Change Your World-NOT your Body

Friday, October 5, 2012

Remembering the Violence against Lesbians

The above image is from a recent FB page dedicated to remembering fellow lesbians who have been raped/murdered for their lesbianism.

While there is nothing new in the mortal violence against lesbians, it is rare to see those lesbians who have suffered and died remembered beyond the minute paragraph on the bottom right hand corner of page E5. Within the queer alphabet we are often bombarded with the queer bashings and murders (past and present) of trans males (authogynephiles and gay alike) and gay men, with lesbians who have succumbed to similar or worst violence meagerly mentioned or completely ignored. Ignored too is the misogyny murdering all of the above.

It is that same virulent misogyny that down plays or dismisses the rapes and murders of lesbians both within in the queer alphabet and patently without. This diminutive coverage of violence against lesbians, in and of itself, IS a form of violence against women. Each lesbian rape/murder that we hear little or nothing about is the equivalent of a century of crimson fists toppling down on each and every lesbian, past, present and certainly future!

Minorities have long taken the strength and courage needed to overcome insurmountable obstacles from fallen comrades, comrades whose deaths served both to keep their deaths from being in vain but perhaps more importantly, whose deaths inspired minorities on to victory! When our comrades deaths are ignored, forgotten and we havent them to draw upon, we face a diffident future that just may not include us.

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11 comments:

  1. Yeah, I'm kind of sick of it. Transsexualism is not such a big thing here (yet). But not a month goes by or I have to hear/read some story about how some poor gay man is attacked on the streets, discriminated, sexually frustrated, disregarded by family, etc. in the newspapers. Or the positive-twist personal story in the magazines, how heroic and cool they are overcoming one of these things, how strong, and original. But according to the newspapers nothing bad happens to lesbians ANYTIME, and if they eventually overcome the same struggles and troubles as gay men, they're just portrayed as boring women who want to play house by the magazines. Ignorance is not "just a" tactic, it is the most dehumanizing attitude or tactic one can have towards a group.

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  2. Yes, the only story I recall about an attack on a lesbian was the one later exposed as a hoax, where she was supposedly tied up in the basement and he set the place on fire but she escaped and they had a big rally for her before the hoax was exposed. What about the real violence?

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  3. "Yes, the only story I recall about an attack on a lesbian was the one later exposed as a hoax, where she was supposedly tied up in the basement and he set the place on fire but she escaped and they had a big rally for her before the hoax was exposed. What about the real violence?"

    As to this particular woman in Iowa, I'm not sure what her problem was. I don't know that much about this individual case.
    “Corrective rape” of lesbians has been well documented to have occurred in South Africa and other countries.

    Daily Mail UK 2011

    "Gang-raped, beaten and stabbed 25 times, she was the lesbian activist and football star whose murder blew open South Africa's hate crime epidemic.
    But more than two years after the death of Eudy Simelane, the government has done nothing to halt the barbaric sex attacks dubbed 'corrective' rape.
    Campaigners say that ten women are now assaulted every week by men who claim to be 'curing' their victims of homosexuality.”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2055289/Corrective-rape-South-Africa-women-attcked-cure-lesbians.html#ixzz28eIJ3nij

    BBC
    June 2011

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13908662

    Noxolo Nkosana, 23, is the latest victim of a series of violent attacks against lesbians.
    She was stabbed a stone's throw from her home in Crossroads township, Cape Town, as she returned from work one evening with her girlfriend.
    The two men - one of whom lives in her community - started yelling insults.

    "They were walking behind us. They just started swearing at me screaming: 'Hey you lesbian, you tomboy, we'll show you,'" Ms Nkosana tells the BBC.
    Before she knew it a sharp knife had entered her back - two fast jabs, then she was on the ground. Half conscious, she felt the knife sink into her skin twice more.
    "I was sure that they were going to kill me," she says.
    Many lesbians have died in such attacks - 31 in the last 10 years, it is reported. It is a warped sense of entitlement and a need to protect their manhood”

    In April, Noxolo Nogwaza was raped by eight men and murdered in KwaThema township near Johannesburg.

