“I Have Been Raped by Far Nicer Men Than You”

I Have Been Raped by Far Nicer Men Than Yo

 

Natalie Degraffinried
Yesterday 1:32pmFiled to: Sexual Assault

 

Photo illustration by Elena Scotti/The Root/GMG; photos via Getty Images
One night when I was riding home to New York City’s Brooklyn borough on the C train, an older man started smiling, making kissy faces and, eventually, miming sexual acts at me. I pointedly tried to ignore him as my discomfort grew; there weren’t that many people on the train, and my stop was coming up. The nearest person was a younger black man—I looked at him, my expression tense, and he just smiled and shook his head. “What terrible behavior,” he seemed to be saying. “But I’m not doing shit about it.”

 

Eventually the man followed me off the train at my stop. It was late enough that there weren’t enough people in the station, but I luckily saw a couple walking in front of me: a white woman and a black man. I approached them with a big, forced smile and quietly asked if I could pretend I knew them because I was being followed.

The black man looked confused; the white woman immediately understood, gave me a hug and acted like we were old friends. The man stopped following me. It’s not often that I’ll take the side of a white woman in a conversation about black men vs. white women in the oppression Olympics—I often fall on the side of “Both of y’all are acting like trash,” to be honest—but in this case, I couldn’t help thinking, Come the fuck on, black men.
It’s even more exhausting when it’s the men you know watching these things happen. Years ago, when I was home from college, a longtime friend had a kickback in a cramped Comfort Inn room down the street from the Cracker Barrel where he worked. His co-workers were cool for the most part, except for one guy, who set his targets on me and started aggressively flirting. He responded to all my requests that he leave me alone—indirect and direct—with liquor-fueled, combative word salad. I eventually explained what was going on to my friend and asked him for help.
“Nah, that’s just my dude Milton,” he responded, as if this man hadn’t made himself known to me.
“Well, Milton is making me uncomfortable as fuck. That nigga is rapey.”
“He not gon’ do nothing to you. He’s harmless.”
Never mind the fact that he was already doing harm, ignoring my wishes to be left alone and making me feel vaguely unsafe during an otherwise pleasant evening. Never mind that I wasn’t asking for my friend to beat his ass (a show of magnanimity, I thought!), or that I wasn’t going so far as to scream rape or otherwise suggest that I was in danger of him sexually assaulting me right then and there (even though my spidey senses told me he certainly might, if given the chance, since “no” clearly wasn’t in this guy’s vocabulary).

My friend was so ready to excuse the actions of this man as normal—he was a relatively new acquaintance, I might add—that he waved me off and acted as if my extreme discomfort was negligible.
Without fail, men I know naively explain that their friends, their family, their brothers do not treat women poorly; they do not sexually assault; they are not sexists. There is an implication that the person in question is not a perpetrator of sexism himself. That very well may be true—it is probably not, since everyone of every gender has been force-fed cisnormative, patriarchal values to the point where sexism is ingrained in our everyday lives and language.
And since it is probably not true, then we need to acknowledge that the “good guy” trope is bullshit and that men need to take accountability for their part—always bigger than they think—in keeping rape culture alive. Not only is it extremely fucking lazy to only check for sexism when it’s in our own backyards—but it’s devastating and harmful to pretend that it’s not in our own backyards when it clearly is.

 

Another thing: You’re full of shit if you act like you check your male friends every time they make a sexist comment, say something a little bit out of line. When you aren’t constantly harassed, an errant “ho” or “bitch” every now and then doesn’t seem that serious; when you aren’t faced with a brick ceiling as you try to come up in your career, something like a comment about “females” discussing routes will seem like nothing (Cam Newton and Jordan Rodrigue can both kick rocks, by the way). That’s part of the thing about microaggressions and, in this particular case, about sexist behavior: If you aren’t staring the beast in the face, the footprints don’t seem to mean much.
Black men will quickly tell you how they can sense racism, how cautious they are about it; there are always signs and signals to be found in an endless sea of microaggressions that can tell you who the most dangerous white people are, even if the white people in question don’t realize it themselves.
As a black femme, I agree—so it’s all the more baffling when I say the same for being able to sense when men are dangerous. The “harmless” comments, the locker-room talk, the catcalling, the refusal to respect even the most minute boundaries. People like me must navigate a world of never-ending sexist dog whistles—but we are not the ones being signaled. Every comment allowed to pass, every rapist defended by friends and family and strangers, every man afraid of being falsely accused, creates a culture saying, “We have your back when you harm women.”

