An open letter to men

Why do I get so harshly judged for being a young black woman who decides to express herself differently from the norms of my black community?

Why can’t I wear my mini skirt and black lipstick without fear of some man verbally or even physically harassing me because in his ignorance he thinks it is not normal?

Why do we get judged for trying to find our authentic self in a world that is filled with different people that have different traits and temperaments?

I feel like society has really ruined our black men.

Society made it okay for black men to act and behave in a manner that is not gentlemanly. Why do I get blamed for being raped because my choice of clothing was too provocative for some?

Why am I always the victim? Every time I step outside I am automatically the symbol for sex. Why do I have to tremble in fear every time a man stares at me?

Why is it acceptable for men to verbally and physically abuse the very women they are supposed to be protecting?

If I were to be killed or raped, the act should not be justified because my choice of clothing was “inappropriate”.

I refuse to let another black man inflict fear because I chose to wear blue lipstick.

DEAR MEN, your words will no longer wound me, you will no longer justify raping me and then say my skirt was too short, I was basically asking for it.

You will no longer touch me because in your small mindedness you think you have the right to do so. I will leave my house without fear of being attacked by you.

Every morning I will look in my mirror as I prepare to go to school with my blue lipstick and whichever outfit I see fit, I will have no consideration for you.

I will wear my black lipstick every day until it sinks in your heads that I do not fear you and that it is never my fault. If you are man enough to do it, be man enough to own it.

Author of opinion piece: Princess Khoza.

Author of opinion piece: Princess Khoza.

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