I am at present trying to guide my own daughter to navigate the waters of social sexual interactions with young men and older. I tell her how to read men’s signs and to listen to her intuition and not to be afraid to speak up. To speak up should not equate to misreading a situation but to be open to dialogue in negotiating a shared space of and for respect. I keep having these conversations daily with my daughter in different contexts and using different language.
This post is actually a primer to another post I’ll get around to writing sometime, in which I make the argument that that there are racial and sexual implications in men (physically or otherwise) attacking women’s hair. In this particular post there are two themes: the importance of reading nonverbal cues (which is incidental) and the adamant denial by men that their less overtly sexual actions are tempered by any kind of sexual desire or rage. The reason I point this out is because I know there is going to be some jackass out there who accuses me of thinking so highly of myself that I would assume a man physically attacking my hair is sexualizing me without my consent. But that is exactly what he is doing, under the guise of non-sexualized violence.
You see, when it comes to anything related to male desire trumping your personhood, men do…
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