Before the movement to end street harassment really gained steam, I penned an essay about my childhood experiences as a poor, Black girl. In the piece, I detailed an interaction I had, at 11 years old with a group of men more than two times my age, where they publicly sexually harassed me while on my neighborhood street. The piece expressed the hurt, anger and rage that is buried so deep within me after decades of feeling unsafe in this world just because I am woman. This was the story of how I learned that my entire being was defined, in this society, by my sexuality. Not my intelligence, not my humor, not my wit, but access to my body.
I looked back on that piece and felt all the fears and anxiety that I have so long tried to cast aside and dismiss. Fears that resurfaced because of stories that two women were brutally attacked within the past couple of days (one of whom lost her life and the other who thankfully is expected to survive), by men who sought to gain access to their sexuality but were denied. Men who invaded the personal physical and emotional space of those women, without any permission or invitation, and murdered them simply because they were made aware of the fact that their advances were not welcomed. Keep reading »
Hey guys, there’s a new baby subreddit called Philosophy of Rape that advocates for raping women. Not just advocates, of course, but gushes over it, calls it “Correction”-with-a-capital-C, says that it was historically a corrective action for sluts. I’ll get to the historical accuracy of that statement in a second, because the pure outrage is more important, but the pedant in me wants to debunk that bullshit, too.
As David Futrelle at We Hunted The Mammoth has pointed out, Reddit has doubtless been made aware of this subreddit. They did manage to take down the Fappening subreddit after it came to light that it included child pornography, but I guess that someone actively creating an actual rape subreddit and in so doing using, of course, dangerous, threatening hate speech about 51 percent of the human population is totally OK. I mean, by their rules, it is totally OK, because the only thing that’s not allowed is child pornography. Everything else? Free speech, bro! Keep reading »
When I was just a little bitty budding activist just starting to get involved in organizing and protesting more heavily than I had in high school, I remember this conversation I had with my mom. I excitedly told her that I had found “my people” — people who cared about the same sort of idealistic things I did — like ending the Iraq War, redistributing the wealth, ending sweatshops, freeing Mumia, feminism, fighting racism, supporting unions. It felt like a big deal at the time, because up until then I’d been sort of marching all alone.
Always a bit of a downer, I remember her warning me that activist men fighting the good fight could be just as bad, sexism-wise — if not worse — than non-activist men. Because they think being counter-cultural and progressive gives them “a pass” that other men don’t have. “Don’t forget — Angela Davis.” she said. Keep reading »