Erotic provocateur, racially-influenced humanist, relentless champion for the oppressed, and facilitator for social change, Scottie Lowe is the brain child, creative genius and the blood, sweat, and tears behind AfroerotiK. Intended to be part academic, part educational, and part sensual, she, yes SHE gave birth to the website to provide people of African descent a place to escape the narrow-mined, stereotypical, limiting and oft-times degrading beliefs that abound about our sexuality. No, not all Black men are driven by lust by white flesh or to create babies and walk away. No, not all Black women are promiscuous welfare queens. And as hard as it may be to believe, no, not all gay Black men are feminine, down low, or HIV positive. Scottie is putting everything on the table to discuss, debate, and dismantle stereotypes in a healthy exchange of ideas. She hopes to provide a more holistic, informed, and enlightened discussion of Black sexuality and dreams of helping couples be more open, honest, and adventurous in their relationships.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Yes, You Do Have a Right to . . .

(Young, twenty and thirty something women won’t read this, they will reject it immediately.  It is my prayer that mothers and fathers of young girls and boys will read this.  It is my hope that parents of young girls and boys will grasp my intent and teach their children about the consent and rape from a more enlightened perspective.)

As a car owner, you have a right to leave your car running with the keys in the ignition, the doors unlocked and wide open, in the middle of a huge mall parking lot while you run in to grab a few items.  It’s your right.  It’s your car.  You bought it and paid for it and it’s yours to do with what you want.  You worked hard for that car and if you feel like you don’t want to have to turn the ignition off and on, and if you feel like you should be able to leave the keys in the ignition and unlocked simply because your name is on the title and it belongs to you, yes, you have that right.    If you did that, you would be clowned as the biggest, most delusional idiot to walk the face of the earth though.  The story of your stupidity would go viral around the world and you would break the internet.    Twitter would create a hashtag just for you. 

When you go on vacation, you have a right to leave the door of your house or apartment wide open, with all the lights on, with the mail and the newspapers piling up letting everyone know that you are out of town.  You certainly have that right to leave your TV, furniture, electronics, jewelry, and clothes in plain view of everyone to see while you enjoy yourself without a care in the world.  It’s your right.  You own that home.  You shouldn’t have to have a security system, you shouldn’t have to lock your doors if you don’t want to.  Everyone should know that it’s your home, your sanctuary, and that they should respect your rights and not violate them.  The police might even be able to muster up the pretense that you aren’t the biggest moron on the planet . . . for a few minutes when they arrive at the scene when you return home to find that every single thing that you own has been moved out and there is nothing left in your house but the nails in the wall where your once beautiful artwork used to hang.  

There can be no question or debate about whether or not you have the right to go to a coffee shop and do your personal banking on an open, unsecure WIFI account and leave your screen open, with your financial information in plain sight while you decide to go buy a double vanilla soy latte half caff with an extra espresso shot and foam, without having your identity stolen and every penny you own being embezzled.  Forget the designer drink and obscene stupidity of that scenario.  If you are in a free WIFI hotspot, you have the right to ask a total stranger to watch your laptop while you go to the bathroom.  I’ve done it.  You’ve done it.  We’ll all done it at one point.  If we’re lucky, the person will be honest and when we return from the rest room our things will still be there and we will not have been violated.

You have a right to have unprotected sex, you have a right to get drunk every night of the week, and you have a right to leave a loaded gun with the safety off in your home with children.  You have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, don’t you?  You can do whatever floats your little boat as long as it doesn’t violate another person’s rights.  There shouldn’t be any consequences to your actions, right?  You should be able to do anything you want and people have to respect that you have a right to do it.  It’s in the Constitution, isn’t it?  And while we would like to think that the person sitting next to us in Starbucks is honest and will not steal our stuff, that’s just wishful thinking because we know that in our society, people steal.  They lie.  They cheat.  They often times take what doesn’t belong to them. 

