Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Strength and bravery

[Content note: rape. BIG TRIGGER on this one.]

I need to take a moment to talk about a young woman of courage.

Did you hear what happened to a 16 year old named Jada in Houston? It's all over the news right now. She was raped at a party and pictures of her assault went viral. #Jadapose became a horrific trend on Twitter where people literally mocked the position her unconscious body was in when the pictures were taken.

If this is not one of the biggest artifacts of rape culture in recent memory, I'm not sure what is.

Jada chose to do something unusual and extremely difficult. She came forward and started talking about what happened to her. As she said in an interview with Houston news, "There's no point in hiding. Everybody has already seen my face and my body, but that’s not what I am and who I am.”

As I commented last week, I can’t even begin to imagine the strength and courage 16 year old Jada has summoned to speak out about what happened to her. I hope she knows there are whole lot of us out there that respect, admire, and love the hell outta her.

I couldn't agree more than with with Michelle Denise Jackson shared in a piece titled "In Defense of Jada: The Danger of Being a Black Girl in a Rape Culture" (go read it all):
If there is any redemption to be found in this story, it is in the bravery of Jada herself. Often, victims of rape are not identified by the media, to respect and protect their privacy. However, Jada has made an incredible choice to reclaim her body and her story. She has decided to come forward and show her face publicly (under her own consent), to tell the story of what happened to her.

Today, I praise Jada. Today, I salute Jada. Today, I honor Jada. Today, I pray for healing and justice for Jada. 
This is the face of strength and bravery.

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