You know what, you’re right. As a straight white girl, I can tell you that the word “faggot” upsets me. It does. It upsets me a lot.
You want to know why?
Because last year I almost lost a friend…
I believe what you meant to say was “White cisfemales who identify as straight occupy a position of privilege where they can express outrage over the use of a derogatory slur without fear of negative sanction. And because some white, straight cisfemales know this, they tend to be extra vocal about the use of that particular derogatory word, in the hopes of creating a safer, more positive environment for those who may also be offended, but do not feel comfortable or are otherwise unable to voice their discomfort.”
You’re only HEARING straight, white female outrage because that is the only outrage you’re allowing to reach you.
(TW: Rape, child abuse) Brazil: Outrageous Supreme Court ruling gives green light to rapists
The acquittal by Brazil’s Supreme Court of a man accused of raping three 12-year-old girls on the basis that they were allegedly “sex-workers” is an outrageous affront to the most basic human rights and it has no place in Brazil today, said Amnesty International.
The decision confirmed earlier rulings by state-level courts in Sao Paulo, where the original report was filed. The defence claimed the three girls were “sex workers” and therefore had consented.
Under Brazil’s 2009 Penal Code, sexual intercourse with an individual under 14 years of age is criminalised under any circumstance.
“Rape is never the fault of the victim. This shocking ruling effectively gives a green light to rapists and if it prevails could dissuade other survivors of sexual abuse from reporting these crimes,” said Atila Roque, Executive Director at Amnesty International in Brazil.
“It is of extreme concern that the protections provided by Brazil’s legislation in cases such as these have not been implemented.
"Amnesty International welcomes the news that the government is calling for the case to be appealed. Brazilian justice must ensure the full protection of victims of this heinous crime and that those responsible are brought to justice. Rape is a grave human rights violation in all circumstances."
I think it’s interesting that Nicki’s persona gets so much flak while feminists are tripping over themselves trying to interpret Gaga’s every dress and word as a sign towards feminist solidarity and subversive expression. As usual, white women must be brilliantly subversive, but black women like Minaj are assumed to just be fakers who are too dumb to know what they are playing with.
I also think there is a bit of a refusal to actually engage with what the image is trying to do. Pointing out that Nicki is fake because Barbie is unattainable is so basic it deserves to be met with a “yes, and?” Because is that supposed to be a novel point? That the person who is clearly presenting a fake identity is fake? Why is she presenting this persona? How does she use it? How does she shape it in her lyrics and videos? How does she mock or undermine it? How is she negotiating how she is commodified?
I also think the point about not sermonizing at youth is a good one. Young people aren’t as dumb as we would like to think. They’re trying to navigate this shit too and the last thing they’re going to respond to is adults who dismiss what they’re trying to do because it doesn’t look like it embraces the methodology of something they were trying 20-40 years ago. It’s like second-wavers shaking their heads at third-wavers. Sitting here trying to tell them what she should mean rather than recognizing what she does mean to queer youth and youth of color is to be more invested in dictating than listening. Because maybe some of them are more interested in being closer to Nicki than they are Queen Latifah, Lauren Hill or MC Lyte, all women who for youth probably predate them any way and are outside of their scope and not really who they can relate to.
Maybe they connect more with the loudness, the multi-colored wigs, weird clothing, weirder personas and hardcore raps and aren’t interested in being walking talking paragons of black uplift and respectability, so Nicki, even as problematic as she can be, fills a role that no other women in hip-hop and popular culture are filling. Maybe, god forbid, we should allow their to be space for black women in popular culture who do not exist solely to hoist the struggles of the black community onto their backs. There’s a space for both recognizing how problematic something is and recognizing the meaning it has for people.
Men who want to flirt with women have to realize: Women live in a state of continual vigilance about sexual safety. It’s like having a mild case of hay fever that never goes away. It’s not debilitating. You’re not weak. You’re not afraid. You just suck it up and get on with your life. It’s nothing that’s going to stop you from making discoveries, or climbing mountains, or falling in love. Sometimes you can almost forget about it. It doesn’t mean it’s not there, subtly sucking your energy. You learn to avoid situations that make it worse and seek out conditions that make it better.
If a female stranger is wary around you, it is not because she suspects you are a rapist, or that all men are rapists. It’s because a general level of circumspection is what vigilance requires. Don’t take it personally.
If this frustrates you, try to remember that women are blamed for lapsed vigilance. If a woman does get raped, everyone rushes to see where she let her guard down. Was she drinking? Was she alone? Was she wearing a short skirt? Did she go to a strange man’s room for coffee at 4am?
A woman must be seen to be vigilant as well as be vigilant. If she is deemed insufficiently vigilant, she will be at least partly blamed for any sexual violence that befalls her. If she’s regarded as downright reckless, that “evidence” can be used to completely exonerate her rapist. If it comes down to a he said/she said dispute over whether sex was consensual, as so many rape cases do, the dispute becomes a referendum on whether the woman seems like the sort of reckless person who would have sex with a stranger.
If a woman does go back to a strange man’s hotel room at 4am, even if she only wants a coffee and conversation, she’s more or less given him the power to rape her. No jury is going to believe she went up there for anything but sex. So, don’t be surprised if a stranger reacts badly to that suggestion.
everybody constantly says how we don’t make decisions in a vacuum, but who is this invisible panel that gets to decide which decisions are personal choices of an individual and which ones are decisions they’ve only made due to societal influences? For example, the same people who are trashing Nicki right now on my dash are the ones who were defending Rihanna when she was catching shade for doing a song with Chris Brown.
Why do we get to decide that Rihanna’s decision is personal, that she’s smart enough to make her own choices, but at the same time try and decide that Nicki’s choices are the result of patriarchal influences on her, and that “we can’t make decisions in a vacuum?”
I default like this; if a grown ass woman makes a decision, she’s autonomous and intelligent enough to make that decision herself and has chosen the best option for her after weighing all the possibilities. Is this always the case? Probably not, but it definitely isn’t my place, or yours, to ever try and step in to say otherwise. Every decision we disagree with isn’t some example of internalized misogyny. Just because Nicki isn’t lining up perfectly with your movement doesn’t mean she’s some kind little girl that we have to chide for making the “wrong” decisions.