ENGLISH

Testimony

I am writing another statement because of repeated requests to know why ASARO, Espacio Zapata, and their related groups are being called out, instead of just the rapist. Although I have no control over this anti-machista movement, as it is something bigger than myself and my case, I support the decision to begin a conversation about a large and systemic problem using my case as a starting point and call to action.

Besides the physical effects of the rape, there were mental and social ones. After word got out about that night, his friends started coming up to me and trying to “reason” with me. My boss at the gallery (one of Cesar’s best friends), told me that Cesar was very sorry for what he had done and that it was a real shame what happened, but that la vida sigue. He told me taking it to court would just prolong my pain and that I shouldn’t bother. I had to quit my job there after he lost his temper with me on the phone, called me a slut, and said I deserved it for having all those sex parties. I still don’t know exactly what parties he was referring to.

Another of our leftist friends compared it to drunk driving. He said if you get drunk and then get behind the wheel and kill someone, it’s really sad but it’s not your fault. Basically saying that if you drink alcohol, you can not be held accountable for anything you do while drunk. He said he would be willing to get Cesar into some kind of rehabilitation program, but if I filed the denuncia he wouldn’t do it. To me, this proves that he believes Cesar raped me but was unwilling to support me if I defended myself legally. I can’t explain how much this realization hurt. After this conversation, I stopped trying to reach out to our friends or explain myself. I stopped trying to justify what I was doing, as if somehow I was the one in the wrong.

I was told recently by a female friend of that circle that I was playing games with his life by pressing charges. That if he went to prison he might get raped. That I shouldn’t have gotten drunk with the men (like she and I had done 100 times before) and that we girls need to look out for ourselves, because no one else is going to do it. I’ve heard this argument before, putting the burden on the female population to protect themselves instead of the male to be decent human beings. This is how she, and all of us, was raised to think. The fact that we drink with the men we trust leaves us open and vulnerable to sexual assault, and that’s a decision a woman has to make and be ok with if it happens.

As the weeks passed, I began to hear the fruits of his grassroots defense. The first rumor that he and ASARO started that got back to me was that I was a lesbian. Ok, I thought. Well, that’s insane but I don’t see how that could hurt my case. If I was a lesbian I wouldn’t be any less human or deserving of rights. Then, I heard I was a slut who had sex with all of ASARO. Well that’s contradictory, I thought. Days passed, I heard the lie that I had cried rape before, and this was just another in a long line of false accusations. Despite there being no proof of any of this, the rumors spread like wildfire and pretty soon I couldn’t go downtown without dirty looks and being called names by strangers. These tactics are sexist, cruel, and from what I’m told fairly typical in a rape defense.

Shortly after this I was spit on at a party by the girl who is Cesar’s witness. This woman is now making wild claims to the judge, under oath, about what happened that evening, all in an effort to be a “boy’s girl”. There’s something about being so hated by another woman you barely know that is incredibly sad and alarming. This woman more than anyone has made me think about how we can improve women’s education around sisterhood, rape, and our rights as women.

I’ve written this account for you because although I have the help of a great lawyer, I believe there is another rape case pending against him, and I have the truth on my side, I have little faith in the system. I continue to fight against the odds for several reasons. First and foremost, I know he’s done this before and there’s no reason to expect that he won’t do it again. I won’t have another woman’s rape on my conscious. I wish somebody had done something before me, but I understand why they didn’t. Secondly, I have the power, resources, and self-esteem to go through with it. If things are going to change, we need everyone who is able to stand up for themselves to do so in court. We need a public record of these transgressions. I have a loving and supporting network of friends and family still who are willing to fight with me. I have the money and the time to fight the case, unlike many victims. However my personal case ends, I hope that it can be used as a starting point to address inequality, sexism, and injustice in the system and in life. Thank you to those of you who have written me letters of support. It is incredibly kind of thoughtful of you to do so and I hope that you will join the movement.

Sophy Tuttle

August 2014

 



 

 

noestasolastencil-feminista-img_4515

From the voices of women enraged by the constant violence used against us, inflicted upon our bodies, our ideas and our freedom (part 2.)

We are here to MANIFEST:

 How can we trust in a justice system that reigns injustice and impunity? Knowing that it is a stale system which stigmatizes women and makes them guilty of the crimes commited against them; most rape cases presented before the institutions only represent a painful and humilliating process for the survivors.

How are we supposed to believe in any form of institucional justice when it is formed by the same patriarcal system by which we are oppressed? To appeal to the justice system is to forget the uncountable amount of cases in which the verdict is often inclined to the convinience of those in power, which on one side leaves many crimes unpunished, and on the other condemns many innocent people.

