Objectifying women of colour:
The day was sunny and no wind in sight. It was a perfect day for a braai/barbeque if you didn’t include some silly rugby match that the love of my life just has to watch. You know those rugby matches where men gather together as if they are 5 years old and it’s the first time they’ve been let out to play after being holed up during the long winter months. The beers flow and the fire is going while the women like “good little girls” hang out in the kitchen talking about cake sales and their children’s latest accomplishments. Now, I have been known to bake some really good cakes, but it’s not in my nature to ooh and ah over it. Quite frankly, it’s boring.
Ah, finally some intelligent human put some music on. Yes, this is my perfect excuse to escape from the tea party that is happening in the kitchen. It’s hard enough being a woman but when you’re the only woman of colour among all the blondes suddenly it becomes harder.
As I creep closer to the doorway to escape the tea party and trying being as inconspicuous as possible, my steps are halted by a question, “Where are you running away to Thesna,” a motherly looking woman whose name I forgot asks. “Away from all of you,” I think and I am about to execute the most dramatic eye roll ever when my brain reminds me to mind my manners.
“Uh, I stumble awkwardly, I was about to see where that great dance music was coming from.”
“Oh good let’s all see,” says another eager floral dressed woman way older than me.
“Kill me now,” my brain screams.
“You can’t have all the fun by yourself,” pipes one of the other women that have lipstick on her front tooth.
“Of course I wasn’t about to do that, I lie, hopefully in a convincing manner, “I was just about to call you all to join me.”
“Oh! Lord, transport me to the comfort of my home please,” I silently beg.
If I get near to my love at any stage, I am going to whisper something ugly in his ear. He knows how I feel being left in a room with women that only talk about baking cakes and children.
As I stumble across to where the music is coming from, I hear my love laughing loudly. At least one of us is enjoying today. As soon as we all enter the bar I feel someone grip my elbow to hold me back. “I hope you can show us just how to dance,” says a timid looking lady.
“Of course she can,” shouts my love from the other side of the room. “She dances like you can’t believe.”
That’s it! He is dead when we get home. With my mouth wide open, I turn to him and he winks at me and he knows that I know what he has just done.
I don’t have some natural, ancestor-given rhythm in me. I am embarrassed about being the centre of attention on the dance floor. I was born to be on the stage, not the dance floor.
“Revenge is sweet,” I whisper in my love’s ear as he wraps his arms around me.
He burst out laughing!
Suddenly the floor, (Yep, don’t know where the space for a dance floor appeared from) is empty and my love and I are in the middle of it.
Now when we have been out we do a fairly good imitation of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing but that’s generally conserved for nightclubs not little dance floors in someone’s back garden.
“Dance, dance,” I hear the people chant.
“Why does it feel like the crowd has grown in numbers,” I enquire from my love.
He laughs, tilting his head back, while I jab him in the side with my elbow.
“Let’s do this,” he says seriously spinning me around.
“Can you see I am wearing these high heels,” I hiss as I am spun around again.
He gathers me into his arms when suddenly the theme song to Dirty Dancing is playing.
I love dancing with him and being silly with him yes, not anyone else and certainly not by myself.
We sway our bodies to the music. Yes, I have rhythm remember!
Halfway through the song, it is abruptly switched off, my love turns to someone tapping on his shoulder.
We both turn to look and see an old man with a walking stick, salivating at the mouth.
“Excuse me,” the old man who looks a year younger than God asks, “Is she the stripper because it’s unfair that you’re hogging her when we all came to enjoy the strip show without you.”
“Oh No,” I cringe as I turn around, scan the room and see all the men sitting eagerly waiting in their chairs.
This is not happening to me!
To be continued…