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To compare the female experience of oppression to the black experience of oppression is to ignore that there is still a population of people who experience both simultaneously.

By Maryline Dossou In 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono release a song titled, “Woman is the Nigger of the World.” The tune, Lennon unapologetically explained, was inspired by Irish revolutionary James Connelly’s statement that “the female worker is the slave of the slave.” It was also meant as an apology to women, acknowledging Lennon’s past as an abuser and perpetrator of female oppression. The song, although inciting its fair share of controversy, was defended by many then and even as recently as 2016, in an op-ed for the Huffington Post by MAD Magazine senior editor Joe Raiola. Even worse was that, despite Lennon’s insistence that it was inspired by the Irish struggles, it was hard to hide that it sounded strikingly familiar to a line in Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” in which Janie’s grandmother says, “De nigger woman is de mule uh de world.” But perhaps worst of all, is how positively white feminists worldwide have received the song, even now. In 1972, the National Organization for Women awarded Ono and Lennon with the “Positive Image of Women” award for what they described as a “strong pro-feminist statement.” In 2011, a woman at the NYC SlutWalk marched with a sign held up that quoted the song’s title. And in 2017, actress Rose McGowan, hot on the heels of being lauded a feminist hero for her outspokenness regarding sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood, fired off a since-deleted tweet in response to James Corden that echoed the painfully familiar message. “THIS IS RICH FAMOUS HOLLYWOOD WHITE MALE PRIVILEGE IN ACTION,” the post read. “REPLACE THE WORD ‘WOMEN’ w/ the ‘N’ word. How does it feel?” Rose McGowan White Feminism McGowan has been one of the most vocal about the abuse in Hollywood suffered by women, most notably at the hands of disgraced Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein. With the number of accusers against Weinstein totaling more than 40 and growing, the recent revelations have inspired the hashtag #metoo. The #metoo movement, in which women who have experienced sexual harassment and assault share their stories of harassment and abuse to illuminate the pervasiveness of the issue, was widely credited to actress Alyssa Milano, who signaled the call to women via Twitter this past Sunday. The only problem? It was uncovered soon thereafter by Ebony Magazine that the #metoo campaign was created a decade ago by African-American activist and sexual violence survivor Tarana Burke (Milano has also since acknowledged this).
Related: ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE SOCIALIZED TO BE RACIST & TINA FEY MADE THAT CLEAR

Sexual predators prey on the powerless in order to exert control, and use sex as a means to do so because the connections between sex and power are palpable. Weinstein is no anomaly.

[TW — This essay contains discussion of sexual violence] Harvey Weinstein has fled to Europe. Supposedly, he now seeks treatment for sex addictionif you can believe this excuse. This sudden retreat conveniently comes after a growing number of women have come forward about their experiences of sexual violence with the seasoned film producer. From forcing a reporter to watch him masturbate, to groping people's breasts, to aggressive propositioning, to rape. The accusations against him are rife with disturbing, heinous, andunfortunatelyfamiliar testimonies of sexual harassment and assault. Sexual predators prey on the powerless in order to exert control, and use sex as a means to do so because the connections between sex and power are palpable. Weinstein is no anomaly. Men in power using their dominant positions to intentionally and systematically sexually harass and assault people is an old song, and I'm tired of hearing it. We went through this last month following the death of Hugh Hefner, the irreverent pimp of the Playboy empire, and again with Andy Signore, the boisterous creator of Screen Junkies. Just as we have gone through this with Donald Trump, and Bill Cosby, and Jared Leto, and Louis CK and many, many othersto varying degrees. The horrors of the casting couch and the spaces akin to it are well-known in Hollywood and beyond. The pattern is undeniable, and sickening. Of course Donald Trump would say that he is not surprised about the accusations against Harvey Weinstein. And it follows that Weinstein would brag about not needing to drug women to rape them like Bill Cosby. And it’s decidedly unsurprising that Hugh Hefner did nothing to address Bill Cosby’s atrocious behavior at the Playboy Mansion. And it’s fitting that Jared Leto has been cast to play Hugh Hefner in an upcoming biopic. This would all be laughable if it weren’t so damn infuriating.
Related: DECOLONIZING MY PUSSY: MOVING THROUGH BODY SHAME, GENDER DYSPHORIA, & SEXUAL ABUSE

Kenneka's death shows that so many weeks, months, and years later since #SayHerName was first spoken, we are still no closer to uplifting and valuing the lives of Black girls, women, and femmes.

Here we are again. Far too soon. It wasn't that long ago that I wrote about the ways that violence and misogynoir against Black girls, women, and femmes are still upheld. We've heard the same arguments made: this pain that we feel is too familiar, the anger that is washing over us from seeing an innocent life callously stolen long before her time is seeping out. Our voices are raw, our fingertips are tired, and we're clawing at what more we could be said, or done, to stop this predatory hunt on the lives of Black girls. But that isn't enough. It's not nearly enough. As usual, the outrage over the murder and violence directed on Kenneka Jenkins has been extended mostly from the efforts of Black women and femmes. There is an overwhelming silence from major news outlets, and those that have expressed any kind of interest in the story have hyper-focused on the details of what Kenneka went though. This post won't be trauma porn; I will not rehash the violence that Kenneka went through before she died. I won't go over the details about how police were lazy and following the playbook check by check to show through their actions that Kenneka didn't matter. I won't do that because I'm tired; I'm exhausted and too full of rage to perform trauma porn for audiences that won't see the humanity of the victims first.
Related: FEMINISM 101: A CHEAT SHEET ON SEXISM, MISOGYNY, MISOGYNOIR AND MORE

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