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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

Trump's plan to erase the Obama administration’s policies will support a system that will continue to inflict trauma and will perpetuate the informal legalization of rape.

In a completely unsurprising turn of events, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education under President Donald Trump, would dismantle parts of Title IX, including policies based on the 2011, Office for Civil Rights-issued “Dear Colleague” letter, which stipulates that sexual violence and harassment interfere with a student’s right to receive an education free from discrimination. The announcement comes after DeVos spent this summer consulting with various campus sexual assault groups to decide the best course of action to uphold patriarchal white supremacy. Among advocates for survivors, she also met with — surprise, surprise — advocates for the rights of accused rapists. The department hasn’t specified a timeline just yet, so for now, this announcement simply confirms their intent. Given that the President is an admitted and unapologetic sexual predator himself, this is appalling but unfortunately it is not shocking. The White House removed its report on sexual assault prevention from its website just before the announcement, as if it couldn’t make it any clearer how this administration feels about sexual violence.
Related: HERE’S WHY THE DONALD TRUMP RAPE ALLEGATIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY

I think of trans-generational traumas, and how they shape us, and I wonder whether the pang that I sometimes feel in my gut connects me with the agony of my foremothers.

Trigger Warning: This article contains discussions of racialized reproductive and sexual violences against Black women We have been rather preoccupied with our statues of late. As we should be. They are symbols of who and what our nation chooses to venerate and immortalize, and monuments to white supremacy have stood long enough—they should never have been erected to begin with. At the edge of Central Park, in New York City, stands a figure in honor of J. Marion Sims, an allegiant to the Confederacy who often vocalized his loyalty to the south and southern tradition, including slavery. This nineteenth century doctor is known as the “father of modern gynecology.” While the field respectfully celebrates its patriarch, it too often neglects to remember its mothers. Among them: Lucy, Anarcha, and Betsey. Sims became the world’s most renowned authority on reproductive health after years of experimental operations on enslaved Black women in the backyard hospital of his Montgomery, Alabama home from 1845 to 1849. Lucy, Anarcha, and Betsey were his subjects, taken on from local slavers. These young women were in horrible condition and went hoping that he would cure their ailments quickly. This began “before the time of anesthesia,” Sims notes in his autobiography. The first successful surgery performed with anesthesia occurred in 1846, but Sims never gave any to the enslaved women in his care. It is recorded that he subscribed to the belief that Black people did not have the same capacity to feel pain as white people, a belief that many people in the medical field unfortunately still hold. Physicians continually offer less pain relief and fewer management resources to their Black patients, even to children, due to this accepted myth.
Related: 7 BIPOC LED PUBLIC HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT

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