There’s something wrong with men. Black men included.
It is been said that black women are the most marginalized people in the US. This may be true. They are expected to support “their” men no matter what the cause, as oppressed minorities, but must also deal with oppression from those oppressed men. It is particularly hard for white women to help out, because of white racism in some cases, and hesitation on the part of some black women who support their men over the cause of all women.
Facebook may not be the place a professor would send you to do PhD level research, but it is an irreplaceable source of information about what everyday people of all races and sexes and religions and ages think. Browsing through Facebook, I’ve seen every side of the Black Lives Matter issue, including the often silenced side of black radical feminists.
Black women are between a rock and a hard place. They are plagued by a mandate to support black men and an urge to support black female victims of male violence…including black male violence.
To further complicate things, many of those black men are their sons, brothers, and nephews and friends. It is notoriously hard for many women to choose between condemning their abusers and forgiving and loving them. The trauma that white oppression heaps upon the black community compounds this and makes it even more strong, and adds a different dimension to the oppression, since black man oppresses black woman, white man oppresses black woman, white man oppresses black man, and white man oppresses them both.
A black woman who is slapped by her husband may be torn between condemning him for abusing her and supporting him when he is unfairly beaten by police. Although the unnecessary beating and shooting of black men by white police is unacceptable, I would not be surprised if some black men try to leverage this to get surefire sympathy and support from black women. (I would also not be surprised to find white men trying to leverage black female romantic attraction by comparing themselves positively with black men).
If black women criticize any of the young black men arrested or shot by police, no matter what they have done, the women are accused of turning their back on the movement, on their whole race. Being the Atlas of the black community, the black female is put upon to stay loyal to and take care of everybody besides herself, even though half of all blacks are women and one could make the case that the men are the ones tearing the race apart by being abusive, as with white men and women. Since blacks are, additionally, in a sinking ship because of racism, the urgency level is upped and black women have an even heavier weight on their backs than white women.
Black women have to live with and put up with black men, and when they see these men in the newspaper, lauded by thousands of young protesters, they have to hold their tongues.
Imagine what a mindfuck it is for a black woman, who is raped by a black man, to turn on the television and see him praised as a hero and a victim by millions of people nationwide and worldwide, because he was shot by a police officer — regardless of the circumstances of why he was shot. Imagine how difficult it is for a black woman, who is being beaten by her husband, to try to make the choice between calling the (probably white) police and getting loads of scorn from both her husband and her community, and, on the other hand, failing to protect herself and her children yet again.
From what I’ve seen online, black women have been complaining about the irresponsibility of black men. Whereas white women are typically trained to be dainty and delicate and subordinate, black women are trained to be strong, self-sufficient, and world wise, which turns off black men, who they say are trained to attract to the dainty and delicate type of woman. If these black men don’t settle down with white “Becky’s,” who they find more “feminine” than black women, they force the black woman to take care of them like a child, blaming their own mothers for babying them and teaching them no better. They blame black women for fantasizing about white actors while they run after white women themselves, sometimes impregnating and ditching them. Black women often wish their men would treat them delicately like white men supposedly treat white women. They feel guilty and embarrassed when white people use these fantasies- and actual interracial marriages- as “proof” that whites are more desirable or that stable black-black relationships can’t work, or that (like women) blacks are “always fighting.” (Notice how similar are the methods of ridicule against blacks and women!)
White women are in a different type of bind. If they close their eyes to the dozens of reports of misogyny in the black community, the gangbangs, rapes, murders, and even the misogyny in the hip-hop community, they risk not standing up for other women, and, by extension, themselves. Turning a blind eye to misogyny, they feel, lets it get worse, so they feel responsible. But if they criticize black men, even if they don’t single out black men, they come across as racist. They are often told by black women that it’s none of their business, even though both black and white women suffer similar oppression from men of all races, which binds the women together.
White women who complain of rape by black man- and who tell of the all too real phenomenon of interracial rape from both white and black men who target women of other races as “punishment”- are deemed hysterical and racist. White women who are raped by black men and develop triggers about them are also deemed racist.
I’ve said before that black and white men bond over misogyny that they come to realize they share. This has proven true in history. Look at Emmett Till, the black teenager who was unjustly and horribly killed down South for whistling at a white woman. If he had not performed an act of, technically, sexual harassment, would so many white men have been willing to support him? Although he in no way deserved death, and although his murderers cared more that he was black than that he was fresh, it does bear mentioning that had he been a black woman raped by a white man, he would never have gotten that same amount of support.
A wider issue is that of cultural relativity. Muslim women and women of other, stricter patriarchal countries than ours are said to be disloyal to their culture and “westernized” when they want to be treated like human beings. White women who stand up for them are called “prejudiced” and all too often feminist groups support the “rights” of the foreign culture rather than the women in that culture, so as not to appear “racist” or “unenlightened” to the New Age truth that is moral relativity. From what I’ve seen, black women too are afraid to go against “their culture” and “their people” and criticize black men and modern black culture, and many black men are holding over the women’s heads that they, the men, are, as blacks, oppressed, and are entitled to a little understanding and leniency, ignoring the fact that black women are also black. One would not be surprised to find that many black men subconsciously welcome racial controversy and strife as a way to deflect from black women’s concerns and as a rallying point with which to cudgel black women into being “unified” (i.e. not questioning them).
I want to encourage black women to connect with white women based on what we have in common, without trying to erase the fact that racism exists in and of itself, in addition to sexism.
Racism and sexism intertwine; the same spirit that caused whites to want to dominate Africans is that of wanting to conquer the “feminine,” that which is supposedly closer to nature, and therefore “inferior” as it is more “primitive.” John Lennon sang a song called “Woman is the N***** of the World,” to teach listeners how women everywhere are treated like blacks are in the west. Blackness and femaleness come together when white slaveowners rape slaves, or in “exotic” porn featuring black women as animalistic temptresses.
I personally believe that, while the race debate and antiracism are important, all too often men- men of all races- use it as a deliberate distraction from an even older, more widespread, more encompassing oppression: sex.
I also believe black women are being unfairly forced to choose between their skin and their ovaries.