The Politics of Politeness

not your babe
As a young outspoken woman, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been expected to qualify my opinion to be more palatable to those who come from a more privileged position. I can’t tell you how many variations of “not all ____” (usually men) I’ve heard. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that their allyship was contingent on minority members making them (members of a privileged group) feel comfortable and welcome.

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That’s not my name

“hey baby damn you are so gorgeous why don’t you smile more sup beautiful such a pretty smile but really, so gorgeous mm hey what’s your name hey can I get your number hey can I take you out sometime hey lemme talk to you real quick hey it’s rude to ignore people when they’re talking to you hey you should thank him for holding that bus for you we just want to talk to you don’t be scared he doesn’t bite”

This is not the blog post I was going to write this week. I have a wordy and heavily sourced post challenging the prevailing myth of Chicago as warzone, and it’s still coming, don’t worry. But after running yet another gauntlet of catcalls while just trying to catch a bus home after a crappy day, I had to write down something. Continue reading