We support and we march in support of black men, but we can't get to work or home without fighting through dick offers and bitch insults from them.By M. Shelly Conner Let’s be clear: I paid three dollars and a hug for street harassment. Or assault. I still don’t know what to call it. I do know that I didn’t want it and felt forced to consent to it. As a genderqueer woman, I’m often taken by surprise by the unsolicited interest of men. As a black, cis-gender woman, I am surprised by my surprise. In his 1999 comedy special Bigger and Blacker, Chris Rock joked (because men are privileged to joke about rape and hebephilia) that, “every woman [in here] since [they] were thirteen, every man they met has been trying to fuck [them].” Of course most women know, depending on their development the depravity of their assailant, that age can go much lower. Rock goes on to posit that it is easy for women (and let’s include girls, since he opened that can of hebephilia with his 13-year-old starter age) to turn down sex because it is in constant supply for them. Ignoring: 1) the heterosexist framing, and 2) the assumption that women/girls are in equal positions to decline sexual advances from men as men are to decline them from women, we are still left with the idea that because “it is damn near impossible for men to turn down sex,” it is socially acceptable for men to “[offer women] dick three times a day.” Rock insists, “Every time a man’s being nice, he’s offering dick.” I don’t believe that and, of course, the joke is that neither does Rock. Far less humorous is the necessity for women to make this joke into a safe assumption. To act as if every kind offer from a man comes with an unwritten sexual addendum. To question intentions and weigh consent. In accepting a greeting of hello or a gesture of holding open a door, am I consenting to the unvocalized “offer” of sex? Although Rock uses the word offering as if it is merely a cup of tea, unsolicited dick offers in all of their myriad forms are more akin to scalping another’s head and calling it a haircut.
Fat, Black people with bodies like mine are ignored, fetishised or an unfortunate burden.By Mary Brighton I write this piece as someone who easily (and painfully) passes for cis, as a transmisogyny exempt nonbinary person. I write as someone who is neither very fat nor very dark-skinned, but is often the fattest/darkest person in the room. I write as an able-bodied person, as a naturalised British citizen and native English speaker. I write as someone who grew up in a decidedly middle-class home. These privileges, and doubtless many others that I have not considered, will inevitably shape my experiences. I was a devout and traditional Catholic until my late teens, with many of the sexual attitudes that would suggest. Therefore, my early sexual imagination was shaped less by porn than by TV shows and advertising. It was formed in the extrapolation from the fade to black in a 12A rated film, or the racy scenes in YA fantasy novels. Long before sex itself interested me, I knew what sexy looked like. I knew this just as surely as I knew that unremarkable brunette white boys are destined for greatness or being liked meant having no emotional boundaries. I knew that people like me, the fat Black people with bodies like mine, were either ignored, fetishised or an unfortunate burden taken on out of pity or desperation.
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I’ve decided to remove my Black body from the war and reclaim my time. I care about the status of the country I live in, but this war is never-ending, and ultimately no longer mine to fight.By Barbara Muhumuza August has been a tumultuous month — the climate has been packed with hateful bigotry which has created an atmosphere of fear for marginalized groups and our accomplices. I imagine that it can be unsettling to witness the reality of America's truth come to light, especially after being deluded for so long that this America was anything but the one it was created to be. Seeing the honest reflection that you, white people, have spent decades denying is quite probably difficult to absorb. For Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), however, this is not new. Frankly, this is much more passive than the things we’ve seen and died for and from. That doesn’t make it any less of an issue, but how much longer must we put up with this rhetoric that this America — bold, hateful and willing to burn anything in the way of its need to upkeep white supremacy — is anything other than the America it has always been? Black people know that this America is the same America we were brought in chains to. This America is the same America that insidiously infiltrated and destroyed Black leaderships in order to prevent Black communal efforts of progress. This America is the same America that has always been inherently anti-black, anti-indigenous, anti-poor, anti-queer, anti-anything that isn’t white and rich.