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Women's Bodies

Left- and Right-Wing Men, Black and White Men, Bond Publicly Over the Terrorizing of the Duke “Stripper” (and All Women)

Gail Dines, a radical feminist and professor of American Studies at Wheelock College in Boston,  author of of the best-selling media textbook, Gender, Race and Class in Media (2nd edition, Sage, 2002), used in over 200 colleges across the country, and co-author of Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality  (also reader of my blog, yay!), was recently invited to appear on the Paula Zahn Now show on CNN to “discuss the Duke rape case.”   She agreed in part because the pre-show screening interviews and discussions went well and the questions she was asked were intelligent and thoughtful.   She was told the show would be done in two, possibly three segments, and that under discussion would be historical and contemporary issues of violence against black women in the U.S.

What happened to her, to another guest, journalist Kristal Brent Zook, who was a guest on the show,  to the Duke “stripper,” to feminists and feminism, and to women in the United States and everywhere when Dines went on that show was yet another display of male terrorism, of the way men on the Right and men on the Left, men of color and white men, are more than willing to set aside any political differences they have when it affords them an opportunity to bond over the brutalized bodies and lives of women, women of color, white women, all women.

The first inkling that something wasn’t going according to plan was on my ride from the airport to the makeshift outdoor studio at the Durham courthouse. A different producer called to tell me that although I study both race and gender, they don’t want this show to be about gender. I answered that this woman was brought in as a stripper and is charging that the lacrosse team sexually abused her — how could this not also be about gender? Yes, yes, yes, she answered, but the show is focusing on race. I know enough by now not to argue with a senior producer an hour before taping, and so I simply agreed.

The second clue was one of the people on the panel with me — the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, an African American man who has made his name by slandering blacks for their racism against whites and their continuing “unwillingness” to climb out of poverty. For Peterson, black men have been emasculated by black women, and his project is about making black men “real men” again. The one saving grace was that the other guest on my panel was Kristal Brent Zook, an insightful journalist with Essence magazine.

…As it turns out I was on camera for less than five minutes, and most of that time was taken up by Peterson railing against the “alleged” victim for setting these poor white guys up. Kristal got to make a few points but also was cut short. Zahn was clearly more intrigued by Peterson than either of us; her body language and eye contact focused on him. As I tried to interrupt his tirade, she cut me off and returned to him. He got the last word of the segment, saying that the “stripper” has no humanity, no morality (she had children out of “wedlock”) and should be jailed for what she has done to these athletes. As I got up to leave the studio I ask Zahn how she could do a show that once again leaves this woman stripped of her dignity and rendered invisible as a human being. Zahn smiled and offered her hand as a way to tell me they are done with me.

When I got back to the hotel 30 minutes later, I already had a few emails from enraged men informing me that I am a “bitch dyke,” “dumb feminist” and “nigger lover” who is an embarrassment to the academic profession. By the next day at noon, it was a flood of emails, each one more hateful than the next. After most television appearances I get some hate mail and some support, but never such a consistently negative barrage in such a short time. It is only when I sit down to watch a tape of the show that I understood why everyone was so upset.

Rather than being about racism and sexism in the media, the show had been billed as an examination of the “rush to judgment” on the part of the media and society. The possibility that these men were guilty had been “proved” wrong, as the victim is clearly lying and motivated by money. The case is framed as a “race” issue, which for producers meant that blacks are out for revenge for past misdeeds by whites. Jumping on this bandwagon, so the story goes, was the District Attorney Mike Nifong, who was trying to curry favor with the black community in a re-election year. The consensus on the show was that if anyone is guilty here, it is the lying, immoral black stripper and the amoral, politically motivated DA. The victims here are the upstanding white men who have now had their reputations tarnished first by a stripper and then by gullible fools who believed her. And of course, within the framing of the show, I appeared as not just a gullible fool, but even worse, a gullible fool with a feminist agenda.

My anger at the way the media humanized these men as victims and dehumanized the woman as the perpetrator of a lie clearly stood out from the rest of the show. And this was, I am now convinced, the producer’s goal. I was set up in the show to be an example of the problem — white liberal elites who have taken political correctness too far. I was not brought on as a researcher or activist but as an example of how feminists “rush to judgment” in order to further their man-hating propaganda.

Virtually every email I have received blasts me as a conniving feminist who didn’t even bother to know the facts of the case. These men — yes, they all were from men — explained to me that the facts show without question that nothing happened that night, which I would have known if I were not so busy trying to further my feminist agenda.

Read the entire (great) article at Dissident Voice.

Note:  Because of the turn the comments in this thread have taken, I have made  comments open only to women of color and to white women who are race traitors (partnered with black men now or in the past and/or mother to biracial children) for the time being.    I hope everyone either understands my reasons for this or will be willing to give me the benefit of the doubt if you don’t.  Thanks.  — Heart

Heart

Discussion

88 thoughts on “Left- and Right-Wing Men, Black and White Men, Bond Publicly Over the Terrorizing of the Duke “Stripper” (and All Women)

  1. Why we have blogs.

    Posted by Pony | January 22, 2007, 12:10 am
  2. Pony please pass the popcorn, I cannot wait for all the discussion that will take place here…………..

    Now what to do with the crickets.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | January 22, 2007, 12:12 am
  3. You know, part of me is not shocked at all. She was set up. I have been there in my life. One person tells you one thing and you believe them and then whamo another changes the whole context. It is like good cop, bad cop, only it is all co -option with a nasty agenda. I am glad she wrote about it. However, the real victim here is that woman of colour. How she must feel, I can only imagine. I just hope she has some support in her community.

    Posted by rhondda | January 22, 2007, 12:14 am
  4. Great article and thanks for the link to Dissident Voice.

    My internet connection has only been working intermittently this weekend and I think I lost a general comment I was trying to post on an earlier thread. This had to do with factions, factionalism, blog wars, and so on. I have just come across the Communist Manifesto, of all things, not having looked at it for a long time. I realized that this 1848 text it is in important part Marx and Engels’ response, correction, and rebuttal of misrepresentations, misunderstandings, slander, of them and of Communism at the time. [I thought, of course: of they had their own kind of blog wars, with pamphlets and posters.]

    It occurred to me then that in these blog threads there might be material for a new feminist manifesto – not that there aren’t many such already, but you know, the 2007 version. Manifestoes, it seems, are often written not so much as the announcement of something new, but as clarifications. I hadn’t realized that so clearly before.

    For what it’s worth.

    Posted by profacero | January 22, 2007, 12:21 am
  5. It looks like we’re going to need more than popcorn CM. Profacero has plans.

    Dines shouldn’t do pop media. Well maybe Charlie Rose (working on 10 yr memory here) or the Fifth Estate (Canadian). Yes, the woman is the victim no matter how it’s cut. I have not been able to find much on this; is she still living in that community, going to college, how is she making her living, surviving? I don’t care about the jocks. What has become of her?

    Posted by Pony | January 22, 2007, 12:36 am
  6. Hi Pony!🙂

    Posted by profacero | January 22, 2007, 12:38 am
  7. I don’t think television can tolerate any views from any branch of radical feminism. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    Posted by Melinda Casino (Sour Duck) | January 22, 2007, 12:38 am
  8. Will I need a sleeping bag profacero?

    Posted by Pony | January 22, 2007, 1:05 am
  9. What happened to Professor Dines is despicable, a complete media spin and set up. And too, the unfortunate woman that has become revictimised a million times over and over again.

    Technically rape is still illegal, but with all the legal and media bullying, I think the day draws near where it will be legal – or may as well be, for the probability of justice being done (for women).

    Posted by stormy | January 22, 2007, 1:34 am
  10. Gail Dines’ disgraceful treatment by the media shows that they are not ready to show the “fallen woman” as a full human being. To do so would upset the whole apple cart that rewards “respectable” women for their submission to monogamy and severely condemns women living outside convention.

    And sadly, lots of “respectable” women in America today are viciously condemning the stripper. (Evil temptress, to point the finger at those red-blooded boys!) I hear much more of that than any empathy for her. I wonder what their girlfriends would say….

    Lots more to think about here. Thanks for the info.

    Posted by roamaround | January 22, 2007, 1:52 am
  11. I was just reading more disturbing “news” in regards to the case. There is an article in the latest Sports Illustrated with an alarming quote from one of the players’ mothers (I don’t have it in front of me right now)…and then coming online to read this. Unbelievable.

    Posted by anna | January 22, 2007, 2:13 am
  12. profacero! I went back through all of my comments for the past several days and can’t find yours. 😦 I’d have loved to read it. Do you recall what blog post you posted it to?

    I love the idea of a new manifesto– I *do* believe we need one.

    I have a bunch of thoughts about this and will throw a few out. One thing I have repeatedly observed: white men LOVE to connect with black guys like this one, and they love to give them lots and lots of press, just like they love it that Paula Zahn is oh-so-willing to shill. Having said all of that, I have observed this phenomenon repeatedly wherein black pastors, especially, of churches on the Religious Right, seek connections with powerful white men, then join them in denunciations of everything patriarchy wants to denounce so as to continue to subjugate women: women who have sex and babies without husbands in sight. Women who strip (even though the denouncers patronize strippers a hell of a lot of the time). Women who are prostituted (even though the denouncers participate in the prostituting.) Women who use birth control or have abortions.

    Having said all of that, I am a survivor of conservative Christianity, and I can say this out of my lived experience: there are *lots* of black guys on the Religious Right. I sued my former pastor, a black man married to one of my best friends, a white woman. The Religious Right appeals to them for lots of reasons, one of which is that in this community, *men rule*. Women are unapologetically subordinated. As is not the case in mainstream culture.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 22, 2007, 2:28 am
  13. Heart, that comment didn’t say any more, really, than what I reconstructed here. It was to the Morgan thread, but my Internet fell down more or less at the moment I hit “post” – so I don’t think it ever made it out of my house!

    Sleeping bag, to come up with the manifesto, probably.

    (Right now I have been ‘procrastinating’ by reading theory, when I should have been creating administrative documents. So I need to shut down my imagination for the next 24 hours and be very objective and bureaucratic. But I will mull over manifesto concepts…🙂

    Posted by profacero | January 22, 2007, 2:55 am
  14. wow! i was so happily surprised to see gail’s photo here first thing – a lecture she gave was my first introduction to feminism, 10 years ago!! i attended wheelock college, and heard her speak there during my first year.
    i wrote about the experience elsewhere…copied and pasted:

    “although the curriculum included gender issues and gay and lesbian issues, somehow i never made the connection in my mind that it had to do with feminism. i even went to weekly meetings in the women’s center, went to a domestic violence workshop, and signed pro-choice petitions without that “click” of understanding that it was FEMINISM…so one night gail was giving a lecture, and i went out of curiosity. the first thing she said was, “raise your hand if you consider yourself a feminist.” my arm twitched. i had always heard “feminist” said as an insult, and felt guilty for wanting to raise my hand. i hesitantly raised it, but only after my friend sitting next to me raised hers.
    unfortunately, i can’t remember a thing that gail said in that next hour.
    all i remember is that her words just went straight to my heart and i felt
    like i was just so excited i could burst; so alive and awake and it was one
    of those WOW moments. like WOW, i never thought about all this stuff before and it makes so much sense and how come i didn’t hear all this sooner?!? i remember i almost didn’t go to the lecture because i was worried about not making it back to my dorm room in time for my favorite TV show. ha! by the time the lecture was over, i was so hyper and fired up with that “I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR” type energy that i couldn’t believe i had been worried about missing a stupid TV show — this was so much more important!
    it was like 10 o’clock at night, but i wanted to get out in the world and start fighting the good fight right at that very moment! i remember literally just standing in the middle of that boston sidewalk, looking out into the night, and wishing so much there was something i could DO, right THEN. i was literally jumping around, too energized to even stand still. i didn’t want to go back up to my dorm room, where life was the same old, same old. i didn’t wanna go back there and just listen to my roommate whine like she always did, or do my boring homework, or watch that stupid tv show. i wanted to save the whole freakin world, at 10 o’clock at night, on a boston sidewalk, in my overalls.
    anyway, what i ended up doing was finding the ONE women’s studies book i owned (a sense of self: listening to the voices of homeschooled adolescent girls, by susannah sheffer), and bringing it outside to read while sitting on a stone ledge under a streetlight. i just didn’t know what else to do! i didn’t want to let go of that feeling; i had to hold on to it somehow, and i did that by reading a book that empowered women. and i read it outside, because i didn’t want to be isolated in my dorm room anymore, i wanted to be out with people, in the world, in the middle of it all. it’s silly, but i think part of me was hoping that if the revolution happened to be marching by, i’d have a better chance of discovering it from the sidewalk than from my dorm room.🙂

    my whole world changed that night…wow, i should really email gail and thank her. i never did thank her, but i owe her so much.”

    maybe she’d appreciate getting an email from me now more than ever, huh?

    Posted by britta | January 22, 2007, 5:00 am
  15. Oh Britta, I am sniffling here. You’re some wonderful, you.

    “i wanted to save the whole freakin world, at 10 o’clock at night, on a boston sidewalk, in my overalls.”

    Posted by Pony | January 22, 2007, 5:19 am
  16. britta, you are the BEST. How often does something you write lift me right up? OFTEN!

    It’s interesting, I already have a comment in my queue from someone who, once again, sounds just like that commenter in the Ashley thread– a gigantic long comment about why the result in the Duke case was right citing to all sorts of stuff from the trial and elsewhere which has NOTHING to do AT all with what I posted here or with the comments. I think that’s what is done now– people get sent into the blogosphere strictly to shore up the patriarchal party line, to attempt a sort of damage control. The blogosphere/internet makes it impossible to control the dissemination of news as it once was.

    I was watching a documentary last night and there was one part that talked about the way that American citizens were not told at all and did not know, for some time, that the U.S. was *also* bombing Laos and Cambodia– bombing civilians, dropping bombs from the sky on towns. We didn’t learn about this until the so-called “Pentagon papers” were copied (stealth), and then made public. This would not be possible now– the blogosphere makes it impossible to conceal this type of thing.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 22, 2007, 1:34 pm
  17. I’m a sex worker, and one of the things at the back of mind if I ever get caught, or worse, if something happens to me like what happened to that stripper, is how much I have to lose socially, while the men would most likely be shrugged off. “Boys will be boys,” right?

    Sometimes on my own blog, if I write something that goes against what men believe about the way prostitutes should think, or complain about men’s sexist double standards, I often get extremely angry comments accusing me of being just another man-hating bitch with “issues.”

    Posted by compartments | January 22, 2007, 3:30 pm
  18. “maybe she’d appreciate getting an email from me now more than ever, huh?”

    Yes!🙂

    Posted by profacero | January 22, 2007, 3:47 pm
  19. Heart wrote:

    “thing I have repeatedly observed:”

    Many prejudices have been justified and reinforced using this reasoning.

    “there are *lots* of black guys on the Religious Right. I sued my former pastor, a black man married to one of my best friends, a white woman.”

    ? What does this have to do with anything? I know that the original blog post, in the quoted text, draws in race based on the panelists, but the second and third paragraph of your comment above freaks me out in that it’s edging towards making generalized statements about one group of people.

    Especially that you dropped in there that it was an inter-racial marriage — there’s a faint whiff of disapproval in there.

    Posted by Melinda Casino (Sour Duck) | January 22, 2007, 4:29 pm
  20. FWIW: Kristal Brent Zook has posted this at the Women’s Media Center webpage:
    http://www.womensmediacenter.com/ex/012207.html

    Posted by Ann Bartow | January 22, 2007, 4:37 pm
  21. Thanks for that great link, Ann. From Zook’s article:

    If members of the media had truly done this work, they would have discovered, as I did in reporting several breaking news stories for ESSENCE magazine, that the accuser is more than just a cardboard image of a “stripper,” as the talking heads remind us over and over and over again.

    In fact, by now she has been reduced not just to a stripper, but to a lying, scheming black stripper at that. And one who should herself be “put in jail” as Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, a syndicated radio host and president of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, actually proposed on a recent CNN Paula Zahn special, in which I was also a (stunned) guest panelist. If this “commentator” had been an actual working journalist even remotely connected to reporting this case, he would have known that the accuser was, and still is, a complicated and conflicted human being. As are we all.

    Although no member of the media has ever spoken with her directly—she was kept sequestered by District Attorney Mike Nifong in an undisclosed location during the early months of the case—I learned much about the young woman during time spent with her parents, brother and ex-husband.

    They revealed many details that, to this day, have never been publicly reported or, at the most, mentioned in passing. For example, here’s something you probably haven’t heard: In addition to working as an exotic dancer, the 28-year-old woman had held a variety of other jobs while putting herself through college and raising two small children (she now has a third). She had sold cars at a local dealership, worked in an automobile assembly plant, and lifted and bathed elderly patients in a nursing home. She had to give up the latter after injuring her back on the job. She knew how to drive a forklift too, said her father with obvious pride.

    When pieced together, these details began to make the puzzle somewhat clearer as they shed light on one woman’s attempts to hold it all together, despite a history of prior sexual violence and depression. As we first reported in ESSENCE, at age 18, the accuser reported a rape to her mother and to police that she said occurred when she was 14. The assault involved her then-boyfriend and some of his friends, she said, in an isolated location in Creedmoor, North Carolina. My editors and I decided that it was important to share this story, after her mother shared it with me one morning, because the defense had been gearing up to launch an attack the woman’s credibility that week: they implied in the press that she was insane (read: receiving professional counseling) and on drugs (read: taking prescription medication for depression caused in part by prior sexual trauma).

