First thing's first. Rest in peace, Aretha Franklin. To be honest ... my Dominican-American, yet not quite Dominican or American self never really listened to her, growing up. To the point where I could possibly tell you if a song was hers, but ... not really? I know, lol ... it's bad. Anywho .. this blog post isn't about my Black card revocation or anything. It's about respect.
I don't think I'm the only one who's noticed the complete disregard for personal space and feelings people of color may have. EYE am talking about Hispanics, in particular. I say this because I was just reminded of how rampant this practice is in our culture while camping a couple of weekends ago. But, let me not beat around the bush and let me just get into the ranting because, I just want to know ... WHO told Hispanics that it's okay to touch me and invade my personal space? 'Cause ... it wasn't me ...
Exhibit A: A professional, much older, male acquaintance taps my phone as he passes by - which he does often.
Why do you feel so entitled to tap my phone as you walk by me? Are you my father? Are we close in any way?
I'm texting. Do you want my attention? Can you not survive without my acknowledgement as you pass me by? Please, answer me.
I'm a grown woman. A grown, married woman. Please tell me why you touching my personal objects is that imperative for you.
Exhibit B: Other, younger, male acquaintance hits my hat when he walks over to greet my husband and me.
I say, "Please don't do that," with my usual RBF (which he is completely familiar with, at this point). He does it again, resulting in me saying, "I said, STOP." Why, may I ask, does this dude do it AGAIN? And when I call him out, he decides to act snarky (he's usually a punk who shuts up as soon as I stare him down) and say, "Oh, you gonna get mad?" He decided to shut up not after I told him to stop three.separate.times, but after I yelled at him out about how he disrespected me after I explicitly told him to stop THREE times.
Why is it so difficult for men to mind their business? Why is it so difficult for them to keep their hands to themselves? Honestly. Truly. Please. Is there a chemical imbalance in your brain? Because that's the only way I'll reconsider my state of annoyance.
But this isn't just about men. This is about the women in our culture, too. It's about everyone who labels you as disrespectful if you question them or disagree. It's about the women who think they have the authority to touch your hair as they bash it or pull your bra strap in because it's showing (God, forbid). It's about the people who disregard the fact that I'm a grown, married woman simply because I'm youthful or short. NO ONE GAVE YOU PERMISSION. FOR ANYTHING.
Honestly, I've never been one for confrontation. It's a skill I've only begun to exercise occasionally with moderate confidence in these last 5 years of life, maybe, and I know I'm not the only one. As someone said on Twitter, "Adults think it's disrespectful when you don't let them disrespect you," and, well ... I'm tired of it. All I'm asking ... is for a little respect. But don't worry, they'll find out what it means to me real soon.
Protect your energy,