Equity Must Include Faculty At UDC

Greetings workers of the world: today is a reminder that we tenured and tenure track faculty at UDC need to be paid a living wage. We have not gotten our COLAS updated since 2005, drastically reducing our retirement fund–especially faculty like me who already make an extremely low salary.IMG_6327

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Fall thoughts for poetry —random language

as I turn 52 this month I’ve been thinking about menopause a bit….I skipped this month….my eggs are no longer plentiful…..yet my desire to couple does not cease….Sex really is far beyond procreative meaning…..I will miss the power of blood when I reach the point of becoming Crone…..but this understanding of being a woman who is magical surpasses the womb…..a poem is coming to the surface……

I use your insults against me as poetry

So yes, folk, I do get fan letters. I also get trolls. And then there’s spies who look at my social media for the purpose of running my name up and down hallways because they have nothing better to do, which is ironic, considering the fact that most of them get bigger paychecks than me. In fact one of them sent a nasty note to me via FB msgr whining about me being “sexually frustrated, anal retentive, and racist.” Someone, probably a man who really resents my voice on matters like consent and privilege, wrote this whiny set of accusations. I’m petty enough to use it in the next three poems in a short series called the accusations. Use it, said Blade to Whistler. Use it.

 

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what erotic subjectivity looks like part 1

female sexuality
female subjectivity
erotic subjectivity
woman
unbound
untied
to childbirth
to marriage
not owned
not controlled
no fear
no shame
no mask
speaking
consenting
deciding
being.

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there will be more to say about it

like so many men
like so many women
like so many men
you fear
you despise
you desire
a woman who
says yes
says no
in other words
voices a decision
positive
negative
in other words
consent
i am
a foreigner
to you
i am
alien
to you
my sexuality being
willfully
gloriously
defiant
resistant
distant
to beck and call
of marital call of duty
or other notions
of respectability
that mutes female eros
my sexuality being
too loud
too visible
too tangible
too intangible
to ignore
or control
i am deprogrammed
from the cultish
hymns and calls
of rape culture
i smashed my tv

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Not so random thoughts about safewords and kink by Cherie Ann Turpin

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Reading Salon.com’s article When safewords are ignored six years ago, I posted this response after thinking about the many near-misses I’ve experienced as a submissive, as well as taking note of the hostility expressed by some of the men reading that article who clearly don’t get or care to get that there is a such thing as sexual assault in the kink community. Makes me very glad I am not a trusting person when it comes to people:

“No surprises from me on what this woman described in the article, and in fact, it is an uncomfortable reminder to those who don’t want to deal with reality that people in this scene are no different from anyone else out there. We have the same problems and issues as those “vanilla” people. That means you have the potential of running into a man who may be a sex offender, or at least someone with “latent rapist tendencies,” as Ntozake Shange once elegantly put it in “for colored girls.” Part of the resistance to waking up to reality is that sometimes it’s a bit of a wet blanket to realise that not everyone is family, or that even family members can rape. It’s also a bane to one’s self-comfort to realise that looks, status, race, sophistication, politics, age, or sexual orientation are not predictors or indicators of a man’s capability to sexually assault a woman or man (yes, men do rape other men). Do all men rape? No. Are men into BDSM more or less prone to rape? No. Are men in the scene safer than vanilla men? NO.

I recall a time not so long when the general attitude about college campuses was that rape was a rare occurrence or something not to be discussed. Part of what kept people resistant about dealing with it was the discomfort with confronting the reality that nice middle and upper class men were capable of doing something perceived as a crime of the lower class and/or men of color. As we now know [2012, and 2018], our college campuses are just as vulnerable to sex crimes as any other neighborhood, nice or not so nice.

What makes this scene so special or any different?

Nothing. I don’t see any magic castles here, so as far as I know we are all human beings.

We need to do what vanilla people do–get active and loud about advocating for survivors and helping to stop rape in our community.

We have work to do to educate people about consent, abuse, and safety. We need safe spaces both in the scene and in the vanilla communities for women and men who have been assaulted and/or abused. Police and other legal authorities need to be properly educated about BDSM so that they can be a true support system instead of a bane or even horror to those who need help. We need to be not afraid to speak up and speak out about these issues out of fear of being “not cool” or “paranoid.””

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trigger-warning

by Cherie Ann Turpin Creative Commons License
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trigger-warning:  50 years of rape culture/slut-shaming/misogyny/misogynoir that cannot fit into a tweet for the Washington Post
I can tell you what happened to me at Clark College when my first sexual contact with a man was being raped twice by a Morehouse athlete who thought he was scoring a new girlfriend

I can tell you about being plied with alcohol, then raped and threatened by a male roommate–then slut-shamed for it

I can tell you about the time a man giving me a ride to MARTA in Atl forced a kiss on me

I can tell you about being slut-shamed by a female relative who told my family I was a whore

I can tell you about the time five men followed me in Atl from bus to MARTA to bus with clear intent to gang-rape me–I rode that bus to the end of line and my flashpass kept me on that bus and they ended up stranded when I rode back to my stop

I can tell you about being sexually harassed–twice–by adjunct professors when I was an undergrad at UDC

I can tell you about being catcalled by a bunch of “bros” driving past me as I walked to meet new classmates at a pub in Burlington VT

I can tell you about being stalked and slut-shamed by the same person in grad school

I can tell you about being followed home by a man in a van in the middle of winter on a back road when I was at UConn

I can tell you about having my nipple bitten without consent by a man at a club while dancing–he did permanent damage and he smiled before I hit him back

I can tell you about being approached and catcalled by a man while walking in my corporate suit to a campus interview for a professor position at UDC

I can tell you about being stalked by some unknown man during my first year as a professor who thought it was okay to send flowers to my office and my classroom

I can tell you about being followed and secretly photographed by a fellow grad student in Saas-Fee for the purpose of slut/size/race shaming me by sharing his “art” with the other grad students on a dvd

I can tell you about being followed by a lurking man when I walked home from campus–and waited for me to walk towards my apartment, till he saw me with security

I can tell you that despite the scars from these cuts and gouges

my self-worth
my sexuality
my humanity
my womanhood
my spirit
my jouissance
my grace

shines
persists
heals

Prevails.

October 10, 2016

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