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September 29, 2014

"Here are some things you must do or not do if you want to stay alive . . . "

Fruit for Crows | LEONARD PIERCE DOT COM
Here are some things you must do or not do if you want to stay alive, we tell our black citizens: do not ever commit a crime, no matter how petty, any time in your life. In any encounter with the police, do your best to behave as a soulless automaton, stripped of any volition or dignity, of the very suggestion that you are a human being cognizant of your rights under the law. Do not speak, move, dress, or behave unusually or unexpectedly. Do not buy anything that might alarm a white person, no matter how legal or harmless. Do not respond to any provocation of any kind, ever. Do not ask to be treated fairly; certainly do not demand it. Do not wear a Halloween costume; do not get in a car accident; do not walk around at night. Recognize in all white people moral authority, and in yourself moral culpability, at all times. Do not go to a place where you might not expected to be, even if you are invited. Make sure you have a biological mother and father that you live with, who are married to one another, and who share the same surname. Do not look like another person of your race who might have done something wrong. Do not, ever, become upset about anything. Do not live near white people, but do not gather in groups with your own. Try to arrange it so that your actual physical body is not taller, younger, heavier, more fit, or more adorned than any white person with whom you might come into contact. Do not carry a gun, legally or not. Avoid any expression of your own culture as if it were a particularly virulent plague. Do not ever drink. Do not ever take drugs. Do not ever be loud. If you do all these things, always, as long as you live, you may feel yourself so reduced in the basic qualities of humankind that you think yourself still a slave, or worse, a herd animal, but at least there is a chance you will not be killed. If you are, though, rest assured that whites in their thousands will make a moral example of you to your people, reminding them of other things that they must not do. Then they will start a charitable drive to lessen the burdens of the man who killed you. If you are a white person, try to imagine your life if it were demanded that you behave in such a way every day for the rest of your life, under the very real threat of death. It’s harder than you think; millions of people literally cannot conceive of it.

August 03, 2014

"I Waited Until My Wedding Night to Lose My Virginity and I Wish I Hadn't"

Believing in the cultural myths about virginity made this woman miserable and made her leave her church. IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Waited Until My Wedding Night to Lose My Virginity and I Wish I Hadn't | xoJane
Sex hurt. I knew it would. Everyone told me it would be uncomfortable the first time. What they didn't tell me is that I would be back in the bathroom afterward, crying quietly for reasons I didn't yet comprehend. They didn't tell me that I'd be on my honeymoon, crying again, because sex felt dirty and wrong and sinful even though I was married and it was supposed to be okay now. When we got home, I couldn't look anyone in the eye. Everyone knew my virginity was gone. My parents, my church, my friends, my co-workers. They all knew I was soiled and tarnished. I wasn't special anymore. My virginity had become such an essential part of my personality that I didn't know who I was without it. It didn't get better. I avoided undressing in front of my husband. I tried not to kiss him too often or too amorously so I wouldn't lead him on. I dreaded bedtime. Maybe he'd want to have sex. When he did, I obliged. I wanted nothing more than to make him happy because I loved him so much and because I'd been taught it was my duty to fulfill his needs. But I hated sex. Sometimes I cried myself to sleep because I wanted to like it, because it wasn't fair. I had done everything right. I took the pledge and stayed true to it. Where was the blessed marriage I was promised? I let it go on this way for almost two years before I broke down. I just couldn't do it anymore. I told my husband everything. My feminist husband was horrified that I'd let him touch me when I didn't want him to. He made me promise I'd never do anything I didn't want to do ever again. We stopped having sex. He encouraged me to see a therapist and I did. It was the first step on a long journey to healing.