Sunday, February 22, 2009
Are Black Women ready to join hands?
I have been thinking about the relationship black women have with each other a lot lately and how it impacts our working together to pull ourselves out from a deep hole. I was a naive one to believe that black women were and are invested in having open and honest discussions with each other about our current crisis as black women and I am talking particularly about the 'intellectuals' and well versed among us. I thought that at least I could count on black women being upfront with each other and not hiding critical knowledge. I used to think that those who prided themselves as being intellectuals would be too conflicted internally at the idea of employing intellectual dishonesty in conversation with fellow sisters and would not put forward arguments they didnt believe deep down.
I used to think that the vigorous defences many of these black women mount on behalf of black men are real and because they are convinced. I have discovered however that many are doing so without conviction and with huge doubts about the men they are defending and asking fellow black women to go on trusting and holding out for. Some argue this way knowing of more evidence to suggest an even more dire situation than is presently understood, and many are indeed sitting on information and analysis and insight that could be useful in 'liberating' their fellow black women!
The level of dishonesty was illuminated for me when a woman I knew to be a proponent of 'black unity' and equally a vigorous black male defender, was having a crisis of faith. She talked about how she had always stuck up for black men and she was now seeing that rather than return the favour, they were so deeply selfish and self serving. She more or less admitted that she did what she thought she needed to do for brothers. I shook my head because it had all been a 'routine' for her. In her zeal to serve black men she had lost sight of the critical fact that many black women would have been lulled into complacency by her actions.
But then I guess this undescores how that black women get their 'sisterhood' from the relationship they have with black men quite unlike white women who define 'sisterhood' through their relationship with other women.
Her whole dilemma by the way, reminds me of that Mary J Blige song 'Not Gon Cry' where she sings, 'All the time that I was loving you, you were busy loving yourself'. Its a real deep song that spells out perfectly the one way relationship black women have been having with black men.
Anyway I was taken aback at this revelation because I always believed her to be speaking from a place of conviction when defending black men. I guess I was in a way projecting on her, the ethics that I abide by, and the fact that I alway bother to give a damn and to be genuine with fellow black woman. I never present an argument that I dont believe in or one that I have deep doubts about. That to me is deceitful. But I am learning, that for many black women 'playing dutiful black woman' and 'defending black men', takes precedence over all sorts of critical things and even the truth and what they know to be right and comonsense.
One key reason why many black women are in utter confusion at this point; not knowing what to believe and what to do, is because they have made a practice of overriding internal honesty particu;arly in service of black men. Not just that, this black woman thought that this 'dishonest defence' was appropraite among her fellow women; not white people or outsiders but among black women who she should have been able to drop the mask with (once again underscoring that many black women have more loyalty towards men than women).
And then she realised that this was not a fair deal.
It reminds me of plea bargins people accept when they see they have been duped. Before then, most refuse to be moral and honest or consider the victims and those who have suffered as a result of the actions of the persons they are trying to protect!
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Posted by Halima at 2:11 pm