12.18.2013

It's because black women are just that: black

So I enjoyed the intersectional conversation we recently had that I wanted to push the dialogue a little further.  First, let me share something I posted At the Bar a while back.  From Wikipedia:
White is the color of fresh milk and snow.[1][2] It is the color produced by the reflection, transmission or emission of all wavelengths of visible light, without absorption.[3]

As a symbol, white is the opposite of black, and often represents light in contrast with darkness. According to surveys in Europe and the United States, white is the color most often associated with innocence, perfection, the good, honesty, cleanliness, the beginning, the new, neutrality, lightness, and exactitude.[4]

Black is the color of coal, ebony, and of outer space. It is the darkest color, the result of the absence of or complete absorption of light. It is the opposite of white and often represents darkness in contrast with light.[1]

Black was one of the first colors used by artists in neolithic cave paintings. In the Roman Empire, it became the color of mourning, and over the centuries it was frequently associated with death, evil, witches and magic. In the 14th century, it began to be worn by royalty, the clergy, judges and government officials in much of Europe. It became the color worn by English romantic poets, businessmen and statesmen in the 19th century, and a high fashion color in the 20th century.

In the Western World today, it is the color most commonly associated with mourning, the end, secrets, magic, power, violence, evil, and elegance.[2]
So for starters...there's that.

Torpedoing Submission

As a "sistah" who walks among both African and African-American sistahs, I've noticed that there are more than a few submissive black women in the world today.  We don't like to talk about them; they're the eager-to-please, pays-all-his-bills, puts-up-with-every-kind-of-bullshit sistahs...yet they're never, ever mentioned in Western society.

While driving to work recently, I was jamming to LeToya Luckett's "She Ain't Got". For those of you who are unfamiliar, it's a song of a woman entreating her man to stay with her, because his "other woman" isn't up to par.



The same parts of the lyrics catch my attention every time.
Now ain't nobody perfect but I've (given everything)
Even past the fact that you lied (look what you did to me)
And lonely nights at home when I cried
Baby I cried, baby I tried

...Does she kiss like me, (no)
Care for your kids like me, (no)
Keep a secret like me, (no)
Does she cook, (no), clean, (no)
Do all the things?
Can you take her home to momma? (no)
Deal witcha baby momma?
(no)
Does she fight like me?
Stay fly like me?
Down to ride like me?
No, cuz she ain't me
I love, love, love this song (and LeToya), but I've always wondered about some of these lyrics.

This isn't new in black music, of course; it's by no means recent nor an attempt of black women to "soften" ourselves. If you go back far enough, the long-suffering, submissive-but-we-just-never-used-that-word black woman was the very flesh and blood of jazz, blues, and soul.



There are black women in unwanted polygamous relationships (in America) even as we speak, bowing and scraping and paying to give their man whatever he wants to keep him happy and coming back. There are hordes of them (we really don't like to talk about them).  In fact there are so many I'm surprised more men with the docile/submissive/coddling fetish aren't lining up to snatch up these women.  They don't need no green card, y'all already speak the same language, they're willing to pay yo' bills...I mean, if I were some dickless excuse for a man, wouldn't this be, like, the Holy Grail of the Submissive Female Fantasy?

Fascination and Fixation

Some of the fetishists talked about how "different" Asian women's bodies are, and how they were fascinated with their hair, blah blah blah.  Let's be honest. No body - be it male or female - is nearly as analyzed, fetishized, demonized, and overall simply obsessed over as the Black Body.

Black hair, skin, and body shapes bring out the straight-up crazy in people.



People make beelines across rooms and busy streets to touch our hair, to comment on our lips, our skin tones, our backsides.  Black women have damn near created a martial art form to dodge people sticking their fingers in our hair.  Our bodies come up in the most random conversations, at the most random times, often from the people you'd least expect.  And it's never appropriate.  Everyone - men, women, everyone - feels entitled to say something, to touch something, and they become utterly furious when they're denied their "right".

My point?

I'm not condoning the Submission Fantasy nor the exploitation of my fellow women.  I'm simply showing another aspect of how black women "don't qualify" for something when some among us clearly do.  This is just one of those aspects we don't think about, and thus don't talk about.

