2013-10-16

The Problem With Tommy Sotomayor, Tariq Nasheed, and the Cult of Black Female Degradation

This is nothing new, at least in the last decade or two we have had the black community theorize and explain the current condition of the black community.  The focus is always on relationships and how black men and women communicate with each other, usually focusing on the shortcomings of black women.   Black women are vilified, insulted, stereotyped, and shamed.  Not by white men, not by white women; but by black men, and even sometimes other black women. Check out YouTube.com.  You will see it en masse just by simply entering a search for 'black women'.   There are a few who currently stick out in this universe.  You have Tommy Sotomayor, who not only has a strong disdain for black women, but fiercely believes in the color hierarchy; even though he himself, is dark skinned.  We also have Tariq Nasheed, who teaches men how to  be "Macks" and feels it is a badge of honor to put a woman out of your house and car.  

I'm focusing on these men because of their following of black men who love and embrace their message, and because frankly, they are the ones most talked about. 

They both oppose feminism and say it is the biggest problem that black women face and the downfall of the black community. 

The biggest problems I see with this whole cult of black women degradation are that they are not steeped in reality. 

Feminism is not the downfall of the black community. It never ever was.  The biggest issue of the black community is inequality, and the feminist struggle for black women has always been different than from white women.  We never had to fight to work outside the home, like most poor people, black women and black men both worked outside the home just to make ends meet.  We were never seen as "weaker" or "fairer" we were treated as masculine, we were never treated as gentle and meek.   Not to mention the base definition of feminism is essentially to treat women as equals to men.  It was never the idea to surpass men or dominate men, but for some reason the idea of feminism is seen as domination.  I do not know if this is due to how the Civil Rights Movement, the Feminist Movement, and the ability of black women to be seen as less threatening to non blacks helped black women achieve in areas of education and work in comparison to black men, but we wanted to be equals, not just to black men, but white women and white men, and not that black women are anywhere close to that place, but we've moved ahead, and it has changed the gender norms in our society.

With all that being said, the gender norms of society have never really applied to black people in America.  Black women did domestic work, but we didn't just do it in our own homes.  We did it as a way to make money.   We did it as a way to survive. We did it because we had to do it.   We did it to help support our families along with black men, who did jobs that they were forced to do. We did what we were limited to, and for us to assume gender norms that applied to the white community does nothing for us.  We have to make our own "norms".   I'm thinking with the amount of women in professional jobs and the work force, this is the case in many instances for ALL people. The feminist movement has made both men and women of all genders adapt.  

The message of these men and others like them are confusing.  They want traditional male roles, but they want their women to reap the benefits of feminism all while adhering to "traditional" gender roles.   You don't want gold diggers, your woman needs to work and have her own things, yet when she gets off of work, you want her to cook your dinner, clean your home, and assume what you say is law.

If you feel feminism is about domination of black men, what are traditional gender roles to the domination of women?  You feel black women protect white men and put them on pedestals, but you've bought into European beauty standards that never applied to black women in the first place.  You want black women to be weave free, but have "good hair", and if a black women with "nappy" hair does go natural, you're the first to make jokes and tell her to straighten it.

You can't have it both ways, something has to give.