I can't begin to tell you the number of times I have been called too "masculine," in one way or another by a black man for simply living day-to-day. My absolute favorite is being told that I have the "I don't need a man" attitude. I mean, it's correct, I don't (nor does anyone), but this isn't a statement I generally make or imply. I just do me, and for some reason, a black woman who can take care of herself while simultaneously minding her own business isn't "feminine" enough for a black man's standards.

Here is a running list of things black women apparently can't do if they if they want to be seen as a woman...

1. Excel at sports.

Especially the less "dainty" ones such as American football, basketball, hockey...

2. Wear dress pants.

I will never forget being told by my high school that if the lady-graduates wanted to walk across the stage for our diplomas, we were required to wear a dress or a skirt.

3. Wear blazers.

Especially when paired with the above-mentioned slacks.

4. Wear short hair.

I'm assuming because that would make it harder to tell we're women (of course having a vagina wouldn't take care of that.)

5. Use cuss words.

They aren't "lady-like."

6. Show intelligence.

Personally, I've been told that I was too smart for my own good. (Whatever da fuk that means.)

7. Change a tire.

Because that would deflate the whole damsel in distress thing.

8. Check the oil in a car.

...and shame on the person who taught us how to in the first place.

9. As a matter of fact, pop the hood of a car for any reason what-so-ever...

10. Prefer to wear flats over heels.

"sExY lEgS" > comfort

11. Be too muscular.

Real women should be asking a man for help to lift every little thing. Also, fuck health.

12. Eat large meals.

boy voice: "I'll have the steak and the little lady will have the salad, no dressing, light lettuce, extra water. She's watching her figure."

13. Pass gas (from either end).

Shoulda just ate more light lettuce. ..

14. Somehow have a good job, house, and car without the help of a man.

How?

15. Purchase things other than plants at Home Depot or Lowes without asking for assistance.

...are you lost?

16. Have any type of law enforcement job.

Being in charge, being a boss, being strong, being threatening, all signs of a woman who secretly wants a penis. (lol. sorry, I had to laugh at this one)

17. Drive trucks.

No need for practicality when you're a woman.

18. Work in architecture, construction, mechanics... or literally any field dominated by men.

The fastest way to break a nail.

19. Enjoy video games (specifically the violent ones).

GTA = NO, Just Dance = YES!

20. Enjoy anime.

We've gendered Japanse cartoons and the consensus is that they aren't for black women's enjoyment...

I'm a woman because I told you I'm one. Also, this fact is reinforced by my vagina. My purpose in life is not to spend my days looking for ways to impress men with a false and toxic sense of masculinity. Life is too short to not just do me.