Before you move any further, you may consider glancing over at Part 1 so that you don’t find that you’re the kid in class who doesn’t know what’s going on.
Welcome back. 🙂
You already know that I rely on my own rage for writing material. In keeping with that, I assigned ‘substantial black womanhood’ a trial two week period. So that it would shake me up, and i’d have something to report. This is my survivor story.
Woman of Worth
As a prelude, ’20’ would continue to be turbulent. Over the past two weeks, another bus driver would refer to me as ‘ma’am’, and I wouldn’t be I.D.’d at the cinema
when I went to watch 50 Shades of Grey. I would continue to reach for the bad-bitch jumpsuit as the salesgirl pushed for the A-line dress. ‘Woman’ is push and pull. White male is fulcrum.
However, as promised, I became a substantial gal. I acquired a neutral pallet; switching up a burgundy lip with a nude one. I began to make notice of my hem-line; to select the chunky over the strappy. I set up magazine subscriptions, and that week, I kept the large Africa earrings away. I also learnt to insert darling expletives like ‘fudge’ and ‘fish’ Becoming woman showed signs of promise.
Woman of Charade
Showing up as a worthy woman everyday was enjoyable. However, at the end of every day, it felt like a good performance, and at one point I wondered whether every woman felt the same way and just went along with it. I struggled to manage all the paradoxes that I described in Part 1. The art of good posture, mild language, moderate stances, feminine movements, uninspired outfits, and holding back, as well. In every setting, I would remind myself that it is important to simmer down; and that to be coy would always suffice. I also felt that mentioning what I could cook would make up for some things; like, ashiness of elbow, in persuading them that I was indeed, a smart set woman.
Learning the ropes was seamless, however, sneaky checkpoints would show up just when I felt like I’d mastered this. My fairy god-mother would leave me momentarily and I would be godforsaken to pick between ‘create a fake name and number and walk away’ and ‘politely tell him that you are not interested’ Because “fuck off” ceased to be an option. And ‘fudge off’ apparently isn’t a thing.
Erasure of my colour would prove to be valuable for my ratings. Mentioning where I’m from would only be appropriate in three contexts. 1) In a brief response to ‘You have an accent, where are you from’, 2) during moments where whitey would need to clarify some facts, in his elaborate story about his son’s trip to Africa, and lastly, 3) again, in clarification, again to whitey, that no, I’m not Nigerian. I’m actually from Kenya. Otherwise, it would be improper to expose any signs that I was proud of my ethnicity; that I noticed with the colour of my skin. Slowly, I would learn to put away the headscarf, the accent, the Lauryn Hill CD and the large Africa earrings. Ethnically geared things were never ladylike. Unless they were found at ‘Banana republic’
Okay guys, I’m at the end of the rope for today. The sequel will be posted up tomorrow. :))