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tjolims
03-07-2005, 07:06 PM
I have really been thinking about femininity and black women lately. Culturally, we seem to define womanhood and femininity in a completely different way than any other group of people. I suppose I understand why that is, but what's eluding me is *how* that is. I can't really put my finger on anything about about black womanhood that is all that different from any other woman...but put me in a room full of white women, and you might as well have sent me to Mars, because that's about how I'll feel anyway.

I had some very negative experiences when I went to a predominately white church in a predominately white town and was invited to join a women's bible study group. There were times when I really felt like a visitor from another planet. There was just no common ground for me to talk to anyone else about--being a woman seemed to mean a completely different thing to them than it does to me. (And so did their interpretation of the Bible, but that's a whole other topic.)

For a brief time, I worked on the sales crew for a stage play called Menopause the Musical.(The title is, unfortunately, self-explanatory.) I couldn't get a black woman's group within fifty feet of the show--those who I offered comp tickets to saw it and then proceeding to tell everyone how much they disliked it. On the other hand...the show is now grossing tens of thousands a week, and every night I saw it, I was surrounded by 200 women of every other color imaginable.

I just don't get it.

Have you ever felt like this? What is it that is so different? Is there anything?

myshair
03-07-2005, 07:27 PM
Good question. I don't think the lack of connection has anything to do with femininity. As women, we all seem to understand, family and relationship issues, mother issues, daughter issues, women's physical issues, etc. I think it has anything to do with black/white issues. Seems to me that some people in general work hard at building barriers because once in a while I do trip over a white woman who seems very down to earth and we can relate. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to happen all that often. Mostly though, I feel like your neighbor on Mars, we might as well be speaking different languages.

stephbut
03-07-2005, 08:20 PM
Your probably confused because femiminity and masculinty is this rigid thing that our (and any other male dominated) society tries to define and put into these neat little packages, but really its all fluid. My womanhood is completely different from alot of black girls i know, which sometimes makes me feel estranged from black girls and sometimes black people in general. What most girls i know think are girly and sexy im just not interested in at all. Actually i may relate to my white friends definition of being woman moreso, like i probably would have liked that play you were advertising about. i dunno, its more of a black white issue i think your dealing with

ScoobyGurl
03-07-2005, 08:35 PM
I think every cultural group has a different definition of femininity. I definitely think that black women's idea of femininity is very different from white women's. I think that why we haven't really been included in feminist movements in the past and why issues that were important to black women weren't addressed by them. Just my :2cents: .

tjolims
03-07-2005, 10:16 PM
ITA with ScoobyGurl.

@stephbut--it's not so much confusion, it's wondering where exactly the divide is. I'm very much not worried about rigid notions of femininity and masculinity, I'm just wondering how the general black women's definition of femininity got to be so different-seeming. I've been a tomboy all my life, so I know what you're saying about not exactly fitting a black woman's definition of feminine either, but...there's still some common ground there.

Vizion
03-08-2005, 01:29 AM
The initial women's movement 1790s-1865 was organized by Black women. There have always been Black women as lead organizers in women's movements in the U.S.

Black "femininity" in the U.S. has always been contrasted and defined in relation to white women's femininity. I think those social cultural factors are why Black femininity and our own definition of feminity or womanhood seems in such contrast of women of other backgrounds in the U.S.

Vizion
03-08-2005, 01:30 AM
The initial women's movement 1790s-1865 was organized by Black women. There have always been Black women as lead organizers in women's movements in the U.S.

Black "femininity" in the U.S. has always been contrasted and defined in relation to white women's femininity. I think those social cultural factors are why Black femininity and our own definition of feminity or womanhood seems in such contrast of women of other backgrounds in the U.S.

Sunchild
03-08-2005, 03:29 AM
Originally posted by Vizion@Mar 7 2005, 10:30 PM


Black "femininity" in the U.S. has always been contrasted and defined in relation to white women's femininity. I think those social cultural factors are why Black femininity and our own definition of feminity or womanhood seems in such contrast of women of other backgrounds in the U.S.

748265

And Black male masculinity. Seems like we are always being defined in relationship or opposed to something else, as if black feminity cannot function as an independent notion.

caraqueen
03-08-2005, 11:25 AM
Originally posted by afrikankween@Mar 8 2005, 04:29 AM
And Black male masculinity. Seems like we are always being defined in relationship or opposed to something else, as if black feminity cannot function as an independent notion.

748463



Exactly, white femininity is the "standard" and black feminity has been put out as the antethisis of that. We have never been able to be a seperate entity of feminity.

Denny
03-08-2005, 01:41 PM
Excuse my ignorance but what is black femininity?

CocoButta
03-08-2005, 01:58 PM
This is an interesting thread. Is there a "definition" (not the greatest word, I know) of black fem. and white fem. ? Then we can juxtapose it. I just see feminine as feminine, really no diff to me, but I would be interested to see others opinions.

davida9737
03-08-2005, 02:27 PM
Good thread ...
I don't know if the differences between black women and white women relate to a difference in their "feminity." I do agree we have differences but I don't know if they are automatically ethnic, but rather cultural.
For instance, some black girls may grow up around all white people so their ideas on issues may be different from the black girl who grew up with all black people. Additionally, we have all seen or knew that one white girl who thought she could relate to the plight of the black community since she grew up in da hood. (ANYWAY)
As far as feminity goes, I think its different from person to person across race lines. If you take myself and five of my closest friends, we all view feminity differently. Some think motherhood is the true defining moment of being a woman, while others think it is attaining the perfect career.
I hope this doesn't offend the original poster or anyone else, but I don't think there are universal race theories - I don't feel all black women view feminity in the same way, all white women don't define feminity the same and all hispanic women don't have the same idea of what's femine.

caraqueen
03-08-2005, 05:47 PM
As the poster above stated .........
I think that the way that black women and white women views on feminity may not be that much different, but there are a few differences amongst all races of women based on cultural values. Also, I think that many people including myself are referring to societies views of a black woman's feminity since they have taken it upon themselves to define it for us and usually it is some erroneous comparison to what society has defined as white feminity which seems to be held up as the standard that all women should follow here in modern America anyway.

tjolims
03-08-2005, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by CocoButta@Mar 8 2005, 07:58 AM
This is an interesting thread. Is there a "definition" (not the greatest word, I know) of black fem. and white fem. ? Then we can juxtapose it. I just see feminine as feminine, really no diff to me, but I would be interested to see others opinions.

