Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Untitled...


Y’all remember that song from TLC?

Unpretty?

Yeah, well the racism dressed up as science posted to Psychology Today yesterday had me humming that song all damned day.

Pause…stretch…continue.

Shall we?

Black women’s wombs are dangerous.

So, over the weekend I meant to mow the front lawn but I didn’t get to it.

Black women should barter their wombs for marriage.

I did, however, go to my brother’s open house on Friday.  It was great and a really nice way to end the week!

Black women need to stop dropping babies like rabbits.

I had a good weekend, too.  Caught up on some house-based cleaning and sorta-organized some paperwork.

Black women are money hungry whores.

I slept in…and Lawd, did I need to!  I feel like the last two weeks have been a non-stop whirlwind of work!

Sara Baartman becomes the Hottentot Venus once more, naked on a platform beneath glaring lights…standing before a gawking crowd…on display for inspection.

Oh, and I really need to catch up on Facebook.  Seriously, I have around 100 events I need to look at.  I’m betting I missed most of them already.

Step right up and see BLACK WOMAN! Exhibited and studied and…wait for it…found lacking, failing, ugly, stupid, promiscuous, irresponsible, violent, irrational…an angry swirling mass of brown flesh unworthy of respect, rights, trust, employment, or life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I should condition my hair this week.  It’s been awhile.

Can I touch your hair? I’ve just got to pet you!

I need to finish the three articles I started last week.  Gotta focus now that the Missouri State Legislative session is finally over!

Can you explain to me why you’re angry?

Hmmm, I should make an appointment with my doctor to check my blood pressure again.  I think I was supposed to do that last month.  Shit!

Defend yourself, girl! Why are your wombs so DANGEROUS?

Where did I put that freaking grocery list? 

Speak!  Oooh, why do they talk like that?

And I’m way over due for a trip to the Walgreens.

Dance!  Ooooh, why do they dance like that?

How the hell did I fall so far behind on all my basic to-dos?  The dawgs need their heartgard this morning.

Fuck. Oooh, I’ve always wanted to “try” a black girl!

Sigh.  One of these days I’ll get caught up on life.  LOL! Who am I kidding?

Now scream! 

But hey, at least I managed to watch Freedom Riders on PBS last night!  It was so worth it…the very definition of inspiring.

C-Money and I spent the night singing freedom songs and watching quality public television.

Throw us a tantrum, baby…and make it good.

And I really needed a Civil Rights night after reading that bullshit over at Psychology Today.  I know they think they solved that public display of editorial misconduct by taking the post down, but that shit should have never made it online in the first place!

Look at them…look at them…look at those black women…just look at them!

Not that it being published was anything new…it feels like that kind of rancidity attacking black women is the status quo.  And every time we point that shit out we’re told we’re too sensitive or are over-reacting or insecure.

Look at me.

Look at ME, damn it!

But they call it a struggle for a reason, right?

See me yet?

Respect me yet?

Trust me...yet?

Time to get another day started, y’all!

Blink.

32 comments:

Anywhere But Hear said...

Hi lady! Long time reader, first time commenter. After I read the article that you reference I was so enraged (and not thinking clearly or logically) that I sent this to Psychology Today:

Hi Jo,

I'm sure you and the jackasses who run www.psychologytoday (Are you
POSITIVE this isn't psychology from 1840????) are really proud of the
racist bullshit spewed by Stoshi Kanazawa that you guys hit the
publish key on. You would THINK that a website dealing with
psychological issues wouldn't promote socially divisive, non-accurate,
factually skewed bullshit that causes low self-esteem, disordered
thinking, questioning of your heritage/race, anorexia,
body-dismorphia, bulemia, etc...but then again maybe you're just
trying to make yourself more clients.

In short, FUCK OFF.

Thank you for your consideration,

Erin

I have no idea if this is useful, well thought out, etc, but I hit send. <3 you. Don't let the man hold you down!

Starshadow said...

I'm not black, but I followed a link to your blog because I loved your blog title. (An aside--I lived through that era of Freedom Riders--was an air force brat and we lived in Panama City Florida when it was still segregated, though the Air Force itself was not) I am astounded at Psychology Today. "Black women less attractive OBJECTIVELY (my emphasis) really? According to whom? OMG. I hardly have words. Erin, you did good. When I regain coherence I'll send 'em a note too. I keep hoping we will all, collectively, be through with this ...racist garbage. And sexist. Oh, and let me add fat-ist. Blargh.

