records of slavery were deliberately destroyed so that former owners wouldn’t have to pay anyone.
That “peculiar institution” was generations of blood, pain, & terror. That’s what built America. Never forget that.
Now stop talking about anyone’s white ancestors like they deserve the fucking credit for the success of people descended from slaves.
American slavery began in 1619. June 19, 1865 was the last official day of slavery. Do the math on how long it takes to heal that wound.
After slavery was officially over? Black codes & Jim Crow laws followed. America’s history of oppression is longer than that of freedom.
Also before any dumb motherfuckers land in my mentions. I have a degree in history. I will read you to filth & bury you in sources.
Trust & believe there is no country here for people who want to romanticize a system that is still grinding away at my community.
All this fluffy fucking talk about American history to coddle white kids feelings & engender patriotism? You won’t get it here.
My ancestors built this country, I served this country & I will tell the damned truth about this country. Don’t like it? Fuck you.
Now let me get in my feelings about slavery before Africans were brought here. Because we weren’t the first people enslaved.
We were deliberately sought out for our skill sets & resistance to disease. Know why we were resistant? We’d had contact for years.
All of that “My ancestors never owned slaves so it has nothing to do with me?” Go look at those NDN ancestors again. See how many were free.
While you’re in there checking that out? Look up those old country ancestors & see how many benefited from slavery indirectly.
Also while we’re talking about NDN relatives? Yo, learn a name besides Cherokee. Better yet, learn about the genocidal tactics they faced.
Look up immigrant groups becoming white in America. Find out who had to bleed so they could gain access to white privilege.
Let’s really talk about the Red Summer of 1919 & how it wasn’t an unusual occurrence. Tulsa, Rosewood? They were just famous.
Let’s talk about welfare & who could access it. Hell let’s talk about who is collecting more of it right now.
Let’s talk about the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action (spoiler! White women!) & what it means to attack black people instead.
Shit, let’s get into the Great Depression & the Great Recession & who is hurting the most financially through both.
Let’s talk about conditions on reservations, in the inner city, & the violence faced by POC who try to leave those areas.
Hell, let’s talk about why we don’t see shows that reflect the American population set in the past, present, or future.
Go read Columbus’ diaries & see what “civilization” really meant to the people he encountered.
For that matter go read up on King Leopold & the Congo. I’ll wait while you cry.
That’s the thing about whiteness as a social construct in America. It’s not about white people, it’s about white power over others.
When we’re talking about white privilege? We’re talking about what it takes to shape this society based on oppression.
America is a young country with a lot of power because of genocide, slavery, & continuing oppression. Individuals build institutions.
All of these conversations aren’t about bringing out white guilt, they’re about ending this institution developed over the generations.
Also let’s be clear that America is sick with this ish across the political spectrum. It may manifest differently but it exists everywhere.
Before I go, let me also suggest that people who are curious about anything I tweeted about take a tour through Google with terms.
It’s not that I won’t answer questions, but there are books out there that I think everyone should read on slavery, whiteness, & America.
Karnythia, laying it down with righteousness on Juneteenth — the truth about slavery and its lingering effects on America. (via paradiscacorbasi)
Particularly pertinant to the first half of this commentary is the Missouri case of Celia, a slave woman hanged for murder in 1855. Her “master”, Robert Newsom, bought her at a slave market when she was 14, and he raped her before they even arrived back at his farm. He continued to do so in the years to come, and she gave birth to two children, presumably his.
Celia, pregnant again, begged Newsom’s daughters (he had two by his deceased his white wife) to protect her from their father during her last preganancy, and said that if came to her again she would defend herself and kill him. There is no evidence either ever intervened.
When Newsom attacked her in her cabin on the night of June 23, 1855, she beat him to death with a stick (given that she was pregnant and ill and beating him to death and then dismembering the body would have taken some physical strength, there is a possibility that her lover, a fellow slave called George who had been the one to urge her to seek Newsom’s daughters to intervene, may have been involved).