    This is what happens to you when you stand up to white male power. This is what happens to you.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 22, 2007, 4:49 pm
  22. Melinda– you know that I was interracially married for 24 years, right? Both my first and second husbands were black and I had nine children with them in all. Hopefully that will be responsive to what you say here:

    Especially that you dropped in there that it was an inter-racial marriage — there’s a faint whiff of disapproval in there.

    I don’t disapprove of myself, not even a whiff. My point was that all men, without respect to race, have access to incredible amounts of subjugating power over all women, without respect to race, in churches on the Religious Right and in organizations on the religious right.

    thing I have repeatedly observed:”

    Many prejudices have been justified and reinforced using this reasoning.

    If women had been unable to say what we, personally, have repeatedly observed men doing, there would be no women’s movement. Men maintained power over women for millennia by telling us some variation of, “Not all men are like that.” Men STILL maintain power over women by rushing to tell us “not all men are like that” and that we are being prejudicial to them because they are men when we talk about the things we have repeatedly observed men doing.

    I am not an uninterested bystander with no dog in the fight making comments about stuff I don’t know anything about in real life, up front and personal. I have been a race traitor for all of my adult life and have taken the hits race traitors always take, especially women who are race traitors. My experiences as a woman race traitor are the basis for what I say here.

    “there are *lots* of black guys on the Religious Right. I sued my former pastor, a black man married to one of my best friends, a white woman.”

    ? What does this have to do with anything?

    When black men and white men bond over the bodies of women, of whatever color– this black man, who is a pastor on the Religious Right, sympathizing with the young white men accused of rape, instead of the black woman who was raped that is something we must analyze and critique. When guys like Ken Hutchinson, black pastor of a multiracial megachurch out where I live, mount campaigns for the sanctity of heterosexual marriage and are invited to share the platform internationally with powerful white men in calling for greater and greater legalized, institutionalized lesbophobia and homophobia and other kinds of oppression of women, and they accept the invitation that is something we must analyze and critique. We can’t critique it if we don’t make note of the fact that where there is opportunity to make common cause with men of color over the bodies of *all women*, race is *less* an issue to white men than sex is.

    I know that the original blog post, in the quoted text, draws in race based on the panelists, but the second and third paragraph of your comment above freaks me out in that it’s edging towards making generalized statements about one group of people.

    Feminism is all about making generalized statements about a group of people: MEN. In order to analyze and critique male power and to understand the way race, class, other marginalizations inform the dynamics of male power, we have to make note of when it is that men bond over the bodies of women– without respect to race.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 22, 2007, 5:04 pm
  23. When I make reference to the fact that my lawsuit against the Religious Right included suing my former pastor, a black man (one of my husband’s best friends) married to a white woman (one of my best friends), that is a statement about male power. This pastor was centrally responsible in the acts which destroyed my publication and led to my lawsuit against the Religious Right. My being white did not protect me one whit in that instance. Not only was my former pastor able to see to it that I was nationally shunned and excommunicated, his word and his decisions were *completely* accepted and approved by all of the powerful white men (and women) who participated in destroying my business and whom I *also* sued. The point of my comments is not skin color or race qua skin color or race, the point is the way privilege and power are conferred to men, regardless of race, over women, again regardless of race.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 22, 2007, 5:12 pm
  24. compartments: I’m a sex worker, and one of the things at the back of mind if I ever get caught, or worse, if something happens to me like what happened to that stripper, is how much I have to lose socially, while the men would most likely be shrugged off. “Boys will be boys,” right?

    Sometimes on my own blog, if I write something that goes against what men believe about the way prostitutes should think, or complain about men’s sexist double standards, I often get extremely angry comments accusing me of being just another man-hating bitch with “issues.”

    Yeah, compartments, so true, and I’ve observed those comments on your blog. Very scary. I fear for you and all women in your situation. Men are usually willing to be “nice” to women– until the point at which we cross them. Then we pay for it, and in general, the surrounding culture will believe them, and support them, not us.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 22, 2007, 5:44 pm
  25. Yes, this is what happens when you challenge male privilege, white or native. And what do I care if it’s a white man black man or native man who is whoring out my sister. It’s all the same to me. Male supremecy.

    Hello compartments, I’m happy to see you here, and have bookmarked you.

    Posted by Pony | January 22, 2007, 6:18 pm
  26. Who saw the sympathetic “60 Minutes” account, with the boys’ fierce all-American moms ready to tear out the DA’s heart on behalf of their wronged sons? At least they made the victim look used, rather than simply evil. The fathers just sat there like window dressing, and basically said nothing; I wonder if the mothers choreographed that deliberately? (Or do the fathers really KNOW their sons did it?)

    Still, it was all about the poor victimized white boys. They were actually worrying about how Googling of names might hurt their future careers. (awww)

    Posted by MrSoul | January 22, 2007, 7:42 pm
  27. ‘“thing I have repeatedly observed:”

    Many prejudices have been justified and reinforced using this reasoning.’

    But/and: may patterns of discrimination have also been brought to light by taking note of things which happen repeatedly.

    Posted by profacero | January 22, 2007, 8:34 pm
  28. Profacero – My point is that observations, while they may seem uninfluenced by other events, are heavily filtered through our socialization and other factors.

    “Feminism is all about making generalized statements about a group of people: MEN.”

    I disagree. It’s more sophisticated and complex than that. And your statement above de-centers women.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond so extensively Heart. I’m going to bow out now.

    Posted by Melinda Casino (Sour Duck) | January 22, 2007, 8:56 pm
  29. Of course, all of our observations are all filtered in all kinds of ways. But we still have to make the observations. Until we make the observations we make, and compare them, we can’t discern patterns in the way some of us are treated as compared with others, in the way some experience discrimination as others do not. We also can’t evaluate the way our observations *are* “heavily filtered through our socialization and other factors.

    Of course feminism is much more complex and sophisticated than my statement there. But without making generalized statements about the things men have done to women through the ages, which have resulted in our subordination, there is no feminism at all. The process of women making observations out of our lived realities, and comparing them, is absolutely to center women; it is to make women and our lives, realities, and concerns of central importance in a world in which our lives, realities and concerns have been relentlessly marginalized.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 22, 2007, 9:12 pm
  30. The flip side of the coin, of course, is that the way male supremacy has been maintained, or one way, is by punishing women for telling the truths of our lives. Feminism has been about encouraging women to tell their own truths– however messy, tragic, brutal, controversial, painful-to-hear, humiliating-to-men, incendiary, women’s truths might be. To the extent that we remain silent about what has happened in our lives, to that extent we can be controlled. Speaking up is a refusal to be controlled.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 22, 2007, 9:19 pm
  31. Well, even though Melinda has bowed out:

    Yes, observations are heavily filtered through socialization and other factors, but it seems to me that the best we can do is to reflect upon them, be aware of these problems as possible … I am not sure there is a better solution … surely not taking note of one’s observations, doesn’t help?

    And yes, I’d agree that feminism is more complicated than making generalized statements about men, but there was a context for that locution in this thread. The whole post was about men (of any race) bonding over the bodies of so to speak women (of any race).

    [Heart already made both of these points better than I have here, but I’m just sayin’.]

    MrSoul, I didn’t see the 60 minutes account, but it sounds very interesting.
    And relevant. Do you have a link or something?

    Posted by profacero | January 22, 2007, 9:31 pm
  32. P.S. “This is what happens to you when you stand up to white male power. This is what happens to you.”

    I find it is important to remember that. It is SO easy to fall into conditioned thinking, “what did I do…?”

    Posted by profacero | January 23, 2007, 12:29 am
  33. Unfortunately, I’m not the least bit surprised about this response to Dines. I watched the CNN coverage, and it was actually much better than most of the coverage of the Duke case–at least they had a dissenting opinion in Cash Michaels, Gail Dines, and Kristal Brent Zook. That doesn’t mean I think the coverage was good, but in comparison to the one sided “tow the line for the defense attorneys” reports we have been seeing for months, it was better.

    I’m not surprised at the barrage of hate mail that Dines received because I’ve been getting it too for months. In fact, it is one of a few factors that has lead me to stop posting and to close comments when I do post on the subject. People have suggested that I should be raped by black men, that I should lose my job, that black women deserve to get raped, and a bunch of other hideous racist misogynist bull. It’s just hideous, and unfortunately, it has been that way from the start.

    And because all of this really ticks me off, I’m just going to go and put up a post on it because I can’t let these idiots bully me.

    Posted by Rachel | January 23, 2007, 4:07 am
  34. Yeah, Rachel. I get that hate mail too. I look forward to reading your post and have at long last added you to my blogroll. I’m slow sometimes, but I get there. 😉

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 23, 2007, 5:38 am
  35. I’ve added back in the portions of your comment which I edited out, Aradhana; they are bolded. — Heart

    You know Heart, I’m sorry this comes on the heels of the outrage expressed at you – and the hate that has been directed at you, but you know – I’ve gotta say this now – or if I post something about this later – you’ll think I’m attacking you.
    On a sidenote, I had six blog posts dedicated to hating me the last time round, but I didn’t round them up for my readership(? of three people) asking for support. I did read them and I did cry so I can understand how hurt you must be – I guess it’s kind of expected that there will be blog figthing but still I am sorry about your experience and want to make it clear that my comments have NOTHING to do with this ‘blog-war’ that is going on – and only to do with this post in particular.

    When you say the following:
    “White and Black men BOND over women’s bodies” – I can’t help but think how loaded such a statement is – because it 1) ignores the difference between white and black men on a political/social/hierarchical plane 2) it makes it sound like black and white men are just having a love-in with each other and everyone is equal – as though they are playing a game of cards
    3) it denies that black men are the subordinate ‘other’ under WHITE MALE SUPREMACY & NEOCOLONIALISM

    Have you looked at the US prison population lately Heart? Do you know that the population is disproportionately black and male? Or when black and white men were bonding was it part of the deal that black men just get the shorter end of the stick? Have you looked at the death rate and the homicide rate of black men heart? Do you know they die younger and their death rates are higher? Does that only strike you as a ‘coincidence’? In the city of Toronto alone, 70% of homicides that take place are against young black men!

    How does this card-playing game pan out? “I’ll give you one black stripper for 10 black men in prison”??? Was that the bargaining that was going on ?

    Well, if this wasn’t going on – then what does this ‘bonding’ look like?

    I think Dines made it pretty clear here: QUOTE “The case is framed as a “race” issue, which for producers meant that blacks are out for revenge for past misdeeds by whites.”

    that basically ‘hysterical black people are using this for revenge against whites’. Dines does not say “the black pastor is bonding with white media to further the idea that all ‘women who strip deserve it”….

    IT’s YOU WHO TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO DISTORT what DINES WAS SAYING for your OWN AGENDA-PUSHING.

    In fact, Dines is pretty fucking clear about her position on Rev. Peterson : QUOTE: “Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, an African American man who has made his name by slandering blacks for their racism against whites and their continuing “unwillingness” to climb out of poverty.”

    i.e. Rev. Peterson is the kind of INDIVIDUAL MAN that WHITE MEDIA LOVE because he gets to reify & justify what they think about black people already. I.e. that black people are ‘stupid, lazy and disproportionately drain the welfare system’.

    There is no “BLACK AND WHITE MALE BONDING HERE” there is one fucking self-hating African-American male who likes the two-seconds of fame that white people give him. He’s like Dinesh D’souza – a man who gets his fame by beating up people white people already love to beat up on. You on the other hand distort the TRUTH by claiming there is some kind of ‘love fest’ happening between black and white men.

    Hate me if you will – but I find it a little more than ‘coincidental’ that you write about the duke rape case only when a ‘respected’ & ‘notable’ white woman writes about it – when in fact more than several dozen black femnists have already written about this case from a WOC perspective. But I guess that wouldn’t facilitate your point that WOC are being doubly oppressed vs. singly.

    I find it rather amusing that women of colour are usually treated like ‘pieces’ rather than a whole when being discussed by white/black/white feminists etc….

    I.e. we must be forced to choose our genitals or our skin in order to fill other people’s agendas.

    Sorry, I come as a package – I know what it’s like to have south asian men being taken more seriously than me. I know what it’s like for white men to rule the world. I also know what it’s like to stand in line for 30 mins have some white woman show up a minute before and have someone take her more seriously too. Happens all the time – no matter who’s infront – WOC are always behind.

    When you claim WOC are your equals, you deny that they clean your toilets, grow your tea/coffee/vegetables, babysit your kids, make your underwear and bras, your shoes, your ipods… I know I’m a first world WOC and I claim I’m similarly posited as YOU are and reap the benefits of WOC labour globally, but really I’m sick of this denial that all pussy is the same… cause it’s not.

    The duke stripper was treated like a black-stripper, she was treated like a WOC, she was treated the way only a WOC gets treated – and that is in the context of white male supremacy, not black male hegemony (cause such a thing doesn’t exist!!!!).

    Let me share a story with you – a WOC friend of mine and I were walking down the street two summers ago. A short, skinny white man came running after us down the street shouting ‘terrorist, paki go home, stupid immigrants’… had this been two POC brothers – would this man have said that (he’d probably have the shit kicked out of him)?
    Had this been two white women – would they be called terrorists?

    The thing is Heart – all women share the brunt of sexualized violence – but even then all women are not the same nor do all men benefit equally by ‘male terrorism’.

    So this theory of yours (tainted by bad personal experiences) is harmful: Quote: “the point is the way privilege and power are conferred to men, regardless of race, over women, again regardless of race.”

    This shit makes me sick…

    you know you have clout Heart, everyone does – and since you know me – you also know that I couldn’t care less about speaking against people who have clout, I’ve done so in the past and will continue to do so – don’t even try to say something like “I have it out for you” because I think my record shows that I’ve spoken against anyone I’ve ever felt the need to, even if I’m on my own when I do it.

    Posted by AradhanaD | January 25, 2007, 6:02 pm
  36. Aradhana, I saved your original post if you want to see it. I’ve edited portions which were not directly germane and which seemed inflammatory and unnecessary to me.

    I am going to respond to your comment in depth and in detail. I’ve got answers to every line of that comment you wrote. It might take me a while though. I’m not going to respond to you while I’m angry because I might say things I regret and I don’t want to. I am going to close the comments thread now and will re-open it to add my response, then I will close the comments thread again. You have had your say here, I will have mine.

    I’m getting a lot of comments on my blog right now, including a lot of troll stuff, and that is making moderation, together with commenting and blogging, very, very time-consuming for me, and I am busy at work right now. I think this is a topic that many could use and would be very happy to use — men in particular — to deepen the divisions which already exist between you and I, and between “white feminists” and feminists of color. I don’t want any part in that and won’t host it here or allow it to happen here. As you’ve been frank, I’m being frank. I will carefully respond soon, in the next day or two. And then I will re-close the comments.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 25, 2007, 6:27 pm
  37. Aradhana, I write in response to your comment above. Note that I posted your comment in full. I re-inserted edited-out portions; they are bolded.

    I created this blog, Women’s Space/The Margins, last March. My first actual blog post was dated March 28, 2006, meaning I have blogged exactly 10 months as of today. I have an idea, though, that while I was nominated for many Koufax Awards, nobody nominated me for “Best New Blog.” I’m betting that’s because I’ve been writing about feminism and progressive issues on the internet for a long time, in many different places. I’ve had an internet presence as a feminist since 2000 or so, so for those who have been posting to feminist venues for a while, my blog, I’m betting, doesn’t seem new at all. It probably seems as though I’ve been blogging forever.

    You and I first “met,” Aradhana, in the internet kind of way, on the old Ms boards I believe. I started posting there in the summer of 2000, in June or July. If memory serves, perhaps you began posting there in 2001 or thereabouts, not long before the boards were closed. But that’s where we “met” originally, me as “Heart,” you under a different screen name. We encountered each other after that in various places, on feminist bulletin boards and ultimately on blogs.

    I don’t know whether you have read or posted to my bulletin boards, but until March of 2006, most of my feminist writing was posted to my bulletin boards, which I created in 2001. Maybe you never read or visited– there’s no way for me to know. I haven’t checked, but I don’t recall you posting there under the screen names I recognized for you. Since I interact in the blogosphere with many, many people I “met” back in the old Ms boards days, my presumption has been that likely they also have read my boards, at least occasionally. I could definitely be wrong about that, and certainly, I can’t know whether you have read my boards. So one lesson in your comment for me is that I am very mistaken to assume that anybody who reads my blog has read my writings elsewhere. Unfortunately, that has been my assumption — that those I met originally on the old Ms boards, in particular, but others as well — have likely been reading my writings on the Women’s Space/Margins boards or in other places on the internet.

    In answer to your questions about what I know about the treatment of black men in the United States, as a colonized, oppressed minority, I am going to post some excerpts from a thread on my Margins’ bulletin boards. The thread was dated in early 2004 and is still on my boards. Anybody who is interested enough in finding it can find it in its entirety. I am not going to post the link for my own reasons, most of them having to do with the fact that this is a three-year-old thread, and a lot has happened since those who were posting to it besides me, posted to it, and I’m not up to explaining all of that water under the bridge, particularly in this very public fashion. If you, Aradhana, (or anyone else reading whom I know to be a person of good will) want the link to this particular thread, though, e-mail me at cheryllindseyseelhoff@gmail.com and I will provide it to you so you can read the whole thing. If you read it, you’ll understand why I’m not posting the link publicly. Following are the portions of the thread which are relevant to your comment. My assumption has been that you read this thread, or saw it at least, as well as similar threads on my boards. Again, a lesson in your comment is that I cannot make that assumption.

    I started the thread I am excerpting from. I named the thread, “A Lynching By Any Other Name is Still a Lynching.”

