Retrieving Erotic Power: Part One

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My healthiest romantic relationships as an adult have been with three different people, one of them being a woman, none of them producing children or involving legal marriage, all three of them not being monogamous (I am good with monog or poly), and one of them being live in with a woman).

Commonality when it came to sex?

None of them forced sex on me, and that includes oral sex. I do not engage in receiving oral sex as a practice, and if I do oral sex, it tends to be with men. Rape does some really fucked up things to a mind, but so does physical and emotional abuse, and that happened at school and at home.  Black folk love to talk about strict households building up moral character in their children, but it also sets them up to be preyed upon by scavengers looking for tenderized flesh accustomed to casual cruelty and exploitation.

The man who raped me shortly after I turned 18 at Clark College forced oral sex on me before forcing his penis in me–twice. I was a virgin, but it does not matter–even if I’d fucked a football team before that asshole did what he did, he was wrong.  By the time I was 18 the damage to my mental health was set in–and sexual predators look at emotionally and physically abused people as perfect victims who are the most likely to not report, which is exactly why I did not report what was done to me after it happened.

I do not see all men as rapists, and I do not see all women as incapable of rape. I do not see myself as a victim–I am a survivor. Part of healing what’s wrong with my brain is getting to those pieces of my life that keep playing like old records in my head and affecting my decision-making and physical health, including my blood pressure and stress levels.

I’ve tolerated my own decision to maintain a celibate, lonely life for about 14 years, save for two encounters with two different male friends 9 years ago. I have no regrets about not marrying because I do not believe that the options that were presented to me were healthy–and I refuse to conform to social pressure.

Non-conformity to monogamous heteronormative coupling and being out as bi, poly-monog, leather, has been freeing and healing in so many ways, as being pro-consent. That last word consent is the most important piece.

Why?

Because it has been my experience that many if not most hetero men do not know the meaning of consent.

A poem is coming.

But first, a revelation as I heal and recover more personal power…

Soundcheck.

Most of my adult life I allowed people to tell me what my boundaries, needs, and spaces are or should be, what or who I should allow close to me, how I should react–mostly at my expense, emotionally and otherwise.

Black women are pressured into participating in our own gaslighting for the good of the collective, and those of us who question this way of thinking are perceived as troublesome or at the least hostile. When silence prevails, boundaries, needs, and spaces are not respected or met.

I wanted to break that cycle. It is one of the biggest reasons why I am, once again, back into therapy.

I am speaking of when communication is not happening, when consent and respecting boundaries, needs, and spaces are not being discussed or negotiated with regard to gaining and developing emotional access and intimacy.

As Black women we have the right to negotiate our own boundaries, as well as our own needs and spaces despite living in an environment that privileges men, particularly men with race and social class privilege.

Further, consent is not just about sexual contact.  In fact, it has less to do with sex, and more to do with one person treating another person as being more than something to consume and discard.

Consent means mutually respecting boundaries, needs, and spaces when it comes to gaining and developing emotional access and intimacy. It is also about people speaking up and speaking in a manner that is honest and free of passive-aggressive diction.

Finally, it is also about respecting each other’s humanity through communicating.

In short, do not assume I have or have not given consent.

Ask me. Discuss it. Negotiate consent as a reasonable person.

Ask questions and engage in discussion. Challenge assumptions, and engage in discussions about mutual and different boundaries, needs, and spaces.

I refuse to play into others’ assumptions about me or other human beings, so please provide that same opportunity to me and others.

Communication is key in building respect and trust, and so is practicing consent.

I cannot call you trustworthy or one who respects my worth as a human being without the mutual praxis of consent and communication because without that structure there is confusion and more often than not emotional and spiritual injury.   It cannot be forced or shaped out of obligation or tradition or expectation, and it certainly cannot be bought.

