sexism

Propaganda About Muslim Women: How Does it Fit into White Oppression?

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If you live in America, then no doubt you are aware of the “politics” surrounding what Muslim women choose to wear on their bodies. I wanted to write this blog post about it, because it is actually very important.

Usually in topics such as these, whether it’s white people speaking about sexism in the black community or what Muslim women choose to put on their bodies- notice how there is always a need to make it appear as if somehow these cultures are any more sexist than their own.

They will always try to make it seem as if their culture is somehow the pinnacle of appropriate behavior, overlooking their own flaws and instead choosing to focus on those in PoC communities, because those flaws they find only serve to feed how great white culture is as compared to those of PoC.

Also is a need to “save” brown women from brown men, (or other PoC). Here we also see how many white people view MoC (Men of Color) as beastly, uncouth, and uneducated. The idea that WoC would be “better off” if they simply emerge themselves in white culture or just stay away from men of their own race is also present- as if somehow things are always better if they are white.

The very fact is that white people are offended that you will not shed your own beliefs and culture and be more like other Americans. (White) This is also coupled with the propaganda the U.S. is using in order to fuel it’s interference with the Middle East, under the guise of fighting terrorism. The U.S. has a history of painting other races and cultures as barbaric, lazy, uncivilized masses in order to fuel it’s political agenda- today is no different, albeit in a much more subtle form. 

Hatred, misunderstanding, and down right LIES about what is and what it means to be a Muslim only serve to rile white America up into outrage, building anti-Islam into a smear campaign against Middle-Eastern Americans.

The idea of a white Nun being the epicenter of purity and devotion but a fully covered Muslim women being oppressed is no coincidence.

Because the idea that women’s bodies- especially those exotic, foreign brown women- are covered from white male eyes is literally throwing white America into a tizzy. Because in American culture, women’s bodies only exist for the gratification of white men, to serve as their own sexual fantasies and conquests.

The idea of a Muslim women- or any other women- is refusing to please the white male gaze is like an unmentionable crime.

Also present is the confusion that sexual freedom somehow equals power, because if  you please white males and entertain their white male privilege, everything ill be a-okay. Just don’t mention their privilege. Or your culture, other than those “exotic” adornments. Or expect him to take your customs seriously. Or honor your family.

#OpenSeasonOnBlackGirls- What I Have to Say About It

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This is sad. This is very sad.

For all of those who will say that racism is a “thing of the past”, state that “I’m just being sensitive”, that you “don’t see race”-

This is for you.

Let this “OpenSeasononBlackGirls be an example to you, an example of just how my blackness, my gender, is still seen by a joke by people.

So tell me- if this is the 21st century and racism is behind us- why is it that in order for another race to prosper and feel good about themselves, another one must be torn down, deminished, and dehumanized?

This is not just a string of black girl stereotypes- these are people degrading women’s black woman’s  bodies, comparing them to animals,to furniture and to food- for what?

Because being black is a joke to some people.

This outlines the main reason Black Girls Rock is needed in the first place. This illustrates why safe places for minorities are needed in the first place.

This is why feminism is needed in the first place.

Oh, wait.

Where are those feminists?

Because apparently when race and feminism meet, I’ve found that many white feminists go silent. Why? Why has the feminist community gone silent, when under other circumstances they are quick to comment, quick to protest, quick to demand change.

Because apparently, this is a black issue, and has nothing to do with them.

Despite the fact that we continue to fight and comment about how society continues to comment, grade, and shape the perception of the female body, it has nothing to do with them.

Because apparently, despite the long history of black women’s bodies being used as a joke to humor others, it has nothing to do with them.

Because apparently, despite stripping a group of human beings of their human status and turning them into nothing more than a joke at their own expense- has nothing to do with them.

Because, instead of continuing to fight for the freedom and equality of all women, what you are really saying is that youa re fighting for freedom and equality for yourselves.

And to the rest of you in the ‘racism doesn’t exist crowd”, I have something to say to you:

This is what I am fighting against. Yes I am angry, yes I am black, and yes, I am a woman. I am tired of watching my race be swallowed up by hatred, racism, and sexism. I am tired of a community of people being pitted against them selves- black women against black women, black men against black men- because of the mandates and expectations placed on them by a society that would rather see us fall than to see us rise.

I am tired of my experiences being cast aside, thrown away, and misinterpreted, because someone felt “guilty” or “attacked” whenever I speak about racism in America. I will not be silent, and if screaming is the only way I will be heard, then so be it.

Because apparently talking isn’t going to do it anymore.

I will not “calm down”, “learn to take a joke”, “stop being so sensitive”, and “stop bringing up the past”. I WILL hold my head high, wear my curly hair with pride, love my beautiful brown skin, and continue to shatter each pervasive stereotype as I continue to fight for equality in ALL forms. Let this be a reminder to you on how society and those within it view black women- and let this be a reminder to you that self hatred in the black community is also as prevalent.

 

Done.

 

 

Don’t Hold Back- Say It!

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I’m sure many of you reading this have thought about it. Someone says something racist, sexist, or prejudice- and there’s that moment where you’re not sure if you should point it out.

Point it out.

Flipping through YouTube, I find racist comments everywhere. As soon as I hit the ‘reply’ button, I hesitate. Should I really start a conversation here? What will people say in response?

I no longer care. What can they call me?

Bitch? Whore? Slut?Nigger?

They’re all futile insults, meant to stifle you, you’re voice. They want you to sit down, shut up, and know you’re imaginary place.

I won’t.

For most of my early life, I allowed myself to be bullied into silence.

I won’t let it happen again.

So the next time you stop by, say, YouTube comments that some off as racist or sexist (or both!) Stop! You don;t have to engage in a super long, two week argument- simply stop and say:

That’t not right: many painful stereotypes exist about women that continue to be detrimental to their well being. Then maybe provide examples or something.

I don’t mean to say that words cannot harm people- because I know they can. In your mind, just imagine your voice teamed with many other people’s. Imagine what a difference that would make.