Girls

That girl fast.

I overheard this statement at the mechanic one day but it’s a sentiment often expressed by women and I’ve heard it the most from women of color, mostly because that’s who I am close to in proximity.

The narrative is always “those fast little girls.” It’s never about the circumstances of those girls but that you have to protect the young boys from them. An ass-backward narrative. It’s seems that collectively we’re not concerned about children and protecting them from the adults that harm them with psychological and physical abuse, which the then children emulate and introduce to other children, there by then creating the so-called fast tailed girls.

It’s not as simple as just being fast for no reason. There’s so much.

I know a woman that is the mother of a 16 year old. I haven’t seen her daughter in a few years, but I can vividly remember the mother cursing at her then 6 year old daughter out like she was a bitch off the street. Calling her all types of bitches, hoes, stupid, ain’t shit, etc. To a 6 YEAR OLD.

It was the harshest mental abuse I have ever witnessed.

My mother emerged from her room & yelled “Enough.” Her mother had the nerve to get mad at my mama for checking her. I’m not surprised she ran away. Her mother has never been stable. The girl didn’t even graduate from 8th grade. And now she’s in the street doing God knows what to survive.

I’m sure by now she’s probably been exposed to all of the predators and evils that the streets are made of.
I think of her story and so many other girls that other women are quick to call fast little girls and wonder why as older women we aren’t there to help them. As strangers, sisters, friends, family.

Why aren’t we there to show them how to carry themselves? Many folks (including myself) have found ourselves saying things like “Well she’s going to do it anyway” as a way to absolve ourselves from any culpability but that’s not an excuse.

We’ve got to do more for our sisters.

(I began crafting this piece a mere 3 weeks before the hastag #fasttailedgirls sparked the online debate on twitter. Glad other folks are seeing what I see. )

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