What kind of world do we live in when
it is 7:22 at night and I am at the train station waiting for my father to pick me up and a guy passes me and then turns around and yells
“How old are you?”
And the first thing that I do is think, “here it comes” and tighten my grip on the knife in my pocket.
“Good, so I can say this, I think every black man should have a white chick. Give all the black chicks to the white men. I think every black guy should have a white girl.”
And before I can yell “Fuck off” or throw my patented double middle finger.
He is gone
And I think,
“Well, at least it was pretty civil this time.”
Compared to the other times.
Times I will not share.
Times that make me flinch when my co-worker wolf whistles as another for fun.
Times that have me curled in the driver’s seat of my car with my doors locked, shaking.
I am not afraid of the dark.
Nor am I afraid of monsters.
I am only afraid of the human ones that wait there.
To parents of little girls:
When she comes home crying because a boy pulled her pigtails and pushed her into the dirt,
Do not sit her down and say,
“Honey, he does those things because he likes you.”
Do not sit her down.
Teach her to push back.
Teach her to stand up.
Because if you don’t teach her now, she will never learn.
And instead she will learn to trust those who hurt her,
physically and emotionally.
Teach her to fight back.
And when she does and you get a call from her teacher, pull her out of school early and take her out for ice cream.
So when the boys yell after her, she can yell back.
Also remind her that not all guys are like that.
So when she becomes hard and cynical, like me,
she will not build a wall around her heart.
Remind her that her heart is not made of glass.
And when boys tell her she is too strong,
Remind her that they are too weak to handle the power of her fists.
Remind her that crying does not make her weak.
Since birth it has been a sign that we are alive.
Remind her that living and surviving are two different things.
And that surviving takes hard work, but you will be behind her the whole way.
Teach her to masturbate and wing her eyeliner and show no mercy.
And above all, teach her to fight fire with fire so she won’t be afraid of burning.