Firestarter Hotsheet: My Daughter Doesn't Have To Talk To You.

“Ruth lived out her deep faith in Jesus by loving and serving others, leaving a legacy of Christ-centered kindness and sacrifice,” the statement said. “She was the beloved baby of our family. We grieve with hope. We hold no hatred towards the perpetrator, but our hope is no other girl would be harmed in this way and for a mother to never experience this type of heartache.”

-The mother of Ruth George, 19, whom was murdered by parolee Donald Thurman, 26, after she didn’t acknowledged being cat called.

I am tired, y’all. I am tired. I am tired of having to have this metaphysical awareness of what it means to be female in this country; using that awareness to raise healthy children. These stories remind me of just how scary it is to be a person with a vagina in this country! This man killed this girl (killed her!) because she didn’t want to talk to him.

Outrageous. Simply, truly outrageous!

I am tired of having to warn the women and girls in my sphere of influence as to how to deal with men. I am already mad at having to have *”That Conversation” with my daughters whom are now 12 and 10. I am upset that I still have to dress like a dude in the winter to keep suspicious, crazy, thirsty men from trying to kidnap me, raping me or throwing me in a trunk to (1) kill me and sell my organs on the Dark Web or (2) make me an ad on Backpage.com.

You can snicker if you want to, but the media does not make habit or reporting the disappearances of Black women and girls.

These are the things I think about when I hear a 19-year-old girl was murdered by a dude that couldn’t stand being ignored or told ‘No’! Imagine what it is for a moment to a be a girl in this type of situation, especially in a major US city, aware of all which could befall you in what Lestat d’Lioncourt (yes, that Lestat!) calls ‘the Savage Garden.’

The Savage Garden being the world and all those that inhabit it.

So, women can’t be quiet and dismiss these fragile men. We can’t have on earphones to look busy, or read to be unnoticed. We can’t say ‘No’ or ‘No thank you’ do a drink, dance or a date. We can’t even go about our business and live life!

This is the vehement, vicious nature of these types of sexual microaggressions in this country!

Friend of the blog, Salt & Pepper Slay (the lovely K. Heflin), makes these same sort of social observations as well. She remarks to the men that follow her and the young women that notice her about being aware in social situations–especially if you don’t feel safe (hint: set up your #TrustFour in your phone/device!). She talked about doing background checks on the men that you think of dating, interested in dating you, or whom you feel sketchy about (Take note–do that. The best thing that could happen is the dude is exactly who he is, with a clean record).

But the thing that I have to harp on is plainly said like this:

My daughter does not have to be nice to you. Leave her alone.

My daughter does not have to speak to you.

My daughter knows her name, and she doesn’t have to respond to anything that is not her name.

My daughter knows her value, and knows that someone that cannot value her cannot be in her world.

With this said, take these pieces of advice and give to these feral males, whether they be your sons, friends, friend of friends or random dudes you see pumping gas:

If a girl tells you ‘No’, don’t kill her.

If a girl doesn’t want to date you, don’t hurt her.

If a girl has her earphones in, she doesn’t want to talk to you. Let her live.

If a girl is pretty and in something short and tight, don’t rape her. Leave her alone. Let her live.

If a girl is out by herself and doesn’t want to dance or talk, leave her alone. Let her live.

If a girl is out with a group of other girls, enjoying themselves–told you ‘No’ to drinks, dances and attention–leave her alone. Let her live.

At this point, I cannot believe I have to reiterate this! I cannot believe I have to tell my daughters, nieces and young female mentees in 2019 how to handle themselves around men not raised to value women, see them as property or non-sentient keeper of the male orgasm: if you take her you can have one.

I cannot believe this conversations still needs to happen. Look, I have told my daughters all I can to stay safe, remain safe and get back home and not get lost.

It’s time for y’all get these boys, mannish Mama’s Boys, boys who wanna be men together. It’s time y’all have that conversation, too.

*-This series, That Conversation, will debut on The Ideal Firestarter in January 2020. Stay tuned, #Torches. Also, get your #TrustFour programmed in your phone.

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