Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa posted a piece on the Psychology Today website (originally titled Black Women Are Ugly) that was retitled a few times before deletion. I didn’t manage to screen cap the original title, but I do have a cap of the article itself with one of the subsequent titles. And reading it is an exercise in revisiting kind of the Darwinism that was theoretically debunked ages ago. Given the range of articles on topics like the “plight” of single black women or the invisibility of black women in general, I guess not only are we not supposed to value ourselves, but no one else does either. Except when it comes to sex. There we’re more likely to be viewed as promiscuous regardless of actual behavior. Our bodies are not supposed to be our own, and no one (least of all the women in them) is supposed to love everything about them.
Well, as much as hearing this shit hurts, as much as living in the intersection of racism and misogyny is exhausting? I refuse to let this bigoted bullshit define my reality, or the reality of women like me. Black women are often denigrated inside and outside of our communities for being tough. We are seen as being too strong to be “real” women. If I’m going to war every day with a society that shames and attacks me as a matter of course? I’m not going outside without weapons. Intelligence, wit, that knowledge that even if no one else loves me today, I have to love me today. Because in the end, all of the racism, classism, & misogyny that surrounds me is something to overcome. We do that as black women. We overcome adversity. And it costs us. Everyday we get hurt, and sometimes our wounds are patched up by good caring people. Sometimes they’re not, but we keep fighting. Because that’s what warriors do regardless of the odds. We are beautiful, intelligent, strong, and so much more than any of these people spouting bigotry can understand. Target us, and we’ll fight back the best way we know how. We will live our lives and love ourselves regardless of your racist nonsense.
And before a bunch of people rush to claim these are isolated incidents, I want you to spend some quality time with Google. Look up terms like “Pretty for a black girl”, and “Black Women are Easy”. Spend some time looking at those celebrity blogs and the color of the celebrities that are celebrated for having full lips or large behinds. Walk down a hair care aisle at your local drugstore and count how many products are aimed at natural Afro textured hair vs. how many are for straightening that hair. Take a trip through the magazine aisle and look at the covers of those fashion and beauty magazines. Open them up and count how many of the models are visibly of African descent. When you’re out at restaurants or even at the mall pay attention to the number of stores that have mannequins that remotely resemble black women. Last, but definitely not least listen to how the people around you talk about female bodies. Specifically black female bodies. Then come talk to me about post racial America and what it means to be a black woman trying to survive racism and rape culture.