rape culture and whiteness
Originally posted on fb. I have edited and added to it here.
Rape culture is a founding thread in the fabric of this nation. It’s not new. The system is not broken. It is working just as it was meant to.
This week I have listening to the way we tell the story that will decide if a rapist will be appointed to a lifetime position to rule on cases about what women do with their bodies.
It is complex. I believe Dr. Ford 100%. I have my own stories of sexual assault that I am still reckoning with that are very much on top for me right now. At the same time, there is a v big missing piece.
As a nation, we are watching a story play out between 2 white people, the woman on the blame end. As a white woman, I know this feeling well. I grew up like many people I know, unaware of the greater context of my whiteness, my unearned privilege and inherent power as a young white girl. When I look at this hearing more critically, I see women rallying - WHITE women around a white cause.
As white women, we have been collectively oppressed by men, that is true. AAANNNNND, please try and hold this complexity for yourself, we have at the same time, held the #2 position in White Supremacy from the beginning. (Have you seen Blackkklansman? There is a vivid example). We are both oppressed and oppressor.
When we shout “smash the patriarchy”, we are fighting against white men, but not asking what our part has been in upholding this same system. Consider that it’s possible that these same violent lies, blame, denial and diversion tactics that men pull are perpetrated every day by white people against people of color, queer and Black folx.
If you are a ww reading this, wouldn’t it have been unheard of and uplifting if the K-hole had owned his behavior, offered a sincere apology and showed with his actions that he would use his power to make sure that nothing like this ever happened again?
By only seeing a person as “good” or “bad”, “not racist” or “racist” we miss the opportunity for healing and collective change in a BIG way. Racism (skin color prejudice + systemic power) steals life breath all day every f*ing day from people who are not white identifying. It’s not about individuals, it’s about the air we breathe.
It is time to look at how I have benefitted from this system and perpetuated harm, so that I can be accountable for my own behavior and make honest reparations. So that I can stop spreading the contagious disease of racism through complicity and silence.
Believe survivors. Believe Black women. Believe Black men. Believe Queer+, Brown and Indigenous People.