I almost apologized today. I almost apologized for being absent. In fact, I haven't been absent. My skills were required to push back against women-hating institutions. Those same institutions that preach that women are inferior, black women are much less, and men are entitled to take our bodies, trample our rights, and starve our ambition.
I cannot answer your calls, grow you, show you the way, and become less so that you can feel good about yourself. I cannot like Facebook posts, Instagram photos, Tweets, and make small chat while hate marches fill the streets and that guy who gave my attacker an at-a-boy, wink, nod, smile (maybe blew him a little kiss) sashays around as if he is untouchable.
So, I role up my sleeves, shelve my Alice Walker collection, pull my gentleman close and whisper be patient, turn off my email, and neglect my business(es), plural, which reminds me...
I get down on my knees and give thanks. I am grateful for the happiness, opportunity, love, favor, and protection I am blessed to know today, despite the racism and gender discrimination that I am forced to overcome, most often in the country of my birth.
Nowadays I can't decide which business to manage first. But today my job is clear: today, I read the defendants' "Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint and in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Further Amend her Pleading."
Today, I go to war against discrimination, hate, civil rights violations, women's rights violations, human rights violations, fraud, misrepresentation, harmful business practices, persons and ideologies that elevate and protect such values. Now is not the time to be silent in the face of discrimination. Today, as always, I am standing up for women's rights, civil rights, and human rights. And when history looks back on this moment in time for those who demonstrated a belief in and support of civil rights, women rights, and human rights, the history books and court records will show that I was present.
Before Taylor Swift was awarded the U.S. national civil and women's rights medal for stoic heroism, for testifying in her counter suit against the DJ who she alleged - and a jury found - groped her bum...
In New York City, in a well-lit hall, with just a single camera above us, I stood, frozen with fear, with just one other person opposite me.
This isn't my secret to keep. When I was in law school (less than 3 years ago) I was attacked by a white male student outside of the law school's restrooms. What happened next and what is actively unfolding by way of courtroom drama inspired the formation of companies (in the hundreds) and a global brand.
Women who have been victimized by gender-based violence, and have seen an inadequate response, came together to support the radical notion that women are people, and that women are deserving of justice. (If I had a dime for every time I experienced wrongful misconduct and spoke up I'd be queen of the feminists.) My point is that it isn't like women don't speak up or fight back. However, with few exceptions, society takes notice only when the woman taking action is famous.
To be made vulnerable to gender based violence in a New York City law school in 2014 is beyond my comprehension as someone who supports civil rights and has served in the U.S. military in defense of these ideals. So, in 2016 I sued. My lawsuit came after patiently reporting the violations I suffered and awaiting aid that never materialized. I didn't have a fancy high paid lawyer, but I marched down to the supreme court of New York and filed a complaint against New York Law School, the Dean, the Assistant Dean, and several others, in forma pauperis. Today I stand up for women whose pleas and injuries are not likely to be redressed in this country of privilege.
Below are the last documents I submitted to the court in the matter of Bailey v. New York Law school, et al. (Today, August 14, 2017, at 6:48pm, New York Law School's lawyer submitted yet another Motion to Dismiss to the court.) The documents below do not reveal a full picture of the torment I endured at New York Law School after I reported my attacker. I would still report him, if I had to do it all over again. But, I would also call the police and accept the aid of a battalion of combat trained Marines, requesting to stand guard in uniform at New York Law School's entrance until justice was done or until the police arrested us all. The Women's March would have happened a lot earlier if I had known then what I know now.
I needed an advocate, but I didn't know it at the time. I thought law schools and law school staff were mandated to abide by laws that would have ensured that my attacker face legal justice as prescribed by the laws of the United States. Now, I am suing to ensure that no other woman has to endure what I went through.
As you read the real-life case documents below, know that this hasn't been easy for me or my loved ones. I would rather be planning a wedding, researching cancer treatments, and fighting sex trafficking of women of children. Still, this has been the proudest moment of my entire law school career. I stood up to race and gender violence, and supported civil rights and women's rights through a pro se lawsuit before it was cool, without cameras, without a high-paid lawyer, and without fame. If I had to do it all again, I would only do it bigger, better, and louder.
This is what feminism looks like. This is what real life looks likes. (Only the private addresses and phone numbers have been edited.) We are the women who put it all on the line in support of our beliefs. We are the women who fight for our rights and your rights. We are entitled to college campuses and professional schools that are free from campus assault, sexual assault, sexual harassment, discrimination and other unlawful conduct. And we are not sorry at all.
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