I was recently hoodwinked by Facebook. An article came up in my feed about the firing of Satoshi Kanazawa over his very unscientific blog post in Psychology Today about African American women being unattractive. This news is nearly two years old and the offensive article in question, even older. But it did get me to thinking the mere notion of any subset of women as being unattractive is pure nonsense.
Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten too old. I am able to see the beauty in most, if not all things. I now am able to see past the silly qualifications that used to determine whether a girl made it to my “list.” Mind you I wrote girl, which means I was a boy — I thought like one and acted like one. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s all a part of growing up.
So let’s get all the points of contention out of the way. African American women can be strong willed. In their attempt to be all things to all people at home, in their extended families and in the world many don’t know how to turn it down a notch and are “on” twenty-four seven, an alarming number have suffered abuse at the hands of a man, in some purely awful cases a man that is a relative. Many are forced to raise families on their own because for one reason or another or several reasons combined the sex that brought that child or those children into being never came to be, or dissolved quickly thereafter. African American women also often have the unnecessary burden of being judged for being “too” everything depending on the situation by peers in the workplace, society at large, writers like Kanazawa, and each other. And sometimes, a woman with black skin may genuinely have a bad attitude, no different than a woman with white, olive or red skin. The same goes for men.
With all that said, and plenty more I’m sure if I were to spend my time analyzing the unnecessary, I love black women. I wouldn’t even be here writing these words were it not for the mother who raised me with my father. I love a black woman’s strength, the way, when she does relax, how she can do so and speak with a self-assurance that is rivaled by no one. I love my black women’s curves, not to be confused with obesity which leads to heart disease. I love being able to be held by a woman who feels solid and firm in my hands. I can remember every kiss I’ve ever received from black woman. Articles everywhere talk disparagingly about my black women’s lips and yet I see many women of other hues with grotesquely plumped lips and hips. Stuff that comes naturally to many black women must be purchased and manufactured by by others — even “shaping” jeans and padded panties. From my daughter to my coworker one cubicle over, I am astounded by how many different complexions we can be and I love the way my black women make their hue work for them. They literally glow in the sun. From bald headed to thick locks running down a back, a black woman has the versatility to look any way she wants — not held hostage by the wants and desires of mainstream society. And yet we are.
Santoshi Kanazawa exists be WE as a culture have done an excellent job convincing others outside our culture that we hate ourselves and each other. Never in a million years would anyone other than a hate monger in some closeted organization go on record about his distaste for a group of women he has the option not to date. What purpose did that article serve? What science was he advancing? What point was he proving? That he could say whatever he wanted about us because we do it too — all day long. On television, in music, and especially here online.
Yeah, Lil’ Wayne’s beats are hot but he and everyone else who raps like him is spewing straight garbage about women. Be clear, I’m not calling out hip hop, I’m calling out the kind that is ruling the airwaves. How many times can I tell myself what I’m listening to is okay because it’s the radio edit when I know what they are saying? Our kids dance and skate to it at birthday parties. How silly does a woman sound when she and her friends sprint out onto the dance floor, talking about “That’s ma song!” and from start to finish some dude who lives a fantasy, debt-riddled lifestyle is being hardly poetic about women being tools of satisfaction with no thoughts, hopes nor brains, other than maybe getting money by stripping. These dudes don’t even treat their dogs this way. Because after all a dog is man’s best friend. Even worse, when women musicians are pressured to follow suit, talking about how they get-money and beat a man at his own game by choosing to be an object themselves rather than having it done to them by a man. WHAT?
Heading into Valentine’s Day I wonder where’s the love? How do we expect our kids to experience love when all they see on the Internet is hate and self-hate and think it’s funny? We don’t have to take our selves super serious. There’s nothing wrong with poking fun. But we should always respect ourselves.
Ultimately I am one man, so all I can do is my part. I will love my wife as my queen and my rock when I need some stability, I will love my daughter as the most precious present I’ve ever received. Daily, I check in with her to make sure that she knows exactly who she is so no one can take that away from her, even when they try. And my beautiful black women that I pass anonymously during my daily grind, I do my best to be polite because these women are me. They are my family. And they are beautiful.
Hopefully one day everyone will do their part and love one another rather than waiting around and asking why no one loves them, going on and on about why they won’t because he or she won’t, or worse getting on social media to complain. The notion that we are the only ones allowed to disrespect ourselves is nonsense, especially when others outside our culture do so because they see us doing it and believe we are too stupid and too powerless to do anything about it. Grab some power. Tell a black woman in your life that she beautiful. Do it just because and expect nothing in return. Tell the one you love you love her. Do it as often as you are able.
BMWK — What do you love about black women?