748865


That's actually kind of what I'm getting at. It seems like feminine should just be feminine, but there are different definitions of feminine according to black people and white people. It's confusing as heck because while I know why that is, I don't think I really know where the definitions come into play, and on top of that, don't know what the definitions are to begin with.

SoulStar
03-08-2005, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by Vizion@Mar 7 2005, 06:29 PM
The initial women's movement 1790s-1865 was organized by Black women. There have always been Black women as lead organizers in women's movements in the U.S.

Black "femininity" in the U.S. has always been contrasted and defined in relation to white women's femininity. I think those social cultural factors are why Black femininity and our own definition of feminity or womanhood seems in such contrast of women of other backgrounds in the U.S.

748261



Greetings,

Black women are unique, just like every woman. However, we have a different emotional and mental pattern than white women. How we may handle a divorce or a death in a family, may be different from white women. And from what I have seen, we definitely handle are business differently.

What has happened, especially in the West, is our womanhood has been exploited by men, whites, and one another. It is as if black women are no longer taken seriously or respected.

SoulStar
03-08-2005, 06:04 PM
Also, black woman are always portrayed in a masculine way as well or as "hard". As if we have no sex...

sonce
03-08-2005, 07:27 PM
Originally posted by CocoButta@Mar 8 2005, 02:58 PM
This is an interesting thread. Is there a "definition" (not the greatest word, I know) of black fem. and white fem. ? Then we can juxtapose it. I just see feminine as feminine, really no diff to me, but I would be interested to see others opinions.

748865


I can't offer a precise definition of black femininity as it is in reality, since black women are a diverse group as pretty much everyone on this thread has mentioned. But I think we all know how it has been constructed through stereotypes. I believe that how black femininity has been constructed through stereotypes continues to shape the ways in which we black women think of and are comfortable expressing our femininity. And this is what makes our femininity different.

For instance, when people think "black woman," they don't think fragile, delicate, in need of protection, or gentle. They think "strong black woman" (which ties back to the mammy stereotype of old) able to lift heavy things, bear more than her fair share of social/familial responsibility, and raise children by herself because she's physically and emotionally tough like a man.

And when people think "black woman," they don't think pure, virginal, moral, righteous, or innocent. They think "video ho" (which ties back to the jezebel stereotype) able to 'drop it like it's hot,' and ever ready for sex without love or tenderness.

So since we are thought of as "tough" we are generally less adamant about things like "ladies first" and men holding doors, and refusing to lift heavy things like asian/white women often are. And since we are "sexual" black/white men feel comfortable with propositioning us on the street very vocally ('what's up ma' 'hey shorty' 'what you got in them jeans') in ways they don't proposition white/asian women.

So because society defines our femininity differently, we also treat ourselves differently and think of ourselves differently, and I think that's why black femininity is different from white femininity. It's not that we're innately different, it's that we are treated differently and thus believe we are different.

vinny_46
03-08-2005, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by SoulStar@Mar 8 2005, 11:04 AM
Also, black woman are always portrayed in a masculine way as well or as "hard". As if we have no sex...

749323


Yes, I agree, I've noticed that too.

CocoButta
03-09-2005, 02:35 AM
Sonce:

You've hit the nail right on the head. I couldn't have said it better. Society has the perception of the do it all black woman, basically because we have had to do it all for a long time (and some of us are still doing it all). In reality, we do no different than any other woman in the same circumstance, but it is perceived that every black woman can "tote that barge" and "lift that bale" .

It just all goes back to slavery, black women worked in the fields and tended everybody's babies, while white women sat on the porch and fainted at the slightest trouble.

I hope this post made some sense, it is late......

caraqueen
03-09-2005, 02:53 AM
Sonce, you clarified that perfectly. Femininty should be jsut femininty but stereotyping has made black women to be an antithesis of what is defined as femininity independent of cultural differences.

Vizion
03-09-2005, 04:51 AM
Well the way in which Black femininity is constructed in the U.S. is based on three archetypes: the mammy, the jezebel, and the tragic mulatto.

The mammy comes from a creation of the obese woman who cooks in the kitchen. Believe it or not, this archetype became solidified as Aunt Sally in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (a white woman's view of slavery). Aunt Sally was a 'great big ol woman' who worked as a maid/cook in the "Big House." What's wrong with this image? Well, people who were enslaved did not have enough food to become obese. Even the woman who was the cook. In fact, oftentimes, the cook was not a big older Black woman but a young curvaceous girl. The master wanted someone who was "pretty" walking around the house. The cook/maid often doubled as the mistress's personal valet as well as the master's daily sexual gratificiation (rape survivor).

Over time, Black women were innundated with this image and became to absorb it. Look up your family trees, there were no "Big Mommas" about four generations back. (This is why I understand folks criticism of the recurrent mammy figure in such folks as Oprah to Tyler Perry's Madea figure).

One of the most tragic victims of the mammy notion was Louise Beavers. You may know her as the woman who played the maid in the first Imitation of Life (1934). Ms. Beavers was a sort of lean build. She would put on thirty to forty pounds for her roles as maids (resulting in a severe case of bulimia nervosa).

Ok...I'm tired and I know most of yall know this already...

The tragic mulatto (what we identify as bicultural/biracial/multiracial women who have difficult times feeling ommunity and psychological connections to an ethnic group ergo exhibits erratic behavior for attention and attempts to belon)....recent images Mariah Carey

The jezebel (overly sexed woman whose sole purpose is to use sex for money) recent images... Vivica A. Fox, Trina, Lil Kim, Shawnna, etc.