    I first linked to this newspaper article and also linked to the article which follows:

    Published on Thursday, January 22, 2004 by the Los Angeles Times
    Old South Lingers in a Legal Lynching

    by Marian Wright Edelman

    There is a boy in Georgia who almost beat the odds. An African American born to a 15-year-old, drug-addicted mother and an absent father, Marcus Dixon nonetheless went on to become an honor student and all-state football star. His football skills, 3.96 grade point average and 1,200 score on his SAT won him a full scholarship to Vanderbilt University.

    Marcus, 19, was supposed to enter Vanderbilt last fall. Instead, he is serving a 10-year prison sentence with no chance of parole for having consensual sex when he was 18 years old with a white girl who was three months shy of 16. He is the only person in Georgia history this close in age to his victim to be convicted of “aggravated child molestation,” a charge that was intended to protect children from predatory adults, not imprison teenagers for having sex with other teenagers.

    That such a promising young man could be sucked into the prison pipeline and become another African American statistic speaks volumes about blacks’ vulnerability and about their disparate treatment in the justice system. From 1999 to 2000, there were 791,600 black men in jail or prison, compared with just 603,000 black men in higher education.

    And even though nearly 50 years have passed since Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman, Dixon’s case raises eerie echoes of the old Southern obsession with miscegenation.

    Marcus was raised in Rome, Ga., by his partly disabled grandmother. With her blessing, a local white Little League coach, Ken Jones, and his wife, Peri, became Marcus’ legal guardians when he was 11, and he became part of their family, which includes a teenage son and daughter. Marcus did not drink, smoke, use drugs or get in trouble. He sang in the high school chorus and worked and volunteered at the YMCA. Universities came calling; two boxes full of recruiting letters still rest beside his bed at home.

    Then, in February 2003, Marcus had sex with a girl who was almost 16, a virgin. Two days later, she accused him of rape. Investigators didn’t give either of them a lie detector test or look for the condom Marcus said he used and threw away.

    “I didn’t believe him,” the investigator explained.

    But the charge didn’t stand up. In May, a jury of nine whites and three blacks took just 20 minutes to acquit Marcus of rape. There was no forced sex, they concluded. They then were obliged to consider a lesser charge of “aggravated child molestation” — a charge that was applicable even if the sex was consensual. This statute had never before been used to prosecute consensual sex between teens with less than a three-year age difference, and a majority of states have passed “Romeo and Juliet” statutes — which deal with teen sex when both partners are close in age — for exactly these types of cases. Later, several jurors said they thought the charge was minor and were shocked when the judge announced the mandatory 10-year sentence.

    The case has been appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, and arguments were heard Wednesday. Marcus has already missed his high school graduation and lost his scholarship. If the conviction is not overturned, you can almost hear the death knell ringing for this young man’s future. Once out of prison, he would have a felony record and be required to register as a sex offender wherever he lives, effectively killing his aspiration to be a teacher and coach.

    The racism and disparate treatment that underlie this case are widespread. In 1997, although they made up only 34% of U.S. teens, minorities represented 67% of youths in detention. For those charged with violent offenses, blacks are jailed nine times more often than whites. Marcus’ case brings back memories of all the black men who were lynched, executed or imprisoned for having relationships with white women, and it recalls the way black males are perceived to this day.

    Almost 50 years may have passed since Emmett Till was lynched, but the unjust treatment of African American males goes on. No example could be more egregious or heartbreaking than that of Marcus Dixon.

    Here are excerpts from the thread which followed, with names other than my name x’d out:

    Hearrt Charter Member
    4796 posts Jan-23-04, 05:39 AM (PMT)

    5. “In other words”

    If black men deserve to be lynched– well, so do white men.
    Because racism sucks.

    Heart
    I’m a radical feminist, not the fun kind. — Andrea Dworkin

    XXXX Charter Member
    1534 posts Feb-01-04, 12:31 PM (PMT)

    6. XXXX (white feminist), responding to me:

    Yeah, the facts that a) the jury didn’t find him guilty of rape; and b) the columnists are calling the sex “consensual” without at ALL acknowledging that she says it wasn’t — that’s all about sexism.

    The fact that he’s in jail has little, if anything, to do with racism — he was found guilty of violating Georgia’s child molestation law, i.e. he had sex with a minor. An offense that carries a ten year mandatory minimum regardless of the color of the defendant’s skin. So, yeah, had he been white and found guilty of child molestation, he *still* would have been spending ten years in jail. And, I would point out, the jury *didn’t know* about the mandatory minimum.

    And I would also point out that had the sex *truly* been consensual, i.e. had the girl not made a complaint that she was raped, it’s very, very doubtful this guy would ever have seen the inside of a courtroom, much less a prison. He certainly wouldn’t have been charged with rape and I’m 99.9% certain he wouldn’t have been charged with child molestation, either, because that was a prosecutorial back-up to the rape charge.

    But had she been even a few weeks older, he wouldn’t have been punished at *all*. And *that’s* what all these guys screaming “racism” are screaming about: oh he had consensual sex with a white girl who was *almost* old enough to say yes! He shouldn’t go to jail for that! That’s racism! He shouldn’t be in jail *at all*!! It comes down to: she wanted it. He shouldn’t be punished.

    From the feminist side, it looks like if she had been a few weeks older, he wouldn’t have been punished for sexually assaulting her because — despite the race elements — nobody believes she didn’t consent. *That’s* the tragedy. That her age protected her when nobody would believe her when she said she didn’t want it, and her “wanting it” almost cleared him of everything, including the harm he did by raping her. Hey, if he’d waited a couple of weeks, he’d have gotten of scot-free. And maybe he could have been recruited by the University of Colorado, which used women to recruit football players.

    The fact that this guy is black is just being used to divert attention from the real possibility that he’s a serial sexual predator who assertedly raped a 15 year old girl, exposed himself to *another* minor girl, and “inappropriately touched”, i.e. sexually assaulted, *another* 14 year old girl. All of this *after* he reached the legal age for adulthood in the state of Georgia. Yeah, he’s a real “success” story, all right.

    The word “consensual” is being bandied about to imply that he didn’t do anything at all wrong when he “had sex” with a 15 year old girl.

    A 15 year old girl says he raped her. It that’s true, and I believe it is, he *should* be going to prison for considerably longer than the 10 years he got away with.

    Hearrt
    Charter Member
    4796 posts Feb-01-04, 02:07 PM (PMT)

    7. “Racism”
    LAST EDITED ON Feb-01-04 AT 02:11 PM (PT)

    This, from the article from the Common Dreams site, and which I know to be true:

    In 1997, although they made up only 34% of U.S. teens, minorities represented 67% of youths in detention. For those charged with violent offenses, blacks are jailed nine times more often than whites.

    is the reason I have to reject what you say here, XXXX:

    XXXX: So, yeah, had he been white and found guilty of child molestation, he *still* would have been spending ten years in jail.

    Because the likelihood is, had he been white, he would *not* have been found guilty of child molestation.

    Nobody here has, or would, argue that a rapist or a sexual predator shouldn’t pay for what he does.

    I want white boys and men paying, just like black boys and men pay though. Until that happens, women will continue to be much less safe than we would be absent institutionalized racism in this country, as manifested in the prison system.

    Heart

    XXXX
    Charter Member
    1534 posts Feb-01-04, 02:46 PM (PMT)

    9. XXXX (white feminist) responding to me, Heart:

    There’s no way to know what, if anything, Dixon would have been charged with or convicted of if he were white. So spectulating what *might* have happened, and calling the contrary result racism, simply furthers the male agenda of hiding the fact that this young girl said she was raped.

    The facts remain that *despite* him being black, and his accuser being white, he wasn’t found guilty of rape. I see no racism there. Also, it’s more than likely, as the authors of those articles you linked to state, that the jury which convicted Dixon believed that he wouldn’t be severely punished, if at all, if convicted of child molestation. It seems the mandatory 10 year minimum was a surprise to the jury. I don’t see any racism there. It’s also true that the jail sentence was a mandatory minimum, which would have been applied regardless of race. So I don’t see any racism there.

    If you’re arguing that there should be parity between prosecutions and punishments for black men and white men, well you’d better check the sources you linked to because that’s not what they’re arguing. They’re arguing that Dixon had consensual sex with an almost-16-year-old girl and *any* conviction *at all* for any sex crime is unjust and racist. That’s what *they’re* saying. Is that what *you’re* saying?

    Furthermore, the racism in prosecutions and sentences is a lot more complex than Dixon getting 10 years — on a mandatory minimum sentence — for child molestation. When he’d already been cleared of rape.

    Maybe a white guy wouldn’t have been charged with rape. Does that mean Dixon should have gotten a free pass?

    Maybe a white guy wouldn’t have been charged with, or convicted of, child molestation. Does that mean Dixon should have gotten a free pass?

    If you believe he did rape her, I suggest that the answer to both those questions should be a resounding no.

    And if you answer no, and recognize that the 10 years is a race neutral mandatory minimum sentence, I really fail to see how I should be more concerned with hypothetical racism than with actual justice for Dixon’s victim.

    He *should* be in jail. 10 years is a goddamn favor, considering what I believe he did. And considering his allegedly already well-established pattern of preying on girls younger than himself.

    The charge of racism — which looks completely unfounded given the trial results — simply makes his victims, and the harm he did to them, disappear. That’s not okay with me….

    10. “Please, read your sources again”

    Me, Hearrt to XXXX:
    LAST EDITED ON Feb-01-04 AT 03:48 PM (PT)

    XXXX, my interest here has had more to do with the talking about racism. That’s why I posted the article here, in Sex, Politics and Religion, as opposed to in the Feminism in General forum. It goes without saying that rape victims should be believed and that rapists and sexual predators should be called to account. My posting of those articles, or any articles to these boards, never means I agree with the entirety of the articles.
    Sometimes I disagree with 90 percent of an article, but I post it for the 10 percent I’m interested in talking about or that I do agree with. People who have read what I’ve written over the years and who are familiar with the content of the Margins site know how I feel about rape and sexual molestation, and they also know how I feel about believing victims. There’s no need for me to post and re-post what should be a foregone conclusion based on the entirety of my writings to these and other boards.

    So. No, this young man shouldn’t have gotten a pass– of course not. But his being brought to trial, found guilty, and sentenced to 10 years has to do, I believe, with institutionalized racism in the court system. Young white men, in fact, *do* “get a pass”– because they’re white. Because they are connected, because they have money, because they enjoy privilege. And there is occasionally some value in talking about that, I believe, on boards devoted primarily to feminism…..

    XXXX (white feminist) to me, Heart:

    Now I get it. She wasn’t really raped. She lied about being raped. She lied to the police, she lied to the prosecutor, and she lied on the stand in the courtroom. She had consensual sex which she only later described as rape because she was afraid to admit that she had consensual sex with a black man. In other words: he’s in jail because she lied about having consensual sex.

    Hearrt
    Charter Member
    4796 posts Feb-02-04, 02:30 PM (PMT)

    Me to XXXX:

    And that is what I’m saying here, you see. There is a huge, sordid, sick, racist history in this country of young white girls and white women being used and abused by white men to further the racist and misogynist agenda of those men, to include their fathers, who figure they own them like so much cattle.

    Whenever and if ever girls and women are victimized and brutalized and violated in that way by their fathers, husband, the men in their lives, their victimizers — those white men — should pay. They ought to pay. But that’s rarely the way it works. It ends up laid on the shoulders of the girls and young women they victimized, and the men walk.

    Not a single time have I ever said — or would I ever say, or even think — that this young girl “lied” about being raped. Anybody who has been thinking that way has been more wrong than I can begin to set forth here. Yeah, right. Hello. Remember me, Heart? I’m the one who stood by my niece— and I was the ONLY member of my family besides her father, my brother, to stand by her (besides Pramiti and Jeyoani but she was in L.A.); I was the one who sat through the military trial and her testimony which resulted in the convictions and imprisonments of the two black soldiers who raped her (although they weren’t found guilty of rape, they were found guilty of sodomy and sexual assault). I’m the ONLY one who believed her, besides my brother, for a *long long* time. And why? Because she knew these young men, because she’d flirted with them and hung out with them, because she’d been a troubled girl and had had problems coming up. Because about certain things she’d been less than candid in the past. So the hell what? I didn’t give a shit about that. I knew what happened because I’ve been around that fucking block many many many a time. Nobody knows like I know how a man you thought was your friend or might be one day, how a man who has been your lover can become your fucking rapist. And nobody knows better than I know how despicably sick it is to have been raped and not believed.

    Maybe this will address the apparent assumption being made here that I thought this girl was telling lies. Hell no. I’m having a pretty hard time understanding why I should have to defend myself here as against that particular inference or assumption on these boards.

    Me Heart to XXXX:
    Charter Member
    4796 posts Feb-02-04, 02:30 PM (PMT)
    LAST EDITED ON Feb-02-04 AT 02:45 PM (PT)

    Does anybody remember that story Uhura told a long time ago? She was a young girl and there was a commotion outside of her door one night. The door opened and there stood her brother’s white girlfriend, covered from head to toe with blood and bruises. Uhura asked what happened, who did this to her, and her mother or brother or father told her, “Her people, they did this to her.”

    That’s what happens to girls who don’t say the right thing in abusive, racist families, that and things much worse than that. Girls born into such families have to do whatever they have to do to survive, and as far as I am concerned *whatever* they do to survive, they are *blameless*.

    Heart

    23. Me, Heart, quoting XXXX:

    Now I get it. She was abused into lying. But she still lied. She still had consensual sex with Dixon, but then she lied about it because she was being abused. It’s not her fault, really, but still, she lied about it. We can’t blame her, after all, but he’s still not a rapist because she lied. No matter his history of sexually predatory behavior. He’s still the victim of a racist system which brutalized her into lying about being raped.

    Me, Heart: No, XXXX she didn’t lie.
    And yes, I believe he is the victim of a racist system.

    And I believe she is *also* the victim of a racist system….

    XXXX (white feminist) to me, Heart:
    LAST EDITED ON Feb-02-04 AT 03:09 PM (PT)

    Okay, so if she didn’t lie and he *did* rape her, and he *wasn’t* convicted of rape, but was convicted of charges which the jury believed carried a much lesser penalty than was actually true — where’s the racism? How, exactly, was Dixon a victim of a racist system?

    Should he not be in jail? Well, the jury clearly thought so, and clearly thought they *weren’t* sending him to jail. They all seemed pretty darn suprised about that 10 year mandatory minimum. I don’t think *they* had any intention of sending him to jail, not if you read the interviews with them. So, where’s the racist injustice there? They didn’t even *want* to send him to jail, and but for a race neutral mandatory minimum he *wouldn’t* be in jail.

    Should he not have been charged with all the various crimes he was charged with? Well, if she’s not lying and he did rape her, why *shouldn’t* he be charged with all those crimes, if the act fits the statutory definition? If he did rape her, where’s the racism in charging him with all the crimes his acts fit?

    So, where’s the racism? That he was punished less severely than a white guy would have been? Well, should he be punished less than he was because some white guy might have been punished less? But the jury thought they weren’t punishing him at all, so how could they have punished him less? The mandatory minimum is race neutral, so that’s got nothing to do with it.

    So, where’s the racism? What is Dixon a victim of? How has he been victimized, exactly

    XXXX (white feminist) to me, Heart:LAST EDITED ON Feb-03-04 AT 04:02 PM (PT)

    Frankly, if your standard here is “if it wouldn’t have happened to a white guy, it shouldn’t have happened to him”, I think you have to go a lot farther than his convictions for statutory rape and aggravated child molestation, i.e. sexual contact with a minor that causes physical injury. I mean, you’ve got to go all the way back to the decision here to charge him with rape — or even any sex crime at all.

    Here’s the case: her word against his, remote location, no witnesses, she waits a couple of days to report it, he says it was consensual, minor injuries, she didn’t fight back, she’s already damaged goods because she’s clearly had sex, he’s a football star going to Vanderbilt on a scholarship. When both the victim and perpetrator are the same race, this is the prototypical case that prosecutors decline to prosecute because it’s too difficult to get a conviction. And the difficulty of getting a conviction certainly proved itself in this mixed race case: the prosecutors didn’t even get a rape conviction. (Hey, even racism couldn’t get this guy convicted of rape.)

    So, ya gotta think: they looked at this big black man and decided that his color (and possibly his size) made a rape conviction likely enough to bring a charge of rape. Frankly, if the guy had been white, I doubt the prosecutors would have even seriously considered bringing rape charges. Ergo, he should never have been charged with *anything*.

    He should get the exact same benefit of sexism as any white guy and the victim’s complaint of rape should merely have been ignored. Hey, if you’re going to let the white rapist go free, you have to let the black rapist go free, too.

    LAST EDITED ON Feb-03-04 AT 10:38 PM (PT)
    YYYYY (white feminist) wrote:

    I think XXXX (white feminist) is spot-on and I think that it’s pissing you off to be called on this crap, Heart. I’m sorry that it’s pissing you off, but I have to admit that I’m relieved that it’s happening.

    And don’t give me the tall poppies bullshit or I swear to God, I’ll vomit right here in my office.

    One of my adult daughters then responded to YYYY (white feminist):

    Despite knowing Hearrt’s background and experiences, you think Hearrt is merely “pissed to be called on crap”–? That’s why she’s engaging in this exchange? Would that this subject were only fodder for an ego-trip! That would change the shape of not only her life but mine too.

    Hearrt’s felt the pain and seen both race and rape issues from many different angles. — I don’t know what else she could offer here for proof of her veracity and sincerity, and I’m glad she’s “only” been able to offer from her background what she has been able to here! Your opinion is simply that her opinion is “crap”? That’s arrogant considering what she’s been through to get to her “crap” opinions. It’s only decent to at the very least not accuse the “crap” opinions of coming from a crap place.

