Black Twitter can be a volatile place. Today (June 4), the collective, and the stray gentrifier, is debating the usage of the word “Auntie” on these Internets.
To many it’s a term of endearment. But to other, it’s a shade.
However, the source of today’s online chatter is an interview Van Lathan recently had with When They See Us-director Ava DuVernay. In a clip he shared, she was not feeling being called “Auntie Ava” on Twitter.
She is just not with it. “Why?,” she said. “Am I that old? Auntie Ava? Like Aunt Jemima?”
She did appreciate it as a term of respect, but she’s still not feeling. It parallels the “OG” honorific—are you saying I’m wise, or just old?
Right on cue, Black Twitter took up the debate, with the usual doses of insight and pettiness.
Let us know where you stand? Peep some of the more poignant reactions below. And respect Queen DuVernay’s wishes.
I am proudly 49 years old. Y’all call me Auntie, tell me ALL your business, ask for a solid, and treat me with respect. I see it as an honor.— April (@ReignOfApril) June 4, 2019
But I also see the subtweets when I put it on for the Gram and “desexualized overweight mammy” is NOT where your thoughts are headed. 💅🏾 pic.twitter.com/f4a4a2eFMq
look. auntie ain't about old. plenny y'all niggas was aunties at 10 (i was one at 11 lol).— tracy the business goose (@brokeymcpoverty) June 4, 2019
it ain't about mammies and desexualization. aunties be fuckin. aunties been fuckin. shit i at least be trying.
cld be an attempt at respect OR shade. depends on person/context/tone.
You can call me Auntie if you want. I am of that age and it is a sign of respect....to me! pic.twitter.com/WGgq4V4sX6— Raskin Doctrine (@aaw1976) June 4, 2019
This woman has been nominated for a whole Oscar, but we're gonna have auntie trend?— Golding (@GoldingGirl617) June 4, 2019
7. They’ll try to gentrify anything…
White women joining the auntie conversation is weird though.— Mahalia C (@MahaliaSBM) June 4, 2019
Sis and auntie in our context isn’t for them. By our i mean black folks.
Let’s cut the malarkey, we all know what is subscribed when calling someone auntie. It is usually a fat Black woman that is seen as a mammy, motherly and desexualized (e.g; think of the help). So, I get why someone doesn’t want to be called an auntie. It is beyond ageism, guise.— Botox Barbie 🇳🇬🇺🇸 (@cheesewizbandit) June 4, 2019
You’re 50 years old mad a 25 year old called you Auntie? But if they call you by your name then they’re disrespectful. You’re weird and don’t know what you want.— u r thicker than peanut butter, can i get a scoop? (@CNRush) June 4, 2019
Folks trying to explain what we mean by calling Ava “auntie” really doesn’t matter if she doesn’t want to be called that.— reggie (@kidnoble) June 4, 2019
“Oh but it’s a sign of respect that means xyz...”
That doesn’t matter if she doesn’t want to be addressed as such.
Anyhow, I'm the semi bougie hood auntie with the good mac and cheese.— Bath & Bella Works 🚿🕯🛁 (@brownandbella) June 4, 2019
Which auntie are you?
Would y’all rather: be called auntie, have someone use a divider stick in the grocery store in front of you, or be a Chernobyl black? This is a serious question. I am a serious person.— Melanie Dione (@themelaniedione) June 4, 2019