Guess the joke’s on me

I went for my repeat pap smear the other day, in reference to the HPV. I won’t know the results until the end of this week, but as I have a particularly stubborn strain that’s one of the hardest to clear, I won’t be surprised to hear that the virus is still active four and a half years later. As I stated in an earlier post, since HPV really isn’t discussed that much, there’s a lot of stigma surrounding it. I’m sure a number of people think that I deserve it because let’s face it, “everybody knows black women are all ‘hos anyway.” See, there’s that qualifying word again- all. Which is infuriating because I’m being painted with the exact same brush as all other black women which only serves to diminish my uniqueness. Because I’m extremely sensitive and hyperaware about stereotypes of late as well as the fact that I’m royally pissed off, my attitude right now is fuck it. Many of you that are bothering to read this wouldn’t know me from a hole in the wall. There’s absolutely nothing I can tell you about me that can possibly dissuade you if you harbor that sentiment. So I know that it’s possible that you could give two shits if I tell you that I wasn’t promiscuous at all and that I could count the amount of sexual partners I’ve ever had in my life on two hands with a toe thrown in. Or that it’s likely that I had the virus for many years but it was inactive until four and a half years ago and that there’s no way for me to trace exactly who gave it to me. I take sex fairly seriously and I rarely engage in it unless I feel some sort of emotional connection with the person and if I feel the relationship is serious. Never mind that up to 80% of the population gets the virus at one time or another which includes plenty of white people. No. Because I happen to be black, I must be inherently hypersexual. Only white person are sexually pure. People are really starting to make me violently ill with their damn stereotypes. And the stigma surrounding STI’s and STD’s can be damaging because it can cause people to avoid treatment for fear of proving some damn ignoramuses right. Which can lead to infertility for some infections and diseases and if taken to the extreme, can lead to an early and needless death in the case of HPV.

I guess the joke’s on me because I usually like to believe the best in people and give them the benefit of the doubt, but lately, I haven’t been able to do that. Right now, I’ve been doubting that people are being sincere when they smile and chat with me at the water cooler or on the grocery store line, because, let’s face it, I’m not naive enough to think that people don’t harbor stereotypes about me, whether its about my hair or my gender or my skin color. In fact, I’m not naive enough to think that nobody harbors stereotypes about somebody, because, hey, we need some kind of way to group all the vast information we receive about the world around us. I won’t lie and say that I haven’t harbored any stereotypes about certain groups of people but I usually check myself and I know enough about the world to know that not everyone fits them all the time. A number of other people out there don’t do the same, however. So, I wonder if the relaxed woman at the bar wonders if I’m vegan or if I don’t bathe. Then I wonder if the white person in front of me at the supermarket checkout line thinks I’m some typical loud and bossy black woman, or if I have 7 kids with 7 different men and receiving welfare. All of this is maddening because in general, we don’t fucking talk to each other. Not about things that really matter anyway, such as racism and misogyny. Sure, if you’re black, you might have no qualms about discussing racism with other blacks or if you’re woman, you might have no qualms about discussing sexism with other women. But we often don’t discuss these things with people who are different from ourselves and therein, is the heart of the issue because these stereotypes only get perpetuated and sometimes, they blow up as in the Martin case. Until we actually speak to each other, we’ll never solve any of the real problems.

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One Response to “Guess the joke’s on me”

  1. […] this post where I stated that I recently went for a repeat Pap smear? I ended up calling the doctor’s […]

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