Last week, I reached out to @sassycrass and @dopegirlfresh because I wanted to write about the thin line between protection and domination for Black women. Lo and behold, it appears that the opportunity to write about the issue has made itself known sooner than I expected.
When I talk about the thin line between protection and domination I am thinking about many things including gender roles, race and street harassment.
Ultimately, the thin line between protection and domination rests on the reasoning that if a person states that you deserve to be protected because of the body that you come in, then it stands to reason that that same reasoning assumes that you can expect to be dominated because of the body that you come in. This kind of thinking has to be taken to its logical end.
As a Black woman who doesn’t take shit off of anyone I deal with a whole of street harassment in DC. For me street harassment is a kind of racial profiling because when I am in a White area of DC (Du Pont Circle in particular) and I see how Black men fuck with me in ways that they do not attempt to do so towards White women who are nearby, it is so clear to me that this is a racialized and gendered act.
I cringed when I saw how the bus driver hit the woman in the video largely because I am reminded of how Black women are, in the streets and in pop culture are often times hyper masculinized, rendered as men and dominated by default if they step out of acceptable gender roles.
Full stop. If she was talking shit to him, and she hit him, she should have been taken off the bus and handed over to the authorities. Bus drivers already have enough bullshit to deal with.
Hitting her was wrong not because she was a woman, it was wrong because you do not have a right to put your hands on anyone. Nor did she. As the person of authority in the situation it was his job to descalate and contain the situation and continue to get the folks on the bus from point A to point B.
In choosing to hit her the way that he did, the image read as “I will teach this Bitch a lesson.” And he did. Based on the way that he hit her, I am led to think that if he had a gun, he would have shot her.
Do you ever think about the thin line between protection and domination?
Why does it matter what size she was?