In the last few months, a ridiculous amount of memes have made their way to my timeline. We obviously live in an age where every ridiculous, embarrassing picture can be turned into something funny, cruel or both. What’s gotten my attention though, is the amount of memes specifically directed at black women, basically telling them that “they ain’t shit” if they don’t bow down to their black, male counterparts. What’s most alarming and just as disgusting is that several men and WOMEN have been posting those bullshit memes all over social media as either cautionary tale of never ending singledom or as a way to keep black woman in the same space they’ve been for the last 100 years or so: fighting for the black man, all the while being trampled on by the same man.
It’s a little hard to write this without my cynicism, peppered with a touch of misandry. I’ll the first to admit that I’ve eaten my fair of shit trying to support the black man, but I’m at an age where enough is fucking enough. To see black women begging for love and support for someone who should support them equally no matter what, is infuriating at best. To see black women reduce a meme where if you’re not doing x,y and z for your man, then you deserve to be alone, but most of all you deserve continuous disdain. It’s almost as if we’re not worthy of respect worthy of admiration. That same admiration that we give our black men, seems to be non-existent for us. We are expected to please and prop up every single black men, but the minute we want to consider our own self-interests and let our voices be heard because we refuse so simply fall in line, we are told that we need “tighten up”( from a man who looks like a walking, incurable not yet discovered STD) or will lose our men to women of difference races. For some, it seems as if we’re not worthy of compassion and understanding, which should come as no surprise. We’re seen as these larger than life individuals who are both resourceful and unwavering, and can only survive on the scraps of love given to us by the most asinine of black men. You know the one, who constantly refers to women as “hoes” or “bitches” or my personal favorite “female”. The same one who has the audacity to decide who a black woman should be and how she should behave.. They need us, but it seems that they don’t really love us.
I wanna clarify my thoughts by saying that not all men subscribe to this degenerative train of thought. They are black men out there fighting for us and for our survival, but those ones are few and far between. I’m tired of hearing the idiotic comments of what’s wrong with today’s black women from a man who wouldn’t be able to make these disparaging comments if it wasn’t for a black woman. To know that we have reduced to problematic and inferior (which let’s be honest, is nothing new), is hurtful but also demoralizing. But I think what’s hurts the most that for every man that dehumanize us, most black women will still show up and support those very black men. And if no one has told you black woman, then let me be the first: you are worthy of so much more. If black men will not see your value, then as a black woman myself, I do. I love you for your unassailable fortitude, I love you for all that you have done and continue to do, for which many black men are reaping the benefit. But most of all, I love you for the all the pain and contempt you have endured. You are strong and there’s none quite like you, but the reason I love you is because in a world that is constantly diminishing your worth, you still rise above…
*Illustration by Brad Amorosino*