Showing posts with label White Women. Show all posts
Showing posts with label White Women. Show all posts

January 03, 2017

Miss Ann’s Seduction: Black Men & The Problematic White Women They Champion

Gisele Bündchen, photographed by Sølve Sundsbø
Black men…
There never seems to be a shortage of them burdening Black women with their ideas of how they think Black woman should act, feel, dress, and exist. 

And since they’ve positioned themselves as the nucleus for all things Black—Black thought, Black cool, Black activism, and Black opinions—mainstream media (read: white folks) are more inclined to listen to them. Especially when it suits the narrative and agenda of whiteness and/or white right-wing conservatism; which often loves to pathologize Blackness and Black activism.

White women…
If history, and lived experience, has taught us anything it’s that, when racist violence isn’t being committed on their behalf, white women can be just as truculent, racist, paternalistic and xenophobic as their male counterparts notwithstanding their place in the social hierarchy (as women); whether it be through their words, actions, or complicit inaction. And if, for whatever reason, it wasn’t obvious before, Donald Trump’s campaign and implausible rise from unethical real estate mogul to become the 2017 President-Elect cements how racist, violent and cunning white women can be considering 53% of them turned up to their polling stations to vote for a misogynist and racist demagogue who appealed to their prejudices.

And since most Black women aren’t malleable and don't shy away from asking the hard questions or for accountability, we’re often dismissed as loud, incorrigible, and divisive. Even when our voices are peppered with undeniable truths that are diminished, because they come from an experience and embodiment that's often erased. And so, it becomes easy to disparage our work and give undue credit to shrill, erroneous and hateful points of views; especially if the genesis of that hate is wrapped in a conventionally pretty
 (by mainstream standards), blond and young white package. 

January 31, 2014

Psst, Jen Polachek Sees 'Heavyset' Black Women in Her Yoga Class

“A few weeks ago, as I settled into an exceptionally crowded midday class, a young, fairly heavy black woman put her mat down directly behind mine. It appeared she had never set foot in a yoga studio—she was glancing around anxiously, adjusting her clothes, looking wide-eyed and nervous. Within the first few minutes of gentle warm-up stretches, I saw the fear in her eyes snowball, turning into panic and then despair.  … Because I was directly in front of her, I had no choice but to look straight at her every time my head was upside down (roughly once a minute).  …  Even when I wasn’t positioned to stare directly at her, I knew she was still staring directly at me. 
Over the course of the next hour, I watched as her despair turned into resentment and then contempt. I felt it all directed toward me and my body.I was completely unable to focus on my practice, instead feeling hyper-aware of my high-waisted bike shorts, my tastefully tacky sports bra, my well-versedness in these poses that I have been in hundreds of times. My skinny white girl body. Surely this woman was noticing all of these things and judging me for them, stereotyping me, resenting me…”

Image found on: blackyogis.tumblr.com 
While the above passage may read like a contrived scenario devised by Andy Cohen and Bravo producers, it’s an excerpt from one of the most self-aggrandizing, presumptuous, anti-Black woman, quasi-think pieces drenched in white women’s tears, I've read this year; and it comes courtesy of XOJane

Written by a woman, who promptly changed her byline following the collective outcry of ‘Girl, bye!’ in the comments section, Jen Caron Polachek recounted the shock and dismay she felt at having her fair, thin, white womanhood subjected to the presence of a ‘heavyset Black woman’ in the predominantly white, donation based yoga studio she attends— populated by artists and hipsters. And while I suspect Jen may have over-exaggerated the unidentified woman’s body type, since many people tend to think all Black women are fat and lumbering, when juxtaposed against the European female aesthetic, that’s just the tip of the iceberg in a myriad of reasons why her essay was problematic, and it serves as a glaring example of why discussions like the #solidarityisforwhitewomen Twitter hashtag initiated by Mikki Kendall, take place across social media platforms.

December 01, 2011

Down The Rabbit Hole...


The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well.  Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next.  –Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

VH-1 is widely known as a repository for "celebreality" and all the foolery that we've come to associate with that particular sub-genre of “reality” entertainment.  In fact, someone on Twitter joked that it was like the “National Geographic for sassy Black women.”

The network is undoubtedly at the top of the trash heap with its sports and Hip-Hop centered series, detailing the lives of the wives/ex-wives/girlfriends/groupies/bed-warmers/long-term fiancées of athletes and rappers who fund the lavish lifestyles of women (most of whom are women of color) who present demeanor of sexy-street toughness dipped in the finest linens and jewels.  It’s not difficult to see beyond the impeccably lacquered lips and sky-high $1,000 Christian Louboutin heels, because more often than not these women deliver the goods when it comes to the ratings game. Whether they’re screeching vulgarities at one another across a table at some posh restaurant, throwing drinks, or clawing at one another’s weaves, these women of dubious status and leisure draw in millions of viewers and become hash tagged on Twitter before the hour is even up.  The allure of these quasi-reality shows present a weird dichotomy of love and loathing… they’re guilty a pleasure viewers love to pontificate about or skewer on social networking forums (the skewering especially done by folks who like to feign as if they never watch).

Shows like Basketball Wives and Love  & Hip Hop generate an interesting discourse about the portrayal of Black women on reality shows across the blogosphere and among social media journalists. The word buffoonery gets tossed around a lot, as does the Angry Black Woman meme. 
Each week there is some sort of online poll asking viewers if the (insert reality fight here) make Black women look bad.  Somehow, whenever NeNe Leakes of Bravo TV’s Real Housewives… franchise engages in a verbal meltdown with a fellow cast mate or Tami Roman of the Basketball Wives: Miami cast punches someone in the teeth, all Black women in the United States of America are held accountable for that behavior.  We’re prodded to explore why Black women act like foolios on network TV, for a check.  However, there was little tsk-tsking after the group of mega-wealthy Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (all of whom are Caucasian) imploded during  a game-night  hosted at the home of a cast member, where sisters Kyle and Kim (who happen to be Paris Hilton’s aunts), verbally smacked down newcomer Brandi Glanville, calling her a “ho” and a “slut pig.” Daytime talks show hosts and Bloggers chuckled about it and called the finger-jabbing duo feisty… they ate it up in fact. White women in general weren’t taken to task as an entire group, for the brash televised behavior of a few. Unless obvious ethnic stereotypes are somehow thrown into the mix, as was the case with VH-1’s Mob Wives, (where the group was asked if they considered their aggressive behavior and mafia ties to be offensive to all Italians), they rarely ever are.

Needless to say, VH-1 is taking viewers to the brink of nonsense again with their new offering, Baseball Wives, which premiered this past Wednesday night.  This particular group is predominantly comprised of White women. The gravelly voiced, ex-stripper wife of one retired player said, “We are not like Basketball Wives, we are classy.”  This claim is debatable considering the legacy of VH-1’s sports wives series and that said ex-stripper wife is already mired in controversy for reportedly menacing a fellow cast member with a 12-inch dildo during a taping.

If anyone bothers to watch Baseball Wives (if only for the dildo incident), I’ll be interested to know how these women’s behavior will be received and if they’ll be accused of making the entire population of White women look bad, or whether the entire population of White women will shoulder the burden of the Baseball Wives’ behavior.   Just a reversal of thought .