Sunday, January 22, 2012

Are Controlling Black Men Responsible for the "Angry Black Woman" Stereotype?

I found an interesting article called Are Controlling Black Men Responsible for the "Angry Black Woman" Stereotype? Once again, the article points out that Black women need to stop embracing the terms "strong" and "independent" because they are harming us and making us seem different from other women. Although some women of other ethnicities may like the term "independent", they are usually still looked upon as women who are in need or care and tenderness, unlike Black women. That's just the way it is, other women can use these terms and still be treated with care, but we don't get the same.

The solution...reject those terms and never apply them to yourself. Accept any term that implies you are an Elegant Black Woman (EBW) such as graceful, kind, nice, friendly, sophisticated, beautiful, pretty, smart, intelligent, witty, charming, or anything else that is positive or feminine. Reject any masculine term (being intelligent is not a masculine term). Do not let women who embrace masculine terms influence you. That means, be wary of certain feminist ideals (I mean feminist not those who seek equal rights for women) and encouragement to accept all things masculine and see all traditionally feminine things as inferior. Embrace the feminine and do what you need to do to lead a happy, healthy life where you are treated with respect, kindness, and tenderness.

What really stood out for me in the article is that Black women are sometimes called "angry" when they ask for what they want and called "independent" when they get what they want themselves. I think they should have also included that we are called "strong" in order to keep us accepting negative situations (e.g., poverty, abusive relationships, disrespect etc.). These words have been used to manipulate us! This brings me back to my previous article Assertiveness Training Will Save Black Women and how important it is for us to be able to express ourselves, what we need and want, and when we are being mistreated in an assertive manner rather than being aggressive or passive. This is how we can communicate and still be regarded as feminine not angry or strong. Nowadays I have no problem asking for what I want and getting it, and I appear approachable, friendly, and feminine to the people I encounter. Smile, ask for what you want in an assertive manner, and the world might just fall at your charming feet!

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