Before you fully indulge yourself in this article, please take a moment to understand that this isn’t meant to attack anyone’s character. Some people will probably find that they didn’t even realize how stereotypically charged their seemingly innocent questions were. And let’s just also put out there that these questions happen and stem from some misperception and false images about black women that are outstanding in society. These perpetuated stereotypes continue to filter into all assets of a black woman’s life because people are not being confronted when they are in the wrong thus making stereotypes inescapable. Black women have to work twice as hard to reflect who they really are because their skin already brands them to be something that they are not. And before you say, “Well, I have a black friend, so I can’t be racist,” get out your pen and check how many of these questions you have foolishly asked your token black friend.
15 Is that your real hair?
Look we get it, one day you saw us and we had a bob and the next day we are hair flipping 20 inches. It’s confusing but telling you whether the hair is real or not doesn’t do anything. Also, sometimes black women actually do have long hair but because “good hair” isn’t associated with being a black, it is almost immediately assumed to be fake. We’re not unicorns. Majestic, but no.
14 Why do/don't you have a big butt?
Remember those stereotypes mentioned in the intro? Well here is one of them. Not all black women have big butts. Yes, black women are notably thicker but we definitely come in all shapes and sizes. Asking a black woman why she has a big butt is like asking a white person why they get sun burn. It just happens. Let’s crack open some history shall we? Have you ever heard of Sara Baartman aka Hottentot Venus? Well she was a slave exhibited for entertainment purposes because she had a larger than “normal” buttocks. People all over Europe paid to see her half naked body and when she died a plaster cast was made of her body and her genitals were pickled, placed in a jar and put on display at Musée de l'Homme. So by enforcing this need for black women to have big butts, is no better than the people who would pay money to see Baartman. It’s a trait that shouldn’t be mandated.
13 How do you feel about slavery?
Badly? And I don’t think that that wound is ever going to change. It’s already bad enough that we are probably one of the only black people in class when discussing the topic of slavery so please stop bringing it up in a social setting. Unless you’ve created a time machine that could take us back and stop it from ever happening then it really doesn’t need to be brought up and talked about all of the time. We can literally talk about any other subject. Besides, you’d be surprised the types of conversations we can hold when we absolutely do not want to talk about slavery. It’s a deflection mechanism.
12 Have you/do you have Jungle Fever?
Before you think that there is nothing wrong with this, let’s really break down the phrase presented. Why is it that Jungle Fever only exists when it involves a black person? Mind you, two different races could date but it is not referred to as the same. There is this expectation that black should stick with black and if that doesn’t happen, it is seen as odd. The idea of a black woman dating a white man or vice versa is seen as something exotic and animalistic. So by asking a black woman this question you are really asking her if she has labeled herself as something that is furthermore an outcast or something that is so misunderstood she is categorized as having a sporadic illness which disables her from sticking with “her kind”.
11 How many kids do you have?
Again, seems harmless right? Well it is insulting when there is no previous question, “Do you have kids?” Black women are falsely drawn as abusers of government assistance, “welfare queens”, with an ample amount of kids. While there is nothing wrong with kids, it’s rude to assume that because someone is a woman of color that she must be fulfilling a false perception about her entire race. Why can’t people ask how many degrees do you? Because education is not a characteristic closely associated with the black race because they are intensely weighed down by stereotypes and misjudgments about who they are as people.
10 Have you been to [enter stereotypical black city here]?
Compton is not the holy mecca for black people. Just because certain cities in certain states do have a larger African American population, doesn’t mean that we all have been there. We aren’t born black with a birth right to go to South Central, all expenses paid. Some of us are from there and some of us aren’t. Not all black people have experienced your favorite scenes from Straight Outta Compton. Stop allowing our skin to make you jump into these crazy assumptions that honestly just makes things awkward on both sides.
9 Are you mixed?
No, just stirred with black and more black. This is insulting because it is usually asked after a quality about yourself stands out as not being black. That could be anything from lighter skin, light eyes, longer hair and so on. Asking if you are mixed is like asking for some validation that your beauty doesn’t solely come from you being black. Black qualities are again segregated into a handful of things. When a quality does not abide by that structure it has to be mixed with something else. The beauty of a black woman can’t seem to stand alone.
