In the Black community, I believe there is an ideal Black woman.
The ideal Black woman is strong, unbreakable and tough. She is able to do everything and be everything to everyone but herself. She has the super-human ability to withstand pain. She can be satisfied with pain and sacrifice on earth because she believes deeply in her reward in heaven.
The ideal Black woman is a race warrior, a sista soldier, a caretaker, a maid, a mammy, a churchgoer, the sole community upholder, the breadwinner, an unpaid organizer, the protector and guardian of the Black community.
She is objectified, analyzed, brutalized and criticized but is required to remain silent and protect her victimizer. She has unquestioning loyalty to those who would not do the same.
She is independent but will dutifully cede to men regardless of her accomplishments. She is the religious caretaker and chief financier of her church or temple and community but defers her role as the decision maker to the few religious and nonreligious men because of her faith.
If she is too poor, she deserved it. If she is too wealthy, she will intimidate a man. She must be educated but not show it. If she is educated, she must be open to dating and mating with a Black male who is not.
If she is single, it’s because she is unlovable, too independent and fast. If she is married, she must be pious, act chaste and submit to her man. Unlike her Black male counterparts, the ideal Black woman cannot have preferences for another race or she will risk being called a whore, money hungry and/or a race traitor. If she dates out of her race, she must always qualify her nonblack partner by saying, “I love Black men.” She must not expect marriage as an option because it is just a piece of paper for White people.
She is unlovable but everyone wants agency over her body. She is Black but not too Black. She is thick, a little too thick or too small. She wears no wigs or weaves but still has to contort her features to fit Black internalized Eurocentric beauty standards.
She is ignored when things go right and the blame when things go wrong. She is the ideal Black woman
Unlike what many believe, I am proud to say not a ideal Black woman. Here is why:
1. I can’t make a dollar out of fifteen cents!
2. I don’t see poverty, altruism, silence, pain, being strong and sacrifice as admirable or divine traits.
3. I won’t take care of or coddle adults who are fully capable of caring for his or herself.
4. I am not l super human. I do not have super human strength and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
5. I won’t be forced into fighting political, social and economic battles that reinforce patriarchal supremacy while neglecting my own needs.
6. I won’t be a part of cultural unity or religious organizations and movements that “uplift” my culture while subjugating me because I am a woman.
7. My life, my choices and my body aren’t community property. I can do what the hell I want to do with it!
8. I cannot carry the Black community on my back.
9. I refuse to sacrifice myself and even if I did, it would not be for people who reduce me to a “mule,” “baby momma,” “wifey,” “jumpoff,” “bi#=ch,” “hoe,” “ni**a” or a “piece of ass” in a twerking video.
10. I reject the idea of submission to coddle insecure, weak-willed and powerless men because a bronze age book written by men said so!
11. I don’t believe in race-based or any other kind of loyalty without reciprocity.
12. I am not ashamed to say that I need help and I depend on an awesome support system of friends and family who encourage me.
13. I live and see my life through the lens of my perspective and not others.
14. I will not adhere to others definition of Blackness.
15. My relationship status doesn’t define me.
16. My sicknesses are real.
17. My tears, pain and fears are not a sign of weakness but an admission that I need help.
18. I have needs, wants, desires, dreams and goals.
19. When I feel vulnerable I want to feel protected.
20. I am my definition of feminine.
21. I am both sensual and sexual.
22. I laugh and cry.
23. I feel pain and I feel joy.
24. I love and I am loved.
25. I am my kind of beautiful.
I, like other women, have the right to be just me. I am my kind of Black woman.
Remember a revolution always starts between two ears. Start your revolution today. BBG