Monday, September 16, 2013

We Do What?

I was a communications major. In my communications classes I learned a very valuable lesson that most people don't know. When you speak with blanket statements and you are a part of the blanket, you exclude yourself.

For example, if I say 30-year old women have no idea what they want. I'm talking about EVERY other 30-year old woman (because I know what I want), when really, that statement includes me. Given this insight, I realize that other people speak with blanket statements about categories that include me, but they don't mean to include and/or offend me when they say it, but they still do.

Exhibit A:

Around the way dude (ATWD): Black women are not with their men.
T: O_O WHAT?! Maybe you could state it a different way. Because right now, I completely disagree with you so completely that I can't even make sense of what you're saying. 
ATWD: White women, Asian Women, Hispanic women... to a degree, are WITH their men. Black women are not... But I'm not talking about you.

So I politely [I swear I was polite] tell him that if he's going to make a blanket statement about a group of people in which I am included, he needs to state it in another way. For example if he said something like "Ain't shit women are not their for their men." I would have let it ride.

So he goes on to say: "Good women circle the wagon around ain't shit women and men can never say what's true because you all are always taking up for them."

I swear I date for the stories. I'm not mad at this dude. His experiences with women have colored his commentary and I can't deny him his experience.

I reminded him that when he makes a statement about what black women do or don't do, he's talking about me, his mother, his grandmother, his aunts, his daugher and every black woman teacher or mentor he's ever had. He disagrees.

So we agree to disagree.

I will say, however, that black women are always accused of not taking up for each other. For being haters. For hating other women's success and happiness. [which is a bunch of BS, honestly] But when I took up for black women, I'm accused of going to bat for hoes to try to make an argument.

When it comes to rhetoric, women can't win with men. Maybe that's the #message.

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