One of the very entrenched images that will not be given up without a fight is the image of the brash, loud black woman, unfeminine, unattractive.
The whole of western civilisation needs that image to continue for their collective sanity. I see it everyday. If anyone where to shift the portrayal (not sporadic representations of pretty black woman), to the point that the image of brash, unattractive black woman become severely eroded the prescription for Prosac and other calming medication would go up. This image is required to maintain the present way society is set up and run.
Indeed, one of the key reasons for the persistence of this image is the benefits it generates for all other parties, as we have discussed ad nauseum, however the key thing here is that the image ensures that black women are shut out of social and power alliances. You see, in a world where women depend on building alliances to survive and thrive, the very ability to create alliances is being attacked and taken from black women to mire them in disadvantage and to ensure that they never move into a better social situation and hence ‘reserve’ the good of the land for others.
I hear folks say that women should make their own money etc. BULL! We do not yet live in a society were women don’t need alliances and to be linked and connected to make it.
We still need social contact and to be linked in firmly to secure jobs, contracts, relationships, good education etc etc. A deliberate con man's (and women) argument is being sold to black women that they are an island that can live comfortably alone.
A slight detour here, but have you, like I, noticed that black women are often asked to run out in front of everyone else in living by standards and conventions that are light years ahead and thus impratical in societies current configuration. Yes even though these life concepts that black women are being told to run with might be progressive, society is not yet in such a place where living by such standards is practical and does not result in a sever penalties to all those who would dare live so out of tune with the rest of society. Indeed the move to make black women totally self sufficient and able to ‘go it alone’ can be seen by some as the ultimate feminist dream (for white women that is), but we can all observe what damage this has done to the image of black women deemed now a 'mules', 'beasts of burden,' 'masculine', needing no help or respite…who but a sadist would want that kind of life for black women.
In lots of ways black women are being urged to be pathfinders and battering rams to scale walls and beat down iron doors and when they have taken the brunt of it all, others come in after the battles have been hard won, to pick and choose the spoils they want.
Now back to the issue of black women and our image, ask yourself, who would want to build relationships(alliances) with the stereotypical black women, indeed who would want to give a job to the neck rolling, shrill black woman that occupies popular imagination? Not many for sure. It is important to see then why this image of black women is in heavy rotation and heavily guarded so that it does not move off and away from popular imagination. Remember that it is the very ability to create alliances that is being attacked and taken from black women here, so that societies assets and material resources continue to circulate only in specific circles.
Indeed the stereotypical image of black women has such a powerful hold over the general perception as folks can’t even believe, and I have a key example for you to underscore this point.
Now some of you have said that in online dating, you have often been ‘contacted’ by men who have stated in their online profile, that they do not want black women i.e. they want a selection of anything but black replying to their profiles or they want to be matched only to non-black women. So here you are preparing to respond to this nice white or other guy who has ‘winked’ at you and just before you fire off a nice flirty email, you decide to check his profile once more (you casually glanced at it first and it said he was a writer!), anyway you are in for a shock because he has clearly checked for everything but black! So how come he is emailing you, does he not see from your profile that you are black? What kind of disconnected thinking is that?
Many of you have wondered about this totally confusing situation. I mean why would a man who says or who indicates that he doesn’t want a black woman suddenly IM or respond to one. What many of us fail to understand is that the general idea of ‘black woman’ conjures up negative associations in many of these men’s minds, so when these men are filling out the generalised form and come across white, black, asian etc, as soon as black comes up, it taps into the negative associations and images particular those which saturate society.
But guess what, as soon as that classification assumed a personality e.g. Tyra, Oprah, Halle, Gabriella etc or you in your cute photo, suddenly he is no longer thinking stereotypes. Trust me on this one, but if these dating sites changed the system of demographic identification and made it more personalized e.g. instead of asian, white, black, they have asian =Lucy Lui or black = Oprah, you would note the difference before too long. The negative ideas of black women are triggered in all sorts of areas and ways, denying black women opportunity and their humanity. Yes I know we like to believe that people can think for themselves and all that, but the reality is that the average person (the population from whom most of your social interractions will come) has tastes and choices that are easily controlled and dictated. Humanity unfortunately is sheep that can be lead and manipulated and suggested to, and this is what those who control resources play on.
The image of black women is being controlled to sustain an impression that prevents her from moving to a more propitious place socially. This is a feminist issue for black women, not for white women for sure, because anything that would redistribute the resouces accruing to white woman will be avoided and down played and even made a figment of our active imagination.
Those that determine social images will, even in deep sleep, tightly hold the image and idea of black womanhood captive to the most negative stereotypes available!
What to do?
I have always said that I am not even worried about what folk plan for black women, IF ONLY BLACK WOMEN COULD BECOME SELF AWARE!
Black women walking about clueless about what they face and showing even less willingness to figure things out is the key problem. Indeed even if folks are training a nuclear weapon against black women, as long as we know they are, we can strategize against their worst plans.
But instead what do you get? Black women intent on remaining ignorant and preferring to run after dead dreams, work for crumbs or work to buy the affection of the very folk that would use them and in the end be happy to see them destroyed.
Under such a situation, very little can be done on a broader scale to wrest the image of black women from the negativity unless black women become serious and invested in the idea of organizing themselves. Each of us is left with the option of working on an individual basis to create the best impression of ourselves and the image we have in the minds of others.
Get clued up about interracial dating, read the Interracial Dating E-book
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org (I will try my best to give a reply/answer)