the whole slip shod shebang (ethrosdemon) wrote,

I am not picking on you. Just to get that out of the way.

Recently there was a whole fandom upheaval over the concept of rape culture, what that phrase means, if it's applicable to our current western societies, and so forth.

Rape culture: I got an example!

Has it ever occurred to you that all those family traditions about your Cherokee (always) great great grandmother actually are an oral tradition of rape?

White men used to cruise through an area, abscond with the native women and declare they were “married.” This was endemic, accepted, and every time you bust out your Indian in the woodpile you are raping the memories of all those women who lived desperate lives amongst people whom they most likely couldn't even communicate with (this was before the indigenous languages were systematically destroyed) while being continually raped until they died in childbirth, from disease, or finally escaped.

This did not end in the pre-Civil War era. People I know have first hand accounts of these abductions.

I am not saying that every single native female ancestor of every single white person today was raped, but the majority were. If you think about the simple facts of the matter, you'll see why I think this: how were all these native women interacting so heavily with white men that they got to know them well enough to freely and actively choose to abandon their entire way of life and throw in the with the white people? Keeping in mind that this choice de facto removed them from everything and everyone they knew. Is that a choice you would make? Were the women of the past so different from you? Would you abandon your family, your language, and your very way of life (keeping in mind that for values of you insert a traditional person in a traditional culture built around place and family ties)?

Many people I know are activists (I am not). A lot of the female native activists I know got involved because SYSTEMIC SEXUAL ABUSE OF NATIVE WOMEN STILL EXISTS. Nowadays this is less through abduction and more white men driving onto Reservations and raping women with impunity. Now you're thinking “this is true for all women, we live in a rape culture.” Yeah, but how many people are proud of that? Because from where I'm standing people are pretty damned proud of their Cherokee (princess) great great great grandmother.

I am not discouraging people of being proud of their native ancestry. Quite the opposite: be so proud of it that you find out about the actual lives of native women and what the chances are that your native ancestor was a victim of kidnap and rape. That doesn't make you any less genetically native, but it might make you more culturally native because you'll get to know your ancestors and maybe give them some props for allowing you to be here now.


And a resource for all women of color and allies: Reproductive health resources.
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