…and you have no idea how difficult writing that title is.
Content Warning for Obvious Reasons
Yeah, I love her music and her style. I follow her on Twitter and she makes the occasional good/funny/soulful post. She’s got a bit of woo to her, as some doulas do, but I could ignore that.
Then she sends this Tweet:
What’s worse, this is a defense for R. Kelly.
R. Fucking Kelly. Remember him? R&B singer, popular in the early 90s, even more well known for a video in which he pisses on an underaged girl?
That R. Kelly.
She’s defending him. Refers to him as “brother”.
Then there’s some shit about dressing more modestly to prevent this sort of shit.
For someone who is a trained doula, you’d think she’d be aware that young girls start to “flower” in increasingly younger ages. I started growing tits at 10. Little sister number one started her period at 11. Little sister number two? 10. If it’s “natural” to be attracted to girls too young to carry a baby, then give me unnatural any damned day.
It’s hard as hell enough to be young and black. We’re seen as older than we really are by society. We’re punished more harshly for misbehavior in schools. The police have no problem brutalizing us in our schools. And we’re sexualized at younger ages.
This article here at VerySmartBrothas goes into reasons why “Sistah” Badu’s line of thinking does black children a disservice, and I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. This bullshit harms our children of all genders. Boys are taught to “be a man” and a “man” doesn’t share his pain, even as he’s abused by parents, aunts, uncles, coaches, mentors. If he does, it was his fault for ‘allowing’ it to happen.
It was made very clear to me when I watched Criminal Minds. Detective Morgan, played by Shemar Moore, has to come to terms with the fact that his coach molested him and other boys on his team. It’s tough to watch, tougher so to see that piece of shit try to justify his actions.
I touched my first dick before I started kindergarten. A boy, half grown in his late teens, was supposed to be watching Little Sister Number One and myself while my mom and his mom went out. I can still remember one of the outfits I wore while this boy did things to me: blue, white and pink.
I never told my parents. It was like I knew what could have happened. See, black girls have to deal with a lot of shit from older boys/men as they develop and grow. Creepy motherfuckers being creepy, making comments and/or trying to get a hand on us. A man at the playground calls me by name, because I have it airbrushed on my shirt, and tells me that my mother told him to take me home. Grown men see me pushing a carriage with Little Sister Number Three in it and assume she’s mine, and that since I let a dick in me, I’ll let theirs in too. I get yelled at for “allowing” a high school aged boy to try and talk to me at another playground, when all I wanted was for him to leave me alone. The high school boy who used to kiss me, and wanted very, very much for me to let him into my house.
It’s fucking terrifying. People talk about how R. Kelly used to prey on younger girls before the pissing video came out. Adults who were supposed to be caring for us keep us afraid of telling anyone. Everyone knows to keep the kids away from Uncle So-and-So, but he’s still allowed at the cookout.
So when people like Badu endorse these bullshit beliefs, that’s it perfectly normal for older men to prey on young girls, I feel betrayed. I can’t even look at pictures of her anymore. I’ve unfollowed her on Twitter. While I no longer have to worry about creepy men being creepy to me now, the shadow of those memories haunt me all over again.
Why did you do this to us, Erykah? Why did you do this to me?