To believe in this system would be forgetting the thousands of raped and murdered women, the political prisioners, the beatings and humilliations that happened in Atenco (Mexico City, May 2006)*, the repression of the social movements, and for a more recent example the case of a young woman, Yakiri Rubio, who, in self defense, killed her rapist turning on him the same knife with which he was attacking her, but who is currently facing a criminal process having been accused of homicide**.

We make our claims to expose the aggressors so that womens voices will be heard, to say enough is enough, tired of being always being questioned and ruled out; Whilst others boast and accuse us of “defamation”, we applaude the bravery and strength of those women who have responded, joining thier claims, overcoming solitude, hostility and fear.

We want to create a world without the moral judgments that constantly discredit claims of rape, that reproduce a patriarchal logic in which it corresponds to women to made to feel guilty for the aggressions they suffer, holding them the ones responsible, a logic which assumes that really all women should be passive, obedient, virgens, mothers, heterosexual, carers, givers, etc.

We pronounce ourselves against those who attack, persecute and deslegitimize the women who choose break with that patriarchal moral, who dare to speak out, to expose the violence and those who attack them; The aggressors and their accomplices use the excuse that these women have “lost their self respect”, and so feel within their right to impose themselves, presuming their domain over women.

It’s always women who have to give proof. When will their claims be sufficient? When will it appear in the news? When she’s already dead, murdered.

We spurn the hypocrisy of those who consider themselves to be revolutionary, activists o assume to be part of a social movement, but, who in their daily and political movements reproduce the same vices as the system: who threaten, humilliate, despise, assault and descredit women. A lot of these types of violence take place in the home, and so are excused and separated from public view eluding the responsibility and congruity between what one says and how one acts. However, we say that to build fair and equitable relationships en private and in public, THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL.

We’ve been critizised for wanting to “divide” the movement and there have been calls for “unity amonst the left-wing” in Oaxaca. So we ask ourselves: Is a so called “political unity” more important than the voices of women who call for justice? We don’t want a “unity” that is considered superior to our freedom, our bodies and ideas. We want to live, in public and in private, free of choevenism, sexism and lesbophobia.

We roundly refuse that a signature or a name can give us an identity, our identity is the collective rage of all the women who have ever been attacked, raped, abducted or murdered; because we recognize ourselves in a common ground, OUR CALL IS IN SOLIDARITY. But also knowing the context in which we make our claims, we are aware that those who raise their voice are the ones targeted and attacked. We refuse to accept that those attacked are the ones who have to give their names, whilst the aggressors remain anonymous. We want to switch roles: exposing the aggressors, rapists and murderers.

With this in mind we make our call to all women to have courage, to raise their voice, to break the silence, and to expose thier aggressors because violence towards women is not natural. This is how we can break the chains of our oppression, looking for a way to build our own justice. WE INVITE ALL WOMEN TO JOIN US, IN ANY WAY THEY CAN, TAKING PART IN THIS MANIFESTATION AGAINST CHAUVENISTIC AND PATRIARCHAL VIOLENCE, if you harm any one of us, you harm us all.

We call out to the people in general, don’t be an unwitting accomplice through silence or neutrality. This is not just “a petty fight between few”, it’s a problem that is and always has been present, a problem which affects and concerns us all, and more importantly those who claim to be fighting for a more just society.

 

This manifestation is not anonymous because we are many, women, and more everyday …

 Out with the aggressors from the social and cultural movement!

Violence towards women is not natural!

We are many, we are not afraid!

Harm any one of us, we will respond!!

 

Any letters of support, comments, manifiestos, reports, etc. :

https://machosalahoguera.wordpress.com/

artistasplasticosbogota@hotmail.com

 

http://www.casacollective.org/story/analysis/massacre-atenco-violence-politics-and-other-campaigns-mexico

**  http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/yakiri-rubio-killed-her-rapist-in-self-defensenow-she-may-go-to-prison

 



 

 

Testimony

On the night of February 28th, 2014 I was at a party at my boyfriend’s house. Cesar was there and we were all drinking and dancing. I went to bed around 3am while my boyfriend stayed up with the rest. I was very drunk and fell asleep quickly. When I woke up, Cesar was on top of me, having sex with me. I was confused and scared, but pushed him off and ran downstairs. He followed me down there and I had to lock myself in the bathroom. When I didn’t hear him calling my name anymore, I left the bathroom. My boyfriend had passed out on the couch and I couldn’t wake him up. I fell asleep on the empty couch next to him. Cesar left before I woke up, but when I did I told my boyfriend what had happened. He tried to confront Cesar, but the girlfriend of Cesar hid him away. She later told me she believed me and wanted to get me help. Since then she has been one of the biggest forces against me and my case. My boyfriend and I went to the Red Cross for help, and I was told I had to file a denuncia in order to get an exam and treatment. After a lot of painful thought and consideration, I decided to do it so that I could receive the treatment. Cesar was my friend and I was terrified and confused.

