Open Letter To The Black Community From a Fast-tailed Girl

Article by: Merrie
image description: drawing of a red mouth saying '#fasttailedgirls #metoo'

Fast-tailed girl: African-American vernacular - sexually promiscuous, loose, slutty. A term used by black women to describe young black girls who “intentionally demonstrate the carnal behaviours reserved for a woman beyond her years.” 

You’ve probably all seen the comments beneath #muterkelly posts on Black instas: long essays about “fast” gold-digger girls with fame-hungry parents who want a cheque fifteen years later.

It’s like stepping back to a pre- #MeToo era. Except it’s the women talking about these girls, women who must have daughters or nieces or cousins, who are so quick to jump and defend this man, the same women who defended Bill Cosby. The men’s comments weren’t that different: ‘they’re just tryna bring down another brother for a cheque’ was one of many. There were more people defending R. Kelly’s actions than condemning them. Once again, it feels like the black community rallied around the wrong person. 

So, I have a letter to all of the black community who defend abusers. 

Hey, so I’ve got a lot to tell you and I’m not gonna stay quiet anymore cos I’m angry, so angry for all of these girls, so you better listen. 
Would you be so defensive if R. Kelly was white? Really? 
Yes, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly are well known and black. 
Yes, it reflects badly on our community, especially since people are so quick to racially profile black men as it is. 
But they are predators. You might’ve watched the Cosby Show a million times (I did) and grown up on R. Kelly’s music, but can you ever truly separate the art from the artist? 
    Calling R. Kelly’s victims “fast” is nothing more than victim-blaming and slut-shaming. 
It DOES NOT MATTER if they were sexually experienced, it doesn’t matter who or where their parents were or if they wanted fame. No one deserves abuse. 
By proclaiming that these girls were “fast” you are saying that it’s their comeuppance, that they wanted it and that rape and abuse was inevitable. 
You are justifying abusers’ behaviour. 
What kind of message is that sending to young black girls? 
All you are showing them is that if they are assaulted, you will not believe them. 
And you wonder why they stayed quiet for so long? 
Let’s face it, you knew he was an abuser all along, you watched the video in 2002 didn’t you? And yet it’s still that girl’s fault? Cosby was on trial in 2006. 
You knew he was a rapist. You just choose to blind yourself with your desire for a rich, black role model. Note, rich. 
Stop silencing us with the catchall “fast”. 

Start caring about our wellbeing. And by ‘our’ I mean ALL of us, not just the ones you deem well-behaved enough.