The following day, I attended a workshop about preventing gender violence, facilitated by Katz. There, he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”Why I Am a Black Male Feminist - The Root (via brutereason)
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:
"I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street," said one. "I don’t put my drink down at parties," said another. "I use the buddy system when I go to parties." "I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction." "I use my keys as a potential weapon." "I carry mace or pepper spray." "I watch what I wear."
The women went on for several minutes, until their side of the blackboard was completely filled with responses. The men’s side of the blackboard was blank. I was stunned. I had never heard a group of women say these things before. I thought about all of the women in my life — including my mother, sister and girlfriend — and realized that I had a lot to learn about gender.
Forget stardust—you are iron. Your blood is nothing but ferrous liquid. When you bleed, you reek of rust. It is iron that fills your heart and sits in your veins. And what is iron, really, unless it’s forged?
You are iron.
And you are strong.
We live in a rusty universe. Oxygenated heme is the color of life, the color of passion, the reason we see red as ripe and warm, the reason we see it as dangerous and frightening. Blood, breath and Earth, we’re all rusty.