34. I can hear and use language bitches and hoes that demean women, with virtually no opposition from men.

June 30, 2010 at 11:40 AM | Posted in As A Man, Don't be a Dummy, Education, Hear me ROAR! | 5 Comments

Editor’s Note: I found this gem on The Beautiful Struggler, Sister Toldja’s brilliant brainchild. She discusses “Black Male Privilege” and references writer Jewel Woods who published his controversial “Black Male Privilege Checklist”. The article started a hearty e-mail discussion among my friends. Numbers 27 and 34 on the checklist, “I come from a tradition of humor that is based largely on insulting and disrespecting women; especially mothers.” “I can hear and use language bitches and hoes that demean women, with virtually no opposition from men.” with virtually no opposition from men. with virtually no opposition from men spoke VOLUMES to me. Oh, yes it did. I have too much fire in my belly about the topic especially when it is expounded to the intricacies and nuances of ideology and sex and sexuality in popular culture . I had to turn this one into a post.

“I come from a tradition of humor that is based largely on insulting and disrespecting women…”

I am an advocate for loving and accepting your body, your curves, your voluptuousness but when the physical is ALL that is seen, as the inevitable trajectory of the street harasser follows, then you are made to feel bitterly ashamed of your own body. And you hate the person who viewed you only as an object. (Do we even call them “people,” because by removing my humanity you have consequently obliterated yours.)

This is the most apparent black male privilege that women are forced to live with every time we set foot outside our door. Doesn’t matter the day, season, time or outfit. A comment is made, or God forbid an action is always carried out. I can bet my lunch money for the next 60 years on that.

…”With virtually no opposition from men.” It astonishes me that “grown men” don’t get it. “Oh you enjoy it.” “Oh you’ll wish they still did it when you’re older.” The chauvinistic rationale some use is most definitely “the black male privilege.” The fact is I am looking forward for those days when I am viewed as more than a vessel. Is that not a basic human necessity? If the world at large, a cruel one at that, acknowledges if you are not born a white male your strike sheet is automatically marred then why can’t I catch a break from this “privilege” at least?

The fact they can use woman and bitch interchangeably and grab their penises, call a woman out of her name as easily as they blink, and proactively disrespect women without their friends or any other man for that matter checking turns this “privilege” into a deluded “right.” It is the freedom to be a pig, without consequence as it pertains to the “sex and sexuality” and “popular culture” portion of the checklist.

This undeniable privilege is profoundly detrimental effect on both pride and morale to the black female. I openly admit I have had fits of angry pique brought on by consistently having my body viewed as public property daily. Several times daily…”with virtually no opposition from men.”

Their behavior comparable to the lowest life form known as scum remains unabated regardless of any response. A snapback is what they want and feigned deaf ears get a slew of every form of bitch two ways to Sunday. There is no way out. And the sad truth is it will never get better. I am not a pessimist by nature but I live my life honestly and this is my observation. The ones who claim they don’t partake in this deplorable behavior give it more power and allow it’s manifestation by standing idly by. The role of ‘protector and provider’ they so highly speak of and proudly claim is all of a sudden paradoxically dissipated in the maelstrom of obscenities from the offender’s mouth.

It’s disappointing.

One who claims to be a decent man yet doesn’t step up when it counts the most, is a failure. Yes I just judged you. Yes, I am holding all men accountable. I don’t care what baseless rationale man or woman alike want to give but the mute men is just as much in the wrong as the offender, in my eyes. I could give thirty seven craps who the hell he is. But it’s “none of my business” right? So it’s none of your business when it happens to your mother, sister, cousin, aunt or daughter right? Of course. I am sure the same fools who practice this behavior pass it on to their spawn or others view it secondhand and take it up as their own practice. And it continues. Don’t complain then “decent man.” Please don’t. If you are the exception, then why can’t you make the rule? Face the privilege and challenge it. Maybe you’re just living out Number 80 on the list: “Chances are I will be defined as a “good man” by things I do not do as much as what I do. If I don’t beat, cheat, or lie, then I am a considered a “good man”. In comparison, women are rarely defined as “good women” based on what they do not do.” Maybe you’re just a coward.

Is it fair? No.
Is it fair that I am subject to this abuse? Hell no.

And yes it is abuse. Harassment is abuse.

I have had other women stick up for me and in turn I have stood up for another woman when her honor came under attack. It does not matter whether you know her or not. She could be a prostitute or a Congress woman but that is neither here or there. The fact remains she is another human being and should be treated as such. No one’s history is written on their forehead, so why should any woman have to wear shame on account of a man degrading her for existing in the body she was given? Here are tidbits of the discussion on the black woman’s “hyper”-sexuality perpetuating this appalling behavior:

@Teofillonya says:
# 48 makes me cringe:” I have the privilege of believing that black women are different sexually than other women and judging them negatively based on this belief.”

and….bigger is better? yeah for some video chicks and because i do not want to be affiliated with that im trying to get smaller.

Do black females feel like they are being sexualized, and not taken seriously because of the voluptuous bodies that they have (bigger boobs, or a bigger bottom)… i feel like it is more so the case because of the damn video chicks… they are putting out stuff out there. and it isnt fair…
big butt=sex…. no?

A.Haynes says:
They do play a role but it goes so much deeper. Art from the 18th century is wrought with images of the hypersexualized black woman with the breasts bursting out of her top, her areolas enlarged, and genitals that were enormous. In records of slave trade, women were often advertised in this manner. The image of the delicate white woman vs the lusty Jezebel is historic and has made its way into our modern society. I just googled “black women” and Jezebel stereotype was the #2 search hit.

@Outofchelle says:
I think it’s important to mention that you do not have to have a voluptuous body or even exhibit any sexuality as a black woman to be hyper-sexualized in our society. I think skin tone plays the biggest role. The society believes black women in general, discounting all other factors/ individual characteristics equal “sex.” There is a big difference in how this society looks at a “thick” white woman vs. a black woman of the same size.

Regardless of any “body type.” You do what you know is right. Is a woman with ample hips “asking for it” because she is wearing a skirt? This just in, curves can hardly be hidden. I can attest. I don’t know what kind of world we live in that a blind eye is turned so easily to wrong? Especially in a community that is wrought with wrong. I don’t want to dwell on the wrong, I want to identify the right. This checklist renders any superficial “progress” null, but viva the privileges. Bitch.

Related: I’m not African-American, I’m Black
Related: Womanhood: It ain’t all about bouncing breasts and jiggling booties
Related: Whatever happened to a womanly figure?
Related: Women Hold Up Half the Sky
Related: Women in War Zones

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  1. Welp, let’s see. Where do we start?

    First, I will admit there is such a term as black male privilege. When it’s looked at in proper context, it definitely exists. Some brothers don’t want to admit this exists, because of the way it’s presented, and my response for that is either the person attempting to present can make it more clear, or the brothers who don’t want to admit it exists need to be more open-minded…but I digress.

    “I come from a tradition of humor that is based largely on insulting and disrespecting women…”

    This is open to interpretation, but for the sake of argument, I’ll concede. I see you elaborated on the statement, but I want to make completely sure I understand what you’re saying, so we can talk more on this one later.

    …”With virtually no opposition from men.”

    On this one, I see where you are coming from. I truly do. I don’t know if it constitutes for Black Male Privilege, moreso if it constitutes for hypocrisy. What I mean by that is if someone verbally attacks a man’s mother, sister (s), or female friends/acquaintences, significant other, but when it’s done to someone else’s, we don’t stand up to the attacker. That part is true. It’s hypocrisy, but to label it privilege is something I don’t agree with, but like I said, I’m down for open dialogue in this regard.

    From personal experience, I can tell you it’s best for men to choose our battles. You can call it being a coward, and you’re more than entitled to your opinion. For me, it’s like this: when one of my boys refers to a woman in a derogatory manner, I ask them if all that is necessary, and then we end up going back and forth, with my point being she doesn’t have to be a bitch/slut/hoe, just because things didn’t go your way, or hell, just because that’s how you refer to women. It isn’t okay, and I’m able to have those talks with my boys, because there’s a healthy respect there. We’re actually able to have those out in the open.

    When it comes to men I don’t know, it’s different. It’s just not wise for me to charge another man up out in the open about how he refers to women. We’ll chop it up behind closed doors, we’ll see where we’re coming from, and even if we agree to disagree, the respect is there, and (hopefully) they will see why attacking or degrading a woman is not only debilitating to women, but also to themselves.

    It’s a tough battle, and one that someone can’t just go in and swing wildly and shoot recklessly. When you approach a topic like this, where it’s the norm and socially acceptable for men to engage in said behavior, the idea is to be strategic. That’s where men should do better, and in that, no man should have a problem with you holding them to that responsibility. I certainly don’t.

  2. […] thought maybe she’s just not that into you? Related: Guys, don’t do this! Related: Black Male Privelege Related: Oh hi, while you were objectifying me… Related: Lookin’ like a fool with your […]

  3. […] Related: Oh hi, while you were objectifying me… Related: Have you ever thought maybe she’s just not that into you? Related: Guys, don’t do this! Related: Black Male Privelege […]

  4. […] Related: Have you ever thought…maybe…just maaaaybe…she’s just not that into you? Related: Man exposes himself to woman in public…happens all the time Related: Guys, please stop harrasing women Related: 34. I can hear and use language bitches and hoes that demean women, with virtually no opposition fro… […]

  5. […] past behavior and all men’s behavior that may have resembled street harrassment. He wanted to “lend his maleness” to the cause. Hollaback has a comprehensive list of ways to combat street harrassment and they are developing an […]


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