    Hearrt’s “crap” has been informed by (you already know some of this, but it seems you skimmed over it) :

    Being white, young, and raped by black men who were not punished.

    Being the rape victim told she was “lying”.

    Being aunt to a white niece, my cousin, who was raped by black men, (who were punished — unfortunately not hard enough) and she stood by my cousin at the trials.

    Being mother to a biracial daughter, me, who was sodomized by a white man/teenagers, as was a biracial brother, and the man/teens were not punished.

    Her first husband, a black man, was sent to prison w/a life sentence for attempting murder on her, a white woman. –The fact he was a black man attempting to murder a white woman is the reason why. And yes, I am glad about it. And no, I am not happy that survivors of rapes and batteries by white rapists and batterers do not *anywhere near* as often get to see the (white) men who rape and beat and kill them treated in the same way. I wish all rapists went to prison for life, period.

    She has had a black husband harrassed numerous times by white cops, for being black.

    Her biracial sons have been harrassed by cops and for driving while black.

    She has been harrassed and discriminated against for being with black men and for having biracial children.

    What is disingenious is to accuse Hearrt of less than honorable intentions in her working-out of thoughts/feelings/concerns on this particular rape case. She obviously can relate to more than one of the dynamics going on here in this case, in ways few others could. In other words a simple heads-up to the unique place she is coming from is the very least that’s in order.
    After you know what you do of her life experiences, I can’t believe you could make the accusation against her character that you did and then have the nerve to say YOU’RE the one who wants to puke.

    (My daughter)

    XXXX (white feminist) in response:

    This is where it comes down for me: If you believe this girl’s assertion that she was raped by this man, at its base this case is really about men’s sexual access to women, and whether that sexual access is going to be determined on a color line. The racism here is that a black man wasn’t granted sexual access to a white girl on the same basis (i.e. lack of punishment) as a white man. And I’m just not going to get worked up over, or get behind, an analysis of racism that reduces women to men’s sexual property.

    ****

    Birch (white European feminist) responds to XXXX:

    That seems quite clear cut.

    IMO however rape cases aren’t about men’s sexual access to women. They are about men’s violation of women’s universal human rights not to be violated.

    Other such violations are murder, battering, and other bodily harm in all forms.

    It’s not a positive (access), it’s a negative. Crime. For crimes there are legal punishments after due process. And they seem to look different for different men. That’s a violation of some men’s rights to be tried without prejudice.

    There’s a reason why suspects are tried in courts and there’s a reason why a punishment should be proportionate to the crime committed. Self justice and lynching are examples of deviations from those conventions that are agreed upon in civilised societies. Prejudiced sentences are other deviations.

    Even criminals have rights. If we give up that notion there’s nothing to stop us from going into the deep middle ages again.

    If you’re saying that you’re not interested in other rights than women’s rights, that’s OK. That’s a priority you can make. I can even understand that. Other people can choose to view this differently however.

    Birch

    ********

    51. XXXX (white feminist) responds to Birch (white European feminist):

    Except that this man’s rights haven’t *been* violated. For one, he *hasn’t* gotten 10 years for having “consensual sex” with this girl. He got ten years in jail for aggravated child molestation, i.e. sexual contact with a minor that caused physical injury. Period. You might think that 10 years is disproportionate to *that* crime, and the Supreme Court might agree with you. But he was *not* punished for having consensual sex with someone slightly younger than himself. For two, his punishment was a *mandatory minimum* that was *race neutral*. So he *wasn’t* punished disproportionately to a white guy who committed the same crime. For three, he was tried in a properly constituted court of law. By a jury from which black persons can not be legally excluded. And he has access to all the courts of appeals that any other defendant would have. Including, at this point, the U.S. Supreme Court. There was no “self justice”. There was no “lynching”. And if you can point out where there *was* vigilante justice and lynching, I’d sure appreciate it. *Nobody* said this guy doesn’t have rights. *I* didn’t say it. And I haven’t provided any links to anything that *does* say it. I said all his rights have been protected. I don’t see a violation of his rights. If you think there was one, I think there’s some burden on YOU to explain where, *exactly*, you think his rights have been violated. Not just come up with vague, theoretical statements about how “everybody has rights”. Because his supporters seem to think that the violation of his rights is this: a black man didn’t have the same sexual access to a white woman as a white man would have. Is that racism? I think it’s straight-up sexism, although policed on a color line. And the people who are screaming about racism here, seem most upset that sexism doesn’t apply equal benefits across color lines.

    *******

    Birch (white European feminist) responding to XXXX (white feminist):

    The question about whether it was consensual or not is impossible to answer from here. But I also think that this young woman should be believed, principally.

    Notwithstanding that, I’m convinced that, especially in the southern states, racism is prevalent. …But I would have liked to hear more about the ways in which black men are treated differently by the legal system. And I would have loved to hear more about the conflict between racism towards black men and violence by black men towards white women. Regardless of this case.

    I can also, hypothetically, imagine a white woman using the leverage of the legal system and the white male supremacism to get back at a black male. I’m not saying that’s what went down here. But I’m sure it has happened. And I don’t hink it’s of any service to women or to feminism to automatically assume that this doesn’t happen. I can also imagine a white supposedly racist father forcing his daughter to call it a rape, even if it wasn’t. Again, I’m not saying that’s what happened here. But I’m sure that too has happened. Why can’t that be a starting point? Since non uf us was there at the court nor has access to the files or the two people involved, obviously this case will not be solved in this forum. And I don’t think that was the point of starting the thread either.

    Me, Heart, responding to Birch (white European feminist):

    Birch, thanks for your careful and thoughtful consideration of what has actually been posted. You’ve hit on most of the issues I thought were worth talking about. What I was actually most interested in taking a look at was all the ways in which white men’s discipline of, regulation of, punishment of — racism against — black men may not *actually* and *primarily* be about race at all, but might rather be a powerful weapon in an arsenal created with the primary intention of oppressing and subjugating white women and all women. And I was interested in taking a look at how this insight shores up the radical feminist insight that oppression on the basis of sex is the main or central or foundational or primary oppression with all the other forms of oppression — racism, homophobia, classism — shoring up that first oppression.

    So you’re on it. You’re seeing it quite well, I think.

    Heart

    **********

    I think the above is responsive to your questions, Aradhana, as to whether I understand what it means to be a black man in racist America.

    If you would like, I can provide you with other excerpts from other threads in which I devoted a lot of time to analysis of racial issues.

    Note that where XXXX says, “Because his supporters seem to think that the violation of his rights is this: a black man didn’t have the same sexual access to a white woman as a white man would have. Is that racism? I think it’s straight-up sexism, although policed on a color line,” she is getting at something I very much wanted to discuss, the way that sexism is policed on a color line. That was at the heart of what I wanted to talk about, as another poster to the thread, I’ll call her ZZZZ (white feminist), also noted.

    I’m going to continue in another comment, since this is so long.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 29, 2007, 6:03 am
  38. Re the issue of black men and white men “bonding” over the bodies of women of all races. What is bolded in the definition below is what I mean when I use that word. It is from Dictionary.com.

    bond (bŏnd)

    1. Something, such as a fetter, cord, or band, that binds, ties, or fastens things together.
    2. Confinement in prison; captivity. Often used in the plural.
    3. A uniting force or tie; a link: the familial bond.
    4. A binding agreement; a covenant.
    5. A duty, promise, or other obligation by which one is bound.
    a. A substance or agent that causes two or more objects or parts to cohere.
    b. The union or cohesion brought about by such a substance or agent.
    c. A written and sealed obligation, especially one requiring payment of a stipulated amount of money on or before a given day.
    d. A sum of money paid as bail or surety.
    e. A bail bondsman.
    6. A chemical bond.
    7. A systematically overlapping or alternating arrangement of bricks or stones in a wall, designed to increase strength and stability.
    8. Law
    a. A written and sealed obligation, especially one requiring payment of a stipulated amount of money on or before a given day.
    b. A sum of money paid as bail or surety.
    c. A bail bondsman.
    9. A certificate of debt issued by a government or corporation guaranteeing payment of the original investment plus interest by a specified future date.
    10. The condition of taxable goods being stored in a warehouse until the taxes or duties owed on them are paid.
    11. An insurance contract in which an agency guarantees payment to an employer in the event of unforeseen financial loss through the actions of an employee.
    12. Bond paper.

    ****

    All I mean when I say black men and white men “bond” over the bodies of women of all races is, they are “tied,” they are “linked.” They find common cause. I don’t mean they experience warm fuzzies or they like each other or love each other or have a “love fest” or anything like that.

    This bonding occurs in many, many ways. White men and black men bond over the bodies of all women, of all races, in misogynist music and rap, in pornography, in prostitution, in rapes during wartime, at strip clubs, patronizing the “sexpresso joints,” at Hooters, wherever women are objectified and prostituted, without respect to race. They are “linked” in other words, as men, as concerns women, regardless of the race of the women. Which does not change the fact that black men are oppressed as black men under white supremacy. Which does not change the fact that white women have race privilege under white supremacy.

    As to this preacher Dines refers to, unfortunately, he is one of many, many, many such men of color in the U.S. who, linked, united with white men, particularly within fundamentalist religion, find common cause in oppressing women of all races. This is quite the phenomenon in the U.S. This was my point. More specifically, this is an area of my own expertise, my own very unusual and unique lived experience, as a woman subjugated and excommunicated, my business destroyed, *because* I was female, by men in fundamentalist religion, both men of color and white men. This is a phenomenon that, as feminist women, we must pay attention to, which we must carefully analyze and challenge, the way conservative black men, in particular, but also, to some degree, liberal black men, find common cause with white men at the expense of all women, of whatever race, particular in this era of the rise of fundamentalisms of all kinds, worldwide.

    As to not blogging about the Duke rape case until Gail Dines blogged about her experience on the Paula Zahn show:

    I didn’t begin blogging until March 28, 2006, approximately two weeks after the Duke rapes occurred. The first blog post I can find about the Duke rape case which actually cites to the facts is from blackfeminism.org, dated March 30, 2006, two days after I began this blog, citing to Rachel at Rachel’s Tavern, who cites to this article. In fact, I did post about the Duke rapes, again, to my bulletin boards, on that very same day, March 30, 2006, at 6:02 a.m. here, in a post entitled, “Duke Lacrosse Team Suspended Over Rapes”. Nobody on my boards responded to that post, so that post went nowhere, but across the blogosphere, discussions of the Duke rapes were occurring, and I participated in them whenever I felt what I had to say would be useful.

    On May 31, in a post entitled To White Feminist and Progressive Bloggers, I called white bloggers out on their racism, and in particular, the treatment Samhita of Feministing received in a thread about the Duke rape case. My post began:

    brownfemipower over on Women of Color blog has a powerful post up, Rape, Duke and Women of Color, about the treatment blogger Samhita received at the hands of white commenters in a thread at Feministing. bfp says, among so many good things:

    If racialized dehumanization of women of color is what happens on the internet, please please please explain to me again why it is so fucking impossible to believe that those poor little white “boys” could have done what they are accused of?

    Damn straight. How true are those words.

    I posted this after having privately e-mailed the white bloggers I took to task in the post.

    I completely agree with you, Aradhana, that “all pussy is not the same.” I completely agree. I completely agree with you that the experiences of white women and the experiences of women of color are different. I’ve never posted, or said, or thought, that our experiences are the same. I know better. I am the mother of five daughters of color, ages 15-31.

    I completely agree with you, too, that women of color cannot divide themselves up, so as to “sometimes” speak as “women” and other times speak as “women of color.” Women of color are women of color 24/7, 365 days per year. I know this.

    Having said that, feminism is about each woman, speaking her own truth. It’s about each of us, giving voice to our own reality, our own lived experiences in the world as women. My experience is the experience of a white woman who is a race traitor. That is my “standpoint.” That’s the reality I give voice to. I give voice to mine, and then other women give voice to theirs, women of color, white women, and then, ideally, we each consider what the others have said and make sense of it for the sake of, for the benefit of, all women. I can’t give voice to the reality of a woman of color. I can only give voice to my own reality as a white, woman, race traitor. I want to listen to what women of color have to say though. That is important to me. It matters to me. I can only hope my reality, as a race traitor — a woman with precious little company, particularly in feminism, pretty despised by men and women out of all sexes and all races, nevertheless with a unique perspective and set of lived experiences — matters to you, as well.

    When I speak of the way men of color and white men bond over the bodies of women, I know there is no love lost! I also know it is, nevertheless, in all men’s best interest to unite over the subjugation and subordination of all women, without respect to race. This *does not mean* that race doesn’t factor in when we analyze any particular event or set of circumstances. Of course, race always factors in. At the same time, so does sex. This latter is somethng that, as a feminist and a race traitor, I am very interested in. Women do experience their subjugation and oppression differently; at the same time, all women experience similar kinds of subjugation — as prostituted women, in pornography, as wives and intimate partners, with, as XXXX said up there, sexism policed along racial lines. That is something I’m interested in. That is my experience. It is my obligation, as a feminist, to give voice to my experience.

    I have more to say but I’m tired now. I wanted to get this up since I said I’d have it up in a couple days. I think that maybe I need to post a set of caveats when I write about my experiences as a race traitor, as a woman partnered to black men for a quarter of a century, with nine biracial children, now ages 15-35 (oldest turns 35 on Feb. 6), and four biracial grandchildren, ages 10-12. Perhaps I need to post links to writings I’ve done in other venues in order to provide some context for whatever it is that I am analyzing or writing about, so that I won’t be misunderstood. I do see how what I have written could be misunderstood as my targeting black men for those who have not read my writings in the past. This is not, and has never been anything I’ve wanted or intended to do, i.e., target black men. This is not “my agenda” based on my “bad experiences”. I’ve written many times, in fact, over the years about my experiences of supporting and advocating for, and protecting, my biracial sons when they have been targeted by racist cops and in the racist courtrooms of white men. Some of these writings are on another blog of mine, “My Mother is White”. I haven’t posted there for a long time, and I haven’t posted much there, because although I have much, much to say, it’s all very personal, too personal, really, for the blogosphere, and most of it is also quite painful. Additionally, for me to post about it means writing about the lives of my nine children, all but one of whom are adults. I don’t like to violate their privacy, even though they are usually very gracious about it, given that they have grown up with a writer for a mother.

    Contrary to what I posted above, I am going to leave this thread open for comments. However, I am only going to open comments to women of color and to white women who are race traitors like me, i.e., women who have been or are married to/partnered with black men and/or who have biracial children.

    This is what I have for now. Thank you for your patience.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 29, 2007, 6:42 am
  39. Look Heart,

    I’m not going to read the first message you posted in response to me – I don’t know what purpose it serves, except a way for you to show your ‘battle scars’. I wouldn’t know how to respond to that – I am not denying your work as a ‘feminist’ – I am critiquing this post. I don’t know, should I take the time to show my battle scars too? I know ALL feminists have them.

    I.e. my critiquing the way you’ve posted this – is my critiquing the way you’ve posted this – not “my critiquing who you are”.

    My point is simple and I will repeat what I am saying on this post ALONE (not the entire history of “Heart” and her interactions with the internet):

    Dines main argument is:

    A self-hating black MAN (an individual) is invited to WHITE media (a GROUP) to speak out against BLACK WOMEN (as a GROUP), to perpetuate American Racism against Blacks (as a GROUP).

    You posit this piece as:

    Black MEN (I.e. the entire group) BOND with White MEN (an entire group) over the body of a BLACK WOMAN to terrorize WOMEN (a group).

    This is a distortion of the truth. This is inflammatory.

    I can’t be any clearer with what I have to say.

    Take care
    AD

    Posted by AradhanaD | January 31, 2007, 4:50 pm
  40. I’m not going to read the first message you posted in response to me – I don’t know what purpose it serves, except a way for you to show your ‘battle scars’.

    Aradhana, in your comment which my first message was responsive to, you wrote:

    Aradhana: Have you looked at the US prison population lately Heart? Do you know that the population is disproportionately black and male? Or when black and white men were bonding was it part of the deal that black men just get the shorter end of the stick? Have you looked at the death rate and the homicide rate of black men heart? Do you know they die younger and their death rates are higher? Does that only strike you as a ‘coincidence’? In the city of Toronto alone, 70% of homicides that take place are against young black men!

    My comment to you, quoting a discussion I began three years ago about the disproportionate incarcerations of young black men, was a direct response to your question, as was the rest of my response to you.

    That wasn’t about “battle scars.” I was directly answering your question. Of course I know about this. Not only do I know, I have written about it forever. I have *lived* it forever. And taken the hits for having written about it and for having lived it. I have repeatedly defended this position you are talking about, that black men are disproportionately incarcerated.

    I.e. my critiquing the way you’ve posted this – is my critiquing the way you’ve posted this – not “my critiquing who you are”.

    And I didn’t take it as a critique of who I are. 🙂 (Smile meant to lighten things up, not to be sarcastic.) But who I am and what I have written for years and years and years, and what I have lived all of my life *inform what I write.* In ways you didn’t apparently realize, in ways which are important. You (and others) cannot correctly understand my post without knowing my standpoint, where I’m located and positioned vis a vis white people and black people. That was a lesson for me, in the writing of this post, that I have to make very clear what my standpoint and position are, something I will do in the future so that these particular misunderstandings don’t arise again.

    My point is simple and I will repeat what I am saying on this post ALONE (not the entire history of “Heart” and her interactions with the internet):

    That wasn’t the point of my responses. I understand you don’t know that, because you didn’t read the responses in their entirety.

