Link

ablackwomansurvivingrape:

'Even If You Don't Like It, You're Supposed to Appear That You Do'

Writer and activist Feminista Jones talks about street harassment against black women and the #YouOKsis campaign.

Noah Berlatsky Jul 28 2014, 2:45 PM ET

A recent survey found that 65 percent of women in the U.S. had experienced street harassment, with almost a quarter of all women being approached and sexually touched on the street. That’s a startling figure—all the more so because street harassment is rarely discussed as a policy issue.

Social worker, activist, and writer Feminista Jones has been working to change that. In June, she tweeted about her own experience intervening in an incident of street harassment in New York. Another user, @BlackGirlDanger suggested turning the phrase she’d used to check in with the woman—“You okay, sis?”—into a hashtag campaign designed to raise awareness and encourage people to ask victims of harassment if they are okay or need help.” In addition to her writing, Jones has been speaking on the issue at venues like Netroots. I talked to her by phone about her work, street harassment, race, and remedies. This interview has been condensed and edited.


You talked about experiencing street harassment since you were about 11, and many other women talk about it as a constant problem. As a guy, I think I have just about literally never seen a woman harassed on the street. Have you ever heard other men say that? How is it possible for this to be such a problem for so many people while it’s invisible to others?

I’m pretty sure you have witnessed it, but you may not have recognized it as street harassment. We have been socialized to believe that interactions between men and women are about men being predators and women being pretty. We’re so used to seeing these dynamics where a man is approaching a woman, and is being somewhat insistent about it, and we see women kind of smiling. Women have been socialized to believe the same thing, that you’re supposed to be nice to a guy who’s doing this, and even if you don’t like it, you’re supposed to appear that you do.

So what you may have seen is a guy walking alongside a woman and talking, and you may have seen her smiling, but for all you know he may be saying some really aggressive things to her, but you didn’t hear it because you walked right by.

Holly Kearl, the founder of Stop Street Harassment (SSH), has said that street harassment cuts across economic classes and races. You’ve talked especially about the experiences of black women. Why do you feel that’s necessary? What are the particular problems that black women face with street harassment?

SSH has really tried to amplify the movement all around the world. But the movement still continues to be focused on white women, often opposite men of color or black men. Sometimes it gets into, These savage black men are preying on precious white women. That narrative in the United States has gotten many black men jailed and killed. I wanted to focus on black women’s experiences with [harassment] from anyone. It could be white men, Asian men, women—I’ve talked about being harassed by two lesbian women. But I wanted to center our voices, because I feel like black women’s voices are not always amplified. And I feel it’s my responsibility to do that.

In what ways do you feel that black women are particularly vulnerable?

We’ve been talking about the perception that black women can’t really be harmed, that we don’t experience pain, that our feelings can’t be hurt. There is a historical perspective for this idea that black women are able to endure more pain and suffering. Part of that is that people need us to be that way—they need for us to not feel as much pain, so that they can make use of us. For example, black women were experimented on gynecologically. That’s how gynecology came about. The father of gynecology, [Marion Sims,] experimented on one particular slave more than 30 times without anesthesia, the slave Anarcha, and he justified it by saying that black enslaved women don’t experience the same kind of pain as white women.

We also see examples of it with black women who have been domestics: They can work 16 or 18 hours a day for other people, they can leave their children behind, they’re used to it, this is what they do. And this idea of the strong black women, we can take anything that comes at us, we can still do it with a smile on our faces.

We have not been given the opportunity to express the pain that we feel. What happens when we’re walking down the street is that people will harass us and see us as being both women and also black, and they understand that nobody gives a shit about us. The police won’t help us. A lot of our men won’t stick up for us, unfortunately. People know this. We are the women who they can take these things out on. They can sexually harass us, they can rape us, and who’s going to believe the word of a black woman? I’ve had conversations with white women who have said, “I’ve had guys say, ‘Hey sexy’ to me, and that’s as far as it’s gone. But I’ve seen black women get harassed, and it’s worse. It’s been, ‘Hey bitch’, and grabbing, and I just don’t understand why black women get it worse than we do.” It’s because they know that nobody is going to stick up for black women.

You don’t see the police as a remedy?

