Boys are told from a young age that whatever they do will be excused under the “boys will be boys” mantra, and that “boys will be boys” mentality leads to what I call the “BOILING FROG” problem of women’s sexual boundaries. I call it that because if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump right out, but if you put a frog into a pot of room-temperature water and slowly heat it to a boil, the frog will acclimate as it heats and never jump out, eventually boiling to death. Similarly, when we learn as young girls to tolerate “low-level” boundary violations like the ones we often are forced to suffer in silence at school, at home and on the street – bra-snapping, boob-grabbing, ass pinching, catcalling, dick flashing “all in good fun” relentless violations that adults and authorities routinely ignore – it makes it harder for us to notice when even greater boundaries are being violated, eventually leading to the reality that many women who are raped just freeze and fall silent, because that’s what they’ve been taught to do over and over since day one. You tell me what’s more infantilizing: repeatedly letting boys (and grown men) off the hook for their behavior because “boys will be boys” and we can’t ever expect any differently, or creating a consent standard in which all partners take active responsibility for their partner’s safety, and which acknowledges the truly diseased sexual culture we’re soaking in every day.
So I live in Chicago. If there’s one thing you know about Chicago besides that President Obama is from here, it’s that we have a super high homicide rate as the result of gun violence. This is terrible. It’s to the point where people are desensitized to it. When there was the Colorado theater shooting and Sandy Hook shooting people were just like “well people die everyday in Chicago” as if this is normal or formal procedure.
But most recently a young 15 year old girl named Hadiya was gunned down while she stood with a group under shelter from the rain. Undoubtedly, this is tragic. She attended King College Prep, and had just performed in the inaugural parade a week ago because she was a majorette.
News sources everywhere have gone WILD about this shooting. I’m not sure what it is about this shooting in particular, but even CNN has picked up this story. It irritates me to NO END, how news sources pick and choose which black bodies were valuable. My school newspaper has a story about her death. And I’m trying to figure out………if this paper comes out every Monday….where are the rest of the names of people who die throughout the week?
Honestly, it’s one of the first instances I’ve seen a black person who has died actually be painted in a positive light, rather than dredge up past offenses and basically justify the murder. A part of me believes that because Hadiya was a woman rather than a black male, this was more of a loss?
I’m just trying to work through how the media has taken this and made it somewhat of the headliner for homicides/gun violence in Chicago. As if the only thing that should spur people to action is the death of someone ”innocent”. And while she was indeed innocent so to speak, meaning she had no gang affiliation, what does that say about others? Are other gang members lives less valuable?
I know many echo the sentiment that when you become involved in this lifestyle you should expect what comes along with it, but in an interview with Diane Sawyer, a young gang member said “do you think I want to be out here destroying my community? Give me opportunities”.
Finally Rich is a psychosocial insight into Chicago’s violence, and the problematic nature of black masculinity. The album tells us a great deal about the mentality of black youth and how our society has failed marginalized groups.
Excellent article outlining the roots causes of concentrated violence on the south and west sides of Chicago.
Who do we blame? Should we blame the parents for allowing their 13 year old son to curse, rap about violence, sex, and drugs? Do we blame the media for only presenting the gangster rap image as the only one that matters? Do we blame society as a whole for the ever problematic notion of black hypermasculinity?
What do we do when the community encourages the behavior? When the parents are on set for video shoot? When the media rewards the behavior with record deals and society condones and glorifies it all?
Will it ever get better? We already know that people like Gucci Mane and Lil Wayne say various raunchy and misogynistic things, but what about now that the trend is starting to become more and more prevalent at much younger ages? This means something. This doesn’t just mean young kids like to rap. This means that young kids are use to violence so much so that they choose to glorify the lifestyle. It means that although the media will stereotype black families as single-parent with the mother being that parent, these kids have little to no respect for women, seeing them only as objects to be obtained, used and thrown away to the next awaiting male.
This means there is no progress. Education falls by the wayside. Everything in life is gauged in a fatalistic sense of “live in the moment”. Fast money, material objects, pleasure…why desire a college education? 4 years to reach your goal? PSsHHT! Why not be a baller and make it to the NBA (Derrick Rose made it) or a rapper (Chief Keef made it).
Of course progress is a slow process, but in a city where the homicide rate has jumped 40% for the year, and a school system that continues to fail it’s students, I think we may be at a standstill, rather than creeping slowly along. What do we do? If you can’t reach the community, you can’t reach the youth, and you can’t reach the parents… who is left to piece back together our broken city?
I have heard people question why we care about Trayvon Martin but not about the deaths that occur so often in our own city of Chicago.
I think these deaths are different in nature. In the case of Trayvon Martin we have a non-black who clearly held preconceived notions about black males and killed this young man for doing nothing but walking. This is automatically an issue of race. Issues of race can unite a people nationally (as we have seen in the time span since the tragedy occurred). I think people feel like, wow that could have been my son, my nephew, or ME because they/I am a black male. That could have been our boyfriend, our brother or cousin or whatever. It just feels so unfair because this man is FREE after killing an innocent child. That is injustice in its purest form.
In regards to the crime in Chicago, I feel like people have become desensitized to it. Which is understandable. Its probably learned helplessness. It happens so often, you march, it keeps happening and you’re like FUCK IT, its just going to keep happening. Issues with crime in the black community are deeply rooted in the economic disparities that exist in our poverty-stricken neighborhoods. This issue is systemic and a result of oppression of our people throughout the centuries.
So in essence I feel that the two situations differ (one racially fueled while one is impacted by the more difficult problem of poverty and oppression). Maybe people feel its easier to garnish a result by marching about Trayvon Martin for immediate results, rather than marching to demand that the government begin funneling more resources into our most disadvantaged communities which can take years.
But I guess they are similar issues in that they are injustices. Just in different forms. This kind of went in circles but I was just trying to organize my thoughts.
I cannot explain the magnitude of the disgust I feel for all of the men she’s suing, her boss and the entire culture of the firm. My heart goes out to this woman. Let me be clear, this is not just her problem; this is a systematic injustice about how women and their bodies are thought of and treated. This is not ok. This is the enemy.
The fact that the woman is lesbian says something too about men and their beliefs that they can “turn you back” or “watch you and your girlfriend have sex”. What kind of shit is that? I don’t want to blame porn or barsexuality but men (not all of course) don’t respect female-female relationships. They don’t understand they they have emotional aspects as well as physical. And its not for your viewing pleasure! Homosexuality isn’t your play thing, your local pornhub! smh. Also this woman is pretty so idk why they said “shes too ugly to touch”. Well you were busy making sexual passes at her all day everyday it wasn’t a problem then. -______-