    The point of my responses was not “the entire history of ‘Heart’ and her interactions with the internet.” The point of my responses was to provide information which was essential to the understanding of my original post. My responses were directly germane to the questions you asked of me.

    Dines main argument is:

    A self-hating black MAN (an individual) is invited to WHITE media (a GROUP) to speak out against BLACK WOMEN (as a GROUP), to perpetuate American Racism against Blacks (as a GROUP).

    You posit this piece as:

    Black MEN (I.e. the entire group) BOND with White MEN (an entire group) over the body of a BLACK WOMAN to terrorize WOMEN (a group).

    This is a distortion of the truth. This is inflammatory.

    I have taken great pains here to clarify my standpoint, my positioning and the reality I’m writing from, my own lived history, and to clarify what I mean when I say black men and white men “bond” over the bodies of women. My post was not only a commentary on what happened to Gail Dines when she went on the Paula Zahn show, it was on a broader cultural phenomenon, which this one incident evidenced, of men of color and white men finding common ground at the expense of women.

    I think what is inflammatory, Aradhana, is not what I wrote here (although I understand that I was misunderstood by you and probably by others); I think what is inflammatory is the way men do bond in their common terrorism of all women. You know that they do–particularly in pornography, in misogynist music, in prostitution. I know that they do, particularly in fundamentalist religion. The self-hating black man who showed up on Paula Zahn’s show was also a fundamentalist preacher and part of this very phenomenon about which I am very much an expert because of my unique lived experience. I have an obligation to analyze it, to think deeply about it, and yes, to write about it.

    As to your being clearer, I think you could be a lot clearer. I definitely think you would have more clarity yourself if you actually read my responses.

    That’s, of course, your call.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 31, 2007, 5:24 pm
  41. Heart,

    We all have different ways of ‘arriving at our own understandings’ (i.e our histories) – we bring them to the table when we write (that’s implicit in the way we write)- so sadly – I will disagree with you here that your first post was relevant to this particular post.

    I don’t intend to ‘bore’ you with my history and how I came to the conclusions I did about the way I’ve responded to this post the way I did. Even though I assure you my life story is quite the ‘thriller’😉. I might reveal bits and pieces of my history to support the posts/comments I write as they might be relevant.

    I noticed I missed an important point here, so I am reformulating my response to be entirely clear, edited in bold:

    Dines main argument is:

    A self-hating black MAN (an individual) is invited to WHITE media (a GROUP) to speak out against BLACK WOMEN (as a GROUP), to perpetuate American Racism against Blacks (as a GROUP) to the advantage of WHITE SUPREMACY (a group)

    You posit this piece as:

    Black MEN (I.e. the entire group) BOND with White MEN (an entire group) over the body of a BLACK WOMAN (an individual), who is a representative of WOMEN (a group), to further humiliate and terrorize WOMEN (as a group – i.e. one that includes white and black women).

    This is a distortion of the truth. This is inflammatory.

    Like all ‘women aren’t equal’ neither are all men.

    I guess this will go on and on so I am ‘bowing out’.

    Posted by AradhanaD | January 31, 2007, 5:40 pm
  42. We all have different ways of ‘arriving at our own understandings’ (i.e our histories) – we bring them to the table when we write (that’s implicit in the way we write)- so sadly – I will disagree with you here that your first post was relevant to this particular post.

    As I have said, but will repeat, my first comment was not only about my history. It was a direct answer to a direct question you asked of me.

    I don’t intend to ‘bore’ you with my history and how I came to the conclusions I did about the way I’ve responded to this post the way I did. Even though I assure you my life story is quite the ‘thriller’😉. I might reveal bits and pieces of my history to support the posts/comments I write as they might be relevant.

    I hope you do “bore” me and everybody else, all other women, with your history to the degree that it is critical to the understanding of what you write. That’s, in fact, what feminism is all about, or that’s one thing it is all about. Feminism is women, writing about our own lives, our own histories, and all of the events and acts which caused us to be feminists, to be anti-racists, to take the positions we take as to things.

    For example, Melinda wondered in her first comment whether I was disapproving of interracial relationships. Meaning she didn’t know my history of a quarter century of being interracially married. Who we are factors in to what we write. In order to communicate with one another, certain information is essential.

    I noticed I missed an important point here, so I am reformulating my response to be entirely clear, edited in bold:

    Dines main argument is:

    A self-hating black MAN (an individual) is invited to WHITE media (a GROUP) to speak out against BLACK WOMEN (as a GROUP), to perpetuate American Racism against Blacks (as a GROUP) to the advantage of WHITE SUPREMACY (a group)

    I agree.

    You posit this piece as:

    Black MEN (I.e. the entire group) BOND with White MEN (an entire group) over the body of a BLACK WOMAN (an individual), who is a representative of WOMEN (a group), to further humiliate and terrorize WOMEN (as a group – i.e. one that includes white and black women).

    No, that isn’t exactly what I’m saying. What I am saying is this particular event, although it is what you said it was above, is ALSO part of a much larger cultural phenomenon, a phenomenon in which men of color and white men increasingly find common cause in the subjugation of women of all races. The most striking example which comes to mind and which I’ve written about is what happened recently when Daniel Ortega, a leftist and former revolutionary, bonded with the Roman Catholic Church taking on the church’s pro-life position, then being elected president of Nicaragua, in large part because of his now-pro-life position, which made him attractive both to the Right and to the Left. Nicaragua has now criminalized abortion, including, for example, in the case of tubal pregnancies and pregnancies which endanger the life of mothers. That is men — men of color and white men — bonding over the bodies of all women.

    In order to make any sort of political statement, we have to make reference to classes of people, i.e., we have to speak in terms of “black men” and “white men.” If we didn’t, we couldn’t, for example, describe the way black men are disproportionately incarcerated, compared with white men. We’d have to limit ourselves to discussion ONLY of the black men who were ACTUALLY incarcerated compared with ONLY the white men who are ACTUALLY incarcerated, and if we did that, we couldn’t make any analysis of the way male power is racialized.

    In the same way, we have to speak of black women as a class of people and white women as a class of people, or we can’t talk about the way women’s subjugation is racialized.

    When I speak in terms of class, it’s always understood that I am speaking generally because that’s what political analysis requires. If we can’t speak in terms of classes, we can’t really talk politics at all.

    But again, Aradhana, the fact is that in specific ways, all men, men of color, white men, do indeed find common ground in certain forms of sexist terrorism: pornography, prostitution, fundamentalist religion, trafficking, and in their homes, their intimate relationships with women.

    It’s very true that all women are not equal and all men are not equal. We have to talk about the ways men hierarchicalize themselves and the ways women hierarchicalize themselves along the lines of race, class, age, looks, being lesbian or het, disabled or not, and so on. But I think we also have to talk, as feminists, about the times and places in which all men, of whatever race, find common ground in the subjugation of all women, of whatever race. That was what I was getting at in my post. Inflammatory or not, we have to talk about it; lots of what we talk about as radical feminists is inflammatory. Lots of it is inconvenient and unpleasant. I don’t think that anything I’ve posted is in any way a distortion of “truth,” but again, you’d have to read what I’ve written to know that.

    Heart

    [Note, Melissa wrote to tell me it was Melinda, not her, Melissa I meant to reference above, so I’ve changed it. Thanks, Melissa! — Heart]

    Posted by womensspace | January 31, 2007, 6:02 pm
  43. Thinking more about this:

    Dines main argument is:

    A self-hating black MAN (an individual) is invited to WHITE media (a GROUP) to speak out against BLACK WOMEN (as a GROUP), to perpetuate American Racism against Blacks (as a GROUP) to the advantage of WHITE SUPREMACY (a group)

    You know, this was another important aspect of Dines’s analysis:

    My anger at the way the media humanized these men as victims and dehumanized the woman as the perpetrator of a lie clearly stood out from the rest of the show. And this was, I am now convinced, the producer’s goal. I was set up in the show to be an example of the problem — white liberal elites who have taken political correctness too far. I was not brought on as a researcher or activist but as an example of how feminists “rush to judgment” in order to further their man-hating propaganda.

    Virtually every email I have received blasts me as a conniving feminist who didn’t even bother to know the facts of the case. These men — yes, they all were from men — explained to me that the facts show without question that nothing happened that night, which I would have known if I were not so busy trying to further my feminist agenda.

    See, Dines is talking here about male power. She is saying that the white male students were humanized and depicted as victims of a “stripper” who lied. The black self-hating preacher was not speaking out against black women (as a group), if you read what he said. He was speaking out against women who have “no morality”, who have “children out of ‘wedlock'”, who are “strippers.” This perpetuates sexism. He isn’t talking about black (or white) women who are not strippers, who get married and have kids “in” wedlock. He was brought in to lend credibility and legitimacy to the claims of the white students/rapists, as a pre-emptive strike against charges of racism, and as evidence that not only white men were on the side of the accused rapists, but some black men were, too. The result was what Dines said it was: she was made to look like a “white liberal elite taking political correctness too far,” because look, this black man sided with the rapists against Dines. Dines was offered up as a testimony to white feminist manhating, of the fact that we “rush to judgment” against men when women say they are raped.

    While it is true that what happened was to the advantage of white supremacy, as you say, it was simultaneously a blow to all women, white and black, who are prostituted or strippers dismissed as “immoral” and “liars”. It was an attack on all women, white and black, who have children “out of wedlock” as similarly immoral and liars.

    In my e-mail box this morning I got an e-mail from Fran Luck of Pacifica radio stating that now in North Carolina, women reporting rapes are being asked by policemen to take lie detector tests.

    Advocates: Duke Case Has Chilling Effect

    WNCN-TV

    RALEIGH, N.C. — As the Duke lacrosse case has evolved, it has remained a high profile case in the public eye, not just here in the Triangle — but nationally. As a result of all that attention, those who deal with rape cases say they’re beginning to see some fallout. The executive director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault is one of the advocates who are detecting that fallout. The Coalition provides support and services for 76 agencies across the state that deal with rape victims and she’s basing her opinions on what she’s hearing from around the state. The saturation coverage of the Duke lacrosse case has been seen all across the country. It’s the latest high profile rape case the media has focused on. But, advocates here in North Carolina say with all the continuing coverage about changing details, timelines and charges and counter charges, they’re noticing a difference in the way some law enforcement agencies treat those who are reporting rape. “For the first time some law enforcement agencies who we’ve never gotten reports from in terms of being victim-sensitive and centered in their approach, we’ve gotten calls from victims saying we’ve been asked to take a polygraph test or was asked very up front do I want to move forward and have an investigation of the rape case,” said Monika Johnson, the agency executive director. That worries advocates because they say those kinds of reactions from law enforcement have a chilling effect on rape victims making them: “Less inclined to report, less inclined to move forward,” Johnston said. Although the agency’s evidence is anecdotal, there’s another side to the story. The Raleigh Police Department says polygraphs are never used on those reporting rapes. “That is not something we do when a rape victim comes in,” said Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue. “She is not asked to take a polygraph test. It is simply a matter of being interviewed in the same way as if the crime was a robbery or an assault of another type.” And the Wake County Sheriff’s Office tells NBC17 it too is not going to be swayed by current events saying they’re policies have not changed in rape cases. Advocates say we in the media must also be careful about the way we report high profile cases because the saturation coverage tends to cloud the basic story.

    ****

    What happened on the Paula Zahn show was one of many, many similar events which serve to make life more difficult for *all* women, white and black, and which serve to benefit *all* men, both white and black. Now it is somewhat easier to rape a woman and get away with it in North Carolina. Now it is more difficult to report having been raped in North Carolina. This is true without respect to whether the rapists or the victims are white or of color.

    That is the point I was making, or one point.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | January 31, 2007, 7:57 pm
  44. I told myself I wouldn’t bother posting again, if the black preacher wasn’t brought to speak about against black women – then why didn’t they just get a white preacher? I’m sure there isn’t any shortage of white right-wing preachers in the USofA who’d be happy to speak against the immorality of ‘women’ as a group. Hell, they didn’t have to bother getting a preacher at all – just pick one of the many representatives of your senate, I see they come a dime a dozen to facilitate the idea that women ‘deserve what is coming to them because of their ‘promiscuity’. See Heart, it’s simple – they got a black preacher to further notions of the AMMORALITY OF BLACK WOMEN, as representative of the ‘inferiority of the BLACK ‘RACE’.

    After all, in mainstream discourses it is ‘women’ that make a ‘culture’ virtuous – and if women are ‘not virtuous’ then ‘women’ are to blame for the ‘demise’ of morality in said culture. i.e. It’s always “MOM’s” fault when the kids are messed up.

    And because Black peoples in mainstream discourses are believed to be of a ‘separate’ culture than ‘white people’s’ (when in fact they’ve been cohabiting the same country for centuries), they’re ‘culture’ is blamed.

    I see absolutely NOTHING that counters this from Dines own report.

    They could have easily brought in a pro-feminist black man, but they didn’t…. And there are indeed MANY pro-feminist black men who sadly seldom get called on by the media because it is not in the best interest of white supremacy to have a black man speak out against sexism.

    Heart, you could bring in a thousand responses – I stand by what I’ve said.

    I won’t aggravate you further and should probably not have posted to this thread again. Thanks for ‘asking me to share my history’, but I don’t think I’ve said I wouldn’t – I said I would when and where they were relevant to the argument/post at hand (I think I made that clear in my comments).

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 4:27 am
  45. I told myself I wouldn’t bother posting again, if the black preacher wasn’t brought to speak about against black women – then why didn’t they just get a white preacher? >

    As I’ve already posted, they got a black preacher as a pre-emptive strike against charges of racism, i.e., “See, this black preacher agrees she is immoral and a liar and should be punished for causing problems for all of these white boys.” When in fact, he was there, among other reasons, to further his own fundamentalist agenda in which women are to be “chaste, virtuous, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands,” and wherein they are supposed to bear children within their marriages. This is the cultural phenomenon you are refusing to address and which I will be addressing continually, because I am a survivor of it in the precise same way this stripper was. I, too, was immoral, because I divorced my husband and took up with another man while I was still legally married. I too was immoral because I bore children without being legally married to their fathers. Therefore, said the preachers, black and white, I was a liar and should not be believed when I said they and people who shared their beliefs destroyed my business for their own gain. Which they did. I had to bring a lawsuit in federal court in order to demonstrate who was telling the truth. I was. Me, the immoral harlot. I was the truth teller, despite my immorality. They were the liars. That’s what my lawsuit proved. And here’s the thing, as I keep saying, which you keep choosing to ignore, it was *both* white male fundamentalists *and* male fundamentalists of color who did what this preacher did– called me a liar. Called me immoral and a “Jezebel” and “in sin” and not to be believed. They were in solidarity as to that.

    Anyway, this is the same thing– a preacher throwing down over “immorality” and “illegitimacy” and why women like this woman should not be believed. His words are right there. He made a perfect guest for a show intended to further dehumanize and humiliate this woman and all women situated similarly– whatever their race. He was perfect because he was a man of color, and the white people who most benefitted from dehumanizing and humiliating the stripper could use him if anyone accused them of racism.

    Aradhana, with all due respect, you continue to skip over and ignore this very central and crucial reason for my talking about this preacher. He is a Christian fundamentalist. Christian fundamentalism in the U.S. and fundamentalisms worldwide, all of them on the rise and increasing in power, *teach that women are to be subjugated and subordianted to men.* ALL women. Subjugated and subordinated to ALL men, without respect to race. That is a central significance to me of this story and is an important reason I blogged about it.

    – just pick one of the many representatives of your senate, I see they come a dime a dozen to facilitate the idea that women ‘deserve what is coming to them because of their ‘promiscuity’. See Heart, it’s simple – they got a black preacher to further notions of the AMMORALITY OF BLACK WOMEN, as representative of the ‘inferiority of the BLACK ‘RACE’.

    Yes, I believe that this was also the agenda of the white producers of the show, I wouldn’t argue that in any way. That doesn’t change the other agendas which were obviously present, agendas I believe we have to talk about as feminists because all women are affected by them.

    And because Black peoples in mainstream discourses are believed to be of a ’separate’ culture than ‘white people’s’ (when in fact they’ve been cohabiting the same country for centuries), they’re ‘culture’ is blamed.

    Here again — do you know, Aradhana, where white people and people of color share a very specific culture in this country? In the fundamentalist, conservative Christian community. There, men of color and white men speak the same language. There, they are in solidarity in their subjugation of women. This man was called, among other reasons, as a representative of what many in this country view as a very virtuous and moral culture. The fact that he was black made him perfect, again, in that if anybody called the producers racist, they could point to the black preacher who agreed with them. They tokenized him all right, but he stepped right up to the plate, because he has his own fundamentalist Christian agenda which grants him certain benefits, in particular, access to a certain amount of male power granted to all men of color who will join with white men who are also fundamentalist Christians.

    You can keep ignoring this if you want to, playing right past, but if you do, you are ignoring an extremely important phenomenon of this time in history in the U.S. and throughout the world, something that has and continues to deeply affect women, a phenomenon which offers a rationale for women’s ongoing dehumanization and subjugation which many, many people honor and accept because it is believed to be divinely sanctioned.

    They could have easily brought in a pro-feminist black man, but they didn’t….

    Of course they didn’t. He wouldn’t have said what they wanted him to say! That’s the whole point.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 5:05 am
  46. You also keep skipping over all the other ways white men and men of color do, indeed, bond over the bodies of women, which I’ve mentioned. In pornography. In prostitution. In misogynist media/music/rap. In sex trafficking. And in fundamentalisms.

