Wednesday, April 8, 2009

When Transgendered People Are Assaulted Why Do People Make A Joke Out Of It?

Los Angeles based rapper Pam Jones was reportedly robbed, beaten and assaulted. The story appeared on All Hip Hop and Media Take Out, which is known for being particularly vicious in its coverage of entertainment/gossip. If you read the comment section (though really why would you want to) you'd find the usual knuckle dragger responses where some think it's a kind of joke for a transgendered woman to be raped. As if rape is any less a heinous crime and violation when it happens to someone who wasn't born a biological female, or is a lesbian or even a male. 

Roving gangs of Black men gathering together to steal, beat and rape should send a shudder down the spines of people instead of dismissing it. This is what's going on in Darfur, Congo and has been used as the first tactic of war to control the general population. Calling attention to these acts of violence is more important than worrying about lingering racial stereotypes. If the thugs don't care about the image of innocent men who are law abiding we can't be protectionists for criminals.

The larger issue has to do with the attempts at dehumanizing the person because if they're not a person, then what happens to them doesn't matter. Which is what's happening to Black women right now by the way. So in reporting the assault on Jones, she has been referred to as a transsexual, tranny and he/she. All of those are incorrect terms and should cease immediately! By the way there's a MySpace link with an update on Ms. Jones' condition.

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Renee said...

It is also worth noting that regardless of the gender identity of the victim, we have a tendency to make the victim accountable for the crime rather than seeking to punish those really responsible. When the victim is a member of a marginalized group like a black women or a trans woman, society is all the more ready to deny them victim status because our bodies are understood as unrapeable.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. This is key:

The larger issue has to do with the attempts at dehumanizing the person because if they're not a person, then what happens to them doesn't matter.

It is also something that goes beyond the actual victim. This kind of violence can be characterized as a sort of terrorism. The end result is striking fear among others like the victim. The violence is physical, emotional, as well as symbolic.

Anonymous said...

I'm not familiar with the lady in question but i had a look at the two sites you mentioned in your blog ... and i'm speechless!!!!

I cannot believe that some people still think this way in the 21st century (although i shouldn't be surprised). If a man rapes another man it dosn't make him gay, rape isn't about sex it's about power!

2 comments particularly made me stop and shake my head; 1) that by entering the hip-hop world as a transexual Pam Jones somehow asked for it, and 2) that because she is a transexual it dosn't count as rape.

The commentators, aswell as the rapists, need locking up!

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

All: We cannot be silent about these atrocities because it only leads to an escalation of violence against others deemed subhuman as well.

Monica Roberts said...

The ignorance amongst some of my people (shakes my head)

Hip hop has gone from something we could be proud of back in the 70's and 80's to a joke.