usually i would reserve such a post for the morning when i am less tired and more articulate, but i really don’t want to think about tonight’s experiences past tonight
tonight i basically got hit on left, right and sideways from a white man who wouldn’t take the hint that not only did i not want to talk to him, but i also didn’t want to hear his epically fetishizing comments about my hijab or visible muslim identity. who didn’t understand that me saying salaam to another muslim sister on the train wasn’t some secret winking code that he should want to get in on, but something we do out of the code of manners dictated by our religion. who couldn’t take the hint that i wouldn’t touch him to give him a high five or shake his hand, because even if i didn’t abide by the traditional muslim standard that women don’t touch the hands of men, i’m not in the habit of touching strangers without provocation. i don’t know where your hands have been, what they have touched or been doing. and i go out of my way to avoid bodily contact with people that i deem completely unnecessary. and given the amount of mud on his shoes and boots what real reason would i have to touch somebody caked in dirt. and who only got the hint when i said i would never date a non-muslim, which is totally not true, but for his purposes i felt the need to build a moat in the sand so he was clear where the boundaries are.
honestly, i’m so sick of white people not understanding cultural and racial norms when it comes to personal space and engaging with folks of colour
i was sick of it in high school, when i used to wear an afro and braid before converting to islam, folks would go out of their way to touch my fucking hair as if it was a petting zoo. the same people who didn’t realize my hair is not some magical unknown by virtue of it not being thin and wispy and bound to fall out by middle age.
i’m still sick of this in college, by the way, when white students come up to me and say shit like “omg i wish i had your hair!!” with all the starry eyed understandings of black natural hair in the world and none of the complications of actually being a natural black woman. *cue the paul mooney clip where he’s speaking the whole truth and nothing but the truth about how everyone wants to be a nigga but nobody wants to be a nigga*.
i was sick of it in high school when white friends would come up to me and just throw themselves on me in an attempt to hug or cuddle, without really even asking my permission first. i hated how i had to adapt to such behaviours to survive and have a social circle and i just chalked it up to emotionally twisted people who could benefit from some SSRI’s and cuddle therapy. i had to adapt to having my personal space violated and not be asked how should a person approach my body and my personal space
white people, i hate to break it to you, but you live in a multi-cultural world, and it doesn’t always operate based on the framework of how the saltine cracker crumbles.
meaning you cannot expect to engage with people of colour and not take into account that EACH OF US HAVE RADICALLY DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDINGS OF WHAT CONSTITUTES PERSONAL SPACE AND ACCEPTABLE PHYSICAL CONTACT. meaning what i think or your token POC friend thinks doesn’t dictate how you engage with the rest of us individually.
and if you’re so naive to believe that its one size fits all when it comes to the norms and personal preferences of people of colour
then you deserve the slap of life when you step waay out of line. the kind that leaves a red hand print on your skin that won’t easily fade away either and i can instagram in heart beat
and if you think you’re off the hook simply because you read in a book/college class of the predominately white ivory tower somewhere that its okay to bow to chinese people or do some other half shack shit without actually talking to the person as to how they want to be greeted, then you deserve all the shade you’re probably too simple to pick up on anyways
ignoring our personal preferences wont work
treating us all the same based on one wont work
and taking a quasi orientalist approach to understanding our personal preferences sans the inter-personal work will not work either
either start doing the real hard work
or stay completely out of our way and don’t be surprised that when you fail to check yourself around us you will, in fact, get wrecked