Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

War Between the Genders: Taking Ownership of Your Own Shhhh

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This morning I’m happy that Mo’Nique won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film Precious but last week I was giving her a raised eyebrow sideways glance for that interview she did with Wesley Snipes on the couch.  Unlike other people I still don’t hold the Ebony November 1997 article against him; in some ways I think the article was blown out of proportion to what he said and what he probably meant.  But last week’s interview was a bit too much for her to assert that Wesley is ours and for him to proclaim love of big girls when his last two women (his current wife included) are Korean.

And then there’s the whole Halle Berry’s deaf ear thing (to be fair to Snipes, Berry has never denied or confirmed the allegation that Snipes was the one who abused her).

It’s just my opinion, but it makes me very uncomfortable when we go into the old routine of “back a black man” no matter what.  I’m definitely down for my brothers but I don’t think we have to play martyr in order for them to be(come) a man.  I have to go to the old movie disclaimer and say “No Black women were harmed in the making of this Strong Black Male”.

Maybe it’s because black women treat men as such a precious commodity it doesn’t give them room to be men.   But then that doesn’t excuse black men for not taking responsibility for the decisions that they make or taking advantage of situations in the black community that overtly favor them.

What?  What conditions are those?  You don’t see it?  A growing number of black women do see it and they are blogging about it — call us black feminists, womanists if you will although I’m sure the appellation many black males are using for us are bitches– and what worries us is the preference of taking Black male issues over Black female issues and the problems it creates in the black community.  We aren’t misandrists, just women who want more than black folks are reaching for together at the moment.

Last week NPR’s Tell Me More interviewed a brother who also sees the inequity of attention to male/female gender issues in the black community.  Dr.  R. L’Heureux Lewis that in the black community black males have an advantage over black women that is rarely talked about.

Black male privilege is first centered as being relative to black women. I’m not comparing black males privilege to white male privilege. I think one could argue that, but it  (could) be a very dangerous leap. When we look in the African-American community, there are actually spaces where black men are advantaged and often sometimes dominate a dialogue, when we should be listening more carefully to whats happening with black women equally…

I think you’ve unfortunately identified one of the central issues of black male privilege. So often, black men are used to being under attacked that when it comes to being accountable for the actions we may have, we quickly say, well, I couldn’t possibly be doing anything wrong. Look at all the ways in which I’m oppressed. Look at all the ways in which I’m at the bottom of the barrel. What that does is rob us of an opportunity to actually build stronger community and it robs black men of a chance to actually take hold of the actions that they have so that we can empower the community.

Tell Me More 4 March 2010

Black males as oppressors of Black females and the black community at large?  I totally agree but don’t know how it will fly with black men and black women.  But if Dr. Lewis has a forum at Tavis Smiley’s upcoming forum, especially if Dr. Lewis delivers another version of the speech below.


Written by rentec

8 March, 2010 at 4:48 pm

One Response

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  1. I completely agree; the black male has the obvious dominant position in all the discourses about the black community. Their problems are the important ones, and their problems get all the ink.

    And as this happens, it not only diminishes the importance of the problems of black women, it diminishes the black woman herself.

    Black men, whether it’s a conscious effort or not, have a lot more interest in keeping black woman down than white people do. Their activities in this regard, whether obvious or subtle, speak volumes.

    From my experience as a 30-something black woman navigating her way through the world, I have to say that white people (well, white men, anyway) have been very helpful to me along the way as I’ve made something of my life, and what I’ve gotten from black men has either been of no value or negative value.


    8 March, 2010 at 5:42 pm

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