Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.
Thank you for posting this, it's a beautifully written piece, and so important. i am a survivor of sexual abuse. i think there needs to be a conversation about how we make our spaces and debates and learning safe for survivors - because it hasn't been safe this week, not in the media, not online, not organising protests. I've appreciated the Hand Mirror because I can choose to read the blogs, not have them appearing in my face / facebook. But I expect it will not be safe at the protest I go to.As I have sat here this morning and wondered how I am going to steel myself for the protest - because i have to, because I have friends and sisters who think I'm the strong one, because I will make it safe for them - I've been reflecting on the week of organising. Well, very little organising in my case. The people making this happen are wonderful, its fantastic that you're there with the strength and skills to do this and I appreciate so much that it is happening. I know that I'm probably not the only survivor who will be turning up, and I know that my feelings about this are directly related to having been triggered this week. I'll bet I'm not the only one. So whether or not it is true of this week or true of my childhood, it is worth saying that this week again I've felt silenced. I've felt like it was hard to get words out. I don't know what to put on my poster. I'm going to walk down the street tonight and feel stripped naked. I feel talked over by people who think they know better when I have conversations about it. I feel like yelling at you all and saying 'Shut Up! Stop privileging YOUR ideas, YOUR learning, YOUR theories of why rape happens! Stop asking the question 'Why does this happen?' and then NOT LISTENING TO MY ANSWERS. And I realised I've heard this 'yell' before in Aotearoa from Maaori. Just saying... we should know how to do this better by now. Rape culture is dominant in our society. It marginalises those who have been raped and if we don't acknowledge and address the power dynamics inherent in our conversations and meetings directly, then we buy into the dominant culture.
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