Need Diversity? Use The Black Girl! Part 1

*Sigh* I am so sick and tired of this. It seems like every time that it’s time to show diversity the casting director snaps his finger and says, “I know, lets get a black girl!” Which would be great that black women were getting more roles, and being shown in a better light if they were actually… Oh, I don’t know, really being shown in a better light. Instead, these black women never get to just play a standard role of women. No they have to be the poster child of diversity even it it means making them look a way that is not flattering. The role that no one else wants to be. Somehow they use black women as the  “revolutionary ones”. To make a point. Most of the time these “diverse” characters are only using their stereotypes to say see its okay to be this or that. But really all they are doing is keeping black women in the same stereotyped role that these same people struggle to escape everyday.

Take Amber Riley’s character Mercedes on the Fox show Glee. She could be seen as a poster child for diversity. She’s African American. She’s Confident and she’s not a size two. Sounds good on the surface, right? Wrong. Mercedes comes off looking like they typical black woman diva. Basically whatever thinks black women think they are.  Not to mention she is so confident in her body she was even willing to give up the cheerios to eat tater tots for lunch instead of dieting to stay on the team.  Now you might say, “True, but there is a white character on glee who is also overweight and loves her body.” But again this doesn’t hold up. What they show of Lauren (the white character) is someone who loves her body and people in turn love her. Somehow because of this she is able to bag the hottest guy on the show. (Puck) and enjoy her life to the fullest even with extra meat on her bones. With Mercedes, she is written as the sacrificial Mammy for white audiences. Torn between being giving up her tots and being a cheerio and popular for the first time. Of course, It would send a bad message to the audience members to see a black girl actually care about how much she weighs because(as a black woman) of course you have to *love* your body.(No matter how close to obesity you are) So in the end Mercedes gives up Cheerios for the tots. This loving yourself campaign would actually be good if on the same hand they had the other white characters(0r other minority characters) living up to those same standards. But they don’t. Instead Riley’s character is the woman who is sent onto the minefield of the “love yourself” campaign. While the rest of them sit back and watch, silently admiring, yet not daring to be so bold.  It’s the typical “I’m not going first, you go first” idea, That has the black woman testing whether the grenades are actually volatile or not.

This isn’t the only time this happens either. Take the new Sofia Vergara K-Mart Commercial for her clothing line. The obvious theme of this commercial is, that, as a woman you should work with what you have and “be proud, be sexy” In the commercial different races of women are all showcased, but guess who the “l love myself, I don’t have to be skinny to be happy” woman is? The black woman!  She is the woman who is boldly daring to be outside of a healthy weight to show the world its okay. Here’s a question: Why couldn’t they have had the  white women be the “I love myself” woman? Or the Asian woman?  Because  Black women are constantly being “othered” by forcing them into the same stereotype. If you listen closely what they are telling black women is “YOU are a black woman. You can’t possibly want to look normal.” You can’t possibly want to be an average (healthy) weight that other races of women strive to stick to. If you don’t you aren’t promoting diversity. You hate yourself. *because of course loving yourself means being overweight and sassy.  Because black women are of course overweight and sassy. Its not possible for a black woman to love herself and send that message without being fat.

Question 2: If it is just so important to have diversity and self love, why are they still showing every other race of woman “sacrificing” for their beauty? Showing how they are willing to go without tots to get ahead instead of standing on the sidelines watching the other women participate. I’ll answer that question myself. Because they want to show that black women need to “keep it real” show that they are not “sell outs” to beauty standards that the other poor races of women are forced to endure. Black women are “above” that.Its supposed to be good that black women are fat and happy about it.  But really, none of this is helping black women in the long run  because it paints a picture that black women should sacrifice themselves yet again for “the cause”.

END OF PART ONE. PART TWO IN NEXT POST

Black Women On Youtube: Stop Making Videos

Okay, this might actually piss a lot of people off. But I refuse to NOT say what probably everyone in the worlds is probably thinking. Black Women… Please stop making YouTube videos. There I’ve said it. Let me start of by saying that I think a lot of the videos on YouTube made by black women are, funny, original, encouraging and a good way to get word out to help black women. I don’t however believe that black women making the majority of the YouTube videos are helping the overall image of black women to the world. Let me be more specific, because I’m sure that all black women are Youtube for the same things, If you are on Youtube for the following, I think you should get of immediately.

