Don't touch my hair. In 2017, this is a no brainer right? I mean, it's a gross thing to do. To invade someone else's personal space. To fetishize someone and treat them like your pet. I thought this was common sense. Apparently not.
Read Also: My Hair Is Not Here For Your Enjoyment
Last weekend, I was in a club with a friend celebrating my sisters birthday. I had spent much of the day refreshing my twists before fixing them into two high buns. Me and my friend were on the dance floor when I felt someone grab one of my buns from the back. I whipped round to find a woman standing there smiling.
'What the hell are you doing?' My whole body is stiff with anger and I have my arms fixed to my sides so I'm not tempted to give her a quick slap.
'Can I touch your hair?' She says with such confidence like she's asking for the time.
'NO!' My tone is firm and I turn away from her as other people are paying attention and I am not about to cause a scene.
'Please?!' she says as she reaches out towards my hair and I duck. Can we just take a moment to ponder on the entitlement and nonsense I am dealing with.
'You need to get away from me!' I say firmly when really I want to scream it but I know how it goes. I have every right to be angry but I can't be the angry Black woman. If I raise my voice, I'm aggressive. If I tell her off like I want to, I'm abusive. I know how it goes.
Right now I have reached my limit. I am actually done. My friend sees my blood boiling and tries to get this woman to leave us alone. At this point, I'm trying to stay calm and ignore her. She tries to talk to me and I bat her away.
She then feeling ignored starts going up to other people and is clearly reporting me. She points at me while giving them sad eyes and they are consoling her. Yes, you read that right. She in all of this has made herself the victim. She who invited herself into my personal space to find my trouble is somehow the one who needs consoling. Isn't life wonderful?
In all of this, that is what I found most upsetting. Isn't it bad enough you tried to reduce me to your lap dog? On top of all of that I am the villain in the story as well?
When Black people talk of the day to day bullshit they have to deal with this is it. These microaggressions form a patchwork quilt of mind fuckery that weighs on your spirit. It's the stuff that constantly reminds you that you are other, you don't really belong.
At a different time in my life, I would have left the dancefloor and probably the club. I would have written a tearful entry in my journal and let it form into a hard knot in my belly. Now I'm not about that. Now I stay on the dancefloor and I don't explain myself. My no was enough. I don't owe her an explanation. She can stay mad.