At her trial, her lawyer argued that she was legally entitled to defend herself. There was an 1845 law on the statue books that stated that any attempt “to take any woman unlawfully against her will and by force, menace or duress, compel her to be defiled” was a felony, and he asked that ‘The words “any woman” in the first clause of the 29th section, of second article of laws of Missouri for 1845, concerning crimes & punishments, embrace slave women, as well as free white women.’
The judge presiding refused the motion, and concluded that a slave woman had no right to resist her master, even in a case of sexual assault.
on my way home listening to Beyonce’s Dance For You i realized The public has rendered Beyonce a virgin. Throughout her ten year relationship/career they have positioned it as to where every song shes ever sung has been about JAY-Z .
That’s odd for a black woman in the Western imagination because black woman are born sluts..not even sluts something far “worse” because like Alisha of Misfits fame black women sort of tempt everyone with just a touch or a look. Their sexuality has absolutely nothing to with what they do (as in going out and sleeping with men) but rather who they are (that black skin marks them): they are already sexual by nature (is yall understanding me?)
Its not true of course but thats how the world has constructed black female sexuality. Black women dont have to be dressed any particular way to illicit men inviting themselves to their bodies all they have to do is stand there: In a public place, in an office, at school, on the bus or train.
I remember when I was a young teen and my female cousin had developed ass, breasts and thighs at the tender age of 14 and grown men would whimper in her presence. What POWER i thought. I wish I had that. could do that in public. for a gay black boy everything was private. everything was secret. The promise of having men validate my growing beauty in public without scorn was something i wish i had. until i had it.
Eyes like vultures. Craving eyes. Eyes that fuck you where u stand. Its unnerving; not liberating (at least for me) to feel someone staring at you as if they could devour you. (mostly because they could)
This was just my lil meditation on the virgin-hoe D-my lil gay perspective. thats all.
I don’t think anyone truly understands how fucking frightening this is. To be a little girl or a grown woman and have to navigate this shit everyday of your life. It’s NOT A COMPLIMENT. It’s the shit that drives a woman to become undone.
“Imagine you’re at a party. A guy offers you a drink. You say no. He says “Come on, one drink!” You say “no thanks.” Later, he brings you a soda. “I know you said you didn’t want a drink, but I was getting one for myself and you looked thirsty.” For you to refuse at this point makes you the asshole. He’s just being nice, right? Predators use the social contract and our own good hearts and fear of being rude against us. If you drink the drink, you’re teaching him that it just takes a little persistence on his part to overcome your “no.” If you say “Really, I appreciate it, but no thanks” and put the drink down and walk away from it, you’re the one who looks rude in that moment. But the fact is, you didn’t ask for the drink and you don’t want the drink and you don’t have to drink it just to make some guy feel validated.”—
Persistence in murder rate indicates gross lack of public empathy for LGBT’s minority
If George W. Bush didn’t “care about black people,” then people generally don’t care about the lives of transgender women of color.
That’s not exactly the way writer and activist Janet Mock put it. She and others believe a rash of murders, as well as uneven media coverage, suggest a gross lack of empathy for gender non-conforming individuals.
Mock, a 29-year-old Hawaii native, was her parents’ firstborn … She transitioned when she was a teenager and is aware of her privilege of not having her gender identity questioned by society.
It’s a privilege that isn’t a reality for many women like her, Mock acknowledges.
That premature death for transgender women may lurk around the corner, at the bus stop or in the presence of an intimate partner is an existence that hasn’t quite caught fire in the mainstream.
“Being trans should not equate to a death sentence,” Mock said in an interview with Loop 21.
But it’s hardly that simple. Mock knows that better than most, as an outspoken trans advocate. She says fighting for the rights and safety of transgender women of color requires a level of inclusiveness that many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates don’t yet have down to a science.
“It’s hard because trans women of color live in the intersection between two so-called oppressed groups,” Mock said. “We do fall in between the cracks of the resources that are available.”
The coalition tracked the murders by monitoring reports from news outlets, which often err in properly identifying the desired gender marker of victims. The prevalence of such crimes can go unnoticed, if media professionals aren’t sympathetic to the idea that, in death, a transgender woman doesn’t switch back to male.
