homegirl or just friends

The Plight of the “Homegirl”

Let’s get one thing out of the way: Don’t call me a homegirl. I can be your friend. Your bestie. Your woman. I’ll even accept casual acquaintance. But if we’re cool, and you’re a guy, you are not to call me your homegirl. That’s an irritating slap in the face.

I can already sense some confusion. After all, the term “homegirl” doesn’t mean anything more than a girl who you’re cool with. A woman who is down to Earth and probably abstains from drama. A laid back woman whose company you enjoy. Chances are, you’ve known her for a while and your relationship is solid.

All of that is great. By definition, I am a homegirl…when a woman refers to me as such. When a man introduces me as his homegirl, I get a little offended because I know the other connotation behind the term.

“A friend I know I can smash.”

How do I know? Well, it pays to be cool with members of the male gender. You learn a lot. One of the things I learned is that it’s not unusual for a guy to keep a lady around who they are really cool with and occasionally have no-strings-attached sex with. Those women are typically known as “the homegirl.”

Women do the same thing, too; that’s not a big secret. What I noticed, though, is that for guys, those women seldom get to be anything other that a smashable friend. It doesn’t matter if romantic feelings evolve. Homegirls never get promoted. And why should they? The guy is getting the best of everything without that pesky commitment. He’s winning.

I knew about the homegirl rule long before I found myself being one. Yeah, I fell into the role. No clue how it happened. I must have blinked too long at some point in our friendship. Anyway, he always introduced me to people as his homegirl. Even before I was the homegirl. It always annoyed me in the back of my mind whenever he did it, but I could never put my finger on why. Looking back, it’s clear to me.

I was already put in the chill-and-smash box.

Hell, I’m sure I had reserved seating.

I’m not taking anything away from him or ignoring the hand I gave myself in that position. We had a good friendship, and we’re still cool today (not that cool, though. I’m not a complete glutton for punishment). But for years I was only allowed to be one thing, to have one purpose. I don’t like to be pigeonholed.

So do me and the rest of the female populace who share my views. Don’t call us your homegirls. We’re better than that.


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