I often point out the race of my rapist, and a lot of people think I have an issue with white men due to it. That is not the case, but there is a good reason why I point out his race. As a child of diaspora my people (black women) were raped by white men and it was not a crime, so the fact that I as a black woman was raped by a white man I wasn’t attracted to nor had any interest in only makes me feel a historical tie to my ancestors. The fact that even though legally a crime was committed, nothing happened and honestly I do believe that is because the moment the white detective asked me the race of my rapist the word “White” freed him from any charges.
Why do you think I assume that? Well, lets look at statistics… About every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is raped and/or sexually assaulted. Each year, there are about 207,754 (known) victims of sexual assault. In the U.S. 96% of rape victims state that their rapist was a White Male, yet about 80% of rape prisoners are Black men. 54% Of rapes go unreported, and 97% of rapist will NEVER see a day in jail. Which means not only is rape a crime that seems to be White male dominate, but oddly enough white males are rarely convicted of rape. I honestly wonder why that is…
Honestly these statistics as a black woman alarm and frighten me, they made me want to avoid white males at all cost. They make me not want to be alone with white males, because statistically if I were sexually assaulted nothing would legally happen to them. Because realistically rape is already a crime that people don’t take seriously, so why make it even more of a case that the police would throw away? We must admit and realize the racism in rape if we ever want to kill off rape culture. We must confront White males on their privilege, and make it known to the world that they are not entitled to anyone’s body (of course EVERYONE should know that, but I am focus on the statistics of who is committing these crimes).
I’d also like to drop these statistics for you guys to understand who exactly is being effected by this:
1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).1
17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.1
9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003.2
Lifetime rate of rape /attempted rape for women by race:1
- All women: 17.6%
- White women: 17.7%
- Black women: 18.8%
- Asian Pacific Islander women: 6.8%
- American Indian/Alaskan women: 34.1%
- Mixed race women: 24.4%
Please note these statistics only cover reported and convicted rapes, and even then the women being targeted are women of color. If you look around people will pass around that Black men are criminals and mostly target white women, but statistically white woman are second to least likely to be targeted for rape (Please keep in mind that White people are the majority in America). Furthering on statistics for women of color:
One thing I’d like to point out about statistics are, Blacks and other people of color are the MINORITIES! Which means of course when you look like racially we commit more crimes out of our groups, compared to the majority there aren’t many of us around. The only way for this statistics to be correct are if there were the same amount of all races, but there are not….Another reason why this must be addressed is because the powers to be/politicians/media will use these statistics to bend the truth to make it appear as if Black people are a criminal race.
“You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.”
— Former Education Secretary and Drug Czar William Bennett
“What was false? Well, as a matter of fact, is it not a fact that the per-capita crime rate among blacks is higher than whites? What is false here?”
— Brit Hume, reporter and commentator, Fox News Sunday, October 02, 2005.
“Statistics have long been kept on crime, breaking it down in various ways, including by race and ethnicity. Some identifiable groups, considered as a group, commit crime at a rate that is higher than the national rate. Blacks are such a group. That is simply a fact.”
— Andrew C. McCarthy, former federal prosecutor, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, National Review On-line, September 30, 2005
Of course these are just my educated observations due to statistics and personal experience, feel free to check out the books and links I reference below. I am sorry if this post seemed a bit scattered, if you have any question feel free to send me a message:
Conversations of Consent: Sexual Intimacy Without Sexual Assault.
VAWA was passed in 1994 and has been easily reauthorized in years since. This year happened to be an exception, with Republicans unwilling to pass an expansion of the bill. Thanks to House Republicans (they’re really winning friends and influencing people all over the place these days), VAWA is no more, despite the fact it was reauthorized by the Senate earlier in 2012 and pushed hard by VP Joe Biden (one of the ‘94 bill’s original authors).
The Maddow Blog quotes Washington Sen. Patty Murphy (who was the Democratic point person on the VAWA reauthorization) as saying:
The House Republican leadership’s failure to take up and pass the Senate’s bipartisan and inclusive VAWA bill is inexcusable. This is a bill that passed with 68 votes in the Senate and that extends the bill’s protections to 30 million more women. But this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates. No matter how broad the bipartisan support, no matter who gets hurt in the process, the politics of the right wing of their party always comes first.
One of the standoffs that ultimately meant that the Violence Against Women Act disappeared after eighteen years of implementation was over Native American tribal rights. Cantor explicitly refused to back a bill that included expanded jurisdiction for Native American tribes in the prosecution of rape cases. One in three Native American women have been raped or experienced an attempted rape and in 86 percent of rape cases, the perpetrator was someone non-Native. Legislation that would have worked to allow tribal governments to exercise greater authority in prosecuting non-Native American alleged rapists was deemed unacceptable by Rep. Cantor. At issue were also matters of undocumented immigration and LGBT rights.