  • “Bashing” Black men- I don’t deny that a black man may be a no good piece of garbage and you feel justified in telling the world your experience. But, making a video and to discuss what black men as a whole have done to you, just makes you look petty and pathetic. Not to mention it gives Black Men and other races of people the ammunition they need to hate us even more.
  • “Bashing” Black women- I understand that you think you are helping other black women with their problems. But  the majority of the videos directed towards black women from other black women are those that are telling each other how they are failures as women because they can’t get their “shit” together, how we need to stop being mean to black men and how in general it is our fault that nobody wants us. . While Blaming black women for problems not caused by themselves fans from the black male side. For other people to see black women picking on each other gives them not reason to defend us themselves, if people in our own group think we are to blame.This women in the video below does a good job of doing everything I have said makes us look dumb
  • Interracial Dating “Encouragement” or the “See other Races of Men Like Us”- I’ll at admit that I have watched a majority of these videos. They are fun, and they show that black women do have options when it comes to dating. But this I think is the number one reason why black women look “pathetic” A lot of theses videos are meant to encourage BW but at the same time give the giant F-You to BM and anyone else who says we are undesirable. It looks pathetic when these women have to find any type of guy to “love” us when everyone is saying how pathetic we already are. It just makes BW look like they are  gagging to get love from whoever throws it our way. Not to mention there are many more BW on YouTube making these videos then there are of other races (if I’m not mistaken). So it’s even worse. Even the AMBW videos that I have seen there are always more BW supporting this then there are AM.  While I am amazed at the support from both sides in the AMBW camp It seems even doubly desperate when their are black women talking about this more than AM (all thought there are quite a few) Asian Men can afford to be on YouTube, while generally de-sexualized by society they are still MEN who hold relative power. Black women are WOMEN have no such luck.  That means the rules are different and we need to behave accordingly until that changes. “Begging” for love isn’t helping.

If you are not doing these videos feel free to continue. These women might be the ones that are doing makeup tutorials, showing hair tutorials,  generally talking about their lives, or like the awesome series Awkward Black Girl ( I think I linked that on the Links Page) just making comedy.  These women aren’t adding to the hodgepodge of crap that is floating around about BW because they are simply going about their every day life. If you want an outlet make a website, blog, or go on a forum. But Youtube is not the answer. For starters most of the people on Youtube are ignorant fools. That goes for everybody. They are not people who have researched what they are saying,so any “facts” or “responses” are going to be skewed. Not to mention short and unintelligent. Same for  the people who are watching the videos and responding.If you want to have a platform to reach *smart* people go somewhere else, but Youtube is not doing black women any favors.

Re: To : A White Woman talks about black women’s hair Please Shut the FUCK UP!

I just got finished reading the article here www.angryblacklady.com/2010/12/23/a-white-woman-talks-about-black-womens-hair/.  And I have to say that I am frothing at the mouth with anger. I know that this lady means well when she talks about the heartbreaking pressure that us poor black women have to go through to do are hair to make it “GOOD” hair and how much we hate our natural ugly selves. But honestly I’m not impressed and I’m not amused.  I’m angry. This woman states at the beginning of the Article that it’s “none of her business” and yet she doesn’t mind adding to the hodgepodge of shit littering the internet. She doesn’t mind joining the ranks of the white women who feel that black women are a pitiable existence. She doesn’t mind giving an her idiotic thoughts on something she doesn’t know anything about. It’s like me, going over to.. Spain and saying , “I know its none of my business but lets talk about your trade agreements.”  Its simply ridiculous this women thinks that by qualifying what she is saying that it makes it better? News flash! It doesn’t and yes I know that this article is about a year old but it never ceases to amaze me how everyone and I mean EVERYONE in the world has the nerve to talk about the *issues* that black women have when they don’t pertain to them! But where are these same people when we really need help?

