When Black Women Say They Don’t Get Protected Enough, Believe Them

The latest controversy is very telling in terms of the complete lack of intersectionality in many people’s feminism. A bunch of people are completely ignoring black womens’ lived experience, and making statements that lean heavily into the “strong black woman” trope by talking about how Jada Pinkett Smith could have “easily put Chris Rock in his place.”

When black women say “we don’t get protected enough” BELIEVE THEM. Ask yourself what it is that we as a whole are NOT DOING FOR BLACK WOMEN that makes a bunch of us feel so unprotected. Please stop with the “strong black woman” stereotype statements bout Jada.

No matter how you feel about the men in this situation, please understand that these statements lean heavily into strong black woman tropes and are problematic. They also ignore large numbers of black women saying things like “black women do not get protected enough.” The strong black woman trope is used to communicate the idea that black women do not deserve the same protection as white women.

Using the idea that wanting protection is antifeminist against black women is to deny the privilege that white women have.

The notion of “chivalry” was a European notion that involved knightly codes of behavior towards European noblewomen. The feminist rejection of such codes as patriarchial should be enjoined with the intersectional understanding that such codes NEVER APPLIED to black women.

While women of entirely European heritage initially fought for equal rights in America, my black ancestors under chattel slavery were still only regarded as three-fifths of a human being.

Ignoring these facts is called white centering.

When black women say they don’t get protected enough, you should BELIEVE THEM. Not ignore them and keep telling them how strong they are. Believe me, all of us have heard that since we were children, along with numerous messages about how we should protect and nurture others while expecting nothing in return. These messages have been forwarded from the days of slavery, when we were expected to put in a lot of free, hard manual labor and be the wetnurses of the children of the people who kept us in chains.

I implore you to consider that this DOES have something to do with race. When a black man comes at another black man about things he said about the first black man’s black wife, all three of those people being black matters. Their blackness matters to other black folks, and only your privilege allows you to be color blind.

THE PROTECT BLACK WOMEN AND GIRLS ACT OF 2021

Please read about the act here: https://robinkelly.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/reps-robin-kelly-clarke-watson-coleman-fitzpatrick-introduce-bipartisan

From the article:

While the data collected on the experiences and conditions of Black women and girls is often insufficient and incomplete, we know the following to be true:

  • Black women die from pregnancy-related complications at 3 times the rate of their non-Hispanic white counterparts;
  • For every US dollar that a white man earns in the United States, Black women are paid 61 cents;
  • 60% of Black girls experience sexual assault before they reach adulthood.
  • In comparison to white girls, Black school-aged girls are four times more likely to be arrested at school and five times more likely to be transferred to another school for disciplinary reasons.

~ by Sumiko Saulson on March 30, 2022.

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