This is also rape culture.

Some of my colleagues are seeking insight as to how to respond to January 6.

Start with what was obvious to me as a Black woman who has survived 54 years of rape, domestic abuse, sexual harassment, physical and emotional abuse, bullying, and microaggressions: these men have collective rapist tendencies [for colored girls]. And to be honest, I’ve been on edge in my own apt building and neighborhood this whole year–especially now. Right now, as a Black woman, I don’t feel safe in Washington, DC, but when did I ever feel safe as an adult woman? Especially in DC. DC has always been a safe space for sexual predators, especially those who target Black and Brown women, girls, and femmes and poor women, girls, and femmes of all colors.

UDC’s silence on gender, race, class, and sexual orientation is echoing in the new year, especially as we struggle to persuade students to return to an HBCU trying to alienate poor Black and Brown students in order to reinforce the notion that the ideal higher education student, faculty, administrator, and ultimately citizen is a white upper-class man. I can’t find a single leader at UDC willing to call that coup attempt the criminal action that it was because they will alienate white men who believe themselves entitled to female/femme bodies, especially those female/femme bodies that are Black or Brown. And since I’m getting that kind of energy from my own colleagues, I need to say something out of human decency.

To me, those men on the Hill looked like a bunch of freaks hyped up on video games, meth, and gang-rape videos. Are we really going to fold back onto ourselves in the lockstep of black respectability political ideals as a source of comfort in the face of such evil and then expect young Black and Brown people to trust us?

Take a look at the landscape below and you tell me, Ron, what you see and hear:

This is also rape culture. I have much to say about the intersections of issues and contexts….more to talk about as this case unfolds.

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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THIS AINT I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE: Rape in Black Speculative Fiction! | chronicles of harriet

THIS AINT I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE: Rape in Black Speculative Fiction! | chronicles of harriet.

I’m reblogging Balogun Ojetade’s essay because it’s sticking to my brain and my heart right now with a certain urgency, like it carries some very painful but needed knowledge to those of us who write and read speculative fiction, as well as to those of us who are survivors.