Having witnessed the indecencies of our justice system and the insidious nature of power and patriarchy, I am part of the 74% of Americans who know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. I was about five or six years old the first time I witnessed intimate partner violence (IPV); my mother, at twenty-one, was gasping for air by the hands of a young man, likely no older than I am today. It is unfortunate, yet telling, that often times it is violence and power that give us our element of humanity. And although it is my first vivid memory, it was surely not the last. A number of broken bones and ribs, collapsed lungs and swollen features later, I found myself face to face in a number of hospital rooms with a resilient yet lost soul; a woman who had not yet found the resolve to transition from victim to survivor.  

soundless steps carried him to the belly of the campus. the thickness of groups lining the wall had comforted me so far. i felt secure in the company of folks i didn’t know, because i had faith. faith that someone, anyone would protect me from the acid that had just crept into our temporary holding place. 

carelessly he spit fire. 

“you know i fucked you in the ass. why you frontin like you don’t know me like that. i know you. come on. you were at my house last night…yeah that was you.”

Fuck your tears.    

As a 5’6” male who was once told at an early age you weren't handsome enough to be an actor, I’d think you would be more in tuned with the idea of being perceived unattractive or undervalued.  But, alas, male privilege wins again.  I understand; your moment of clarity is the result of not only decades of white male privilege, but of prestige and wealth.  In a culture that systematically perpetuates the superiority of men, superficiality of women and the commodification and ownership of women’s bodies by males (while simultaneously rewarding ignorance and castigating those who attempt to shine light on injustice) – can we really be surprised at your sudden state of enlightenment?