Share: “Parallels Between Rape Culture And The Treatment Of Ethnic Groups In The U.S.”

“Just because you don’t experience something doesn’t mean it’s not real.”

“Millions of people across the country have taken to the streets to protest in the days since Donald Trump’s inauguration, with the Women’s March and protests at airports against the president’s “Muslim ban” and anti-immigration executive orders making headlines. Now, writer and sexual assault survivor Jessica Knoll is highlighting the parallels between rape culture and what women in marginalized groups are experiencing right now in the U.S.Knoll, who wrote the best-selling novel Luckiest Girl Alive, shared a snapshot of a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union on Instagram Sunday, thanking her for donating to the organization. But her caption was what really stood out to us.
In it, Knoll says she’s spent a lot of time “soaking up” coverage of the Women’s March, and noting that some criticism has emerged regarding how mainstream feminism often tends to exclude women of color, women with disabilities, and immigrant women. Knoll says she found herself getting defensive when she saw a photo of activist Angela Peoples holding a sign that said ‘Don’t forget: White Women Voted for Trump.'”

“I’ve spent a lot of time this week soaking up coverage of the women’s march. Some of the criticism that has emerged is how mainstream feminism tends to exclude women of color, women with disabilities, and immigrant women. I have to admit that when I first saw the photo of Angela Peoples and her sign, which reminded us that white women voted for Trump, I got my back up against a wall. THIS white woman didn’t vote for Trump, nor did any white women I know. Don’t lump ME in with the rest of them. But then I thought about all the times men have dismissed rape culture to me, by saying they are sorry that happened to me but that sort of thing just doesn’t happen where they’re from. THEY’VE never seen it or participated in it, and it’s not a problem in their communities. I thought about how badly I wanted to shake them and shout, BUT IT IS. Just because you don’t experience something doesn’t mean it’s not real. You must believe the women who tell you it is, and let that be the starting point for change. I realized my defensiveness was no better. That many women are members of other marginalized groups, and have experienced oppression I will never experience in my life, and that I MUST believe them when they say my brand of feminism excludes them, and do more to support them. My first step is this donation to @aclu_nationwide in the wake of Trump’s horrifically random and unfounded executive order that bans citizens and refugees from Muslim-majority countries. I feel sick that history books will one day write that our country refused refugee women and children fleeing brutal violence and oppression, but proud of the New Yorkers who have gathered at JFK. ‘I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.'”

“Knoll says she realized that her defensiveness regarding Peoples’ sign was no better than those men who are dismissive of rape culture. “Many women are members of other marginalized groups, and have experienced oppression I will never experience in my life, and that I MUST believe them when they say my brand of feminism excludes them, and do more to support them,” she writes.

That revelation inspired her to take a step in supporting the Muslim citizens and refugees affected by Friday’s executive order by donating to the ACLU. “I feel sick that history books will one day write that our country refused refugee women and children fleeing brutal violence and oppression, but proud of the New Yorkers who have gathered at JFK,” she wrote.”

I’ve spent a lot of time this week soaking up coverage of the women’s march. Some of the criticism that has emerged is how mainstream feminism tends to exclude women of color, women with disabilities, and immigrant women. I have to admit that when I first saw the photo of Angela Peoples and her sign, which reminded us that white women voted for Trump, I got my back up against a wall. THIS white woman didn’t vote for Trump, nor did any white women I know. Don’t lump ME in with the rest of them. But then I thought about all the times men have dismissed rape culture to me, by saying they are sorry that happened to me but that sort of thing just doesn’t happen where they’re from. THEY’VE never seen it or participated in it, and it’s not a problem in their communities. I thought about how badly I wanted to shake them and shout, BUT IT IS. Just because you don’t experience something doesn’t mean it’s not real. You must believe the women who tell you it is, and let that be the starting point for change. I realized my defensiveness was no better. That many women are members of other marginalized groups, and have experienced oppression I will never experience in my life, and that I MUST believe them when they say my brand of feminism excludes them, and do more to support them. My first step is this donation to @aclu_nationwide in the wake of Trump’s horrifically random and unfounded executive order that bans citizens and refugees from Muslim-majority countries. I feel sick that history books will one day write that our country refused refugee women and children fleeing brutal violence and oppression, but proud of the New Yorkers who have gathered at JFK. “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”

A photo posted by Jessica Knoll (@jessicaknollauthor) on Jan 28, 2017 at 5:57pm PST

Credit to Women’s Health Magazine

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