There are any number of behavioral, sociocultural, and religious reasons some men will list for not wanting to date black women in general, but it all comes back to one thing: we're black.  A word which carries the darkest, heaviest, most negative connotation in the Western World.  It's mere utterance triggers immediate tumultuous feedback.  Add in the black element to anything and watch the tantrums fly.

This is why, in the "They're All So Beautiful" post, I was so intrigued by the lovely, oh-so-meticulously coiffed black woman in the first video.  She was willing to gain weight, lose weight - do whatever her man asked so long as he didn't ask her to change her race.

Wow.

Sistahs, do yourselves a favor.  The next time you're out with the guy you're talking to and he starts talking some mess about how you're a wonderful person but you're simply the wrong color (but he's refusing to say it like that), calmly probe until you make him say it.  Let him hear himself utter the words aloud.  And if he doesn't, then you say it.

Psychologists report that words said aloud have a far greater impact on the human subconscious than when they're left unsaid.  We all want to be honest with one another?  Fine.  Sure.  Then let's be honest with ourselves as well - all of us.  The next time I'm rejected for my color, I want me and Whoever He Is to part ways with the clear-cut understanding of why things ended.  Say it loud, say it proud; if you can make major life decisions (marriage, breeding, etc.) on these beliefs, you should be able to say them aloud.

...'Cause Lord knows they're not refraining from saying it simply to protect our feelings.  They're saying it to protect how they view themselves.

15 comments:

  1. "the long-suffering, submissive-but-we-just-never-used-that-word black woman "
    I should've read this before I commented back over there, lol.

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  2. 1) Excellent post. But don't forget, the following is also posted on Wikipedia about the color white:

    "White is the color associated with ghosts and phantoms. In the past the dead were traditionally buried in a white shroud. Ghosts are said to be the spirits of the dead who, for various reasons, are unable to rest or enter heaven, and so walk the earth in their white shrouds. White is also connected with the paleness of death. A common expression in English is 'pale as a ghost'... Seeing a white horse in a dream is said to be presentiment of death."

    I could go on.

    2) I completely agree with your underlying point how women everywhere, especially women of color, need to value themselves and the various components of their self-identities (ethnicity, religion, education, sexual orientation, etc). This cannot be said often enough!

    3) Which makes me wonder about these "...more than a few submissive black women in the world today." Since so many boys (let's be real, these are not men) cite submissiveness as a desirable quality, are the "eager-to-please, pays-all-his-bills, puts-up-with-every-kind-of-bullshit" sistahs doing so just to prove they are equally desirable?

    4) In regards to the sistah in the first video of the "They're All So Beautiful" series (see 2:58-3:19), I actually found her full quote and its context to be more disturbing.

    "Could you have told me I was like, fat? 'Cuz I can get skinny. If you tell me I'm too skinny, I can eat some stuff. But can you not tell me to change my race? I CAN DO ANYTHING ELSE but that." (caps used for emphasis)

    I interpreted that as a beautiful and educated woman, who for some inexplicable reason, is willing to change her appearance to please a potential mate. Since shedding/gaining weight is much easier (and actually plausible) than changing your race, she can't do it. Not because she wouldn't, as doing so might undermine her sense of self and/or her pride. She won't do it because it's just not possible.

    And that's unacceptable. No woman should even think about thinking of going along with a boy's warped ideas of an ideal relationship.

    5) "The next time I'm rejected for my color, I want me and Whoever He Is to part ways with the clear-cut understanding of why things ended. Say it loud, say it proud; if you can make major life decisions (marriage, breeding, etc.) on these beliefs, you should be able to say them aloud."

    Let the Church say "Amen".

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    Replies
    1. But don't forget, the following is also posted on Wikipedia about the color white

      Notice however, this information is deliberately absent from opening paragraph. The introduction is what makes the impact and sets the tone. This way, no matter what negative qualities are associated with white, it doesn't matter because the opening paragraphs have established it as being innately "good". Same thing for black; it doesn't matter whatever positive information follows; the opening paragraph has firmly established it as negative color.

