I remember sitting on the porch with my grandmother when I was about 10 years old watching some neighborhood girls play with a group of boys. The kids were about 12-14 years old, and were getting touchy-feely with each other.
That was probably the first time I heard the term “fast tailed girls”. My grandmother warned me not to play with those girls because they were “fast tailed”. In my 10 year-old mind, I didn’t have any intentions of ever playing with them only because I just thought they were the mean girls in the neighborhood.
Last week, the #fasttailedgirls trending topic emerged on Twitter. The hashtag was started by Mikki Kendall and Jamie Nesbitt Golden of @HoodFeminism as a way to discuss the myths of hypersexuality and misogynoir, which is anti-Black misogyny, facing young black girls and women.
Here are a few tweets that followed the hashtag:
@NebetShar: My mother was 16, my dad was 23 and people thought it was normal. #FastTailedGirls
@whereis_emma: @ a youth retreat girls were told our outfit choices made men lust we were responsible for others sinning #FastTailedGirls
@GinUwinart: A very sad truth most young girls in foster care are automatically labeled as #FastTailedGirlswhen placed in Foster Homes.
@msbrandiebrown: [TW:Rape] After I was drugged and raped. “It sounded like you were having fun.”- “friend” that was at the same party. #fasttailedgirls
@bad_dominicana: @rosefox those white women had the same #fasttailedgirls beliefs. that black girls are here for sexual service& experimentation.
Growing up, it wasn’t uncommon for older women to use this term as advice to young girls as what not to be. But I can’ t remember anyone ever advising boys and what they should or shouldn’t do when it came to interacting with girls.
In order to be considered a “respectable” girl, there were always things you weren’t supposed to do. From your mannerisms to the way you dressed. If you received attention from men or boys, it was always a finger being pointed at you for just being a girl. And till this day, as evidence of the hashtag, it’s still going on.