Not at all. Police street-harass us too. They rape us, they abuse us. Particularly if you appear to be a sex worker or you are a sex worker. Many have reported that police will threaten them with arrest unless they perform sex acts for them. A lot of women have reported that they have been sex-harassed by police officers. I had a police officer try to talk to me in a flirtatious way with a hand on his gun. And I’m saying, “You need to do your job and stop trying to holler at me,” and he sort of smirks it off. But he has his hand on his gun, which is holstered at his waist. No, that’s not intimidating at all.

"I explained that we walk down the street and men will say these nasty, horrible things to us. He said, ‘You should try wearing headphones’."

I approached the New York Police Department last year, and I said, “What can be done about street harassment?” They’re like, “What are you talking about?” I said, “When we’re walking down the street, and these men are saying really vile and nasty things to us, what kind of protection do we have?” The basic answer was “nothing.” It’s just verbal, you have to ignore it, they’re not breaking any laws. Now if they were to follow you for several blocks, you could report to the police officer that someone has been following you, but then he could also say that he was just going the same way. If it’s the same guy doing it two days in a row, you could say it’s a repeated action ….

They were giving all these qualifiers. I explained that we walk down the street and five or 10 men will say these nasty, horrible things to us. The guy said, “You should try wearing headphones.” I said, “That’s the best you can do?” And he said, “We can’t arrest people for speaking.”

A lot of times when police see black men and black women interacting, they assume it’s a domestic dispute. A woman can be yelling, “Leave me the fuck alone!” and it’s read as, oh this woman is having trouble with her boyfriend. It’s not read as, she may be having an issue. If a white woman is in a black neighborhood and yells at a black man, “Leave me the fuck alone!” and the police are around, they’ll come up and ask, “Is everything all right?” But with us they won’t do that.

How can you change this?

What I’m trying to do with #YouOkSis—because I am a social worker, and I do a lot of de-escalation in crisis situations on a daily basis, and one of the things we learn is how to intervene in situations so as not to exacerbate them. My idea is focusing on putting yourself in the space. Because there are times when we do see stuff, we do walk by, we see people cat-calling other people. In that moment, if you see that the victim looks uncomfortable, you can easily just go to that human being and say, “Are you okay?”

Some people say that that can be problematic for men. Some men said to me, if I go up to a woman who is being street-harassed by a man and I ask her if she’s okay, the other guy may perceive that as me moving in on his territory. And I said, you’re absolutely right. So you can ask her for the time. “Do you know where there’s a CVS or a Starbucks around?”

And just by putting yourself in that space, you make the harasser aware that somebody is watching, that somebody is paying attention, that someone is conscious. I did it. I witnessed a guy harassing a young mother pushing a stroller. I eventually asked her, “Are you okay, sis?” I said “sis” because she was black, and that’s how I talk to black women. And she looked so relieved, in that quick flash, that someone came and said something.

(via misandry-mermaid)

Photo
edwardspoonhands:

jtotheizzoe:

ellliot:

gnostic-forest:

emkaymlp:

mj-the-scientist:

invaderxan:

Mars. In true colour.
Just so you know, a lot of images of Mars which you’ll see have been manipulated. A lot of them have boosted contrast and saturation. So if you’ve ever wondered – images like this one are what Mars actually looks like.

Why does this not have more notes?!?
YOU ARE LITERALLY LOOKING THROUGH THE EYES OF A ROBOT ON ANOTHER FUCKING PLANET
If you don’t think that’s the tightest shit, you can get out of my face.

i wanted to reblog this so that everyone who sees it can realize just how amazing this is. you are looking at a photograph taken on an entirely different planet. an entire world that has been completely untouched by humanity until only recently. no human in the history of mankind has ever look at those rocks, the soil, the mountains, and the sky until now. and until we finally manage to set foot there for the very first time, no human has ever seen mars from this perspective with their own two eyes or feel the texture of the martian soil on the bottom of their boots. this was only possible by creating a robot, an actual robot, and shooting way out of the reaches of earth and with extremely careful calculations, have it safely land and deploy right where they want it. it’s a robot on another planet being controlled 225 million kilometers away, seeing and studying and sending information for us.
this is the sort of thing you would see in science fiction movies that are only a few decades old. what was only imagination and possibilities back then is now all in this photograph. im looking forward to see what happens in the coming decades

I’m so infatuated by this. 

