I may not be speaking for everyone, but I’m sure many other black women and even others have the same obstacles in life. Either no one will care about what I have to say or everyone might care. Regardless, there must be someone out there who will be touched by my words.
I am expected to be fearless, perfect, confident, and constantly happy when society tries to make out like I don’t exist unless I am depicting a degrading stereotype. Regardless of talent, intellect, and boldness, it is hard to obtain the rightful jobs that I deserve, yet another person with insufficient credentials can get the same job. I’m expected to look a certain way, adhere to a European standard of beauty; and if I’m happy looking just the way I do there must be something wrong with me. Fellow black people jeer at you, asking when you’ll join in with the self hate. No thanks. At a certain age, if you aren’t married or with child, there must also be something wrong with you. You are compared with your mother’s friend’s daughters and anyone else that seems to be more ‘better off’ than you. Since barriers to success for the black woman are kept so high, you are expected to have a ‘9 to 5’, and wanting anything else is just absurd and a waste of time. Instead of being asked why you’re avoiding a desk job laced with racial politics and the imposition of ignorant ideologies, you are scrutinised for doing so. If your life choices do not meet the ‘house negro’ standard then you become almost an embarrassment.
Regardless of your age (now this depends on your family’s culture) you are expected to be in the house at all times and guilt tripped or interrogated for even innocently going out with friends. You’re told that you won’t find a husband in the house yet going out is such a sinister act. You are expected to dress a certain type of way and if you go beyond it you are made to feel promiscuous, even if such a trait doesn’t exist in your energy.
Men are constantly seeing you as sexual objects and projecting their self hatred and insecurities on you. They make you feel like you’re the problem, or you’re ‘crazy’ for wanting to be treated better. They don’t treat you like you are worthy of true love because they don’t know what it is. You’re never really made to feel beautiful, only sexy, because that’s all society has taught us to be used for. Centuries and centuries of the sexualisation of the black woman hasn’t expired because it continues to be spurred on and some of us don’t help it, we encourage it too. Even for the sake of money and fame, which never lasts.
There are the black women that have never been mistreated and are seen as queens. Good for you. However, many are lacking the self esteem since they aren’t seen as queens anymore. Injustice of all kinds are done against us and nothing is being done and we are being expected to be silent. So many of us, including myself, are suffering in silence whilst this Kryptonian standard is being put upon us. We can’t be hurt, we’re meant to carry a whole family on our backs, be the mother and the father, accept abuse as normality because we feel like no one else will want us or treat us better. It’s a saddening mentality, yet the reality for many of us. Think of how our collective psyche is damaged when our own fathers refuse to be active participants in our lives? Then to go on to have patriarchally conditioned men mistreat us from toddler to the casket? Where’s our defence system? Who will right wrongs done against us? Should we not speak up and refuse to accept this generational cancer?
Yes, there will be some people that read this and think: ‘Oh, great, another angry black woman.’ You’re damn right I’m angry. Angry and fed up that my sisters aren’t all operating on the level they should be. Every black woman is as majestic as Lupita, it’s not just her. I wish we could all remember that instead of comparing each other, competing with each other, and selling each other out to the enemy.
I wish that one day I can sit down, look at my life and say I’ve got all the help I need, people who understand me, and people who are willing to be down for my cause as long as I am. Too many of us aren’t down for each other and look for help elsewhere that won’t really benefit us like it should.
I’m tired of being made to feel like I’m invisible, not beautiful enough, not desirable enough, ‘intimidating’, and every other piece of nonsense that the ignorant of society have put in place. We should talk to each other and say: I see you sis’, and I appreciate you. We shouldn’t wait for anyone else other than us otherwise we’ll be waiting a long time and being hit with: ‘There’s nothing I can do to help you’.
The struggles of life as a black woman can be intense, but we don’t have to go through it alone.