Sick and Tired of Erasure

As I sat and watched the final episode of “13 Reasons Why” on Netflix I reflected on the sexual assault culture that is prevalent in many high schools and communities across the globe. I couldn’t help but also look into my own community where rape and molestation remain a constant.

In the show, the students rally together and debate on telling the police about two rapes that took place during the season. One of a drunken girl at a party and the other of a girl who was simply minding her own damn business. What both of these issues highlight is that you don’t have to be anyone in particular for this to happen to you. It doesn’t matter if you’re an outcast or if you’re the popular socialite. Savages are always ready to make a move.

Clay, the main character, plans on telling the police about the rapes. After confronting the rapist and getting him to confess to the rapes, he has enough evidence to get him in serious trouble with the law—especially since one of the victims killed themselves less than a week later. As I watched this all I was truly amazed.

I was amazed because these people weren’t silent. They didn’t shrug it off, at least Clay didn’t. They were vigilant and acted accordingly. They didn’t care about what would happen next. They wanted the abuser off the street so he wouldn’t be able to do it again.

And so, I begin to reflect. What it’s like to be raped or molested as a black woman or girl. There is always shaming and prompt excusal of the perpetrator. You’re told that men are being men. No one reprimands the abuser. They aren’t held accountable. It’s always somehow your fault. You asked for it. You shouldn’t have had a vagina or been a child.

Today, I decided to look for major media outlets that speak about this very prevalent issue and came up with literally nothing. Nada. And yes, I even checked black magazines. This isn’t shocking to me. I expected it. I expected for these businesses to sit on their hands thus proactively being part of the erasure of black women and girls. We are constantly told to give our lives for men who never stand up for us or even respect us enough to not violate our bodies.

Like I said in a previous comment: ‘Black women and girls are the sexual property of men from childbirth.’ These discussions aren’t had because no one cares but they want you to blindly follow into a crowd of people who refuse to speak for you but you’re supposed to support these folks financially, physically, mentally, spiritually and otherwise when there has never been any reciprocity.

And no. The lack of conversation regarding the sexual assault of black women and girls is not the only way we are erased from our own damn narrative. And don’t even get me started on the retarded ‘women’ who support the rape and molestation of black women and girls. Those who offer their daughters to grown men to make him ‘happy.’ Those who pretend they don’t know their boyfriend is a rapist. Those who let their daughters down by not getting their molesters locked up or at the very minimum beating him the fuck up. Those who claim it’s simply a part of our culture and—oh, those who are the molester.

Clouds in my coffee.

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CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE!

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I am so sick and tired of the erasure of black women and girls.

 

©Kyanna Kitt

Writing Goals

I’ve been thinking a lot about the very first story that I ever wrote. I want to revisit it but first I want to re-write and re-work a story that I’ve recently written.

Upon reflecting on my writing, as I often do (and if you write I’m sure you do as well), I’ve decided that I would go back and add to stories that I’ve kind of typed out to save space in my brain. One story is already good but I’d like to broaden the scope on the meaning and the purpose. There are many scenes that I’ve written that I now see differently. There are little nuances and character flaws that I’d like to play on.

The book in question is based on a dream so it’s going to be interesting to see where it goes. I am hoping that I can expand and dig deeper to see where the realm truly takes me.

My goal is to write for this story daily. I am currently reworking characters, scenes, situations, locations etc. I’m excited about this process as I’ve never done it before. I wonder what will come of it.

©Kyanna Kitt

The Sacrifice: 13 Reasons Why

SPOILER ALERT—Read at your own discretion.

I’m in the middle of season one of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix and I find myself constantly asking questions. I read a post just last night in which the writer wondered whether the show was romanticizing or glamorizing suicide. There are many instances in the show that I’ve found myself wondering just that.

The main problem is that most people who kill themselves, like 99.9 percent of those people, are not going to leave tapes behind with commentary, a map with marked locations, and cause even more drama after death. Many people don’t even leave a note. There is really no way to tell why these people killed themselves unless the people they loved paid attention to the very obvious signs.

This show turns suicide into drama in a way that’s both wrong and intriguing. For me, so far, and I haven’t gotten to the biggest reason why Hannah killed herself, it seems like the show both gets it and misses the mark. One thing I really like about this series is that it talks about what it’s like to be a girl in high school. It’s so easy to become ‘the whore’ and literally everything is about who is sleeping with who. Your body is violated and everyone treats it as if it’s a normal human experience not realizing the impact it has on the victim. This is something I feel like even the greatest writer would never be able to convey to people who have never been sexually assaulted. It’s kind of like explaining being black to a non-black person. Or what it’s like to be disabled, gay or Muslim to people who don’t belong to these groups. You can try but it almost never works.

Sexual assault and harassment are prevalent in this show. And it’s very high in high schools across the nation and the globe. A guy grabs your butt or touches breasts and you’re told that he’s just being a man. The oldest and most used excuse in the book. We don’t realize that not reprimanding people for disgusting actions such as trespassing someone’s body affects not just the victim but society. The fact that no one stood up for Hannah created a school environment in which rape and sexual assault flourished. The perpetrators felt strong and invincible because they knew they wouldn’t be held accountable. Sound familiar?

This show also seems to imply that if people knew they would’ve done something but as I look at the show I see Hannah presenting the information to people she thought were friends. They didn’t care. I even questioned if Clay cared. He basically called her a slut and easy after the entire school bullied her about something that never even happened.