Here is a hint, lady. NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT WHAT BLACK WOMEN PUT ON THEIR HEADS. THERE ARE MORE PRESSING ISSUES! SHUT THE FUCK UP!  I don’t know how I can reiterate this any more clearer. For that matter here another hint. BLACK MEN! OPENING YOUR FUCKING GOB ABOUT BLACK WOMEN’S HAIR! NOBODY GIVES A FUCK ABOUT WHAT BLACK WOMEN PUT ON THEIR HEADS. THERE ARE MORE PRESSING ISSUES! Black men , the majority, fucking shave their hair off! The majority of black men don’t have any hair at all. Chris Rock doesn’t even have hair! Who gives a shit that he is pondering what good hair is. Why does a man, A FUCKING BLACK MAN of all people feel the need to discuss black women’s hair and make a documentary. How about he make a documentary about the fact that the black community lets black men run rampant and terrorize black women? Or how about White women write a couple of articles about the chemicals in hair dye that they put in their hair? Or the fact that as much as they say the are *fascinated* by how beautiful “natural black hair* is  they are saying this from the pedestal of beauty that they are sitting on. The same pedestal that they capitalize off of and refuse to move off of? Why don’t they talk about how they help make black women look damn stupid by talking about something  they know nothing about? Your pity is not welcome. It’s not wanted, its not helping. These same women who want to rage against how The MAN is hurting black women are the same  women who are themselves other us. As one commenter, Meitai said

Your article means well. However, it – like the pseudo-documentary Good Hair – positions black attempts at achieving beauty to be particularly effortful, without acknowledging that *all* beauty is effortful. It erases and normalizes the effort that goes into white representations of beauty as well, and pretends that it’s natural.

I could confidently say that 95% of the white Hollywood starlets with full and long hair are wearing extensions or wigs. From Sandra Bullock to Nicole Kidman to the Kardashians to every host on E! to Hef’s girls. Theyre *all* wearing them. Yet, in the documentary, black actresses were asked to pull up their weaves and reveal what was and what was not theirs. The absence of the Nicole Kidmans and Kardashians from the discussion implies that their beauty is more “real” and natural and doesn’t involve long hours in the salon or caustic chemicals.

There was an infamous segment on The View where Barbara Walters grabbed Brandy’s hair and asked her about weaves or wigs. Why did Barbara not grab the hair of any of the scores of other actresses who have sat on the View couch? Because the white actresses’ artificiality is made invisible and normalized.

Again, I know that people mean well when this discussion is brought up. But it always has an undercurrent of “Aw, poor black women, isn’t it too bad that they can’t be as naturally feminine/beautiful/whatever as us. We’re just wash-and-go.” My response to that is – NOT! I see the weave tracks. I know that people spend hours in the salon getting their perms and dye jobs and haircuts.

She is completely right! Every black women who has there hair straightened is automatically labeled by some black men and white women as “hating themselves” because we can’t get their hair the way that white women *of course*  automatically do. “To bad they just don’t look as good as us. Must suck to live like them.” I’m sure they’re thinking. Yes, at one point black women did straighten because it would make them look more “white” but It is possible that maybe black women have “reclaimed’ the ideas behind hair straightening. Funny how that “reclaiming” only works when it’s white women doing “slut walks”

And the black men like Chris Rock who love to open their gobs about black women’s “issues” but are eerily silent on their own love to dissect the every thought of black women concerning hair they don’t have. Ironically in that same crapumentary, one black man, cant remember who it was( Maybe Ice-T) stated proudly that he loved having hair to  run his hands through. And white women and black men wonder why we just hate our hair oh so much?

Here is a piece of advice white women and black men of the U.S. A. Mind your own damn business worry about yourselves. Stop talking about what you think  you know and worry about  how you can collectively stop fucking black women over.  I never thought I’d say this but please, just this once please consider being as apathetic as most white men are on this issue. I’m tired of being picked apart by the press and the “well meaning” “helpers.”

If You Must Choose Sides

I know some of you might be saying after reading my other posts, that it is impossible to walk through life without having to feel the affects of taking sides. So here is my advice to you. If you must choose a side, that is against racism or sexism. I suggest that you always, always *always* take the side of sexism. Gasp, I know black men everywhere and some brainwashed black women are probably calling me a traitor but to be honest it is more likely that gains against sexism will affect you before gains against racism will.” I repeat, It is more likely that gains against sexism will affect you before gains against racism will.