    The 24-year-old's face and head were disfigured by stoning, and she was stabbed several times with broken glass.

    CNN October 2011

    It was supposed to be an ordinary night out with friends for 20-year-old Zukiswa Gaca but it ended with her lying on a railway track attempting to take her own life.
    Gaca was at a bar, drinking with friends in Khayelitsha township, less than 40 kilometers outside Cape Town, South Africa, when a man tried to ask her out.
    "I told the guy that no I'm a lesbian so I don't date guys and then he said to me "no I understand. I've got friends that are lesbians, that's cool, I don't have a problem with that."
    Gaca says he was nice and she trusted him, and they left the bar to go to the home of one of his friends, and that is where his friendly exterior turned nasty.
    "He said to me, "you know what? I hate lesbians and I'm about to show you that you are not a man, as you are treating yourself like a man," she told CNN. "I tried to explain I'm not a man. I never said I'm a man, I'm just a lesbian. And he said "I will show you that I am a man and I have more power than you.""
    Then he raped her, she says, as his friend watched.

    Gaca said: "[Afterwards] I went to the railway train road, because I was suicidal at the time. I was lying on the tracks. I think the train was 100 meters away from where I was. Then some other guy came and grabbed me. The train passed. He called the police."
    It is called 'corrective rape' - where men force themselves on lesbians believing it will change their sexual orientation.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-10-27/world/world_wus-sa-rapes_1_lesbians-sexual-orientation-cape-town?_s=PM:WORLD

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  4. More on corrective rape of lesbians

    The Guardian UK

    A 13-year-old lesbian has become the latest victim of "corrective rape" in South Africa, prompting activists to call for direct retaliatory action.

    The girl, who is said to be open about her sexuality, was raped in Pretoria last Thursday, a government spokesman said.

    Campaigners say so-called corrective rape, in which men rape lesbians to "cure" them of their sexual orientation, is on the increase in South Africa. Thirty-one lesbians have been killed because of their sexuality in the past decade, campaigners say, and more than 10 lesbians a week are raped or gang raped in Cape Town alone.

    Last month, a 24-year-old woman who belonged to a gay and lesbian rights group was stoned to death after an apparent gang rape.

    Officials said the 13-year-old victim's case is being investigated by police and she and her family are receiving support. Tlali Tlali, a government spokesman, said it seemed to be another incident of corrective rape, adding: "Government condemns this senseless and cowardly act of criminality."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/09/lesbian-corrective-rape-south-africa

    Dan Rather video on "corrective rape"
    http://blip.tv/hdnet-news-and-documentaries/dan-rather-reports-corrective-rape-6095429

    http://blip.tv/hdnet-news-and-documentaries/dan-rather-reports-corrective-rape-6095429

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  5. @Anonymous

    Anything not from Africa? Trying to paint corrective rape as a "thing" and only giving South Africa (of all places) as your example is pretty silly.

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  6. Trans men have it bad, lesbians have it bad, gay men have it bad, shit we all have it bad! NOT just lesbians!

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  7. "Anything not from Africa? Trying to paint corrective rape as a "thing" and only giving South Africa (of all places) as your example is pretty silly."

    Poor lesbians of color don't matter....even if they are gang rapped, stabbed 25 times, and dumped beside the road.

    The insensitivity of this post is appalling. The crime was first identified in South Africa where it is sometimes supervised by members of the woman's family or local community and is a major contributor to HIV infection in South African lesbians. Corrective rape affects not only SA but also many other countries such as Thailand,(41) Zimbabwe,(42) Namibia,(43) and Ecuador.(44) (http://www.scoop.it/t/queer-african-reader/p/2712146501/the-l-word-an-evaluation-of-corrective-rape-in-south-africa) Corrective rape is well documented by numerous human rights organizations. What the hell does this ignorant person mean when he or she says, "trying to paint corrective rape as a "thing". Amnesty International considers it more than a "thing". It's a brutal human rights abuse.
    Has this ignorant person ever heard of Amnesty International?