Now this does not mean we identify in these three ways. However they have been critical in the popular construction of what we are loosely terming Black femininity.

And of course for some of us we have ancestral ties that have their own cultural code of what is "feminine" that we still carry with us. However not all of us. Still Eurocentric notions of feminine have perverted the entire world's notion of what is female, woman, etc.


:offtopic

I still trip everytime I think of the Elizabethean and Victorian eras with women walking around with metal restricting their body's movements while their explorer male counterparts were lusting on the brown skin of us peoples around the world

sonce
03-09-2005, 08:52 PM
dp

sonce
03-09-2005, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by CocoButta@Mar 9 2005, 03:35 AM
Sonce:

You've hit the nail right on the head. I couldn't have said it better. Society has the perception of the do it all black woman, basically because we have had to do it all for a long time (and some of us are still doing it all). In reality, we do no different than any other woman in the same circumstance, but it is perceived that every black woman can "tote that barge" and "lift that bale" .

It just all goes back to slavery, black women worked in the fields and tended everybody's babies, while white women sat on the porch and fainted at the slightest trouble.

I hope this post made some sense, it is late......

750118


Exactly, and that's why I reject the "strong black woman" label just as I reject the "sexy black woman" label. Because while "strong black woman" is nice to hear, the flip side is that people are going to try to overburden you emotionally/physically, and neglect your needs because you're "tough." I've noticed that people in general only call me and other black women "strong black woman" when some unpleasant duty needs to be done or when they're pleased that we've taken on more than our fair share (think "strong black woman" uttered in discussions of black women raising children alone). A long time ago, there was a thread with a title like "I don't wanna be a strong black woman no mo" and it spoke to my heart. I reject that title with every fiber of my being and the essay posted in that thread captured the reasons why perfectly.

Just like that white woman needs doors opened for her and needs to take a break and be pampered, this black woman needs the same. And just as that asian woman is delicate and gentle, needs to be treated carefully and kindly, this black woman needs the same. The days of slavery are over and I'm not a slave therefore I will not be treated like one no matter how cleverly people try to manipulate me with that "strong black woman" title.

CocoButta
03-10-2005, 03:08 AM
Sonce, you go!

I was reading your post above and nodding my head in agreement. I did not see the thread "I don't wanna be a strong black woman no mo" but I feel it feel it feel it.

I call DH to kill bugs and spiders for me, cuz in my mind, that's the man's job. Yeah, I can do it, but why, when he will do it for me? :) Simplistic (sp?) example, I know, but since I've gotten married, I've learned to feel my place as a woman, a female to the male. He reminds me, yeah, you CAN mow the lawn, but I'll do it. You CAN take out the garbage, but I'll do it. You CAN move that sofa, sure, but I'll do it. Don't get your hands dirty, let ME do it. I thank GOD that I can lean on him.

bajanempress
03-11-2005, 05:10 AM
I call DH to kill bugs and spiders for me, cuz in my mind, that's the man's job. Yeah, I can do it, but why, when he will do it for me? Simplistic (sp?) example, I know, but since I've gotten married, I've learned to feel my place as a woman, a female to the male. He reminds me, yeah, you CAN mow the lawn, but I'll do it. You CAN take out the garbage, but I'll do it. You CAN move that sofa, sure, but I'll do it. Don't get your hands dirty, let ME do it. I thank GOD that I can lean on him.




I feel you -I guess I've been spoilt cuz growing up (not in the US) if something heavy needed to be lifted, u called a man and men only mowed the lawns.

Interestingly it is white women who showed me different when I came to the US. My first roommate (white) did all her handywork herself and even built her own bed even though she had a big strapping boyfriend. She was amazed that I didn't have a clue. It is my white female contemporaries who own toolkits and mow their own lawns all without loosing their femininity. I know this one guy whose wife says she wants to mow the lawn.

In this way I would say I was definitely different from them.

Me- I prefer to be pampered but as I said, I guess I was spoilt growing up, when I was young I was taught how to change a flat tire but was told that if it happened, I was to call my cousins or my uncle to come change it for me.

It's not that I can't do for myself and will do them if necessary but hell yeah I'll ask that big strong man to come help lil old me lift that box.

Blackstar
03-12-2005, 02:11 PM
WHAT IS FEMINITY ANY WAY? NOT BUILDING UP IKEA FURNITURE? WINCINT AT A SPIDER?

WE SHOULD FREE OURSELVES FROM THESE TERMS. BOTH MEN AND WOMEN. JUST BECAUSE YOU LIKE BUILDING THINGS FROM SCRATCH DOESN'T MAKE YOU MANLY.

THE TRUTH IS THESE TERMS ARE FLUID.

I LIVED A LONE FOR MANY YEARS AND I HAD TO LEARN TO DO SO CALLED 'MANLY' THINGS. AND I FELT PROUD EVERYTIME I DROVE THAT NAIL IN THE HEAD.

NOW I LIVE WITH MY BOYFRIEND AND I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW QUICKLY WE'VE FALLEN INTO THESE FEMININE/MASCULINE DUTIES. HE PUTS TOGETHER THE FURNITURE AND LIGHTS THE FIRE AND I LOAD UP THE WASHING MACHINE AND FUSS ABOUT THE HOUSE.

BEING FEMININE SHOULDN'T BE ABOUT BEING A SUGAR SWEET GIRL WHO IS AFRAID TO MELT IN THE SUN OR CRYING IF YOU BREAK A NAIL.

NO ONE LIKES LOUD, SMELLY, HAIRY, PUSHY PEOPLE REGARDLESS IF THEY ARE MEN OR WOMEN.

lifeAgift
03-12-2005, 02:42 PM
No sociologist here but my take is that:

Proportionally there are more single mamas among black women on the planet then any other race or group wether it be due to abandonment, single parenting by choice, death of spouse due to war/crime or AIDS, incarceration etc... Single black women tend to raise up their daughters to be self reliant, strong, and PARANOID (trusting no one) while other cultures continue to train up their daughters to be educated well rounded, marry and procreate. Independence is awesome yet to often without a male as a compliment on a whole, our natural balance is lost we are to busy working, fighting, surviving striving to be in touch with our feminine side, And to be in touch publicly seems to leave us vulnerable, letting down our guard is often a NO NO!

