Judith over at A Lesbian and A Scholar has been blogging the anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape this month.
Last week she blogged about my essay, When Sexual Autonomy isn’t Enough: Sexual Violence Against Immigrant Women.
Today I read Miriam Zoila Pérez’s essay, “When Sexual Autonomy Isn’t Enough: Sexual Violence Against Immigrant Women in the United States” for day eleven of the Blogging “Yes” project. You may know Miriam from Feministing, or from her own blog, Radical Doula. She’s one of my favorite bloggers out there, and in this essay she sheds light on an important issue, namely sexual violence faced by immigrant women. I also want to recommend a related blog post on Feministe written by brownfemipower, Confronting Citizenship in Sexual Assault.
The violence faced by immigrant women, both institutional and interpersonal, is a serious problem in the US. The essay I wrote only skimmed the surface of the issues at hand, but there is a large body of work and activism out there focused on this intersection.
Check out the rest of Judith’s post about my essay here.
A few years ago I acted as a volunteer doula to a woman who had recently immigrated from the Middle East. She spoke mainly Farsi, and was completely isolated from any social or familial support system. It soon became clear that she was a victim of physical and sexual violence by her husband. Our relationship extended far beyond her birth, and she has since taken many, many steps toward independence from her abuser.
During the experience of supporting her through her pregnancy, birth, & postpartum, and then developing a friendship with her, I was aghast at how the fact that she was an immigrant played such a strong role in keeping her in the violent situation. I look forward to reading your essay for a better understand of what she was going through, and the challenges I faced in supporting her. Thanks for posting this!