Great blog. I'm gonna keep reading. Thanks.

Starshadow

Prosey said...

You continue to inspire me, Fu. Love to you.

Anonymous said...

Studies can "prove" anything you want them to. In this case, I think it pretty much proves Stoshi Kanazawa is a racist asshole. Black women are BEAUTIFUL!

ContraWhit said...

This post...amazing.
Thank you, Fu.

(Ha, the captcha for this comment: "unrestr". Seems fitting, no?)

Roz B said...

People recycle this tired Black women are ________ (fill in the blank) diatribe when they want to distract from what is really going on in the world. I mean - now we are the least attractive?!?! For real? x_O Well - I am too busy earning my paycheck and paying my bills and having a good time in life to worry about whether some Japanese dude's skewed study will affect me or my life. I mean - gee - I don't feel less attractive. As a matter of fact, I am feeling awesome and fabulous right now, so Stoshi Kanazawa and Psychology Today can eat a big one!

Christine said...

Loved this post. I was complete incredulous over Psychology Today publishing this article. It made my skin crawl. I had thought they were a reputable magazine! But as usual, you post a classy takedown.

Angiel said...

I check in every now and again to find out “WTF” this time. Since it was “untitled” I almost let it slip by. So glad I didn’t. This is an excellent post. (You’ll be writing a book, right?)

DomainDiva said...

As the white mother of two beautiful and magnificent black women I say to PTday:

FUCK OFF AND DIE

Nemebabe said...

ABB! Holy moly, it's been probably ten years since I've commented on this lovely blog o' yours!

I've been reading through and trying to catch up on whats been going on with you - but this whole attack against women (I know it's an attack against black women, but dammit, we women have got to stick up for each other too) is such amazing bullshit it's got me sidetracked!

The thing that gets me...the whole "black woman" thing there...well, I know more little white girls who fit that description than ANYTHING...

Ugh. Anyway - I missed you. Was sitting around minding my business a couple of weeks ago and I was like "Hey...I wonder if Angry Black Bitch is still there?" Lo and behold...here you are :) I'm so glad :)

Aimee said...

I'm going to stick my neck out....

and first I'd like to parade my credentials, if you don't mind....

I'm a white woman, age 39, raised in a very white city. Even so, I have had a black stepmother from the age of 12, and for the last fifteen years also have a black brother in law, mixed-race nieces and nephews, and am myself married to a Mexican immigrant, and have mixed race, bilingual children. I've lived in Mexico and consider myself to be pretty "progressive" or "enlightened" or whatever term best fits. I'm a long term reader and have commented here and there.

I'm right with you about this rancid ad campaign - and the horrifying article-, and more generally, about the persistence of racism in many of our institutions and in the media. But I have to say, I'm confused and hurt by some of the assumptions built into this post.

Isn't there something wrong when a person takes racial offense to the comment "I just love your hair!"?
Or even "black girls are so sexy!"?

and as far as "explain to me why you're angry..." well, ignorance is frustrating to all of us. I understand the implied assertion that somehow you are to blame for being unreasonable or irrational for having any anger over historic and current injustices.
I'm white, but I'm also a woman and a feminist, and I have dealt with my fair share of ignorant, ham-fisted inquiries as to why I'm so angry.

But I try to answer them. I try to engage the ignorant in conversation, at least until it has been conclusively proven to me that the person in question is incapable of open-mindedness. How else, after all, is any progress to be made? Some people can't be reached, some people are hardened racists, but not most of them. Most of them are uneducated innocents who really DO love your hair.

Does it serve any useful purpose to make those people feel ashamed of themselves? This is an honest question - I KNOW it is work - tiresome work - to take on the burden of pleasantly educating the ignorant. Nobody has to do it if they don't feel like it.

But don't you think it's better than belittling and scorning?

The New Black Woman said...

Great post. This really made me feel better today:-)

The Pedgehog said...

Aimee - it is not Shark Fu's job to educate you. It is not the job of the oppressed to educate the oppressors. And if you really can't figure out what is so mind-numbingly OFFENSIVE and CONDESCENDING about asking to touch/pet a black woman's hair...I don't think you're as "progressive" or "enlightened" as you think you are.

Jess said...