Any many culture women are privately and publicly the matriarch but they have there free and available brother uncles father and husbands to help maintain the balance.

The whole sale of black sexuality doesn't help matters either.
To be attractive is human nature but Hollywood and BET have sold us a fake sexual bombshell image that most women cannot compete with and when we try, the look is sleezy unproportional sexual and disgusting.

I desired to be defined by what is authentically and uniquely me. I am not A loud mouth, over bearing, always angry, overly made up insecure B@$#%. Or soulless, lifeless,irresponsible, fake crack head

But to often some of this is what I see in me and my sisters!


Growing up in the 70's and 80's were was our :
June cleaver... she was a loud Wheezy or sassy Helen from the Jeffersons.
Carol Brady she was the always stressed lovingly angry Florence from Goodtimes.

Just my reflection on the topic which as I reread has already changed some, groen and needs redirection but I'm to tired to edit and expand.

sonce
03-12-2005, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by lifeAgift@Mar 12 2005, 03:42 PM
No sociologist here but my take is that:

Proportionally there are more single mamas among black women on the planet then any other race or group wether it be due to abandonment, single parenting by choice, death of spouse due to war/crime or AIDS, incarceration etc...

Do you have any statistics that indicate that the rate of fatherlessness among black people WORLDWIDE is greater than that of any other race? :huh: I think you're generalizing the experience of blacks in america to that of blacks throughout the world. From my observations, I would say that blacks in america have the highest rate of fatherlessness NOT blacks in general. See the difference?


Single black women tend to raise up their daughters to be self reliant, strong, and PARANOID (trusting no one) while other cultures continue to train up their daughters to be educated well rounded, marry and procreate.

Once again, you're generalizing the experience of blacks in america to all black people :icon_headshake:

Again, black americans are not the only black people in the world, in fact, they&#39;re a very small fraction. By the way, I think single women in general raise their daughters to be more wary and self-reliant. That isn&#39;t exclusive to black women only, so I don&#39;t know what you mean by other cultures do otherwise. It seems you have two misconceptions here: (1) all black people in the world have the exact same experiences and difficulties as blacks in america <_< (2) the black race struggles with fatherlessness more than any other race <_<

Unless you can produce stats proving both ideas true, I&#39;d say you need to let go of those notions because they&#39;re false.

pwr_puff
03-12-2005, 06:46 PM
Originally posted by Blackstar@Mar 12 2005, 09:11 AM
WHAT IS FEMINITY ANY WAY? NOT BUILDING UP IKEA FURNITURE? WINCINT AT A SPIDER?

WE SHOULD FREE OURSELVES FROM THESE TERMS. BOTH MEN AND WOMEN. JUST BECAUSE YOU LIKE BUILDING THINGS FROM SCRATCH DOESN&#39;T MAKE YOU MANLY.

THE TRUTH IS THESE TERMS ARE FLUID.

I LIVED A LONE FOR MANY YEARS AND I HAD TO LEARN TO DO SO CALLED &#39;MANLY&#39; THINGS. AND I FELT PROUD EVERYTIME I DROVE THAT NAIL IN THE HEAD.

NOW I LIVE WITH MY BOYFRIEND AND I CAN&#39;T BELIEVE HOW QUICKLY WE&#39;VE FALLEN INTO THESE FEMININE/MASCULINE DUTIES. HE PUTS TOGETHER THE FURNITURE AND LIGHTS THE FIRE AND I LOAD UP THE WASHING MACHINE AND FUSS ABOUT THE HOUSE.

BEING FEMININE SHOULDN&#39;T BE ABOUT BEING A SUGAR SWEET GIRL WHO IS AFRAID TO MELT IN THE SUN OR CRYING IF YOU BREAK A NAIL.

NO ONE LIKES LOUD, SMELLY, HAIRY, PUSHY PEOPLE REGARDLESS IF THEY ARE MEN OR WOMEN.

755763

ITA w/you when i lived by myself, i was the bug killer and i had to do "guy" stuff like putting together stuff and fixin&#39;stuff. i liked it. to me, that&#39;s what being "independent" is all about. i was never really raised with that girl chore boy chore stuff. i had to learn how to take care of myself, not have someone do it for me.

Chlyric Images
03-12-2005, 06:48 PM
WHO&#39;s FEMININITY ARE WE BASING OUR ARGUMENTS ON???????????


I&#39;m a little irritated by this.

When ever you use words that depict level such as "More" or "Less" it is implied that there is a set standard of femininity.

A standard of beauty that is European.

Again we are being sucked into someone else&#39;s black hole.


And when people think "black woman," they don&#39;t think pure, virginal, moral, righteous, or innocent. They think "video ho" (which ties back to the jezebel stereotype) able to &#39;drop it like it&#39;s hot,&#39; and ever ready for sex without love or tenderness.

ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You mean to tell me. That when people see me. In my daishiki and birkenstocks with my youngest daughter in her baby back pack when I&#39;m on Melrose looking for new earrings. They see a video ho who&#39;s gonna eventually drop it like its hot???????????

Ask some mature white men and women if they&#39;ve seen LL Cool J&#39;s new video. They will probably look at you crossed eyed.


What has happened, especially in the West, is our womanhood has been exploited by men, whites, and one another. It is as if black women are no longer taken seriously or respected.

Since when has femininity demanded respect? Since when is someone hyperfeminine is taken seriously? I don&#39;t think we are using femininity in the right context.

I know I&#39;m going to say, well black women are USUALLLLLLLY not soft and fuzzy wearing all pink, talking like a baby and batting her eyes.

