*Trigger warning sexual assault*
Woman: accuses man of sexual assault, man denies it. Man is believed. Woman: accuses man of sexual assault. Man admits it, people cheer of his honesty. People rally behind him. People even going as far as apologizing to him if they did at first believe the victim. Apologizing that they accused him of rape without all the facts. Because this is the society that we live in.
One where women are expected to rally behind and protect men at all costs even if we are the 'cost'. One where we think that accusing someone of rape is the ultimate crime but raping isn't. One where if she is believed she is told to "get over it" but when he is accused everyone says this could ruin his life. A society where a victim shares their story and is met with "But..." One where he denies the accusations and is met with "yeah well we weren't there, he's probably innocent."
Innocent until proven guilty only applies to those accused of rape because we, the victims are already guilty just by speaking.
As a rape victim I am deeply angered to exist in a society that not only rejects my body for being Black and for being female, but covets after it for those same reasons. Fetishizing and demeaning it repeatedly. Re-victimizing it daily. I am expected to exist within this skin and laugh along as men make rape jokes. To not "take it so seriously" when someone makes lewd comments or grabs my body. Lighten up. Rape victim have to work harder to prove the rape than the rapist has to work to disprove it. That is our job, my job, her job, all victims jobs. Copious evidence can be there and there will always be someone calling her a liar. Rapists can admit it, they can leave DNA evidence, they can make up excuses yet be dis-proven, there can even be witnesses and someone will always find a way to blame her. Women having to go as far as to carry the mattress that they were raped on in the streets begging for mercy, yet are still met with hostility. Young girls taking the wrath of their parents after becoming pregnant because they felt they wouldn't be believed if they came forward and said it was rape. Women repeatedly, case after case after case taking their own lives after the assault and we still want to play judge and juror with every one of them. We still want to pretend like there are "sides" to this when she comes forward.
We teach boys that when they lift up a girls dress and push her down in the sand box that that means he likes her. Girls learn that to. We learn that love means pain, humiliation, and loss of control over our own bodies. We learn that love hurts but it's normal. Its womanhood. Welcome to the club. We watch as male friends, fathers, uncles, and cousins applaud each other for "scoring". High fives for banging another chick, for popping cherries and "taking" virginities. You're a man now. And this is what women are. A tally mark. A way for men to one up each other. To win the game. And to 'take' something from us. We are the givers and they the receivers. Our bodies dispensers for sex that you mark with SHAME upon conquest. Women shouldn't want sex otherwise she's a slut. But are expected give men sex whenever men demand it. If we fight they get angry. "It could be worse" they say. If we allow than it was too easy. We are too easy. Whores. We are walking contradictions for their sexual perversions. A place between chasing and dominating, all wrapped in a pretty pink bow. That's what We are for Them because We do not belong to Us.
How long until rape or assault is met with "I believe you." How long until excuses stop being made? How long until we care more about those who are accusing than we do about those who are accused? How long until our bodies belong to us? How long until we are in a room full of women where most do not have a story of assault or harassment to tell? How long until laws are made so that accusations of rape are taken more seriously than someone selling drugs? How long until the prisons are filled with our monsters instead of our weed dealers?
We live in a country where thousands of rape kits never get tested. One where an entire squad of officers have to be formed to deal with sexual assaults in cities throughout the country because there are THAT many. We base TV shows off of them that stay on air for 17 years because a show with fake cops that actually give a shit is sometimes the only comfort that millions of victims ever get. My only 'Justice' is tuning in weekly to an hour long show where they actually catch the bad guys. Where secrets like mine are met with support. And where they don't actually have to be secrets. A TV show, that's what I have. That's what We have.
We never ask what someone was doing or wearing when they got robbed. Why? Because we sympathize with the intrusion they faced and the fear for their life and well being that they felt. How long until this happens for rape? How long until being famous doesn't excuse you of assault? How long until victims are not laughed at? As you're reading this some of you are disagreeing. Shaking your head, I'm surprised you even made it this far. But guess what? This post isn't just for the Brock Turners and Donald Trump's of the world this post is also for some of your faves the Bill Cosby's, the Chris Browns, and the Nat Parker's. The Black men without fame but still more power then I. Black women and men i'm talking to you. This post is for the abusers cocky enough to be accused of rape than to make a film with the other men they were accused with. The ones bold enough to be accused of rape than write a rape scene into their film and direct it themselves. The ones who get accused and talk about how sad They are. The ones hiding behind the rhetoric of "Protect Black men". A saying that all Black women have heard our entire lives.
What's sad is that these accused Black men that you rally behind in the name of Black unity wouldn't rally for shit if you were the victim. These are the silent men when cops threw our 14 year old Black girls to the ground and tossed them around classrooms. Silence as officers break Black girls arms and jaws. Silence for the Black women that get shot in the streets and beaten to death in jail cells. Silence for the cop that raped 12 Black women. Silence for the multiple cases of officers raping Black women in front of their children this year alone. Where are the god damn headlines?
This of course isn't added to conversations about Police brutality right? The "Is my Black son next" and "I Am A Man" is the center of our movements. But of course these silent men have so much to say over a woman who was vocal and fought. Only to be shot and killed with her 5 year old son in her arms. These men will try to ensure that that little boy grows up thinking that that was his mamas fault. Even tho she died fighting for Black men to.
I wanna live some place where being born with a vagina doesn't come with terms and conditions. Where it doesn't come with a constant fear of death.
We are a broken people. And I just wonder, how much longer?
Sandra Bland (28), Korryn Gaines (23), Aiyana Jones (7), Miriam Carey (34), Tanisha Anderson (37), Yvette Smith (47), Shelly Frey (27), Darnisha Harris (16), Malissa Williams (30), Alesia Thomas (35), Shantel Davis (23), Rekia Boyd (22), Shereese Francis (29), Tarika Wilson (26), Kathryn Johnston (92), Alberta Spruill (57), Kendra James (21), Natasha McKenna (37),Latonya Haggerty (26), Margaret LaVerne Mitchell (54), etc etc etc. And ______, ______, ______, leaving blank for future names that also, most likely will not be publicized.