Um...No, We Can't Be Friends
Yes...Yes They Do
The Sugar Cycle
Let's talk gender for a minute.
Being a woman in America - regardless of your skintone - is tough. If you're of the school of thought that sexism in America is dead, kill that fantasy now. The recent war against women's health is more than ample evidence of that.
Now, white women, this next portion is directed at you.
Ever get the Twitch? Don't act like you don't know what I mean when I say "the Twitch." Every woman, whether she's gay, straight, bi, or trans has at some point experienced the Twitch. The Twitch occurs whenever a man starts talking about anything concerning women, and obviously hasn't the slightest clue what he's talking about.
Infuriating, isn't it? The Republicans recently gathered a panel of religious men who didn't have the first clue about female anatomy in attempt to influence actual law pertaining to women. We're talking pastors, rabbis, Catholic priests all congregating to impede and influence statutes pertaining to our bodies.
In the back and forth debate about women's health, men from the right kept bringing up sex and birth control pills. Women kept bringing up polycystic ovarian syndrome, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, and dysmenorrhea - terminology which sounds like gibberish to your average man. Women kept bringing these up, and men from the right kept ignoring and dismissing them.
Or abortion. It's annoying when men weigh in on how a woman should handle pregnancy, isn't it? I'm not talking about the male obstetrician who tells you which vitamins to take and when; I'm talking about the random dude telling you to keep a baby whose bills he will not being paying. I'm talking about all the men who conveniently forget they will not be the ones carrying the child, pushing it out, or getting cut open, or overall risking their lives to bring a life into the world. Men who forget that a man can easily get up and walk away from a pregnancy while a pregnant woman cannot, or how many mothers put advancing education and careers on hold for their kids.
Some men hide behind religion when using their arguments against abortion, but the fact remains that they're not women. They can't ever fully understand what they haven't lived.
Don't even get me started on marriage and dating. Seems like every man has an opinion on female sexuality, desirability, and how we need to put all ambition and self-esteem on the back burner just to get a man. And when they think the women they're sleeping with are bored because "women just don't enjoy sex", that brand of bullshit gets passed off as scientific research, to be studied and heeded as though it were a law etched in stone.
How about WWF? You've heard of Walking While Black, but you're probably more familiar with Walking While Female. You know...it's when you take two steps out your front door and suddenly (almost) every heterosexual man
Men don't understand the sheer hell of Walking While Female sometimes. When Walking While Black, you have a fairly good idea of where not to go and whom to avoid in general. When Walking While Female, however, it doesn't matter what color the guy is, what age he is, what socioeconomic background he comes from; it doesn't matter what neighborhood you're in, or which clothes you're wearing, whether you're alone or with friends, or what you look like overall - the longer you stay outside your car, the more at risk you are. The more likely some shit will go down, and somehow - for reasons defying all logic - it will be at least "partially" your fault because you wanted to go get some groceries or something else equally irresponsible.
Sickening, isn't it?
Now, women of color, this next part's for you.
Ever get the Other Twitch? *raises eyebrow* Don't play. Every woman of color in this country - Asian, African, Latina, Indigenous - has experienced "the Other Twitch". It's whenever dialogue with a white woman moves from gender into race and she clearly hasn't the slightest clue what she's talking about. And she gets upset with you for disagreeing with her, or for not readily accepting her as a sister-in-arms.
And while she's busy whining about her hurt, she neglects your hurt which stems from 1) the fact that she just uttered some of the wrong-est shit ever, and 2) you were just vibin' with this woman, bonding over some random mutual female shit, and she had to go and fuck up the vibe.
What a lot of our paler sistren constantly forget is that how they feel when men make them twitch is how we feel when white women make us twitch. If you're not and never have been a woman, it's really annoying when you weigh in on women's issues, particularly when you haven't the slightest bit of medical, legal, or social knowledge on the topic.
And if you - not your friends or relatives, but YOU - are not a person of color, it's very annoying when you weigh in on something you will never fully understand, doubly when you're lacking any necessary social, political, and legal self-awareness and historical knowledge (which doesn't conveniently flatter you).
So white women, remember this: the next time you find yourself rolling your eyes at some self-righteous priest who ain't seen a vagina in decades and couldn't tell you where the clitoris is - much less what to do with it - weighing in on actual laws about what women should do with our own bodies, pause and reflect upon that bone-rattling irritation. Savor the gritting of your teeth and experience the Twitch in slow motion. Replay that ignorant male voice in your head and think about how you feel knowing you live in a society which places more value on his words than yours.
Then remind yourself of how women of color of feel the same way when you start lecturing us on what you think we need to do in a society which automatically places more value on you than it does us.