This was not a decision I took lightly. He was a good friend to me and I was confused and heart-broken that he would do something so horrible to me. Although my hope was to pursue this case through the court of law and not let his act interfere with the lives of more people, his friends and compas did not allow that to happen. They have harrassed me, created elaborate lies about me, and defamed me and my friends all to protect him from getting the punishment he deserves.

This has been the most stressful and humiliating experience of my life. If I can stop even one other woman from having to go through what I’ve been through in the last 6 months, I’ll gladly share my story and open myself up to the barrage of hate that I am no doubt about to receive. However, for anyone to say that this is a fabricated story, to you I only say that this has left me depressed and broken, and if I wanted some sort of “revenge” on my former friend, I don’t think legally pursuing a rape case in Mexico would have been the best way to do that.

 

Sophy Tuttle

August 2014

CESAR CHAVEZ, RAPIST!

From the voices of women enraged by the constant violence used against us, inflicted upon our bodies, our ideas and our freedom:

010.CesarChavezWe are here to report that Cesar Chavez, grafic artist en Oaxaca, member of the colective ASARO (Asembly of Revolutionary Artists in Oaxaca), and the Chicatana project, is a RAPIST!

Masquerading as a left-wing activist, he uses a revolutionary double-talk (that stems from the protests and barricades that ocurred in the year 2006 in Oaxaca) to promote himself.

Cesar Chavez is currently going through a legal process having been accused of rape.

At the begining of the year 2014 whilst at a party C.C. entered the room of a friend and, as she slept, proceeded to rape her, abusing her trust, friendship and body. It is not the first time that this has ocurred, there is proof of other cases.

However, even with evidence it has not been enough, society sistematicaly blames women for the violence inflicted upon them rather than blaming the aggressor. And even though Cesar Chavez has recognized his own guilt, there has been no repercussions against him. On the contrary, there is a collusive and violent network in place that supports and protects him, taking advantage of his participation within the social movement to secure his impunity. They are the allies of the aggressor and the antagonists of the survivor. Thier aim, at all costs, is to silence the voice of she who was raped, afraid of the damage that could be caused to his reputation, to his work and to the funding he recieves, upon which he depends.

SO WE ASK OURSELVES:

Should society and left-wing movements cover-up rapists like Cesar Chavez just because they are self-proclaimed ‘activists’ or artists?

Are we, as a social movement willing to allow a rapist to be a referent within the grafic arts movement in Oaxaca?

Does not the fact that these colectives attemt to cover-up thier rapists and the chauvinistic violence that exists within thier circles promote the same impunity that they critisize about politicians, the police and military forces?

Why are people so outraged by the expropriation of the lands of the indigenous comunities by mining and hidrolic wind-turbine companies, yet not by the expropriation, rape and harrassment of the female body?

Is there a difference between a catholic church that conceal thier peodophiles and a left-wing movement that conceal thier rapists?

Why, if the left-wing movement and certain colectives are aware of the events, do they continue to associate themselves with Cesar Chavez?

WE REPUDIATE:

-All men and colectives who abuse the trust, who violate the limits and who disregard the desires and desicions of women.

-The abetment of institucions and grafic colectives who protect Cesar Chavez.

-A political, judicial and social system that:

  1. Occults and stigmatizes survivors of rape and violence, perpetuating thier silence and shame, achieving that they fear to accuse or prosecute thier aggressor.
  2. Blames women for the violence they recieve, promoting the normalization of said violence and the impunity of the aggressors.                                                                                                                                              –
  • There is no way to mitigate. Nothing justifies rape: Not because he was drunk, or suffers some kind of illness, or because of the clothes she was wearing that day. We are the only ones who have the right to decide when, with whom and how we practice our sexlives.

WE DENOUNCE:

-CESAR CHAVEZ, RAPIST!

-The lack of congruity and ethic within the ‘revolutionary left’ with respect to women, thier place within the colectives and in daily life.

WE DEMAND:

-A stop to the harrassment and threats towards the survivor and the people close to her.

-The guaranteed security of the women who have denounced this case and thier companions. We hold Cesar Chavez and all the colectives with which he colaborates resposible, for our integrity, of any attack or violent act that may be raised against any one of the persons who have made this public denouncement.

-That the social movement will no longer permit these kinds of grievences that happen daily.

-BOICOT of the grafic works of both Cesar Chavez and the ASARO colective, of the Chicatana project, the Gorila gallery, the espacio Zapata and Siquieros.

Out with the aggressors from the social and cultural movement!

Violence towards women is not natural!

We are many, we are not afraid!

Harm any one of us, we will respond!!

Anuncios

One comment

Responder

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Google+ photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google+. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Conectando a %s