    Why are you skipping over all of that. It doesn’t change the fact that men are hierarchicalized along the lines of race. What it says, though, is that all men, as I have said, do bond over the bodies of all women, in certain ways. You know this, as an anti prostitution, anti-pornography feminist.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 5:15 am
  47. Oh bollocks, I might as well USE the OPPORTUNITY you’ve afforded me when you made an entirely new post about this topic (because of your comments section issues), because I think this is a problem that is SHARED AMONGST THE RADICAL FEMINIST community (as well as EVERY OTHER WHITE FEMINIST who does not understand “third worldist feminist” viewpoints).

    So, thanks for allowing me the opportunity to keep responding to you. My comments are in BOLD, yours are in Italics. [Note– I blockquoted mine so yours could be regular text–Heart] I also want to remind you that this is particularly about the DINES ARTICLE and your original POST. I.e. an instance where an issue in which a black stripper was assaulted was distorted by the MEDIA.

    When in fact, he was there, among other reasons, to further his own fundamentalist agenda in which women are to be “chaste, virtuous, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands,” and wherein they are supposed to bear children within their marriages. This is the cultural phenomenon you are refusing to address

    How have I refused to address this? That’s fairly implicit in my argument. But let me clarify what I think about ‘Christianity’ and what I am sure you too will agree with. Christianity was used as a system to ‘pacify and sanitize’ POC everywhere. In fact, it afforded POC some “benefits” via Missionaries who spread their gospels. So basically, if you became a Christian you could and were a ‘better savage’. You got access to healthcare, education etc… You were a ‘tamed savage’. Now, this is NOT TO DISCREDIT the ‘spiritual, healing, community building’ opportunities that organized religion offers POC. It is not to discredit the personal feelings of ‘love’ & ‘strength’ that POC derive when they worship Jesus. But as a SYSTEM, POC Christians are held up as a ‘model’ for other BACKWARDS religions to follow.

    Don’t forget that being a RELIGIOUS MINORITY in many western countries is still a ‘crime’. Imagine now, if all Blacks had converted to ISLAM immediately after slavery… HOW WOULD THAT PLAY OUT? As a “Hindu” born woman (hindu-atheist to be precise) I have had my fair share of experiences with religious intolerance.

    This INDIVIDUAL Black preacher in this instance acted as a MODEL MINORITY for the WHITE MEDIA. I.e. as a model black man – a man that can be used as a weapon against his RACE when needed. Similar to how South Asians are often used as ‘weapons’ against black people in general (in response to the oft repeated question ‘why is it that other coloured people succeed and blacks don’t?’). Likewise how Dinesh D’souza is often used as am example of how ‘South Asians’ (a mostly well-to-do community in the USA) can benefit by going republican.

    While these individuals reap SOME benefits in the short-term – overall such benefits can and often are used against the GROUP in instances where white media want to distort the issue at hand. It’s how many feminists take issue with religions and wonder why women are attracted to religion. But this is where it gets messy religion can and does offer ‘individual and personal benefits to people – in regards to ‘spirituality” but as an INSTITUTION religion functions as a way to keep people oppressed as groups.

    And here’s the thing, as I keep saying, which you keep choosing to ignore, it was *both* white male fundamentalists *and* male fundamentalists of color…

    Right, and as I said in this situation particularly MOC do not ‘benefit’ as a group from CHRISTIANITY. Had this man been an IMAM or a RABBI he would not have been invited to the zahn show. I mean why bother bringing in a religious man in the first place? Could have just brought a senator.

    His words are right there. He made a perfect guest for a show intended to further dehumanize and humiliate this woman and all women situated similarly– whatever their race.He was perfect because he was a man of color, and the white people who most benefitted from dehumanizing and humiliating the stripper could use him if anyone accused them of racism.

    Heart, you make it sound like it’s a ‘coincidence’ that he was invited to this show as a ‘black man’. And again I repeat ALL MEN ARE NOT EQUAL. White Media used a BLACK MAN to put a BLAcK WOMAN in her place (i.e that this issue was not about racism or sexism).

    Aradhana, with all due respect, you continue to skip over and ignore this very central and crucial reason for my talking about this preacher. He is a Christian fundamentalist. Christian fundamentalism in the U.S. and fundamentalisms worldwide, all of them on the rise and increasing in power, *teach that women are to be subjugated and subordianted to men.*

    And again I ask you why didn’t they just invite a white preacher on the show?

    Aradhana, where white people and people of color share a very specific culture in this country? In the fundamentalist, conservative Christian community. There, men of color and white men speak the same language. There, they are in solidarity in their subjugation of women.

    I think you are over-simplyfying the issue here. Had black people been pagans or Muslim – it might have been easier for you to see how ‘religious intolerance’ operates. While the mechanisms of “fundamentalism” of any kind operate similarly WITHIN communities – globally, they operate under in which white people (and therefore their religions) are placed at the top. So again, all ‘Christians’ are not afforded the same privileges that white Christians are afforded.

    And in this particular incident the black preacher was invited as a “model upstanding representative” of what the BLACK COMMUNITY should aspire to. It’s funny that despite the wonderful ways that ‘religion’ brings black peoples together, it is also often black preachers and leaders who ‘theoretically’ side with white media to criticize WAYWARD BLACK YOUTH. I.e the “Cosbyization” of black youth. I.e. ‘the reason black kids today are all killing each other is cause of the rap music and their lack of love for Jesus’. This type of reasoning obviously ignores the larger dynamics of resource allocation and opportunities for black youth.

    Again, it was not a coincidence that he was invited as a black man to the show.

    They tokenized him all right, but he stepped right up to the plate, because he has his own fundamentalist Christian agenda which grants him certain benefits, in particular, access to a certain amount of male power granted to all men of color who will join with white men who are also fundamentalist Christians.

    Sure, he stepped up to the plate – cause he got ‘temporary privilege’ as soon as he says anything against white supremacy his privilege gets revoked. While the media might be happy to have him on the show, they’re laughing at him when he leaves the building.

    You also keep skipping over all the other ways white men and men of color do, indeed, bond over the bodies of women, which I’ve mentioned. In pornography. In prostitution. In misogynist media/music/rap. In sex trafficking. And in fundamentalisms.

    Woah — that’s a hell of a lot to digest in one go. I repeat there is no BONDING. you make it sound like there exists in some utopia a giant frat house where all MOC sit around drink beer, bang chicks and jeer at women. When in fact – if anything NOW – should be a time for you to realize how different and marginalized all peoples of colour are.

    I would never deny that sexism exists and isn’t enacted by MOC globally – and if anyone’s called me a feminazi or a “kutiya” it’s been men from my ‘own community’. But I’m only going to respond to one of these accusations here, ever look at “RAP VIDEOS”…. Who are the ‘booty dancers’ in those Videos???? By and large it’s repeatedly black women who are the ‘video hoes’. It’s rarely (if ever) white women who are depicted in these videos (or you can imagine women like Fergie and Gwen Stefani who coopt such music and break off on their OWN – i.e. are not ‘owned’ by black men in these videos). Can you imagine the furor that would occur if god forbid, those ‘video hoes’ were exclusively white women? The white christians would be up in arms and those videos would be banned.

    Why are you skipping over all of that. It doesn’t change the fact that men are hierarchicalized along the lines of race. What it says, though, is that all men, as I have said, do bond over the bodies of all women, in certain ways. You know this, as an anti prostitution, anti-pornography feminist.

    No what I know as an anti-porn feminist is that “MOC own WOC”, and WHITE MEN OWN US ALL. Individual cases like yours are sad and I am so sorry that you were used by everyone for the purpose of proving that wayward women don’t deserve sympathy. But this does not deny that systematically BLACK preachers and non-conforming POC are pitted against each other for the glorification of the WHITE SUPREMACY. And particularly in the DINES article it is clear that the black preacher was used to prove that this case was not about racism or sexism. Feminists don’t ‘benefit’ the media, but proving the ‘innate’ inferiority of black people (via a token representative) does benefit the media.

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 5:36 pm
  48. Damn it, several of the paragraphs are not in bold – when they should be.

    All your comments are italicized, mine are in bold or ‘straight’.

    Later

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 5:41 pm
  49. let me clarify what I think about ‘Christianity’ and what I am sure you too will agree with. Christianity was used as a system to ‘pacify and sanitize’ POC everywhere. In fact, it afforded POC some “benefits” via Missionaries who spread their gospels. So basically, if you became a Christian you could and were a ‘better savage’. You got access to healthcare, education etc… You were a ‘tamed savage’. Now, this is NOT TO DISCREDIT the ’spiritual, healing, community building’ opportunities that organized religion offers POC. It is not to discredit the personal feelings of ‘love’ & ’strength’ that POC derive when they worship Jesus. But as a SYSTEM, POC Christians are held up as a ‘model’ for other BACKWARDS religions to follow.

    Agreed.

    Don’t forget that being a RELIGIOUS MINORITY in many western countries is still a ‘crime’. Imagine now, if all Blacks had converted to ISLAM immediately after slavery… HOW WOULD THAT PLAY OUT? As a “Hindu” born woman (hindu-atheist to be precise) I have had my fair share of experiences with religious intolerance.

    Agreed.

    This INDIVIDUAL Black preacher in this instance acted as a MODEL MINORITY for the WHITE MEDIA. I.e. as a model black man – a man that can be used as a weapon against his RACE when needed. Similar to how South Asians are often used as ‘weapons’ against black people in general (in response to the oft repeated question ‘why is it that other coloured people succeed and blacks don’t?’). Likewise how Dinesh D’souza is often used as am example of how ‘South Asians’ (a mostly well-to-do community in the USA) can benefit by going republican.

    Completely agree.

    While these individuals reap SOME benefits in the short-term – overall such benefits can and often are used against the GROUP in instances where white media want to distort the issue at hand. It’s how many feminists take issue with religions and wonder why women are attracted to religion.

    Agreed.

    But this is where it gets messy religion can and does offer ‘individual and personal benefits to people – in regards to ’spirituality” but as an INSTITUTION religion functions as a way to keep people oppressed as groups.

    Agreed.

    Right, and as I said in this situation particularly MOC do not ‘benefit’ as a group from CHRISTIANITY. Had this man been an IMAM or a RABBI he would not have been invited to the zahn show. I mean why bother bringing in a religious man in the first place? Could have just brought a senator.

    I think that men of color, no matter what their brand of religious fundamentalism, benefit from their religion to the degree that it authorizes and valorizes sexism as godly or righteous. The religious man was invited to the show because he would show up and would say what the producers wanted him to say.

    Heart, you make it sound like it’s a ‘coincidence’ that he was invited to this show as a ‘black man’.

    All I can say to this is, you’re not following what I’ve written, and that might be because you haven’t read all of what I’ve written. The only way it makes sense for you to say what you’ve said there is that you haven’t read my words, you aren’t following them, or you are attempting to shoehorn me into positions I have never taken, will never take, and don’t believe.

    I think this particular black man, a Christian fundamentalist, was enlisted in the white heterosupremacist project of dehumanizing and discrediting the “stripper” in the Duke case. There is nothing coincidental about the fact that he was black. Of course he was. That was the whole point, as I’ve repeatedly said, to get a man of color on the show who would say what the white producers wanted him to say.

    And again I repeat ALL MEN ARE NOT EQUAL.

    Completely agree. I’ve said the same thing, over and over again, in my posts to this thread, (at least one of which you haven’t read, which is a problem.)

    White Media used a BLACK MAN to put a BLAcK WOMAN in her place (i.e that this issue was not about racism or sexism).

    Agreed.

    And again I ask you why didn’t they just invite a white preacher on the show?

    See– again. Aradhana, with all due respect, you are either not reading or not following my words. You aren’t understanding me.

    Over and over I’ve agreed that they brought this guy on the show as a token, as a pre-emptive strike against charges of racism, because he’d say what they needed him to say to prove, as you say, that this was not an issue of sexism or racism.

    I think you are over-simplyfying the issue here. Had black people been pagans or Muslim – it might have been easier for you to see how ‘religious intolerance’ operates. While the mechanisms of “fundamentalism” of any kind operate similarly WITHIN communities – globally, they operate under in which white people (and therefore their religions) are placed at the top. So again, all ‘Christians’ are not afforded the same privileges that white Christians are afforded.

    Very true. However, black male Christians and white male Christians are all afforded privileges no woman is afforded, white or black. The same is true in Islam, in Orthodox Judaism. This is a feminist issue, one I’m always interested in talking about and pointing it out when it is evident, as here.

    And in this particular incident the black preacher was invited as a “model upstanding representative” of what the BLACK COMMUNITY should aspire to. It’s funny that despite the wonderful ways that ‘religion’ brings black peoples together, it is also often black preachers and leaders who ‘theoretically’ side with white media to criticize WAYWARD BLACK YOUTH. I.e the “Cosbyization” of black youth. I.e. ‘the reason black kids today are all killing each other is cause of the rap music and their lack of love for Jesus’. This type of reasoning obviously ignores the larger dynamics of resource allocation and opportunities for black youth.

    Totally agree. Where have I suggested otherwise? I haven’t. Not ever.

    Again, it was not a coincidence that he was invited as a black man to the show.

    See a few paragraphs up. See, basically, all my responses to your comments so far.

    Again, you aren’t understanding what I’m writing. You aren’t following me. You don’t get it that I don’t disagree with you about this, for whatever reason.

    Sure, he stepped up to the plate – cause he got ‘temporary privilege’ as soon as he says anything against white supremacy his privilege gets revoked. While the media might be happy to have him on the show, they’re laughing at him when he leaves the building.

    Absolutely. I completely agree.

    Quoting me, Heart: You also keep skipping over all the other ways white men and men of color do, indeed, bond over the bodies of women, which I’ve mentioned. In pornography. In prostitution. In misogynist media/music/rap. In sex trafficking. And in fundamentalisms.

    Aradhana: Woah — that’s a hell of a lot to digest in one go. I repeat there is no BONDING. you make it sound like there exists in some utopia a giant frat house where all MOC sit around drink beer, bang chicks and jeer at women.

    Aradhana, look. I very, very carefully explained what I meant in the use of the word, “bonding”. It’s way up there, carefully set forth. What you’ve written there is NOT what I meant and I spent a lot of time clarifying my meanings.

    When in fact – if anything NOW – should be a time for you to realize how different and marginalized all peoples of colour are.

    Again, you haven’t been reading what I write, and you’re not understanding the position I have taken. People of color experience racism. Of course, that’s not something white people experience. But who has ever suggested otherwise?

    I would never deny that sexism exists and isn’t enacted by MOC globally – and if anyone’s called me a feminazi or a “kutiya” it’s been men from my ‘own community’. But I’m only going to respond to one of these accusations here, ever look at “RAP VIDEOS”…. Who are the ‘booty dancers’ in those Videos???? By and large it’s repeatedly black women who are the ‘video hoes’. It’s rarely (if ever) white women who are depicted in these videos (or you can imagine women like Fergie and Gwen Stefani who coopt such music and break off on their OWN – i.e. are not ‘owned’ by black men in these videos). Can you imagine the furor that would occur if god forbid, those ‘video hoes’ were exclusively white women? The white christians would be up in arms and those videos would be banned.

    All I’m going to say to this is, white women certainly are trafficked and prostituted pornstituted, in all sorts of ways, including by men of color, just as women of color are trafficked and prostituted and pornstituted, in all sorts of ways.

    No what I know as an anti-porn feminist is that “MOC own WOC”, and WHITE MEN OWN US ALL.

    Completely agree.

    Individual cases like yours

    That’s what I’m saying to you, though. Mine is not the “individual case.” Men of color have and continue, increasingly in this age of growing and increasing fundamentalism, to make common cause with white men, as against all women, under the aegis of fundamentalist religion which preaches male dominance and female submission. MOC and white men find common cause in working to forbid reproductive rights. They find common cause in working to forbid abortion. They find common cause in working to prohibit lesbian rights and gay rights. They find common cause in enforcing all of the stereotypes patriarchal religion imposes on women– that women should be in the home, devoted to husband, family and domesticity, not working in the marketplace, bearing children, married to men, monogamous, submissive to men, following men, encouraging men to lead, never divorcing, submitting to abuse. They find common cause in condemning “immoral” women. This common cause-making benefits all men: men of color, white men, on the micro level, on the macro level. It hurts all women: women of color, white women.

    This is not to say — as again, I’ve said, over and over again — that white men and white women do not have race privilege vis a vis persons of color. Of course they do. Of course they do.

    At the same time, once again, in some ways all men, both men of color and white men, enjoy privilege as to all women, both women of color and white women.

    are sad and I am so sorry that you were used by everyone for the purpose of proving that wayward women don’t deserve sympathy

    It wasn’t about sympathy or my not deserving sympathy. It was about going about to destroy my publication in order to punish a woman who got out of line. They weren’t trying to prove I didn’t deserve sympathy. They were trying to prove women like me, who get out of line, need to be taken *out*, whatever their race. Which is what they did. Which is why I sued their asses off.

    I’m not the only one, either, Aradhana. I was in some ways a shot across the bow for the Religious Reconstructionists in the U.S. But what was done to me has been done to thousands of women, probably millions of women, it just hasn’t been as highly publicized, and those women aren’t on the internet, blogging about it. Yet.

    That’s why I write about this. Fundamentalism, fundamentalist males, are a threat to all women, everywhere, whether religious or not, fundamentalist or not, whether white or women of color.

    Do you see my post of today where the woman was raped, jailed and refused emergency contraception because of the religious beliefs of the jail employee? That’s a consequence of *religious fundamentalism*. It threatens us *all* as women– in or out of religion, regardless our race.

    But this does not deny that systematically BLACK preachers and non-conforming POC are pitted against each other for the glorification of the WHITE SUPREMACY.

    Completely agree.

