"Although in the United States, where I live, rape survivors are now more common than smokers, I am not currently among the nearly 20% of women or 3% of men (or more) who are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. I am not one of the 1 in 3 Native Americans who are raped. My mother has never felt the need to tell a doctor, as one Native American mother did, “I need to learn more about Plan B for when my daughter gets raped.”
And my lack of first-hand experience might be why my narrow definition of rape was completely wrong.
Rape is not always violent. Some survivors surrender to protect themselves or their loved ones. Some are intoxicated, drugged, physically or mentally incapacitated, or in a position without power. Some (doubly horribly) are children. Rape does not always include penile penetration. Some rapists are married to their victims. Some rapists are women. Some women rape men. And sometimes, in the middle of an act that is always a violation, a rape survivor will experience increasingly intense physical sensations leading to climax – an orgasm.
Yes, it really happens.
Of those who report their rapes, around 4–5% also describe experiencing orgasm. But the true numbers are likely much higher. In a 2004 review paper, a clinician reports, “I (have) met quite a lot of victims (males) who had the full sexual response during sexual abuse…I (have) met several female victims of incest and rape who had lubrication and orgasm.” “
“We really need a better understanding of human sexuality and human physiology. Just as Todd Akin (and hundreds of years of science) was so wrong in thinking that rape can’t lead to pregnancy, I and many others were entirely wrong about arousal and climax during rape. Despite what many rapists would like to believe, arousal does not mean that an assault was enjoyable or that a victim was asking for it. So what does it mean?
Quite simply, our bodies respond to sex. And our bodies respond to fear. Our bodies respond. They do so uniquely and often entirely without our permission or intention. Orgasm during rape isn’t an example of an expression of pleasure. It’s an example of a physical response whether the mind’s on board or not, like breathing, sweating, or an adrenaline rush. Therapists commonly use the analogy of tickling. While tickling can be pleasurable, when it is done against someone’s wishes it can be very unpleasant experience. And during that unpleasant experience, amid calls to stop, the one being tickled will continue laughing. They just can’t help it.”
Women’s reproductive health isn’t just about what is covered in mainstream media.
When did so many feminists get polite on abortion? I cannot take hearing another pundit insist that only a small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s work is providing abortions or that some women need birth control for “medical” reasons. Tiptoeing around the issue is exhausting, and it’s certainly not doing women any favors.
It’s time resuscitate the old rallying cry for “free abortions on demand without apology.” It may not be a popular message but it’s absolutely necessary. After all, the opposition doesn’t have nearly as many caveats. They’re fighting for earlier and earlier bans on abortions, pushing for no exceptions for rape and incest, fighting against birth control coverage—even insisting that they have the right to threaten abortion providers. The all-out strategy is working; since 2010, more than fifty abortion clinics have stopped providing services.
The anti-choice movement isn’t pulling any punches—why should we?
not men who want to take away rights from women but women who want to take rights away from other women women who seriously believe themselves to be undeserving of the same rights as men women who have been brainwashed to consider themselves second-class citizens
I hope this letter finds you in good health, in good disposition, and enveloped with the spirit of goodness. I must confess that it had never occurred to me before to write you, and I find myself overwhelmed and moved to have this opportunity.
Although circumstances have compelled me to reach out to you, I am glad to have this occasion to try and cross the boundaries that would otherwise tend to separate us.
I understand that the New Jersey State Police have written to you and asked you to intervene and to help facilitate my extradition back to the United States. I believe that their request is unprecedented in history. Since they have refused to make their letter to you public, although they have not hesitated to publicize their request, I am completely uninformed as to the accusations they are making against me. Why, I wonder, do I warrant such attention? What do I represent that is such a threat?
Please let me take a moment to tell you about myself. My name is Assata Shakur and I was born and raised in the United States. I am a descendant of Africans who were kidnapped and brought to the Americas as slaves. I spent my early childhood in the racist segregated South. I later moved to the northern part of the country, where I realized that Black people were equally victimized by racism and oppression.