In real life, when people take their life—they may be spoken of by family but no one stops to pay attention because no one cares. If anything people continue the same rhetoric that made the person take their own life in the first place.

Jessica, Jessica, Jessica. Idiot girl blames everything on Hannah because she’s in denial about the fact that she’s a user and abuser. Jessica is the worst kind of backstabber. She never really liked Hannah. She only viewed her as a pastime and even after her death she blamed the entire situation on her. She claimed that Hannah only cared about herself. If the only thing you have to do is be is kind why can’t you, Jessica?

Alex is no better but he’s a story for an entirely different day. What’s heartbreaking is thinking of what would’ve saved Hannah’s life. Maybe if she didn’t wear a skirt. Or if she wasn’t pretty or friendly. Maybe she shouldn’t have trusted anyone. Maybe she should have just been ‘socially awkward’ like Clay. Maybe if she didn’t have a butt or a vagina or breasts. Maybe if people weren’t disgusting savages. Maybe if she would’ve just stayed home.

©Kyanna Kitt

The Tribute

In honor of the good hearted. Those who’ve always thought to do right in a world of yes-men and women. Those whose eyes have opened wide and wider than before. The spirited folk who withhold conjectures and heavily armor their senses with skepticism in a world where simply thinking is believing and mere assumptions are truth.

To the people who make strides in their community. The givers of all and receivers of none. To the fool who believes that civility can win. The persons who move towards a better world through action—the wise individual who knows that it begins with them.

To the child who thinks boldly but not taken seriously—

This is for people who don’t blindly follow the ‘shepherd.’ Embrace your individuality because being unique, truly unique, is blessing.

©Kyanna Kitt

The Fat People Problem

Yesterday I was browsing through Instagram when I received a notification saying that a guy I follow just went live. I tuned it. During the chat, he spoke about unhealthy habits that we (humans) condone through our actions—the key topics were making music about doing drugs and congratulating people for being fat.

I agreed with his first point but didn’t completely understand where he was going with his fat statement. He slightly elaborated stating that women are being called ‘thick’ or ‘curvy’ when they are merely obese or morbidly obese. He then went on to say something along the lines of ‘maybe if said women didn’t eat McDonald’s all the time they wouldn’t be fat.’

I laughed. Partially because the ignorance in the statement and partially because he, like others who speak on issues pertaining to weight, missed the mark completely. And through all of this his other viewers completely agreed. None of which were fat, most of which have probably never experienced this eating disorder and yes binge eating is a fucking eating disorder. This person made a remark stating that the act of people calling a fat person fat shouldn’t be called ‘fat shaming.’ And here’s the issue I have with that:

The act of telling someone they are unhealthy or that they should work on improving their health and fitness in and of itself is not shaming—if done correctly. The act of hordes of people ganging up on a person because of their weight to cast stones and give no type of positive information regarding losing the weight or getting healthy is. I’ve never heard of a person getting bullied out of love. Bullying is not an act of nurturing. It also isn’t a show of concern or kindness. You can’t honestly sit here and say that you think that people flocking onto someone’s picture and calling them fat ass, fat bitch, whale, unhealthy etc. is constructive criticism.

If we can see drugs as a problem that users need help with, people who eat all the damn time should be looked at in the same way. Guess what? The human body doesn’t need drugs to survive. But it does need food. A more proactive response to the growing number of obese (and beyond) people would be to get these people involved in initiatives to get healthy. Telling someone they are only as good as the number on the scale does nothing to boost the confidence, self-esteem or self-worth they probably, more than likely, already did not have to begin with.

Fallacy #1: Fat people eat McDonald’s all day. Every fat person does not eat meat. Every vegan is not slim. Every fat person is not addicted to food. Food is not the only thing that makes humans fat. Anyone who says food has literally nothing to do with health is a damn lie.  Anyone who claims it has everything to do with one’s health is ignorant.

Fallacy #2: Fat people have coronary issues. Fat people are more likely to have disease period but guess what? Being fat doesn’t guarantee health issues beyond the scale. What this statement misses is that thin, fitness buffs have heart attacks and heart failure as well. So now what? What’s the new argument? Perhaps that they should be vegan or raw vegan?

Fallacy #3: Fat people are coddled and congratulated. Where? The only time I’ve seen fat people congratulated is by perverts. Any other time they are made to feel subhuman and worthless.

Fallacy #4: Fat bodies are celebrated. This simply is not true. If we live in a pro-fat culture where are the morbidly obese singers and actress? Why are models slim? Why are the women who are labeled beautiful slim? Why? Why? Why?

Fallacy #5: Fat people don’t exercise. False again. Being fat doesn’t mean that you don’t move your damn body and being active doesn’t guarantee you a slender physique. More goes into size than simply eating right and exercise. There are other forces at work in the human body. If it were that simple, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

Fallacy #6: Fat people enjoy being unhealthy. Where? Most of the fat people I know and have read about on their blogs and social media hate themselves and just want to be ‘normal.’

When we are talking about health and fat people who eat all the time, let’s make sure we come correct. You’re not doing anyone any favors by calling out people with a BMI over 29 if you are not highlighting solutions. If anything, the only thing you’ll do is gain a cult following of people who hate fatties and spur more eating disorders. But who cares? It’s all about looking appealing.

©Kyanna Kitt