Eris Zion Venia Dyson has written an open letter to Charles Ramsey, the man who helped to rescue Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight from their imprisonment and sexual slavery in an Ohio house. The vitriolic racism and classism to which he was subjected after speaking out about his experience is well-documented, and we particularly appreciated Ms. Dyson’s response. An excerpt is below, and the link to the whole letter on her blog is at the bottom of the post.
“In plain speak, you said something so prolific. And I want to unpack the statement that you made: “When a little, pretty white woman runs into the arms of a Black man you know something wrong.”
What does this statement mean in 2013? For me, it spoke volumes. It says: In America, we are taught to fear Black Men. They are assumed to be violent, angry, and completely & utterly untrustworthy. This statement also says what we have always known to be true for this country: White women, specifically pretty white women have no business in the same space as Black men. For as long as we can remember American society has been the sustainer of white women and the slayer of Black men.”
Originally posted at her blog. Read the whole thing here.
Props to the Seattle Grrrl Army for this dope info-mural.
Following today’s conviction of the young men in the Steubenville rape trial, Sisters of Resistance want to give a big shout-out and thank you to political analyst Zerlina Maxwell, who has been in the spotlight recently for speaking out against the rampant victim-blaming going on around the case.
We agree wholeheartedly with Zerlina’s stance that instead of telling women what they should do to prevent rape, we should instead be teaching men not to rape. In an interview on Fox News that attempted to bring together issues of sexual violence with those of gun control, Zerlina said the following:
“I don’t want anybody to be telling women anything. I don’t want women—I don’t want men to be telling me what to wear, how to act, not to drink. And I don’t, honestly, want you to tell me that I needed a gun in order to prevent my rape.”
We also want to thank blogger Alexandria Goddard for making copies of the incriminating tweets, pics and video, independently reporting on the case for months and attempting to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions, members of Anonymous who circulated the video in order to bring attention to the case and publicize the story, and Matt Binder who compiled some of the disgusting victim-blaming and slut-shaming tweets since the verdict, effectively documenting how rape culture is supported and reinforced by society, women and men included (**TRIGGER WARNINGS** for the last couple of links).
The actions of these individuals show us that it is possible for us to effectively resist and challenge rape culture. We stand in solidarity with the Steubenville survivor and all victims and survivors of sexual violence everywhere. We especially remember Jyoti Singh Pandey, who died after a gang rape on a public bus in Delhi in December 2012, and the teenage girl in the Maldives scheduled to be publicly flogged (what century is this!?) for premarital sex (sign a petition against this here). We join with many in calling for an end to rape culture worldwide.
End rape culture now!
Vandana Shiva on International Women’s Day: “Capitalist Patriarchy Has Aggravated Violence Against Women” [Democracy Now!]
“The liberation of the earth, the liberation of women, the liberation of all humanity is the next step of freedom we need to work for, and it’s the next step of peace that we need to create.” – Vandana Shiva
Cece McDonald, a black trans woman in Minnesota, has been in jail over a year for defending herself against a racist and homophobic attack. She is due to be sentenced early next month. The excerpt from the below article is an introduction to her story:
Cece McDonald is a 23 year old black trans woman who was out with friends one summer night in 2011 in Minneapolis, MN. As they passed in front of a bar, they were attacked by white people who were obviously racist and transphobic, based on a swastika tattoo and language used that night. The fight left Cece severely wounded by a glass to her face and one of the attackers dead.
The fight began when the white supremacists began yelling racial and transphobic slurs at the friends at about 12:20am. The attack became physical when one of the white supremacists put a gash in Cece’s face with a glass, damaging Cece’s saliva gland. It is believed by prosecutors that Cece then fatally stabbed one of her attackers.
Cece was charged with two counts of 2nd degree murder. Upon her arrest, Cece was denied adequate medical treatment for her wound, interrogated for hours, and put in solitary confinement. The woman who assaulted Cece was not arrested or charged. Continue reading