Part 2 The Battle for Reawakening: Sexuality & Sexual Assault

I always wondered how I would untie the disjointed knots of this story. Five hundred and ninety nine days have passed between then and now. I’ve lived in different states. Signed three leases. Cried 1 billion microscopic tears in the middle of the day and in the middle of the dark. In those 599 days, I unearthed that rape is not a story with a neat beginning, middle or end. I do not have to mince my words hoping not to offend others or reduce their tears. I do not have to diminish their stereotypes or teach them something. I do not have to etch my initials in feminist history. I do not have to tell my story cleanly. I do not have to tell it once. I do not have to tell it in one form. But, I do have to tell my story.

When a friend of mine told me a woman named Dana had just launched a website called The Apposite back in March of last year, I decided to submit an essay. I always figured I would write about being raped, and I’m not sure what it was about Dana or The Apposite that finally propelled me to make that move. But, it felt right, and in retrospect, I know it was. The above paragraph was the opening to my essay, “Not Suitable for Public Consumption.

Part two of this series is very near and dear to my heart. Sexual assault is not just statistics from the Department of Justice like for every one black woman who reports her rape, 15 do not. It’s not just a plot line prime for Law and Order SVU. No, sexual assault and its aftermath are very real. It’s every day. It’s your limbs, your emotional DNA, your history. But, like so many of the other women I interviewed for this part of the series, I know that my life isn’t confined to July 24, 2011. Instead, my life is every day after that, and every choice I make to give voice to my story. In many ways, this part of the series is just an extension of telling that story.

I can’t help but want to blast Salt n Pepa’s “Let’s Talk About You and Me” right now. Because this part of the series also explores the broader narrative of black women’s sexuality–how we own it and bring it back to life in spite of media critics, men, mixed messages and the black church trying to suppress, control and assassinate our sexual freedom.

Next page: Act Like A Lady: Childhood Messages About Sex

5 thoughts on “Part 2 The Battle for Reawakening: Sexuality & Sexual Assault

  1. Pingback: The War on Black Women's Bodies: Part 2 Sexuality & Sexual Assault Now Posted | Twenties Unscripted

  2. Jenai

    I couldn’t help but shed a tear while reading this. It has been nerve wrecking trying to find my footing in a world where everyone seems to have an idea about your thoughts, actions and especially your sexuality but you are daring to push against the idea that we as women are meant to be dissected on a daily basis. Thank you for everything that you’re doing.

    Reply
  3. Kate @ GreatestEscapist.com

    I just read “Not Suitable For Public Consumption.” I have no words; just respect & awe & compassion & love. You are the strongest of strong women, Tyece, & we are blessed to be able to read the words you share. I am so sorry this happened to you – but I am so very impressed & inspired by the way you’ve committed to recovering, to learning more about yourself, to being the best version of yourself – & to helping the rest of us become better versions of ourselves as a result along the way, too.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Tyece Post author

      Thank you Kate for always being so supportive. You are a gem and I’m so glad we met each other earlier this year. Thank you for reading my story, one that is hard to share even almost two years after I originally published it. Difficult, but so necessary, for us as women to create the narratives the world needs to hear.

      Reply

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