Thursday, July 10, 2008

STRONG BLACK WOMEN: DO WE REALLY NEED THEM?

For the life of me, I don't understand why black women refer to themselves as "STRONG BLACK WOMEN". Why not refer to yourself as a black woman period. Why the adjective? Is it really necessary? I mean, who are you trying to prove your worth or strength to? I don't know, but I think a woman knows her worth, her strengths, and her relevance in our society. That in itself should be understood and go without any need for adjectives; especially from black women.

And how can you be sure that you're a strong black woman? I don't actually hear women refer to themselves as being weak woman. So that being said, how can you really quantify or qualify your strengths? My mother raised four boys after my father and her were divorced without any help from him by way of child support or gov't assistance. An unfortunate way to grow up, but definitely not exclusive or unique. With 70% of black kids being raised in single parent homes ran by single mothers, its clearly the norm. I never once heard my mother refer to herself as a strong black woman. I mean hell, what did she do different than the thousands of black mothers out there? Nothing but do what she was supposed to do. But somehow, women find a way to seek comfort by calling themselves "STRONG BLACK WOMEN".

To me, thats selfish. What? Am I supposed to give you extra props for your circumstances for which you had a hand in? Well I'm sorry, I'm not with it. Listen, you're black, and the last time I checked, being black was a significant disadvantage for all black people. Just as much as you're "suffering", there are thousands doing the same, and doing even worse in other countries. But for some reason here in America, its appropriate to be considered "A STRONG BLACK WOMAN". I've yet to hear white women to refer to themselves as being strong white women. Despite them fighting for equality with white men, you never hear them refer to themselves as such. Hell, you don't even hear feminists refer to themselves as such. But I guess, its important for black women to do this.

I'm guessing the distinction gives black woman something extra in their minds. Maybe its their way of saying that they're strong enough to make it wothout the black man. I don't know, but unless you're able to benchpress 250lbs like the lady in the pic above, there's no need to use the word STRONG to describe yourself. Its quite obvious that she's a fairly strong black woman. I don't see too many black women walking the streets looking like her. So why walk around with the extra chip on your shoulder? Shit, its hard being black as is, and black women and black men alike need to get off that bullshit. Being black and being able to survive in todays world is strength in itself.

Stay black...

you can't help it.

2 comments:

mistapickles said...

What is the purpose of distinguishing the strong or the black, shouldn't women just be strong, and if is the case, black normally? I actually hate the term. If you are both of those adjectives, does it need to be stated? Usually the women who use the term have it confused with ghetto and loud. Regina Benjamin, the new surgeon general, is a strong black woman, but do you hear her announcing it at every news conference? or at all for that matter? To me its a term that is equated to a hot ghetto mess to me......what do you think?

RiPPa said...

Louis, I actually agree with you. I won't equate it to "Hot Ghetto Mess" because it's actually bigger than that. I think it's more psychological or pathological if you ask me. It's an affirmation birthed through historical struggle and oppression which is understandable. But I do believe it's overplayed erroneously for effect more than anything else.

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