I’ve got a story to tell. A story about Black Girls talkin’ back. A story of sass. A story of…spice.
A few weeks ago at the height of the 2nd Black Girls Are Magic t-shirt campaign, one of my most ardent supporters, Marissa, posted a link to her Facebook wall so other people might see it and read the message and possibly buy the shirt. I love that she believes in our Magic so much and spreads the word. I truly appreciate that. She has been puttin’ on for Black Girl Magic from day one because she supports the message and really feels it for herself.
Considering all that, what happened after Marissa made that post was puzzling to say the least:
You see that? Some fella that I assumed was a friend of Marissa’s asked her if she was being paid to promote the #BlackGirlMagic tees. I guess because she shared the link so much. That was kinda tacky, to suggest that Marissa was receiving some sort of kickbacks just to share a link. I’m sure if she was being compensated or was otherwise affiliated, she’d say so. I wanted to let her off the hook so I spoke up for her. But then Marissa explained herself and let this guy know that she thought what he said was tacky as well:
At that point, Andriel decided to re-word his original statement, albeit pretty messily:
OK, bruh. OKAY.
I was fine with explaining it to Andriel and I never mind doing so. I don’t like to assume what another person knows or SHOULD know. But things went WAYYY LEFT when this man decided he didn’t LIKE what Marissa or I had said to him in response to his tacky question:
A “Hint of Spice” was a very interesting choice of words. I’m used to hearing “Angry Black Woman” or just plain ol’ “Bitch” so this was a new experience for me. But wait, it got BETTER…
“Thanks and be blessed” because I didn’t want to tell him to go take a Cactus Enema.
“Drenched in drama”…REALLY, DUDE? Where? Where was the drama? He asked (in a rude manner, to be completely honest) but we did not reciprocate that rudeness when we answered. I certainly did not and Marissa gave him a side-eye because she didn’t want to say “WTF man, why would you say something like that??” I think we both practiced great restraint in our responses to him. But what did he do when we pushed back? He trotted out the “Angry Black Woman” trope, but worded it as “Spice.” He took up what seems like an OLD BEEF with Marissa because she doesn’t seem to behave in ways that he wants her to behave ( with “class”) and insinuated that I am not fit to promote a campaign. I gotta say, I felt some kinda way about that shit:
Those digs at me and at Marissa were completely unnecessary. Full stop. He went on, being dismissive and ignorant.
Marissa told me the next day that because of this exchange, he deleted and blocked her. That is horrible, but I’d say from the looks of things, he did her a favor. Who needs friends like that?
This is what happens when women stand up for themselves. This is what happens when you see the bullshit being thrown your way and STILL respond pleasantly and respectfully, only to be disrespected. If you don’t find it necessary to kiss ass or acquiesce to rude behavior from men that don’t see purpose in what you do, who you are or why, you will be called SOME KINDA name: bitch, hoe, slut, nag, sensitive, bossy, ball-buster, harpy, hysterical or SPICY.
So, for all the women who dare to stand up or push back, here’s a shirt for you:
Available for pre-order on Teespring.com until April 7. Click the pic to get yours and spread the word!
No matter your race or ethnicity, if you are a woman, you can relate and that is why I am offering this shirt. I’m determined to transform every negative thing thrown my way into something positive, not just for me but for people like me. I’m claiming this insult and making it work for the greater good. Won’t you join me?