Here is why. NO matter how far black people as a people come, there is still something stopping you, black women, from going so far. Its the glass ceiling and NO it doesn’t *just* affect white women. It affects you too. Look at it this way. Even though there is black man in the oval office and that has helped black people, he is still not a woman so he does NOT care about your issues. Issues that are more closely relate able to gender rather than race. See, If affirmative actions helps black people get a job. That’s great but as a woman you still have to contend with the fact that you will only get so far as a woman you WILL hit the glass ceiling. While a black man someday earn equal pay when racism affects people less but you will still be categorized as a woman. And that will still and truly FUCK YOU OVER.  Not to mention. Black Men are still men! In any race Men, including the great black man, no matter what he tries to convince you, is still capable of screwing you over simply because he is a man. Sexism exists in the black community and until that is heard black women will NOT have a voice. So if you have to choose go with sexism. Because as I have learned from my awesome sister. It is always in the end going to somehow become Men vs. Women. and as women we can’t afford to lose anymore ground. No matter how many  times race comes up, no matter how much black men  fight with white men. Somehow they can both always come together to screw over women.  Finally I just want to leave you with something to think about. When America finally become “post racial” and I don’t think we are there yet but might have chance to be. Gender will always be an issue.

Picking Your Battles: When To Speak Up Against Sexism And Racism

Obviously being a black woman in America (Can’t speak for black women in Europe and Canada) this means that we are supposed to fill many roles. Mother & Father. Sister, Friend, Role Model. Woman who supports feminist issues. Soldier in the black community against racism, diligent worker who is at all times professional & many more. But out of this list soldier stands out the most. Black women have been trained from birth to be a soldier. We are supposed to steadfastly stand behind black men and the racism that they experience at the hands of white men. And we are supposed to be soldiers in the fight for gender equality with white women. (I know other races of women are feminists  but the feminist movement is largely headed by white women.) This puts black women in a tight bind. If they speak against sexism over racism, we are painted as traitors to the black race. In fact, there have been many times I have heard from black male commenters online that black women are the reason that the civil rights movement failed. Because they jumped on the white woman’s bandwagon, therefore supporting a movement that allows men to be men.

On the flip side if you speak up against racism instead of sexism, you are immediately categorized as a traitor to your gender. And when it comes time to discuss how racism and sexism combine white feminists stand back because our problems are relegated to “black issues” which they don’t feel the need to speak up on. Or they don’t see a problem so it doesn’t matter. The same goes for black men. Black me don’t see a problem with the deep rooted sexism in the black community so they don’t care.

This leaves us black women in the worst position. Being slammed from both sides and not having either stick up for you when you really needs it leaves you in a terrible position. Especially with the guilt that comes along with choosing either side.  As a black woman I experienced this exact thing when it was time to vote in the 2008 elections. If you didn’t vote for the 1st black president you were an “uncle tom” and if you didn’t vote for the 1st woman you were supporting the patriarchy.  It gut wrenching to be castigated by both sides for simply being … you

From all of this I have learned something. That in both situations  You only need to speak up for yourself when it directly affects you. Because in most cases what each side is fighting for, as i have stated in my earlier two posts, this rarely affects you. For example, I was helping my mothers friend move her stuff out of her apartment. We were carrying her shelf from her house to her moving van past a black girl and and a black guy when she said, “See they’re eying my stuff. I want my stuff to stay my stuff.” Immediately I thought, “That’s Racist” and I could feel my blood boil at the thought. But then, I thought to myself. Why waste my time is this affecting me. Yes, she just said a bigoted thought, but I don’t have to surround myself with her. Unless you have to directly work with, like at a job for example who cares? Not to mention Black men don’t appreciate it(This is another post) And I let the comment slide.

I’m actually glad I did because when I casually commented on this to my mother about how it was racist my mom actually told me that her friend has said that they always ask her about her stuff. So they actually were “eying it.” Incidentally that same day, her sister said something that was considered sexist.She was talking to her nephew ( my moms friends son) about not getting a girl pregnant because, “Some girls will trick you and lie to get you to pay.” I immediately wanted to scream at this woman “Sexist!” mostly because most teen pregnancy’s have girl show have not much financial or moral support from the child’s father. To support this theory. The nephew responded with a half chuckle, “My life’s not going to change, she’s the one who will be affect the most.” I didn’t say anything here either. For two reasons. Black women are already seen as argumentative. and two if a white women doesn’t think its sexist to the rest of the world there is no leg to stand on. Not to mention as I said before I didn’t have to be around this lady. I could walk away.

