News of the singer, Ciara’s engagement to NFL player, Russell Wilson made waves across social media. As much as there were people that were happy about Ciara and Russell Wilson’s engagement, there were many naysayers who believe that Russell Wilson settled for a ”hoe”. Thus the criticism of their engagement is steeped in anti Black woman misogynoir and patriarchal notions of womanhood.
R&B singer, Ciara’s engagement to NFL player, Russell Wilson comes as a surprise to many people because many of them believed that he would never marry Ciara. In the eyes of many, Ciara isn’t worthy of marriage, love and respect due to the fact that she had a child outside of marriage with rapper, Future. Also her dalliances with so called ”thugs” such as rapper, 50 Cents and Bow Wow made many people label her a hoe. Yet her ex fiancee, rapper, Future has four baby mamas and children with these women and he isn’t shamed for his reproductive choices. However what adds to the anguish and anger over Ciara’s engagement to Russell Wilson is the fact that a Black woman doesn’t deserve to be loved, taken care of and cherished in a relationship where the man truly loves her.
What is anti Black woman misogynoir?
Misogynoir is a term that was coined by queer feminist, Moya Bailey in 2010 to describe the intersection of racism and sexism Black women face in society. While all races of women face sexism in society, misogynoir is exclusively experienced by Black women. Misogynoir specifically denigrates Black women’s essence and humanity while uplifting the humanity of the White or other non Black women. Nonetheless, the awareness of misogynoir is growing as more people are speaking out against it on social media.
The criticism of Ciara and Russell Wilson’s engagement is steeped in anti Black woman misogynoir due to the fact that society and the Black collective doesn’t want to see a Black woman happy. Many people in the Black collective, including her ex fiancee, Future, are attacking Ciara for her being courted by Russell Wilson. To them, Ciara doesn’t deserve to be courted by a decent man like Russell Wilson because a Black woman doesn’t deserve to find love and happiness. They hate the fact that Ciara moved on and found happiness with Russell Wilson after she was cheated on and abandoned by her ex fiancee, Future. After all, shouldn’t the Black woman be relegated to struggling, poverty and be exploited by unsavory creatures like Future and the like? Ciara rejected that notion and went where she was celebrated. Thus there are many people seething with anger and jealousy that Ciara left all of that pain and suffering behind to find happiness and love with another man.
What does patriarchal notions of womanhood have to do with this scenario?
Patriarchal notions of womanhood particularly Black womanhood plays a role in this scenario as well. Society promotes the idea that women should be virgins or ”pure” when it comes to dating, mating and marrying a man but a man can have as many sexual partners as he wants and still be treated with respect. Women who are known for having many sexual partners are shamed as whores and promiscuous. It isn’t to say that having many sexual partners is automatically a good thing however there is a double standard between men and women when it comes to sexuality. Hence it promotes the erroneous Madonna/Whore that polices women’s sexuality while letting men off the hook for having as many sexual partners as they want.
The perception of Black womanhood and sexuality is quite limited in wider society. Black womanhood is oftentimes defined by portrayals of the asexual Mammy or oversexed Jezebel in the media. There isn’t much derivations between those depictions when it comes to portraying Black womanhood. Although there are actresses such as Lupita N’Yong’O that are breaking down stereotypical notions of Black womanhood, Black womanhood continues to be seen in such a rigid light. Most of all, Black women have to be twice as good and ”virtuous” to be seen as respectable in society.
In the Black collective, Black women are shamed for every little thing that they do. Nothing a Black woman does is enough for Black male misogynists and the male identified women who coddle and defend them. Black women face policing of her sexuality from wider society and others in her own communities. If she chooses to mate with a unsavory creature and have a child by him, she is castrated and told to ”choose better”. If she chooses to ”choose better” and not mate with unsavory creatures, she is castrated as ”bougie” and ”stuck up”. Black women who are raising outside of wedlock children by themselves are seen as ”destroying the community” and ”emasculating Black boys”. Ironically, Black women, who take control of their reproductive system and choose not to birth children outside of wedlock, are seen as ”selfish” and ”sellouts”. Even if a Black woman is virginal, has no children, is educated, owns her own place and has a well paying job, it doesn’t save her from being castrated and denigrated by many people in the Black collective. All the while, the Black men who impregnate and then dump the women with children are let off the hook for their actions. There are always excuses for everything the Black man does but none for Black women. Hence one of the implications of how patriarchal notions shapes the treatment and perception of Black womanhood in the Black collective.
Ciara has been known to have had dalliances with ”bad boys” like rappers such as 50 Cents and Bow Wow . Her ex fiancee, rapper, Future was cut from the same cloth in terms of the type of men Ciara was attracted to. But it took Future impregnating her , cheating on her with her hair dresser and calling off the engagement to realize that he wasn’t the one for her. Then Russell Wilson came along and she has been happily with him since. However, many people in the Black collective use Ciara’s past relationships to justify why they believe that she isn’t deserving of love and happiness with Russell Wilson. Ciara fits their personification of a ”used up” and ”damaged goods” hoe due to her past dalliances with men and ”choosing wrong”. She is continually put down for having a baby boy, baby Future with Future while Future has three other children with three other women. Future is let off the hook while Ciara is shamed. Ciara’s courtship and eventual engagement to Russell Wilson puts a nail in the coffin to many in the Black collective because it disproved their notion that a Black woman has to be ”a good woman” to be snatched up with a good man. The backlash and anger among many in the Black collective over Ciara’s engagement to Russell Wilson is due to her engagement dispelling the erroneous notion that a woman has to be ”pure” to get a good man.
Ultimately, Ciara’s engagement to Russell Wilson is a good sign that more Black women will choose suitable mates to marry and settle down with. Though I am not a fan of Ciara or her music, I truly believe that her engagement is a sign that things are slowly turning around for Black women when it comes to mating and marriage. Despite the anti Black woman misogynoir and patriarchal notions about Black womanhood, the possibility of a Black woman finding love and happiness wherever she can find it is the ultimate goal.