    And particularly in the DINES article it is clear that the black preacher was used to prove that this case was not about racism or sexism. Feminists don’t ‘benefit’ the media, but proving the ‘innate’ inferiority of black people (via a token representative) does benefit the media.

    Proving the innate inferiority of women also benefits the media– because the media is male dominated and the U.S. is a sexist nation which worships at the feet of male heterosupremacy. The Paula Zahn show was, in fact, both sexist and racist and it harmed us all.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 6:24 pm
  50. See, what it seems like you’re trying to say is that because the black preacher invited to the Paula Zahn show was tokenized, because his words and behavior were used in an attempt to show that the Duke case wasn’t about racism, and because he, himself, is targeted for racism, it can’t be said that he, as a man of color, was making common ground with white men (I’m not using the word “bonding” anymore! Even though I think it’s a fine word as I’ve explained at length.) But that isn’t so. Even though he was tokenized, he was nevertheless enlisted in a racist and sexist media project, he was used in ways which were racist and sexist, he was still making common ground with white men in ways which, in the end, benefit all men, both MOC and white men, and harm all women, WOC and white women. He had the floor there, you know? He got a chance to say what MOC and white men all over the country like to hear men saying, even if they aren’t religious: that the stripper got just what she deserved in that ruling. That she asked for whatever she got. That she was immoral and wrong and therefore deserving of nothing. That is a message which, no matter WHO delivers it, if it is widely circulated and widely believed (which it is) harms all women, and benefits all men.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 6:39 pm
  51. [Note: Aradhana, I’m just going to respond directly inside your comment here. — Heart]

    Okay, at this point I’m really going to ‘bow out’. This is when you get all patronizing and condescending Heart – and I’m in no way going to participate in my own humiliation:

    See– again. Aradhana, with all due respect, you are either not reading or not following my words. You aren’t understanding me. Later, Again, you haven’t been reading what I write, and you do not, in fact, understand the position I have taken. Again, You aren’t understanding what I’m writing. You aren’t following me.

    I have yet, so far avoided ‘talking down’ to you by saying ‘you don’t understand what I’m saying’ but the examples above (and some below will point out what you’ve just done. At this point, I too will ‘talk down’ – because you’ve got me on the defensive.

    Me, Heart: How does it work to straight up say you are not going to read certain of my comments, which are directly responsive to your own comments, and then get irate because I say you aren’t understanding. How is it possible to understand a position you are, at times, refusing to read?

    We aren’t in agreement at all, you claim to ‘agree’ with parts of my argument – and yet fail to ‘see’ the argument in it’s entirety – and I won’t take such points from you when you imply I’m an ‘idiot’ because I fail to ‘see’ your point. I see your point, and have taken time to respond to each argument you make.

    Yet, you seem to think MOC somehow lose their ‘status’ as MOC sometimes – and that racism (unlike sexism) doesn’t operate 24/7. So this is where we disagree, not because “i don’t see your point” or that you “agree with me on some points and not others” – because you can’t “SEE” the ENTIRE PICTURE. MOC like women who ‘benefit’ from partaking in sexist beauty standards ‘benefit’ when they practise Christianity. The way that oppression operates is similar.

    Me, Heart: I think that men of color experience racism 24/7, that racism operates 24/7, and that men of color still benefit from sexism 24/7, though not the way white men do.

    Likewise, Madonna makes money because she partakes in sexist beauty standards. Madonna does not make money because she is a champion for the socio-economic justice for women. (though on a very minute level she might help out here and there). How the media portray Madonna is to show how you too can be an ’empowered’ woman – when the vast number of women are not ‘socially/economically’ empowered.

    Likewise, Black MOC get status from ‘being upright citizens’. Black preachers do not gain status from being champions for the socio-economic justice of POC. (though on a very minute level they might help out here and there).

    Me, Heart: Martin Luther King. Malcolm Ex. Gandhi.

    The media also likes to provide examples of ‘intelligent/successful/god-fearing’ POC – when in fact the majority of POC are religiously/culturally/socio-economically disenfranchised.

    The American Dream is one based on meritocracy – you need to keep providing ‘rags to riches’ examples to make sure that ‘dream looks achievable’. How do you achieve it most of the time – by being hardworking consumers and passive receptacles for media bombardment.

    Even these views are oversimplified but I use them to support my argument.

    Again Do you see MY post where (emphasis mine)Aradhana, look. I very, very carefully explained what I meant

    This is where your condescension is just unbelievable… You do this a lot you know and I don’t think you realize it. You’re patronizing and FULL of yourself.

    You post your history to 1) talk about your activism and dedication (similar to the way an academic might say “look at me – I did all this research. I’m such a smarty pants – didn’t you read the book I wrote last year on this very topic?”) 2) you assume I should be reading your boards and doing my research on you (sorry, plenty of WOC literature to read – I’m not doing my research on HEART) …

    Me, Heart: I post my history because it is directly responsive and relevant to the discussion. This is a time-honored, long-standing tradition of feminism. It is, I believe, at the heart of feminism.

    I keep talking about this particular post, and you keep bringing YOUR work to the table – “look at the work I’ve done here and here… You mean you don’t know about MOI?”.

    No, I don’t and quite frankly I think this information is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Like I said, there are plenty of WOC books for me to read instead of me doing research about your life, your posts, your history and your other blog “my white mother”. Not that these don’t factor into the way we talk, but because they are intrinsically part of the discussion when we talk about anything. They don’t need to be identified repeatedly when we are talking about ONE ARTICLE.

    Me, Heart: This discussion is not just between you and I privately, though. It is being read by thousands of people. My lived experiences figure in to what I post, are important and relevant to what I post, and not all of the people reading are aware of how that’s so, so they have to be repeated.

    I took the time to discuss this issue because I didn’t want to be accused of attacking you – and because this sort of reasoning is common amongst the online feminist community. I thought it might be an opportunity to open this discussion up a little.

    As you’ve resorted to using the “You don’t understand” logic, I won’t be posting again – this time I am most certain of this.

    Me, Heart: As always, that’s up to you.

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 7:11 pm
  52. GODDAMNIT!!! we cross-posted…. and me thinks your post is finally seeing something here…. wait a second.

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 7:16 pm
  53. Just to be very clear, this is what you said here:

    “I’m not going to read the first message you posted in response to me.”

    To say you aren’t following is not to be condescending. Nobody can be expected to follow if they say they aren’t reading.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 7:35 pm
  54. I’ve explained why it’s irrelevant – and I stand by that.

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 7:36 pm
  55. Can you fix the way you’ve edited my last post – it’s very hard to follow.

    Me, Heart: I think that men of color experience racism 24/7, that racism operates 24/7, and that men of color still benefit from sexism 24/7, though not the way white men do.

    If that’s the case – then there is no common ground with white men ever. But you keep bringing up ‘common ground’ and prior to now – called it ‘bonding’.

    Of course MOC benefit from sexism – but that is usually of ‘their own kind’. MOC need to ‘keep their women in line’. White men use MOC to perpetuate the idea that POC are racially inferior because they are not ‘civilized’.

    Anyways, I guess at this point we’ve both been as clear as we can.

    if you have any further questions – you know where I can be reached.

    I will be ‘watching you’ LOL😉 – I’m joking. Take care

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 7:43 pm
  56. Well– I think continuing is pretty much useless at this point. You say you haven’t read my (long, but important) comment, yet somehow, not having read it, you nevertheless know it’s irrelevant.

    You’re aggravated because I say you aren’t following me, even though I note that that is definitely understandable, given that you aren’t reading everything I write!

    It doesn’t make sense to have a discussion, I don’t think, where the participants are not willing to read one another’s words carefully, particularly where the issues are important and feelings are intense. I doubt you’d want to continue if in your mind, I kept arguing with points you were not making, kept insisting you disagreed, when, in fact, you agreed, refused to read certain of your comments, then became angry when you noted that my not reading might be a factor in our not understanding one another.

    We can’t have a discussion if both of us don’t want to have the discussion. To have the discussion, we have to read what the other says carefully. I don’t see how it will work otherwise.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 7:49 pm
  57. You say you haven’t read my (long, but important) comment, yet somehow, not having read it, you nevertheless know it’s irrelevant.

    I haven’t read your ‘long comment’ in any significant detail because it’s an attempt made by you to establish some ‘non-racist’ credibility without debating my current arguments. Would you like me to copy and paste several feminist conversations/essays/short stories/poems/email correspondences/conferences/articles I’ve written about feminism to establish my feminist cred?

    I think not. your first response is ‘self-promotional material’ nothing more, nothing less. I will call it out for what it is.

    Anyways, it has been an interesting discussion nonetheless.

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 7:59 pm
  58. If that’s the case – then there is no common ground with white men ever. But you keep bringing up ‘common ground’ and prior to now – called it ‘bonding’.

    Men of color are men, Aradhana. Men. In a male heterosupremacist world. Men benefit from sexism– all of them. Yes, they benefit differently and less than white rich men if they are poor, disabled, men of color; nevertheless, they benefit from sexism.

    Of course MOC benefit from sexism – but that is usually of ‘their own kind’. MOC need to ‘keep their women in line’. White men use MOC to perpetuate the idea that POC are racially inferior because they are not ‘civilized’.

    This is true; nevertheless, all women, including white women, are kept in line by the sexism of all men. The experiences of men of color, disabled men, poor men are not the same as the experiences of white affluent men. Nevertheless, men of color benefit when women are subjugated, regardless of race. They benefit from all of the machinery, the institutions, the acts and ideologies and religious beliefs which keep women subjugated, regardless of race.

    Just as men of color are men of color 24/7, women, including white women, are women 24/7, including with respect to men of color. White women don’t stop being women when we engage men of color. We don’t stop being women vis a vis men of color, because we are white.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 8:00 pm
  59. Just so you know – there are still two comments in moderation. We’ve been crossposting.
    AD

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 8:01 pm
  60. No– my first comment was in direct response to your direct question. You asked me, in other words, “don’t you know how disproportionately black men are incarcerated?” I could have responded, defensively, “of course I know! Absolutely I know.” But I didn’t want to respond that way because it would just be arguing with you. It would seem defensive. Instead, it made sense to me to post an old thread evidencing what I do know, and that it was an important enough issue for me to have written about at great length, and to have taken many hits for from white feminists I admire and care about.

    That was why I posted that comment. You say you’re calling it out for what it is. Fair enough. I say you’re conveniently ignoring it– as in my opinion you are conveniently ignoring many, many other things I’ve written here which it is convenient for you to ignore.

    I don’t think this has been an interesting discussion in a way that is good, and I feel bad about that. It’s been telling, I guess, but again, not in a way I think is good.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 8:12 pm
  61. The black man has no personal agency to decide to participate or not?

    Posted by chasingmoksha | February 1, 2007, 8:19 pm
  62. I (Heart) will be responding inside your comment, again:

    Okay, okay – some headway here…. let’s roll it back a little…. sigh….not going to be defensive. Deep breath. Okay.

    Heart- block-quote this for me if you can. I don’t know how.

    See, what it seems like you’re trying to say is that because the black preacher invited to the Paula Zahn show was tokenized, because his words and behavior were used in an attempt to show that the Duke case wasn’t about racism, and because he, himself, is targeted for racism, it can’t be said that he, as a man of color, was making common ground with white men (I’m not using the word “bonding” anymore! Even though I think it’s a fine word as I’ve explained at length.)

    I’m saying he was being USED as a black man for promoting the idea that the black stripper was a ‘lying hoe’. If they had a white guy up there – it would look ‘racist’ on part of the show (but if you have one of ‘them’ knocking her down – it’s not). The show wanted to promote the idea that the rape of the black stripper was NOT an act of racism and that it probably never happened (which is sexist).

    Me, Heart: That’s exactly the same thing I’ve said, over and over here in my comments. I’ve stated and restated those exact same sentiments time and time again.

    But that isn’t so. Even though he was tokenized, he was nevertheless enlisted in a racist and sexist media project, he was used in ways which were racist and sexist,

    YES, BUT

    he was still making common ground with white men in ways which,

    No, there is no ‘common ground’ while the vast majority of black people are marginalized.

    Me, Heart: I think you’re wrong about this, but I’ve already explained and re-explained my position and so I will just let my words speak for themselves.

    in the end, benefit all men, both MOC and white men,

    If all MOC were Christians, if all MOC were not economically and socially marginalized (with few exceptions).

    Me, Heart: All men benefit from the views, ideologies and politics of Christian and other kinds of patriarchal fundamentalisms. All. Because those ideologies and politics are straight up about the subjugation and inferiority and second class status of women. Christian fundamentalism is, in fact, a male supremacist ideology. So, white men, men of color– they all benefit. But again, I’ve already stated my views and will let them speak for themselves.

    and harm all women, WOC and white women.

    All men rape all women. But MOC are ‘allowed’ to beat up on their ‘property’. And white men are allowed to beat up on all MOC and WOC and WW.

    Me, Heart: Yes, I agree.

    When you married (marriage under Christian heteronormative standards) you became the property of your husband. Your husband was still a Black man who on a ‘macro’ level is socially marginalized. He never lost that. Him being christian afforded him a little amount of respectability. But he did not stop being a BLACK MAN at anytime in your marriage.

    Me, Heart: Yes. Just as I never stopped being a WOMAN to his being a man, at any time during our marriage. (Btw, I was married twice to black men, just being clear, since you are using the singular here.)

    But in the white MEDIA’S eyes – you could easily be used as an ‘example’ of what goes wrong when inter-racial marriage happens. This does not deny the abuse you faced.

    Yes, I agree, but don’t see how that is relevant to this television program.

    He had the floor there, you know?

    How many white women come to rescue feminism when they get the floor???

    Me, Heart: I think Gail Dines, a white feminist woman, had she had the floor, would have used it if she’d had opportunity. As I would have. As any white feminist here would have. As to white women “rescuing feminism” when they had they floor, they’d only do that if they were feminists.

    Why should there be another set of standards in place for a MOC when he gets the floor. Most people don’t do what’s in their best interest when they get the floor. People need to stop expecting that any POC or Woman is different.

    Me, Heart: I think what you’re doing here, Aradhana, is using this comments thread to air and vent every frustration you have right now with respect to “white feminists”. When I respond to one of your many frustrations that isn’t directly about this program, you then often want to go back to speaking narrowly about this particular program.

    The guy was invited on because the producers knew he’d be useful to their white, racist heterosupremacist project. He didn’t fail them. But he was also faithful to his own Christian fundamentalist project/male supremacist project, and so whatever they did, his having the floor was worth it to him. And I think what he did was in his and all men’s best interests, but I’ve already written about that at length and will let my words speak for themselves.

    He got a chance to say what MOC and white men all over the country like to hear men saying, even if they aren’t religious: that the stripper got just what she deserved in that ruling. That she asked for whatever she got. That she was immoral and wrong and therefore deserving of nothing.

    had this been a white stripper raped by black men, how would things be different? If this was a white stripper raped by white men – they would have gotten a white mouthpiece to fortify pre-existing ideologies about women.

    Me, Heart: If this had been a white stripper raped by black men, I think they might have found some white preacher or white conservative or intellectual or generic white asshole to explain the reasons why she deserved what she got. There’s no love lost on the part of the general public for white strippers, you know? What also might have happened, though, is, white male racists would have gone crazy, and would likely have gotten violent and terrorized not only the rapists but random black men. Because, as you say, white men believe they own and are entitled to ALL women as their property; men of color raping white women is severely punished because it is a transgression of white supremacy.

    If it was a white stripper raped by white men, someone would have been found to explain why she deserved it, (probably a white woman!)

    That is a message which, no matter WHO delivers it, if it is widely circulated and widely believed (which it is) harms all women, and benefits all men.

    Yes, it harms all women. But the media was already tearing apart this case from the beginning. Even Saturday night live featured a skit about how this woman was lying. The preacher in that show is not the one ‘oppressing’ this woman – the whole bloody system is – the entire media, the white supremacists, the fact that she is marginalized as a WOC and due to her profession — everything.

    This black preacher is a drop in the bucket of the oppressors and sadly in this show he was used.

    Me, Heart: Yes, I agree, but I’ve been saying that throughout all of my comments.

    Heart

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 8:20 pm
  63. The black man has no personal agency to decide to participate or not?

    Everyone has agency and everyone has ‘privilege’ to some degree.

    I identify with ‘third world feminism’ – though I am not a third world woman. I use it as a political identity. I am economically and educationally privileged and have the luxury of living in the developed world – where I can then consume products made by ‘third world labour’. We are all ‘oppressed’ and we all act as oppressors in some form by virtue of the way we are percieved by others. However, there are structural and political differences that impact our experiences.

    The point is – the man used his opportunity to exert his own personal privilege – but was USED by the media to further ideologies that discriminated against black people via a ‘woman of his race’.

    We don’t expect white men to come rushing in favour of women’s rights when they make a television appearance. We don’t expect all gay men to be pro-feminist. We don’t even expect all white women to be feminist when they get an opportunity – why should we expect a black man to champion women’s rights when he gets to use his ’15 mins of fame’?

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 8:31 pm
  64. at least 7 comments have passed since that comment I posted – it hasn’t been released.

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 8:36 pm
  65. Yeah, well, it’s up there now, with my responses. Back off, Aradhana. I’m at work, doing my best to respond thoughtfully and carefully after having carefully and thoughtfully read what you have written.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 8:53 pm
  66. Aradhana: We don’t even expect all white women to be feminist when they get an opportunity – why should we expect a black man to champion women’s rights when he gets to use his ‘15 mins of fame’?

    Now the discussion morphs to one of how somebody expects black men to champion women’s rights.

    I personally don’t expect any men to champion women’s rights, publicly, any time, and I am shocked as all hell if they do and wonder what the gimmick is and what the fine print is.