@ Aimee - from one 39-y-o white woman to another -

It's great that you can respond constructively to the ignorant "why are you angry?"

But please consider the possibility that, when you take ABB to task for her tone, it's white privilege talking.

I find this post useful:
http://disabledfeminists.com/2010/05/02/educate-yourself/

Thx for reading.

Ariel said...

@Aimee

As a young white woman, I understand your confusion. When I first exposed myself as a feminist to race and racism, I didn't understand the amount of anger. But then I learned that about what asking questions as a white woman means. It means that I expect an answer. It means that I am demanding people of color to prove their case. It means I think I'm entitled to their life experiences.

These implications are derived from my privilege as a white woman. I didn't ask for it, but then, that's why it's called privilege. It's not my fault, but it is my responsibility.

As feminists, we combat male privilege everyday. You choose to burden yourself with educating other men. As do I. But it is, in fact, a choice. It would be unfair to expect others to make the same choices we do, especially if we expect people of color to make the same choices as white people. That expectation, in and of itself, is drenched in privilege.

As to your last question, combating privilege is not a zero sum game. Choosing to educate a privileged person is not better than belittling or scorning. It is a choice.

Aimee said...

well, stick your neck out and risk getting your head chopped off....

Pedahog: I specifically said it isn't anyone's job to educate the ignorant if they choose not to: I just wondered out loud if it might not be the right thing to do, annoying as it is... and please, learn to accept a compliment. I would never (and have never) asked to "pet" anyone's head, white or black. But I HAVE said "what awesome hair you have" and I don't see why on earth I ought to apologize for that.

Jess: I agree that my entire life has been drenched in white privilege... but that is not an excuse to ignore my well-intentioned questions and my attempts to engage in a constructive dialogue. Even if my attempts are offensive (which I really don't think I was), a person who is truly interested in moving society forward will engage in conversation, don'tcha think?

Ariel: questioning is not the same as demanding. An invitation to conversation is not an expression of entitlement. This blog is a forum that invites discussion, I think: am I wrong? You are right, if I were to walk up and ask these same questions of someone who hadn't invited public discourse, it would be presumptuous and offensive. I have more respect for Shark-Fu than to think she will be mortally offended or incapacitated by my really very ordinary inquiries. It seems to me that Shark-Fu is a brave person who is herself opening up avenues of debate. If people join her in the conversation, why should she be offended?

Please note, Shark-Fu, I am not trying to speak for you or to anticipate your response. I hope I haven't offended you - it certainly wasn't my intent. My main point here is that there is nothing to be gained by making enemies of people who are good-hearted but clueless. The clueless should be approached gently, recruited to the side of the angels, as it were. If we attack them and vilify them just for being clueless, well, we stab ourselves in the foot, don't we?

Shonika said...

@Aimee-At what point are we allowed to get tired of having to educate the same people on the same topics over and over again? That's where a lot of our anger comes from. We are tired of having to prove our femininity, our humanity, at every turn. Are we wrong for this?

Shark-fu said...

Aimee...

I deeply resent your comments.

Given the subject matter I am addressing here, it boggles the mind that you would choose this moment to flex your entitlement.

And I resent the myth you are perpetuating - that bigotry and injustice just need the oppressed to set aside our natural and completely justified emotions so we can fullfil our role on earth which is to illuminate, tolerate, appease, and attend to.

This post was not an opportunity for you to highjack the comment section with white guilt or for you to attempt to school me on how I offended you by the way I shared how I'm offended.

This isn't about you.

But then, I suspect that's the problem.

Aimee said...

Well I guess I made a major mistake. In thinking anyone was interested in hearing MY voice.

Shark-fu said...

Okay, now...what part of "not about you" and "not the right time for you to get your entitlement on" did you not understand?

Aimee, your entire comment thread is a case study in white privilege.

Look inward and examine your actions in this space.

Delux said...

OK Aimee? No, this post at this blog on this topic was NOT the place to decide that everyone needed to hand hold you through understanding your own racism and why shark fu is so mean to people who just want to learn.

You can interpret that as a free pass to pout and stomp that nobody is interested in hearing your voice, or you can perhaps learn that women of color sometimes need to take care of themselves first.

ps: the fact that you needed to parade yr white liberal credentials made it clear that you werent that clueful to begin with.

Delux said...

