When I read on Lipstick Alley that misogynistic rapper, Eminem threatened to slice actress, Vivica A. Fox’s face with a box cutter in retaliation for her comments about rapper, 50 Cents’ buttocks and his sexuality. This doesn’t come as a shock to me since Eminem and 50 Cents are friends. This also shows that Black women are unprotected and can be attacked without impunity by just about anyone. It dawned on me when I read about it and made me think about ways in which Black women can protect themselves and livelihood in this crazy society.
I am aware that Black women aren’t a monolith. Some Black women are teenagers and young adults while others are middle aged or elderly. Some Black women live in the suburbs while others live in Black, residential areas. Some Black women have children while others don’t. Some Black women are working in well paying jobs. Some don’t. There are many Black women who live outside of America and have different historical and cultural roots than Black American women. However, their experiences of being Black and female in a world that hates them is a common experienced shared. Black women are marginalized, stereotyped, denigrated, emotionally, physically and psychologically marked by the racism, sexism and classism of wider society and the colorism, misogyny, sexism and exploitation of mistreatment of their bodies in their own communities. Black women who live in countries predominately populated with Black people also face sexism and exploitation of their bodies. What Black women, who live in Western countries, and live predominately populated Black countries have in common is lack of protection from their male counterparts.
Rapper, Eminem has a history of misogyny against women. His songs from the early 2000s depicted him saying he wanted to rape his mother and kill the mother of his children. And this is the least of his misogynist and violent lyrics towards women in his music. There was even an old, unknown song linked where Eminem viciously put down Black women. This song is called Foolish Pride. Due to his hatred of women especially Black women, he fits right in with other misogynistic, anti Black woman rappers like Lil Wayne, 50 Cents and Dr. Dre because he personifies the same views they hold about women. So it wasn’t really a shock when I heard his disgusting rant towards Vivica Fox. Not one Black male or anyone else came to defend her. Other incidents where Black women are attacked in the media: radio host, Don Imus called a couple of Black female basketball players nappy headed hos, journalist, Roland Martin throwing Black women under the bus on Twitter and blaming them for Birth of a Nation’s flop at the box office, a Japanese scientist, Satoshi Kanazawa made a study that proved the supposed ugliness of Black women and so on. Yet no one came to Black women’s defense when Black women’s humanity and essence was being attacked.
Here is a video of Eminem’s Foolish Pride:
The mistreatment of Black women goes far beyond just verbal attacks in the media. Within Black spaces and residential Black areas, Black women are harshly judged by the color of their skin and texture and length of their hair by many people. If she has light skin and ”good hair”, she is seen as a ”dime piece”, ”fine” or beautiful while a dark skin woman with short hair is seen as ugly. If she isn’t judged for her appearance, then she is judged for what she ”brings to the table”. If she has a job, knows how to cook, educated and has degrees and owns her own place, she is seen as someone suitable to procreate with and be with to advance the needs of a particular Black male in question. If she becomes pregnant, lives off of welfare or lives in the ghetto, she is looked down upon and seen as less. Denigrating Black women goes beyond just her lifestyle decisions. Black women face street harassment while walking home from school and other destinations. If they don’t live in Black residential areas, they are seen as stuck up or bougie. Statistics also show that over sixty percent of Black girls have experienced sexual assault of some kind before turning eighteen. For every Black woman that has been raped, fifteen of them don’t report their rapes. Interpartner domestic violence is the number one killer of Black girls and women between the ages of 15 and 35. Pregnant Black women are eleven times more likely to experience matricide than any other race of women. The majority of these crimes against Black women are committed by Black males since most crimes committed are intra racial. But it shows that Black women have the highest rates of murder, domestic violence and abuse from Black males than women of other races receive from their race of men. Unfortunately, Black women are told to stick it out and support the Black male no matter what much to their own detriment. In fact, this reminds me of a passage I read in Alice Walker’s book, In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens:
”What occurred when June and I brought all this up, however, was nothing short of incredible. There was no response whatsoever to the increased suicide rate among women of color. Instead, we were treated a lecture on the black women’s responsibilities to the black man. I will never forget my sense of horror and betrayal when one of the panelists said to me(and to the rest of that august body of black women gathered there) : ”The responsibility of the black women is to support the black man; whatever he does”.page 317.
What Alice Walker spoke about in the Radcliffe symposium she attended pretty much sums what I concluded. Black women are told to suck it up and be ”strong’ in the face of adversity but they are also told to be loyal to Black males to a default. Yet Black males don’t feel the same urge nor were taught to be loyal to Black women. To the point that they cater to the needs of Black males more than their own needs. Here is another quote from In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens that also clarifies my point:
”It was at the Radcliffe symposium that I saw black women are more loyal to black men than they are to themselves, a dangerous state of affairs that has it’s logical end in self destructive behavior” page 318.
To think Alice Walker wrote about Black women’s misguided sense of loyalty to the Black male back in the 1980s, not much has really changed. I am already seeing the ramifications of Black women valuing anyone and everyone but themselves. Especially when it comes to their relations and interactions with Black men.
Speaking of how outer society treats Black women, Black women go through racism, sexism and classism when interacting with White Americans and other non Blacks. Black women are last hired first hired in hiring practices, have less access to adequate healthcare, education and housing, face obstacles in social scene and dating scene and more stereotyping than others. Yet Black women have to rely on the infrastructure of White hegemony for survival because there isn’t a infrastructure in the Black collective to fall back behind. Unfortunately, Black women’s misguided loyalty towards Black males and the Black collective carries over to mixed and non Black spaces. There are many Black women, who rant on and on about racism and fighting the power and it turns non Blacks off. Why so? Black males aren’t so focused on race and ”fighting da power” and go on with their lives. That is why Black males have a much easier time integrating into society than Black women do. Most of all, many non Black people can see that many Black males do not reciprocate back the time and energy into Black causes, unless they can benefit from it somehow, while Black women are still loyal to the Black male and collective to their own detriment.
There are even incidents where Black girls and women are harmed or targets of racial discrimination and profiling like Sandra Bland’s murder. An acquaintance showed me an article of a White male model, Bryan Christopher Sawyer where he was video taped calling a Black woman ”inferior” and ”belongs in a cage” as she walked down the street. Fortunately, there was a Black male that came up and expressed his discontent over this man calling the Black woman all of these racial slurs. Sawyer was banned from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the school he attends, for his behavior. Unfortunately, incidents like this are becoming more common as racism becomes more entrenched in society.
Here is the video:
What can Black women do to protect themselves?
I believe it starts in small steps. Black women should stop watching shows, movies and commercials that show Black women in degrading stereotypes. Stop supporting rappers and entertainers who bash Black women in their work. I also suggest being cautious of the books one reads because reading certain books can have a detrimental effect on one’s psyche. I suggest starting with the mind because once the mind is pure and serene, one doesn’t have to really worry about or think about the negative. I also suggest leaving dangerous areas that put your livelihood at rest and leaving toxic family members and acquaintances behind.
What I highly suggest is getting a license to own a gun. Getting a license to own a gun and taking lessons in shooting is beneficial because one needs a gun to protect themselves in this day and age. Having a gun as a weapon to protect against robbers and other criminals from invading your home and space is a good idea. I don’t think having a gun solves all of the problems that Black women face when it comes to safety but being armed does solve some of these problems.
Ultimately, I believe that it is open season on Black women in America. Socially, politically and economically, Black women are at risk. It is best to protect our minds, hearts and interests while we are still in this country.