Everyone else is trained to hear this frequency as a matter of survival, to be on alert lest we fall prey to forces bigger and scarier than us: How far is the animal? But the real kicker is that the men who harm us aren’t mere animals; they’re often our friends, our co-workers, our family.
Women are never taken for their word at the warning stage; it’s only when sexism bursts out in grand form that men will listen and take action, because then they have to. How many men had to be exposed to Harvey Weinstein’s behavior for years, only for a few of them to come out and sheepishly condemn it after the fact? Men are able to continue to behave this way because of other men. But I’m tired of letting the “nice” guys off the hook, because you’re making it harder, too.
It’s always exhausting when I see men become suddenly terrified of having their lives ruined by an errant accusation of sexual assault. Wow, I think. How terrible to have to be hypervigilant and live in fear that actions not under your control could ruin or end your life. And then I roll my eyes so hard I can see the ghost of my prenatural new growth.

While there are stark differences in the ways racism and sexism operate, I can never ignore the linguistic parallels, the way power operates across communities: “There is nothing worse than being accused of perpetrating this horrible, life-changing act,” it says. “Even actually being a victim of the act” is what always goes unspoken.
It shouldn’t be lost on you that the discussion always turns to one in which women are assumed to be lying. Never mind the fact that the data we do have around this supports the narrative that false accusations are rare—according to an oft-cited study (pdf), somewhere between 2 and 10 percent (based on the range of a series of eight studies, including the one linked).
I have neither the heart nor the energy to list statistics here about the prevalence of real, actual sexual assault, the ones that somehow never factor into the minds of men who continue to find creative ways to throw their agency and accountability to the wind. No matter what women say, something is put forth to explain how they are the problem. And the crazy thing is, no one benefits from this culture, and everyone can be a victim—men and women and those outside the binary alike.

If you decide to be a feminist after a life of being forced to be around and to idolize men, you start to play a fucked-up game of six degrees of separation from imaginary rapists that men you know may or may not be associated with. You have to, to some extent, and you have to do it quietly because, inasmuch as men deny the reality of sexism, they will find you crazy and paranoid for assuming that anyone could rape you.
It’s amazing, really—men constantly place the burden of not being raped on women and then react negatively to measures women take to do just that if they seem extreme. But the thing is, just like a healthy mistrust of any group wielding institutional power, the “extremes” we go to are still not sufficient.
We must be dazzlingly, dangerously close to being raped before it actually becomes something to call out—the shadows dancing in your eyes after a round of drugs slipped into your drink, the chorus line of women kicking and flailing out of silence into a media firestorm, the flash and bang of broken objects on the off chance you are not paralyzed by the relationship you and the rapist have.
And then it still isn’t enough.
That’s why I want to be clear here. To the men who “don’t have friends like that,” who “know how to treat women,” who are real men because “that’s the type of thing boys do,” and to the men who don’t understand why we are so deeply distrustful of you, remember this: I have been raped by far nicer men than you.

I have been sexually assaulted by men who speak up and speak out about the terrible things that happen to women behind closed doors while benefiting from the fact that you go out of your way to keep those doors shut and the women behind them silent.
I have been harassed by men who love their mothers and sisters and who go to church and who know far more about feminist theory than you. If your defense of women only exists in empty words, lofty hypotheticals—if you feel in any way comfortable or complacent in the fight to make the world safe for women—you are feeding the beast.
You are a part of the problem. You are the problem….https://verysmartbrothas.theroot.com/i-have-been-raped-by-far-nicer-men-than-you-1819412131

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Woman dies from flesh-eating bacteria from Harvey-flooded home — WWLP.com | My Blog for WomenInShadow

