The uncultured culture we all know

29 October 2017

- and SANKOFA sighed #metoo

DISCLAIMER : THIS IS A TRIGGER WARNING TO ANYONE WHO MAY FIND DISCUSSIONS PERTAINING TO ANY FORM OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE TRIGGERING. THIS ARTICLE MAKES MENTION TO SEXUAL VIOLENCE. THIS IS A TRIGGER WARNING WITH REGARDS TO POTENTIALLY GRAPHIC MENTION TO THE AFOREMENTIONED.

"Educate me"- the voice of patriarchy laughs, a loud guffaw in the face of feminism.

Fully aware of the presence of misogyny in this question, reliant upon the inevitable trauma rooted in an explanation, anticipating a trauma so great that it  will be enough to silence the voice of womxn.

Fully aware that silence will be hallmark of successful patriarchy.

Fully aware of the violence housed in centuries worth of feminine oppression threatening to override the answer.

Fully aware of the ill-intentions housed in the name of "education".

Fully aware that patriarchy's fingerprints spell out  "the education system" as we now know it,  because how else could boys live out their lives long enough to grow into men so "uneducated" about the violence of patriarchy that they have the audacity to ask womxn to educate them.

Fully aware of the violence of ignorance.

Fully aware of the fact that their privlige safeguards them enough to allow violent ignorance.

Fully aware of how this kind of question is actually unacceptable.

Fully aware that the system of patriarchy protects men enough to allow them to call themselves educated despite being ignorant about how they contribute to femicide.

Fully aware that their privlige entitles them to place the burden of knowledge production and dissemination of pain unto womxn.

Koleka Putuma writes "Oh God! Not another rape poem!"

in a structure almost mimicking an addendum.

An addendum to centuries worth of patriarchy.

An addendum to the violence of misogyny.

An addendum to the current over-reported and ill-attended to femicide.

An addendum to traumas buried in bite-sized headlines, condensing violence into statistics.

An addendum to the nameless, faceless womxn discouraged by a system that failed them in the first place.

An addendum to the surviours who never reported anything in the first place, with records of trauma lying only in their memories. Records scattered like dandelions in both the past, present and future. The past of trauma unjailed, walking on two legs into classrooms, boardrooms, lecture halls and sometimes climbing next to us in bed called "husband". Sometimes "uncle". Sometimes "cousin". Sometimes "step-brother". Sometimes "grandpa". Sometimes the boogey-man no longer looks like a man hiding in the bushes but rather your ex-boyfriend who was suppossed to be a good guy.

An addendum to the reality of womxn who are forced to discuss sexual assault with one another as if it a womxn's issue alone. As if rape culture isn't the entitled step-child of misogny and toxic masculinity, raised and protected by violent patriarchy. As if, somehow, the burden of reformation falls solely upon our shoulders. As if.. as if the voice of womxn alone is enough to change the discourse of violence perpeuated against us.

Last week, at a good friends 21st birthday party the conversation took a somber turn towards the perpetuation of rape culture as well as the the traumas endured and re-lived by survivors. The gathering was predominantly comprised of womxn. One of the photographers present who was a man then had the audacity to ask :

"Why are you guys talking about this kind of thing now? It's suppossed to be a nice night. Why are you talking about something as serious as rape culture now?"

Forcing me to inhale, deeply, repeatedly. I clutched my champagne class, a little too tightly, white-knuckled awaiting another one of my friends response because I couldn't get the words out. However, today, a week after arguing with a female lecturer about rape culture, the words have begun to fall out and I can't quite get them to stop falling out.

"Why are you guys talking about this kind of thing now? It's suppossed to be a nice night. Why are you talking about something as serious as rape culture now?"

1. Patriarchy/Misogyny never take breaks. We as womxn never have the luxury of escaping the reality of the threat posed against our psyche and physical being by rape culture. We don't get a night off - ever. Rape culture is not an occasional round table for discussion for us, soon to be forgotten. The conversation of rape culture is a narrative colouring in our freedom of movement on a daily basis. Rape culture isn't on occassion or a conversation for us, it is  the best friend of hyperactive paranoia- one of the only defense mechanisms readily available to us. As womxn we spend time navigating the landmines of social and personal scenarios constructed by and tailored to patriarchy. Rape Culture and sexual violence does not operate on a schedule - the schedule is a relentless onslaught, unsanctioned, illegal, unbothered and prevailing.

2. Silence is violent. Silence is often the name marked on the tombstone of unspoken truth. Silence is one of trauma's biggest enablers. There is no burden on womxn to be quiet about their traumas and anxieties regaurding potential traumas.

