books and reading · pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

Here’s the stuff that got me thinking!  It’s mostly stuff about rape culture and racism, because those are the things I’m most concerned with these days.

10 Things the Internet Told Me When I Wrote About My Rape (Medium)

This woman wrote about her rape experience, and this piece is a follow-up to the comments that were left in response to her piece.  While she talks about how much of the reaction was supportive, she chooses to focus here on the more appalling pieces of advice and criticism lobbed at her.  The result is both unsurprising and shocking:

Some commenters informed me I should expect no less at a mixed sex university. “It’s so obvious what the outcome of going to a co-ed college [is] that I don’t even know why people are calling this rape”, said one. “She shouldn’t have gone to college with men if she didn’t want to get raped” said another. Yes, that’s verbatim. These are as offensive to men as to me.

Like, that is an actual human being writing that.

How do you know you were raped if you don’t remember the night? In the period between being put to sleep and waking up with a man next to you, consensual sex could have been initiated, due to the heavy state of intoxication”

Oh, Cee Lo Green, is that you?  At any rate, I’m going to keep linking to stories about rape and rape culture because it’s important, because I’m passionate about ending rape culture, and because it’s my blog.  I do what I want.

“I am not afraid to die”: Why America Will Never be the Same Post-Ferguson (Salon)

I’m still following all the news about what’s happening in Ferguson and in communities across the United States.  I’m learning everything I can about the militarization of police across America, and I’m learning how to be a white ally to black people and how to do anti-racist work.

This piece is about how a moment in Ferguson, Missouri, has sparked a movement.  And it’s exceedingly well done:

Movements rarely appear to be movements in the midst of them. We have the benefit of hindsight now as we look at the core years of the Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968…We should, I think, not miss the moment trying to theorize the movement.  We have to leave certain conversations to history. Yet, having spent time in Ferguson this weekend, marching, standing in community over the site where Mike Brown’s body lay unceremoniously uncovered for four hours, and organizing with activists in the basement of a local church, I am clearer now that this is a movement.

The entire article is worth a read, but this part stood out to me:

Mike Brown’s death has brought new meaning to local black struggle. His death has come to mean something more, something greater than his life might have been taken to mean, as a poor young black man from a working-class suburb. His death, and officer Darren Wilson’s callous disregard for his life, has made the precariousness of black life visible for a whole new generation of black youth.  The precariousness has been made visible and it has been deemed unacceptable – by both the old and the young. One of the riders, a 10-year-old girl from Los Angeles, told us in a church service on Sunday morning, “I am here because I am worried about my life. I’m only 10 years old. I should not have to be worried.”

Just go read it, I guess.  Black lives matter.

What My Bike has Taught me about White Privilege (A Little More Sauce)

I posted this article to my Facebook page, too (I’m sure it’ll get a ton of responses there, only not really at all), because I think it’s a smart way of talking about white privilege and framing it in an accessible, approachable way.

In the same way, talking about racial privilege isn’t a way of telling white people they are bad people or racists or that they didn’t really earn what they have.

It’s a way of trying to make visible the fact that system is not neutral, it is not a level-playing field, it’s not the same experience for everyone. There are biases and imbalances and injustices built into the warp and woof of our culture.

Worth a read.  Expect the comments to be a mixture of WTF, intelligent, and hostile.

The Conditions Upon Which it is Acceptable to Claim Reverse-Racism (Buzzfeed)

I went for the click-bait, stayed for the (brilliant) humor, and simultaneously shook my head and laughed at people arguing about what a) reverse racism actually is and b) if it even exists.

1. When you’re rewinding 12 Years a Slave.

2. When someone throws down the Uno reverse card and yells a racial slur.

3. When you’re playing a song backward to hear the secret message and it’s racist.

Amazing.

What got you reading and thinking this week?

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