I grew up and became a political activist, participating in student struggles, the anti-war movement, and, most of all, in the movement for the liberation of African Americans in the United States. I later joined the Black Panther Party, an organization that was targeted by the COINTELPRO program, a program that was set up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to eliminate all political opposition to the U.S. government’s policies, to destroy the Black Liberation Movement in the United States, to discredit activists and to eliminate potential leaders.
Under the COINTELPRO program, many political activists were harassed, imprisoned, murdered or otherwise neutralized. As a result of being targeted by COINTELPRO, I, like many other young people, was faced with the threat of prison, underground, exile or death. The FBI, with the help of local police agencies, systematically fed false accusations and fake news articles to the press accusing me and other activists of crimes we did not commit. Although in my case the charges were eventually dropped or I was eventually acquitted, the national and local police agencies created a situation where, based on their false accusations against me, any police officer could shoot me on sight. It was not until the Freedom of Information Act was passed in the mid-’70s that we began to see the scope of the United States government’s persecution of political activists.
At this point, I think that it is important to make one thing very clear. I have advocated and I still advocate revolutionary changes in the structure and in the principles that govern the United States. I advocate self-determination for my people and for all oppressed inside the United States. I advocate an end to capitalist exploitation, the abolition of racist policies, the eradication of sexism, and the elimination of political repression. If that is a crime, then I am totally guilty.
To make a long story short, I was captured in New Jersey in 1973, after being shot with both arms held in the air, and then shot again from the back. I was left on the ground to die and when I did not, I was taken to a local hospital where I was threatened, beaten and tortured. In 1977 I was convicted in a trial that can only be described as a legal lynching.
In 1979 I was able to escape with the aid of some of my fellow comrades. I saw this as a necessary step, not only because I was innocent of the charges against me, but because I knew that in the racist legal system in the United States I would receive no justice. I was also afraid that I would be murdered in prison. I later arrived in Cuba where I am currently living in exile as a political refugee.
The New Jersey State Police and other law enforcement officials say they want to see me brought to “justice.” But I would like to know what they mean by “justice.” Is torture justice? I was kept in solitary confinement for more than two years, mostly in men’s prisons. Is that justice? My lawyers were threatened with imprisonment and imprisoned. Is that justice? I was tried by an all-white jury, without even the pretext of impartiality, and then sentenced to life in prison plus 33 years. Is that justice?
Let me emphasize that justice for me is not the issue I am addressing here; it is justice for my people that is at stake. When my people receive justice, I am sure that I will receive it, too. I know that Your Holiness will reach your own conclusions, but I feel compelled to present the circumstances surrounding the application of so-called “justice” in New Jersey. I am not the first or the last person to be victimized by the New Jersey system of “justice.” The New Jersey State Police are infamous for their racism and brutality. Many legal actions have been filed against them and just recently, in a class action legal proceeding, the New Jersey State Police were found guilty of having an, quote, “officially sanctioned, de facto policy of targeting minorities for investigation and arrest,” unquote.
Although New Jersey’s population is more than 78 percent white, more than 75 percent of the prison population is made up of Blacks and Latinos. Eighty percent of women in New Jersey prisons are women of color. There are 15 people on death row in the state and seven of them are Black. A 1987 study found that New Jersey prosecutors sought the death penalty in 50 percent of cases involving a Black defendant and a white victim, but only 28 percent of cases involving a Black defendant and a Black victim.
Unfortunately, the situation in New Jersey is not unique, but reflects the racism that permeates the entire country. The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. There are more than 1.7 million people in U.S. prisons. This number does not include the more than 500,000 people in city and county jails, nor does it include the alarming number of children in juvenile institutions. The vast majority of those behind bars are people of color and virtually all of those behind bars are poor. The result of this reality is devastating. One third of Black men between the ages of 20 and 29 are either in prison or under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system.
Prisons are big business in the United States, and the building, running, and supplying of prisons has become the fastest growing industry in the country. Factories are being moved into the prisons and prisoners are being forced to work for slave wages. This super-exploitation of human beings has meant the institutionalization of a new form of slavery. Those who cannot find work on the streets are forced to work in prison.