 

Pathways to Equity in Higher Education: Humanities and More at UDC #equalfundingudc

Words like equity and humanities, as well as phrases like “pathways for a better life”  are skeletons of concepts we will unpack and discuss as part of a larger conversation about changes coming to the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) that will help faculty, students and administrative leaders bring fairness and success to every community and collective in the DC metropolitan area.  This will be a roundtable discussion with UDC’s President Ronald Mason, Jr.,  Dr.  Aparajita De, Associate Professor in the English Program, Chenequa Holland, student and blogger, and your host, Dr. Cherie Ann Turpin, Associate Professor.  Join us as we discuss challenges and visions for a regenerated and renewed UDC.  #equalfundingudc

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/at-the-edge-thinkculture/2019/10/18/pathways-to-equity-in-higher-education-humanities-and-more-at-udc

 

 

For my fall course–an example of hyperlinking and reviewing

https://afrofuturismscholar.com/2012/10/27/review-movie-shuffering-and-shimiling-racedegradationapathy-in-netherlands-racismsexism-triggers/

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Ronald Mason is my guest poet on “At the Edge: Think Culture” podcast 6 pm EST June 12

Poetry, power of language, and social progress for the collective will be the center of discussion in my next podcast June 12 at 6 pm EST.

Learn what I mean by “quantum flow” in the poet’s voice–this episode will have you thinking about the power of language.  Ronald Mason the spoken word artist who came to Washington DC as an educator from New Orleans returns for part three to talk about poetry, spoken word, and making culture. We will chat about the creative process and social progress in poetry. Listen in as we both share our writing, process, and ideas in challenging but fascinating times. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/at-the-edge-thinkculture/2019/06/12/quantum-flow-of-the-poets-voice-ronald-mason

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Brand is strong, so DONATE!

Dr. April Massey: “Advancing Women’s Leadership in Higher Education” tonight on my podcast Thinking Culture

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Check out my new podcast going live tonight with my own dean Dr. April Massey!!! We will talk about women making moves in higher education, as well as building leadership opportunities for faculty and students.

April Massey, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia, has earned degrees from The Ohio State University, the
University of Cincinnati, and Howard University. A speech-language pathologist by profession, she has nearly 20 years of administrative experience and has served in the
capacity of dean for five years. Dr. Massey uses her disciplinary training to consider the liberal arts and
careerist needs of students and the research, teaching, and leadership interests of faculty. With newly launched initiatives in signature work, women’s leadership, faculty development, STEM pipeline, faculty learning hubs, and scholarship of
practice, her work emphasizes learning by doing and lived experience as content and context for teaching and learning.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/at-the-edge-thinkculture/2019/03/28/advancing-womens-leadership-and-higher-education-dr-april-massey-dean

Writing for the Web: Digital Humanities Class – I did my class live today on my podcast channel!

Writing for the Web: Digital Humanities Class – I did my class live today on my podcast channel!

Writing for the Web: Digital Humanities Class

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/at-the-edge-thinkculture/2019/01/25/writing-for-the-web-digital-humanities-class

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My latest podcast is definitely for the culture!

Good afternoon readers and listeners,

You might like this podcast—my guest Lisa Rose-Rodriguez talks about her work in reducing gun violence in Black communities with a focus on young Black men and boys.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/at-the-edge-thinkculture/2019/01/05/adapting-the-interpersonal-reducing-gun-violence-in-black-communities

How many leaders who shape policy in American institutions believe in the racist myth that African-Americans accept gun violence in our communities as a norm?  Dehumanizing African-Americans in the justice system and in mainstream media has kept victims from receiving needed treatment and remedies in medical settings such as emergency rooms, as well as receiving needed counseling.  Racial bias may have also blinded us to possible preventative solutions beyond criminalization.

Epidemiologist Lisa Rose-Rodriguez discusses her work to decrease mortality rates for African American men and boys through counseling and improvement of interpersonal connections.  As a board member of Connecticut’s Mothers United Against Violence, Lisa has worked with victims, and has advocated for a reinterpretation of gun violence as a public health issue that must be remedied by preventative counseling and treatment through local/state institutions, as well as nonprofit and grassroot organizations.

Lisa Rose-Rodriguez was born in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from Shaker Heights High School, she matriculated at Howard University in Washington, DC. There she upheld the tradition of attending an HBCU for three generations. She received a Masters of Public Health at the University of Connecticut and is completing a Ph.D. in Media Philosophy at the European Graduate School. img_1192