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Woman By: Christina Thomas

As a black woman, I have ass not aspirations. Attitude, not assertiveness. A baby daddy, not a husband. Twerking is my favorite hobby and finding a white man to take care of me and give me light-skinned babies with pretty hair is my life-long dream. I’m ghetto by nature; long nails, thigh tattoos and lace front wigs are essential. I’m loud by choice because people need to listen when a strong black woman is speaking. I never use correct grammar because ain’t nobody got time for that. I fuss and argue and complain. My attitude is raw and my words are real. I’m an independent woman and not afraid to let it be known. I pay my own bills. I feel the need to be the woman and the man in my house. I overcompensate with aggression to hide my vulnerability. And so on and so forth.

I’m scared. Because I’m a woman, I feel inferior. Because I’m black, I feel inferior. I’m stereotyped to be loud, ghetto, incompetent, unimportant even. If I dress nice and, God forbid, use a little grammar, I’m “acting white”. If I graduate from college and get a well-paying job it’s only because there was a quota to be met and I fit the bill. Any opportunity I’ve been given, I’VE BEEN GIVEN. I don’t work hard enough to achieve anything on my own so I walk around asking for handouts. I’m starred at. Lusted after. My body is a wonderland, but my mind isn’t worth exploring. I can bare children, but I’m never good enough to be a wife. If I don’t stand up for myself, I’m weak. If I show assertiveness, I’m over-aggressive. I get insulted from all angles of life and told to take it all in stride. Don’t complain.

If one of us twerks, we all twerk. If one of us can sing, we all can sing. If one of us is on welfare, we’re all on welfare. We get put in a box, told we’re all one in the same. If we act any different from how we’re perceived to act, God has performed a miracle. If we act how we’ve been perceived to be, we all get penalized and the stereotypes maintain their relevancy. We don’t win.  EVER. Even when we think we’ve won, taken a step forward, someone is always there to remind us of our downfall as a whole. We’re never seen as an individual. It’s always us and them, never me and her.

Our identity is tied up in the stereotypes that people have for us. A few of us fall into the stereotype, right where they want us to be. Many of us find the power to rise above, achieve beyond and grow within the process of proving society wrong. And it’s funny because that’s the art of being a woman in general; proving that you can be a wife, mother, business owner, caretaker, sister, aunt and friend all at the same time.

Realize that all women (no matter the ethnicity) have more in common with each other than they do with the male counterparts of their race. So overcoming trials as a black woman, as difficult as it may be, has nothing to do with being black. It’s hard regardless of what color you are. But it has everything to do with being a great woman first, despite the bias people have against you. Your race will not change that fact. It will only magnify it. 


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