Global and Transnational Sexualities

Being an immigrant in a culture affects a myriad of aspects in a person’s life. The way they interact with people, their everyday routines and practices, and all aspects of their lives in an immigrant country are all altered and begin to fall into the mold of that of the host nation. Women immigrants see and feel the effects of being an immigrant more so than other people. Racial and gender hierarchies become a prevalent factor in how their lives are lived, and consequently, their sexualities and employment statuses are shaped based on the expectations of the dominant race or gender. When people immigrate to other countries in numbers, the people of that country typically experience moral panic, fearing that their social order and habitual customs are at risk to change due to foreign people coming in with their “alien” practices. This forms a resentment toward the immigrant people and culture, and gives the host nation’s culture a sense of informal power over them. Consequently, racial hierarchies confine immigrant women to a status of diminished personhood where their rights, culture, and sexual agency are treated as second rate to a dominant culture.

In the United States, hispanic and latino populations have grown immensely in the past decade. Many Mexican and Latin American people have immigrated to the United States seeking better work and opportunities for themselves and their families. Many have joined the labor force, working jobs in the realms of farm work, agricultural work, or on construction; a good amount of these workers are undocumented laborers. The employees in these situations, including the Mexican women who worked on the fields in California who were featured in the documentary, “Rape in the Fields,” are a part of this population. However, because they are immigrants, and are women, they have little to no power; they are easy to take advantage of. Their statuses and sexualities are at the disposal of people of higher racial or gender standings through neocolonialism. They are at the disposal of their employers. Because they have no rights, papers, little money, and need to provide for their families, these women are forced to keep working in unhealthy situations, where they are confined and mistreated. They have no choice but to submit to their employers and obey what they or told for fear of being acted towards violently.

The lack of rights that these women face impacts them in the most negative possible ways. Employers and people of higher racial or social standing feel as if they can take advantage of these women. These women are raped because of this, yet have to bite their tongue and endure the conditions just to provide for their families. Even when these women tell of their experiences of being exploited and taken advantage of, they are treated as second rate. Their claims are dismissed and they are forced to live with the violence and rape they face in their workplaces. If a white woman claimed rape, then she would receive all the attention and her needs would be met; but because these mexican women are part of a diaspora culture and carry no social weight compared to the dominant culture, they are completely disregarded. Historically, rape cases for white women have taken precedence over rape cases for minorities- some cases have even become national news, yet minority cases go completely under the radar.

The documentary “Rape in the Fields” portrayed this idea well. It displayed the notion of rape against Mexican immigrant workers as insignificant when showing the story of the man that would continually take a woman worker far away in the fields and force her to have sex with him. She told authorities about this man, and no one listened. He would rape her and threaten her, yet she had no power whatsoever to combat these actions. When authorities actually did take the situation into their hands, the man pleaded innocent and was not questions, getting away for free. Unfair situations like these cause life-lasting feelings of unrest and fear for the women who have to face these types of men. Situations like these happen often in these certain worker communities, leaving the women hopeless and feeling as if they cannot receive any help. This perpetuates over time, and becomes a culture. When it becomes a culture, it creates an environment where there is an unsaid expectation of the women to submit to the men in authority and their sexual wants without even questioning it or fighting it. These notions become widespread, and women are expected to keep their mouths shut, and they do because it is what they have to do to make a living and survive.

Unfortunately, I do not believe that this culture exists only in these realms, but probably also exist in other circles of immigrant and minority cultures. It probably exists not only in the United States, but in countries across the world considering the historical  gender bias and power complex that has been present for years. Do you think that the assertion above is potentially true? Will there ever be justice for these women immigrant workers, or will they continually be disregarded by the authorities and the United States’ justice system? What do you think it would need to take for this culture to change? Why do you think it is that these women who face these situations are completely disregarded?

 

Advertisements

What’s Sex Got To Do With… The Maryville Case?

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 8.42.40 AM

In 2012, a 14-year-old girl named Daisy Coleman was raped by her older brother’s friends who were seniors at the time after a house party in Maryville, Missouri under the influence of alcohol; the rape was recorded on one of the boys cell phones. Matt Barnett, the perpetrator, asserted that the sex was consensual, but the story that Daisy Coleman told asserted otherwise.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 8.27.03 AMScreen Shot 2014-12-02 at 8.26.50 AM

When this case was first brought up, it was ignored and Daisy Coleman received a lot of scrutiny from the media and classmates. Because she had “blacked out” around the time that the rape had occurred, many people speculated her claims and labeled her as wild, a slut, etc. Upon the case being taken to court, it was dismissed because Daisy’s claims were not “credible” due to the state she was in, but also for political reasons because Matt Barnett’s grandfather was a trooper for 32 years and a four-term state representative for Missouri.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 8.43.26 AMScreen Shot 2014-12-02 at 8.43.13 AM

The case was closed in 2012, and then reopened in 2014 due to help from The Kansas City star who published a long story on Daisy’s accounts. The story gained national recognition, and the nation was disgusted at how the small town of Maryville, MO turned its back on this young rape victim. This began to spread through social media, and the case was reopened again in 2014 where Matt Barnett pleaded guilty of endangerment.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 8.26.39 AM

The fact that Daisy Coleman was shot down, criticized, and ignored when she first tried to share her story lends to the issue of why women who are raped are often afraid to tell anyone about it. They fear that because they are a woman and were a victim of power based violence and sexual assault, they are insignificant and no one will appeal to their assertions. Without the help of advocates across the country and social media, Daisy Coleman would have had to face shame and a sense of unrest for her entire life.

