August 23, 2009
In “If Men Could Menstruate”, Gloria Steinem makes the persuasive argument that “Whatever a ‘superior’ group has will be used to justify its superiority, and whatever an ‘inferior’ group has will be used to justify its plight”.
For too long the definition of racism has been a fight between white and black manhood and “who’s the bigger man”. This has historically allowed white female supremacy; the most unchallenged form of white supremacy, to escape any criticism or critical thought.
What if suddenly, instantly, the power of white femininity were transferred to black women?
The answer is clear – Black women would represent value, purity, and based on their natural traits; be worthy of protection and instantly become the objects of universal desire. White women would represent the opposite.
“Beauty tar potion” would become globally popular to get the “black look”. “Dove” would be replaced with a black soap called “Raven” to help exfoliate the skin and bring out subtle hints of melanin.
White female features would be declared violent. Their “jagged” thin lips, “knife sharp” noses, and “harsh” jaw lines would be nature’s way of declaring why men have a natural preference for the soft features of black women. Soft lips, soft cheekbones, and soft round noses would be proof of natural femininity.
Full pink lips and large dark eyes would become associated with virginal black girls, whose purity must not be compromised. Black female features would thus be said to represent youth.
Straight blond hair would be considered “wild and unruly” because when the wind blows, it does not stay in place. Women with natural straight hair would hide their “unruly” and “wild” stick-straight hair in public. The desire for “Lightweight hair” that defies gravity would permanently end the use of blow dryers. Keeping ones natural blond hair wild and straight would become indicative of a political statement.
The anti-aging properties of black female skin combined with soft curvy bodies would be proof of the overall reproductive health of black women. Scientists would argue that black women are naturally preferred as long term mates and mothers because they are “healthier”. Men’s attraction to women is based on overall health and fertility, after all.
Suddenly biracial women would be “in” because the hard features of white women didn’t prevent the fragile genes of “black beauty” from peeking through. Men would suddenly have the desire to date “ethnic” non-black women since they look “closer to black” than blond women, and at least they don’t look like white women.
Statistics would equate the fact that white women make up the majority with their “overpowering” and “strong” population. This would be proof that they can handle unsafe neighborhoods, as they have created a “strong culture” amongst themselves to withstand their lack of protection from predators and criminals. Statisticians would argue that men are attracted to black women innately because they make up a small percent of the population. “We tend to value what is rare” they might say.
Men would proclaim that white women deserve sexual objectification because “flat buttocks” allow for deeper penetration. In ghetto’s across America, men would stand on street corners and yell “Damn! You got a flat ass!” to remind white women of their sexual status in society.
Upper class women would be afraid that their “ass looks flat” and therefore assumed to be animalistic and sexually deviant, like white women. Black women’s buttocks, said to protrude farther from the body, would prove that their natural vulnerability makes them “less equipped” to handle hardcore sex and rape, like white women.
“I need a strong white woman!” would become a popular “empowering” slogan for exploitative men who rationalized the emotional, financial, and sexual overburdening of white women.
Overweight white nannies would become the “acceptable white women” in popular culture as they do not pose a threat to black female superiority and privilege. Conventionally attractive white women would serve as a sexual threat to black women for single-handedly breaking down the beauty hierarchy.
Hip Hop videos would feature men throwing money at “white bitches” bent over in front of the camera to showcase their white asses, eager for deep penetration. Entire songs would be devoted to hatred of “white gold digging bitches” who think they are entitled to the financial security in marriage that black women are entitled to. “Penetrable white asses” and “pale-faced hoe’s” would become the cash-commodity for selling entire musical genres.
White women’s “hard” bodies would be deemed more “capable” of fighting off sexual attackers, and the soft curves of black female bodies would become worthy of law enforcement. White women; in spite of their high risks for violence and sexual crimes, would not “need” police protection.
Movies would feature black women as the main objects of men’s desire across racial lines, while stereotypes of evil bitter and oversexed white women would further prove why men of all races simply did not prefer blondes. We can’t help who we’re attracted to, men would say. “Preference” would become an unconcealed acceptance of discrimination against white women. White women’s anger and sadness at the status quo would be proof of their unreasonable jealousy of the innate superiority of black women.
Republicans would ban abortions to protect the virtue of pure black motherhood, and liberals would advocate for more abortion clinics in “low income” neighborhoods where white women are the majority. Liberals would claim that white women have “culturally” approved of sexual objectification and are “safe enough” without outside help since they were warned not to touch “in-group issues” with a ten foot pole.
And so on and so forth.
The most important reality is that Black feminists would eventually grow tired of being seen as innocent and vulnerable in patriarchy and would fight to erase the commodity of black femininity. “The innocent, submissive, and vulnerable representation of women is what puts us in danger. The rigid category of femininity has aided in our oppression” they might argue…
In the back of every black feminist movement we would hear the quiet and dignified pleas of radical white feminists. “Well we do not represent femininity. We are considered strong, incapable of feeling pain, and sexually deviant but all this has done is increase our likelihood for danger. And aren’t we women too?”
As Gloria Steinem said “In short, the characteristics of the powerful, whatever they may be, are thought to be better than the characteristics of the powerless - and logic has nothing to do with it.”
And what remains universally evident is that the many justifications for power and privilege are always inherent, always scientific, and always permeate society to the point that they remain deeply buried within our collective consciousness.
Until someone challenges them.