Gratification Denied and Delayed: Intersections of Black Women, Abuse, and Victim Blaming
August 16 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
This workshop focuses on how the bodily autonomy of black women and girls is revoked by virtue of our oppressed gender and race. Generations of sexual terror distance us from feeling ownership of our bodies. This is constantly reinforced by the media and the state as crimes against us are denied visibility and interest. In this interactive session, participants will be guided through a conversation centering the systematic blaming and shaming of black women (both cis and trans) who are victims of sexual violence. By exploring emergent themes found in the narratives of black women like Harriet Jacobs, Recy Taylor, and Ashley Diamond within the context of a deeply misogynoirist culture, we will look at how American culture has adapted to find fault in our humanity so much so that any harm or abuse committed against us is erased, minimized, and/or justified. As our testimony is successfully discredited, the power structures that enable our abusers push us further from collective justice and liberation- building gates around our sexuality that we often spend decades to unlock. We’ll discuss how Black women survivors find little refuge within the sexual freedom movement and are uniquely positioned as a group with fewer expectations for positive interactions of sexual expression. In small groups, we will imagine a future where black women and girls are less vulnerable to sexual violence and victim blaming by society- one in which our sexual encounters have room are We will end with a discussion on how the movement participates in our oppression and come up with new approaches to supporting black women/girls who experience sexual violence.