His body isn’t even cold yet and the New York times has already put out a shameful article declaring Nelson Mandela to be an “icon of peaceful resistance”. News outlets around the Western world are hurrying to publish obituaries that celebrate his electoral victory while…
TRIGGER WARNING: misogynoir, violence, harassment, sexual abuse, rape.
@HoodFeminism (which is @Karnythia's and @thewayoftheid's work) hosted a Twitter discussion regarding the stereotype of “fast tailed girls” that Black girls deal with primarily during adolescence, but certainly starts before that for many Black girls and continues well into adulthood (i.e. the Jezebel controlling image). I put many of the tweets shared in this discussion in a Storify: #FastTailedGirls: Examining The Stereotypes and Abuse That Black Girls Face though a few are included above.
"Fast tailed" girls: Black girls stereotyped as “hypersexual” beings and seeking sex whether or not they are sexually active. This stereotype is proliferated in the home (especially by some mothers and older women), within the Black community (i.e church, socially; especially by the Black men who abuse and by some Black male leaders who want this silenced) and amidst society itself (i.e. schools, media; because of racism and White supremacist notions of womanhood). These Black girls are viewed: as “adult” women “asking” for abuse,” as responsible for the abuse that primarily adult Black men inflict on them or coerce them into and often inflict without punishment let alone blame from the Black community (as “protecting” Black men from racism often takes precedence over any other intraracial issue); as providing consent simply by experiencing puberty (or not even experiencing puberty); as automatically heterosexual; as automatically culpable for any street harassment, physical violence, sexual violence or emotional abuse that they experience. A Black girl with confidence who speaks up for herself, wants to express her femininity visually, has a normal interest in boys, gets unwanted attention from adult men, and/or has male friends can easily be labeled as such. This stereotype sits in a binary opposed to “respectable" Black girls while both "types" of Black girls are regularly abused. It is the hatred of Blackness, womanhood and childhood (or rejection of a period of childhood actually existing for Black girls) intersecting in this dangerous stereotype.
Though difficult of course, this conversation was so important and I am grateful to Hood Feminism for their presence, in general, and for this conversation, specifically. It is important to discuss how within and outside of our communities internalizing the hateful messages about Blackness, womanhood and Black womanhood specifically has caused so much harm, much irreversible. What can change is how we think about ourselves as Black women, meaning ending shaming and ending buying into patriarchal binaries about Black girls and Black women while simultaneously protecting abusers. Have open conversations about how patriarchal masculinity is literally killing men, Black men in particular, and how while it is true that they are very much so oppressed via race, as all Black people are, they are also oppressors of Black women. Black women also support this structure when abusers are defended and protected and our truths and experiences are silenced by other Black women and anyone else among Black people; that has to end. Deconstructing and rejecting the way that racism, White supremacy, anti-Blackness and sexism create this stereotype for Black girls, ones that impact them inside and outside of the Black community.
The abuse has to end. The education has to be received. The compassion has to be shared. The unlearning has to commence. The truth has to be spoken, even if at 140 characters at a time. Even if in small groups and in supermarket aisles and schools and churches and anywhere. Black girls deserve better than this. Black women deserve more than the pain of the memories of abuse and the fear that another generation of Black girls will experience the same.
- #FastTailedGirls: Examining The Stereotypes and Abuse That Black Girls Face - this is my Storify mentioned above; includes many tweets (including some of mine) by Black women who spoke out; includes tweets from a trans woman of colour (@HarmonyBabydoll) who added an important dimension to this conversation.
- The Myth of “Fast Black Girls” by @LexiScorsese - inspired this conversation
- Hood Feminism blog
- Misogyny, In General vs. Anti-Black Misogyny (Misogynoir), Specifically
- Black Men and Patriarchy, Intraracial Sexism and Misogynoir (multiple essays listing)
- Abuse Culture: Domestic Violence, Rape, Body Dehumanization and Street Harassment (multiple essays listing)
- Patricia Hill Collins’ books: Black Feminist Thought and Black Sexual Politics speaks to the roots of this stereotype.
- Womanism, Black Feminism and Race In Feminist Discourse (Updated) (multiple essays listing)
Keep learning, growing and healing. ❤
(Please leave content above intact if you reblog. Please take care before adding any comments to this post. It is very serious and very painful for many Black women. Victim blaming and statements supporting rape culture are unwelcome here by people who think they have a “right” to harm us because this conversation occurred publicly. Please be respectful.)
For more commentary
v important post
The Strongest Anti-Racism Ads Of The Last 20 Years
- 1996 Benetton
- 1996 UK
- 1999 campaign via the UK by the Commission for Racial Equality
- 2001 For the National Congress Of American Indians
- 2002 Via the UK for the National Assembly Against Racism
- 2002 Via the UK
- 2002 National Union of Students
- 2003 Red Cross of Finland
- 2004 campaign via the UK
- 2007 A More Perfect Union via the USA
HE’S A DENTIST
So, what’s wrong with the generalization that more sex = liberation? It locates sexual liberation in an experience of white heterosexual femininity. It does not take into the account the different experiences of racialization and sexualization of women, queer and trans people of color. For example, while, straight, middle-class women have been stereotyped as pure, asexual virgins, while women of color have been hypersexualized as exotic, erotic beings (see: Hottentot, harem girl, lotus blossom, fiery Latina, squaw, etc.) For racialized people, adopting a sex-positive attitude does not “liberate” them of such stereotypes, in fact, it fuels them further. In addition, the framework of sex-positivity does not offer a critique of capitalism and the way our sexualities are commodified and exploited, preventing the “free expression” of sex, in the favorite words of sex-positive feminists. Sex-positivity is also ahistorical; it does not take into account the ways attitudes about sex are related to histories of colonialism, especially the colonial imposition of gender and sexual norms. None of this is a particularly new way of thinking by the way, many feminists of color have critiqued sex-positivity for similar reasons.”
Shout-outs to counterstorytelling (aka Mushroom Rage) for this thoughtful, wonderful op-ed that spoke so many truths on so many levels. This article is probably the one where topics of feminism, gender, construct, colonialism, culture, and sexuality all intertwine— not just systemically, but personally as well. (via thephantomcatalyst)
oh god this is so good; so, so, good.
he hits the nail on the head when he says no one would trade lives with him, even though he’s rich, because no matter what position you have in life as a white person, it is always better than existing while Black.
It doesn’t mean every Black person is living miserably, impoverished or destitute just because they’re Black anymore than it means every white person is rich, healthy and happy. It just means being white will always serve you better than it does to be Black in this society, no matter the intersections of oppression you face.
Reposting because TRUTH
Welp! There you have it!
Chris Rock!!! Bigger and Blacker
Dear college aged white kids…
Twerking is really not that hilarious. Please stop trying to twerk as if you are somehow being ironic. The only reason why you consider twerking to be a joke is because you consider black people to be a joke. The subtle racism implied in acting “ghetto” or “ratchet” is…not that subtle.
How to use your white privilege
If the “passing privilege” person is looking at this blog, this is one thing you can do, if you’re up to it.
Reblogging for excellence.
More passing people, and people who recognize white privilege should do this
for the white folk who ask “but what am i supposed to do about all of this”
soooooooosososososo so good.
WHITE PASSING/WHITE PEOPLE PLEASE WATCH THIS IF YOU EVER WERE GONNA WATCH ANYTHING WATCH THIS.
do not come at me with “it must be hard to be gay/queer/lesbian in your culture” because i will come at you with it must be easy for you to say that because it’s accepted and widely used racist tactic of branding whiteness with less being homophobic when in reality i have experienced the same homophobia from white folks. think about it before you go there.