This is an article I wrote and originally published on Medium back in 2019. It’s a follow up to an edusexual post on Rape Culture. As you can see, it takes me a while to do post on abuses and traumas. It’s heavy. But I can not talk about ownership, without talking about how society denies our right to own our bodies, esp black women. Below is my medium piece
Look, I will be honest here. I started this blog post about two years ago. Before the celebrity #metoo (which let’s face it, was start by a black woman,Tarana Burke, FOR women of color survivors, in 2006. But we continue to think that it’s a recent thing. Abuse. The movement. The silence of so many black women who’ve endured. None of it is new). I started talking about rape and decided to do a three to five part piece on rape, rape culture, consent, and how we are failing our black girls. One blog post in and it was just emotionally too much (and that was damn near two years ago I posted). I was in deep. The research. The stories. It was too much for my psyche to bear. So these notes and thoughts sat here for years.
As a black woman in America there is not a time or space where I get a break — a break from sexism, racism, misogyny, or patriarchy. I don’t get a break from feeling some undeserved sense of loyalty to black men and the backlash I get from my community when I don’t. Let me be honest here, I’m loyal to ME. I’m loyal to BLACK WOMEN. And that loyalty is a fight. A fight against my brothers, a fight against my sisters, a fight against a world that does not support black women. It’s an emotionally draining fight endured almost daily.
So, I was dishonest with myself in what I could push out at that time. Time did NOT heal wounds. For that to happen, folks would have to quit stabbing it.
Did society suddenly change in the past year?
What sparked me to finish this is simple, I was leaving too many damn comments on social media.
Hell, I started a damn blog post about all the shit I’m saying in random comments. Guess it’s time to finish it.
And with the documentary Surviving R. Kelly, it’s definitely time.
So, to all the black girls out there. I’m so sorry we have and continue to fail you. And to all the women, who have overcome or have yet to overcome the traumas of childhood, I’m sorry for the little girl we failed.
The system fails black girls — Cyntoia Brown a sex trafficking victim who killed her assailant, will die in jail. Her trauma will never be cared for. She was failed at every level and continues to be failed. UPDATE: She’s been granted clemency after many petitions and pleas to the government. She is 30. We still failed her.
The black church fails black girls — They preach and perpetuate the culture of victim blaming while protecting the black male assailants, especially when they are the pastor.
We call young girls fast and loose. We blame 15-year-olds and forgive 30-year-olds. Why do we hate our children? Why do we despise our young girls?
WE fail black girls.
If a 15-year-old GIRL, bats her eyes and shows her titties it’s still rape. If she says yes, it’s still rape. At 30, THE GROWN MOTHERFUCKING MAN should say No. We are not protecting them we are teaching them it’s their fault. We are protecting a rapist and destroying a child and her childhood. We are complicit in her adulthood starting in trauma. WE are also the rapist. Complicity is our crime.
There’s a reason there is a legal age of consent. It’s based on actual science. The logic and reasoning in a brain doesn’t fully develop until your 20s. Teenagers can not consent to have sex with grown ass men because they literally have not developed the part of the brain to make a logical decision. Couple that with all the things that surround childhood (this includes teenagers) like change in hormonal levels, external environment such as peer pressure and the church, and the sexualization of the bodies of black girls… they are ill equipped to make a decision of consent.
But you know who is equipped — GROWN UPS!
So when a grown up (such as R.Kelly) makes a grown ass decision to place themselves in environments where children and teenagers are, they have used their logical brain to pick and rape children and teenagers.
We sacrifice our girls’ education over the discomfort of young boys. We would sooner send them to the principal’s office or home about their dress, than prevent a boy or a grown man from sexualizing the body of a young girl who is trying to learn. Whole ass celebrities will tweet about their inappropriateness, looking at you Ms. Badu and your complicity. A girl’s body should never be a distraction in the classroom. Boys will be boys is BULLSHIT. We need to be teaching them they DO NOT have a right to a young girl’s body. That you are more than your hormones and should respect women. But, we don’t. Instead, we say to our black girls “go home”, miss out on school. I wonder, do the boys with the saggy pants showing whole asses of underwear have to miss days of school? Do they get sent home? It’s rhetorical. I already know the answer is no. Yet, we teach our girls to pay attention, do well, save yourself and don’t dress so a man will look. But we’ve failed to teach our young boys the same lesson or any lesson for that matter.
Black girls have to be grown enough, with an undeveloped brain, to be responsible for their actions, the actions of their male peers, and the actions of grown ass men. Tell me, when does the man get taught take responsibility? Or do they? Is it anti-black to ask that?
I’m sorry young black girls, we have failed you. We’ve made their hormones a priority over your future.
Equality should not come at the expense of our black daughters.
First off, if your argument for any rapist/child molester/sexual predator is to compare them with a white assailant who got away with it, you’re an ass.
Secondly, if your support of black people is only for black men and you are supporting the rapist because “they are trying to take the black man down,” then you are failing our black girls. And also, you’re probably a predator and/or assailant as well. And and an ass.
Young girls are young girls, stop sexualizing them!
They are not fast, stop blaming them. You can’t be fast at 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18… And as an adult, women STILL aren’t fast. Just as a man who has multiple partners is not fast. Just as a man who goes out to bars to pick up women is not fast. Women are not and can not be fast. It’s a demonization for exercising choice and autonomy. Labelling women as fast normalizes the idea that women don’t have autonomy. Labelling young girls as fasts normalizes and plants the seed for their victimization.
When you turn young girls into Jezebels, you make them invisible. You feed into the worthy vs. unworthy bullshit. You take away their right to say no. We throw them to the wolves. We abandoned them. We are complacent in their trauma and victimization. We become rape accomplices. We fail our black girls so miserably. Because we are quicker to call a girl “fast” than a man a rapist. We will label her a whore and never a victim. We tell her all the things SHE has done wrong and is at fault for instead prosecuting the MAN who took advantage of her. We protect black men at the expense of your young black daughters and future queens.
The reason I haven’t gone into a #SurvivingRKelly diatribe is because this is bigger than him. This is a disease in our community — a cancer on our children and their children. This is a part of our culture that needs to die.
We are failing our black girls. Every day. We are killing them. And we are complicit in their murder.
There is more than one way to be killed:
Kill a dream
Kill a future
Kill a potential
Kill a spirit
I’m sorry black girls. Sorry we failed you. Sorry we still do.
Until next time…Be Free, Be Safe, Be Loved,