    The guy accepted the invitation because (1) he was a Christian fundamentalist and believed the “stripper” was immoral, a liar, and deserved what she got, and that the white boys were victimized and he wanted a chance to say so; (2) he wanted to preach his male supremacist gospel on television given that he had the opportunity, which he probably felt was from God himself.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 8:59 pm
  67. He had the floor there, you know?

    The conversation “morphed” because it’s very hard to understand what you are trying to ‘imply’ here (and so I went with what I had – I guess I should have asked before I assumed, but this argument usually comes after this type of discussion – in similar discussions I’ve had with other ‘leftists’).

    He had the floor…so? I’ve explained why he was “given” the floor.

    “Back off, Aradhana.”

    You go on with your work – as I will with mine.

    Take care

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 9:10 pm
  68. I’m willing to continue the discussion with whoever wants to. I am just saying I’m at work and sometimes I have to work. Also sometimes I’m responding and so I don’t see that another comment has been posted right away.

    I’m not trying to imply anything anywhere in my comments. I’m being as direct and as careful as I can to say exactly what I mean.

    For the record, I am not a leftist. I don’t think the left is any less misogynist than the right is.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 9:15 pm
  69. I should rephrase (I don’t believe there is a ‘left’ – I use the term very loosely), in conversations with other people that assume to be ‘progressive’, feminists and ‘anti-racists’ alike.

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 9:31 pm
  70. The point is – the man used his opportunity to exert his own personal privilege – but was USED by the media to further ideologies that discriminated against black people via a ‘woman of his race’.

    Of course the white media used him, that is what they do (how they stay in power). However, that does not make him free from criticism. Nor does it make the white media free from criticism simply because they do what they do. Nor does it make their crimes equal. However, both have committed crimes (morally?) against women and that is the point.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | February 1, 2007, 9:47 pm
  71. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells here, but I want to say that I see the truth in what both of you are saying if I’m reading you both correctly.

    I think it’s entirely possible Peterson was playing to a perceived male bond with the white men controlling the media he was invited to be a part of at the same time those white men did not deign to feel much bondfullness towards a black man of any persuasion because they’re racist fucks as well as sexist fucks.

    For a time in my late teens I rejected femininity in all the typical pink-eschewing, “all my friends are boys” way and adopted the mantra my Sex & the City namesake popularized in the first episode to have sex like men have sex. I was hanging out everyday with a few Asian male friends across the way, playing video games and watching anime with them frequently, thinking that we had “bonded”.

    In retrospect I can see that the concept of bonding with these men was entirely in my head and that only one of the men was actually a friend who saw me as an equal and who took pains to keep in touch for several years after I moved away. At the time the bonds of friendship seemed real enough, but I reflect upon hearing the men say to each other, “You got beaten by a girl!” as no more a compliment than if I won a writing contest and someone said to the losers, “You just got beaten by a piece of shit.”

    What I mean saying I think you’re both right is that (as Heart says) Peterson was playing up to a perceived male, fundamentalist bond with white men that was one-sided because (as A.D. says) the white men invited him not to bond with him but to use him in perpetuating racism and sexism against black women.

    Anyway, that’s this peanut’s peep from the gallery.

    Posted by Sam | February 1, 2007, 10:07 pm
  72. Just a reminder that this thread is limited to women of color and white women who are race traitors, i.e., who are or have been partnered with black men and/or who are raising biracial children. I hope everyone understands the reasons for this or can give me the benefit of the doubt as to the reasons for it, at least. Thanks again–

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 10:14 pm
  73. You should probably paste that at the top because this thread has no label on it stating those conditions.

    Posted by Sam | February 1, 2007, 10:52 pm
  74. Hey Sam, I posted it here and here. I know there’s a lot here going on right now and it could be missed. I’ll also post it to my original post.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 10:55 pm
  75. “However, that does not make him free from criticism.”

    Next time you say “Britney Spears was exploited when upskirt photos were taken” don’t forget ‘she ain’t free from criticism either’.

    Heart talks about ‘bonding’ – this bonding doesn’t exist because it can’t exist unless ‘it’s between equals’. The very title of her post claims that BLACK MEN (and as I have repeatedly stated it was a black MAN not MEN) is misleading.

    Black men don’t run your country, black men don’t hold all the assets to all the major companies, black men don’t make the laws, black men rarely if ever ‘enforce’ them too.

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 11:04 pm
  76. Who ever said Britney Spears wasn’t free from criticism? She WAS exploited when upskirt photos were taken. If she ever starts proclaiming that having upskirt photos taken is liberating or empowering for women, I’ll be the first to criticize her, but I haven’t heard that that is the position she has taken.

    Heart talks about ‘bonding’ – this bonding doesn’t exist because it can’t exist unless ‘it’s between equals’.

    Well– I think white men and black men are completely equal. Since when are they not equal? Being subjugated or oppressed doesn’t mean you are not someone’s equal.

    Also, and once again, I clarified my use of the word “bond” here: “A uniting force or tie; a link: the familial bond.”

    That’s all I mean by “bond.” A uniting force. A tie. A link. A familial bond. There is no requirement that there be “equality” in order for people to bond. There just has to be a “uniting force,” like an interest in women’s subordination. A link, like being benefitted by male dominance. A tie, like being vested in women serving men.

    But even if we used the definition you seem to want to force in this discussion — a definition I have not and would not use — that bonding is about frat parties and warm fuzzies and love fests (also a definition that is nowhere evident in the dictionary definition I posted), then consider:

    Can men and women bond? Are they equals?
    Can parents and their children bond? Are they equals?
    Can rich persons and poor persons bond? Are they equals?
    Can humans bond with animals? Are they equals?

    I think they certainly can bond, and that, in fact, they are all equals. Some are subjugated to, and oppressed by, others, which doesn’t lessen the fact of their equality.

    When I used “black men” in the title of this post, I was making reference to all of the many fundamentalist men of color whom this man, by his views, represents. There are many, many such men, throughout the world, worshipping male supremacist deities and teaching male supremacy outright.

    Then, women don’t run our country, women don’t hold all the assets to all the major companies, women don’t make the laws, women rarely, if ever, “enforce” them, too. Women are a subjugated people– subjugated to men. This is true for white women, for all women. That being so, whatever men do which deepens our subordination or subjugation, which harms us, is something we have to speak up about, no matter the race of the men in question.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 11:17 pm
  77. Really, I had NO idea that women were like that… I’ve been a feminist for all the wrong reasons… aw crap. It couldn’t possibly be that black men are also oppressed huh? you know, I didn’t want to bring up this personal issue – but what just in your vocabulary does being a “RACE-TRAITOR” entail. you seem to throw that around quite a bit – but what does it mean?

    Can men and women bond? Are they equals?
    Can parents and their children bond? Are they equals?
    Can rich persons and poor persons bond? Are they equals?
    Can humans bond with animals? Are they equals?

    your bonding here – implies a ‘love – in’. Your bonding in your TITLE implies “A CONSPIRACY”….

    If you can’t see that difference – you can keep dancing around your semantics all you want. I call baloney.

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 11:23 pm
  78. White women are oppressed, and black men are oppressed. White women are oppressed 24/7 as women, black men are oppressed 24/7 on account of their race.

    I’ve written a lot about being a race traitor elsewhere, and maybe at some point I will write about it some more. It’s there, on my boards, for anyone who wants to do a search. It’s not something that lends itself to a sentence or two, and given the deep resentment you’ve expressed here over my writings about my life and history, I’m not really inclined to talk about that right now.

    You left out something important where you quoted me. I said IF I used your definition of “bond”, the one you are attempting to force in this discussion, it still would not hold true that those who are differently-situated cannot bond, or that those subordinated to one another, cannot bond.

    But I also said that the definition you are using is neither mine, nor is it the dictionary definition.

    I’ve also said I intend to stop using that word and will use “find common ground with” instead. I don’t have to use the word “bond” — “finding common ground” works as well.

    Patriarchy, male supremacy, really is a conspiracy of sorts — all of the thousands and millions of ways in which men agree together to enforce their subordination of women. Having said all that, I haven’t used the word “bond” as you’re using it, ever, and I haven’t thought in terms of a conspiracy either. I think the Rev. Peterson and those who produced the Paula Zahn show found common ground in their interest in dehumanizing and discrediting the “stripper” who was raped. I think that hurts all women.

    The words we use are extremely important. You can be dismissive about them, and reduce these very important and complex issues to “semantics” if you like, but I won’t be participating with you in that. I’ve been very careful here, as careful as I could be, and I have done my best, within the constraints of time and many interruptions, to pick my words with care and to clarify when there seemed to be a lack of clarity.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 11:38 pm
  79. I should be clearer here, I too am getting worked up – which is stupid:

    However, that does not make him free from criticism. Nor does it make the white media free from criticism simply because they do what they do. Nor does it make their crimes equal. However, both have committed crimes (morally?) against women and that is the point.

    Everyone is responsible for their own individual actions, that’s for sure. But at the sametime – we are often used for fulfilling agendas of other people. Yes, this man is an arrogant jerk – I don’t doubt that. But he’s also being used as a representative of his ‘race’. Having said that black men are also ‘subjugated’ under white male surpremacy – and therefore do not share the same kind of power/privilege in media making decisions.

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 11:42 pm
  80. and given the deep resentment you’ve expressed here over my writings about my life and history,

    That is simply not true. I’ve stated very clearly why you using your ‘history’ in this specifice case, was an attempt at you ‘establishing anti-racist cred’. I appreciate your ability to share your history – that takes courage.

    I really ought to now go to work… late shift. And likewise I too am getting worked up for nothing as well.

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 1, 2007, 11:47 pm
  81. Following are some paragraphs about being a race traitor, or disloyal to whiteness. The essay in its entirety, On Being White: Thinking Toward a Feminist Understanding of Race and Race Supremacy,by By Marilyn Frye, from The Politics Of Reality: Essays In Feminist Theory, (The Crossing Press 1983), can be found on Amy’s website.

    Simply as females, as mere women in this world, we who are female and white stand to be poor, ill-educated, preyed upon and despised. But because we are both female and white, we belong to that group of women from which the men of the racially dominant group choose their mates. Because of that we are given some access to the benefits they have as members of the racially dominant male group-access to material and educational benefits and the specious benefits of enjoying secondhand feelings of superiority and supremacy. We also have the specious benefit of a certain hope (a false hope, as it turns out) which women of subordinated races do not have, namely the hope of becoming actually dominant with the white men, as their “equals.” This last pseudo-benefit binds us most closely to them in racial solidarity. A liberal while feminism would seek “equality”; we can hardly expect to be heard as saying we want social and economic status equal to that of, say, Chicanos. If what we want is equality with our’ white brothers, then what we want is, among other things, our own firsthand participation in racial dominance rather than the secondhand ersatz dominance we get as the dominant group’s women. No wonder such feminism has no credibility with women of color.

    Race is a tie that binds us to men: “us” being white women, and “men” being white men. If we wish not to be bound in subordination to men, we have to give up trading on our white skin for white men’s race privilege. And on the other hand, if we detach ourselves from reproductive service to white men (in the many senses and dimensions of “reproduction”), the threat we pose is not just to their male selves but to their white selves. White men’s domination and control of’ white women is essential to their project of maintaining their racial dominance. This is probably part of the explanation of’ why the backlash against feminism overlaps in time and personnel with renewed intensity and overtness of white racism in this country. When their control of “their” women is threatened, their confidence in their racial dominance is threatened.

    It is perfectly clear that this did not occur to many of us in advance, but for white women a radical feminism is treacherous to the white race as presently constructed and instituted in this country. The growing willingness of white women to forego the material benefits and ego supports available through connections with white men makes us much harder to contain and control as part of the base of their racial dominance. For many of us, resistance to white male domination was first, and quite naturally, action simply for our own release from a degradation and tyranny we hated in and of itself. But in this racial context, our pursuit of our liberation (I do not say “of equality”) is, whether or not we so intend it, disloyal to Whiteness.

    I recommend that we make this disloyalty an explicit part of our politics and embrace it, publicly. This can help us to steer clear of a superficial politics of just wanting what our white brothers have, and help us develop toward a genuine disaffiliation from that Whiteness that has, finally, so little to do with skin color and so much to do with racism.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 11:49 pm
  82. You know, I won’t allow this comments thread to disintegrate into disingenuousness or make-nice. What’s happened here is serious, and I am taking it seriously.

    This is some of what you have posted in your comments, Aradhana, over a series of posts:

    I’m not going to read the first message you posted in response to me – I don’t know what purpose it serves, except a way for you to show your ‘battle scars’.

    ***

    I haven’t read your ‘long comment’ in any significant detail because it’s an attempt made by you to establish some ‘non-racist’ credibility without debating my current arguments.

    ***

    your first response is ’self-promotional material’ nothing more, nothing less. I will call it out for what it is.

    ***

    You’re patronizing and FULL of yourself. You post your history to 1) talk about your activism and dedication (similar to the way an academic might say “look at me – I did all this research. I’m such a smarty pants – didn’t you read the book I wrote last year on this very topic?”) 2) you assume I should be reading your boards and doing my research on you (sorry, plenty of WOC literature to read – I’m not doing my research on HEART) …

    ***

    …you keep bringing YOUR work to the table – “look at the work I’ve done here and here… You mean you don’t know about MOI?”.

    No, I don’t and quite frankly I think this information is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Like I said, there are plenty of WOC books for me to read instead of me doing research about your life, your posts, your history and your other blog “my white mother”. Not that these don’t factor into the way we talk, but because they are intrinsically part of the discussion when we talk about anything. They don’t need to be identified repeatedly when we are talking about ONE ARTICLE.

    So why would you ask for more information from me? Why would you say you appreciate what I write or that it takes courage, and so on? An hour or two or three after soundly trashing me for so “courageously” providing this information?

    Maybe you can understand why I’m not really up for talking much more with you about my life, my history, and so on. It definitely does take courage for me to share my life and history– particularly in the face of this kind of feedback.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 2, 2007, 12:10 am
  83. Wow, if that wasn’t totally out of context – Heart. I posted the BULK of those comments in defence to your hostility towards me. When you started commenting about ‘how I didn’t see YOUR points’. which i have already explained here this comment

    See– again. Aradhana, with all due respect, you are either not reading or not following my words. You aren’t understanding me. Later, Again, you haven’t been reading what I write, and you do not, in fact, understand the position I have taken. Again, You aren’t understanding what I’m writing. You aren’t following me.

    I stand by what I said – your first long post was a way for you to establish credibility without talking about the discussion at hand. The bulk of the comments above were taken when I was reacting in defense to YOUR comments that directly ‘personalized’ me (see what I mean above in bold).

    After that point, I came back into the argument because I noticed that we had cross-posted and it seemed that the comment you posted was written in good faith as though you were ‘reconsidering your analysis’… which I indicated in the comment immediately afterwards.

    *yawn*

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 2, 2007, 12:39 am
  84. Wow, if that wasn’t totally out of context – Heart. I posted the BULK of those comments in defence to your hostility towards me. When you started commenting about ‘how I didn’t see YOUR points’. which i have already explained here this comment

    (quoting me, Heart) See– again. Aradhana, with all due respect, you are either not reading or not following my words. You aren’t understanding me. Later, Again, you haven’t been reading what I write, and you do not, in fact, understand the position I have taken. Again, You aren’t understanding what I’m writing. You aren’t following me.

    Because you weren’t. You couldn’t, because you didn’t read my direct responses to your questions. It was evident you weren’t following me because you kept saying the exact same things I had said over and over and over as though I’d never said them. The only conclusion is that you didn’t read or you weren’t following. That isn’t “hostility” — it’s the only possible conclusion.

    I stand by what I said – your first long post was a way for you to establish credibility without talking about the discussion at hand. The bulk of the comments above were taken when I was reacting in defense to YOUR comments that directly ‘personalized’ me (see what I mean above in bold).

    My first long post was a direct response to your question.

    After that point, I came back into the argument because I noticed that we had cross-posted and it seemed that the comment you posted was written in good faith as though you were ‘reconsidering your analysis’… which I indicated in the comment immediately afterwards.

    *yawn*

    I think what we’ve both written here speaks for itself. I read your comments carefully, approved all of them, unedited, including the hostile ones, and have done my best to respond thoughtfully and carefully. I think that’s what good faith is all about and I’ve worked hard to evidence it here.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 2, 2007, 1:04 am
  85. A parent and child bond and they are not equals.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | February 2, 2007, 2:06 am
  86. A professor and student bond and they are not equals.

    A husband and wife bond and they are not equals.

    Equal as in society’s defintion of having equal power.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | February 2, 2007, 2:07 am
  87. CM – Right – but in your examples both assume that they are benefitting ‘equally’..

    In this situation the only people that benefitted was ONE black MAN (not men, as Heart states) and a GROUP of WHITE PEOPLE.

    From me, Heart: Aradhana, I have argued at length that ALL black men, and all men, period, benefit from whatever subordinates all women. You’re entitled to your opinion but I don’t like it when commenters re-post their former points as though there hasn’t been lengthy discussion and disagreement on those points. I think you’re wrong for all the reasons I carefully set forth up-thread a ways. Please don’t re-assert old points without acknowledging the discussion that has preceded your re-assertions..

    But if you’d rather boil the whole thing down to simplistic “see dick run. See Jane run.” analogies -that’s cool too.

    From me, Heart: This is a gratuitous insult, sure to generate nothing but heat and zero light, in a thread that does not need any more generation of heat. Please avoid this kind of insult in the future. Thanks.

    Later

    Posted by AradhanaD | February 3, 2007, 3:59 pm

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