In Sanford, Fla., in the hopeful days heralding the Ides of March, in possession of convenience store treats, adorned in his teenage hoodie, African-American student Trayvon Martin was murdered.
Women don’t need hoodies to be murdered.
Women don’t need dark skin, broad noses or kinky hair in a blond-haired, blue-eyed culture to be battered.
Women don’t need Skittles or bottled iced tea to be objectified and stalked.
Women don’t need violent gunmen to be raped of their humanity.
All that women need to be beaten by oppression, to dwell in the putrefying depths with Trayvon, is breasts, wombs and labia.
Oppression cascades down a hierarchy.
Wealthy, white, heterosexual, Christian males, they sip civet scat coffee in the glistening ripples of aristocracy.
Poor, illiterate females of color, they pick the undigested beans from feces under crashing waves of patriarchal bigotry, homophobia, misogyny, fear.
In between, a spectrum of females and males and queers, of races and ethnicities, of incomes and abilities, kick against the surging tide, vying for sustenance. For rickety picket fences. For remnants.
Trayvon? He was a sweet-faced, African-American child. On his way home with Skittles and a multinational corporate bottle of iced tea. A sweet-faced, African-American child.
A Black child who lost out in the pecking order to a white-ish Latino man, who packed a concealed weapon and a deadly passion for working his way up the hierarchy of oppression. Aligning with his father’s white folk, hating the more hated.
In the hopeful days heralding the Ides of March, the conspiracy of oppression stabs us all.
Kit-Bacon Gressitt's commentary and political fiction can be read on her blog Excuse Me, I'm Writing and is republished by SDGLN, The Ocean Beach Rag and The Progressive Post. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize while working for the North County Times. She is also host of Fallbrook's monthly Writers Read open mic and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.