but we don’t see her enough.
to know she’s not stronger than steel
that super-human shit is made for TV
but made for real life
but we don’t hear ourselves enough.
screams are muted by stereotypes and assumptions
that swallow and misunderstand our words
when they are not softly-spoken
making us feel foreign
in our own damn land
we belong here
because we belong everywhere
but we are not present enough.
forced, always, to think ahead
and defend ourselves
to think back
and protect ourselves
at the hands of people we love
sometimes at our own hands
because being black when the world sees you as all wrong
is like a degenerative disease
with an expensive ass cure
our sadness is not a pathology
we are not pathological
please pay attention to our/my/their pain
please let me/us/them know they matter
I never thought I would live to be the age that I am. It wasn’t just sadness and lack that convinced me, it was the utter disregard for who I was in the world. I never thought that anyone would give a damn that I was gone or miss me. I imagined relief at the news. I imagined indifference. Finally, that little black girl is not taking up any more space in the world.
Suicide happens because death feels preferable to living. It doesn’t mean I’m crazy, it means I’m human, it means that I hurt, it means that I matter. Blackgirls need reassurance, love, affirmation, understanding, quiet, noise, Jesus, Allah, themselves, to be, our mamas, our sister-girls, lovers, time, enough money to get by, for our biologicals to bother, to be chosen, to be recognized, to be celebrated, to be held up on a pedestal barefoot and proud, to be told relentlessly and unapologetically that we are beautiful, to be listened to, to be heard, a space to fall apart, a space to be put back together again, help, justice, truth, to know they matter.
When you see a blackgirl, smile. She is a gift to the world.
When you hear a blackgirl speak, listen. She is a gift to the world.
When you are in the presence of a blackgirl, look. She is a gift to the world.
Blackgirls matter. Those of us who breathe and those of us no longer breathing.
In Loving Memory of Karyn Washington, and other blackgirls we have lost. Please use the comments section to call the names of other blackgirls we have lost too soon.
If you love your friends, drag them. Call them on their shit so they can get it together. Come for their edges and then apply jamaican black castor oil to the bald spots. Read them like a Dr. Seus book. Because you care about them and caring about people means telling them they’re full of bullshit every now and then.
We are not born women of color. We become women of color. In order to become women of color, we would need to become fluent in each others’ histories, to resist and unlearn an impulse to claim first oppression, most-devastating oppression, one-of-a-kind oppression, defying…
dating me means dating my anxiety and my random spouts of depression it means dating my panic attacks at 11pm or 2 am or 5am or anytime of the day for that matter it means dating my mood swings where i get really upset over everything about me and all my insecurities and how i’m not good enough because i’m never good enough
wow, me to a motherfucking t.
Okay, okay, I’m going to tell you what Hermione sees in Ron.
A trio is a balancing act, right? They’re equalizers of each other. Harry’s like the action, Hermione’s the brains, Ron’s the heart. Hermione has been assassinated in these movies, and I mean that genuinely—by giving her every single positive character trait that Ron has, they have assassinated her character in the movies. She’s been harmed by being made to be less human, because everything good Ron has, she’s been given.
So, for instance: “If you want to kill Harry, you’re going to have to kill me too”—RON, leg is broken, he’s in pain, gets up and stands in front of Harry and says this. Who gets that line in the movie? Hermione.
“Fear of a name increases the fear of the thing itself.” Hermione doesn’t say Voldemort’s name until well into the books—that’s Dumbledore’s line. When does Hermione say it in the movies? Beginning of Movie 2.
When the Devil’s Snare is curling itself around everybody, Hermione panics, and Ron is the one who keeps his head and says “Are you a witch or not?” In the movie, everybody else panics and Hermione keeps her head and does the biggest, brightest flare of sunlight spell there ever was.
So, Hermione—all her flaws were shaved away in the films. And that sounds like you’re making a kick-ass, amazing character, and what you’re doing is dehumanizing her. And it pisses me off. It really does.
In the books, they balance each other out, because where Hermione gets frazzled and maybe her rationality overtakes some of her instinct, Ron has that to back it up; Ron has a kind of emotional grounding that can keep Hermione’s hyper-rationalness in check. Sometimes Hermione’s super-logical nature grates Harry and bothers him, and isn’t the thing he needs even if it’s the right thing, like when she says “You have a saving people thing.” That is the thing that Harry needed to hear, she’s a hundred percent right, but the way she does it is wrong. That’s the classic “she’s super logical, she’s super brilliant, but she doesn’t know how to handle people emotionally,” at least Harry.
So in the books they are this balanced group, and in the movies, in the movies—hell, not even Harry is good enough for Hermione in the movies. No one’s good enough for Hermione in the movies—God isn’t good enough for Hermione in the movies! Hermione is everybody’s everything in the movies.
Harry’s idea to jump on the dragon in the books, who gets it in the movies? Hermione, who hates to fly. Hermione, who overcomes her withering fear of flying to take over Harry’s big idea to get out of the—like, why does Hermione get all these moments?
[John: Because we need to market the movie to girls.]
I think girls like the books, period. And like the Hermione in the books, and like the Hermione in the books just fine before Hollywood made her idealized and perfect. And if they would have trusted that, they would have been just fine.
Would the movies have been bad if she was as awesome as she was in the books, and as human as she was in the books? Would the movies get worse?
She IS a strong girl character. This is the thing that pisses me off. They are equating “strong” with superhuman. To me, the Hermione in the book is twelve times stronger than the completely unreachable ideal of Hermione in the movies. Give me the Hermione in the book who’s human and has flaws any single day of the week.
Here’s a classic example: When Snape in the first book yells at Hermione for being an insufferable know-it-all, do you want to know what Ron says in the book? “Well, you’re asking the questions, and she has to answer. Why ask if you don’t want to be told?” What does he say in the movie? “He’s got a point, you know.” Ron? Would never do that. Would NEVER do that, even before he liked Hermione. Ron would never do that.
always on the bus but new shade new life #amirite