Black Women Are Women Too & Should Be Treated As Such

Black women are always fighting for their humanity. We have been fighting for it since birth. We are fighting to be seen as human first and as women second. Somehow, someway we got lumped into the same category as men. Now, I am fully aware that this started in slavery. The harsh circumstances that we survived has proven that we are capable of damn near anything! But being capable of surviving trauma doesn’t mean that we have become immune to it.

Black women have always had to fight, literally. We are still fighting. Every time a black person is killed by the police we are front and center, risking our lives to save our community. We often do not get that in return unless of course its from other black women. We are more often seen as warriors to defend instead of women who are to be protected and cherished.

We can both be strong and be in need of protection and compassion at the same time. Does “strong black woman” ring a bell? The emotionless black woman that can take a beating from a man, raise children without a family or partner. The strong black woman doesn’t get sad or have depression. She doesn’t need mental or emotional support. She is the only woman expected to live in isolation while being surrounded by people. The strong black woman is the ideal black woman, she is supposed to take struggle, abuse, violence and carry on like its nothing. The strong black woman is supposed to have a smile on her face because scowling makes her an “angry black woman”. And we all know NOTHING is worse than a justifiably angry black woman. Black women aren’t allowed to feel. If we express any emotion other than complete happiness we are labeled as bitter, aggressive and violent. We are the ONLY women where being abused is seen as a right of passage, something to accept and be glad we survived.

We are given no graces. We are expected to work hard labor while pregnant. We are expected to return to work weeks if not days after having our children. We should always be at work because a black woman who isn’t working is viewed as lazy, useless, and she must certainly be on welfare. Breaks or rest is not to be given. Other races of women are seen as feminine. Its no big deal if becky decides that she wants to take an extended leave after giving birth. No one assumes she is cashing in a welfare check. People don’t tell her that she shouldn’t have gotten pregnant if she didn’t want to work and be a mom. When becky is showing symptoms of PPD, it is noted and properly treated. CPS isn’t called on her because she needs antidepressants. I cannot say the same for so many black women that have been or are experiencing the same thing.

It seems that black women are only seen as women (partially) when it is time for us to lay on our backs. Then we become the jezebel, the sassy slut with an insatiable sexual appetite. Even then we are still seen as something to serve a purpose, to fulfill the sexual needs of man, never to fulfill our own.

Black women ARE women. We ARE feminine. We are NOT to be discounted. You cannot expect us to show up time and time again for our community, children, families and men only to be disrespected and treated as if we aren’t women or human. Treated as if we aren’t tender, soft and loving souls who give our everything for nothing in return(most of the time). KILL this idea that black women must be strong. Kill it dead. Respect our womanhood.

We deserve breaks, love, compassion, tenderness and protection just like any other woman.

Epiphany EdwardsComment