      In regards to the sistah in the first video of the "They're All So Beautiful" series (see 2:58-3:19), I actually found her full quote and its context to be more disturbing.

      The reason I keep bringing her scene up, is just that - it's disturbing. It's so disturbing. I've watched that scene countless times and have been utterly horrified every time.

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    2. Thank you! I'm glad that I'm not alone in picking up on those negative vibes.

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  3. Its amazing how people will go crazy over the color Black. If you gave a parent a pick between marrying a non Black serial killer and a lawful Black person, they would pick out the serial killer. It was said that Howard Hughes was paranoid about the color Black to the point where he was scared of Black people.. C'mon now!
    I look at the requirements of parents want for their kids to have. In some case they don't bother to learn about people, they let skin color do the talking.

    In many cultures and among other people, when it comes to the qualifications of the kind of spouses they want race/skin tone tops the list.They don't bother to learn about them as people.. they have right skin tone therefore they see them as good people. Even if it not about finding spouses,some people don't bat eye to it. If a White/lighter skin person were to pass them by and not utter a word to them, they would still be honorable to them because of the color of their skin. Unfortunately,for some people they don't use common sense when it comes to looking for good people.

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  4. Well, if we want to get really, really really real about the topic of black women doing above and beyond for a raggedy man... then we need to talk about which men are taking every single thing from those women and giving them nothing but heartbreak, bad credit, STDs and illegitimate children in return. Because the men who are doing that are the ones howling long and loud that black women are bossy golddiggers who will never be satisfied. Those men are the ones telling all the men in the world that black women are untouchable. They are the ones making sure to smear poop on black women's image at every single turn. They know that only black women tolerate that foolishness. Only black women bend over backwards for a worthless man. And they don't want the rest of the world's men to know that, because then there would be a lot more competition for these women.

    We already know which men are the ones doing the most to hold us down... and as much as we bitch about white-washed Asian guys... the men who are doing us the most harm are NOT Asian.

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    Replies
    1. Well, if we want to get really, really really real about the topic of black women doing above and beyond for a raggedy man... then we need to talk about which men are taking every single thing from those women and giving them nothing but heartbreak, bad credit, STDs and illegitimate children in return.

      You're killing me right now.

      Only black women bend over backwards for a worthless man. And they don't want the rest of the world's men to know that, because then there would be a lot more competition for these women.

      Ding ding ding ding!!!!

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    2. Hallelujah! Praise you!

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    3. I couldn't have said it better. I have heard too many instances where black women-not only in my generation, but my mother's and grandmother's generations-put up with so much shit that I have a hard time believing it, yet know it's true. Cheated on, abused, man drunk, gambled up all the money, gave them STDs, and the list of mistreatment goes on and on. But the story almost always ends the same: she stuck with and takes care of that sorry man.

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  5. I also had another thing to express. I know that everytime that I write a secondary post, it's off the subject. Unfortunately this one is no different, but it was just reading an article on Gulfnews online paper concerning African/Black people getting cabs. I guess if I ever move to Dubai, they won't accept my fare because of my Blackness. It sound all too familiar..as Black people are wronged here. So if a White Peron did that will they stop taking money from them?

    I don't know if anti racist laws exist there,but whether or not it does, the laws should apply to everybody not just one group of people. (Source:Gulf news.com),but as you said Black is a powerful color!

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  6. "Black is the color of ... outer space."

    Smack me twice. It's a sign..........
    The future is coming.

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  7. The concept of whiteness and blackness as a dichotomy is really problematic in a society where soooo many of us are mixed-race. That's why the One Drop Rule had to be instituted. Huge numbers of white men preferred black women over white women, and the resulting children posed a threat to white supremacy. The rule was created to force this polar opposites framework onto a reality that just doesn't match that binary.

    As a mixed race person, I've had to navigate the fallout from this insane categorization of humanity into Black or White since I was a little kid. Like a lot of dysfunction created by Whites but then adopted wholesale by Blacks, Black people are the strongest proponents of this insane system. They are the quickest ones to police the racial identity of other people, trying to force them into compliance.

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