America doesn’t get the black struggle, the way America doesn’t get the female struggle.
As men, we downplay sexual harassment as boys just being boys. We don’t mean any harm, and we don’t feel like its that serious. Yet, ask any woman what its like for her to experience misogyny on a regular basis. To have her looks be deemed more important than her character, to be encouraged to look or act more pleasing to men, to become more acceptable, and possibly more successful. Or else, face objectified discrimination and exclusion.
And when it comes to rape, the first thing we men do is wonder what she did to deserve it. Was it the way she acted? Or was it how she was dressed. Because dressing a certain way must be an invitation for unwarranted provocation. And we men simply EXPECT women to comply with our emotional desires, with little or no regard to their own. If she doesn’t want to concede to our demands, there must be something wrong with her, so, we feel justified in coercing her into complying, by force if necessary. In that context, rape doesn’t REALLY exist. She is just complaining because she didn’t get her way. Women can be like that. That, and the accused rapist doesn’t really seem that bad of a guy. We relate to him. We can kinda see why he would want her. If we were in his shoes, we may not have been as aggressive as him, but we sure would have thought about it. So, somehow, it must be her fault.
When my non-black friends talk about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, or Troy Davis, or now Eric Garner, the above scenario begins to sound more familiar to me, more and more each time.