I’m depressed by the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. I’m also agog at the media-illiterate juror with literary pretensions, because proud militant ignorance is unacceptable in a world where our access to information is a-mazing. If you’re too lazy to think critically on a daily basis, how can you function on a jury? And why the hell should we deign to read her words? Ego, ignorance, self-assurance. It’s a freaky combination to me. Luckily her deal seems to have fallen through, for the moment:
So that’s comforting.
A friend linked me to this earlier tonight:
Good words, thoughtful ones. I recommend reading this article.
But I think I can pinpoint the reason behind the woman’s refusal for you to know her floor. I say this as a woman, but I don’t know if the feeling is limited to women. It’s not the same as what Questlove describes, but I do feel it’s a cousin to “you ain’t shit.” It’s that if you’re a woman and you’re raped, there are always going to be questions other than who did this to you and how can we find him? The questions go something like: what were you wearing, why were you in the elevator at that particular time, why did you get into the elevator with a Stranger, why did you smile, and on, and on, boiling down to what did you do to get yourself raped?
Women are expected to be on the defensive, to be smart, to protect themselves — because the aftermath of rape doesn’t allow miscalculation or grey areas.
I do understand where you’re coming from, Questlove. It’s shitty. But in that particular example, I feel like women are damned, too — we’re not allowed to think better afterwards, not really. We’re supposed to be aware, be ready, read The Gift of Fear* religiously until we’re twanging at every big man we see whether or not he actually means us harm. We’re supposed to prevent rape by being smart and aware and on point enough to not get raped.
This derails from the point of Questlove’s article, which is why I’m posting it here in my readerless blog rather than at the article. His point is valid and doesn’t need my validation. Go read it!
*Full disclosure: I’ve read the book, and I do think there’s value in it.