Archive for April, 2006

"Won’t You Be My Neighbor?"

Well, didn’t take me much time to find something more worth y’alls time. Recently met a very hip, very fun and very adorably bitchy young woman who also just happened to move merely blocks away from me in Bed-Stuy.

Upon her move, she did the ultimate responsible young womanly task – she looked up her (our) area in the Sex Offender Registry…and she hit paydirt.

I can only take comfort in my being too old i.e. not twelve or under for some of ’em.

April 28, 2006 at 3:43 pm 1 comment

Cell Phones Should Have Breathalizers….


Horoscope Quickie (courtesy of Yahoo!) :Crafting your image is smart. Take extra steps to project who you want to be today.

Well said considering I, once again, had a drunken night filled with screaming, horny men, cabbies and, what else, Popeyes.

Only this time, the screaming was me on my cell to current sexual partner (CSP) that I wanted to end my night preferably with him (I’m being very polite and diplomatic in my word choice here. I wasn’t so last night.).

The horny men were all horny for each other, save my straight male friend who had silently accepted I’d be the only person he’d engage with all night.

The cabbie had the unfortunate experience of listening to me scream at CSP regarding his options for the night, slurring “Manhattan Bridge” so much that he took the Williamsburg Bridge only to then have me scream at him for taking said bridge, and for stopping at an ATM for me to get cash to “pay you…and o, stop at a Popeyes when you see one, do you want anything?”


So why’s today’s horoscope so apt? Because, as usual, upon waking up at 7am to fries all over my bed, some inane info-mercial on mops, and my hair in some new ungodly pillow-made style, I slowly remembered the less-than-diplomatic things I said to entice CSP…..and if I’d like him to remain my CSP, there’s got to be some way to present myself as something a tad classier than the drunken two-bit whore I played last night. (Sample: I’m pretty sure at one point I said, “We have good sexual chemistry, right?“….ugh)

P.S. I know my more recent posts haven’t been the best i.e. lack of current
events, higher presence of whining. This unemployment thing has brought
out the laziest in me. But there’ll be mo’ betta postings very soon.

April 28, 2006 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

On A Jet Plane….

Found on last Sunday’s Postsecret.com:

…my secret: I wish whoever sent this were thinking about me.

April 22, 2006 at 11:34 pm 1 comment

More Bad Sex….

More SAAM events…..

No! The Groundbreaking Documentary
by Aishah Shahidah Simmons
BAC Hosts the New York Premiere
Join us on April 21st to see a film that shatters the silence surrounding sexual violence in the Black community. A dialogue with filmmaker Aishah Shahidah Simmons and sexual violence prevention organizers will follow the screening.Location: 520 8th Ave 22nd Floor (btwn 36th St and 37th St)
Time: 7:30 pm
Cost: $5.00
Please RSVP to secure your seat at 212-594-4482 Ext 17 or via e-mail at blackoutarts@yahoo.com

About the Film: Through intimate testimonies from Black women victim/ survivors, commentaries from acclaimed African-American scholars and community leaders including Johnnetta B. Cole, Ulester Douglas, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Sulaiman Nuriddin, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, and Elaine Brown, impacting archival footage, spirited music, dance, and performance poetry, NO! unveils the reality of rape, other forms of sexual violence, and healing in African-Americancommunities. Eleven years in the making this ground-breaking documentary explores how the collective silence about acts of rape and other forms of sexual assault adversely affects African-Americans, while simultaneously encouraging dialogue to bring about healing and reconciliation between all men and women.

Stories from the Field:
The Second Annual United Nations Documentary Film Festival

On Saturday, April 22, 2006, The United Nations will feature two full days of film screenings, panel discussions, and award presentations. It is presented by the Media Communications Association – International, New York Chapter (MCA-I NY), in cooperation with the United Nations Department of Public Information and The New School. This year, the Festival received 180 film entries from countries on five continents. Nations represented include Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Germany, India, Iran, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The films cover a range of topics, but all reflect one or more of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, the theme of the Festival. The following address the ubiquity in the developing world of domestic and sexual violence against women, and may be of particular interest:

SEX SLAVES
This gripping documentary exposé goes inside the global sex trade in women from the former Soviet Bloc, and tells the remarkable story of “Viorel”, a Ukrainian man on a mission to find his pregnant wife, Katia, who has been trafficked to Turkey. Hidden cameras follow Viorel as he searches for the pimp who “owns” Katia, so he can buy her back. Filmmaker Ric Esther Bienstock interviews traffickers, cops and victims as she takes us deeper into the world of modern sex slavery. Part cinema verité, part investigation, the film puts a human face on this most compelling of contemporary issues. Director: Ric Esther Bienstock. 00 hr: 48 min: 38 sec