(CNN)– Four weeks after the storm, Hurricane Harvey‘s destruction continues. A recent victim of the super storm is a 77-year-old woman who encountered flesh-eating bacteria inside a home near Houston, according to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science. Nancy Reed — Harris County’s 36th fatality related to the storm — died on September 15. Necrotizing fasciitis is the…

viaWoman dies from flesh-eating bacteria from Harvey-flooded home — WWLP.com

#Italy: Polish woman is gang raped by four men on Saturday the incident took place in front of her boyfriend while on their holiday in Rimini Aug.27: This is another case of trying to coverup the real truth … My research shows that this was a group of Muslims and most media news on high street have not reported this fact … Only one did report it but their site has been blacklisted and entry denied #AceNewsReport

#AceNewsReport – Aug.27: This is another case of trying to coverup the real truth … My research shows that this was a group of Muslims and most media news on high street have not reported this fact … Only one did report it but their site has been blacklisted and entry denied … But managed […]

HAPPENED in an Italian holiday resort.
The Polish couple, both aged 26, were visiting the coastal resort of Rimini where the horrific assault took place yesterday.

The man was reportedly knocked unconscious by a group of four men who then proceeded to repeatedly rape his girlfriend.
Locals found the couple after the ordeal and called the police and paramedics, who took the pair to the hospital.
Italian authorities, who are still searching for the group, called the incident a ‘brutal and beastial attack’.

 

via #Italy Polish woman is gang raped by four men on Saturday the incident took place in front of her boyfriend while on their holiday in Rimini authorities say they are investigating incident #AceNewsDesk reports — Ace News Services

mathematician-maryam-mirzakhani-dies/of cancer at the age of 40

PALO ALTO (CBS/AP/BCN) — Stanford mathematics professor Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the Fields Medal, mathematics’ leading award, has died of cancer at the age of 40, Stanford News Service said. Mirzakhani was born in Iran and joined Stanford as a mathematics professor in 2008. She specialized in theoretical mathematics involving the geometric… R.I.P.

via Acclaimed Stanford Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani Dies At 40 — CBS San Francisco

‘Red Alert’ Issued Over Femicides in Honduras After 140 Women Killed So Far in 2017

 

 

‘Red Alert’ Issued Over Femicides in Honduras After 140 Women Killed So Far in 2017

 

Tiempo-La Izquierda Diario-AFP-EFE

  • Women in Honduras took part in a protest against femicide in the capital city of Tegucigalpa in March

    Women in Honduras took part in a protest against femicide in the capital city of Tegucigalpa in March | Photo: EFE

     

Published 5 July 2017 (5 hours 26 minutes ago)

News > Latin America
‘Red Alert’ Issued Over Femicides in Honduras After 140 Women Killed So Far in 2017

Statistics show that every 14 hours a woman is killed in the Central American nation.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Red-Alert-Issued-Over-Femicides-in-Honduras-After-140-Women-Killed-So-Far-in-2017-20170705-0012.html?utm_source=planisys&utm_medium=NewsletterIngles&utm_campaign=NewsletterIngles&utm_content=12

 

 

German Hitler-whitewashing professor Baberowski condemned — Dear Kitty. Some blog | My Blog for WOMENinSHADOW

This video, about crimes of the nazi occupation of then Poland, now Ukraine says about itself: Rape of Jewish women and slaughter of over 6,000 Jews. Lviv 1941 16 May 2016 Description at beginning of film. This city is known by three names. Lviv (Ukrainian); pronounced as L’vil. Lwow (Polish) pronounced L’vuf. L’vof Russian. Also […]

via German Hitler-whitewashing professor Baberowski condemned — Dear Kitty. Some blog

BAME women in the justice system: Double Disadvantage

My Blog Women in Jail

BAME women in the justice system: Double Disadvantage

BAME women in the justice system: Double Disadvantage

The experiences of BAME women

The Lammy Review, chaired by David Lammy MP, is an independent review of the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals in the criminal justice system. Due to be fully published in the Summer 2017, emerging findings have begun to show severe disproportionality in the criminal justice system.

Agenda and Women in Prison were asked to ensure the voices of women were being heard within The Lammy Review. They ran focus groups in prison and the community to hear the personal experiences of women from their experience of the courts, in prison and on release.