225 million kilometers away and we got it on film that blows my mind

This isn’t what the real Mars looks like, the real one’s in 3-D

Your assignment today is to just look at this for at least sixty seconds without a break.

edwardspoonhands:

jtotheizzoe:

ellliot:

gnostic-forest:

emkaymlp:

mj-the-scientist:

invaderxan:

Mars. In true colour.

Just so you know, a lot of images of Mars which you’ll see have been manipulated. A lot of them have boosted contrast and saturation. So if you’ve ever wondered – images like this one are what Mars actually looks like.

Why does this not have more notes?!?

YOU ARE LITERALLY LOOKING THROUGH THE EYES OF A ROBOT ON ANOTHER FUCKING PLANET

If you don’t think that’s the tightest shit, you can get out of my face.

i wanted to reblog this so that everyone who sees it can realize just how amazing this is. you are looking at a photograph taken on an entirely different planet. an entire world that has been completely untouched by humanity until only recently. no human in the history of mankind has ever look at those rocks, the soil, the mountains, and the sky until now. and until we finally manage to set foot there for the very first time, no human has ever seen mars from this perspective with their own two eyes or feel the texture of the martian soil on the bottom of their boots. this was only possible by creating a robot, an actual robot, and shooting way out of the reaches of earth and with extremely careful calculations, have it safely land and deploy right where they want it. it’s a robot on another planet being controlled 225 million kilometers away, seeing and studying and sending information for us.

this is the sort of thing you would see in science fiction movies that are only a few decades old. what was only imagination and possibilities back then is now all in this photograph. im looking forward to see what happens in the coming decades

I’m so infatuated by this. 

225 million kilometers away and we got it on film that blows my mind

This isn’t what the real Mars looks like, the real one’s in 3-D

Your assignment today is to just look at this for at least sixty seconds without a break.

(via paranoid-anne-droid)

Tags: Mars
Video

misandry-mermaid:

If I ever start to forget that white people are the worst, I’ll just watch this video.

TW for racial slur and hilarious awfulness.

I had this stuck in my head just the day before yesterday, for no reason whatsoever.

Quote
"Which brings me to a sad, but true, story. Which might explain why these books sometimes, sometimes, don’t get into your hands. Because no-one tells you about them.

When Ash was first launched here in the UK, I went to a ‘meet and greet’ with a large selection of booksellers. Now these were invited to HarperCollins HQ, so were the chosen few.

I waltzed around the room, telling them how excited I was that Ash was coming out, how it delved into mythology, history and just EPIC heroicness.

Then I met a bookseller who nodded politely then said:

“I can’t see the point stocking it. We’ve no Indians in our town.”

Well, I doubt she had any hobbits either but I bet she sold a few copies of The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings in her shop."

Diversity, why we fight the good fight by Sarwat Chadda

(via tubooks)

Reblogging this because both people of Indian heritage and people without Indian heritage need to read books (and see movies and TV programs and games and comics and etc.) with Indian characters.

Reblogging because people of all racial and ethnic heritage should be reading characters of all racial and ethnic heritage, not shoved into a literary ghetto based on their background. When all the characters you see are white, middle class, male, cishet, nondisabled, etc., the people who are hurt by this limitation the most are people who aren’t white, or aren’t middle class, or aren’t male, or aren’t cishet, or aren’t nondisabled, etc.  But even if you ARE white, middle class, cishet, nondisabled male, seeing ONLY people like you (or, even just MOSTLY people like you) is pretty limiting for you and your imagination too.  Everyone needs diverse books (and TV and movies and comics and everything else) because we’re living in a diverse world: how can we learn what that even MEANS if we never see that reflected in the media that we consume?