3. Fuck respectability politics. Fuck respectability politics. Fuck respectability politics. It is not the job of womxn to pander to the demands of patriarchy, as if our pain ought to be palatable and well-timed. It is not our job to engineer our pain to be appropriate to male privilege and all it's delicate sensitivities. The hand of patriarchy cannot reach so far. May the hand of patriarchy risk castration in trying to dictate

the construction of safe spaces.

The toxic obnoxiousness of patriarchy reared it's ugly head when we were asked that question and while this article has sat in my drafts for months - I have still not managed to find the words. I have not managed to find words that accurately describe the rage I feel at having to  witness this :

How hard womxn have to work just to be able to occupy our God given space.

And by this I mean the fact that as women we are forced to rationalize our trauma, as if the onus and burden of not being sexually assaulted rests on us.

(Disclaimer : This is not to assert that the effects of patriarchy and rape culture only affect womxn as many men are also sexual assault survivors and this article in no way minimizes this reality)

And that if somehow, we speak out the shame that should have tainted the abuser suddenly colours in all of who we are. I have been slut shamed before  and I always wondered about the complexity of patriarchy.

You see my "no" is never "no" enough and any "yes" means you're a whore.

How exactly does that work?

I spoke to a friend of mine after church tonight and we spoke about the ethics of consent. Ever been sexually harassed in a club before?

Yeah me too.

We spoke about how if a guy harasses you and you say "No." It's never quite "no" enough - it is "convince me" and the question that inevitably follows is :

"Do you have a boyfriend?"
And more often than not, I have lied and said "yes."

In the hopes that they'd get the message and go away - which they do, more often than not.

And that message is inscribed in patriarchy.

See, isn't it problematic that a man respects the presence of another man being in your life as opposed to the assertion  your free will as a human being?

A few months ago, I was groped in a club. Walking out of the bathroom no less, at the end of the train of my friends holding hands.

( Ever wondered why womxn always go to the bathroom in groups?)

As we were passing by, someone grabbed me - my whole entire ass in their grubby hand.

I turned around and flew off the handle - yelling that they're all patriarchs and lack the range to understand consent - suffice to say it drew enough attention to embarrass the group who were howling with laughter at my horror.  Because it was... a group of men who all started laughing when I asked "who did that?"

At which point I started yelling at the culprit and pushed his chest.

Later, he came to apologize and pinned the blame on his friend.

I told him he's just as guilty because he allowed his friend to do so.

But here's the thing - maybe I got lucky.

Hear me out.

Lucky in that we have all heard stories of womxn who had the audacity to say no and were assaulted shortly thereafter.

And how could I even think that my ability to successfully assert my autonomy should be considered lucky - a liberty?

Learning.

Unlearning.

Learning.

Unlearning.

Patriarchy is in it's resting state is unbelievably violent.

I mean.. we call it rape culture as if one of the recognizeable hallmarks of our generation is the onslaught of sexual violence that has somehow been normalized into a 'culture'? A culture of the invisible fighting to become visibile in spaces of hypervisibility...

Putuma writes "Oh Dear God, Please! Not another rape poem."

Acclimatized to the horrors of sexual assualt in the space of hypervisibility?

Or

Horrified at the invisible made visible...

"Oh Dear God, Please! Not another rape poem."

"Oh Dear God, Please! Not another rape poem."

"Oh Dear God, Please! Not another rape poem."

Oh dear God... not another rape.

Oh dear God... has the hand of patriarchy snatched the liberty of another one of my kin?

Oh dear God...

Oh dear God...

Oh dear...

God.

God.

Not again God.

Again we suffer the backlash of patirarchy.
Don't believe me ?

( if not please just get off my website - this space isn't for you and your bigotry but anyway watch the video : )

How many of us can say #metoo , to the overwhelming onslaught and unreported mass human rights violation that is rape culture?
How many of us can attest to having experienced it first hand?

In Russia Pussy Riot ( an Anti-Putin Feminist Movement) are faced with the following ; an aleration of the law that allows domestic abuse. Yup. Watch the whole thing or skip to 2:58.

We suffer from femicide and try to respond to it with legislation as if legislation is solely responsible for our socialization.

We bare witness to the Bill Cosby's and Harvey Wienstien's in lecture halls and sometimes even in our friend groups...

and we mourn the loss of Khwezi

and we mourn the loss of Khwezi

and we mourn the loss of Khwezi

and we mourn the loss of Khwezi

and we mourn the loss of Khwezi

and we mourn the loss of Khwezi

and we mourn the loss of Khwezi ...

And some days writing a meager blog post just doesn't seem a dignified ode to that fact.

And some days, my online rebellion is all I have.

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SANKOFA WORKS HARD & DOESN'T LIKE THEIFS! don't copy paste my work babe x