TRAFFICKED
This gripping documentary follows former Australian Federal Police officer Chris Payne as he investigates the crime of trafficking for prostitution and pursues an unfinished investigation of his own. His focus is the case of Nikkie, a 13-year-old Thai girl who was deported after she was discovered working in a Sydney brothel in 1995. The case has haunted Payne for ten years. How did she get there? What happened to her? How does this modern slave trade operate? Payne follows the trail of evidence from Australia to Thailand in search of Nikkie and some answers. Director: Luigi Acquisto. 00 hr: 51 min: 44 sec

THE VIRGIN TRADE – SEX, LIES AND TRAFFICKING
For every marriage visa issued to a Thai man entering the UK, 45 are issued to women. Filmmaker Stuart Kershaw and his producer/partner, Samantha Fazackerley, embark on a 6-month adventure through Thailand’s red light district to investigate the largest sex industry in the world. Their exploration of international sex tourism turns expectation on its head, in a shocking journey that is dark, humorous, and surprisingly touching. Supported by a patriarchal society and government, Thailand – widely known as “the world’s brothel” – is a hunting ground for sexual deviants. But who are the victims? Who is to blame? Who decides “right” from “wrong”? Stuart and Samantha bulldoze a host of Thailand’s urban myths while uncovering widespread exploitation and deceit. Director: Stuart Kershaw. 01 hr: 00 min: 00 sec

In all, forty finalists will be screened. The Festival will take place at Tishman Auditorium, The New School, 66 W. 12 St. (bet. Fifth & Sixth Aves.), New York, NY 10011. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.mcainy.org/unfilm.

April 20, 2006 at 3:59 am Leave a comment

"I Know Bad Sex When I Have It"

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)!!!!

As a volunteer rape crisis counselor via the SAVI Advocacy program, I have to let y’all know about this month’s SAAM’s events. I’ll be attending most of ’em, most importantly the SAYSO event this Friday at Union Square Park.

Without getting preachy, legislation surrounding sexual assault still has a long way to go. What’s even more dated are the ways we think about, perceive and react to rape and sexaul assualt. Just look at the divisions and debates surrounding the Michael Jackson molestation case, the Kobe Bryant rape case and the current case of a black stripper’s alleged sexual assault at the hands of white Duke University frats.

Instead of going on a heated, opinionated rant about these events (and o I do have them), let me offer my own account of what’s wrong with how we look at just what is and isn’t rape: My first call to the ER as an Advocate was in the wee hours of a Saturday morning. My case was a 20-something woman in Queens whose roommate brought her in after she made suicidal comments. She eventually confessed that she’d been raped the night before. The cops were called and they’d found and arrested her attacker based on her description. I asked her to tell me what happened. She’d gone out to a bar with friends, did some coke, and wandered off on her own to another bar. As she sat on a stool, she met a man there. She then recalls going to his apartment to use the bathroom and when she came out, he raped her in his living room. After I told her her options at the ER and with the police, she said she wanted to do a rape kit, and more importantly, she wanted to press charges. So Special Victims Unit was called in. Heads up, the real NYPD SVU is not at all like the gung-ho, heartfelt detectives on NBC. Hell, I wish. In real life, these guys are less sensitive than your average cop. They’re not for the victims, they’re for a case – a good one. They want a “good” witness, a “bad” perp and a clean cut, black and white story so the DA has the best prosecution.*

*In some ideal world, a good witness is a virginal woman raped by a crazy brutish man she’s never seen before in her life. In real life, a rape witness is a woman raped by someone she’s met and probably known for sometime. She doesn’t have to know him in some intimate way – though that just as usual – but most likely, she’s seen him in her gym, her building, her job, her garage. A rapist is not the monster we
see in children’s books. A rapist is usually your date. In real life, people drink and people do drugs. If a woman is high, does that mean she can’t say no? If she’s drunk? If she’s asleep? Does doing drugs mean she’s given up her right…or, better yet, does it mean she’s giving herself up? When the questions are posed like this, most of us wouldn’t agree. But when we look at our collective reactions and responses to rape cases, we really act as if we do think a woman on drugs, a woman who takes her clothes off for money, or a woman who wants to go fuck in a hotel room but not have anal sex is a woman who has no right to say no. It ain’t the angelic prude who strolls along a dark street that we need to stand up for. It’s
the rest of us who don’t always have the best judgement, who make human mistakes but shouldn’t have to pay for them in the flesh. It’s the rest of us who drink if we
want, get high if we want, and fuck if we want that should be considered good witnesses.

