I keep seeing images of White women with purple, blue, red, and green hair now. Of course, White privilege is such that they are called ”trendy” and “cute” for doing this, while the Black women who have done this for decades are called ”ghetto” and “unprofessional.”
This made me think back to my days in a corporate office. I’ve worked in many. Work at one, work at them all. I despise most corporate culture. Anyway, early in my days at one of these jobs, someone saw my back tattoo. (I had on a round neck blouse that revealed the top of it, versus a button down shirt with a collar that day.) I have a baobab tree that looks like the tree on Goodie Mob’s album Still Standing, right below my neck.
People freaked out and discussed the tattoo for days. Meanwhile, I remained in my office, running the reports and building the databases that I was hired to do.
They ran around the break room not doing work and instead discussed my tattoo (and other insults, primarily about me being a Black introvert). Of course, many of the White men there had tattoos. However, being among the handful of Black women there, anything I did was scrutinized.
Not only is corporate culture already incredibly stupid, the cultural hierarchy that manifests in terms of what people can and cannot do based on race/gender is so old and annoying. The two most common things that I am sick of in corporate culture (and culture at large really…) is name and ability policing based on race/gender.
About name policing, I tweeted:
Who knew that the only purpose of bearing a Black child was to name him/her in a way that Whites will approve of for abusive jobs…— Trudy (@thetrudz) September 24, 2012
Yeah…I know many White people and some Black people who identify with White supremacy will suggest that some names are just not “appropriate” and a bunch of other racist and apologist crap that I really don’t want to hear about. *yawns*
Something is not “great” or “bad” solely based on the race of the person doing it, especially when everything deemed “great” is a perception skewed towards those this White supremacist capitalist patriarchal society prefers.
By the way…my name is Trudy. I went to PWI’s for undergrad and for my Master’s degree. Employers in the past ALWAYS thought that I was White before I showed up for the interview. Showing up Black meant that the job magically was filled 5 minutes before my interview, the interviewer was hostile—no matter how polite I remained, the job randomly paid less than what they published in print in the newspaper or online, and IF hired, meant hell every single day that I was there. If naming a child Trudy instead of Takeshia or maybe a product name (since Blacks shame Blacks for doing this) Toyota, is supposed to magically cure racism and improve employment relations, it hasn’t. Not for anyone Black that I know, especially women.