Sharkfu this is why we had to lock down more than one comm I've moderated. People like this would *insist* on rolling into poc conversations and discussions and then get enraged when their "contributions" were deemed irrelevant, derailing, or just plain hostile.

I think the idea is that we are supposed to be so grateful that they "want to learn" and arent like those other people, we should drop whatever we are doing to give them whatever attention and resources they want.

Oh well...

Mac said...

I wanted to say something to Aimee, white lady to white lady, so I put it over here if she cares to look: http://machineplay.tumblr.com/post/5613329022/open-letter-to-another-white-lady-my-age

ABB, I think you are all that, and thank you for your anger. I have some really good Pinot Noir and some dark chocolate in my pantry if you ever swing north of the border.

spam catcher: outisdat (uhuh, dat shit is WAY out there.)

Broce said...

As a middle aged white disabled woman who grew up pagan in the 60's and who has single parented, worked in the "male end" of IT,, I've been on both ends of privilege for different things.

My mother raised me to go out of my way to be ... overly careful not to let my witchyness offend non-pagan types. After 50 years of that, and the increasing awareness of paganism in general, I do *not* feel like I need or want to explain anymore that I don't eat babies or sacrifice Christians. It's tiresome, demeaning, and feels like begging for an acceptance I really don't give a damn about. Same thing for "disturbing" the boys club by showing up to work.

What this poster doesn't seem to get is that no, it isn't better to bow and scrape before privilege of *any* kind. It's another form of apologizing for who one is. Appeasement. That worked out so well for Britain in the 30's & 40's.

Shark-fu said...

Thanks folks - for the links, the support and your understanding!

Mac... wine and dark chocolate? And a trip to Canada too? I'm there!

Prince Toddy English said...

I cancelled my subscription to Psychology Today over that mess. Here I was believing they were a reputable magazine!
I got rather "ethnic" with one of the CSRs. I know it was not his fault but I had to take out my rage on somebody.
There was nothing scientific about that study. The only conclusion that was drawn is that Satoshi Kanazawa is a racist bigot. He also believes that feminism is evil, black people (in general) are intellectually inferior, and that the solution (the final one I suppose?)to the war on terror would be a nuclear holocaust.
Any magazine that gives someone like that a platform does not deserve my dollars.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

This one just f'ing pissed me off real plain. How dare that publish that clap trap right out there in the open where young black girls, maybe 8, 10 or 14 yrs. old could read it. RRRRRRgh. I just want to grab whoever is responsible for this shit and shake some sense into them.

I love women, all women. I've had a long and satisfying relationship (in my mind) with many black women such as Teresa Graves and Pam Grier.

But seriously, WTF is wrong with not only the racist prick who wrote this pile of dung, but Psychology Today for publishing it. Geez, the sample group was a group of psychological researchers, probably mostly white upper class types.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

"And I resent the myth you are perpetuating - that bigotry and injustice just need the oppressed to set aside our natural and completely justified emotions so we can fullfil our role on earth which is to illuminate, tolerate, appease, and attend to."

That belongs on a bill board. Awesome.

Blaq Mind said...

Dear Wife,

You're Blaq is beautiful to me.

Mark said...

Bleh. That is definitely some rancidity. I am genuinely sorry that you had to deal with it, and the fubar that followed. Although the author.. well.. let's just take the high road and say Japan hasn't been the most hospitable to immigrants. That's bad, for further isolating an already insular culture, but it's bad for the blood, too, mark my words. SO many old folks, few births, no freshening new influences. And have you SEEN how ugly the faces of those inbred British royals look? Yes, EVEN William. UGLY, somebody hit them over the head with an ugly stick. They need to go marry a bunch of Brazilians! Get some vigor in those genes.

I am mostly gay (white dude speakin') but I have always found black women far more beautiful than any others. Black women can look good wearing orange, purple, maroon, shockingly vivid colors. If I tried to wear orange, I would look like a Creamsicle!

Anonymous said...

Psychology Today is to real medical journals what National Enquirer is to actual news media.

That's why my pharmacist boss used to stock Psychology Today somewhere between Maxim and the sleazy celebrity stalking magazines, while the actual pharmacy trade journals were kept in the back and read by the chemists, and the mental health specialist.

Roz B said...

Believe me - it isn't just Kanazawa. It is our own doing it to us as well! Please read my blog: www.happysnappynappy.blogspot.com. I address my frustration with this very issue.