Will we use our bodies to uphold systems of oppression or defy them?Author, activist, thought leader, spoken word artist and founder of The Body is Not An Apology
Today’s entry was written by Turning Point Macomb, one of our Equity Challenge Community Group Partner Organizations. Learn more about Turning Point at the bottom of today’s email.
Content Warning: Please note that today’s material has themes and examples of domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking. Please take care of yourself as you go through today’s email. If you are a survivor of domestic violence, sexual violence or human trafficking and need support, you can receive free, confidential help at TurningPointMacomb.org or through their 24-hour hotline at 586-463-6990.
Body terrorism is the system by which we value some bodies over other bodies, to justify a continuum of oppressive behaviors leading to state and interpersonal violence. Sonya Renee Taylor says: “Body terrorism is a hideous tower whose primary support beam is the belief that there is a hierarchy of bodies. We uphold the system by internalizing this hierarchy and using it to situate our own value and worth in the world.”
Domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking happen at higher rates for bodies that are deemed less valuable by oppressive systems. The statistics below give concrete numbers to those higher rates based on marginalized identities and manifest in real life harm. Conversely, body liberation is the process by which we celebrate all bodies as equally valuable, deserving of love, belonging and safety, including our own.
Systems we learned about earlier this week like white supremacy, patriarchy and ableism continue to fuel body terrorism. Today’s learning materials connect the way systems of oppression have racialized bodies and led to fatphobia, domestic violence and more. As you go through today’s resources, we encourage you to reflect on what a world free of systemic violence could look like.
Do you or someone you know need help? Turning Point offers free, confidential services that are open to any and all individuals who identify as a survivor of domestic violence, sexual violence or human trafficking. Visit TurningPointMacomb.org or dial our 24-hour hotline at 586-463-6990.
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