(via andreashettle)

(via youneedacat)

Photoset

serikaizumi:

"They were like a married couple – perhaps I should say a good married couple. Transformers being long-lived beings, they’ve clearly been in each other’s company for thousands and thousands of years, they know each other inside out, and they still have a love for each other. Their relationship evolved organically, albeit entirely behind the scenes, as I spent a year plotting and re-plotting the first 16 or so issues of MTMTE. I didn’t set out with the aim of having a Transformers couple on board ship. Chromedome and Rewind were going to be best friends (and it’s worth remembering that even having two characters who are best friends is (or was) a rarity in TF fiction), but as I wrote their scenes together I realized that there was a tenderness and tactility that took their relationship into a different dimension. So by the time I came to properly write issue 1, and they made their debut in Prowl’s office, they were a proper couple.

I didn’t think anyone at IDW or Hasbro would have a problem with the two of them being demonstrably close, and having a deep affection for each other, because everyone wanted the TF comic universe to be taken in new directions; and Hasbro in particular wanted John Barber and I to explore the more ‘human’ side of the characters. And I’ve never had a problem with Transformers loving each other because – and it really is a simple argument – if they can hate each other (and a four million year long civil war is ample evidence of hate), they can experience the opposite emotion. All that said, the Chromedome/Rewind relationship stepped up a gear – and moved fully into the open – with issue #16, when Rewind tells Chromedome (not for the first time, but it’s the first time we’ve seen it on the page) that he loves him. I was conscious that this was really nailing certain colors to the mast, and I was ready to make a case for those three words to stay in the script. But both John and Michael Kelly at Hasbro were incredibly supportive and encouraging, and the declaration of love survived the editing process. The reaction to the first Transformers gay couple was amazing – overwhelmingly positive. To be honest, I thought most people would be pretty cool with it, because most people are sensible and decent, but it was still encouraging to see. Hooray for Transformers fans.”

James Roberts, Reinventing the Cog part 2 (Awesome interview)

(via newvagabond)

Text

onewomanareme:

Lets do an experiment: reblog if you would feel safer hanging out with trans women (regardless of what genitals they currently posses) than Cis women who are transphobic and deny trans women’s obvious womanhood.

(via misandry-mermaid)

Video

frozen-void:

sofamiliar:

trapezelove:

4 guys from school do the Mean Girls dance.

Ive never seen anything quite so perfect

i forget men can move their bodies like this

(via paranoid-anne-droid)

Photoset

sherlockocity:

Muggleborn students at Hogwarts (part 1/?)

(via amaya-krb)

Text

I just knocked over a carton of things that included two tacks and I only found one I am going to step on that tack and I am going to cry I just know it.

Photo
yonkoshanks:

crowleythxangel:

ninjutsumistress:

stormxsparrow:

If you went or know anyone who went to SDCC and saw this cosplayer, the police seriously need your help. _The cosplayer was found at the side of a road unconscious and bloody without her ID and in her costume. The police are unsure what happened to her. If you have ANY information or saw her anywhere, call The San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154.PLEASE Spread the message.Personal note: I am not personally involved with the situation, I have not been to that con nor seen the cosplayer only saw the issue being raised on Facebook, so I’m raising more awareness on here. More infomation: x

Reblogging in hopes this case get solved fast!

come on tumblr this needs more notes

THIS IS MY FRIEND MILLY! SHE’S IN THE HOSPITAL IN ICU STILL IN SAN DIEGO WITH SEVERE BRAIN BLEEDING. PLEASE reblog this and let the police know if you have any information! 

A man has been arrested in the assault, and this photograph should have blurred out her face.

yonkoshanks:

crowleythxangel:

ninjutsumistress:

stormxsparrow:

If you went or know anyone who went to SDCC and saw this cosplayer, the police seriously need your help. _

The cosplayer was found at the side of a road unconscious and bloody without her ID and in her costume. The police are unsure what happened to her. 

If you have ANY information or saw her anywhere, call The San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154.
PLEASE Spread the message.

Personal note: I am not personally involved with the situation, I have not been to that con nor seen the cosplayer only saw the issue being raised on Facebook, so I’m raising more awareness on here. More infomation: x

Reblogging in hopes this case get solved fast!

come on tumblr this needs more notes

THIS IS MY FRIEND MILLY! SHE’S IN THE HOSPITAL IN ICU STILL IN SAN DIEGO WITH SEVERE BRAIN BLEEDING. PLEASE reblog this and let the police know if you have any information! 

A man has been arrested in the assault, and this photograph should have blurred out her face.

(via shadowcon)