A couple of weeks ago I was having a discussion with a male friend of mine about a girl notorious for facebook statuses about “#basic chics.” We went on an hour-long rant about the irony of this particular female having these statuses which then turned into a whole discussion about no good women and then I was suddenly disgusted with myself and had a thought: If men hate on women all the time, and women hate on other women all the time, where does that leave us women?
I’ve seen a number of comments on this site that point to the fact that a majority of the blog topics deal with black women and all of the ways that we are wrong—too sexualized, too ghetto, too jealous, too single, and everything else under the sun. On one hand, I see nothing wrong with the topics. A large number of FreshXpress writers are women so of course we’ll talk about ourselves. But on the other hand, I can’t help but think, is there something deeper?
This is beyond the “if a male sleeps around, he’s the man, if a woman sleeps around, she’s a slut” double standard. The problem is that men aren’t the only ones labeling us as such. A lot of times it’s women giving power to these words and thus power to men while beating down her female counterpart in the same token. Sure you can call a spade a spade, but at what cost?
Now to be fair, women do their fair share of male bashing in the same breath that they shoot down other women, but how often do you see a group of men sitting around talking about how trifling, promiscuous, stupid, and unattractive other men are? I’m going to take a guess and say very rarely and certainly not to the same extent that we do. There are jokes about hood dudes who just want to be basketball players or rappers, but that’s pretty much where it stops. Behind every man who does nothing for his child is a crazy baby mama, for every man who can’t get a job, there’s a white racist hiring manager, and for every man in jail, there is a crooked cop.
Where’s the empathy (or excuses) for women? If you have a crazy baby daddy, then you should’ve known better to not get involved with him in the first place. If you can’t get a job, stop being lazy and get off welfare, and if you’re in jail, then you should’ve been smart enough not to get caught. These are the double standards I’m more concerned about. These are the double standards that we are placing on ourselves. And where does this behavior leave us in the end? Fractioned and divided.
I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every time I heard a woman say, “I don’t get along with females, I’d rather hang around men.” I’ve never heard a man say that he doesn’t get along with his male counterparts as a whole, and any straight man who says he’d rather hang around women is usually just thirsty. So why can’t black women, as progressive and successful as we claim to be, get along? Perhaps it’s not really the next woman that is the problem.
I don’t know the full psychology behind our women bashing and I don’t want this to turn into yet another “women need to do better” post, but l venture to say that underneath this behavior lies a mixture of deep-rooted self hatred, jealousy bubbling right at the surface, and a little bit of anger because some of the things that we do really are just stupid. But those few instances certainly don’t warrant the anti-women campaign that seems to be alive and flourishing on both sides of the gender fence.
We can’t stop men from calling us out at our worsts, although it would be wise for them to look at their role in creating these factions amongst women. We can, however, control our own mouths. We can cut the next chic some slack, and we can instill power, rather than take it away and place it in the hands of the opposite sex. We can stop hating women.