Not only are the prisons used as instruments of economic exploitation, they also serve as instruments of political repression. There are more than 100 political prisoners in the United States. They are African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Chicanos, Native Americans, Asians, and progressive white people who oppose the policies of the United States government. Many of those targeted by theCOINTELPRO program have been in prison since the early 1970s. Although the situation in the prisons is an indication of human rights violations inside the United States, there are other, more deadly indicators.
There are currently 3,365 people now on death row, and more than 50 percent of those awaiting death are people of color. Black people make up only 13 percent of the population, but we make up 41.01 percent of persons who have received the death penalty. The number of state assassinations has increased drastically. In 1997 alone, 71 people were executed.
A special rapporteur appointed by the United Nations organization found serious human rights violations in the United States, especially those related to the death penalty. According to his findings, people who were mentally ill were sentenced to death, people with severe mental and learning disabilities, as well as minors under 18. Serious racial bias was found on the part of judges and prosecutors. Specifically mentioned in the report was the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the only political prisoner on death row, who was sentenced to death because of his political beliefs and because of his work as a journalist, exposing police brutality in the city of Philadelphia.
I believe that some people spell God with one “O” while others spell it with two. What we call God is unimportant, as long as we do God’s work. There are those who want to see God’s wrath fall on the oppressed and not on the oppressors. I believe that the time has ended when slavery, colonialism, and oppression can be carried out in the name of religion. It was in the dungeons of prison that I felt the presence of God up close, and it has been my belief in God, and in the goodness of human beings that has helped me to survive. I am not ashamed of having been in prison, and I am certainly not ashamed of having been a political prisoner. I believe that Jesus was a political prisoner who was executed because he fought against the evils of the Roman Empire, because he fought against the greed of the money changers in the temple, because he fought against the sins and injustices of his time. As a true child of God, Jesus spoke up for the poor, for the meek, for the sick, and the oppressed. The early Christians were thrown into lions’ dens. I will try and follow the example of so many who have stood up in the face of overwhelming oppression.
I am not writing to ask you to intercede on my behalf. I ask nothing for myself. I only ask you to examine the social reality of the United States and to speak out against the human rights violations that are taking place.
On this day, the birthday of Martin Luther King, I am reminded of all those who gave their lives for freedom. Most of the people who live on this planet are still not free. I ask only that you continue to work and pray to end oppression and political repression. It is my heartfelt belief that all the people on this earth deserve justice: social justice, political justice, and economic justice. I believe it is the only way we will ever achieve peace and prosperity on this earth. I hope that you enjoy your visit to Cuba. This is not a country that is rich in material wealth, but it is a country that is rich in human wealth, spiritual wealth and moral wealth.
Hello, my love! Wanted to let you know I just dropped off your package at the post office and I wanted to apologize in advance for the tape fest! That package is a tape party! You're probably going to just have to, uh, cut right through it, haha. <3 <3 - Kolya
Oh, I’m beyond excited! I can’t wait! And no need for you to ever apologize! I look forward to your packages sooo much! I’m like a gitty school girl (imagine a less slutty Brittany Spears in a Catholic school girl outfit, circa ‘Hit me baby one more time’. Side note: if you replace me with my that song takes on a whole new meaning lol). I love your face! xoxo
Hey dear its Mindi, your penpal. I havent forgotten about you, I have been extremely sick, and I just got a new job, I promise your letter will be in the mail by Monday!
Awe love bug! I’m so sorry you have been so sick. Thank you for letting me know tho, I was starting to wonder if you were divorcing me lol. Glad that isn’t the case. I am looking forward to ypur letter sweets!
Outgoing mail Monday:
Stacy in Canada
Mariah from OR
I need to apologize to Stacy for not sending your letter out Friday. However, my good friend died Friday morning in a car accident (Google: Sara Harrison Franklin County WDBJ7 or WSLS). So my friends, I’ve fallen behind trying to organize a memorial for her and everything, but I promise letters will be going out Monday! I love you all!
Do you know about Swap-bot?
Do you enjoy receiving things in the mail?
How about sending awesome gifts to people in the mail?
Here’s what you do:
Go to Swap-bot.com and sign up!