Why do you think that her claims were so heavily combated by the society she lived in at first even though there was video evidence? Do you think the case would have been ignored without the national outcry from the Kansas City Star’s article? Why do you think it is that Matt Barnett pleaded guilty for endangerment when he was supposed to get charged for rape?

What’s Sex Got To Do With…The Military?

According to servicewomen.org, despite 25 years of investigation under the Pentagon due to sexual assault cases in the military, military cases of rape, sexual assault and harassment continue to grow. One would think that an institution of our country that prides itself on justice and valor would be different, however, tens of thousands of unwanted sexual acts are committed yearly in the military, and only a fraction are reported. Those that are expected to be covered up and not talked about.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 2.08.24 PM

These statistics are shocking for multiple reasons. One of the most is because these assaults occur in all realms of the military, including present Active Duty, the Reserves, the National Guard and in the military academies. More importantly, there is a culture of victim-blaming, lack of accountability, and lack of liable command in these situations and it has become prevalent. These statistics threaten the strength, readiness, and morale of the United States military system. It takes away validity from our nation and US national security.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 1.23.47 PM

Recently, a New York Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand has been making a bipartisan push to change how the military deals with cases of sexual assault with the help of Col. Don Christensen, former chief prosecutor of the Air Force. They are hoping to bring recognition to the Military Justice Improvement Act, which aims to remove commanders from the process of deciding whether or not to prosecute sexual assault cases. The issue with this is that commanders are oftentimes friends with both the alleged victim and perpetrator, and they become the enablers in this situation.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 1.24.06 PM

The current situation present in the military is no different than that of college campuses. Both contain a lack of accountability, however, at colleges, it is that of university administration in failing to handle cases properly. Also, in both institutions, the misconception that victims ask for it and are at fault in sexual assault cases is present, when in reality, victims are never to blame. Another similarity between the two is that there are similar programs present at Vanderbilt and within the military to combat sexual assault and educate people about it.

Why do you think that there is such a heavy push-back on sexual assault and measures of prevention are just now being brought up with both institutions?

What’s sex have to do with… Anastasia from 50 Shades of Grey?

 

Is Grey the only one who wants to have sex in this book? Because he is the one with the most experience, does she still have sexual desires? How do we know this? Or do we even know this?

Anastasia falls in love with Grey because he makes her feel different. He teaches her how to have a sex drive. And she falls right into his trap. Her female desires do appear as the book goes on. She starts to long for him and long for sex.

In this book, he practices BDSM and teaches her. This is an arrangement between two about how they will have sex, usually meaning one being the dominate and the other being the submissive.

I find the sintering because it brings me to wonder about relationships and are there a hidden BDSM act in some relationships. When girls stay in abusive relationships, if it because they did cross boundaries and deserved to be punished. Why did Ray Rice soon to be wife stay with her?

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/ray-rice-good-spirits-staying-strong-wife/story?id=25371986

In this article she states that she “wants others to stay out of their business.”

Do you think they practice BDSM and the scene in the elevator just so happens to be caught on camera? Or maybe that is pushing it a little to far but I think that in this case, she crossed a boundary so she was punished. Is that not what happens?

What’s Sex Got to Do With… Christianity?

In the summers, I work at this awesome Christian sports camp that I have much love for.  However, something that really bothered me the first summer I worked there was a particular speaker we had come speak to our staff.  On Facebook the other day, a staff member that I worked with posted this link to an article about this speaker, a formerly lesbian woman who claims that God “simply changed her desires” for homosexual relations with women.  I think that there are many important intersections between religion and sexual identity expressions, but this woman’s interpretation of the moral discourse regarding homosexuality was not only something that I think is misunderstood among the Christian community, and can be better understood as applied to McQueeney’s piece “Multiple Identities: Race, Class, and Gender in Lesbian and Gay Affirming Protestant Congregations.”

http://christiannews.net/2014/11/28/former-lesbian-turned-christian-weve-made-god-little-if-we-believe-he-cannot-change-people/

Continue reading

Gendercide

Gendercide is gender selective mass killing. It is mostly targeted towards women, but the term is gender bias to keep in mind that sexual discrimination killing is horrific no matter what gender it effects and to bring to light how gender roles can have harmful consequences. Gendercide includes sex-selective abortions, rape followed by murder and other abuses against women. Although gendercide occurs in more rural countries, including China and India, it can be seen in many other urban countries around the world.

http://www.theprolifeyouth.com/uploads/2/6/0/4/26042819/1750417_orig.png Continue reading