This is the second response that was fairly long so I put it in a post my reply is in black.
Submitted on 2012/11/28 at 1:47 pm
I guess my biggest issue with some of your points is generalizing how Black men approach the issue. Most of the “enlightened and educated” (I use that term lightly lol) Black leaders, like Shapton, Jackson, Smiley, West, Zelous, who I’ve come across in the media promote gender equality and support feminist. Dr Marc Lamont Hill even considers himself a feminist.
Now, I agree that that may be a small sample out of the bulk of our community. Let’s get real, most of our community is ignorant, asleep, dormant. That is why we have little boys out there calling females bitches, hos, and tricks. Many men in our community see black women as foot stools, pussy, and in a since as their personal slaves. Those are the ignorant Black men in our community.
But, as many ignorant Black men, there are ignorant Black women. They, as well as the men, do not care about any forms of gender equality. They are willing to be defined by whats between their legs rather than whats in their heads. And… they will put a Black man down just as quick as a Black man will put them down.
So what I am saying is that yes, there are those who certainly do not care about gender equality, female and male. And yes, there are men who accept and champion their priviledge over women. But they are IGNORANT. And that is why I think it is not our duty as women to not go off on our own, but to educate our sons, brothers, sisters, and daughters, on the parrels of being a Black woman in society.
Now, you are a Black feminist, so you have a persepctive on the issues that is unique. Like woman like Angela Davis you understand sexism like you do racism. And of course, white feminist, nor Black race activist, do not understand the struggle like you do. I see it as more progressive for you to champion Black womans rights, within the catagory of Black rights. I just don’t think they are seperate from eachother. They’re of the same cloth, yet they take aim at the issue from different vantage points. Using Davis as an example again, I think it is powerful that she is a Black feminist activist, yet the second she is confronted by an issue that all Black people have in common, that becomes her fight as well. She even wrote a powerful book on the prison industrial complex, an issue largely faced by Black men.
I think we should fight the battles that God has put in our heart. For me, my heart is Black mass-incarceration, economic development, and education. Yet when I see a Black feminist educating our people on Black woman, I won’t hesitate to join with her to do so. Because we are more powerful together. And I’m not letting Black men off the hook, because I expect when Black women are being mistreated, any Black man who understands race issues should rise to our defense, and fight with us. Same with Black Gay activist, Black childrens activist….ect. Fight the fight the way God showed you to fight it, but don’t hesitate to jump in the ring when you find that you are fighting the same oppressor over the same issues
So I’m assuming you didn’t read the intersectionality links I posted?
First, I’d like to address which oppressor are we talking about? White Men? Because if we’re going to talk about oppressors of black women we also have to include black men and white women who enjoy and benefit from the system in place. (Again like I said in the post neither group has a problem with racial privilege or gender privilege when they use it against other people ONLY when it is used by white men to keep them in second place.)
“I see it as more progressive for you to champion Black womans rights, within the catagory of Black rights. I just don’t think they are seperate from eachother. They’re of the same cloth, yet they take aim at the issue from different vantage points. “
They are not the same issue and I don’t see how they can be because the hope of women’s rights and civil rights contradict each other. Black men can’t keep rights without patriarchy and white women feminists can’t keep rights without racism. Black feminism would be trying to choose which limb is more important. You’re NOT going to win and to get rid of either one is detrimental. They wouldn’t be separate if either side worked together but alas that can never be.
Second. I am NOT a black feminist! LOL. In fact that couldn’t be farther from what I am. Not only do I have moral issues with the feminist community ( they do things I just can’t cosign) but again the idea of being a black civil rights activist and feminist are a paradox. Because they both can’t coexist. Simply because they both are benefiting the oppression of the other side. Black men from gender oppression white feminists from racial oppression. I’m am a black women who used to think that equality would come if we black women only just helped white feminist and black men get the equality they so craved. Until I realized that the system was only to benefit the privileged first.