It’s worth noting that the issues faced by the transgender community are far too complex to definitively state that transgender women of color are murdered because of their race and gender expression. Until recently, the federal government did not track the sexuality or gender identity of hate crime victims. Unless her murder is classified a hate crime, it’s entirely possible that law enforcement agencies and media outlets will fail to acknowledge the gender expression of a transgender woman, whether she be the criminal or the victim.
Still, advocates believe the murders are preventable. Reducing the murder rate for these women is three pronged, says Mark Snyder of the California-based Transgender Law Center.
“When a transgender person has a safe place to sleep at night, and a good job, and adequate healthcare, then a person’s risk of being a victim of violence decreases,” Snyder said.
He also pointed to recent and promising advances – the inclusion of transgender people in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission protections and in the Prison Rape Elimination Act – for men and women, who struggle with an estimated unemployment rate double the national average and with transphobia in the criminal justice system.
Those things don’t necessarily address a seeming disregard for the lives and humanity of transgender women of color.
Mock said she was disgusted by the experience of a transgender friend, who was randomly kicked by a man on the street.
“He felt that she wasn’t even human,” Mock said. “That’s what’s so scary. It creates the mindset that you could be (a victim) because you are trans.”
The worst crimes committed against transgender people – sexual assault, mutilation and murder – are indicative of an air of dispensability, seemingly perceived by their attackers and, in some cases, the general public.
That was evident in the 2003 New Jersey murder of 15-year-old Sakia Gunn, who didn’t fall squarely into the transgender category. While waiting for a bus late at night, Gunn and a friend were attacked by two men because Gunn was an aggressive lesbian. She was stabbed to death.
Kim Pearson, the chair of the African American Studies Department at the College of New Jersey, researched the coverage of the Gunn’s murder, comparing it to the attention given Matthew Shepard’s murder in 1998.
Pearson found only 21 stories had been written about Gunn’s murder in the seven-month period following her death. Over the same span, 659 stories had been written about Shepard.
“Part of what you see in that whole discourse is not only a lack of understanding of the reality and the dangers that LGBT people of color face, but also this complete erasure of transgender identity,” Pearson said of Gunn’s coverage.
“At the trial, (Gunn’s killer Richard McCollough) kept referring to her as ‘the little dude,’ “ Pearson said.
It was the reaction to her research that spoke volumes about the perception of transgender people, Pearson said. In 2005, she asked the national LGBT and black journalist associations if they could explain the disparity of news coverage. Neither organization seemed particularly moved to take up the issue, she recalled.
“It’s not clear to me that there is a lot of awareness,” Pearson said. “Transgender folks tend to drop out of the conversation.”
Transgender women of color, who are victims of violent crimes and murder, often end up that way due to circumstances of street life. With rampant mistrust of law enforcement, some crimes committed against these women go unreported. Put simply, some can’t go to the police.
While policies toward interaction with the LGBT community vary widely among law enforcement agencies, advocates have pointed to recent work by the Los Angeles Police Department to build a bridge between officers and transgender individuals.
In April, Chief Charlie Beck announced new procedures that “prevent discrimination and conflict, and ensure the appropriate treatment of transgender individuals,” according to a statement announcing the policy.
The procedures discourage officers from using homophobic and transphobic language. It also provides guidelines for respecting the names and gender expression of the individuals the officers interact with.
“The policy is mostly helping to build trust,” said Alessandra Moura, the LAPD’s liaison officer to the LGBT community.
The guidelines do not address hate crime classifications or whether homicide investigators would make note of the gender expression of victims.
But Moura says the new procedures are helping to open community doors that were once tightly shut.
“I go to meetings and I get hugs, I get kisses from transgender individuals,” Moura said. “They know I do my work because I care. And it’s not just a broken promise. I get invited to events as a Los Angeles police officer, when before they didn’t want an officer anywhere near. Their doors were closed to the LAPD.”
The Minority Within the Minority
Similar groundwork is needed within the LGBT community, advocates say.
“When people are fighting for women’s rights, they’re not so much fighting for trans women’s rights,” Mock said. “And when people are fighting for civil rights for black people, they’re not fighting for the rights of trans women of color.”
