Over the summer, I worked at a program in California. For the most part, I kept to myself and the girls who lived on my floor with me, and that was it. I joked around with other people here and there, but I never went out of my way to mingle with anyone.
Which is why it’s very weird that some of the men there were confrontational with me. Two were your typical white guy, and one was your typical light skin. Now aside from joking around in the GroupMe, I didn’t say much to them. As a matter of fact, one of them would even seek me out to speak to me, to “have a conversation.” A conversation I didn’t really care to have. But I digress.
One night, one of these white men said something that came off to me as making it sound like I wasn’t doing my job. Now, as one of the few people there who actually did their job, I was livid. So, without malice or cussing or throwing a tantrum, I matter-of-factly told him exactly what had gone on and why it may have looked a certain way, but was actually far from it. This prompted him to summon me down to the office and get a lecture about how I can’t disrespect him. When really, I didn’t see it as disrespect, I saw it as sticking up for myself and my coworkers who indeed did their job better than everyone else there.
Another time, the other white man, the biggest cry dick on this side of the Mason Dixon, tried to call himself “putting me in my place” after he found himself called out on some bullshit. He went on to tell me that calling someone else dramatic was absolutely hilarious coming from me. When in fact, he whined and used his white boy privilege to get what he wanted all summer despite thinking he was “woke” and not like those other privileged white boys. He was just like those other boys.
Then we have Mr. Light skin, who spent time bothering me when I never showed interest in him. I happened to post one day about a friend I have who has the same name as him. He assumed it was about him. Imagine me making a post about someone that I’ve known for five weeks. The absurdity of the situation was through the roof. I let him know that you aren’t the only person in this world to have this name. But he was worried our coworkers would think something of the post, especially since he had a girlfriend back home. Again, I did not speak to this boy. He felt some type of way after that, not talking to me like he had before, which was fine. But then comes the next part, where he assumed something else I said was about him. Again, why does someone I know for five weeks think they’re so relevant in my life that I’m making social posts about them. I don’t even know you, beloved.
So what would make three men who don’t even know me like that, get confrontational with me? And then play the victim. Pretend like I’m the loud, angry black girl who attacked them. Play like I’m the crazy one, like I’m the issue, when I simply won’t let you get away with the bullshit that other women clearly do. How does that make me an angry person because I won’t tolerate slander or mistreatment?
I think so many Black women get that title forced on them when they simply refuse to allow the foolishness they’re being dealt. It’s unfair, and I’m not really sure how to combat this. But I know for certain that as angry as I’m made out to be, I will not stop defending myself and I won’t stop defending the people around me who are too meek to do it. Speaking up and using your voice doesn’t make you angry, despite the one who will try to make you the bad guy for defending yourself.
Article Written By: Kaitlan Darby | @blackmambacreative