Surviving R. Kelly Reflections

Hello readers, can you take a second to make sure if you’re prepare to read about sexual assault?

Initially, I did not think I was but felt that it was important to learn about since I didn’t know about accusations. Watching a documentary is literally the least I could do if when I do get around to reading articles, that’s more graphic and overwhelming for me. So it’s completely understandable if you’re not comfortable…

I’m kind of in the continual process of rearranging and organizing my blog, and as preferable (and probably more profitable) as it is to only write about makeup and music, I gotta purge about other stuff for which I wouldn’t want a blog (i.e., troll comments) to be solely dedicated. Enter my new Reflections tag.

In watching Surviving R. Kelly, whichever Clinton/Lewinsky program was recently played, and just my own got danged product-of-an-older-white-man-and-(Southeast) Asian-lady life, I can’t help but notice the parallels. Kelly’s victims may not have become a household name like Monica, but the predation on young women and the relegation of them to a fucking punchline is stunningly disgusting. The exploitation of white supremacy to get away with abuse of black and brown women. I’m reminded of a poem by Barbara Jane Reyes where she says she can’t find an article about a Filipina woman whom was dismembered by her white, USian husband that doesn’t mention that he was in the Navy or a tenured professor or something.

Statused, privileged men are able to exploit those titles, their wealth, and connections to prey on and manipulate young, impressionable women. Yet, who is supporting the abuser? The community of the abused. Whenever I see this type of dynamic, I think that people like supporters in this case, want such structures. Perhaps they think that if they stand by the statused, if they believe, they will be rewarded, recognized either by the person in power. Or they otherwise benefit from misogyny or xenophobia. So long as they’re beating you, they’re not beating me. Who cares if a few of them are mutilated so long of the rest of them keep sending those remittances, baby!!

I just happen to be figuring out how to use ebooks and am reading Angela Davis’s Women, Race, and Class. It’s not surprising that rape is about power and control rather than any sort of attraction. But what Davis brings to light is putting this in the context of slavery and imperialism: “Rape was a weapon of domination, a weapon of repression, whose covert goal was to extinguish slave women’s will to resist, and in the process, to demoralize their men. … Since the Vietnamese women were distinguished by their heroic contributions to their people’s liberation struggle, the [U.S.] military retaliation specifically suited for them was rape.”

Vietnam War quote
Source: Women in Vietnam, Arlene Eisen-Bergman. 1975

While women bear the brunt of these actions, men and boys are affected as well. They see what’s permitted; they see what happens to loved ones. It’s very dispiriting to see people so actively against their own people and interests. But we must address systems in addition to individuals to ensure sure “never again.” Although that seems like a big task, it makes me hopeful to see survivors living and all the people screwed over by power {vs. those in it} who will overthrow our oppressors!

To watch: Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime. They’ve also provided several organizations that help victims of abuse.

To support survivors + their work:

Sparkle

Kitti Jones

Asante McGee

Jerhonda Pace

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