Skip to main content

Not Even 2 and Microagressions


I am always reluctant to share stories about my kid at work. I do not want to be one of those parents whose posts are ALWAYS about their kids. But what I experienced last week at work makes me realize that even my not-even-2 year old isn't immune from microaggression and that her lesson in  black womanhood will start early.

My daughter was sick a week ago. She had roseola and missed almost a week of daycare. But prior to that, she had been enjoying it. I was apprehensive as she had been taken care of by family for well over a year. But I knew the day would come where she would go to daycare. Luckily for me, the daycare is walking distance from my job and I can pop over whenever I wanted to. I happened to come to pick her up pretty early. And I noticed a little boy helping her up as she fell. She was like "Bro, I am good!" and sorta fussed him in that toddler-type of way. And he giggled and backed off. HE was just being a good friend. I soon learned that she and that young boy had actually grown close. Based on the photos the teacher posts each day, her and this young man are joined at the hip. They hold hands. They play together. He even put her shoe on when she lost it. *all the feels* But helping her up? Nah, she got it!

My new supervisor asked me how my daughter was liking daycare. And I said she was doing well, so much so that I giggled at her being so independent and not wanting help from her new friend. I thought the story was cute. My supervisor responded:

"Oh! She sounds so sassy!!"


Sassy??? She's not even 2! For me, the word "Sassy" triggered so much. The idea of the "sassy black woman" irks my soul. This isn't to say that sassy black women do not exist. But for some reason in the psyche of whiteness, that is the ONLY archetype of black woman that they are "familiar" with aside from "Mammy" or "Sapphire". This isn't all we are.

You could have said anything else. You could have said she's exhibiting her leadership skills or independence (Isn't that what ya'll want us to do? "lean in" and teach our babies the way?) You could have said anything but "sassy". She's a toddler. Aren't all toddlers full of attitude??

I let out a sigh and said "I think she's just independent" and slowly walked away.  I realize that my little black girl is marked from the time she is born. She's sassy. She's attitudinal. She is a lot of things, ready for the "push out". She's a sexual creature, a wonton seductress, and "visualized as older" than her counterparts, even tough she will probably forever be the tiny one. She'll be catcalled even as a 5 year old. Where does it stop?

This type of faux-relatability is also indicative of neo-liberal white feminism. You are trying to relate to me by putting on a fake "blaccent" and call my kid "sassy". That is ridiculous. There is no way I could be comfortable with any of that.

My daughter is a smart, assertive girl.-- a fighter from the womb and her 1 lb birth weight and 64 days in the NICU. She deserves much more than "sassy" as a moniker.....

SO much more.


Popular posts from this blog

2018: A Year Without Fear

I used to make these lofty, resolution goals each year. The older I got, the grander my ideas became. That is until I reached the age of 30 and my entire life shifted.

At the time, I was divorced, living totally on my own, trying to rebuild myself financially and trying to figure out my next move toward happiness. That was at the time I started this blog.... which started out as my chronicling the dating and mating of a 30 something divorcee' in the South's Largest Metropolis. I was trying to date. I was trying to establish myself financially. And I was trying to find my purpose.

So much has changed in the almost 9 years since I started this blog. I've traveled alone. I gained and lost friends. I got into a Ph.D. program. I got re-married. I lost my mother, my best friend.... not to mention my uncle, cousin, and aunt. I gained a sweet baby girl.  I went from getting my bliss.... to trying to balance that bliss with my own life..... Yet in trying to find the balance, I alw…

Frat Boys, Toxic Masculinity and the #METOO Movement

(scene from Spike Lee's famous School Daze)

A few weeks ago, my sorority held its national convention on New Orleans. Coincidently, another fraternity was also holding their national convention in New Orleans. Naturally, the jokes, mostly in jest, played upon the fact that these two groups, full of single, attractive and smart folks would be "on the prowl" and looking to "hook up" in the city known for its strong drinks, Southern heat, and hospitality. It was all jokes until nastiness decided to rear its ugly head.

You had men in the other fraternity sexually harassing and being obscene to my sorority sisters who just wanted to have fun and handle the business of the sorority (and network.. and yes.. meet men in a somewhat safe space).  There were stories of men groping women. Men saying disgusting things and then being like "Well fuck you then" if women rejected them. You would HOPE and think that college-educated men wouldn't act this way.


The Ides of Birthdays

My 39th birthday is in two weeks.
You know, I feel like I write the same type of blog around my birthday every year. I get extremely introspective and pensive about the whole thing. But this is my last year of my 30s and I am feeling all of the feelings that have ever and could be felt. I hate trying to bring this up to folks.. who are always wanting to remind you of "well.. you got this.. you got that...". As if you haven't dealt with depression long enough to realize it doesn't matter what you have... if one piece is missing.. it throws it all off.
While yesterday was the 3rd anniversary of my mom's passing, I realized she wouldn't be here for my 40th. That was a hard pill to swallow. I thought for sure we'd be celebrating a lot that year... my Ph.D... a baby... a big, fancy car..... all of that. I only have one of those things so far but still... I was hoping that having her hold on at least until then would be the icing on my cake.
My life feels…