Archive | Black Women in the Media RSS feed for this section

Most Powerful #BlackLivesMatter Protest Moments

11 Dec
As I discussed in the previous post, Why Protesting Matters, the demonstrations across the nations and around the world against the killings of unarmed black men and women have been powerful. And they have not stopped.
So far, people around the world have been shutting down malls, freeways, street blocks, bridges, and many other places, to let our nation know that BLACK LIVES MATTER. Take a look at some of the most inspiring protests so far:
1. Ferguson protesters in Boston shouting “we see you” to inmates in a local jail.
Protest Jail2
2. Protesters in Ferguson protecting local stores from looters
ProtestProtectingStores
3.Wal-mart employees across the nation stage sit-ins on Black Friday
ProtestsWal-Mart
4. Protesters in Ferguson “Die-in” and shut down an entire mall in St. Louis on Black Friday
ProtestDieIn
5. Protesters in New York carry mock caskets for all the black lives lost to racist police
Protest MockCasket
6. #Blackout Black Friday Protesters in the Bay Area shut down Bart
ProtestBart
ProtestBridge
I recently found a newer protest happening this Friday at movie theaters across the nation to boycott the movie Exodus. I’ve discussed the whitewashing of black history and the casting of white characters for black roles in Why I’m Not Giving Hollywood Any More Money. Movies like Exodus show that Hollywood doesn’t give a shit about black people. Our dollars are powerful and shouldn’t support blatantly racist crap like this. So check out this protest:
ProtestExodus
Finally, if you saw any protests that inspired you and did not make my list- drop a note with link in the comments section.

How Dare Black Women Love Their Bodies

17 Jun

Image

The other day, some self-righteous troll commented on my blog saying that wearing my short shorts is prideful. He/she went on to tell me that I should stop showing off my body, and instead focus on serving my brothers and sisters. He/she also blamed me for “the sins of my brothers and sisters.”

My apologies y’all—I didn’t realize my outfit was powerful enough lead good men and women away from their faith.

Lucky for me, the person promised to pray for me so that I will be rescued from my evil, shorts-wearing ways.

Since all of my readers aren’t fortunate enough to have oh-so-thoughtful internet-commenters praying for them, I figured I should help y’all out.

In order to save the rest of my sexy sisters from degradation, I’ve created this handy list for black women to use in order to navigate through life in a way that is respectable in our society.*

  1. If someone is having “impure” thoughts because your body is curvy, it’s completely your fault. People are not responsible for their own actions—it’s all on you. Keep that in mind when you get dressed every morning.
  1. Yes, you might have been created curvy, but you were meant to cover up those curves.
  1. Stop twerking already! It’s only considered an art form when white women do it—when you twerk, it’s just plain vulgar.
  1. Any love of your body is prideful and needs to stop immediately. Your job is to focus on loving and serving everyone else—but definitely not yourself.
  1. Showing off does not mean you love your body—it means you have low self-esteem. It means you are looking for attention. So if a guy approaches you in a rude or aggressive manner, you only have yourself to blame.
  1. Don’t you dare breastfeed in public. Especially not when your baby is wailing with hunger—that’s just plain rude. Go to the foul smelling public restroom. That is what restrooms are for; that is the only place suitable to feed an infant.
  1. Rihanna, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and all other black popstars are the scum of the earth. There is nothing we can learn from the Queens of THOTs. Their indiscretions and claiming that their bodies are their own is not to be mimicked.
  1. You can’t be smart and sexy. No, women aren’t that complex. Either you’re a THOT, or you aren’t—but you probably are.
  1. No matter how many of you are out there graduating with advanced degrees, working hard to provide for your families, and/or being successful in whatever you put your mind to, as a whole, you will always be ratchet bitches that aint shit (but hoes and tricks). Know your place.

*Psst, This is satire. However, some of these are quotes from what ignorant people have commented my “I Wear Short Shorts Because I’m a Feminist” post and a few other posts.

 

 

Thoughts? Drop them in the comment box.
Anonymous commenting is available there as well.

