i love my Girls. i really do. we are like family.
but sometimes ...we have conversations that misfire.
we're talking about Chris Rock's movie about hair, the anger some older black women had about it making them look bad in front of white people and somehow we're talking about if white people think about black people's hair. my XRoomie said white people don't think about black people's hair at all.
i snorted. 'they may not think about it consciously but they sure do want to touch it a lot.'
XRoomie said 'what are you talking about?'
i said, 'i cannot go a week without someone wanting to touch it, compliment it or comment on it. it's fucking fascinating to them.'
XRoomie said, 'when does that happen?'
our friend T- said, 'when i worked at the Center [on the south side] all the girls wanted to touch my hair.'
i said, 'that's totally different. the context is different.'
XRoomie said, 'i've never seen that happen. i've never heard of that.' and she mentions some women of color she's worked with who never mentioned things like that happening.
'they wore wigs and weaves all the time,' she said. 'they thought it was hilarious watching their senior partners get confused when their hair changed.'
'i'm sure this has happened to them. almost every woman of color i know can tell stories about white people wanting to touch their hair - with or without permission. that's fucking problematic,' i said.
'well,' she said. 'that's your baggage.'
'that's not my baggage, that's our history. and i'm sure that if they weren't talking about how annoying this shit is in front of you, they are talking about it with their black friends.'
we went back and forth about baggage and history for a bit but this is where something interesting happened: XRoomie insisted that the conversations she'd have with these women would be the SAME as the ones they have with their friends of color.
that's when i stopped. i shrugged and said, 'ok.'
leaving unsaid, of course, was the admission that there are conversations i only have with my friends of color that i would never have with my white friends. (or my white boyfriend, for that matter.)
also left on the ground was whether this habit of splitting conversations was particularly fair. fuck it. i'll think about fairness later.
so we went back to watching a show about a white south african family held hostage by a taiwanese rapist.
[noted because of this and this.]