Once registered I suggest checking out their blog and dash to get a better idea of what it is.
Once you fully understand, go to ‘find swaps’. Then browse thru the awesome swaps they have posted or start your own!
Items that are often swapped: Smashbooks, Scrapbooks, smash/scrapbooking items, ephemera, stamps, beauty products (brand new: perfume, lip gloss, blush, eye shadow, lip stick, shampoo, body wash, etc), news paper articles, mail art, altered art, altered altoid tins, international items like candy, stamps, currency, photos, post cards, etc. It’s also a great place to make pen pals!
I think everyone should check it out! Happy swapping!
Sending out mail makes me happy! I’m excited for all my friendlies to get all the goodies I send them and the long letters I write. I don’t skimp on either! I think I’m a pretty good pen pal if I do say so myself and I think I have found me a group of pretty awesome pen pals!
Also, you all must know I finally.bought me some postal scales so no wasting stamps any more. I will now know the official weight of all the mail I send and exactly what stamps it needs!
Hello! I’m Courteney and I’m really reaching out to people here. I have a friend who is on the streets, he’s on meth and can’t seem to get off this drug. I really want to help him but most certainly can’t do it alone. I’m a single mother to his child and I left him because he was just around the…
A few days ago I came across this blog. The nice lady running it promises to send a letter to everyone asking for it. I just loved the colourful envelopes and the supercute Totoro stamp so I sent her a message asking for one. My letter arrived today and spread cheer and glitter all over me ^^
Thank you all soooo much for all the goodies and letters and pictures and flow charts of family tree’s and all the awesomeness that arrived in my mailbox today! My heart melted when I came home to all that love!
Outgoing Mail Tomorrow:
Kolya in CA
Mindi in CO
Kathryn in GA
All of your reply mail will be sent out tomorrow. I won’t be making another message about it UNLESS for some reason I don’t get them sent out tomorrow. So watch your mailboxes for goodies from VA! I love you all!
Oh awesome, I think I will implement the same system! Another letter that I sent out the same day arrived in GA today, so yeah, I am hoping you get yours tomorrow then :)
Yes, I believe thats the best way to keep up with incoming and outgoing mail. Also, if you miss it, you can also check tags. I will tag my incoming with #incoming mail, #penpals, #(your first name) in CO. For outgoing search the same tags except #Outgoing.
To All Of My PenPals Or People Who Sent Me Their Address and Are Awaiting Mail From Me:
The above applies to all of my pen pals and future pen pals. Its easier for me to simply post publicly when I receive and send mail, rather than keeping up with individual Tumblr names or email addresses. If you don’t see a post from me regarding your mail, check the tags (#incoming mail, #incoming, #outgoing mail, #outgoing, #(your first name & state abbreviation), also check #LesbianWithAPurpose and #MyHeartBelongsToSnailMail, I may also use those). Of course, if all else fails shoot me an email(best way of contact) at Cyh242@yahoo.com or a message on Tumblr and we will figure it out.
Hey, um hopefully this is the right url, otherwise sorry! I just read your post on Penship and wanted to just say: THANK YOU FOR BEING THE MOST AWESOME PERSON EVER! Just keep doing what you're doing and stay epic! I'm not the penpal you're looking for, but I hope you get one well deserving! Anyway, that was weird I know- and totally out of character, hence anon. Have a wonderful day you beautiful piece of person! Love, an admiring baby femme with no social ability ^.^
Let me start by saying I wish you weren’t on Anon, but I understand. You just made my year, that was, by far, the best comment I have EVER received, especially from a stranger. I don’t truly remember what I said to even elicit such love, but whatever it was, I’m damn glad I did! Your words to the worlds ears and this place would be beautiful. You’re an amazing soul and you have truly moved me today, I hope you know and understand that! It’s alright that you’re not up to be my pen pal, I will find out well suited for me I am sure. In life as in friendship (pen pals), you get out what you put in and its really that simple. Thats what I’m looking for, is someone who will put forth an equal effort into our relationship! I just love you baby femme with no social ability, even if I beg to differ on the social ability part, I just love you….