13th of august 2020


The Black Lives Matter movement has hardly passed anyone by, as the revolution is a perfect setting for opinionated people to express themselves in either a way that is restorative and strengthening or in a racist way that maintains violence/abuse towards marginalized social groups. In Iceland there is less police violence against black people than in the US, leading to the discourse in Iceland being miscellaneous, resulting in a broader kind of racism. Everyday routine incidents, cultural appropriation, what can and cannot be said and pornification to people of color. Here, we are looking at how those in power, white people, can proceed so marginalized groups can live their lives without constant microaggressions. The topic of discussion is people of color and rape culture. 

Let’s take a look at the social structure. In this structure, as a colored person, it is very easy to get lost. Let me explain what I mean. In a world where everything is tailored so that white people can thrive, others get lost.

As long as role models of our children are white barbie-dolls, as long as only white plasters are available in the shop, while members of the medical profession are mainly taught how symptoms appear on white skin and cosmetologists are taught to make up white skin. As long as racist sense of humor is allowed and women of foreign ethnicities are sexualized and made to be a “fetish”, they are forgotten, which allows and normalises violence against people of color. 

Rape culture towards women of color is sustained for the reason that white people do not experience racism. When women of color are subjected to sexual violence in the way that their skin color alone is sexualized and made to be a fetish, it is always about race and ethnicity, thus rape culture and racism are interwoven, resulting in a special kind of sexualization, the intersection of being a woman and of color. Our society is structured in a way that white men in power are at the top in relation to everyone else. Next in the pecking order are white women, then black men and men of color, and at the bottom, there are women of color and then black women. 

We get the least respect, which hides the violence and at the same time, the violence degrades us even more. Being at the bottom of the hierarchy of society leads to us having much difficulty shouting loudly enough so that the white men at the top can hear us. Because of this everyone’s eyes have to be alert and open to the specific sexualization of people of color and notice how it is different from the way white women are sexualized. Two examples can be made of such sexualization, one is a failed sentence where the person did not realise the harm they had made by saying it and the other is a racist joke. 

I have often heard the phrase “I have never been with a dark person before”. This seems innocent, but look at the sentence. It is as if my body is something for your pleasure because the color of my skin is something that will make it special for you, something you benefit from.

I am not an experience for white people, I do not exist for the enjoyment of white people, I am not the Asian friend that white people can use to seem less racist. 

Having to prove you’re not racist makes you more racist because then you assume everyone makes the same assumptions and judge people by the color of their skin. Also, this sentence upholds the power white men have, as it harshly points to the fact that we are a minority. I have found the phrase “Asian bitch” the most used about myself at the hand of men. Following these words the image of a “small, easy, tight vagina, a childlike woman with small breasts that is to be used for money”. As is made obvious by the video of Pétur Jóhann, which raced through the internet a short while ago, where he sets up the pornographic idea of an asian woman, like the image I have just described. Am I rocking the boat too much by mentioning this incident? If you think so, you need to do some introspection, as I am only holding the man accountable and hoping people can understand how this behavior can be dangerous, even though the person in question did not mean for it to be. This incident also shows how people of color can not fight this battle by themselves. 

We need white people to stand up to other white people because the fight has never been “black against white”. The fight needs to be “everyone against racists”. Let’s take a stand, every single one of us, against racism and rape culture and hold ourselves and each other accountable for our actions.

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Rape Culture and The Social Pecking Order