So, I have been doing much reflecting on this shit-show we call 2016. Caught in yet another discussion with someone on the plight of black women, specifically dark skinned ones, specifically dark skinned ones with African Featuers, specifically dark skinned ones with African features whose bodies are not of the main stream ideal variety and are more curvy (whether we are regular, overweight or obese).
And I breathed a heavy sigh. Maybe a year ago now, a mixed friend, one who is black and Asian made me feel pretty bad…ha ha . We weren’t friends quite yet, but I was making a comment about standards of beauty, especially as internalized by men and how that translates into how different groups of women are treated. And her response was basically to state outright that no matter how bad it was for the kind of black women I outlined above, it’s worse for her because she is mixed and fetishized for her Asian-ness. I sort of just sat there quietly: I knew then that there would be a limit to the kinds of convos we could have.
I was talking about feeling invisible, of dealing with really shitty situations and people who try to make you feel less than dirt (even if they deign to date you), I was talking about being at the bottom of the totem pole, and her reaction was basically “Well you’re lucky because I never know if people really want me for me or because of how I look”….
Honestly, the second conversation was practically triggering as I had filed this lack of empathy incident away in my “Oh well, we knew human beings lacked basic empathy.” file. I mean, I am talking about not even being under consideration in many circles, and you are talking about being wanted by many.
When I talk about these things, I am not looking for pity. I am just looking for people to acknowledge that maybe, someone has it worse than they do, that maybe it’s a little harder for some of us than it is for others. I acknowledge my privilege all the freaking time! I know it’s there, I know I enjoy it: I work in a space where most of the poc serve the food or clean or are security guards. I was born in a hospital in country that had 5 doctors total— 4 years ago (have no idea how many there were when I was born!).
But I digress.
Yest another conversation, this time with a black man, educated one, elite educated one, elite job holder now… who was lamenting his lack of matches on social media. Because I had gotten more matches that somehow meant that things were so bad for him.
This is despite the fact that the negro had 3 count em 3 girlfriends (all reasonable attractive, at least two really well educated with white collars jobs, a plethora of travel experiences… etc. etc. etc…. in the past year alone, along with FWB/DTF – type deals as well. Ugh. No. You don’t have it worse. Nowhere in the neighborhood of worse.
After listing all the awful (honest to God awful individuals I have dealt with this year, his response was “well, I had better quality” but you had better “quantity” …..
Last time I checked having five bags of garbage as compared to his one containter full of recyclables means his house is a lot neater than my own.
And no, I am not comparing people per se, I am comparing experiences. But this entry has become more like an intro. more on the horrors of the individuals I’ve interacted with this year in the next post.