To better understand the importance of what has been lost, check out this report on VAWA’s impacts and this on the impacts of VAWA on sexual violence public policy.
Wouldn’t it be safe to say that saying the culture we’re in is the reason why people think its ok to rape is really giving rapist an ok go?Because honestly if all it takes is a simple joke to make someone go”Hey everyone else thinks its ok to do this so why…
I just want to point out that white people aren’t the only people capable of racism. I don’t know why you specified that, but…other than that, you go.
I specified it because it’s accurate. Speaking for the US only, but white people here are the only group that has the power to systematically oppress others. People of color may have prejudice toward white people, or other POC, but that is not the same thing as racism, which requires the power to oppress. For a more complete discussion of this, you could check out the archive at STFU, Racists.
In the past seven months, I have defriended four people on facebook for the following infractions:
Today is #5! And here it is, in all its disgusting glory:
What makes this display of transphobia even more disappointing is that the OP was one of the founders/leaders of our university’s GSA, which was supposed to be trans* inclusive. Not surprising, given the rate the transphobia that we often see from LGB people. But still sickening.
Soon, my fbook feed will consist only of updates from dog trainer extraordinaire Victoria Stilwell, my congresswoman Dr. Judy Chu, and autoposts from my mother’s facebook games.
TW FOR RAPE, RACISM, PHOBIAS ET ALL, AUSTIN ISN’T FUCKING AROUND.
This is something that I’ve talked about before, but the mass realization that Daniel Tosh (along with a whopping shitpile of comedians) is a horrible person has made me think about it in a little bit more detail. So:
Rape jokes, racist jokes, trans jokes, sexist jokes, ableist jokes - why we tell them and why we shouldn’t.
First of all, you have to understand that entertainment isn’t free from criticism just because it’s categorized as ‘entertainment’. The ‘get over it, it’s just comedy’ line forgets that systematic oppression requires a system. The system runs from congress to comedy, from federal law to small talk. It’s very important to understand that when I say that I blame the system, I’m not just blaming the government. I’m blaming us.
The ‘funny’ thing here is that it’s really easy to get how making light of oppression is oppressive in the first place. This is basic, simple stuff. ‘You’re not supposed to take this seriously’.
Also, because somebody will inevitably try to derail this, this isn’t to say that Dave Chappelle or Paul Mooney shouldn’t do comedy that deals with racism, or that there’s no place for real social examination in comedy when it comes to oppression. Chappelle and Mooney made racists the joke, not racism. Both Dane Cook and Louis CK did bits that pointed out the existence of rape culture (I can’t speak to whether or not they did so respectfully). Many female comedians point out examples of male privilege and sexism without using those ‘buzz words’. This is not a critique of those who critique systematic oppression, this is about the people who perpetuate it.
Like Daniel Tosh. But I’m not going to single out the demon of the moment and forget about the rest of us. A lot of us, and especially white able-bodied straight cis men, do this.
Rape jokes: SNL recently did a skit that guaranteed that I will never watch that show again. This is the link and it is massively triggering to rape victims so please be careful. Now, this is typically considered a ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ show, which might give you an idea of what bearing those words hold in 2012.
This was aired on one of the most popular and long-running shows on public television. This is rape culture, an aspect of it at least. The joke is more important than people. It always seems to be.
Also, rape culture is sexist. There are male rape victims, and they are erased because we’re taught that it’s something we can never admit, that our masculinity rejects it, but many many more women are raped than men. We’re taught that rape is something that happens to women. Don’t try to tell me that rape culture is so prevalent and rape is such a joke but that it has nothing to do with the fact that it mostly happens to women. Under patriarchy, if cis men got pregnant then there’d be an abortion booth on every street corner. If cis men were mostly raped, rape culture wouldn’t exist. But that’s not the case. And so: rape is a joke.
Racist jokes: I just finished up the first season of Wilfred, and there’s a scene where the mother of the character played by Elijah Wood yells ‘INDIAN CHIEF’ and then imitates some sort of battle cry that you might have heard in a 1940s film rendition of Custer’s Last Stand, then she says ‘that was racist, but it was fun’ and Wilfred says ‘how is that racist? Indians do that all the time.’ I’m not sure anything says ‘white privilege’ like voicing your racism though a white man playing a pet dog, the guy who says what we’re all thinking as adorably as possible.
