Social media is cruel to Black women. Not only do we have to deal with demeaning videos from our own race of men, but there is a slew of videos that portray Black women in a very negative manner.
We have people who post videos of a Black woman fighting or basically being confrontational and the video will get a lot of hits and trend on social media. I am referring to the video of the Black woman in San Francisco, who touched a white student’s hair and arm because he was wearing dreadlocks. She accused him of appropriating and felt entitled to touch him because of that. This video has been making the rounds and some people are using it as evidence that Black women are just well…masculine, confrontational and too damn difficult. People are also saying the video is an example of “reverse racism.”
My position is this, the Black woman in the video was wrong period. You don’t put your hands on someone just because you disagree with what they’re wearing or what their hair looks like. I don’t care if you think it’s appropriation or not. She crossed the line.
But, when someone posts a video of a Black woman that is negative, why is there a double standard? See, a Black woman being confrontational will get a lot of hits because it conforms to the “sapphire stereotype,” but when we have videos of asian women being aggressive or white women being aggressive, they barely get any hits and seldom will they trend or go viral on social media. Why is that?
By the way…Bet you never even heard this story huh?
You can have 50 Black women who are dignified, respectful and minding their business and one Black woman who is being confrontational and the one confrontational black woman will be upheld as a representation of Black women, while the 50 other Black women are ignored. Why? Because of confirmation bias and stereotypes.
People love to portray Black women as emasculating, violent and they love to attack our womanhood. Even though Black women have a diverse range of personalities and backgrounds, we are portrayed as all being the same, all unworthy of respect and protection because we’re all supposed to be angry, aggressive, sapphires.
While other women, like white women women, have the privilege of being understood to be individuals, black women are viewed through a lens of stereotypes. The one aggressive white woman will be viewed as an exception, the one aggressive black woman will be viewed as just being a “typical black woman.”
Notice, if a Black woman touches a white man’s hair and arm, it becomes a national trending topic, but if a white man chases a Black woman with a machete, it doesn’t get the same response and the white man will be portrayed as just being a lunatic, a lone wolf. Not the case with Black women.
The Black woman who got shot while holding a fake gun, is receiving less attention on social media, than this story of a black woman merely touching a white man. No collective outrage, no mass protests. But a Black woman touching a white man’s arm and dreadlocks…is a trending topic.
I just don’t get it.
With that being said, I do not believe Black women are any more “masculine,” or “aggressive” than other races. I do believe that because some Black women have little to no support, sometimes we are forced to go into defense mode, which is what we’re seeing with the #Blacklivesmatter protests. We see an overwhelming representation of Black women who are out on the streets trying to defend their sons and brothers… as a side note, unfortunately, sisters and daughters aren’t really mentioned much during these protests.
So this brings me to my final point.
Black women, we need to be careful…
I know that the majority of us are not confrontational, I know that we’re all individuals with different personalites. I know that there is a double standard that upholds the negative stereotypes about us, while white and other non-black women are afforded the dignity of being individuals.
I know that the majority of Black women simply care about the safety of our families and communities and that’s why we’re out there protesting, putting ourselves on the lines and that’s why we’re in self defense mode often. I get it…but just know there are people out here who hate us, they don’t recognize our womanhood, they don’t recognize our individuality and all they see when they look at us is stereotype, after stereotype, after stereotype. You can be peacefully protesting in dignity and because our womanhood is not recognized in the same way that other women’s is. ..some people very well may feel justified in acting aggressively to us…and sometimes they may very well attack and attack and attack and we won’t get the same support that other women will get .
People are inundated with a barrage of angry black women imagery in the media and in social media and this makes them feel justified in degrading and misrepresenting us.
So, I think Black women need to start worrying about ourselves and understanding how dangerous this sapphire stereotype really is.
We must be very careful.
These days, there are people who will not hesitate to hit or attack us. If you’re out at these events and a conflict ensues with a male of another race or even of our own race… I don’t care how tough you think you are, as a female 95% of the time, if that man hits or attacks you, he is going to do more damage to you, than you would be able to do him, just because biological differences favor men when it comes to physical strength.
If you are out at a protests or on the streets and a conflict ensues with a female (a non-black female), just know that the majority of the time, she’ll be portrayed as the victim and you will be portrayed as the aggressor, even if it was the other way around. All she has to do is cry…and the world will take her side.
So be careful Black women, be careful out here on the streets and before you go out there in the streets and putting yourselves on the line, just ask this question… “who has our backs? Who is supporting us?”
Will people by as sympathetic to us if and WHEN we get assaulted in the streets while protesting and defending ourselves?