Identity, Life

8 people I’m totally unfriending

Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. ​

When you are a woman of color, micro-aggressions are a part of your daily life. For the purpose of self love, self care and my own mental health I think this is a healthy outlet. I blog, therefore I am. ​All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. ​(Or is it?)

1. ​The White Liberal Socially “Progressive” Male Friend

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This friend will often make bigoted statements under the guise of liberalism. This liberalism is often very exclusive and sexist. It can only be described as white liberalism. This friend will often use the fact that he is friends with so many people of color that he could not possibly be racist and in fact considers himself a progressive on matters of race and gender. Yet this friend will also deny racism that has been committed against a person of color, even when the person of color has showed discomfort at certain things that have been posted by said friend. This man believes himself to be the moral authority on what is racism and what is not because of his years of experience as a white, cis, able­-bodied, heterosexual man.

2. ​The Sexist Male Friend

This friend will value the saying “bros before hoes” as an unwritten code of ethics. This friend will also feel like it is his moral obligation to make sure women do not engage in any “inappropriate” behavior, especially if in a serious relationship. Women can not be trusted to keep themselves in check according to this friend. This male friend will also blame victims of domestic violence for staying with their abusive partner, since they must be “gold­diggers.” This man has never encountered an egalitarian relationship, therefore accuses women of “wearing the pants” or the men of being whipped. This man abhors feminists, because why do they hate men so much?

3. ​The “In Your Face” White Female Friend

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This friend will be incredibly possessive of her space and her things, which is more than understandable. But this woman will also aggressively go out of her way to occupy your space, which as a woman of color can make you feel antagonized. This friend will also feel entitled to your things. She will often discuss issues such as race and gender but then make sweeping generalizations about people of color.

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4. ​The Facebook Crusader for Social Justice

 

tumblr_nie635cdsu1r83d7lo1_500This friend will often post really great statuses about social change, institutional racism and sexism, which you will jump to like. Yet this friend will also be the first to point out the faults of social media activism although for women of color, social media activism can sometimes be the safest and only route to express themselves. This friend will ask questions about why we don’t hold our fathers accountable for domestic violence in the Muslim community, ignoring the fact that children of an abuser are often not the best ones to do this. This friend will man­terrupt women when working alongside them and bulldoze their ideas. This friend will be the first to discuss sexism yet also the first to use his male privilege to diminish women’s voices in important dialogue.

5. ​The Relative that Means Well

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This relative will often greet you with well-meant advice like, “If you had just put on some lipstick, you would look so much better.” This relative will judge a whole race according to one negative experience that they had growing up and disregard those that are an “exception” to the stereotypes they hold. This relative will often shame young women in the family for their bodies, looks, behaviors and the way they dress. They will often value looks over character, talent and ability. They also do not allow young women in the family to participate in family dialogue, the way that young men do. They are self appointed police officers for enforcing gender roles. They often ridicule those who are part of the LGBTQ community. More than anything, they love the saying “boys will be boys.” They do all this under the guise of upholding tradition and culture.

6. ​The Female High School Bully

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The high school bully is a complex type known for committing girl on girl crime. She was physically and emotionally aggressive, easily threatened and competitive. She had her feminist and social activist awakening in college, yet still judges women on their looks. She absolutely adores you now that you have outgrown your awkward nerdy phase and are considered pretty decent looking. She is the face of social activism on social media and blogging about race and gender, although she judges women on the white beauty standards held by society.

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7. ​The Racist Islamophobe

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This friend will often post racist, violent generalizations of Muslims, and Arabs on their Facebook under the pretense of supporting Israel, the troops and/or ‘Murica. They tend to “forget” that they are Facebook friends with people from these groups that they are attacking on social media. They usually find Arab to be synonymous to Muslim. This friend loves using pronouns such as “us” and “them.” This person will often blame people belonging to these groups for the violence committed against them. “Well if they weren’t so darn evil and violent maybe we wouldn’t have to kill them or their children,” is the general thought process that belongs to this Facebook friend. They see the world as black and white, made up of the “good” guys and the “bad” ones. ​These people love to use a history of being oppressed to justify the same oppression and violence against another group.

8. ​The Culturally Appropriative Hipster

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This particular girl loves to wear bindis and henna because she thinks it looks pretty for purposes such as raving. This girl hardly knows or engages with the women or men of the cultures she appropriates. She does not participate in student organizations that discuss issues related to these groups. She doesn’t realize that henna is used for occasions such as weddings and religious holidays that are sacred to these communities. She just thinks it looks so “spiritual” and it helps her get in touch with her chakra.

And you’re so vain, you probably think this blog post is about you, don’t you?

Imaan Abbasi

Imaan is a public health policy geek and is currently applying to graduate schools in the field. She loves to learn and read about the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and health. She just completed an internship with the White House. She currently is in post­undergrad limbo, which includes a lot of Nutella, tacos from her favorite food truck and cuddle rejections from her bratty pomeranian, Poe. Her one constant in life is her love for Tom Hanks and Beyonce and maybe also her family (maybe).

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