Saturday, June 19, 2010

The "Indestructible" Black Woman Myth...Again

My heart pounded as a watched this video. It reminded me of the physical fights I have gotten into with two male family members who saw no problem in partaking in a physical confrontation with me. Neither one apologised for their behaviour and the female members in my family proceeded to defend and justify these men's actions. One of the males even went on to say that he "understands" why such a physical reaction would have emanated. All this without a word of concern about any sort of emotional distress the fight could have caused or again, even a simple apology. I firmly believe that my being black gives them reason to falsely believe that I am incapable of feeling and therefore make the perfect punching bag.

Yes, there is a double standard. People feel more guilt causing harm to white women than they do to women of colour especially if one is black. Since we are that special group of "chicks who just happen not to have dicks", men find it easy to punch, push, strike and hit us without any inherent guilt or remorse. It is sad. Truly sad. That people are still very much incapable of understanding that black women are not as tough as society aims to point us out to be. That we are neither punching bags nor scapegoats for the satiation of the insecure others fragile id. We were not to be used by others in a way that will grant them a portal to attain a sense of power. It should be known that our bodies are sacred temples around which proper boundaries are put in place to prevent physical harm that those who fail to recognise our humanity wish to cause.

But here is where I am slightly ambivalent about this whole dichotomy. White women are apparently considered more womanly than the rest of us and deserving of courteous behaviour. As plenty of people have noted in their analysis', a man should not strike a woman under any circumstance so the ease with which the cop in question hit this young woman is reflective of a racist belief in a black woman's apparent "masculinity". Yet do I necessarily want to be viewed as weak and in need of protection? Not at all. Neither do I want to have someone engage in unwarranted physical confrontation with me. There must be a middle ground. Digressing to each extreme is neither good nor healthy in attempting to assert a real sense of equality.

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