You should know better.
Yes, for many of us, our bodies of Color do experience sex and pleasure differently. Our bodies are not solely genes and biology, but also the histories written on them and the myriad ways we have to navigate the world differently than White people, particularly for those of us who are racially Black and marked immediately as “Other.” Let us first remind you and everyone reading we still fight to this day to be seen as human beings. From the historical misuse and abuse of the bodies of women of Color in this country and abroad; to the current murders of trans women of Color because of how their gender, assigned sex at birth, and race intersect; the numerous Black men murdered by law enforcement; and the vast number of Native women who disappear and are murdered each year with no national outcry.
Some of us never even get the opportunity to really experience sex or sexual pleasure because we do not live long enough. Some of us carry shame about our bodies just by virtue of their color or the racialized traits they carry, which impacts how much pleasure we think we are even worthy of. That’s why any conversation about sexuality is also about race. That’s why the case of Mike Brown in Ferguson is not just about police brutality, but also about reproductive justice and White supremacy.
via WOC Sexual Health Network — You Didn’t Send For Us So We Came For You: The….
Q. Let’s move to an easier topic to discuss: Gentrification. You hit this topic in both your standup Brooklyn and also in Medicine for Melancholy. Is this a real sore spot for you, or is it just coincidental that your material keeps returning to this topic?
A. It’s probably a little of both. I didn’t write Medicine, but part of what drew me to that film was the fact they were having these conversations in the film about a real thing that exists in a lot of cities.
With gentrification, there’s the kind that is wealthy people moving into a neighborhood and adding themselves to the neighborhood. That can be a net positive, if wealthier people move into a neighborhood and then use their clout to effect change. If I’m a politician and I know that there’s money in that district, I’m going to try to lobby those people with money. So those people, if they are part of the neighborhood, will say, “OK, if you want my money, my donations, you have to do things that help all of us. You have to make the schools here better for all of us, because I want my kids to go to school across the street.”
Then there’s the other kind [of gentrification] that’s more often than not what happens: You have wealth come into your neighborhood and it winds up pushing everyone else out. They don’t inject themselves in the neighborhood. They don’t care about the school across street, because they’re going to put their kids in private school, miles away. So the school across the street suffers as a result of that. As that schools suffers, then maybe it becomes less safe, because maybe the kids in that school end up dropping out, because they’re frustrated. Those kids maybe get involved in things that are a little less savory, and so now these wealthy people are saying, “We need a police presence to protect us from these people.”
But “these people” lived in the neighborhood before you, and now you’re just slowly moving them out and making them feel unwanted. That, to me, feels like the negative side of it. Wherever you live, what’s important is that you have a sense of neighborhood and community, that you know your neighbors, and you are aware of each others lives. You’re realizing that you all have to work together to make your street whatever you want it to be. To me that seems like that’s what everybody wants, but that’s what we’ve gotten away from.
Watch this clip from Medicine for Melancholy where Cenac’s character, Micah, takes in San Francisco with his love interest, Jo, played by Tracey Heggins:
Q. Has anyone ever accused you of being a black gentrifier?
A. Oh, fuck yeah. Part of the weird push and pull for me with my comedy special is this notion that I am both the gentrifier and the gentrified. I physically look like the type of person who is getting moved out of a neighborhood, even though I’m moving into the neighborhood. It’s a neighborhood that I have a connection to, because I used to spend a lot of time in Brooklyn with my grandmother who lived here. I was here as a little kid staying with my grandmother in the summers, but the rest of the year I was living in Texas.
[Today], I can’t sit here and try to terraform the neighborhood. What I try to do is be a part of it, and try to be involved in a way where I’m not the person pushing people out, but rather, if I can do things to help those people stay, then that’s the goal.
via Comedian Wyatt Cenac on mayo, hair salons, and gentrification | Grist.
Truth + Desire Lab is a community for women over 30 who desire a new way to feel about food, sex, and intimacy.
Join the Truth + Desire Lab the second Thursday of every month by clicking here. You can also book a two-hour or half-day gathering for groups of 4 or more by contacting me at melissa @honeybeeholistic.info or 347-927-2855.