When I hear you call me aggressive, bold, angry, spicy, I think: yes, I might be. But do not reduce this contextual reaction to my lived-realities because of how different it is from yours.
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I might be:
Aggressive
Bold
Angry
In your face
Assertive
Confrontational
Intense
Passionate

...that's because I was raised in a context that demanded women make ourselves less than. We were continually put-down, so as to ensure that we never thought too highly of ourselves; lest we become a threat. Where my dad was the "head of the household," and we were lucky to have him; as if he was a god in our house, and we were his subjects while he was our lord and savior.

...that's because I was not allowed to be soft, softness comes when you're raised in white picket fences and beautiful Victorian households. Hard comes from barbed wires, stray dogs, loud sirens, and malnutrition. Being hard meant that I survived.

...that's because I am expected to have your level of intelligence and extensive vocabularies - despite the fact that my parents did not attend college, and I am surrounded by immigrants who speak Spanish, exclusively. You do not get to tease me about my mispronunciations of words, as if I did not have to read and teach myself their meanings without ever having heard them said out loud. I am angry because I am tested against you, as if my learned traits are not important compared to yours.

...that's because women of color are presumed incompetent no matter how hard we work to achieve your approved levels of "success." I am not allowed to be proud of my accomplishments, when they are perceived as minor when compared to yours. Despite having been the one of two in my family to get a BA, that is somehow laughable and not deserving of a f*cking celebration that can be heard all the way to my motherland.

When I hear you call me spicy, I think: yes, I might be. But do not reduce this contextual reaction to my lived-realities because of how different it is from yours.

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