Last month (April 2017), they published the resultant report:

Double disadvantage: The experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women in…

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Hillary Clinton Tells Wellesley Graduates to Fight Against “Full-Fledged Assaults on Truth and Reason”

Fellowship of the Minds

This womyn wouldn’t know the truth if it smacked her in the face.

From Hollywood Reporter: Hillary Clinton isn’t mentioning Donald Trump by name, but she peppered her Wellesley College commencement address with barbs aimed at her rival in last year’s presidential election.

Clinton on Friday urged the graduating class at her Massachusetts alma mater to fight against “full-fledged assaults on truth and reason.”

Clinton also called the Republican president’s budget proposal “a con” that is “shrouded in a trillion-dollar mathematical lie.” The former Democratic presidential nominee also said she is looking to the future and helping to train future leaders.

The speech marked a return engagement of sorts for Clinton. She delivered the student commencement address 48 years ago in 1969, the year she graduated from the all-women’s school. Clinton also delivered the 1992 commencement speech.

DCG

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Österreich stellt das Tragen der Burka unter Strafe

Brights - Die Natur des Zweifels

Österreich verbietet Kleidungsstücke, die das Gesicht verhüllen Quelle: Getty Images/Getty Images Europe

Das Parlament in Wien hat ein Integrationpaket verabschiedet. Das verpflichtet Flüchtlinge zu Deutsch- und Wertekursen. Kleidungsstücke, die das Gesicht verhüllen sind verboten. Wer es doch tut, muss mit saftigen Geldbußen rechnen.

DIE WELT

Die Vollverschleierung von Frauen im öffentlichen Raum wird in Österreich künftig unter Strafe gestellt. Die Regierung in Wien beschloss das im Vorfeld heftig kritisierte Burka-Verbot am Dienstagabend im Parlament.

Es ist Teil eines Integrationspakets, das auch das Verteilen von Koranen verbietet. Die Koalition aus Sozialdemokraten und Konservativen stimmte trotz schwerer Turbulenzen und vorgezogener Wahlen im Oktober gemeinsam für das seit März ausgehandelte Paket.

weiterlesen

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Nearly one-third of incarcerated women are Black, while Black women only make up less than 15 percent of the female population.

Black Mothers Matter: Nationwide Campaign Seeks to Bail Out Jailed Moms for Mother’s Day

 

  • Nearly one-third of incarcerated women are Black, while Black women only make up less than 15 percent of the female population.

    Nearly one-third of incarcerated women are Black, while Black women only make up less than 15 percent of the female population. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 May 2017 (4 hours 8 minutes ago)
…….

Mother’s Day, with its origins springing from a movement for peace and social justice to improve the lives of families, is the right moment to force an examination of women in jails, Arissa Hall, a national Black Mama’s Bail Out Day organizer and project manager at the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, told the Nation. “Black moms especially have not been granted that title of motherhood,” she added.

When single mothers cannot bail out of jail, their children may be sent to foster homes, where they may go hungry or miss school. Seeing a parent behind bars may also cause trauma to the children, according to Human Rights Watch.

“One out of nine Black children has a parent that is incarcerated,” SONG’s Hooks said in another interview with Rolling Out. “When Black mamas are taken from our community and put in cages, we all suffer.”

Everyday an average of 700,000 people are condemned to cages and separated from their families simply because they can not afford to pay bail. The Bail Out campaign is modeled after community bail funds that pay money for community members at no expense to the individual.

Opponents say the practice of requiring arrested people to pay money in order to get out of jail before trial is unnecessary and it often results in the detention of poor and working-class people.

In New Orleans and Houston, local communities are organizing efforts to end the cash bail system.

Hooks said after the bailout, they will help these women get the resources and information they need for the court. “I think it’s a sign that our people want and need to be in formation.”

They are prepared to take the same step on Father’s Day or some other holidays that are coming up over the next few months. Hooks hopes other strategic actions will keep growing too.

“Being able to engage in transformative organizing practices makes your goose bumps come alive. And that can only happen when you do it from a place of love and desire,” said Hooks. “Because you love your people, your family, and the next generation.”….. http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Black-Mothers-Matter-Nationwide-Campaign-Seeks-to-Bail-Out-Jailed-Moms-for-Mothers-Day-20170510-0010.html