Now I know that about 20 of ya&#39;ll are gonna post so fast your keyboard smokes and say **I am so feminine, I&#39;m lily white and I have strokes when I see spiders, I bind my feet and wear kimonos and SO WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY I&#39;M NOT BLACK?**

YOU ARE ALL BLACK WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, now, back to what I was saying. I think we can all agree that culturally there&#39;s different explanations of what is feminine. Now, ask someone Chinese what being feminine is, and you will notice that it will be different than most European cultures. Ask a Indian woman and you will see that they have a very interesting set of rules they have been taught concerning feminitity.

Also, I don&#39;t care what ANYONE ON EARTH SAYS.

As a PEOPLE. I have noticed that we aren&#39;t as touchy feely as white women. Many white women in there friendships can walk around topless with each other around, sleep together holding each other, kiss on the mouth or hug and say I love you alot.

We aren&#39;t usually like that. European cultures are known to be very physical and have a different definition of what is comfortable personal space.

"But Chlyric, I am just like that I kissed my best friend on the mouth todayblah blah blah" Okay I gotcha. But culturally it isn&#39;t as wide spread.


Single black women tend to raise up their daughters to be self reliant, strong, and PARANOID (trusting no one) while other cultures continue to train up their daughters to be educated well rounded, marry and procreate.

Is that what I am doing? Well damn. So I guess that there&#39;s a direct tie of Femininity to Paranoia. Lets look at what you&#39;ve said here.

Self Reliant, Strong and Paranoid = Not the traits of a feminine person
Educated, Well Rounded, Marry and Procreate= Feminine person

1. Pretty smug of you to think you know how I&#39;m raising my children and what is going on in my head. Or any single mother for that matter. And come on, stop blaming why it rains and why there&#39;s not enough butter to cook pancakes on Single mothers. It&#39;s starting to get ridiculous.

2. In most cultures women were considered to be *acting like a man* if they pursued a higher education. So Education is a trait that has been linked to men, and women are supposed to smile hard, not vote and know nothing of science, literature and the arts.

3. You can be feminine and paranoid. You can be feminine and trusting.
That doesn&#39;t have anything to do with femininity. If anything, being paranoid shows how much of a delicate flower you are wilting at the touch of a stranger. "Popeye!!!!! Please Popeye save me!!"

4. When you are a black woman you have to be self reliant and strong. DEAL with it. You know how many white folks want to take your resume, drop it in your lap and tell you to go to hell. You know how many people&#39;s faces wrinkle up when you come in the classroom. You know how many black bit*ches you were under someone&#39;s breath because you got that job that they wanted, and because of your skin color they think you don&#39;t deserve it.

I&#39;d rather compromise my femininity to show the world that where I am is where I belong and I fought to get there. And folding into myself and crying when ever somebody shot me a dirty look or called me a niggger wouldn&#39;t have helped the situation.

Ya&#39;ll are confusing me. One minute you talk about how you want to be an individual. Next min you comparing your self to Sally and Jessica wondering why our booties aren&#39;t as flat as their&#39;s.

I think we&#39;ve got bigger fish to fry.

linn
03-12-2005, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by Chlyric Images@Mar 12 2005, 07:48 PM
WHO&#39;s FEMININITY ARE WE BASING OUR ARGUMENTS ON???????????
I&#39;m a little irritated by this.

When ever you use words that depict level such as "More" or "Less" it is implied that there is a set standard of femininity.

A standard of beauty that is European.

Again we are being sucked into someone else&#39;s black hole.
ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You mean to tell me. That when people see me. In my daishiki and birkenstocks with my youngest daughter in her baby back pack when I&#39;m on Melrose looking for new earrings. They see a video ho who&#39;s gonna eventually drop it like its hot???????????

Ask some mature white men and women if they&#39;ve seen LL Cool J&#39;s new video. They will probably look at you crossed eyed.
Since when has femininity demanded respect? Since when is someone hyperfeminine is taken seriously? I don&#39;t think we are using femininity in the right context.

I know I&#39;m going to say, well black women are USUALLLLLLLY not soft and fuzzy wearing all pink, talking like a baby and batting her eyes.

Now I know that about 20 of ya&#39;ll are gonna post so fast your keyboard smokes and say **I am so feminine, I&#39;m lily white and I have strokes when I see spiders, I bind my feet and wear kimonos and SO WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY I&#39;M NOT BLACK?**

YOU ARE ALL BLACK WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, now, back to what I was saying. I think we can all agree that culturally there&#39;s different explanations of what is feminine. Now, ask someone Chinese what being feminine is, and you will notice that it will be different than most European cultures. Ask a Indian woman and you will see that they have a very interesting set of rules they have been taught concerning feminitity.

Also, I don&#39;t care what ANYONE ON EARTH SAYS.

As a PEOPLE. I have noticed that we aren&#39;t as touchy feely as white women. Many white women in there friendships can walk around topless with each other around, sleep together holding each other, kiss on the mouth or hug and say I love you alot.

We aren&#39;t usually like that. European cultures are known to be very physical and have a different definition of what is comfortable personal space.

"But Chlyric, I am just like that I kissed my best friend on the mouth todayblah blah blah" Okay I gotcha. But culturally it isn&#39;t as wide spread.
Is that what I am doing? Well damn. So I guess that there&#39;s a direct tie of Femininity to Paranoia. Lets look at what you&#39;ve said here.

Self Reliant, Strong and Paranoid = Not the traits of a feminine person
Educated, Well Rounded, Marry and Procreate= Feminine person

1. Pretty smug of you to think you know how I&#39;m raising my children and what is going on in my head. Or any single mother for that matter. And come on, stop blaming why it rains and why there&#39;s not enough butter to cook pancakes on Single mothers. It&#39;s starting to get ridiculous.

2. In most cultures women were considered to be *acting like a man* if they pursued a higher education. So Education is a trait that has been linked to men, and women are supposed to smile hard, not vote and know nothing of science, literature and the arts.

3. You can be feminine and paranoid. You can be feminine and trusting.
That doesn&#39;t have anything to do with femininity. If anything, being paranoid shows how much of a delicate flower you are wilting at the touch of a stranger. "Popeye!!!!! Please Popeye save me!!"

