Archive for the ‘sex’ Category

justice, rape and sexual violence

Trigger warning: This article or section, or pages it links to, contain information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

Disclaimer

  • I have written about rape and sexual violence.
  • I have read a lot about rape and sexual violence.
  • I have thought a lot about rape and sexual violence.
  • I support a lot of initiatives regionally that deal with rape and sexual violence.
  • I have said no and it’s been ignored.
  • I have said no and it’s been accepted with grace.
  • I have said no and it’s been accepted and I’ve been made to feel shitty about it.
  • My politics are unapologetically feminist. I think rape is violent and often inextricably linked to masculinist notions of power and entitlement. Victims and survivors of rape (who are predominantly women) are never to blame.
  • I believe that regret regarding a sexual encounter and not wanting it to happen at the time (regardless of whether it is conveyed in ways a partner thinks are “strong enough”) are two very different things. The first indicates a conscious decision to have sex at the time, the second does not.

Today however, my reaction to hearing of a case (of which I know no details) where a man was sentenced to ten years for rape threw me for a loop. I was genuinely shocked at the length of the sentence. Well firstly, I was surprised that the case went to trial, and was successful, without it being a statutory rape case. But secondly, and almost frighteningly and shockingly, I thought: 10 years is too long.

What my reaction made me realise is that I have never really thought about punishment
and consequences surrounding rape and sexual violence. Most of my work has been on the prevention tip. With inspirations like Yes Means Yes I have more readily focused on sexuality, negotiating sexual relationships and teen romance to talk about sexual violence.

Upon further reflection though, my issue is not so much around the sentence itself, or sexual violence but my complete and utter lack of faith in the prison system. For anyone who knows me and my future this is pretty ironic. But I believe Angela Davis has the right idea, prisons need to be abolished. The length of the sentence is not a deterrent and I think in the long run it actually breeds contempt in the individual and the wider community.

Rape and sexual violence are not victim-less crimes but I think we need to think more explicitly about what we would like to see that will make things better. I believe in the possibilities of trans-formative justice. I know we’re not there yet, but I hope one day to be a part of making that shift. So regardless of a conviction, i.e. once a charge is brought, fully off the top of my head I would like to see:

for survivors of sexual violence:

  • praise for coming forward
  • counselling re:
    • (re)building intimacy and trust
    • dealing: with community backlash and negative emotions

for perpetrators of sexual violence

  • counselling re:
    • power, coercion and entitlement
    • negative emotions
  • psycho-education models re: enthusiastic consent

Longer periods in jail do not increase chances of rehabilitation. In the Caribbean as our crime rates continue to rise, and our prisons begin to fill to the brim we need to think more comprehensively about the long term effects of these measures on our communities. As a future mental health professional, I know there are possibilities, I certainly recognise the need. But without a doubt, we need to be more supportive (for the survivors) and creative (for both the survivors and the perpetrators) when it comes to justice.

fyah friday- busyness, shadeism & pap smears

I haven’t been around much this week owing to all the f’d up stuff going on over here.

That said my week has been hella busy which actually brings me to the first link. Granted dude is not the usual demographic re: people who get featured but it really spoke to me as I’ve been trying to be more mindful in what I do. The busy-ness that I experience, granted in spurts in fully self-imposed and maybe it’s just because something in this fast moving time we’re in makes me think that being still, reflective and taking my time isn’t good. 

“Notice it isn’t generally people pulling back-to-back shifts in the I.C.U. or commuting by bus to three minimum-wage jobs  who tell you how busy they are; what those people are is not busy but tired. Exhausted. Dead on their feet. It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.”

So I’ve been putting some final touches on a workshop I’ll be doing with a group of teens next month on body image and shadeism. There are  a lot of great resources out there for girls, and I would argue not enough for boys either with respect to their own body image. Also, I would say there is not enough about how our own gendered, media altered expectations influence how we view people of the opposite sex. I think this is a crucial part of equation especially when we think about reinforcing and policing that we engage in for ourselves and each other. If you haven’t already check out Shadeism, the documentary. I was in town today and saw a vendor selling a lightening soap, which she assured me was not for bleaching but getting rid of those  darker areas. She also let me know that most of her customers are young girls. What I think was more offputting for me was that I don’t think it was fully marketing, and the reach of “darker areas” is either not her concern or not something she had considered as a brown-skinned woman of African heritage.

I got a pap smear yesterday. When was your first one? Your last one? A couple years ago I went on a lime with some women in their mid 20s and was surprised to find out half of them had never had a 
pap smear. Get on it people. They say you only have to go every 3 years now, but recommend going to your gyno every year.  Find a doctor you’re comfortable with, ask questions- make them uncomfortable if you have to 🙂 even if you’re uncomfortable too. Those conversations may not transform your life but they’ll definitely make it easier if something serious does come up. Shout out to this doctor whose manner I really liked. In my life thus far I’ve had doctors I really liked who I found to be the great combination of pleasant and professional, for the rest of you doctors who can’t get it right, work on it, it makes a world of difference for your patients. Vaginas rock! 🙂 STI tests next week, who is with me?

