As fat, Black femmes: how can we navigate and decolonize the politics of desirability?By Tina Colleen Black queer women and femmes and female identify people (FIP), we are celebrating our natural melanin and manes more today than ever before. We demand equality, but have we truly broken free from European influences when we choose a partner? Dating in the queer world feels pretty hopeless on a lot of levels. Especially for me as a black, queer, plus-size femme. In the last year, I have been going to 'Meetups'. I first went to speed dating events that were queer-inclusive, yet they were not racially diverse. It wasn’t a fit, and I didn’t feel comfortable. I began attending meetups and events for Black and non-white Latina women and femmes. At these events, there were always three extremes: queer women who were cliquey and had no desire to include you; women who had a partner and just wanted to be your friend; and/or couples. Again, I felt like I didn’t fit in, so I stopped going to these events. I started dating online in July. I connected with this lovely androgynous black woman quite quickly. Despite my fear she would not accept my size, our dates went well and things seemed to be looking up. After our second date, she called it off. She was stuck between liking me and another woman at the same time. I came in second place. Following this blow, I was lucky to have received tickets to the Afropolitan Insights: Self-Care Festival. At the festival, I attended a panel discussion. The topic of decolonization came up. One of the panelists mentioned that she was unsure if she was genuinely attracted to a specific type of man, or if she was experiencing undue European influence from decolonization.
We support and we march in support of black men, but we can't get to work or home without fighting through dick offers and bitch insults from them.By M. Shelly Conner Let’s be clear: I paid three dollars and a hug for street harassment. Or assault. I still don’t know what to call it. I do know that I didn’t want it and felt forced to consent to it. As a genderqueer woman, I’m often taken by surprise by the unsolicited interest of men. As a black, cis-gender woman, I am surprised by my surprise. In his 1999 comedy special Bigger and Blacker, Chris Rock joked (because men are privileged to joke about rape and hebephilia) that, “every woman [in here] since [they] were thirteen, every man they met has been trying to fuck [them].” Of course most women know, depending on their development the depravity of their assailant, that age can go much lower. Rock goes on to posit that it is easy for women (and let’s include girls, since he opened that can of hebephilia with his 13-year-old starter age) to turn down sex because it is in constant supply for them. Ignoring: 1) the heterosexist framing, and 2) the assumption that women/girls are in equal positions to decline sexual advances from men as men are to decline them from women, we are still left with the idea that because “it is damn near impossible for men to turn down sex,” it is socially acceptable for men to “[offer women] dick three times a day.” Rock insists, “Every time a man’s being nice, he’s offering dick.” I don’t believe that and, of course, the joke is that neither does Rock. Far less humorous is the necessity for women to make this joke into a safe assumption. To act as if every kind offer from a man comes with an unwritten sexual addendum. To question intentions and weigh consent. In accepting a greeting of hello or a gesture of holding open a door, am I consenting to the unvocalized “offer” of sex? Although Rock uses the word offering as if it is merely a cup of tea, unsolicited dick offers in all of their myriad forms are more akin to scalping another’s head and calling it a haircut.
In organizing spaces and in social situations (sometimes they overlap), I’m constantly running into the same issue: being too real. In this identity of being too real, my identity as a fat Black femme always coincides with how people view