Third, Why do you feel the need to defend black men? Or more specifically why do you feel the need to call me out for “generalizing” black men? Yes I know that there are black men that are black feminists. (At least I don’t think I said “all black men “anything) Though I’m honestly a little bewildered that Sharpton was cited as a black feminist seeing as how he has defended violent rapists of black women. For all of the “good black men who support feminists”, the majority (at least 51%) of black men not only DON’T give a damn about black women being abused and treated like crap in the media ( See DL Hughley’s recent insults to black women who are paying his bills) and outside of the media (See black men’s responses to lil reese stomping on his child’s mother video and russel simmons subsequent non caring response.) They CANT give a damn and stay privileged. (Again intersectionality coming into play.)
The *few* black men who care are just NOT ENOUGH to overturn a system that too many people are enjoying. Further, what makes you think that these black men appreciate what you are doing? From the temperature in the black community, black men have largely abandoned defending black women (except the few) and for all of black women’s defense of black men and fighting the good fight, black men have now labeled black women as hard unfeminine, and ugly. Pretty much a slap in the face for the black women who stupidly stood behind them. Because when it came down to it black men wanted “feminine women” I hear no collective thank you’s to the black women around from the larger majority of black men. There is an overwhelming silence from the “Good black men” who okay and laud violence, abuse and mal treatment of the black women who are *supposed* to be their “sisters”. (Uppercutting busdriver anyone?) The only time I hear black men say they need black women is when they need to “fight” white men ( and it is always ONLY white men never white women who can be racist pricks because white women are oppressed just like black men) and then when they have their power, use it to hurt black women further. For instance black men gained the power to date and mate with whoever they want. Which is great. BUT now it has turned into a “Black women can never live up to white women’s beauty and femininity.”
In truth, in this patriarchal society Black Women cannot save a race of people. Women in general don’t have the power to save the race. And there aren’t enough black men (or even women who care anyways) Hell you just said most black people are asleep.
It is not my DUTY to educate anyone. It is my duty to be the person GOD wants me to be. It is my duty to live my life correctly, and it is my duty to do my best. It is not my duty to educate misguided or non caring black people on how to be better black people. Simply put, even if I wanted to I don’t have the strength. And it isn’t fair or right, or just, to pressure black women to sacrifice for something no one else will sacrifice for.
I was not put on this earth to defend black men or coddle them. If black men want to pull themselves out of the “gutter”( I put this in quotes because black men DO have power in some ways) great! I say that’s great, but I, who have less power than them cannot collectively pull all the bedraggled, rabble rousing, ragtag black people together for some sort of revolution. This is how black women become unhappy unfeminine mules. And I guarantee that black men are NOT doing the same. And honestly who would expect them to? There is a difference between helping and Jihading. I am not going to Jihad.
Finally I used to think like you. That black people could come together and feminists of all races could come together and everything would be A okay and we’ll all sing kumbaya once the Evil white man and his oppressive ways were shut down. I used to think that once Black men got the justice they “deserved” all blacks would be better off because it would trickle down. And that once white women finally shut down the patriarchy we would all live in harmony. Until it hit me. This can never be. Both groups ENJOY what power they have. And sometimes you can be defending the “little guy” and when they finally get power they use it to harm you. My sister has a saying that I think is accurate and appropriate in this case: Geeks are just popular people who haven’t yet had the opportunity to screw you over” in this case it would be “civil rights activists and feminists are just people who don’t have the full opportunity to oppress.” Not to mention the trickle down idea that has been peddled to black women has not worked in larger society. (See the trickledown theory in economics. Where they richer people’s money spreads down. What happened is 1% holds all of the money while 99% of people have nothing.) Why should I as a black woman accept a trickle when I can have the whole bottle of water?
Last, it is my strong belief that black women can live happy politically neutral lives without having to be the messengers of black men/feminists. Again their movements have always moved without black women who largely were just a body count. And again they never returned the favor anyway.. (See feminists response to Ashley Judd calling hip hop sexist or black men’s response to any issue black women have.) Black women can live their lives pursue education, opportunities, religion, marriage, children, WITHOUT having to sell themselves for that dogma or lose their femininity. And I challenge you to show me one black man in power who has helped black women’s rights specifically for black women and NOT because it benefited black men first. I don’t think it’s possible.
I agree that we need to fight the battles in our hearts. And I enjoyed some of the posts at your blog.
http://www.whataboutourdaughters.com/ you might like this site.