Today white people still feel that they have the right to our bodies.One of the first comments I saw was
[I]t is an assault, and an affront to our bodily integrity.
I grew up in the Caribbean and being the only white child in my school I often had requests form black children to touch my hair… I never thought they were being racist, I still don’t think they were being racist, only curious.Lovely turnaround, I thought. Then on Renee's site, I saw
... I do want to lend some support for touching hair and sharing information as a way of expanding people's minds who are honestly curious and just don't know better.and
I think maybe you are attributing to presumption which might be pure primate curiosity.Can I just say, quickly, that neither your intent nor your curiosity are what matters here? Or, can I highlight what Jessica said
I think that here, the act of "touching," especially without permission, is a claiming and colonizing act meant to put the person being touched in a subordinate position to the one who is acting/touching.Then I thought, silly elle, it doesn't matter what you or Jessica or Renee say.
A person who considers another to be an equal would say, "I like your hair."
It doesn't matter if I point out that some people who believe this is simply curiosity can, on the other hand, (rightly) see why it is sexist that people feel they have the right to touch women's breasts, or bottoms, or pregnant bellies.
Because this conversation has been had.
The first thing I remembered when I saw reactions to Renee's post was people arguing with nubian over whether or not the white woman who asked her if she (nubian) got hotter because her skin was darker had made a racist observation.
Even after nubian said
i stand there in amazement after listening to this woman “other” me into some kind of sub-human anamolySee the point is not Renee's or nubian's perceptions or feelings. The point is I intended no harm!! I'm curious!! I really wanna know dammit!! And then, the huffy, "Well if I can't ask questions how do I learn???!?!?!" (Hmmm... gotta ask Holly if that fits into "The Lean On You When I’m Not Strong" maneuver).
In any case, I'm soooooo over your intent. /snark
ETA link to Holly's post. Duh!