Part 1 of 3: Teasing out The Battleground
I’ve been reading a lot writing by Angry Black Women in Medium,Bitch, and Wear Your Voice and other online zines. I admire their work as channels for diverse voices.
The Articles: In addition to harangues about random acts of racist behavior directed their way, writers often argue a power collusion between white women and white men. From my experience, about as much of a collusion as between black women and black men. Women are the losers in those equations.
Black women have a lot to be angry about. Pervasive inequities in health care, education, jobs and business, and violence in their families and lives. Lotta trauma — plus the daily subtle reminders that they are somehow “less than.”
A lot of education is due. Teaching – that will be heard — requires courage, humility, and compassion.
Perennially angry people teach only anxiety. Anger is great kindling — necessary for triumph over inertia and indifference. But, over the long term, anger contributes little to behaving as a contributory human being, must less a woman rising.
Patriarchy honors no vagina. We women all are diminished in an infinite number of ways by codes that define our world. These patterns have prospered for millennia, literally on the backs of women. Women who’ve stifled their rage, produced babies, tried to civilize their young ones, lost children, ran complex households, suffered depression, dulled the pain with all manner of substances, and ambivalently adhered to ‘fashion’ in body and clothing. We dress to impress not men, but each other — one face of the ‘programmed’ competitiveness that women need to escape.
Women labor for less money, our health care providers can be dismissive, our safety and sanity is imperiled often by men with little control over their testosterone storms and their own feelings of inadequacy.
Our vaginas impart an essential, powerful commonality.
We’d be fools not to find ways to unite ourselves in fixing what’s broke, especially ourselves.