Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

[intersectionality] rape and race

Today I mirrored most of the substance I've recently posted here over at my pro-blog. One post I'd been compiling but hadn't yet posted over here is as follows:


In response to cereta's post "On rape and men" (which I previously posted about here), shewhohashope posted [on LJ and DW] "On rape culture and civilisation"

delux_vivens commented:
Is it just me, or is it really ironic that so many trappings of POC cultures are sought after by appropriators because they are 'raw', 'primal', 'authentic' or whatever, while at the same time, actual POC can be so roundly criticized for 'hypersensitivity', lack of detachment, over emotionalism, 'conservativism' etc?

I'm thinking of bossymarmalade's post here, where she talks about being contacted by a white woman with dreadlocks and a cat named Kali who spoke up on behalf of those that "hope that they share in a culture that they feel is richer and more raw and valid then their own".
There's also a lot of good discussion in the comments of this delux_vivens post. yeloson talks about "acceptable rape," pointing out:
Basically why the news is right there when someone plays "blame a black guy" and yet goes to cover the offenders when it's a white rugby team.

Who's doing the raping and who's being raped, etc. and what's projected as ZOMG vs. "boys will be boys"
ithliana posted Racism and Rape: Part 1 (Black women). From the comments:
cos: BTW, I remember one case of race coming up on cereta's post that you didn't mention. In response to one of those cases where, as you described, someone was countering the stereotype about black men, someone else wrote:

"I'm actually much LESS likely to feel unsafe around black guys than I am white guys (I'm a short white girl), because on the whole, the black guys I've met have been the most polite and gentlemanly men I've ever met."

I responded to that comment and suggested that may be because she was actually in a position of privilege when she's white and they're black. I think you responded to say you had the same thought.

We never went further than that, though.

paradox_dragon: Yes! I had forgotten that. I did reply saying that a lot of black guys I know are deliberately careful and extra-mannerly around white girls/women because they're afraid for their own safety to end up as the Threatening Black Man.
ithiliana: By white washed history, I mean the kind of things James Loewen talks about in his work, where it's all passive and past tense: "Slavery was horrible, and then it ended," with all agency removed, with the idea that groups with social power, and individuals of those groups who had specific power, could and did attempt genocide. American history likes to leave out all the imperialism, colonialism, genocide, and other atrocities committed by the white American government--if that history was taught (age appropriate, and also, as Loewen says, the resistance to all of those movements which also occurred), I tend to think most people in the dominant group, white in this case, might not be so horrified.

* Racism and Rape: Part 2 (Native American/American Indian women)

Comments include discussion of "emotional pornography," which ithiliana points out is tied in with privilege--the "tell me every little detail you've suffered so I can decide if you have suffered enough to be worth MY attention."

Excerpts from another comment thread:
delux_vivens: I'm going to start asking some of the people I see commenting about how 'eye opening' this information is, b/c they 'havent thought about it' before: what exactly do you think about?

rosefox: I suspect all honest answers will be along the lines of "mostly I think about myself", probably with at least a side helping of "that's all in the past, so I don't think about it because I'm focused on the present". Even those of us who have encountered a lot of this information have seen it presented solely as historical rather than as anything relevant to anyone alive now, and it's certainly never linked to things like white girls still being raised to fear and mistrust men of color and see them all as likely rapists. (I was raised that way, by my civil rights activist mother; her Nice White Lady training won out when it came to her worries about keeping her daughter safe.)

The exotic pain pornography thing is a lot of why I haven't watched or re-linked the video going around of a girl being killed in Iran. The amount of attention it's getting feels somehow indecent and fetishizing in a way that I find really troubling.
delux_vivens: but from so many people who can rattle off detailed chapter and verse about How Those Women Over There (where over there = the entire muslim world, anywhere in Africa, etc) Are So Oppressed And Must Be Saved Right Now, it seems blatant.
rosefox: I don't at all disagree. I just think people can put a whole lot of effort into worrying about Over There precisely so they don't have to think too hard (or so they can feel they have somehow assuaged their consciences) about what's going on Right Here. It's much easier to claim to care about a whole lot of faceless people than to really care about the ones we see every day, and by focusing on how awful things are in e.g. Darfur, problems here can then be brushed off with "Well, at least it's better than Darfur!".

It's disingenuous and blatant and thoroughly rewarded and supported by the white mainstream. I don't at all mean to excuse individuals by blaming culture, though; I think there's plenty of blame to go around.
ithiliana: Excellent comment--I totally agree. It's hard because the history is important, and yet it does play into the progressivist myth (students literally tell me "slavery was a problem 100 years ago), plus the white-washed nature of the history that's usually taught--and yet the racism also is omnipresent in the present (that sounds weird, but I blame the lack of Coke Zero...).

And yes, completely yes, to the video of the girl being shot in Iran. (I thought similar things of a lot of the media coverage of New Orleans in the wake of Katrina.)
* Racism and Rape: Part 3 (Asian/Indian/South Asian Women)
* Racism and Rape Part 4 (Latina/Chicana/Hispanic Women)

While I've highlighted comments discussion from ithiliana's posts, her posts also contain lots of reading lists.

Also: Anti-Oppression Linkspam Community

And as always, sparkymonster's links for clueless white people.
Tags: issues: race
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