Just wanted to share this that was also reblogged by witchsistah and theoceanandthesky.
*Trigger warning, writing about sexual assault.
This so fully captures what my personal experience of being sexually assaulted late last year as well as the ensuing court case and to be honest also the years of sexual violence I have experienced prior to that. It meant so much to me to read this, cause it can be so difficult to find language to speak to the paralyzing experience I still have when faced with sexual violence. It is difficult to feel entitled to protect my body, to deny others access when my whole life I have been taught that my body is not my own. It is difficult to explain to people who don't live it, that saying no is an enormous privilege.
I still think about how to be nice even when my physical body is being threatened, but I am getting better at not giving two fucks. I would also add as layer, the experience of being a womyn of colour, or in my case as a Black womyn, and worrying about whether people will think I'm a 'bitch' and therefore use the 'angry black womyn' trope to discredit me. I appreciate Malcom X's sentiments in this case, “I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight.”
So what everyone is saying that I need to respond sweetly when someone yells misogynist comments or grabs at me or disregards my constant pleas to leave me alone and then I get blamed for being the cause of the very violence that is being perpetrated against me. Umm, no.
This in part is why I reappropriate words like bitch and cunt. Bitch has been used to dismiss the experiences of violence that we have had, to act like we are entirely unreasonable for being angry when we are being deprived of basic human rights. If you run into me in the streets, I won't have a smile, cause I am protecting myself against racism, misogyny, if I am on a bike, a violent car culture and now, it is also cold.
But when I look across the street and I lock eyes with the adorbs Queer & Trans POC that resist by existing in glitter, bow ties, swagga that won't quit - I remember our resilience. I know we ain't got a choice, but babies you do it with such style, such grace.
Thanks for keeping me whole.
“TW FOR RAPE If we teach women that there are only certain ways they may acceptably behave, we should not be surprised when they behave in those ways.
And we should not be surprised when they behave these ways during attempted or completed rapes. Women who are taught not to speak up too loudly or too forcefully or too adamantly or too demandingly are not going to shout “NO” at the top of their goddamn lungs just because some guy is getting uncomfortably close.
Women who are taught not to keep arguing are not going to keep saying “NO.” Women who are taught that their needs and desires are not to be trusted, are fickle and wrong and are not to be interpreted by the woman herself, are not going to know how to argue with “but you liked kissing, I just thought…”
Women who are taught that physical confrontations make them look crazy will not start hitting, kicking, and screaming until it’s too late, if they do at all.
Women who are taught that a display of their emotional state will have them labeled hysterical and crazy (which is how their perception of events will be discounted) will not be willing to run from a room disheveled and screaming and crying.
Women who are taught that certain established boundaries are frowned upon as too rigid and unnecessary are going to find themselves in situations that move further faster before they realize that their first impression was right, and they are in a dangerous room with a dangerous person.
Women who are taught that refusing to flirt back results in an immediately hostile environment will continue to unwillingly and unhappily flirt with somebody who is invading their space and giving them creep alerts.
People wonder why women don’t “fight back,” but they don’t wonder about it when women back down in arguments, are interrupted, purposefully lower and modulate their voices to express less emotion, make obvious signals that they are uninterested in conversation or being in closer physical proximity and are ignored. They don’t wonder about all those daily social interactions in which women are quieter, ignored, or invisible, because those social interactions seem normal. They seem normal to women, and they seem normal to men, because we were all raised in the same cultural pond, drinking the same Kool-Aid.
And then, all of a sudden, when women are raped, all these natural and invisible social interactions become evidence that the woman wasn’t truly raped. Because she didn’t fight back, or yell loudly, or run, or kick, or punch. She let him into her room when it was obvious what he wanted. She flirted with him, she kissed him. She stopped saying no, after a while. ”
— Harriet J on Another post about rape (via archenemies) Oh my god, this. All of this. (via one-bite-at-a-time)