So a Detective Malloy (I’m not kidding) shows up and – because SAVI and SVU tend to clash for obvious reasons – asked that I not be in the room while he questioned the woman. I asked what she wanted which was for me to stay, gave Malloy a schaudenfruede shrug and stayed. As she re-tells what happened (in a typical ER sexual assualt occurence, a witness will have to re-tell his/her story over 10 times), Malloy interrupts her with questions such as, “Do you know you’re seen going into his apartment building willingly? That’s going to be hard for the DA…You know they’re going to find the drugs in your system? This doesn’t look like a prosecutable case…Are you sure this wasn’t just sex you regretted having?”

None of Malloy’s statements were inappropriate in and of themselves (all would eventually be told to her once she pursued pressing charges), what was inappropriate and what made me incredulous was that he said them when he did. And that’s why rape crisis counselors and SVU clash so much and, more importantly, why so many men and women are reluctant to report sexual assault. The first thing a rape survivor needs is control and he/she need to get it back immediately. That is what I provide as an Advocate, answering questions, letting them know that they don’t have to do a thing but get cleaned up and leave or do everything and this is what it will be. And even when I’m screaming in my head that this person should press charges and do a rape kit, if he/she doesn’t want to, then he/she shouldn’t. Because until he/she feels back in control, they are getting raped again and again.

And this is whyyyyy Malloy’s line of questioning just hours after this woman’s attack was awful. As she’s re-telling her rape for the umpteenth time, he’s now putting doubt, shame, and anxiety into her mind and, ultimately, shredding the empowerment she’d need to pursue this, yes, tough case.

But here’s at least a little silver lining for the sake of the story. Malloy’s last question, in the most condescending of tones, was if this had just been a case of “regrettable sex.” The young woman stared back at him, her face puffy from crying, lying down after doing a full rape kit (which includes snapshots of internal tissues), ingesting Plan B pills, and learning of the HIV-preventative meds she’d have to take and the side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea, she cocked her head up and, in the most serious, convincing of tones I’d heard her use all night, said, “Officer, I’ve had regrettable sex, I’ve had bad sex, I’ve had it for years. I know what that is, I’ve regretted sex probably more than I enjoyed it. There’s nothing sexual about this. I didn’t have sex, I was raped.”

If only all witnesses were so secure…but if only we were as forgiving.

SEXUAL ASSAULT YEARLY SPEAK OUT – SAYSO!

Friday, April 21st @ 12 Noon thru Saturday, April 22nd @ 12 Noon

Union Square Park

A 24-hour vigil in which survivor stories are read in public to break the silence around sexual violence and to celebrate the strength of survivors. This event is open to the public and stories can be read by survivors, co-survivors, and anyone else that cares about this important issue. There are several ways to get involved! We are calling out for volunteers that want to 1) donate a story to be read by someone else at the event, 2) read a personal story, 3) read a story that has been donated to the event (you don\’t have to be a survivor to participate!! You just have to care about the issue!), 4) volunteer for a few hours during the 24-hour period to help with registration, set-up, break-down, literature table, stage/program producer, etc., 5) Be a participant to support the event and the cause!

CRIME VICTIMS’ CANDLELIGHT VIGIL

Victims’ Rights: Strength in Unity

Sunday, April 23rd @ 2pm

West End Collegiate Church, 77th Street and West End Avenue
Survivors and victim assistance providers join together in mutual support and advocacy to advance victims’ rights and healings. This event will pay tribute to victims of homicide, assault, abuse, stalking, rape, domestic violence, DWI, and the WTC attacks. This event is open to the public and we encourage everyone to attend.

SEXUAL ASSAULT LEGISLATIVE AWARENESS DAY

Preventing Sexual Violence: Strengthening a Collaborative Response

Wednesday, April 26th, ALL DAY

Legislative Office Building in Albany, NY

This is a day to make our collective voices voices heard regarding systemic change on behalf of the women, children, and men who are survivors of sexual violence. Anyone in the SAVI community or the greater communities that we serve throughout New York City! Anyone that wants to help influence the important decisions that are made by legislators that supposedly have our best interests or our clients’ best interests in mind! To learn more about this event and the coalition, please visit the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault website at http://www.nyscasa.org/.

*For more news and events, check out the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

Step Up

Rape Crisis

More on Duke

April 17, 2006 at 8:10 pm 1 comment

Amtrak, Jerry Springer-Style


Just because rarely is riding on Amtrak gossip-worthy….

