Monday, June 30, 2008

What I Learned Last Week at the Rape Crisis Center

* I have privilege like whoa! including heterosexism, ableism, audism, sizism and a decent dose of ageism. (Isms Day).

* I walk down the street not looking people directly in the eyes because I'm scared that someone is going to get in my face about my raceclassgender. (Self-Defense Day)

* I am more concerned about street harassment when around people of color but I am distinctly uncomfortable--to the point of highly anxious--in large crowds of predominantly white persons. (Ongoing but part of Isms Day thoughts)

* Walking down the street and looking people in their faces is actually not scary at all and pretty damn empowering. Whodathunk such a small thing would change my whole day around. As for implementing the anti-street harassment strategies...that is still a work in progress. i.e. I'm shyer than I think I am (Self-Defense Day)

* Over the last four years I've socialized myself to be as passive and mousy as possible because I think that helps me avoid street harassment (Self-Defense Day--and Wrong! besides)

* I am still no friend to a certain kind of white woman, but for the most part, me and the other race get along just fine and dandy (Ongoing)

* I've (still) got a more than healthy dose of internalized racism (Isms Day...and Ongoing)

* I've got to keep fighting, and I mean fighting, to claim my own self-care. And turn my current self-care (sugar) into a healthier obsession (candy --> fruit perhaps?) (Self Care Makeup Day)

* I have a healthy dislike and distrust of all police anywhere--but not all of them kick rocks. Still, police are still hyper-masculine and threaten my personal sense of safety (Police Unit Day)

* You can't save everyone (Isms Day aftermath)

* I've got fantastic, inspiring, deep thinking, privilege-battling, socially aware and involved people in my life. They are my real self-care. (Isms day aftermath...and ongoing....and going....)

I "graduate" from training on Thursday.

ION ("in other news")...this is straight out of a bad on so many levels.


T said...

Lord, I did not need to be reading that last story.

And on the looking people in the face thing, my mom told me to do that when I first started riding the CTA (I was like 12). She said if someone knows you can identify them, they are less likely to harm you. It's worked so far... thanks Mom!

Celishia said...

I will tackle the story at a later date. I can't handle the read right now.

I wanted to congratulate you on your graduation now since I will be in a black hole of communication known as my hometown Thursday through Sunday.

I learned/felt most of those things in training but I know we experienced and absorbed them in our own ways. Thanks for sharing your experiences. You've inspired and reminded me of why I do what I do. Now I just need to get back to doing it. The next time I see you, please ask me how many hotline shifts I've signed up for.

Congratulations! Not that you need it. The real reward, and journey, is in doing the work. It's one of those things that I wish wasn't necessary but at the same time but I'm glad that people like you are on the front lines.

Kismet said...

T--def. thanks to your mama too. from me. it sucks, bc once upon a time i did the same. i didnt even realize this area had gotten under my skin that way.

celishia--i love, love, love you. that is all. :) and i will make sure to ask the questions. *deep breath as she thinks about her own upcoming first shift*