On Anger

Stop calling me angry.

I don’t like it.

Someone stated to me today that maybe the people who refer to me this way are just ignorant. And while that maybe true, their ignorance is rooted in the prejudices and stereotypes about Black women and Black people. So again. Stop. Calling. Me. Angry.

It’s fuckin rude.

If chef Ramsey can scream and bark in people’s faces and insult their entire existence and still be labeled passionate, then surely you can find more appropriate words to describe me. Ironically, most people have yet to ever see me angry. Like projectile vomit though, people just like to spit shit out no matter how ignorant. Lined with respectability politics, you truly hate to see any woman, but especially a Black woman, speak up and out.

I take the anger comment as an assault on my character. It often comes with little regard for the context where I use exclamation marks or cuss words. For instance; If some jackass is defending rape culture, why is yelling and cussing not appropriate? Or are you just saying that you should dictate how and when I use particular language? Not sure why every ! and fuck has to equal anger though. I mean where the fuck did y’all grow up?

The accusation also has some serious cultural backlash. It’s the type of descriptor that allowed a pig to pull a gun on a Black woman and her daughter. They were thrown to the ground and handcuffed because the pig was called when a grown ass white man choked a 7-year old CHILD for allegedly littering.

It’s the type of shit that got Sandra Bland killed. it’s the type of shit that keeps women from reporting abuse. It’s the type of shit that makes a young mother not stand up for her children when they are faced with discrimination and abuse by the school system. It’s the type of shit that eats a person up inside and leads to depression when they cannot freely express how they feel, especially when it is valid. It’s the type of shit that has caused me to lose my voice and remain in countless abusive relationships. Not just with lovers, but with friends. It’s a constant buzzing in my subconscious that makes me question my motives. My actions. Makes me second guess what I feel. I disrespectfully ask that you shut the fuck up.

What if I told you that exclamation marks, cuss words and even caps are not always a sign of irritability? Sometimes they are just there for emphasis.  A sign of excitement. Or a meant to disrupt your dumb ass respectability politics. What if I told you that Black culture isn’t the only place you can witness this way of expression? What if I told you it was your uptight, bougie ass western idealistic upbringing that makes you think that anyone who cusses is abusive or needs their temperament managed? What if I told you friends talk to each other like this all the time? And I am sure even in your bland life you have witnessed and experienced this kind of camaraderie. Friends kid harshly with each other all the time, laced with cuss words and insults. When the exchange is not reciprocated, it is often a sign of indifference towards the person.

So back the fuck off with your constant badgering of me. What you are witnessing half the time is not anger. Sometimes it’s hurt from a broken heart, or a weary one. It’s a stance against the trite ass bullshit that people often want to offer me. It’s the frustration with the patriarchy. It’s the irritability of trying to instill facts in people who insist on following fiction like it’s gospel. It’s a joke, or me laughing. It’s the excitement or shock that something is happening. Everything isn’t about me wanting to burn shit down to the ground. It’s me talking to you about something I am experiencing. If I am angry I will say I am angry. And I promise you, you don’t want to see me when I am angry.

It’s lazy analysis. It’s pseudo-zen. It’s the “calm down” after you have pissed me off. So cool your heels and stop taking away my voice. Preventing me from protecting myself in harsh situations. I am trying to reprogram myself because of years of this psychological abuse by the likes of you. I have constantly, actively, tried to live up to the calmer woman rhetoric. I have become all cerebral in situations that require my immediate action. I now question when being assaulted both verbally and physically, my part in it, even when I am not at fault. This mindless analysis has taken away my vigor, and that of many other women to defend themselves and question their rights as a human being.

Stop calling women angry. But especially stop calling Black women angry. If a little “oh hell no!” makes you feel a certain kinda way, maybe you have more issues than you are willing to accept. Go to a shrink for that. But leave me the fuck alone and let me get excited about shit that moves me. And if I am angry, so fuckin what? Am I not allowed that right?

BH

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