I guess the question is: how do you deal with white guilt? Make racism hilarious. There ya go. Guilt resolved. Moving on. Nevermind that Mexican jokes perpetuate a system that oks white men with AR-15s patrolling our borders (except the Canadian border lol) looking for ‘illegals’ to murder. Nevermind that n word jokes lead to the murders of people like Trayvon Martin and Troy Davis or the imprisonment for self defense of people like CeCe McDonald. Nevermind, moving on.
I won’t bring out examples for all of these, but this is the main point. Jokes like this point out points of privilege. Racist jokes are delivered by people who deny white privilege but need to remind PoC very clearly that we, white people, control your image. We control everything and, even though somehow we don’t gain any privilege from that, we’ll remind you of it as often as we can.
As men, we’ll remind you that we could rape you. We won’t, because we’re such nice guys, but we could. We just need you to remember that. We make rape a joke so that you can appreciate us not raping you (even though a lot of people who make rape jokes, are rape apologists, won’t draw the line at jokes and we all know it). We make rape jokes so that, even if we’ve actually raped a woman, we can remind ourselves that it wasn’t a big deal. It was just rape, it was just a woman (or, let’s be real, moreso just a Black woman, a Native woman, just a ‘corrective’ rape towards a Trans* man who needed to be reminded that he’s not a man, a ‘corrective’ rape towards a lesbian who just needed one good dick, just somebody who doesn’t matter as much as we do, isn’t as much of a person, deserves it).
These things come from points of privilege. They are privileges that we know we have. And we don’t want to give them up. I’m a white, cis-presenting, straight-presenting, able-presenting, male-presenting person in Confederate Central, Virginia. You really think I want to give up my privileges? Even though I do my best to acknowledge them and, in doing so, work for the bettering of the conditions of people who can’t pass like I do, you really think that I wouldn’t have a mental battle if it came down to snapping my fingers and actually leveling the playing field? It’s easy to say that you want everyone to be equal. That’s easy. But the reality is a lot harder and, I’ll tell you right now, I’m not where I need to be.
So, why am I not lumped in with Daniel Tosh? With Sharon Needles? With Alexander Ryking? With fuckyeahtransphobia? With Jarl-Ulfric? With Communismkills? With Charlie Sheen? With Mel Gibson? With every known racist, every known sexist, every known rape apologist, even known ableist, every known trans hater, all of ‘em?
So now I have a joke for y’all.
How easy it is to not make jokes that oppress people?
And you’re the punchline.
And I am too.
Austin will you marry me?
In which Austin serves up truth, piping fucking hot.
And for the trans women who are told “you want to be a woman? here, then we’ll treat you like one”.
So, some white feminists found it appropriate to post the picture of a battered Rihanna to make their point????? WHAT THE FUCKING HELL??? You spend hours talking about trigger this, trigger that but have so little respect for a BLACK WOMAN victim of abuse that you are ready to post a STOLEN picture of her. Rihanna said several times how humiliating and hurtful it was for her to see that picture leaked in the press, but your hatred for Chris Brown has apparently no limit! This should be common sense! I have officially lost all the little respect I had left for you UGH
Yeah, people, I know it’s suuuuuuper shitty that Chris Brown was at the Grammys last night, but PLEASE remember that those photos were released without her consent. We all know what Chris Brown did. Stop posting the photos of it.
Racism and rape culture are interacting in this truly disgusting way right now. We’re focusing all this energy and anger on Chris Brown as an abuser. Yes, his actions deserve this level of scorn, but it’s certainly true that white abusers of frequently are ignored/forgotten about quickly. In this case, we haven’t forgotten and we’re happy to place blame where it belongs (on Chris Brown).
Yet we give zero fucks about women of color who are victims of violence, rape, and abuse. I don’t just mean Rihanna, although she is a good example of it. There’s the humiliating, violating picture of her face that continually makes the rounds. There was the backlash after this happened about why she wasn’t going to stand up and be a domestic abuse advocate now. There was additional backlash after her video for ‘Man Down’ came out. No matter how she wants to handle her own abuse, nobody’s satisfied with it.
Submitted by starvinghomelesshappy:
Um, I’m kind of nervous about submitting things, because I don’t, usually.
I’m a PoC of African/West Indian/ very mixed in general descent, and my molestation, and several sexual harassments have been judiciously ignored by every person of power I relay them to. When I was eighteen, I was taking a cab home from my friends house after prom-night. The cabby made rude, sexual remarks, made me uncomfortable, and told me flat out that if he wasn’t on the clock, he’d be taking me back to his house. He asked me if I liked to party, because I “looked like I took all the boys home.” I was a virgin. He asked me if I’d ever had sex before, and I didn’t answer, so he said: “I’ll break you in.”
