Day 22 and this topic baffled me from the moment I saw it in August when the list of topics came out. The theme was “black women in the workplace: do we have to explain our hair?” I looked at this one and thought I could work on this but it hit me – dude, what the f*** do you know about this? So I asked members of the #30DayAfriBlogger challenge. I was shocked at the things that were being said. We’re in 2017 and what black women are going through is insane. Let me touch on some of the concerns raised.
Off the bat, I’m a low key feminist but I won’t be active and public about it because I don’t know what it actually means. That will be addressed later in a few days.
Hairstyles at work
Take a moment to Google “inappropriate hairstyles for work” and go to the Images. It’s crazy to see the results of a Google search. People are uploading images of black women’s hairstyles and labeling them as inappropriate. And the unfortunate thing is people will believe this to be true because they “Googled it”. Then there are colleagues at work saying women’s hair is “unprofessional”. Uuuummmmm! What’s a professional hairstyle? It turns out (according to some people and Google) a weave is considered professional. By that logic, a video vixen in a hip hop video and a woman in the office need to have the same hair to be considered professional (Okay?). The only difference is the clothes (if any) they were. So if a video vixen has braids or a woman in the office rocks an afro, they’re immediately unprofessional? Is someone’s hair dampening their performance or upsetting your personal view of them?
When are you getting married?
Black women go through the most. They need to have a particular hairstyle to be considered “professional”. To add onto that, they must be married, have a kid or 2, must serve their husband and so forth. The list is extensively long and this is just in the workplace. What more when they get home? I don’t fully understand a black woman’s struggles. I’m not even going to claim the notion. I just sit on the side, see this happening then question what the actual f*** is going on here. It’s 2017 and women are under unnecessary pressure. The thing is even if a woman gets married, when is she having kids? When is she having another kid? When will she get her PhD? When will she… oh my f***! Make it stop. Give them a chance. It ain’t the 60s or the 70s anymore. It’s 2017! Black women are allowed to choose and I’m pro-choice.
Like I said earlier, I don’t know much about the struggles and I cannot pretend to act like I ever will. But I try listen to understand not listen to respond. There are cases which I struggle to understand like colleagues deeming one’s hair professional or bombarding black women with the marriage question. Why the pressure? Everyone is running their own race. Why can’t people let black women run their own race?