4. When you are a black woman you have to be self reliant and strong. DEAL with it. You know how many white folks want to take your resume, drop it in your lap and tell you to go to hell. You know how many people&#39;s faces wrinkle up when you come in the classroom. You know how many black bit*ches you were under someone&#39;s breath because you got that job that they wanted, and because of your skin color they think you don&#39;t deserve it.

I&#39;d rather compromise my femininity to show the world that where I am is where I belong and I fought to get there. And folding into myself and crying when ever somebody shot me a dirty look or called me a niggger wouldn&#39;t have helped the situation.

Ya&#39;ll are confusing me. One minute you talk about how you want to be an individual. Next min you comparing your self to Sally and Jessica wondering why our booties aren&#39;t as flat as their&#39;s.

I think we&#39;ve got bigger fish to fry.

755975



Exactly!!! I think we have been influenced too much by western patriarchal society. We shouldn&#39;t define tough and resilient as masculine traits and feel bad that we possess them. Look at the animal kingdom, the female is generally bigger and more ferocious, especially when it comes to her young. But, in this western patriarchal society where they oppress everything they fear, this is something that cannot be tolerated in women and is therefore discouraged. If I had a daughter, I would never encourage her to be dainty or dependent on a man&#39;s ability to do something she is very well capable of doing just because it&#39;s not feminine.

I&#39;m sorry but I don&#39;t need a man to open the door for me and I&#39;m not looking for respect that comes at the expense of being seen as less capable. If you are seen as being slightly less able to handle crisis and less tough in certain situations, what prevents that type of thinking when it comes to running things like companies and countries.

sonce
03-12-2005, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by Chlyric Images+Mar 12 2005, 07:48 PM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-sonce

And when people think "black woman," they don&#39;t think pure, virginal, moral, righteous, or innocent. They think "video ho" (which ties back to the jezebel stereotype) able to &#39;drop it like it&#39;s hot,&#39; and ever ready for sex without love or tenderness.

ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You mean to tell me. That when people see me. In my daishiki and birkenstocks with my youngest daughter in her baby back pack when I&#39;m on Melrose looking for new earrings. They see a video ho who&#39;s gonna eventually drop it like its hot???????????

[/b]

No, I wasn&#39;t saying that non-black, often white, people will necessarily apply stereotypes to individual black women who obviously defy them. However, what I was saying is that the black women as a group are indeed stereotyped in the way I explained.

In other words, I believe that the general idea of black women in the non-black (and even black) mind is that they are more sexually explicit, active, and loose than non-black women. I would argue that someone seeing you in your dashiki with your daughter might not see you as a video ho and might not even see you as loose. But they might think &#39;there goes another black woman with a baby and no husband&#39; and mentally feel higher than you because they just know all black women end up pregnant with no man because they can&#39;t resist sex long enough to use a condom...which is still applying the same stereotype. And even if they didn&#39;t see you as the usual sexualized black woman, I think the chances are pretty high that they would consider you the exception rather than the rule, and still hold dear that stereotype of black women as loose. There are many black women in every day life that defy stereotypes, but I think you&#39;re well aware that those who stereotype are determined to hold on to their ideas and a thousand condoleeza rice&#39;s and oprah&#39;s couldn&#39;t change their mind.


Originally posted by chlyric images
Ask some mature white men and women if they&#39;ve seen LL Cool J&#39;s new video. They will probably look at you crossed eyed.


They might not have seen the latest video, but they&#39;re well aware that they&#39;re out there. Besides, you&#39;re dwelling on my use of &#39;video ho&#39; and not getting the idea behind it. The idea here is that black women are stereotyped and believed to be more loose and free about &#39;spreading their charms&#39; than non-black women, and if you as a black woman haven&#39;t encountered this stereotype or been subjected to it, then I am surprised but glad for you because it certainly doesn&#39;t feel good.

ETA: By the way, in reading the OP, it appeared she was discussing black femininity in america, which is why I discussed femininity in america from an american standpoint. If she had been referring to femininity around the world, then I might have launched into a more exhaustive treatment of it as seen in various parts. So, when you say &#39;who&#39;s femininity are we basing our arguments on,&#39; I say yes it is european beause that is what&#39;s mainstream in america, and the yardstick by which things are measured in white-dominated america.

Chlyric Images
03-13-2005, 12:45 AM
Originally posted by sonce@Mar 12 2005, 04:09 PM

ETA: By the way, in reading the OP, it appeared she was discussing black femininity in america, which is why I discussed femininity in america from an american standpoint. If she had been referring to femininity around the world, then I might have launched into a more exhaustive treatment of it as seen in various parts. So, when you say &#39;who&#39;s femininity are we basing our arguments on,&#39; I say yes it is european beause that is what&#39;s mainstream in america, and the yardstick by which things are measured in white-dominated america.

756230


Actually, the indian, asian and hispanic women that I mentioned can also be Americans.

And sadly, I must throw out the age old saying that just cause it&#39;s white doesn&#39;t mean it&#39;s right.

And black women aren&#39;t depicted as sexual creatures anymore than white women. Just as we have our jezebels and music vids, they have their white sluts and girls gone wild/britney spears/playboy magazine/beer commercials/baywatch/etc.........

All women are exploited. Most men are hot azzes that give you a look like *hay I wonder how it would be to screw you*. You could be green, if you got nice hips and a great rack they are gonna imagine you naked jiggling something. No man is gonna see an attractive asian woman and think, I want to hold the door open for you and feed you strawberries, marry you and respect you for life.....and see other races and think man I wanna screw you. Do you know how many times men think of sex a day? I know they have a statistic on that somewhere.

