5 Ways Black Women Can Be Better Allies to Survivors
Come Get Y'all Aunties
With the recent L's taken by both Erykah Badu and Taraji P. Henson, we need to take a step back and reexamine some things. Although both Badu and Henson have since clarified their statements in regards to the "Surviving R Kelly" documentary, it didn't stop their audiences from questioning where their loyalties ultimately lie. Here are a few ways that we, as Black women, can be there for our community when survivors have done so much of the work for us already.
Reflect on any internalized misogynoir
Internalize misogyny shows up in sneaky ways. From toting the fact that you don't "f**k with females," to cosigning misogynistic behavior from men, this stuff runs deep. Sis, it's hard out here for all of us, and we have to realize that by holding on to what women, should be, which again is based on the misogynistic model that all women are deceptive amongst other things, we can not win. Shay hits the nail on the head.
I do think internalized misogynoir is a very real thing in Black women over 40.
No one wants to admit that the messages we received growing up were not always positive for us. This includes the messages our loved ones gave us.
You don't unlearn this stuff on your own.
— Shay Stewart Bouley (@blackgirlinmain) January 23, 2019
Actively reject the notion that "lil' Black girls are fast"
The over-sexualization of Black women goes as far back as slavery auction blocks. Black female slaves were seen as unrapeable, due to the fact that they were legally unrapeable. Fast forward a few years, and the combination of assumed immorality and the adoption of conservative, evangelical Christianity, the word 'fast' has been synonymous with Black women. Listen, we're all horny, but it's only Black women who are vilified for it.
Realize that while Black men are often unfairly portrayed in the media, sometimes, they get it right
See the trial and conviction of Bill Cosby.
Revaluate Where you Place Your Loyalties
We absolutely need to consider the Black men in our lives and in the media who haven't committed atrocities. Some, like Terry Crews, have also been sexually assaulted spoke out about his experience.
This whole thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD. Why? Because this kind of thing happened to ME. (1/Cont.)
— terry crews (@terrycrews) October 10, 2017
Often, those who are caping for Kelly accuse the opponents of the singer of tearing Black men down. What is important is that we lift up those who have done well, and also those who want to do better.
Research, Research, Research
Weinstein is on trial. Cosby was convicted.
NO part of your career is worth defending R. Kelly. He should be muted and canceled. Period. People love to forget that Weinstein is on trial. One of these days we are going to stop using what white people can get away with as our standard of justice and humanity.
— Preston Mitchum (@PrestonMitchum) January 22, 2019
When you find yourself bending over backward to find ways to defend a predator when it comes to Black women, it's telling. When the news of Weinstein began to gain traction, Black women were also sharing their #Metoo stories and denouncing his actions. We can't give passes to folks just because they played "I Believe I Can Fly" at your high school graduation. Let's do better.
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