Sunday, May 27, 2007

The control behind getting to..

I've been thinking a lot about control. Not the Janet Jackson Control...though I adore that Ms. Jackson for that contribution to the soundtrack of bitchitude (wink). Nope, a bitch is talking about the need some feel to control the behavior of others.

A bitch grew up subject to other people seeking to control my life, which is why I really can't stand that shit now. The suffocating social controls of suburban society in the 1980s...my mother's paranoid control over all things that increased as she steadily lost control of her life...my peers seeking to control my ambitions for fear that they might highlight their personal weaknesses...and the people in my world constantly telling my black ass what black people do/think/eat/like/hate/want/desire/should do.

A bitch is a culture junkie without shame and it has long offended my inner anthropologist when motherfuckers feel compelled to accuse this bitch of not behaving black enough.

Curiously, these 'you are not black' indictments come hand in hand with the and 'you're probably a man too' statements.

Pause...consider...continue.

Because it's not enough to indict my cultural and racial legitimacy...no, my gender must be questioned as well.

Blink...frown...push on.

Which in a sad way is a rather black woman based experience...to be seen as something other than black, which The Man sees as male while at the same time being something other than a woman, which The Man sees as white.

Interesting, isn't it?

Cough.

Well, I see it as a form of attempted control and this bitch ain't having it!

Why are my thoughts not the thoughts of a black woman? Who decides that shit...are they licenced or degreed? And which university is handing out a Masters of Supreme Assholia degree!?!

Who gets to be a feminist? Why are some academics forever at each other's throats unless they are distracted by the fresh meat of a non-academic who dared to venture into the protected woodlands of feminist theory? How did something so broad become the protected fortress of the narrow minded?

What does it mean for us all if a theory of empowerment becomes a tool of oppression and a symbol of denial?

Who gets to articulate black female anger? And who gets to decide who gets to do all that shit?

Why does this bitch intimidate you, threaten you, make you lash out as if to protect...

...what exactly?

Your throne...your territory...the pathetic comfort of your desperate stereotypes...

...or your control?

Shit check your bag, asshole...'cause you've already lost that.

You wanna lose something else?

14 comments:

Ryan said...

"How did something so broad become the protected fortress of the narrow minded?"

I love that sentence.

storm indigo said...

I have always been thrown by the 'not black enough' thing myself. I haven't yet figured out how to become black enough...i thought my skin took care of that.

shibaridevotee said...

This will be a bit of a gush, so feel free to delete, but I am moved to write and tell you that I love your blog and style of writing it. i suppose I feel a certain affinity, and know for sure you are not a man because your voice is too authentic, with just the right tone of satire in front of some seriously thoughtful things. I can also identify with being black and having people think I must be white because of where I've been, what I do, how I speak, and who I married. It pissses "em off because If they can't figure me out it's that much harder for them to control me. Keep up the good work.
Alice Berry

Maya's Granny said...

I will never know what it is to be told that I need to act like my race, but I was told often, and often that I needed to act like a girl or a woman. That I needed to change my thinking and my acting. I hated it then and I hate it now. How much worse it must be when you are told that you aren't a member of your race as well as gender!

GayProf said...

The disputing of your on-line/real-life identity has always perplexed me and your meditation on this is interesting to me. Perhaps the control they seek is about being able to detect the "authentic" voice which they imagine to be embodied in race and gender.

Whatever the case, nobody has ever suggested that I am not gay nor a prof. One wonders who else on the bloggy world is challenged in this way...

The Bear Maiden said...

hee hee.

The problem is, my friend, that the narrow-minded don't expect black women to think. Period. And once they figure out that we think, and think deeply, yet don't see things the way they assumed we did, it causes a ruckus in the synapses. I know it gets under your skin, chickie, but don't let it for long. It's not worth it. You'll never change their mind or their way of seeing, but on the other hand, their narrowmindedness and need to comment anonymously won't change your mind either. It will already enforce what you already know. They are small. The world is much bigger than them.

BTW, my grandfather fought to integrate the army during the 40's and got a medal for it. Grandpa went on to do a multitude of things in his long life, but making the government see that letting black troops fight alongside the white troops wouldn't bring the army down was the thing he was most proud of.

I hope you enjoyed your day...

Anonymous said...

which university is handing out a Masters of Supreme Assholia degree!?!

Well just off the top of my head, there's Bob Jones U., Liberty U., the School of the Americas...

Anonymous said...

what happened?

ACon said...

I love "the pathetic comfort of your desperate stereotypes."

As another black woman who doesn't fit the mold, it's crazy to me that folks can't get over themselves enough to realize that I am not a figment of their imagination. Even if you don't want to believe it, I am real, with my own opinions, that may never make sense to you.

And there's nothing you can do about it.

Shark-fu said...

What happened was that some anonymous person went there and rather than ignore it I decided to explore it.

I think anonymous came back to post some white woman against black woman bullshit that I just deleted (my bad for hitting publish!).

For the record, this bitch doesn't play the white women at war with black women or black women resenting white women game.

That shit has never been and is not now my world.

I do not dance to that played out shit and y'all will not hear it at this party.

So, get thee gone oh knave of long gone bullshit!

Saskia said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. The "who is allowed to be a feminist?" question has been coming up a lot lately... see, for instance, Judith Warner's coverage of the "mommy wars" on the NYT website. It's infuriatingly divisive, unproductive, classist... I could go on and on. I've had it with the people who engender (no pun intended!) and perpetuate these "wars." Thanks for reminding me not to dance to that shit.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I don't get all the "Obama not black enough" chatter either. And I suspect a lot of people saying it aren't from the 'hood either (but maybe have a distant relative in the 'hood). He's what we used to call "square", and mothers called "a nice young church-going man".

NancyP

Anonymous said...

I had the thing of being half Mexican and looking it. Whites called me spick but I was a very well read culture vulture and knew more about their white assed cultures than they did. On the other hand, Mexicans would call me "guera", or "guera wanna-be", or just hate me for be more mainstreamed than they were. It really sucked and made me miserable for a long long time. I am still not comfortable in either skin.

While I was totally lost, completely insecure with a very low opinion of myself, I never heard this, but when I gained some self-confidence, I heard it all the time: "You a dyke?" Yes, any outspoken woman who won't take shit or be bullshitted by some manipulative and/or narrow minded asshole is a dyke. I learned to be flip, snide, or gross and say stuff like, "Yeah, I kept meeting assholes like you and I had to switch", or "Yeah, women tend to be cleaner, smarter, and better lovers"... Whatever. If you are not a Barbie Doll Robotron they will always throw that at you.

thinking girl said...

Shark-Fu,

have you ever read any standpoint theory? I think you'd particularly like Patricia Hill Collins on the topic (Black Feminist Thought) - she talks a lot about the processes of knowledge validation and how they are controlled by the dominant class and are exclusionary of knowledge generated from alternative locations.

just in case you hadn't read, or needed something new to chew on... your post made me think of her work.

Best wishes,
TG