Black women&#39;s femininity is fine. We have some problems but not as much as we think. We are beautiful soft caring creatures. We aren&#39;t wild animals that need to be civilized and revamped.

sonce
03-13-2005, 08:15 PM
Originally posted by Chlyric Images+Mar 13 2005, 01:45 AM-->
Actually, the indian, asian and hispanic women that I mentioned can also be Americans. [/b]

Um...I believe the OP asked why black femininity is so different. I wasn&#39;t aware she was requesting a discussion of the femininity of various groups :huh:


Originally posted by Chlyric Images+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Chlyric Images)</div>
And sadly, I must throw out the age old saying that just cause it&#39;s white doesn&#39;t mean it&#39;s right. [/b]

And sadly, I must ask you where I implied that :huh:


Originally posted by Chlyric Images
And black women aren&#39;t depicted as sexual creatures anymore than white women. Just as we have our jezebels and music vids, they have their white sluts and girls gone wild/britney spears/playboy magazine/beer commercials/baywatch/etc.........

I never said they were depicted more sexually than white women, I said they were stereotyped as more sexual than white women. Yes there are many examples of white sluts, however, I don&#39;t think I have to explain to you that in this country a white person doing something reprehensible is a just that: a person, but a black person doing something socially undesirable represents the race and group.


Originally posted by Chlyric Images
All women are exploited.

Who said they weren&#39;t?

<!--QuoteBegin-Chlyric Images@
Most men are hot azzes that give you a look like *hay I wonder how it would be to screw you*. You could be green, if you got nice hips and a great rack they are gonna imagine you naked jiggling something. No man is gonna see an attractive asian woman and think, I want to hold the door open for you and feed you strawberries, marry you and respect you for life.....and see other races and think man I wanna screw you. Do you know how many times men think of sex a day? I know they have a statistic on that somewhere.

You&#39;re discussing something unrelated to my comments here. I&#39;m not disputing the fact that men see women in general in a sexual light. What I&#39;m arguing is that black women are more looked down upon for their sexuality and more negatively stereotyped as jezebels and predators more than other women are (asians/latinas have their own stereotypes but I would argue that they are not seen in a light anywhere near as negative as black women are).

<!--QuoteBegin-Chlyric Images
Black women&#39;s femininity is fine. We have some problems but not as much as we think. We are beautiful soft caring creatures. We aren&#39;t wild animals that need to be civilized and revamped.

756301


Wild animals? need to be civilized? was this last paragraph a response to what you inferred from my words or were you just throwing it out there in general? because I don&#39;t see how saying black women are negatively stereotyped implies that I think they are uncivilized or beastly :huh:

Anyway, feel free to respond to this, but I&#39;m done with this topic because I&#39;ve noticed from other threads that you have an interesting habit of engaging in rather looong and rather contentious back and forths with other posters ;)

caraqueen
03-13-2005, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by Vizion@Mar 9 2005, 05:51 AM
Well the way in which Black femininity is constructed in the U.S. is based on three archetypes: the mammy, the jezebel, and the tragic mulatto.

The mammy comes from a creation of the obese woman who cooks in the kitchen. Believe it or not, this archetype became solidified as Aunt Sally in Harriet Beecher Stowe&#39;s Uncle Tom&#39;s Cabin (a white woman&#39;s view of slavery). Aunt Sally was a &#39;great big ol woman&#39; who worked as a maid/cook in the "Big House." What&#39;s wrong with this image? Well, people who were enslaved did not have enough food to become obese. Even the woman who was the cook. In fact, oftentimes, the cook was not a big older Black woman but a young curvaceous girl. The master wanted someone who was "pretty" walking around the house. The cook/maid often doubled as the mistress&#39;s personal valet as well as the master&#39;s daily sexual gratificiation (rape survivor).

Over time, Black women were innundated with this image and became to absorb it. Look up your family trees, there were no "Big Mommas" about four generations back. (This is why I understand folks criticism of the recurrent mammy figure in such folks as Oprah to Tyler Perry&#39;s Madea figure).

One of the most tragic victims of the mammy notion was Louise Beavers. You may know her as the woman who played the maid in the first Imitation of Life (1934). Ms. Beavers was a sort of lean build. She would put on thirty to forty pounds for her roles as maids (resulting in a severe case of bulimia nervosa).

Ok...I&#39;m tired and I know most of yall know this already...

The tragic mulatto (what we identify as bicultural/biracial/multiracial women who have difficult times feeling ommunity and psychological connections to an ethnic group ergo exhibits erratic behavior for attention and attempts to belon)....recent images Mariah Carey

The jezebel (overly sexed woman whose sole purpose is to use sex for money) recent images... Vivica A. Fox, Trina, Lil Kim, Shawnna, etc.

Now this does not mean we identify in these three ways. However they have been critical in the popular construction of what we are loosely terming Black femininity.

And of course for some of us we have ancestral ties that have their own cultural code of what is "feminine" that we still carry with us. However not all of us. Still Eurocentric notions of feminine have perverted the entire world&#39;s notion of what is female, woman, etc.
:offtopic

I still trip everytime I think of the Elizabethean and Victorian eras with women walking around with metal restricting their body&#39;s movements while their explorer male counterparts were lusting on the brown skin of us peoples around the world

750278



GOOD POINTS! :)

sunschild57
03-14-2005, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by ScoobyGurl@Mar 7 2005, 04:35 PM
I think every cultural group has a different definition of femininity. I definitely think that black women&#39;s idea of femininity is very different from white women&#39;s. I think that why we haven&#39;t really been included in feminist movements in the past and why issues that were important to black women weren&#39;t addressed by them. Just my :2cents: .

747849

"We" were included in feminist movements in the beginning. The problem came in the way "we" define ourselves. I am a BLACK woman, emphasis on BLACK. The movement of my fellow Blacks takes priority over the movement of the female agenda. Elizabeth Stanton and Susan Anthony did not understand this. Neither did Betty Friedan et al.

Chlyric Images
03-14-2005, 12:42 AM
Originally posted by sonce@Mar 13 2005, 01:15 PM
Anyway, feel free to respond to this, but I&#39;m done with this topic because I&#39;ve noticed from other threads that you have an interesting habit of engaging in rather looong and rather contentious back and forths with other posters ;)

757012


I have discussions and trade ideas. The fact that I have a lot to say makes me a thinker, and if I&#39;d known you take the time to read how many responses I have to these posts I would have put you on the payroll. I mean, why take so much time to investigate the frequency of someone else&#39;s discussions without filling out a W2.