Just as all these examples of legitimate rights that people have are valid, they have committed no crimes, they have not broken any laws, there is NOTHING in the world that prevents anyone from doing each and every one of these things, there are foreseeable outcomes to each and every situation where a criminal will disregard a person’s right to be stupid and will violate them.  It’s like, for example, a young lady has a right to go to a fraternity party, dressed in what amounts to denim panties and a tube top, get drunk off her ass, and play strip poker while drinking out of strange cups.  She has a right to expect not to be raped, right?  But is that a smart thing to do?  Oh dear Goddess in heaven, if I suggest that it’s misguided for a young woman to do that, I’m slut shaming.  It’s respectability politics.  “How dare you!  Take two seats.  Shut the fuck up you ankh nigga bitch!” 

We as a society would make an artform of clowning, degrading, humiliating, and ridiculing anyone who could think that they had a right to leave their personal property readily available to criminals to steal but if I suggest that women should apply common sense measures to protect their bodies from being raped, I’m oppressing women’s rights.  Check it.  A gazelle has a right to wander freely throughout the savannah, enjoying the sun and the birds and all the pretty flowers.  That does not mean that a lion is not going to make dinner out of it, though. 

There is this pervasive, widespread, and delusional notion that women do not have to use common sense in order to protect themselves from being raped.  Is your need to get drunk and pass out so great that you cannot comprehend that you are putting yourself in harm’s way if you do it around men who will not respect your rights?  No one deserves to be raped.  Let me say that again.  NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED.  But that is not to suggest that there aren’t some basic, common sense measures that young women can take to prevent being raped.  No one should be shamed for their sexuality.  But that’s not at all the same thing as suggesting that you should go out and play chicken at high speeds on a curvy road at midnight when you are under the influence of alcohol and that you can’t expect there to be fatal consequences either. 

We live in a society of rape culture.  Men see women as objects.  Men see women as things to be used, slapped, choked, beaten, ejaculated on, and thrown away like trash.  We don’t teach our boys to understand that no means no, we don’t teach them about consent.  Males are socialized to view sex as power and that taking it, stabbing it, killing it, and that every other violent metaphor for sex makes them “real men”.  So, the solution can’t be to tell women that they have a right to wear clothing that has no other objective than to arouse lust in men, and then feign outrage and disgust when a man wants to violate them.  You lock your car.  You lock your house.  You don’t give your laptop to the homeless person on the street to watch while you go to the bathroom.  But you’ll scream at the top of your lungs that you have a right to be naked and walk down the street and no one should say anything to you.  It’s deluded logic. 

I get that the right to party and get drunk is an inalienable right.  If men do it, women should be able to also.  I get that if you wear more than a bikini, you are going to suffer the consequences of spontaneous combustion and be consumed with flames because anything that covers more than you labia and areola is simply too uncomfortable to wear.  I get that you can’t possibly wear modest clothing because that is somehow infringing on your sexuality and you have a right to be sexual without being shamed.  I get it!  You have a right to cover your naked body in honey and chain yourself to a tree in the woods too, but you better expect to be eaten up by insects or worse. 

It’s tragic that we aren’t teaching our sons not to rape.  It’s reprehensible.  But it’s equally as tragic, no more or less so, that we aren’t teaching our daughters to pair up, protect one another, to have a safety net when they meet with a man for the first time, or the second or third time for that matter.  We should be teaching our girls that they shouldn’t be alone with a guy until they know him well enough to know that he is not going to violate them.  Of course, some men will earn a woman’s trust and violate her any way.  It’s going to happen for sure because we live in a society where sociopaths and sexual predators abound.  But let’s not give an engraved invitation for men to violate us and then call it empowering or our right either.  Young girls should be saying to men, “I have texted my whereabouts to my network of girlfriends.  They know where I am and who I’m with and you should know that I’m committed to protecting my safety at all costs.”  