As I was handing him my fare, he stroked my palm suggestively, and even tried to kiss it, but I tore out of there. I stopped him two blocks early to get out so he wouldn’t see where I lived, and he followed me home anyway. I called the taxi service the same day to complain, because I felt like I’d been violated, even though he hadn’t really touched me. When they picked up, I said: “I’m calling to complain about Micheal, he was driving [insert taxi number here].” Before I could even finish my complaint, I heard him yelling in the background, about “the tease-nigger-bitch who was distracting him while he was driving.” Apparently he’d told everyone his version of what happened, and no one wanted to hear mine. The director I was talking to told me he didn’t believe me, and not to use their service again. I had been harrassed, and yet I was the one being punished. I didn’t even bother calling anyone else.
I didn’t use that cab service again. This isn’t even the worst of what’s happened to me over the years.
This is horrible. I am so sorry. I hope they went out of business. The added component of him being a racist sack of crap makes the whole thing that much more disgusting. You were so brave to call the company and complain. I can’t imagine how painful and humiliating that phone call must have been for you. If you want to share your other experiences here, please feel free.
We can’t possibly hope to change rape culture unless we acknowledge and work to change the ways in which lots of other issues contribute to it. Aside from sexism and misogyny, which we have discussed widely, check out these other examples [TW on some of the links]:
Race/Racism plays a part in rape culture.
Women who identify as mixed race, or as Native American or Alaska Native report higher rates of rape than do women of other ethnicities. Approximately 90% of rapes committed against Native American victims are by non-Native people. Race is correlated to reporting rates also. For every black woman reporting her rape, there are 15 others who do not. For white women this rate is 1 report for every 5 unreported. Stereotypes about people of color impact the coverage of the crime.
Homophobia plays a part in rape culture. LGB people raped by same sex assailants are frequently not taken seriously. Corrective rape is common in many countries.
An annual report by the US State Department on human rights in Zimbabwe has said that gays and lesbians in the country face harassment and rape by people trying to ‘cure’ them. It said that lesbians were sometimes raped, even by their family members, to try and turn them straight, while gay men were forced into heterosexual sex.
Transphobia plays a part in rape culture. Trans* folks have high rates of sexual assault, and many organizations that offer resources for survivors exclude them. Trans* prison inmates are exposed to elevated risk of sexual assault by the way they are housed.
A recent academic study of the experiences of hundreds of transgender women in California’s men’s prisons — a survey that was commissioned by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation — revealed that 59 percent of male-to-female transgender prisoners had been sexually assaulted while incarcerated. A shocking 0 percent of these inmates considered prison officials to be allies in protecting their physical safety.
Religious organizations play a part in rape culture. The Catholic Church has admitted that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns. And they’ve been sweeping sexual assault of children under the rug for years.
In 2001, lawsuits were filed in the United States and Ireland, alleging that some priests had sexually abused minors and that their superiors had conspired to conceal and otherwise abet their criminal misconduct. In 2004, the John Jay report tabulated a total of 4,392 priests and deacons in the U.S. against whom allegations of sexual abuse had been made.
Poverty plays a part in rape culture.
Sexual violence can jeopardize a person’s economic wellbeing, often leading to homelessness, unemployment, interrupted education and health, mental health, and other daily stressors and struggles. In turn, poverty increases the risk of sexual violence; it can make women and children more dependent on others for survival and, therefore, less able to control their sexual safety, to consent to sex, and to meaningfully address their own victimization. Indeed, persons with household incomes under $7,500 are twice as likely as the general population to be sexually assaulted.
Ableism plays a part in rape culture. People with disabilities are at very high risk for sexual assault. In addition, survivors of sexual abuse who also have disabilities may face additional challenges getting appropriate post-assault care.
Rates of rape and sexual assault [among people with disabilities] were more than twice those for people without disabilities. Youth with a disability ages 12 to 19 experienced violence at nearly twice the rate as those without a disability. People with cognitive disabilities had a higher risk of violent victimization than persons with any other type of disability.
This is not even exhaustive. These are the examples off the top of my head. I want to make it clear so I don’t have any more people feeling betrayed by me expressing my views. Please don’t expect this tumblr to be apolitical. It can’t be. This will always be a safe space for you to share your experiences with rape culture. But that doesn’t mean I have to accept every view you have and/or ignore the way things like those mentioned above contribute to rape culture because discussing them may offend you.