No need to be worried, if it makes you uncomfortable to hear my opinions just say, :( Chlyric, I would rather post and run :bolt: then to discuss where I&#39;m coming from. :(

Don&#39;t take it so seriously. It&#39;s just a forum. :rolleyes:

sonce
03-14-2005, 02:43 AM
Originally posted by Chlyric Images@Mar 14 2005, 01:42 AM
I have discussions and trade ideas. The fact that I have a lot to say makes me a thinker, and if I&#39;d known you take the time to read how many responses I have to these posts I would have put you on the payroll. I mean, why take so much time to investigate the frequency of someone else&#39;s discussions without filling out a W2.

No need to be worried, if it makes you uncomfortable to hear my opinions just say, :( Chlyric, I would rather post and run :bolt: then to discuss where I&#39;m coming from. :(

Don&#39;t take it so seriously. It&#39;s just a forum. :rolleyes:

757187


:rolleyes:

lifeAgift
03-14-2005, 04:52 AM
AWE SHUCKS.

I Knew I wasn&#39;t clear in my post.

My black stats come from PBS with respect to deaths and i expressed it as a proportion.

I am a child of a single mother and former single parent myself and so the charecteristics noted to raise up daughters are those I noticed in my life and those immediately around me. Didn&#39;t say they were bad. I just think that according to "the establishment" in the west they are seen as less feminine from a touchy feely perspective.

The true feminity of a woman is to individual and unique to summed up in a public forum. I believe we are all aware of the generalizations and
stereotypes that abound.

Guess I&#39;ll stick to the silly forums and stay out of the serious ones. It&#39;s getting HAAAWT in here!!!! :doh

ScoobyGurl
03-14-2005, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by sunschild57@Mar 13 2005, 08:01 PM
"We" were included in feminist movements in the beginning. The problem came in the way "we" define ourselves. I am a BLACK woman, emphasis on BLACK. The movement of my fellow Blacks takes priority over the movement of the female agenda. Elizabeth Stanton and Susan Anthony did not understand this. Neither did Betty Friedan et al.

757122


I&#39;m not even going to get into a discussion over whether my black identity supercedes my female identity b/c there have been more than enough thread to cover that topic. All I&#39;ll say about that is that I&#39;m no more black than I am female. Looking at history I don&#39;t think we were ever truly included in feminist movements, even during the antebellum era. Anytime famous feminists like Stanton and Anthony had to ask why n***** men were being allowed to vote but white women weren&#39;t, then I know that most white women don&#39;t give a s*** about black women and that we were simply used as scapegoats.

ScoobyGurl
03-14-2005, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by sonce@Mar 12 2005, 07:09 PM


No, I wasn&#39;t saying that non-black, often white, people will necessarily apply stereotypes to individual black women who obviously defy them. However, what I was saying is that the black women as a group are indeed stereotyped in the way I explained.

In other words, I believe that the general idea of black women in the non-black (and even black) mind is that they are more sexually explicit, active, and loose than non-black women. I would argue that someone seeing you in your dashiki with your daughter might not see you as a video ho and might not even see you as loose. But they might think &#39;there goes another black woman with a baby and no husband&#39; and mentally feel higher than you because they just know all black women end up pregnant with no man because they can&#39;t resist sex long enough to use a condom...which is still applying the same stereotype. And even if they didn&#39;t see you as the usual sexualized black woman, I think the chances are pretty high that they would consider you the exception rather than the rule, and still hold dear that stereotype of black women as loose. There are many black women in every day life that defy stereotypes, but I think you&#39;re well aware that those who stereotype are determined to hold on to their ideas and a thousand condoleeza rice&#39;s and oprah&#39;s couldn&#39;t change their mind.



They might not have seen the latest video, but they&#39;re well aware that they&#39;re out there. Besides, you&#39;re dwelling on my use of &#39;video ho&#39; and not getting the idea behind it. The idea here is that black women are stereotyped and believed to be more loose and free about &#39;spreading their charms&#39; than non-black women, and if you as a black woman haven&#39;t encountered this stereotype or been subjected to it, then I am surprised but glad for you because it certainly doesn&#39;t feel good.

ETA: By the way, in reading the OP, it appeared she was discussing black femininity in america, which is why I discussed femininity in america from an american standpoint. If she had been referring to femininity around the world, then I might have launched into a more exhaustive treatment of it as seen in various parts. So, when you say &#39;who&#39;s femininity are we basing our arguments on,&#39; I say yes it is european beause that is what&#39;s mainstream in america, and the yardstick by which things are measured in white-dominated america.

756230


sonce, as usual I am totally feeling your posts. :)

yolanda100
03-14-2005, 03:41 PM
And since we are blacks living in a white world, the representations of us will either be over-sexualized (the unclean other) or desexualized (we&#39;re nothing, not even women).

ScoobyGurl
03-14-2005, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by yolanda100@Mar 14 2005, 11:41 AM
And since we are blacks living in a white world, the representations of us will either be over-sexualized (the unclean other) or desexualized (we&#39;re nothing, not even women).

757753


There it is in a nutshell.

yolanda100
03-14-2005, 05:28 PM
I just looked at the question in the title of this topic: Black Femininity--why is it different? I think we should we look at black masculinity too. We have black men with long flowing relaxed hair, curls, men adorning themselves with tattoo, two or more earrings, taking up space at the manicure shop, getting pedicures, wearing furs, pink shirts, there was even a short-lived thing where some men wanted to wear skirts (long wrap skirts) and still maintain their masculinity.

No wonder we&#39;re so confused about black femininity. As a woman I&#39;d like to look different from my man. If we go out and he&#39;s sporting a wrap skirt, pink shirt, two earrings, relaxed hair, fresh manicure...what can I do? Get naked. That&#39;s the only way you would know I&#39;m the woman in that piece!