8 Can you teach me how to twerk?
No, can you teach me how to have privilege and equality? Didn’t think so. Just because most of the women twerking on your Youtube videos and Vines are black doesn’t mean every black woman has signed up to be your very own personal twerking instructor. Yes, many of us can dance but why in the world would we want to sit and teach you how to twerk when in all honesty we aren’t even really getting credit for it. But getting credit for anything is a totally different story and article.We have black ballerinas, tap dancers etc but twerking is glorified. Again, ASSUMING makes an ass out of you and you.
7 Why do you speak so properly?
And we are back to extracting and dissecting black qualities. The English language is fair game and speaking it properly isn’t only designated for a specific race. There’s no such thing as talking “white” unless of course you crammed a box of Crayola crayons down your throat. Stop acting surprised when we can fully pronounce long words or choose not to use slang in a conversation. This doesn’t make us any less black nor does it mean we are depicting the white race. The less you restrict blackness to certain qualities, the easier it will be to understand that people can bloom into any tendencies and habits.
6 How big are black men's "packages"?
Because only black women date black men, black women are the only real source for this information. Not. This question again stems from a stereotypical assumption that all black men are very well endowed. So because most people don’t have the courage to actually ask a black man what he’s got loaded down there, the questions falls on black women. But why would we want to further support another falsely drafted perception of all black men? Do we have to crack open the history books again? The section on how black men and women were literally breeding machines to produce more products for slavery. Now that we can freely and privately reproduce or just have intercourse, why should we discuss anything. Our “business” has already been historically put out there so leave our bedroom doors alone.
5 Why don't you want to get your hair wet?
Black women’s hair is just a mystery it seems these days. It can be put into so many different styles. Now, if any other race said they didn’t want to get their hair wet, the conversation would stop there. But because black women’s hair isn’t easily explained, we need a back story to why we don’t want to get it wet. When a black woman say she is getting her hair done, it is not a simple go in, wait an hour and you are done. There is a process and that process takes hours. We don’t want to ruin what took hours to do. And this doesn’t mean we don’t know how to swim. It means we are prioritizing. Swimming? Or keep a solid style for the next two weeks? The subsequent wins.
4 Hey, what's up girrrrrl?
When you are a black woman you relinquish your right to be presented with a simple hello. Your skin screams slang and disorderly so that is the exact type of greeting you will get. Don’t believe me? Next time you are watching any television show with a mixed cast, look at how the black women characters are greeted. It is never simply a, ”Hi, how are you doing?” It is usually any overly animated type of thing that seems a lot more suitable for black women. And maybe it doesn’t seem like we notice, but we notice. I mean we aren’t all loud and obnoxious. And you won’t be seen any different if you don't approach us with some overly slangified greeting. We might just actually see you as a normal person like we want to be seen as.
3 Can I touch your hair?
Wondering why we are back on the topic of hair? Because black hair seems to be such an amplified topic for everyone who isn’t black. The curiosity is fine but I am sure other races do not have to worry about people wanting to touch their hair.Are we at a petting zoo? Would you like me to buy you a churro after you’ve pet my mane? Maybe it sounds harmless but it sort of labels us as an animal or something so odd that it needs to be touched to reassure yourself that that your curiosity has been fed. Touching will not help you understand anything more than you already know and that is just straight-up awkward sometimes. We are a museum, so do not touch the historically preserved artifacts. -Management
2 Why do black girls have attitudes?
Not every black girl has an attitude. Every woman is equipped with a resting bitch face. Also, have you ever noticed that a person usually gets an attitude after you have already falsely accused them of having one? Black women’s “attitudes” are usually misinterpreted. And there are all types of attitudes but black women have been labeled as having THE attitude. The only attitude we have is the one you rise out of us at the moment. Are we expressive about defending ourselves? Yes, but who isn’t these days? Black women carry the burden of being excessively sassy. Can we help that we are quick-witted? Society taught us that, thanks.
1 Why can't I use the "N" word?
If a black person chooses to use the “N” it is a personal choice. If you are not black and choose to use it, it is negligence, and racism. Sorry, that's just the way it is like most things that seem "unfair". You have absolutely no cultural tie to the word. The only reason it is appealing to you is because it is “forbidden” or dubbed as cool and acceptable in the majority of the black community. Please save you rebellious antics for something else. If you want to feel closer to the black community, there are plenty of ways to. Saying the “N” does the complete opposite of that and may put you in a harmful situation that you do not want to be in.