THE BLOG
04/23/2013 04:53 pm ET Updated Jun 22, 2013

Rage Against the Patriarchy, Dr. Nikita Levy, and the Devaluation of Black Women

"I was compelled to complain because I feel that the vast majority of black folks who are subjected daily to forms of racial harassment have accepted this as one of the social conditions of our life in white supremacist patriarchy that we cannot change. This acceptance is a form of complicity... Racial hatred is real. And it is humanizing to be able to resist it with militant rage." --bell hooks

I write this essay so that I do not have to swallow the rage -- or to borrow from bell hooks, "killing rage"..."militant rage"..."rage at injustice"..."constructive healing rage" -- that currently consumes me regarding the state of black women in society. I write this essay after learning that none of my friends, family members, colleagues, or undoubtedly most of America have come across any news coverage or informal conversations discussing the events that transpired two months ago involving a doctor accused of illegally and nonconsensually videotaping and photographing possibly over one thousand patients -- mostly women of color -- during their medical procedures.

On February 4, 2013, the late Dr. Nikita Levy, a Jamaican-born obstetrician/ gynecologist who worked at Johns Hopkins' East Baltimore Medical Center -- a center that primarily serves low-income African-American women -- was accused of secretly recording patients during exams. An employee reported the doctor to hospital officials after becoming suspicious of a pen that Levy would consistently wear around his neck while examining patients. Hospital security later interviewed Levy in his office, where they found additional devices, and according to an official statement released by Johns Hopkins Medicine, "determined that Dr. Levy had been illegally and without our knowledge, photographing his patients and possibly others with his personal photographic and video equipment and storing those images electronically."

Full essay available at "The Feminist Wire."