Now I’m not a Fay-Ann fan in the slightest* but I heard this on the radio in the morning and was transported back to my carnival 2010!

* I never hear one person claim say people hate them so much.**

** Oh, I forgot Bunji :)***

*** I enjoy both of them on the stage (once they not talking about how much people hate them) and the radio, without the picong narrative it’s not so obvious how much hateration they feel they’re dealing with.

#3 f’d up people you admire- personal, regional & iconic

Our 3rd installation of the f’d up series features our sensational 6

sharing 3 people they think are pretty f’d up:

who they are + how/where we met + how they’re f’d up + links to the original video + links to their works around

#1 what do you think when you hear the f word?

The f word can mean a lot of things. For the right now we mean feminism.We asked six young women what they think when they hear the f word. Did/ do you think any of these things?

Be sure to check out their video clips (with transcriptions) below!

| it takes work… | independence & assertiveness | love & compassion |

| strength & revolution |

| development & respect | choices & possibility |

makes the ppl come together- hmmmmm music

I was going to do a “summer” carnival music post but really I have to do a little more research for it to be a quality post. But biggin’ up all the people getting ready for the road in St. Lucia and St. Vincent in July, Antigua, Barbados, Nevis and Grenada in August…. if only I had the money and the stamina.

So instead of carnival music I give you music that makes me go hmmmmm….

Hmmmm… Well everyone’s talking about Erykah and this video. Yeah, it’s certainly not something I’d do and definitely do not get but I’m pretty sure that no matter what she does I’ll always kinda love her for seemingly doing whatever the fuck she wants. And no matter what she does some people will always not love her. NSFW.

**** pulled this video  because of a statement posted on her facebook page re: her outrage re: not being consulted on the final product, racism and sexism suck.*****

So here’s a daring Erykah we know she was okay with.

Hmmmm… Nostalgia’s powerful. Saw this not-so- amazing clip from the Summer Jam concert in NY last week. I’ve said it b4 and I’ll say it again, Lauryn Hill’s voice is not the toughest, but every time I see her even if I know I’ll be a little disappointed, I get chills.

Hmmmm…. Very different sound, I heard my neighbour singing this one morning when I was hanging out clothes. Her daughter’s pretty funny and her voice is pretty incredible. Going back down memory lane is a little easy in this ages of digital pictures…

fyah links- tv

I love tv. It’s not a love-hate relationship, it’s a pure love relationship. When I in school I was only allowed to watch television from Friday evening to Sunday evening. My parents knew what they were doing and/or they created a monster b/c that weekday deprivation meant I glommed onto the set for hours at end on the wkd.

This fixation followed me post-parental lodging. Now I don’t have a television, it was an adjustment at first until the advent of reliable online television. Now I almost always have a tab streaming a tv show or a movie in the background regardless of what I’m doing- emailing a friend, writing this post,  researching for a paper, scratching…. Anyway this post is a tribute to a different kind of television w/ I sometimes love but can sometimes be drawn into. Web tv.

I’m starting with this show b/c though I had my reservations from the start based on the second promo, I’m not a fan of the “I’m not/a ….” statements. I warmed up quickly as I watched the show b/c I’m fully awkward and could sooo identify with the main character. I cooled off considerably when it became heavy on the relationship side and even more when it came to the response to the use of the word “tranny” on the show. But I’m all about second, third maybe even fourth chances it’s season 2 time people!

Speaking of Issa Rae… have you been watching Black & Sexy TV. h/t trendsettah. Let me tell you how The Couple and The Number are hilarious. I certainly prefer The Couple, I find the dynamics of the two super relatable. For The Number, it has more of a sitcom feel which always depends on some sort of shaming for it’s humour. I’m tabling the analysis of the heterosexism and sexism for another post.

Okay… And completely out of left field. I love Web Therapy. I wasn’t a fan of Lisa Kuddrow on Friends (yes, I used to watch Friends) but on this show she’s hilarious. There are many reasons I shouldn’t like it, the representation of therapists is sketchy but she’s HILARIOUS. I love and delight in awkward humour and humour of oblivion.

And back to readily identifiable shows I’d like… Have you seen The Peculiar Kind? It’s a pretty cool interview/ segment/ clip show with queer poc in NY. It has a great feel. It’s nice to see different faces representing queer poc i.e. the real world versus the token queer poc you see in most tv shows that bother to remember/ represent the community.

Any other good webtv I’m missing out on?

fyah links

This self-care story is kicking me in the backside. This has been a hectic convoluted week, and something tells me it’s just the lead in to a hectic convoluted month. My work.fit.play is near non-existent, no direction just frenzied movement. So this is a rather eclectic collection.

