This dominant narrative surrounding the inevitability of female objectification and victimhood is so powerful that it not only defines our concepts of reality but it even sets the parameters for how we think about entirely fictional worlds, even those taking place in the realms of fantasy and science fiction. It’s so normalized that when these elements are critiqued, the knee-jerk response I hear most often is that if these stories did not include the exploitation of women, then the game worlds would feel too “unrealistic” or “not historically accurate”. What does it say about our culture when games routinely bend or break the laws of physics and no one bats an eye? When dragons, ogres and magic are inserted into historically influenced settings without objection. We are perfectly willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to multiple lives, superpowers, health regeneration and the ability to carry dozens of weapons and items in a massive invisible backpack. But somehow the idea of a world without sexual violence and exploitation is deemed too strange and too bizarre to be believable.
When little black girls, especially little black dark skin girls, enter this world it is very clear, the rules are made very aware, who is beautiful, and valued, and who is not. Simply because we are black, simply because we are not white, we are deemed inferior, unintelligent, and ugly.
You would rather paint your white women brown, then dare allow a black woman exist and be deemed as beautiful. It is not our place to be called beautiful unless there is a catch, unless there is an asterisk. “You’re pretty!*”
*for a black girl
You will spend money tanning, but call black women monkeys and ‘dirty’, our hair styles are ghetto, till your magazine has a step by step tutorial on how to achieve the same look, so it’s not ghetto, it’s just ghetto on us. It ‘works’ on you.
We are taught certain rules when we are young, ‘You look so much prettier with straight hair!’ ‘Oh, thank god she light skin,’ ‘Don’t stay out in the sun you’ll look burnt,’ ‘Yeah but that hair isn’t professional-‘
We are taught to hide, to assimilate, to be close to whiteness because whiteness is acceptable and we are not. We get these rules as children. So to grow up, learning and adapting to these rules, and then seeing white people praised for stealing our culture, our dress,
if a photo of us dressed like that appeared on the news, people would say any injustice we faced, was deserved, ‘look at them, dressed like that.’
But you can wear it, freely, without judgement, without risk. No one would say you deserved to die. No one would give your killer half of a million dollars, as basically a congratulations, a pat on the back, for murdering you.
Just our natural being is a threat to you, we are born villains to you. We possess this great threat, but at the same time, you look down on us, expect us to be stupid, low class, dirty… we are not on your level, you still see us as your servants in your culture, but pretend to be the gods in ours.
It’s confusing. It’s confusing to be a black woman, to be made a joke, and all the punch lines, our hair, skin tone, lips, body… you try to imitate, but it’s not that, it isn’t, it’s our very existence that’s a joke to you. And if you are white, and reading this, and offended,
Fuck you, fuck your whole ancestry line, and fuck your future generations.
top image from here
this!! As a dark skinned black woman I had to learn to love the melanin and African features I was blessed with. Its been a journey. For all the beautiful black babies we love you, YOU ARE STUNNING!!
"All my ex-girlfriends are Asian."
If you’ve ever come across this charming come-on, you’ve probably been exposed to yellow fever
YES, THERE IS NOW A MUCH NEEDED GIF SET FOR THIS!
I removed the word rant from the link, because I felt it dismissive of what she was actually trying to communicate.
Hate. It’s all hate. Because if you can look at the history of women being beaten and battered into silence and second-class citizenship, and still ask if they are at all to blame for the violence visited upon them, there’s nothing else to call that.
There is a tendency to judge the actions of those with the least amount of power the same as those with more power and then ask, “Isn’t that what equality means?” It’s a clever rhetorical evasion of the issue. Equality is the goal, but to pretend that we actually exist as equals right now is to ignore reality. Like it or not, we all carry history with us in our personal interactions. The history of violence against women is one where women’s bodies are a battleground in a struggle for power. Punches, kicks, weapons, and the threat of death have been used to assert dominance and deny women autonomy, at home and out in the rest of the world.
That’s why it’s not a matter of it being wrong for a man to hit a woman because he may be physically stronger than her. It’s not about women being delicate. That line of thinking is standing on the right side of the issue for the wrong reasons. It reinforces patriarchal thinking about a man’s duty being protection.
No, violence against women is a scourge because it establishes a hierarchy of power. It is a means of ensuring submission. It assures the persistence of inequality through terror.
I always think with my heart first and then with my brain. If I want to cry, I cry. I am not afraid of crying. I am not afraid of saying how I am feeling. That is the kind of person I want to be, that is the kind of person I am trying to be.
Today in Solidarity: Incredible Women (and Girls) of Ferguson