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL http://aiua-sent.blogspot.com/2009/08/gender-inequity-in-south-africa.html

    http://www2.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/campaigning-human-rights-age-internet/sign-petition-corrective-rape-south-africa

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13908662

    "Gang-raped, beaten and stabbed 25 times, she was the lesbian activist and football star whose murder blew open South Africa's hate crime epidemic. But more than two years after the death of Eudy Simelane, the government has done nothing to halt the barbaric sex attacks dubbed 'corrective' rape. Campaigners say that ten women are now assaulted every week by men who claim to be 'curing' their victims of homosexuality.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2055289/Corrective-rape-South-Africa-women-attcked-cure-lesbians.html#ixzz28eIJ3nij

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  8. Rape as a War Crime: Rape in War Torn Regions of the world

    "About 48 women are raped in the Democratic Republic of the Congo every hour, a study has claimed.

    The study, due to be published in the American Journal of Public Health in June, found sexual abuse was rampant not only in conflict areas but also in the home, with nearly one woman subjected to some form of sexual abuse every minute.

    There have been many reports and witness accounts of the gang rape of young girls and elderly women by armed militia, and also accounts of men being raped. Because of the stigma of rape, many married women find themselves abandoned by their husbands."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/12/48-women-raped-hour-congo.

    Evidence of the magnitude of rape in Bosnia and Herzegovina prompted the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to deal openly with these abuses. Reports of sexual violence during the Bosnian War (1992–95) and Kosovo War (1996–99), part of the Yugoslav wars, a series of conflicts from 1991 to 1999, have been described as "especially alarming". Since the entry of the NATO in the Kosovo War, rapes of Albanian, and Roma women were committed by ethnic Serbs

    It has been estimated that during the Bosnian War between 20,000 and 50,000 women were raped. The majority of the rape victims were Muslim women raped by Serbian soldiers. Although men also became victim of sexual violence, war rape was disproportionately directed against women who were (gang) raped in the streets, in their homes and/or in front of family members. Sexual violence occurred in a multiple ways, including rape with objects, such as broken glass bottles, guns and truncheons. War rape occurred as a matter of official orders as part of ethnic cleansing, to displace the targeted ethnic group out of the region.

    During the Bosnian War the existence of deliberately created "rape camps" was reported. The reported aim of these camps was to impregnate the Muslim and Croatian women held captive. It has been reported that often women were kept in confinement until the late stage of their pregnancy. This occurred in the context of a patrilineal society, in which children inherit their father's ethnicity, hence the "rape camps" aimed at the birth of a new generation of Serb children. According to the Women's Group Tresnjevka more than 35,000 women and children were held in such Serb-run "rape camps".

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  9. Closer to home...

    Man Convicted in Seattle Lesbian Stabbing
    July 2011

    A man accused of raping and stabbing a lesbian couple in their home, killing one of them, in a random attack that terrorized a quiet Seattle neighborhood two years ago was convicted Friday of aggravated murder, attempted murder, rape and burglary.

    A man accused of raping and stabbing a lesbian couple in their home, killing one of them, in a random attack that terrorized a quiet Seattle neighborhood two years ago was convicted Friday of aggravated murder, attempted murder, rape and burglary

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2015486419_apusseattlestabbings1stldwritethru.html

    4 Busted in 'Hate Crime' Rape of Lesbian
    January 2009
    http://www.newser.com/story/46828/4-busted-in-hate-crime-rape-of-lesbian.html


    Police have arrested all four suspects in the Bay Area kidnapping and gang rape of a lesbian last month that police have deemed a hate crime, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The two adults and two teenagers face charges including felony kidnapping to commit a sex crime, carjacking and gang rape. The attackers taunted the victim about her sexuality before raping her and dumping her naked outside a building, according to investigators.


