Week 8

1. Kimberle Crenshaw was the first sociologist to coin the term intersectionality and bring light to the particular discriminations that black women face compared to other minorities. The awareness of police brutality was sparked by encounters between black men and law enforcement. While this awareness by the public and social activists is necessary, many people used these injustices of black men to spark rage and concern while completely masking the wrongful encounters that black women have with the police. Crenshaw is in favor of the SayHerName movement and believes that it sheds a light on the untold narratives of women experiencing civil unrest in their lives.

Tarana Burke sparked the Me Too movement and found the inspiration ten years before she was able to create resources that helped victims. In order to help sexual assault and harassment victims she created a nonprofit organization that eventually sparked the widespread hashtag which brought awareness to the issue. Throughout promotion of the Me Too movement, black and Latina women critiqued white feminism that left out the voices and concerns of black women among others. This movement initiated by Burke gave black women a chance to be a part of something traditional feminism kept them out of.

2. IPV stands for intimate partner violence. Within black families and relationships, it is extremely prevalent, and seen at higher levels compared to other races. The race, gender, and class paradigm exists largely in matters of IPV in which women of African descent are involved. In studies of IPV with women, it has been found that black, lower class, females are disproportionally victims. Whether the abuse be physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological it is a form of degradation by partners.

 

3. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the annual murder rate for Americans ages 15 to 34 is about one in 12,000. But an investigation by the news organization Mic found that for black transgender women in the same age group, the rate was one in 2,600.

44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of heterosexual women

2 percent of bisexual women have been raped by an intimate partner, compared to 9 percent of heterosexual women

Among people of color, American Indian (65%), multiracial (59%), Middle Eastern (58%), and Black (53%) respondents of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey were most likely to have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime.

46 percent of bisexual women have been raped, compared to 17 percent of heterosexual women and 13 percent of lesbians

 

4. The story of Malissa Williams is just as devastating as the other wrongful instances of police brutality in the United States. I chose her story, because of the gruesome manner that she and a man faced in Cleveland during 2012. A police officer thought that he heard gunshots coming from the car that she was a passenger of and insisted on following her and her friend for 25 minutes, according to local news. Not only did this officer’s thoughts result in a high-speed chase involving over a dozen other police cars. WIlliams was corned and over 137 bullets were fired at their car killing both herself and the driver. This instance in particular deserves a highlight, because it shows the way that officers treat minorities as sub-human. Neither one of the passengers of her vehicle were armed, and yet they were shot at more times than when white offenders actually threaten law enforcement. This case is one of the extremely rare instances of an officer receiving a manslaughter charge, which still cannot impose enough justice on the situation for the loss of a life that was taken wrongfully.

 

5. Though as a black woman I will never forget the way people who look like me are treated by officers, this week’s readings reminded me to never forget the humans whose lives were taken too soon and often without reconciliation. It is easy to forget the wrongs that our society masks daily when we are all living our lives and focusing on matters that we find personal but taking a few moments to at the very least acknowledge issues within our country such as these would serve everyone better. Taking a course on violence against women taught me about the lessons we learned in our IPV readings this week. Those lessons help me understand the context of the race, gender, and class paradigm more efficiently. Seeing the numbers of all the black women who die without acknowledgment or justice always strikes me, especially when statistics reveal the true size of the problem.