I was browsing the internet and came across a board that had the topic “Black Women Do Not Speak”. My first reaction was defensive. What do they mean we don’t speak? Curiously, I clicked the link and read the many examples and situations where a sista’s personality could be mistaken for being unfriendly. The blogger explained that he is a man who speaks to women while walking down the street and that Black women were the least friendly. He said that they would ignore him or roll their eyes at him when he would offer them a simple “hello”. He went on to say that our White counterparts were more approachable and their dispositions overall were more upbeat in the same situation.
This led me to truly consider myself and my interactions with people day to day as a Black woman. Do Black women speak? I have been greeted while walking to my destination by a stranger and as much as I would like to say that I always at least gave the stranger a smile back, there are many occasions where I did ignore them. Why is that? Well it could be that I was in my own thoughts and did not even notice them. Or it could be me not wanting to be bothered at the moment. Despite how rude it appeared. Obviously this does not apply to all Black women but I want us to survey ourselves and ask how often do your respond when someone greets you on the street?
I think that a lot of Black women are less likely to speak to most men on the street for a few reasons. One being that a lot of women assume that when a guy on the street is speaking to them that he is automatically trying to get with her. So, she wants to immediately put up her defensive wall with big bright lights that says “Please beat it”. Another reason is that women in general are taught to not be so friendly to strangers. Remember when you were taught stranger danger when you were a kid? Yeah, well in this day and age some of us still follow that because this world is crazy. Finally, I think that many women resist the urge to speak because they feel that if they open the lines of communication, the stranger will want something from them. It does not even have to be that he wants her number or that he is trying to holler at her. It could just be something that she does not want to be bothered with or care to know about. Which is her right.
Is this rude? Yeah, it can be. However, look at it from a woman’s point of view. Even the most unattractive woman will still be approached on the street by some man trying to “holla” at her or speak his game to her. So, after this happens several times for years on end, women tend to learn to generally ignore guys when they are trying to talk to them on the street. Sure it may not be the right thing to do or the nicest way to handle it but this is how many women look at the situation.
So what do we do to make the interaction between the stranger and the woman less rude? Speak to every man that greets you on the street? That might be pushing it. My suggestion would be give them a smile and keep it short. I have mastered this. I simply smile and if they ask how I am doing? I respond with a simple “fine” and keep it moving.
On the contrary, isn’t it your right to speak to whom you want to? Someone not responding back to your greeting should not be taking personally. Or should it?
Should you speak to every stranger who speaks to you on the street? Are Black women generally less friendly than other races of women? Thoughts?
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