By Ida Harris

Far too many conflate Grace’s actions with permission, but that is a function of patriarchy. Giving in is not synonymous with giving consent—although sometimes it is entirely necessary. Being a black woman, in particular, has its cost. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, black women are affected by violence—physical and sexual—at a much higher rate than women of other races. Navigating common spaces as a black woman informs me that speaking up and taking agency is not always in my best interest. Revisiting my own situation proved this.

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