#lifeinleggings Call for feminist solidarity

lifeinleggings

This island has been cracked open and will never be the same again.

Women broke every silence.

We spoke of street harassment: girl, yuh pussy fat!

Principals who made no room for comprehensive sexuality education but slut-shamed girls who were themselves sexually abused.

Rape by current and former partners.

Years of sexual abuse by fathers, step-fathers, uncles, cousins.

Stories of men who told us that they’re waiting for our four-year-old daughters to grow up.

Men who offered jobs or rides or food or protection only to demand sex. Only to split our bodies open when we refused.

Men who raped us because we are lesbian, because we are women, because we are girls, because they could.

We exploded every myth about how good girls and good women are protected from this violence. That good men will protect us.  That all we have to do is call in our squad of brothers and and uncles and fathers. We asked, and who will women and girls call when our fathers and brothers and uncles assault them? We affirmed that asking men to protect us from male violence is not freedom. All men benefit from male privilege and unequal relations of gender which disadvantage and devalue women and girls. We demand autonomy not protection!

We split this island open for every woman and girl who has had her body split open.

We split this island open and let all the secrets fall out.

We put flesh and blood and tears to the bones of statistics like:

Every force-ripe gal, every slut, every walking cemetery, every girl sent to Summervale because she was difficult, delinquent, let wunna know wha wunna prefer to pretend not to know.  Now you know.  Girls that survive sexual abuse are more likely to get punishment than justice.

That hashtag #lifeinleggings has cost us family, friends, homes. Bajan women are not afraid to name names and nicknames and addresses. Families can’t deal. Won’t heal. Abusers can’t deal.  Rapists are having a hard time.  Men who would never yell, girl yuh pussy fat!, still feel that someone is looking to take a way a right from them that they would prefer to keep, thank you very much.

Who say Bajans passive never met a Bajan woman posting through tears on the #lifeinleggings hashtag? Deliberate and afraid of nothing.

Deliberate and afraid of nothing.

Deliberate and afraid of nothing.

The backlash has been swift and misogynist.  Here’s how you can help.  Read the #lifeinleggings hashtag on facebook and twitter.  Feel free to share your stories if you can.  Not everyone is in a place where they can and that’s OK.  Encourage women and girls in your community to participate.  Help us drown out the misogynist noise and raise women and girls’ voices higher and higher. 

We will not be silenced.

Press for #lifeinleggings:

BBC AUDIO: Caribbean women taking power back

VIDEO: She look fuh dat: a #lifeinleggings discussion

Yardie skeptics radio

#lifeinleggings impact monumental

A Weekend of Street Harassment, Mapped

The Bahamas: Interview with Founder of Life in Leggings

Life in Leggings Founders speak about mission

Video of #lifeinleggings discussion in Barbados

Anonymous #lifeinleggings submissions

Female politicians speak out about #lifeinleggings

Reggae Star Tanya Stephens Opens Up about Being Raped and Abused

Singer Tanya Stephens opens up about being raped twice

Caribbean Women Take Their Power Back

Minister shares her #lifeinleggings story

Trini women join lifeinleggings movement

The woke side of Bajan social media

Lifeinleggings sparking conversation across the Caribbean

Leve Dominik campaign allowing victims to share stories anonymously

Further reading from CODE RED for gender justice!

How Little Girls Get Crushed

The Facts of Life: Rape has been decriminalized in the Caribbean

Man caah run a rape joke again?

Rum and Rape Culture

Getting it wrong on rape or no sperm, no rape or why a two-year-old girl doesn’t need to be taught modesty

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10 thoughts on “#lifeinleggings Call for feminist solidarity

  1. rebekahlawrence says:

    Wonderful initiative. Is it really feminist solidarity or is that naming an attempt at academic co-optation? Nevertheless, feeling so heartened by this movement.

    Like

  2. Pingback: grrlscene

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