Imagine a world where Black women are respected, protected or even believed. One would think this world already exists, but as of late it’s been made abundantly clear that Black women don’t receive the same grace as their male counterparts.
For weeks, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s names have been dragged through the mud by men all over the world, including washed up musicians, for simply expressing their sexuality. In a separate instance, Gayle King was literally threatened by Snoop Dogg for conducting an interview, earlier this year. Aside from these events being misogynistic and sexist, they highlight the hypocrisies that we perpetuate when it comes to Black women.
It’s been the norm for men to discuss sexuality in their music and receive praise. Likewise, male media personalities like Steve Harvey and Roland Martin are acclaimed for their interviewing style and haven’t received vulgar messages threatening their lives from well-known rappers. Fellas, if you hate Black women, just say that.
If a famous, wealthy, beloved black woman is violated then isn’t allowed grace or even believed, how do you think everyday black women are treated?— Ivie Ani (@ivieani) August 21, 2020
In recent years, we’ve seen an influx of Black women rappers from various backgrounds, such as Saweetie, Rhapsody and so many more, shake up the rap scene. Many people rejoiced at the surge of these femcees reclaiming their agency and sexuality through their musicality but, of course, men had to insert themselves into this conversation.
Since the beginning of time, we’ve heard cisgender heterosexual men spit tacky, bubblegum rhymes about women’s sexuality and agency, but when women talk about their own sexuality and agency, these same male rappers and their Sound Cloud sporting fans decide to transform into critical theorists on why that’s unacceptable. Where was all that bravado and clever wordplay when these men were in the studio? Or is it only reserved for the think pieces that essentially prove jealousy over the success that Black women are receiving?
We could go on and on about the many reasons some men are upset, but we should probably move on and confront the unrealistic expectation that Black women are supposed to accept pain and mistreatment to preserve fragile male egos.
Jermaine Dupree really said that cornball foolishness about female rappers when he could have said nothing at all.— kenya hunter (@KenyaTheHunter) July 12, 2019
Last month, Megan Thee Stallion found herself in headlines for being allegedly shot by Tory Lanez. This month, she confirmed that Lanez was indeed the culprit of her gunshot wound, on an Instagram Live session, along with the admission that she didn’t divulge the information to authorities because she was in fear of her life and his. Since this unfortunate event, we’ve seen an overflow in misogynoir with Black men making a mockery out of the situation through memes and tasteless social media jokes — even going so far as to call her a “snitch.”
There’s a lot to unpack with this situation including how Black women are expected to safeguard the entire world and not receive a semblance of that gesture returned to them, but that pales in comparison to this “snitch” term. This Black woman has been maligned and faced scrutiny from so many Black men for being a victim. Now she’s being bullied for revealing her assailant? In what world is it okay for a survivor of gun violence to face more backlash than the actual gunman? This anti-Black woman rhetoric is harmful and it needs to stop, immediately.
BW live at the intersection of police brutality + gun violence. Megan Thee Stallion was shot + terrified yet still knew she couldn't trust cops 2 protect her. Yet in this traumatic state she decided 2 protect Tory Lanez from the cops. If only we lived in a world that protected BW https://t.co/mbed8T76JT— Shanita Hubbard (@msshanitarenee) August 21, 2020
Being sexually attracted to Black women doesn’t absolve a man from being a conspirator in misogynoir. Being in love with a Black woman doesn’t excuse a man from the danger he preserves when participating in any behavior that upholds the mistreatment of Black women. It’s easy to challenge Black women on any and everything regarding how they carry themselves, how they rap, how they dress, how they sustain injuries and every other facet of their lives, but have men challenged themselves?
Have men put that same energy towards asking why we feel the need to have a say in Black women’s business? Have we posed that question to our comrades or are we simply faux provocateurs who choose to aggress Black women behind computer screens because we know our homeboys in real life wouldn’t tolerate that? To be clear, Black women don’t tolerate disrespect either, but it’s no secret that sexism gives men this weird bode of confidence that we'd never direct towards other men.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta has given us many things, but when Nene Leakes boldly declared to Peter Thomas, “you need to stay out of women’s business,” that was a gem ahead of its time. It costs nothing to mind your business, gentlemen.