“What The F*ck Is There To Laugh At?” Tiq And Kim Milan Address AABM’s Street Harassment Segment
Yesterday’s Ask a Black Man segment on Street Harassment stirred up a lot of emotions not only in the site’s comments section but also among some of the show’s participants. As you could see in the video, Tiq Milan and Zach Tate were on completely separate ends of the street harassment spectrum, with Tiq sympathizing with the threatening experiences his wife and other women repeatedly experience as a result of such behavior and Zach retorting that said harassment should be taken as nothing more than a compliment and adding that it will never change because as a hunter, he’s going to hunt.
That kind of thinking didn’t fly with our readers, nor did it sit well with Tiq Milan’s wife Kim who put together a Talkback Tuesdays video specifically addressing some of the disturbing comments she heard in our segment. Explaining her perspective alongside her husband, Kim said:
“Even when I say that I’m married, it’s not enough of a deterrent. But the fact is that when people are responding to the fact that I’m married, it’s not because they respect my autonomy it’s because they respect your property and that, for me, is even worse.
“My relationship with you as a man is really the first time I’ve been given any sort of capacity to deflect that kind of harassment because as a queer woman whose predominately been in relationships with women, with gender queer people, that ‘no’ when it becomes attached to that sort of person in that kind of relationship means less than nothing. It’s a challenge if anything….
“The hunted feel afraid. It’s not an exciting place to be. I actually don’t think [what Zach said] was a bad metaphor. I think it was an accurate metaphor that was terrifying….that is what it feels like. I feel like I’m being hunted.”
Backing up his wife, Tiq also explained the faulty logic of a hunting mentality when it comes to women, as well as the idea that because he hasn’t lived his entire life as a man, his perspective is somehow obsolete:
“I found that, particularly on the website, when people found out I’m transgender, then me being trans negates everything I say. My life experience influences who I am as a man. All of our life experiences should influence who we are as people… Yeah I’m trans, but the thing is I’ve had tons of conversations with women. I talk to women. I ask them how they feel. I want to know. I’ve had these conversations and that’s what it’s born out of.
“Street harassment wasn’t really a part of my lived experience, not really, but I understand what it feels like. I sympathize with my wife when she calls me and tells me she’s scared because she’s waiting on a bus and this guy is staring at her and won’t stop looking at her — what the f*ck is that to laugh at? Why should I be like, ‘oh take it as a compliment’ because a man thinks she’s cute? It’s not.
“Me being trans shouldn’t make me more sympathetic. Maybe it does, but it shouldn’t. As men who partner with women and who love women, you have an obligation — because you have privilege in this world– to prioritize her emotional needs and her protection first, before your intention.”
At least someone gets it.
Check out Tiq and Kim’s full response to Ask A Black Man’s first two episodes, including the idea that how she dresses is the reason she gets the attention she does in the video above. For more of their perspectives, check out their websites: tiqmilan.com and kimkatrinmilan.com.