    Lesbian Gang-Raped In Possible Hate Crime
    RICHMOND, Calif. —

    http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/lesbian-gang-raped-in-possible-hate-crime/nKQsN/

    December 2008

    Richmond police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of four men who allegedly kidnapped and gang raped a lesbian Saturday night, Lt. Mark Gagan said Friday.
    Police are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, Gagan said.

    The assault began at about 9:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Visalia Avenue in the city's Belding-Wood neighborhood.

    The victim, a 28-year-old woman, was getting out of her car when she was confronted by four men.

    "She was beaten, she was robbed and she was sexually assaulted," Gagan said.

    A few minutes into the sexual assault, one of the men told the group that someone was approaching and they forced the victim into her car.

    They took her to a desolate area near the Bay Area Rapid Transit tracks in the 1300 block of Burbeck Avenue and continued to sexually assault her, Gagan said.

    "The victim was physically and sexually assaulted numerous times," Gagan said.

    During the attack, which lasted for about 45 minutes, the suspects made several statements about the victim's sexual orientation, Gagan said.

    The victim also had a rainbow sticker on her license plate that identified her as being supportive of the gay community, Gagan said.

    Afterward the attack, the suspects fled in the victim's car, leaving her there naked, Gagan said.

    She was able to get help from a nearby resident, who called for police and an ambulance.

    The victim's injuries were serious, but "the extent of the emotional trauma rivals the extent of the physical trauma," Gagan said.

    May 11, 2003 - Sakia Gunn, a black 15-year-old lesbian, was murdered in Newark, New Jersey. While waiting for a bus, Gunn and her friends were propositioned by two men. When the girls rejected their advances, declaring themselves to be lesbians, the men attacked them. One of the men, Richard McCullough, fatally stabbed Gunn. In exchange for his pleading guilty to several lesser crimes including aggravated manslaughter, prosecutors dropped murder charges against McCullough, who was sentenced to 20 years.

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  10. http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2011/p1214_sexual_violence.html

    *Nearly 1 in 5 women has been raped at some time in her life.
    *One in 4 women has been a victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in her lifetime.
    *One in 6 women has experienced stalking victimization during her lifetime in which she felt very fearful or believed that she or someone close to her would be harmed or killed. Much of stalking victimization was facilitated by technology, such as unwanted phone calls and text messages.
    *Almost 70 percent of female victims experienced some form of intimate partner violence for the first time before the age of 25.
    *Approximately 80 percent of female victims of rape were first raped before age 25.
    * Female victims of violence (sexual violence, stalking, intimate partner violence) were significantly more likely to report physical and mental health problems than female non–victims.
    *Across all forms of violence (sexual violence, stalking, intimate partner violence), the vast majority of victims knew their perpetrator (often an intimate partner or acquaintance and seldom a stranger).

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  11. Two young lesbians shot in Texas...one is dead and the other suffers from brain injury

    June 29, 2012

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/texas-lesbian-couple-shooting-witness-emerges/story?id=16680582

    A witness has come forward in the killing of a teenage lesbian couple and told police the shooter was a white man in his 20s with dark hair, police in Portland, Texas, said today.

    Molly Olgin, 19, Mary Kristene Chapa, 18, were both shot in the head a week ago in a park in Portland, Texas. Olgin was pronounced dead at the scene. Chapa was taken to a hospital and has since regained consciousness.

    A witness to the shooting told police the suspect is a white male in his 20s with dark hair. The suspect is estimated to be 5-foot-8and weighs approximately 140 pounds, police said in a statement.


    The teenagers were found Saturday morning in knee-high grass near a scenic lookout at Violet Andrews Park, police said.


    Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, and Mary Christine Chapa, 18

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