"Good" white people uphold and support white supremacy because they are unwilling to see their own roles within systemic racism.Back on the tail end of 2016 I wrote a status update on Facebook which read something to the effect of, “When POC speak on genocide they are talking about subjugation and murder. When white people talk about genocide they are talking about mixed babies.” This is, of course, a reference to the idea of “white genocide” as discussed in white nationalist circles. My white friends — who are not white nationalists — were pissed. The thread turned into 200+ comments deep of mostly white people defending that they don’t mean that when they talk about white genocide, that the status was offensive — but what about my individual marginalization? Even though I stressed that I was speaking about white nationalists, all of these people could not get over how offended they were and spent all night literally #notallwhitepeople-ing on my page. And this is the story about why I never wrote about “white genocide” or how the offense of “good white people” helps to silence the voices of marginalized POC. That violent pushback against the concept, that was aired in my own space with people who I knew, had garnered such hate and vitriol that the idea of writing a full piece to educate people — knowing that backlash from people who did not know me would be much worse — was too much. The idea of the comments that would be to sent me and knowing that I would be facing it alone wasn’t something that I was willing to put my mental health through. So I didn’t write it. I stayed silent. In 2018 the concept of white genocide as a racist dog whistle is much more well-known. It has seen some coverage in big-name outlets and none of the people who were upset with me for my comment then would be so now because they are more familiar with it. But consider how much time that the concept had to grow and fester because there was no coverage a year or two ago. I’m not a huge voice but I am a voice and white offense silenced me.
She’s supposed to be Wonder Woman but she’s not. Her name is Gal Gadot, she is problematic, and she should answer for these allegations.[TW- discussion of sexual assault and victim-blaming] Gal Gadot is on everyone’s radar right now, not just for her portrayal of Wonder Woman but for seeming to be a real life wonder woman due to her hardline stance against continuing to work with Brett Ratner, who has had sexual harassment allegations brought against him. All that is awesome but it seems extremely hypocritical that no one is taking her to task for her own victim blaming past. On Nov 14, an anonymous woman going by the name “Ima Survivor” published a Medium post that detailed how Gadot bullied and shamed her for being raped by a friend of theirs while modeling in Milan thirteen years ago. The post has been removed from Medium but a cached version can be read here. For those who have not read it yet, the first-person account is extremely graphic and details her rape and subsequent mental and emotional abuse by Gadot. The post made very few waves in the media cycle. Where it was shared, its authenticity was called into question immediately. How do we know this “woman” is telling the truth? Wasn’t she in the military? How do you know this even real? And the answer is, we don’t know if this is real. We don’t know if this account is any more true than the countless people who have recently stepped forward to speak up about the abuse and sexual misconduct they have suffered at the hands of Hollywood elites, some of whom are our faves.
Language is malleable, yes—but we cannot allow social justice language, particularly the type of language specifically invented to empower victims of abuse, to work against us, to re-silence us, again and again.[TW- Mention of sexual assault]
A couple of weeks ago, when the #MeToo campaign was making its way across the social media landscape, I finally decided to out my rapist publicly. We had been friends for many years, romantically involved off and on—and then, about a year ago, I cut off contact with him completely. It wasn’t just one time that it happened, the rape. It was multiple times. But the most egregious and horrifying one, the one that eventually lead me to cut off contact with him completely, had stayed lodged within me like a splinter, unprocessed, unmoving.
Few people in our circles knew what had actually happened between us. Although I had admitted to being sexually assaulted on multiple occasions, I never stated his name out loud, much less publicly. It felt too vulnerable, and I didn’t feel ready for the onslaught of emotions that would inevitably accompany such an outing. But the #MeToo campaign struck a nerve. As woman after woman on my feed posted #MeToo, my only thought was: why are we the ones who have to make ourselves vulnerable, again, while our rapists sit there cloaked in silence—in the complacent comfort of non-confrontation?
I understand that there can be catharsis, even a feeling of solidarity, in seeing huge numbers of women in your community speak up publicly about the fact that they were sexually assaulted. But it didn’t feel like enough for me. If I was going to admit that I was raped in a public forum, I thought, folks better be damn sure I’m also going to name the person who raped me. If I have to make myself uncomfortable, then folks better be damn sure I’m going to make him uncomfortable too. I wasn’t about to re-victimize myself in the process of outing my oppressor.
My worry was that the #MeToo campaign was starting to render the idea of rape into something abstract—one of those things “every woman has experienced,” while, in the meantime, the actual, concrete people that raped them remain safely anonymous.https://twitter.com/sndrsng/status/920097942010200064
Part of the reason why I was so intent on outing him was that I knew other women had already reported him as a rapist to powerful institutions—such as Yale University, where he is currently a graduate student—only to have their requests ignored and silenced. Granted, Yale (along with, let’s face it, most institutions of higher learning) has a terrible track record of bringing justice to victims of sexual assault. But to see it happen so close to home just enraged me further. No institution would ever hold my rapist accountable—I knew this, and I know it now.
Given that, it seemed to me that the only real form of accountability available to me—to us—was social accountability. I needed my community to know what he had done—to me, and to many, many other women. The consequences of social outing for a rapist can be numerous, but here are some of the outcomes I hoped for in outing him publicly: first, mutual friends severing their ties with him; second, a sense of shock for my community—particularly my male friends who had been close friends with him for many years—that yes, they too, had been complicit. They, too, had been harboring and protecting rapists in their close friendships for many years without thinking twice about what that looked like to me and the numerous other women he had raped.