Pearson agrees and noted the larger LGBT movement’s focus on non-emergency issues for transgender people.
“These folks were poor, therefore they were on the margins,” Pearson said of the murder victims. “The problem is that the LGBT movement has been aligned with middle class aspirations.”
Neither Pearson nor Mock seeks to diminish the good work being done by many LGBT organizations. Mock only wishes for a day when young transgender girls aren’t subjected to constant reminders of violence.
“We internalize a lot of the bad things that are happening to us,” Mock said. “We must heighten the visibility of the amazing transgender women of color.”
Mock points to Isis King, the transgender ‘America’s Next Top Model” contestant and current American Apparel model; Laverne Cox, a working transgender actress; Reina Gossett, a transgender activist with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project; and Monica Roberts, an award-winning writer and transgender activist.
“But these people can only do so much,” Mock said.
Certainly, more can be done to ensure women of color aren’t disproportionately represented on the list of deceased:
(CNN) — My daughter occasionally goes on a hugging and kissing strike.
She’s 4. Her parents could get a hug or a kiss, but many people who know her cannot, at least right now. And I won’t make her.
“I would like you to hug Grandma, but I won’t make you do it,” I told her recently.
“I don’t have to?” she asked, cuddling up to me at bedtime, confirming the facts to be sure.
No, she doesn’t have to. And just to be clear, there is no passive-aggressive, conditional, manipulative nonsense behind my statement. I mean what I say. She doesn’t have to hug or kiss anyone just because I say so, not even me. I will not override my own child’s currently strong instincts to back off from touching someone who she chooses not to touch.
I figure her body is actually hers, not mine.
It doesn’t belong to her parents, preschool teacher, dance teacher or soccer coach. While she must treat people with respect, she doesn’t have to offer physical affection to please them. And the earlier she learns ownership of herself and responsibility for her body, the better for her.
Would you want your daughter to have sex with her boyfriend simply to make him happy? Parents who justify ordering their children to kiss grandma might say, “It’s different.”
No, it’s not, according to author Jennifer Lehr, who blogs about her parenting style. Ordering children to kiss or hug an adult they don’t want to touch teaches them to use their body to please you or someone else in authority or, really, anyone.
“The message a child gets is that not only is another person’s emotional state their responsibility but that they must also sacrifice their own bodies to buoy another’s ego or satisfy their desire for love or affection,” said Lehr.
“Certainly no parent would wish for their teenager or adult child to feel pressure to reciprocate unwanted sexual advances, yet many teach their children at a young age that it’s their job to use their bodies to make others happy,” she said.
“If you think about it, the term ‘slut’ is really just a empty insult. What is a slut? Really? Ask 10 different people and you’ll get 10 different definitions. The only thing they have in common is a lady who steps out of line. Who doesn’t adhere by societal standards of “appropriate” or modest expression of sexuality. Being a slut isn’t so much “shameful” as it is a social construct, so IN MY theory, being a slut means you’re stepping outside these sexist societal bounds; you are exploring, enjoying, and doing so in a way that you want to (consensually), not in a way others expect you to.”—Paula dropping knowledge (via trastorn)
“The appropriation of BDSM imagery is problematic because while community members understand that it is important to be sensitive to the needs, boundaries, and rules of players in order for a scene to function fairly and enjoyably, mainstream porn is primarily about getting off as quickly as possible. Add to that a disgraceful lack of sexual education (both in safety and in pleasure) across the country, and a general belief perpetuated by the media that women are sexual objects to be consumed, and you have a rape culture that started by borrowing from BDSM’s imagery without reading its rules.”—Stacey May Fowles, The Fantasy of Acceptable “Non-Consent”: Why the Female Sexual Submissive Scares Us (and Why She Shouldn’t)
“People associate mental disorder with violence. We found that crime and mental disorder are linked, but not in the way people think: Persons with severe mental disorders are terribly vulnerable to victimization.”—Linda Teplin, discussing her research paper ‘Crime victimization in adults with severe mental illness’ (This paper is under paid access, but free articles summarizing it can be read here and here)