Brandi Martell. RIP.
Another day, another Black transwoman killed somewhere. and as a Daily Kos post noted, nobody gave a damn. Correction, nobady gave a damn except her friends, family and other Black transwomen and our allies around the country who are saying to themselves there but for the grace of God go I.
Hell, Paige Clay still hasn’t been buried yet in Chicago, and we’re talking about the murder of yet another one of our African descended transsisters. We now have to add 37 year old Brandy Martell’s name to the depressingly lengthening list of people whose names we’ll be lighting candles for and reading at the 2012 TDOR.
Martell according to a news report was shot to death April 29 in downtown Oakland at Franklin and 13th Street just a block from city hall while sitting behind the steering wheel of her car.
According to what a witness told Laura Anthony of ABC7, Martell was sitting behind the wheel of her car around 5:15 AM PDT Sunday when one or two men walked up and began a conversation that appeared cordial on the surface but a few moments later one of the men became angry and fired into the car at Martell.
Until late last year, Martell worked as an outreach worker at the Tri-City Health Center in Fremont, CA which serves the local trans community.
According to a note posted on my FB page courtesy of Tanajsha Thomas the homegoing service will take place on Wednesday May 9 at 11 AM PDT at C.P. Bannon Mortuary . Address for those of you in the Bay Area wishing to attend is 6800 International Blvd,. Oakland, CA. 94621.
“When you don’t provide a space in society for people who you think are the other or different, especially transgender women, especially transgender women of color, when you don’t provide spaces for them to be in a safe environment or a safe space, whether it’s socializing or services, this is what happens,” said Martell’s friend Tiffany Woods to ABC7.
Martell’s friends also suspect like we all do this murder is an anti-trans hate crime. But until the wastes of DNA who killed her are apprehended and brought to justice, all we have is suspicion, another famiily having to make burial arrangements for a loved one, and her friends and colleagues mourning the passing of someone who died way too fracking soon.
[TW: rape jokes] “I think it’s odd that you can’t joke about rape, when people joke about murder all the time. A lot more people are dying than getting raped. I think it’s a comedian’s job to make everything funny. Nothing is off-limits.”
For the people wondering what Donald Glover had to say about jokes involving rape.
Reblogging so everyone knows how much Donald Glover sucks.
If anyone’s wondering, here’s the reasoning we’re fighting against rape jokes, specifically.
Everybody pretty much agrees that murder is bad, and that even when walking alone at night, people aren’t asking to be murdered. When people get murdered, we go “oh shit, did they find the murderer? how is their family holding up?” When women get raped, we go “what was she wearing are you sure she didnt lead the guy on maybe she liked it maybe the guy didnt hear her say no why are you automatically siding against the guy maybe hes the actual innocent party here OMG U FEMINAZIS”.
Rape isn’t taken seriously as a crime, and women who report their rapes aren’t taken seriously as victims. Even under the “best” circumstances, these women undergo incredible amounts of victim blaming and slut shaming, something really only specific to rape victims, certainly not murder victims.
So when the people who overwhelmingly commit rapes (practically with impunity, given the way we treat rape victims) are *same* guys want to joke about rape? Yeah, no, that is fucked the fuck up.
OH MY GOD I get so sick of the “What about MURDER JOKES?” argument.
First off, while “Oh my god my mom is so going to kill me” doesn’t bother me, violent rhetoric “I’m going to kill him!”, “And then I will punch her in the gut and tear off her skin!” does, actually, so I’m not holding quite as much of a double standard as people seem to think. (I just really love when people just assume they know what jokes I am okay with).
And secondly, no. Murder does not happen as often as rape. Do you know approximately how many serial murderers there are in America right now? 25-100. Do you know approximately how many serial rapists there are? Probably 2-3 million at least.
1 in 6, 1 in 6 women experience sexual assault. LOW ESTIMATE. That is fucking pandemic. That is 26 million people in this country. While murder happens way too often in this country, and far more often here than in many other comparable countries, it does not happen at nearly that rate.
Do you know how many rapes go unreported? It is estimated that about 60% of them do. Do you know how many rapists are convicted? Not many. Meanwhile, about 62% of homicides are “cleared”, meaning not only do they go reported, but the culprit is caught, tried, and convicted. Do you know how many rapists are actually convicted? Only half of those reported, and then only half of them serve jail time. The ubiquity of one is not comparable to the other. Rape happens more often than murder and is prosecuted far less.
You are far more likely (nearly certain, in fact) to interact with multiple real rapists over the course of your life who never faced charges, than you ever are to interact with a single murderer.
You are definitely more likely to interact with a rapists victim than with a murderers victim. A murder’s victim isn’t around to be hurt by your jokes.
And finally, rape, unlike murder is a far more gendered act. Women do rape, and men are raped, but not at nearly the rates that men rape women. So when you make a joke about rape, you are making a joke that specifically targets one half of the population disproportionately. Murder is less discriminate, and so jokes about murder tend to also be less specifically marginalizing to an already oppressed group.
In conclusion, no the effect of the two kinds of jokes is not the same, and as such, the two kinds of jokes are not totally comparable. Which doesn’t magically make any joke about murder okay (many of them are AWFUL).
Casual rhetoric about death is far more universal (everyone dies) then casual rhetoric about rape (women are more likely to be raped, and no one HAS to be raped while everyone HAS to die). Casual rhetoric about murder might just be casual rhetoric about death in a more active form (This video game is really killing me!), or might be violent rhetoric (If you do that, I’m going to stab you in the gut with a knife!). Violent rhetoric actually does bother me. It’s not the same as rape jokes, but it’s still not appreciated and likely to trigger as well as dismiss the severity of its subject matter. That being said, rape jokes and murder jokes are still not the same thing.