Three years working in Hunts Point with addicts. Three years listening to countless women recount sexual abuse by male relatives. Three years of watching men prowl the streets looking to pay women to suck their dicks. Sometimes getting their dick sucked isn’t enough and they beat the women and rape them. Just for kicks I guess.
Three years of children telling me, “I don’t know who my father is. He ain’t ever been in my life.”
Egypt, her eye blackened by a boyfriend, after listing every man who has raped or beat her answered my question of, “Has any man in your life ever treated you well.” With, “Yes, one has. God.”
Carmela, sexually and physically abused since eight saying, “When did I start prostituting? I always have. I mean I always thought you had to give up your body for food or to find a place to sleep. I never knew it had a fancy name like prostitution till I was like 16. I just knew it as the way a girl lived on the streets.”
Simple crude fact: There are no women driving around Hunts Point looking to pay men to “suck their pussies.”
Simple crude fact: Only a minority of men I know in Hunts Point don’t beat their girlfriends. I mean I only suspect they don’t. Others claim everyone does.
Simple crude fact: A young girl growing up in the neighborhood is often forced to endure a torrent of taunts, stares, yells, grabs, and more disgustingly common than it should ever be, forced sex.
So I get asked. What have I learned in my three years working on my project?
There are many decent men who live in Hunts Point who respect women fully. They are dedicated fathers who work selflessly, take responsibility for their children, and are unfailing polite.
Still many men suck, and the ones who suck cause huge problems that sadly overshadow all else, eclipsing the decent men.
Yes I understand the irony of a white male saying that. Guilt, loathing, call it whatever you want.
I simple see it as a fact that somebody, trained in the sciences like I am, cannot ignore or deny.
PS: I grew up in a very poor white southern town. I saw very similar things taking place. This is not about race. This is about gender."
— (via itsbittersweetthings)