Yesterday, I came across a story that I was surprised I hadn’t heard about. Each day, we get bombarded with news stories from every outlet possible, and sometimes things can get overwhelming. But when I read the story about a Detroit woman by the name of Mary “Unique” Spears, I wished I had found out about it sooner. This mother of three was killed by 38 year old Mark Dorch after Spears allegedly turned down his sexual advances at a bar.
According to HuffingtonPost.com, police said at the time of the shooting, Dorch attempted to speak with Spears at the event but was unsuccessful. Security forced him to leave, and escorted him to the front of the building. That’s where the shooting took place.
Spears’ story isn’t unlike many stories from women all over the world. Violence against women is really nothing new. For some reason, however, it isn’t talked about as much as it should be. And if it IS talked about, the women somehow become the culprits.
A while ago, I mentioned feminist writer and activist Feminista Jones, and her campaign against street harassment called #YouOkSis http://http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/07/18/you-ok-sis-three-words-can-save-womans-life
With this movement, Jones got a lot of push back from angry men who had made up in their minds that women ought to be grateful that men even looked their way. Women love attention from men, after all…why were we doing so much complaining? One guy in particular, by the name of Tariq Nasheed seems to really have a problem with the Street Harassment movement, Feminista Jones and Black feminists in general. Check out his video below. (If you can make it through the first 2 minutes)
Sir. I have NO idea what you’re talking about, and I’m 99% sure that you don’t either. The fact that someone could be so upset about women NOT wanting to be harassed on the streets is actually pretty silly and deeply rooted in misogyny. See a therapist.
Then there are those guys who think d*ck will cure feminism. Newsflash: It won’t. Especially YOURS!
Lol, whatever helps you sleep at night champ. RT @SeanTheTerrible Women who getting dicked down right ain’t interested in being a feminist.
— Jolee (@ebonessouL) March 10, 2015
Some men may be wondering, what exactly QUALIFIES as street harassment? Street harassment isn’t simply walking up to a woman and asking for her number. If that were the case, none of us would ever date, get married or have any sex. Asking a woman for her number becomes street harassment when she declines, you persist, you get angry, and do something rude, disgusting, or violent in response to her rejection. For many women, just walking down the street can be a chore. Here are some examples of the kinds of encounters I’m talking about:
Let’s move on to another story that I was so disgusted by, that after reading it, it took me a week to digest it, and actually write about it. There is a story out of India in which a woman, who was heading home after seeing a movie with her male friend, was gang raped on a moving BUS. She later died due to horrific internal injuries she sustained after being penetrated with a metal pipe. Leslee Udwin, a British filmmaker, interviewed the driver of the bus, Mukesh Singh(who was also a part of the gang) for a documentary called “India’s Daughter.” His statements were chilling.
(Photo from BBC)
“A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy. Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20% of girls are good. When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her’, and only hit the boy. The death penalty will make things even more dangerous for girls. Now when they rape, they won’t leave the girl like we did. They will kill her. Before, they would rape and say, ‘Leave her, she won’t tell anyone.’ Now when they rape, especially the criminal types, they will just kill the girl. Death.”
Now, I want to be very clear about something. Though the only men that are being shown are men of color, white men DO participate in street harassment, and white women DO get harassed as well. For this particular piece, I am focusing on women/men of color because in my opinion, women of color are not equally protected under the law when street harassment turns violent. Online, Black women and women of color also tend to get harassed more when talking about street harassment, feminism, and things of that nature. Check out this article from NewsOne.com
After watching an episode of BET’s Being Mary Jane, a quote I saw really stuck with me, and I think it resonated with a lot of women who watch the show.
“Woman Is The Nigger of the World” -John Lennon.
I’m hoping that one day, I’ll be able to get that quote out of my head. Until that day comes, we must continue to fight for justice and equality for women in our country and abroad.