And I wasn’t forced to be around her except for in that moment. Later when I left, and I recalled the conversation she had in my head I felt almost a certain relief at not having to respond. I felt free. Not to mention She made herself look stupid all on her own. Her own nephew found it dubious that anyone would do that without me even saying anything at all.  I think that’s what black black women need to first learn. Is that it’s alright not to  respond to every offense thing if its not directly affecting you, just because you have been guilted into it. It’s okay to say NO. It’s okay to shrug it off. It’s okay NOT to be a soldier on duty ALL the time.

However I feel the need to say that if something is directly affecting you in regards to racism or sexism, in a situation you cannot walk way from. I say you need to do your best to either file a complaint or, kindly assert your position or, if possible get as far away from that person as you can.

Walking Away From the “Feminist Community”

This is a hard topic for me to address, because for years I actually fancied myself a feminist before I started to see reason. The reason why I walked away was for two reasons, 1. I didn’t like the direction that feminism to day has gone and 2. I realized no matter what direction feminism goes it won’t go very far. There are too many schisms in feminism too many different perspectives and so far women have let competition with each other for men, and racism and among other things stop the movement from going further. For example, when black women bring up their problems to the feminist community much like in the black community their problems are diverted back to the “more pressing” issues. White women feel they cannot do anything because it’s a black issue or they feel uncomfortable talking about race so it gets swept under the rug. Much like sexism gets swept under the rug with black men.

As a black woman, I can’t say many of the “feminist” causes have actually helped black women rather than hurt them.  Aside from women gaining the right to vote and  somewhat equal pay (which is still unequal because I am black and a woman) I cannot think of anything that has directly affected me. Although there are more indirect benefits to be had in this community rather than the black community. Still,  It wasn’t until a while ago, when I started reading about Slut Walks that I realized how far away I actually was from the feminist community. Here white women are fighting to reclaim the word ‘slut’ when black women have been pushing that away for years. (More on slut walks later)   I realized then. These “rights” are hurting me. I’m not going to do it.  White women (and other groups of women) can handle it themselves.

I have to say that for black women, if you want to successfully live as black women. You need to stop trying to fight the good fight for racism and sexism both groups of people black men and white women have enough man power to fight for things themselves. If they don’t, that is not your problem. You must walk away. If you don’t its like giving both groups (and everyone else) the bullet that’s going to go into your head. Ultimately you have to realize that you are fighting for two groups who are basically stepping on and hurting you  to get to the top whether they realize it or  not.  You must accept that you are on you own. That is truly the first step towards living a healthy and happy life.

Walking Away From The “Black Community”

This is my first post on a new blog. And, as my first post, I want to let you all know where I stand on the “black community”.  The truth is I would advise you to walk away.   Here is why: Quite simply, I  cannot think of anything that has directly affected black women, that wasn’t a trickle down reaction because of the black males rights movement.  Honestly, I can not see what black women have gained from aligning themselves with black men. No, I don’t wan to bash black men. In fact for whatever rights they have gotten for themselves, I applaud them. But I have to say that’s as far as it goes. because I know that as a black women I only have those rights because black men wanted them for themselves. And even at times when they got rights  they didn’t and don’t necessarily affect any of us black women. Case in point, people love to talk about the ending of slavery and how great it was for black people. But when I think about this I have to ask really? Because as I remember when black “people” were free and gained the right to vote black women still could not. Because they were women. For all the fighting during slavery, all the essays by black women like Harriet Ann Jacobs.   Black women still had no rights because as women they couldn’t vote.  Which in its own way is a slavery upon itself, if you are still controlled by black men.

So I would suggest when thinking about whether you want to continue to “fight the good fight” against “the man” and be a “sistah” in the army against racism you remember who you are fighting with and what you are fighting for. Ask yourself if the white man is your biggest enemy at this time? Or is it black men? Or white Women (I write about this in the next post) ? Because from where I’m standing in this moment, the black community doesn’t value the rights of black women  at all. They put more stock in the lives of actual criminals.  It’s practically treason to “snitch” to the police. So black women have to suffer while criminals run rampant in the community. While the men who claim to love their “sistahs” slowly destroy them. I would suggest before jumping on the bandwagon, you ask yourself what black men have done for your individual, black women’s rights? Can’t answer? I didn’t think so.  You don’t have to agree with me. I’m only one woman with one perspective. Bu from where I’m standing  black women haven’t gained anything with the help of black men or the community. It’s time for us to pursue other options. Time to be  one less soldier.