Polyamory. I’ve never been a believer. I’m not sure I thought it was dishonest, I just thought it was impossible. However a  few months ago a new friend spoke to me about her experience with it which in many ways mirrored this author’s and it sounded so powerful- the honesty, the communication… I like rules. Actually I love rules, and really if people can be honest with themselves and their partners they can uncover all those latent messages around relationships that they hold to be true and figure out a path that can work for them both. It must be scary… polyamourous or not.

Young Caribbean feminists, young Caribbean women. Things are happening. Catch a Fire this month is bound to be incredible. The planning and networking potential tied in with all the stuff that will happen when people get home…. Excitement. CIWIL is back! Caribbean women 21-30 interested in leadership, a whole training programme in Barbados. Make it happen people deadline is the 18th May, 2012.

Finally… Since Februray I said I would make myself a pie. Have I done it yet? No.  fyah stirrers, I’m putting this here to hold myself accountable. By the end of July I need to have made one of these pies and posted a picture on this site. If you have recommendations re: which pie be sure to let me know.

Fyah Links – Kinky edition

 1) I state that I am sex positive in my bio. What does that mean? I come up with different definitions as I go but I really like this article on sex positivity and black women in particular. It definitely gave me a few talking points.   the-sex-positive-black-woman

2) That being said, I yearn to learn and try to try different things. I found this great resource for those of us that are adventurous and ish so-you-wanna-be-a-freak

3) Solo sexing is a safe, healthy, fun and sometimes very convenient way to get the juices flowing. I had grand plans of posting some fun solo sex link here but I couldn’t find any between all the redtube and xxxx sites Google was trying to get me to click.

Fyah fam, can you reccomend a good solo sex resource. I was this close to posting something from cosmo then I came to my senses 🙂

UPDATE!

The fyah family came through in a big way and these comments warrant an update.

This certainly does make me smile.

This however, brings tears to my eyes. LELO

Enjoy!!

Things I hate writing

I’m applying for schools and am trying to get everything arranged to send off my applications in the next month or two and so much writing is involved – so I was inspired to write this post.

  1. Stuff about myself – whether the personal statement for grad schools, the “who am I” for this blog or the short bios for conferences, I HATE writing things that are supposed to tell you who I am. How am I supposed to sum up twenty something years of fantabulousness in 50,000 words much less 500? Synthesizing, summarizing and all other ‘izing’ things that I’m supposed to do in order to give people a “short description” of myself are processes that frustrate me no end. Maybe this means I shouldn’t be going to grad school?
  2. Cover letters – Resumes I can get down with, all I have to do is google a few job descriptions, sit down a few hours and play with margins and fonts to get it to fit onto one page. Tedious but very doable. This falls under point #1 but I really feel it needs to be it’s own point – telling you who I am in one page is ridiculous! When I was last ardently searching for a job, I felt like I was going through an identity crisis – when you’re applying for work as a Teller in a bank, an anti-oppression Workshop Facilitator and an Administrative Assistant at a University, you’re recreating yourself using the facts of your life on an hourly basis and it’s easy to forget who you are.
  3. Emails asking people to do things – I had to email profs to ask them for reference letters. I just hate it. I’m awkward, especially in my head, and have yet to figure out if I’m supposed to pretend I’m writing you to catch up by asking  perfunctory questions like “How are you?” and “How are your classes this year?” or just get straight to the point because you know and I know I’m only writing you to ask you for a favour.
  4. Prolonged sext messages– I’m not even going to get into the whole issue of someone having a transcript of my wutlessness. Let’s pretend there’s a real thing called trusting someone completely for this item on the list. So I’m perfectly capable of sending out a suggestive/wutliss text/IM or two, but the prolonged back and forth just gets, yes, awkward for me. Really are we typing back and forth about who’s going how in where with what? There’s only so long this can go on before it gets ridiculous. Get a webcam (remember I said, we’re operating on the complete trust thing), buy a plane ticket or something. There’s only so much I can take seeing written without feeling like I’m reading a bad Zane novel.

Am I missing anything? What else should I hate writing?

Fyah Links Friday

I came across this post a few weeks ago and was smizing at it’s sincere frankness, I too am a big sister and can totally relate. The comments under the article though, you may need to take a seat, or ignore them like I always tell myself I should.

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/you-can-get-laid-without-being-a-jerk/

 

 

Just because she is so darn cute!!

http://clutchmagonline.com/2011/10/the-muppet-who-loves-her-hair-seeks-to-change-the-world/

DC, I see you! I think that some Caribbean islands are quite veggie friendly            ( more accurately pescatarain friendly) because of the influence of  Rastafari

http://frugivoremag.com/2011/10/washington-d-c-named-the-most-veggie-friendly-city-in-america/

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