I have been jeered at, on the street, for my legs, my chest, because busty looks best, and yes, I may be twelve, but with a body like a woman’s, I’ll do just fine for the man who wants to satisfy himself.
But I’m not a minority.
I have been attacked, in a room, because “we were in the mood,” and I was dumb enough to think that in this “post-feminist” world, I could be alone with a man, say no, and be heard. I tried to justify this guy, who happened to be “less white” than I (as he put it), but two weeks and five meltdowns later realized, I was violated and victimized.
But I am not a minority.
I have been cornered and pursued, innocent as it may seem to onlookers, by a man I danced with at a party, as if the movement of my hips equals an invitation in. As if a kiss is permission for the hand to slip in wherever it wants to go, because my boundaries are never as important as the log he needs to show.
But what do I know of oppression?
The color of my skin, light as it may be, didn’t stop the man in a café just off the street, from shaking my hand, and upon hearing my name, asked “where are your people from?” He didn’t let go of my hand, and stared waiting for an answer as I struggled, understanding why I was supposed to obey this total stranger. “That’s a pretty personal question to ask someone you just met!” I said, nervous laughter shaking my core, and still he didn’t let go of my hand where I sat. Instead he asked again, and upon my rejection of giving him his desired information, he said “it could be looked up,” and finally relinquished his grip to turn to my male friend and introduce himself again.
“Where are your people from?”
“What are you?”
“Are your parents terrorists?”
These are the questions of strangers in the street, and men in dark corners, and leery classmates, and friends and their siblings, who know just a little of the world, and little enough to be dangerous.
But I am just a “white girl” so what do I know?