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|05-10-2012, 09:05 AM||#1|
'Twas but a dream of thee
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Out on a limb
Black Women, Power, Sexuality, and Trangressive States of Being
So bear with me, folks - and if I show my ass, just tell me, please. I'm still fumbling towards understanding.
So I've been thinking a great deal about the vitriol aimed at Michelle Obama, and at Black women in general, and I'm wondering about the . . . crap, see, I don't even know how to talk about this . . . I guess, bluntly put, about the historical/cultural freight around Black female sexuality and power, and the transgressive nature of any hint of sexuality or power from Black women, in particular.
My own observations over the last thirty-odd years suggest that in contemporary American culture, women with lighter skin get points (Halle Berry), and it's only fairly recently that women like Ms. Berry are openly acknowledged as genuinely beautiful -- although historically, there's always been a sort of tacit acknowledgement of Black female beauty and sexuality, frex Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, or Nina Simone -- but they were jazz singers, which was a profession that, by its nature was considered out beyond the edges of social propriety...so, almost by definition, transgressive.
Now, that's not rocket science, I know -- but WTF is up with the way (generalizing "we" to mean as a nation and in our mainstream media) we're STILL so culturally uncomfortable with a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman in the White House that we don't apparently even know what to do? Are we afraid we'll be caught staring?
I suppose I should have been more prepared. I'm a huge Hillary Clinton fan, after all, and remember exactly how outraged and perplexed I was over the way the media and everyone from my parents' church talked about her -- I honestly thought Mrs. Obama's reception would be similar. Jokes about her appearance, her sexuality, and so on. I wasn't prepared for some of the really ugly stuff, though.
Is it really that big of a social crime, that terribly transgressive, for a woman to be strong, smart, beautiful, successful, and Black?
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Last edited by MacAllister; 05-10-2012 at 09:10 AM.
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