 

 

4 Reasons Respectability Politics Has No Place in Black Feminism

27 May

beyonce-blow-still

Okay so, quick recap:
Since my feminist views have changed so drastically, I had to write a 3-post series.

In Part 1, Bad Girls Are My New Role Models, I argued that black pop stars are good sexual agency role models (for adults) because they teach us to articulate pleasure.

In Part 2, “Turning to the Dark Side,” I renounced respectability politics, a system of beliefs that expect black women to always be noble, chaste, and deny sexuality because of the hypersexual stereotype that weighs on our shoulders.

Now we’re on to Part 3:
4 Reasons Respectability Politics Has No Place in Black Feminism

“Keep your legs closed AT ALL TIMES,” say the folks for respectability politics. Their argument is that if black women do not acknowledge or flaunt their sexuality, we can extinguish the hypersexual stigma. Because of this argument, we are quick to shame sexy black woman entertainers for singing about sex and daring to twerk.

Though I previously was a devout believer in respectability politics, I’m now saying that acting “respectable” doesn’t fix the hypersexual problem, but instead adds onto it. Here’s why this type of thinking, as well-intentioned as it is, simply doesn’t work.

1. Black women do not control the master narrative
What was that Malcom X said about the media having the power to control the minds of the masses? The media fuels the master narrative, the ideas that circulate about black women. And the media is not ran by black women, but by older white men who profit greatly from the hypersexual black woman stereotype. So even if Rihanna and all the other bad girls on TV suddenly became Claire Huxtable, the narrative would not change. Those who have much to gain from the stereotype would simply find a way to sexualize all of the Claires, the same way they sexualized little Sasha Obama (who has no public sexual record) last summer when she went out in 90+ degree weather wearing short shorts.

2. Black women are not a monolith
We don’t need everyone to be Claire Huxtable. That wouldn’t be an accurate representation of black womanhood. We all have our own various ways of expressing ourselves that go far beyond “respectable vs. ratchet.” Some of us are both and/or neither. We need a diverse range of expressions, as that gives more accurate representations of black women: we need Beyoncé and Janelle Monae, Nicki Minaj and Lauryn Hill, bell hooks and Joan Morgan.

3. Respectability politics works to further restrict and shame, rather than liberate
In respectability politics, we create a very small, heteronormative prison cell for black women to function in. All black women must be Claire, otherwise they’re an embarrassment. What about our working class women, our single mothers, and our lgbt friends…are they an embarrassment? Are our friends who got pregnant a little earlier in life unworthy of respect? Should I be ashamed to move my body the way it wants to when music plays?

Black women are so diverse and express themselves in such varied ways, that demanding for a specific way to publicly perform suppresses not only our sexuality, but also our everyday mannerisms and ways of walking in the world.

4. Ultimately, Respectability Politics is a result of internalized racism
In accepting respectability politics, we’ve internalized the sexist views of black women. Instead of speaking out against America’s minority monolith mentality and stereotyping problem, we support it. We pray that if every black woman is on her best behavior, those rich white men who own the Big 6 media corporations will stop making so many damn housewife shows.

With respectability politics, we’re trying to change our stereotype from a hypersexual one to a respectable one. Yet, instead we should be trying to demolish stereotypes altogether. Shackles are still shackles even if they’re made from gold—and stereotypes are still stereotypes even when we try to make them seem nicer.

Sure, a “nicer” stereotype may do us some good: Maybe then black graduates wouldn’t suffer the higher unemployment rates than their fellow graduates, and maybe people wouldn’t believe we’re “talking white” when we enunciate. But we’d still need to combat whatever other “nicer stereotypes” (sorry, I don’t believe in good stereotypes) are thrown at us. And we would still need to combat the stereotypes cast upon other groups in the U.S.

Wanna know the reason why my opinions changed so drastically? Check out what I’ve been reading:
The Best of the Best articles on respectability politics

P.S. This article is part of the Top Posts. Check out the Best of A Womyn’s Worth.

%d bloggers like this: