Black Girl In The City.


stop reinforcing the image, please.
June 2, 2009, 10:12 am
Filed under: Chapter Next, WTF? | Tags: , ,

akAnthony Kurtz

Music: Outkast // Bombs Over Baghdad

So, I was on my way into the gym this morning minding my own peaceful business. Parked in my usual spot, got out to grab my duffle from the back. Had to pause when I heard the most ear searing noise that most have come to dread: A Black Woman’s Wrath. This chick was arguing and damn near shadow boxing about a block away on the opposite side of an otherwise quiet street. Low and behold the source of the profane language, threatening screams and outrageous banter was made known to all that would hear, listen and take note. Someone had really pissed her off.

If EXTRA had a face it would look exactly like her because she was overly crazy with it. Like, you know how someone is just yelling about nothing and all you can do is moan, “Shut the $#@*(% Up,” over and over to yourself? Her monologue was something serious and she wanted the entire world to hear how sorry the father of her son was. She pointed to the air talking about how money was the burden and he needed to pay the mortgage like he said he would. I’m surprised she didn’t call him by first and last name while she was busy putting the word out on the street. Not only that, she was cutting him down to the ground with her mouth – words so sharp they could kill. How could any man’s ego withstand that battle?

I’m not doubting the other person’s actions to be true, and I’m pretty sure her anger was justified. But my issue is with how she handled the situation. It wasn’t but a week ago that I was damn near attacked for $1 flip flops by a Black woman. What is it inside that keeps us on edge, ready to fight and win? As I tuned away from the woman’s conversation and toward my morning burn out I found myself a little irritated, and to an extent embarrassed as an immediate thought came to mind:

“Black women are collectively stereotyped as sex driven bitches. We’re pigeon holed as loud, overly dramatic egotistical drama creators that can’t keep our mouths shut long enough to hear the other person speak.”

If I had a penny for every man that would agree to this phrase being an accurate assumption I’d be an extremely wealthy woman. I listen to my male friends and what they say about the things Black women do. I always defend, explaining that we are not the same and insisting that all women of color should be given the benefit of the doubt in the beginning. But how can I request a pardon when a large majority of us are turning my professed truths into lies? How can I argue that all Black women aren’t combative and rude when provoked when in fact so many of us are?

She’s too aggressive. She uses our child to extort what she wants from me. She bleached all of my clothes. She’s always got something to say about something, like…shhh! STFUP!

All comments guys have shared when recounting some of their own dating experiences with the Sisters. At first I blamed it on their choice in women until I started to see the point of view for myself. The more I listened to their stories the more I began to pay attention to my behavior and others, and honestly I can see where the finger snapping, ghetto Bonquisha persona came from. I can also see who’s reinforcing it, making the image of the aggressive natured Black women an automatic expectation upon introduction’s first ‘hello’. I am not sure what can be done to discredit the overshadowing of something so negative, especially after seeing what I saw this morning.

-black girl.

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13 Comments so far
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As I read over your post and a past post “Chivalry is dead…” I thought to myself….wow, our society as men and women has really fallen to pieces. It’s interesting and ironic becaue I just finished a blog briefly addressing the problem with women wanting to be equals to men and I also commented on another blogger’s post in which she addresses the same thing. One post questions today’s role of the “Twenty First Century Woman” and the other questions the “Twenty First Century Man”. I think it would be a good read for you. You can check it out at http://belowthewatersky.blogspot.com/2009/05/twentieth-century-woman.html
and http://belowthewatersky.blogspot.com/2009/06/twenty-first-century-man.html

And as far as the stereotype black women constantly finds themselves subjected to…I’m not even going to address that because I’ll just end up going off on a tangent…I’ll just save it later for a post. It’s sad…it really is. We’ve lost ourselves and it’s time to find us.

Comment by B Ashley

This topic is very touchy in regards to black women. Just the other day a close girlfriend of mine text me from the club @ 1am telling me how the her boyfriend had asked that she nolonger move in with him as they originally agreed due to her overwhelming attitude. He was brutally honest when he told her that he would like to come home to peace and quite but didn’t think that was possible with her as she likes to argue and keep mess going (I must say that respected him so much for being honest with her). She went on to ask me if she was infact that bad? I being a good friend felt I needed to tell her what alot of black women are not being told, which is although you can get loud and cuss a bit*h out with the best of them doesn’t mean that you have too. I let her know that you have to chose your battles wisely and get use to sitting back and lisentening instead of trying to talk over the other person. When you finally begin sitting back and listening you will realize one of two things. First, either you will “FINALLY” hear/comprehend what the other person has been trying to say or, second, you will see that they are trying to BS you! Either way you will come out with a clearer perspective.
I personally refuse to let someone piss me off to the point where it becomes a health issue. I wouldn’t give anyone that power/satisfaction!

Comment by Natural_Oasis

dayyyyyyyyum,well i cant lie i see some of that in me…the fighting that is,but i’m aware of it so i try and rein it in and walk away.

Its true though,shows like that don’t help either and kids that watch it will probably follow

Comment by jasmine

I’m 25 years old. I’m Black. I’m quiet. I’m a professional. I work with children ages 7-17 in various locations. It’s so sad to say, the worst location I work in is the one with all the Black kids. The oldest is 12. They are ridiculously loud! We were on the school bus one day and all the White kids were just staring at them. The program staff workers were visibly peeved, irritated, and annoyed. The bus driver looked like he wanted to pull over and kick them off.

Being Black I volunteered to “handle it”! I got them to sit together and explain to them that we are often classed as loud and ghetto and they aren’t doing anything to help change that stereotype. I calmly explained to them that there’s a time and place for everything. Unfortunately around a lot of people we have to portray a different “attitude”. I used Michelle Obama as an example. Telling them I’m sure we’d never see her out rolling her neck, rolling her eyes, and pointing her finger in anyone’s face. They seemed to get the point. Lol it’s still a constant struggle with the girls though. Yikes! Guaranteed migraine after work!

Comment by Ms. Nikks

I feel that some people handle frustration better than others. When people stop relying on others and start making things happen for themselves they would argue less. I’m sure the lady was frustrated with her situation, since she shouldn’t have to raise her kid(s) alone but at a certain point you gotta make it do what it do.

Comment by NotForTheFaintOfHeart

I saw something similiar at the beach the other day, this girl was going off on her man—at a crowded beach, everyone gazing, and I couldnt help but turn red in humiliation. I’m guilty of short-tempered syndrome, too, but I ONLY fly off the handle in private. I guess it just takes paying close attention to your behavior and what needs to be done to correct it. Learning how to control your temper (thats sometimes learned from older women in your family) is a long process, Im getting better throught the years, but yes…I agree with you, very very bad behavior, especially in public.

Comment by Raven

Shame on you BGITC. We are not born to be combative, opinionated, argumentive, hurt, beat down, cheated on, dragged through the mud with our hearts brutally torn out of our breast. SOMETHING happened. Shame on you for not understanding her plight and the steps that took her there. Psst..other races too have frustrated women ask the Italians, Jews, and Russians.

Comment by BabyBear

I totally agree and do empathize, but I still think that we can accomplish a lot more by being more collective and learning more self control. I’m not even pointing the finger because I’ve been there and done that, but I’ve also been in situations where I had to stop screaming and start getting smart with my actions so the other person could REALLY hear the point I was making. There are ways to do this you know.

Comment by blackgirlinthecity

Yes it seems that we are labled loud, combative & egotistical. However I have not given up on us SISTERS yet & I’m unwilling to say that we all are rude, combative or loud. I for one am not into the drama thing. I try to avoid outburst and all displays of disagreements in public at all cost. I will walk away from you or look at you like you’re retarded before I make a scene in public. It is in my oppinion that there are emotional women in all race or nationalities who may not use self control when angered. living around all race of women in life I have seen caucasion women put their men on blast just the same. Yes we are know more for doing it but hey we are known more for every negative womanly charateristic out there then any race of woman, does it mean it true? NO. I’m sassy and a spitball of fire some have said but I’m also poised, quiet and passive to confrontation but I’m 100% black woman any questions. lol

Comment by karmascir

this is such a powerful post and reflects a subject that is recurrent in my thoughts.

“What is it inside that keeps us on edge, ready to fight and win?”

that’s the important question..that “what.” there’s something there that runs deep. a pain, a burden, a lack of love.

it’s a tragic reality that’s gonna somehow have to be rectified.

Comment by flytie

When you know better, you do better. And sometimes that lesson, self control, is learned too late in life.

Comment by MzChaCha

It seems to me that sometimes the readiness to fight comes from having to fight so much all your life. For common decency, respect, equality…the little big things that really should be given almost automatically. You get used to fighting and it becomes such a part of you; it can be hard to depart from that, and it seems to me its something you have to consciously try to push past.

The whole loud and abrasive motif was never my thing. I cut with the vocab but I won’t raise my voice. And when I do see situations like you’ve described I feel mortified because I know I will (and frequently have) be judged by what other women who look like me do. People reinforcing stereotypes used to drive me insane because I found myself constantly answering a barrage of questions about why I wasn’t like this, or why I didn’t do that. Basically being asked to explain how I didn’t end up like that.

BUT, notice that when something happens within our community (or any other person of color’s community) someone completely unrelated to the incident is apologizing for it. We apologize for things we have nothing to do with. Why don’t we have the right to be individuals? There are many black people (and other POC’s) who reinforce stereotypes but does that mean I should be judged by what others do. Why should I be embarrassed? I deserve the same default treatment you’d give any other non-black women, regardless of what you’ve seen other black women say or do.

After deciding in my mind that I deserve to be treated properly regardless of others actions, others actions have bothered me much less.

Comment by B.

I know exactly how you feel. Every time I see some foolishness I immediately think “thank you for setting our people back another 10 years.” And don’t even get my started on blacks and littering. I had a 20 minute rant about this to my father the other day. Sometimes I just want to walk around screaming “BLACK PEOPLE! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?”

Comment by The Queen of Hearts




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