“He’s watching you walk away.”
Look, man. I didn’t ask for this, man. Honestly, man. I didn’t. But people love to point it out and this will be my first and last time addressing it.
I am aware of my walk. I am aware that it affects people. I know about it, I’m cognizant of it everywhere I go. Because I literally contort myself to not do it. Which is weird, so then I don’t.
I didn’t learn how to do it. I’ve always walked this way. I really do chalk it up to one leg being longer than the other. Really, I do. That may sound crazy, but I do.
I really do feel anxious and slightly annoyed when people point it out to me. And as I know that they mean no harm by doing so, I’m still uneasy. Because at one point, I was intentional. I knew how to push buttons, I knew how to get a rise out of people. I knew how to get want I wanted by using what I have (it doesn’t take much.)
But I also experienced my first instance of sexual harassment at work thanks to someone pointing it out. I had a dude yell at me from a vehicle because he just had to say something. “You walk like you know how to f***!” I will never forget that.
So I learned how to tune it all out but I also learned how to use it to my advantage when I had nothing to lose. But I don’t subscribe to that anymore, so my walk is now just an occupational hazard. That people love to point out.
I get oversexualized a lot. A lot of it is not by my own intention. And I’ve had to fight that perception of me. Not just from being a Black woman but from just the air and aura I sometimes give off. So when people point out this walk thing of mine, I literally feels like I’m being oversexualized all over again.
I don’t laugh off the inquiries because I think they’re funny. I laugh them off because I think they’re annoying. But also because I don’t want to fight for my personhood. That’s tiring. It’s tiring to fight perception.
It’s better than trying to walk away from it all. Because you’d probably say something.