I told that man…

two weeks ago that I was done, and getting off the ride.

Of all the  people I met around this time last year, I am on speaking terms with everyone. We cool, if we see each other we say wassup. If they call I pick up. If I call them they call I pick up. But…this one appears to thrive on the contention.

SD doesn’t know what shit or get off the pot means, but I said it and I meant it.

Boundaries are only respected when they are enforced.

I was leaving a spot on Thursday and I walked past him and said nothing, which is what I said was gone go down, depending on how I felt. Crossing the street I looked at my phone and saw a text that said “lol this is dumb.” Now I know this was not rook steez at all, (Rooks be all OVER the board and they keep the king in check) , but I walked back and got within two inches of his face and said, its not dumb, you just pissed because you are not in control of this moment. Flirting much. Yes. Serious Much. Yes. I will admit it.

Some other words were exchanged, but it comes down to me saying what I mean. It’s been a year. Decide or move on.

#Wingsup.

Kill Me or Leave Me Alone: Street Harassment as a Public Health Issue

This one is for Afrolicious and the notion of Appophenia.

Last Saturday on the way home on the metro platform I was tired.

I had been dancing. Bier was consumed. I spent the afternoon reading, and the evening posted up with my friend All Spirit and then the night dancing.

All Spirit bounced early, and he was my ride so I darted home on the metro. Looking back I should have asked another homie for a ride home.

I am walking on the metro platform and these two young Black men, are eyeing, me, saying something and if you know me you know I always trust my intuition. Full stop.

My intuition told me that I wasn’t safe and that I needed to act.

So rather than go back and for with these cats because it is late,  and I still needed to get home, and the platform was relatively empty,  I say to him “Aye blood, I’m from East Oakland California, either kill me or leave me alone.”

Even as I type it, I still can’t believe that it came out my mouth.

One of the dudes was like she from Oakland. She from Oakland and kinda let me be.

The other one took it personal as a threat. He left me alone, but there were was definitely a threat of violence in his body language and his words.

Whatever my fate was that night, I was ready.

I am so sick and tired of being treated like shit because of what is between my legs.

I felt uncomfortable the next day about what I had done, so I called my brother.

I mean, I understand full and well that things could have escalated. However over the last 3 months I have had these public interactions with Black men challenging, with the explicit threat of violence, my right to be in public.

So I called my brother to help me get some context. He told me that you never know what you are going to need to do to stay alive in a situation. Sometimes it is being silent, sometimes it is setting someone straight from the gate. After he said this, and related a similar experience that he had around standing up for himself when someone threatened him, I felt better. Still uneasy but better.

This street harassment+gendered violence experience also has me thinking about Charlie Sheen.

One of the reasons why I take all of these Charlie Sheen tweets so serious is because he beat his ex wife, and because he is imploding right in front of us.

The whole time I have been trying to think about how to write this post I have been watching the discourse around Charlie Sheen.

Men, Black men and White men can joke and shit about how Charlie and what not is funny, but as a Black woman, trying to get from point A to point B, who demands to be treated like a human being, violence or the threat of violence is a real part of my day to day existence.

Nothing Charlie says is funny because that man speaking to me that way on the train platform was not funny.

It really is out of pocket that I have to damn near be ready to die just to assert my humanity after dancing to Prince all night long.

Pow.

Street harassment as a public health issue?

Can you believe I said it?

Is it time for me to leave the city?

“Your Man is Lucky”

On the train tonight, I doubled backed to go and look for an earring that I lost.

If you know me, you know my earring game is serious.

I like them. They are little artistic pieces that I can wear everyday.

So. I was on a mission.
I’m exciting the train station and a man, who was cute in a rough around the edges,? chocolate Taye Diggs kinda way says:

Taye Diggs Cousin: Your man is really lucky.

Me: I chuckled to myself and kept walking. (He has no idea I have been immersed in gender and sexual relations in Early Philadelphia this afternoon. So my mind is brimming with ideas about sexuality and race.)

We are now at the turnstile, and he is ahead of me, so he has my attention. I am trying to get out to look for my earring.

Taye😕 Why you laughing?

I hesitate, and wonder if this is a moment to push back on presumptive patriarchy. In Oakland, being snarky with a man on the street while dressed provocatively IS reason (or not) , in some men’s eyes to slap a woman in the face.? But I decided to push him a bit.

Me: Oh, I find it funny that you presume it was a man.

He stopped and thought about it.

Taye: (He didn’t flinch nor blink) Either way. It could be a woman. I mean, she lucky too.

Me: (Smiling)? I could be crazy. Crazy out my skull. You don’t know me.

Taye: (Looked me dead in my face) It would be worth it, and then shuddered like he just swallowed an uncoated aspirin that gave him goosebumps.

I walk out the station. He stays behind, as his card had issues. I’m walking away and he requests to ask me one more question. I turn around and listen.

Taye: So do you?

Me: Yes, my hands are full.

Taye: You are…… Wow?!?!!?! (Looking @ me like imma? deluxe chicken snack,#desire).

Me: (I looked him dead in the grill and said) Everything that we have are gifts. None of this is “me.”

Taye: It’s not wait you have, its what you do with it.

He was right.

Me: Yessir. And? pivoted and walked away.

Ain’t that something. Here I am making assumptions about him, and he rolled right with it. #ummhmmm. Go head Black men, which ‘cho no flinching selves.

Have you addressed patriarchy with men or women in public or private lately?

If yes, how did? it go?

If you chose not to, what stopped you?