Photoshopping does more than alter our sense of body image in terms of weight. It also portrays false ideals of skin pigment.
TRIGGER WARNING: misogynoir, violence, harassment, sexual abuse, rape.
@HoodFeminism (which is @Karnythia's and @thewayoftheid's work) hosted a Twitter discussion regarding the stereotype of “fast tailed girls” that Black girls deal with primarily during adolescence, but certainly starts before that for many Black girls and continues well into adulthood (i.e. the Jezebel controlling image). I put many of the tweets shared in this discussion in a Storify: #FastTailedGirls: Examining The Stereotypes and Abuse That Black Girls Face though a few are included above.
"Fast tailed" girls: Black girls stereotyped as “hypersexual” beings and seeking sex whether or not they are sexually active. This stereotype is proliferated in the home (especially by some mothers and older women), within the Black community (i.e church, socially; especially by the Black men who abuse and by some Black male leaders who want this silenced) and amidst society itself (i.e. schools, media; because of racism and White supremacist notions of womanhood). These Black girls are viewed: as “adult” women “asking” for abuse,” as responsible for the abuse that primarily adult Black men inflict on them or coerce them into and often inflict without punishment let alone blame from the Black community (as “protecting” Black men from racism often takes precedence over any other intraracial issue); as providing consent simply by experiencing puberty (or not even experiencing puberty); as automatically heterosexual; as automatically culpable for any street harassment, physical violence, sexual violence or emotional abuse that they experience. A Black girl with confidence who speaks up for herself, wants to express her femininity visually, has a normal interest in boys, gets unwanted attention from adult men, and/or has male friends can easily be labeled as such. This stereotype sits in a binary opposed to “respectable" Black girls while both "types" of Black girls are regularly abused. It is the hatred of Blackness, womanhood and childhood (or rejection of a period of childhood actually existing for Black girls) intersecting in this dangerous stereotype.
Though difficult of course, this conversation was so important and I am grateful to Hood Feminism for their presence, in general, and for this conversation, specifically. It is important to discuss how within and outside of our communities internalizing the hateful messages about Blackness, womanhood and Black womanhood specifically has caused so much harm, much irreversible. What can change is how we think about ourselves as Black women, meaning ending shaming and ending buying into patriarchal binaries about Black girls and Black women while simultaneously protecting abusers. Have open conversations about how patriarchal masculinity is literally killing men, Black men in particular, and how while it is true that they are very much so oppressed via race, as all Black people are, they are also oppressors of Black women. Black women also support this structure when abusers are defended and protected and our truths and experiences are silenced by other Black women and anyone else among Black people; that has to end. Deconstructing and rejecting the way that racism, White supremacy, anti-Blackness and sexism create this stereotype for Black girls, ones that impact them inside and outside of the Black community.
The abuse has to end. The education has to be received. The compassion has to be shared. The unlearning has to commence. The truth has to be spoken, even if at 140 characters at a time. Even if in small groups and in supermarket aisles and schools and churches and anywhere. Black girls deserve better than this. Black women deserve more than the pain of the memories of abuse and the fear that another generation of Black girls will experience the same.
- #FastTailedGirls: Examining The Stereotypes and Abuse That Black Girls Face - this is my Storify mentioned above; includes many tweets (including some of mine) by Black women who spoke out; includes tweets from a trans woman of colour (@HarmonyBabydoll) who added an important dimension to this conversation.
- The Myth of “Fast Black Girls” by @LexiScorsese - inspired this conversation
- Hood Feminism blog
- Misogyny, In General vs. Anti-Black Misogyny (Misogynoir), Specifically
- Black Men and Patriarchy, Intraracial Sexism and Misogynoir (multiple essays listing)
- Abuse Culture: Domestic Violence, Rape, Body Dehumanization and Street Harassment (multiple essays listing)
- Patricia Hill Collins’ books: Black Feminist Thought and Black Sexual Politics speaks to the roots of this stereotype.
- Womanism, Black Feminism and Race In Feminist Discourse (Updated) (multiple essays listing)
Keep learning, growing and healing. ❤
(Please leave content above intact if you reblog. Please take care before adding any comments to this post. It is very serious and very painful for many Black women. Victim blaming and statements supporting rape culture are unwelcome here by people who think they have a “right” to harm us because this conversation occurred publicly. Please be respectful.)
For more commentary
[I]magine what would happen if, instead of centering our beliefs about heterosexual sex around the idea that the man “penetrates” the woman, we were to say that the woman’s vagina “consumes” the man’s penis. This would create a very different set of connotations, as the woman would become the active initiator and the man would be the passive and receptive party. One can easily see how this could lead to men and masculinity being seen as dependent on, and existing for the benefit of, femaleness and femininity. Similarly, if we thought about the feminine traits of being verbally effusive and emotive not as signs of insecurity or dependence, but as bold acts of self-expression, then the masculine ideal of the “strong and silent” type might suddenly seem timid and insecure by comparison.
Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity (“Putting the Feminine Back into Feminism,” pg 329)
On December 26, 1862, 38 Dakota warriors were hanged until they were dead, under the Presidential Order of Abraham Lincoln. Over 4,000 spectators looked on during this, the largest mass execution in U.S. history- and cheered as the ax swung, cutting the rope that would kill them all. These innocent Dakota men, a few of whom it was said were mentally disabled, bore the full weight of this nation’s wrath, greed, lies, and bloodthirst. Before they were marched out to the scaffold specially constructed to kill them, they prayed together, comforted loved ones, and smoked the canupa. They faced death with honor. Some of them held hands. Their bodies dangled from the scaffold for a half hour before being cut down and taken to a shallow mass grave on a sandbar between Mankato’s main street and the Minnesota River. That night, most of the bodies were dug up and taken to physicians for use as medical cadavers. The Dakota people were then separated. Some were sent to prison in Iowa, or concentration camps like the one at Sisseton, while others escaped to Canada and North Dakota. Women and children were marched to Crow Creek in the freezing cold and snow, some barely clothed- wearing little more than potato sacks. Some managed to stay alive in Minnesota, even though a reward was given to those who brought in Dakota scalps. Many, many died. Months later, Chief Little Crow was murdered, his corpse, mutilated and displayed.
We must not forget them. Say a prayer for the runners and riders who honor them, as well as those conducting ceremonies. Wopida tanka.
Pictured: The names of the Dakota 38. Courtesy Dakota Wicohan.
Women aged 15-44 are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war combined.
Feminist talk at Students For Liberty’s 2013 Austin Regional Conference and why feminism is not outdated (via cuntcastle)
& some women - women of color, trans women, disabled women, poor women - are MUCH more likely to experience violence than white/cis/abled/class privileged women (and marginalized women have less recourse in the legal system to have anything done about the violence done to them.)
All women exist in a culture with a specter of violence surrounding them at every turn, but let’s not let aggregate level statistics allow us to believe that we face equal risks.
but no no, feminism is no longer relevant, amirite?
I’ve no reason not to believe this, but I’d still like to see a source.
It’s a figure released by the UN in 2007. (x)
i like how all those dudes are ‘wahh prof. sycamore is SEXUALIZED to SELL TO WOMEN!!’ and its like prof. sycamore aint even sexualized like all he is is an attractive modestly dressed dude like women gamers gotta deal with battle bikinis and watermelon sized titties and these dudes cryin about a fella with nice hair and a cute smile like lmao get on my level