Why are we still talking about slavery and racism? It’s over and done with right? Wrong!
Why must I (a black woman) work twice as hard as anyone else in this world just so that I can receive half of what they have? Why must I teach young girls and women of color in general how to not look like a potential victim of rape? Why do we shame the single mother, who might have to strip to take care of her children and home, but not equally shame the babies’ fathers’ who abandoned these women? Why do so many whites not realize that they actually have white privilege by just being born into this world being white? These questions can be answered with just one word: Slavery.
Being a black person in today’s post-slavery time is not something that is easily done. Black people, as a whole, are constantly oppressed solely on the bases of their skin complexion. However, it does seem as if the black man has a patriarchal advantage over the black woman. Black women have two strikes against them from the beginning: being a woman, but also being black. It seems that black women are on the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to education, politics, and relationships. Traced all the way back to slavery, black women have been notoriously raped and overly sexualized which dehumanizes the black woman and strips away her womanhood. This same stigma and negative connotation that is assigned to being a black woman is still visibly present in today's society. The black woman’s body has never truly belonged to herself and I believe that no matter how much we try to take back our bodies, someone will always believed that they are entitled to our bodies. This included all bodies of all women.
A black woman with a bachelor’s degree is not guaranteed that she will get the job over a black man with a high school diploma. In an article by Caudine Gay and Katherine Tate titled “Doubly Bound,” they talk about about how black men feel as if black women should identify more with them as far as being black goes, as opposed to them identifying with other women of different races. This is because most women are oppressed racially than based on their gender. What they fail to realize is that yes, black women are racialized by other races, which they believe should ignite a black solidarity, but being solid in race does not mean that there will be equal and fair treatment according to one’s gender. How can black women stand beside black men in solidarity knowing that they are working just as hard as the black man, but not getting equal pay or equal rights as them. The sad part is that black men are showing sexism towards black women. The same oppression that black women are getting from outside of their race, black men are doing it to them as well.
We live in a society that likes to victim blame, especially when it comes to rape. Society will have you teaching your daughters, sisters, and friends that they have to be fully dressed all of the time so that some narcissistic asshole, with a sense of entitlement, will not have the desire to rape them! It is so much easier to raise our boys into men that respect women and teach them not to rape, than it is to limit the freedoms of each and every woman.
It seems that women are only praised and worshiped for their bodies as long as they are showing or using it for the glorification of men. Women get bashed for stripping so that they can take care of themselves and their families. Why is this? Women, especially black women, do not own their bodies. Stripping is socially viewed as degrading and that women who participate in stripping have no class or self worth. Why can’t strippers have the highest self-confidence? I guess they are not “suppose” to love their bodies and themselves. They would rather make $500 a night versus working 12 hours a day for a measly $7.25 an hour. I definitely would rather strip and provide for myself than work at that awful FedEx.
If a mother left and abandoned her child society would chew her up and spit her out. The father can do the exact same thing with less repercussions. Like how messed up is this? We really do live in a patriarchal society. Women have to be the backbones of these families, yet if the way they go about being that backbone and support system is not deemed “moral” or “righteous” enough, then they are now in the wrong and not fit to be these mothers or vital members of our society. So much pressure is put on the black women to provide by all means necessary, but can she actually do that without everyone judging her and bringing her down? Where is the support? Why can’t we just support everyone? I feel as if this can not happen because women, especially black women, are in such competition with each other. I want black solidarity among us, but as far as seeing it in my lifetime, i do not believe that it is going to happen. I’m not too sure it ever will.
I often listen to my fellow classmates, who happen to be white, and they talk about how they do not understand why black people won’t just get up and do what they need to do to become successful. They say this like blacks and whites are granted the same equal opportunities to thrive in our society. Like how many whites are being shot by the police for being white? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Being born white is a privilege that most white people do not know they possess. Since the times of slavery, the white male has always been on top and not much has changed today.
It is very sad to say, but I feel as if we are about to enter another race war, because of the devaluing of black lives. Black lives have never meant as much as white lives. I do not even believe that we(black people) have ever truly been free. When will we?
I am just praying for the day we will be judged by the contents of our hearts and our skin complexion. Until that day comes, “If you’re a man, nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality, justice, or anything: YOU MUST TAKE IT!”