Sometimes, I hate my intelligence…sometimes I wish I knew nothing about what I know now…that I was just as ignorant as the next person. I hate that every time I watch a music video or a T.V. show, my brain jumps into overdrive and analyzes the entire thing through feminist eyes. I can’t even listen to my family speak without hearing the sexism, racism, and homophobia in their speech. I HATE THIS! Sometimes, I wish I could go back to my freshman year, before I knew anything about feminism, and live my life in ignorance and bias. It seems so much easier. I feel like such an outsider…I cannot relate to the jokes or the commonality shared between friends and acquaintances. I can no longer relate to the “You’re a pussy” comments because to me, they are highly offensive to not only men, but women as well. I am no longer invited to social gatherings because I am the "outspoken and oversensitive one who tries to make everyone feel bad". I have lost friends over feminism, I have lost familial respect over feminism, I have lost a reputation over feminism...and yet, I still feel lost. My knowledge overpowers me in such a way that I feel immobilized. I can no longer explain the injustices of women or Black individuals, because Ignorance turns a closed ear and labels me as “oversensitive”, or as "looking for problems". How do I live in a world where I am objectified, ostracized, undermined, and dehumanized all at the same time? It is no wonder that I feel alone and without friends…who wants to be friends with a social outcast? I must say that I am not generally seen as a social outcast by the women with whom I share these feelings, but by the people I believed were friends; by those who I’d hoped would understand where I’m coming from. Tonight, Ignorance drove me out of the public sphere and back into my own place of comfort. I physically removed myself from an environment where I felt ostracized and unheard. My voice was not valued; nor was my experience as a marginalized person validated.
The very people I’d believed were my allies claimed that I was overreacting…as if they knew what it was like to be me…a Black Woman living in a White supremacist male society. To many, this fact is ignored and candy-coated as “normalcy”, but for me, it is the defining line between heaven and hell. I have experienced hell on earth in America, just as I have experienced heaven. In fact, most people have experienced both. But it is to what extent that matters. I MUST remember every day that I am a Black woman, while my peers believe they are simply human (aka White males). It is interesting to me that I often ignore the fact that I am Black in hopes of highlighting my humanness. But, as I have been reminded tonight, I cannot afford to ignore my Blackness. Because ignorance is consequence…and tonight, I experienced the consequences of selectively ignoring my race for so long with certain people. People try to see me as “one of them” or “just like us”…but I’m not just like White people…in fact, I’ve experienced things they’ll NEVER experience and they’ll experience things I’ll NEVER experience. I know this to be true, but tonight, this was not validated for me. So I removed myself in hopes of refraining from causing further damage to the now broken relationships.