Whenever I can ride on AcelaExpress, I sit in the QuietCar. It’s pretty self-explanatory. In this car, no cell phone ringing or conversations and voices should be kept at a hush-hush level. I love it. I reached my limit riding in the regular car when a stripper told her girl on the phone how her “guy” i.e. pimp said patrons can put their hands on you if you give lap dances and made the argument for a good hour before getting off at – where else? – Baltimore, god love her.

So as I’m sitting back in my lovely QuietCar seat, getting ready to enjoy my iPod without annoying voices or rings in the background, a very “artsy” looking guy with huge Fifth Element-like bug-eye sunglasses on sat down in front of in the group seats – you know, those 4-seaters families and obnoxious frat/sorority folks sit in. And dude is rambling on his motherfuckin cell phone!


Just as I’m about to do the stand, loud sigh and evil stare look, the conductor (important note: a large older black man who looked like he didn’t pity the fool) starts down the car to collect tix (another important note: we haven’t left the station yet). He sees chatterbox, and snaps, “Can you read?!”, then tells him to immediately get off the phone or go to the next car to use it.

There are signs all over this car stating “QuietCar: cell phone use prohibited”, etc. So when the guy gets off the phone, apologizes albeit smartly and says he didn’t see the signs, I and most others on the train sort of roll our eyes.. But maybe he was illiterate. If so, I’m sure the conductor would have kindly read the sign to him.

Now maybe the conductor could have told the guy a little later but anyway, he then tells him that the seats he was in were reserved for groups and that if any came on the train, he’d have to give the seats up. So bug-eyes stands up, snaps “Well, where can I sit, you just tell me then where can I sit.” Conductor puts his hands up a little, and calmly reminds him that it’s not that he can’t stay in the seats, only that he may have to give them up later or he could try another car right now.

Here’s where the excitement begins:

Fifth Element acquiesces and the conductor walks on down the car when the aggravated passenger says under his breath, “You can take the nigger out the country, you can’t take the country out the nigger.” Conductor may have been older but he wasn’t deaf. He snaps back around, “Awww hell no. Are you serious? Off the train! I’m calling the conductor and security. You will have to exit this train!” Bug-eyes sits back in his seat and is totally quiet. Conductor barks into his walkie-talkie “Customer has used a racial expletive, he must get off the train!” Head conductor comes, police come, order the still silent passenger off the train. He gets off without protest. Of course, all the white people are turning around freaked out, one lady even changes cars.

The whole time, I was meakly sitting right behind all the action trying to act like I couldn’t hear anything because of my iPod. Lame, I know. But when bug-eyes made the nigger comment, my eyes went wide and jaw dropped. I was so glad the conductor did what he did….especially since my punk ass would have probably just done a lot of hard stares and heavy sighing in bug-eyes direction.

Soon to come: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the fun has just begun

April 12, 2006 at 6:18 pm 6 comments

Don’t Cry For Me, Motherfuckers

Last night into the wee hours of the morning, an acquaintance of mine quipped that my blog was a way that I expressed a militant “I am black woman, hear me whine” posting where I needed to have my “downness” confirmed by comments that serve as pats on the back.

I strongly disagreed and told him so. While race is a strong theme in my blog, I don’t think I use this to whine about my being a black woman or show how “black” I am. I’m not insecure about being black or having a vagina. I like to point out what I find to be humorous and/or offensive issues involving race but I think most of my posts have to do with my womanhood in terms of dating which is actually more typical and generic than anything else. Most of my posts I believe are just silly musings on my personal life or public happenings that I like to write about, but I don’t believe I incorporate a serious element of feeling sorry for myself or, as this colleague put it, wearing a race chip on my shoulder.

Here are the things in no particular order that I have genuinely had a pity party or melancholy over in my short lifespan:

1. Having a clinically depressed mother who has made 5 suicide attempts and had 3 hospitalizations in my lifetime.
2. The fact that my father will work for the rest of his life.
3. Having a grandmother suffering from worsening dementia holed up in a barely standard nursing home.
4. Having lost my childhood home to my mother’s mental and physical inability to keep it.
5. Living 3000 miles away from my mother once she was shipped out to California to try and have a better life (she does, but we haven’t seen each other in over a year).

Not a one has to do with my race or my gender nor, most importantly, do I think either have had any influence on the above topics. Also, only one of my posts concern these events in any detail. I’m also realizing I frankly don’t pity myself for having been recently fired and going on unemployment. I mean, sometimes shit happens.

But I am mostly posting this to gain opinions, comments on if what my acquaintance says (“Your father drives a Benz and you’re going to Harvard so how bad do you have it?”) is true. So, feel free……

April 2, 2006 at 8:10 pm 10 comments

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