Just as we should be teaching our boys from before the onset of puberty that they should not be violating girls, in school, at home, and in the media, we should be teaching young girls that if they are going to a party, that the D.C.B., the designated cock blocker has to stay sober, someone has to make sure that in a drunken state that the other girls won’t go off and make unsafe choices, or to call the police immediately if they see some creep trying to violate a woman, and they should have a rotation so that everyone has to be said cock blocker when it is their turn.   We need to start teaching our girls that they don’t have to be hot and sexy all the time, that they have more value than showing off every possible inch of skin, that conforming to sexist definitions of womanhood is NOT empowering.  In my dream world, we teach young women that their intellect, their integrity, and their activism are their most attractive traits and that they can be as sexual as they want to be with individuals who have EARNED the right to their intimacy and that their value is not in the size of their ass. 

Young girls are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that if they aren’t being sexy and attractive 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, that they are somehow being confined in an oppressive prison that tells that they have to be asexual and virgin in order to have value as women.  I’m not saying that.  I’m saying that your sexuality shouldn’t be defined by how much skin you expose to men who aren’t going to value you as a person any god damn way.   

The women who have responded in outrage to this posting, the ones who are sending messages to their friends to read this and unfollow me, didn’t read past the word “raped.”  This youthful arrogance that has been promoted, this denial of logic, reason, and common sense, has been perpetuated for so long and is so wide spread that it passes as sanity.  But I’m telling you from what I know because I have been raped.  I’ve been raped more than once.  Once, by a friend in college.  Once, by an acquaintance because I rejected his romantic advances and he thought he would pay me back by raping me.  The first two instances were completely beyond my control.  I could have done nothing to stop them.  The third time, I  was raped by a young man who saw me as sexual prey and stalked me until he could get the opportunity to be alone with me.  I let him into my apartment.  I felt uncomfortable with him being there because I wasn’t attracted to him and I knew he had a crush on me.  I shouldn’t have let him in my home.  I should have trusted my gut that his intentions weren’t pure.  What I did or didn’t do does not mean that I deserved to be raped.  It means my judgement was off.  It means I didn’t value myself enough, that being polite to him should not have been as important as my personal safety.  I’m not saying that any of my rapes were more valid or that my victimization was better or worse than the young woman who gets drunk at a party.  I can’t say it enough, no person, woman or man, deserves to be raped.  I am suggesting that as long as we hold on to this delusional notion that young women can do and wear anything they want, and that they can willfully put themselves in harm’s way and that there aren’t “supposed” to be consequences because in Utopialand, women can do and wear what they want, we are teaching young women to play Russian roulette with their safety and possibly their lives. 

Copyright 2016 AfroerotiK All Rights Reserved


1ManView said...

Just because you have the right, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do...

Unknown said...

You cannot compare a home, a car, & a laptop to a woman's body. All of those things are material & can be replaced. The violation of someone's body is the WORST thing you can do. anyone can own a material item, only WE can own our bodies. A lot of the time my clothing is explicit, not because I want to attract attention or bc I only define myself by my sexuality.... thats just how i like to dress. i dont mind guys looking at me or complimenting my body, as long as they dont disrespect me. now what you said about women taking precautions is right. me & my girlfriends ALWAYS have each others backs when we're out & in harms way. but its one thing to pass out drunk to find out ur cellphone or shoes are missing... but to find out ur BODY has been violated? rape is not abt taking something bc its easy, its about control. rape is more similar to murder than it is to ANY exampe u used smh.

mutha love said...

you telling women what to do to not get raped is similar to people telling black men what to do to not get murdered by the police.

AfroerotiK said...

Ahhhh, your youthful ignorance! I'm saying that there are consequences to your actions. If you want to go out and get drunk at a frat party without having someone there to have your back and make sure that you don't put yourself in dangerous situations, then that's stupid. If you protect your car, your house, and your belongings, why not protect your body? Oh, because you have a right to wear what you want. Well, expect there to be consequences Ms. Feminista with your arrogance and willful ignorance.

It's too bad you didn't read or comprehend anything I was saying.

AfroerotiK said...

Telling Black men what to do to be empowered, intelligent, informed, articulate, and logical has nothing to do with how the police treat them. It's advice so they can be the best that they can be as Black men. I know you don't understand the concept because you think wallowing in unhealthy, dysfunctional behaviors is the definition of Blackness.