Um texto sobre os múltiplos racismos que as meninas negras sofrem ao longo da vida. Bem forte.
What I didn’t know back then: The intersections of racism and sexism, known as misogynoir, make it impossible for black girls to appeal to the standards white supremacy has set for us, no matter how we dress or act. As well as disallowing me from choosing my own identity and tastes, this kind of bigotry put me in bodily danger. My sexuality has been joked about since I was in elementary school, and at 19, I’ve noticed that as I get older, unwanted commentary on my body becomes more aggressive, and men often follow and threaten me if I don’t respond to their catcalls.
Black girls are some of the least protected people in this country. We don’t come close to being as viewed as worthy of defending as white women do, so it’s easy to harass us without consequence. Being hypersexualized is part of the “angry black woman” trope, thanks to which black girls are perceived as overbearing, sassy caricatures. Many people who are neither black nor female love to brag about how they have a strong, independent black women living inside of them—but of course they don’t, because they’ve never had to slap on a smile in the face of racism and sexism, or been demonized for complaining about pain when someone hurts them the way black girls are forced to. They have never had to show the kind of strength and independence we have to exude every day.
Black girls are supposed to be tough, but not intimidating, and I was supposed to be able to deal with the bullies without actually defending myself, because that would get me into trouble. Being black makes means you can’t be a victim, no matter how fragile you feel. As a black girl, if you get justifiably upset about anything, people tend to see it as your bullying them, rather than trying to figure out how they upset you. Where I grew up in suburban New Jersey, as with so many other places, white girls are the standard for what is feminine and delicate, while black girls are viewed as wild brutes. My friends and I became almost numb to having our emotional needs ignored.
Teaching African American girls that we can fight misogynoir by covering our bodies and regulating our behavior more than white girls is pointless. It’s not a black girl’s job to prove that she is worthy of humanity. That’s supposed to be our human right. We’re trying to fit into a society that doesn’t want to see us thrive, so we might as well say “fuck it!” be as loud as we want, cry as hard and long as we need to, and dance however we like. To deny black girls these things is to deny them room to grow and make mistakes—to strip them of their adolescence.
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