Fighting For Mental Stability And Equal Pay As A Black Woman In America
July 26, 2017 at 9:40 pm
Season two of Insecure continued the ongoing battle of Team Issa vs Team Lawrence. However, the role of Molly, played by Yvonne Orji should not be over looked. Molly begins season two mid-session with a therapist. Therapy has been historically taboo in the Black community. Our people tend to lean on religion and physical involvement during times of metal vulnerability. If one is a believer of faith then, praying is a vital aspect to the healing process. However, you cannot solely pray the bipolar away or beat the ADHD out of someone. It could be argued that mental health was considered family business and such information had to stay within kin. Whereas, in the white community, therapy was widely accepted and sought after. It was almost perceived as a fad to see a therapist and be prescribed antidepressants.
Molly is a young black woman in a white space. Season one highlighted the lack of racial competency in her profession. Racial injustice combined with the day to day plight of being a black woman could have adverse effects on the soul. One of the biggest misconceptions in the black community is that seeking the help of a therapist means you are “crazy”. Several people also believe that you must have a disorder before receiving therapeutic intervention. I ask the question “Should you wait until you are morbidly obese before eating healthier”? Doctors recommend a physical examination once a year. Mental proficiency should be examine on a yearly basis as well. During Molly and Issa’s work out at the park she mentioned the importance of culturally competent counseling.
This generally means, a therapeutic provider should be adept of the culture, race and religion of said client. It would not be appropriate for a therapist to praise Christopher Columbus in the middle of a session, with a Native American client. Given the similarities in culture, black therapists may present a different level of comfortability to black clients. The same can been said about any race, religion or gender. Molly’s reminder of the wage gap in America is definitely just cause to continue therapy.
Currently the black Woman makes 63 cents to the white man’s dollar. This may not be recognized as statistically significant however, when put into the context of yearly gross pay, the gap is approximately 20,000 dollars. Molly was put in a particularly thought-provoking but all too common situation. She mistakenly found out that her white male counterpart, Travis makes significantly more than her. Molly’s case becomes interesting because, another woman was in the process of being transferred to a different office. The Chicago office was an apparent downgrade; well at least in the eyes of Travis. Travis makes a vital statement “Closed mouths don't get fed”. Can the same be said for women? Especially black women?
Socially, if women are not being hyper sexualized in the workplace they are being seen as hyper emotional. What is labeled as assertiveness by male employees is often seen as hostility by women. Women are often characterized as aggressive in the workplace and it is empirically worse for black women. This mostly due to the way black women are captured in music, T.V. and film. Molly is presented with a few options. She could simply advocate for a raise. However, she runs the risk of being characterized as a “problem” which could be grounds for a transfer to the Chicago office. She could explore other firms and run the risk of further emotional strife which, could have residual effects. Lastly, she could remain silent and hope for a raise in the coming months. Remaining silent sounds utterly ridiculous even though black women are forced into this choice every day.
Though a fictitious character, Molly is experiencing situations all black women go through on a daily basis. Mental health in the black community is slowly accepted while, the wage gap is being closed every year. No matter the progress made in America, the life of a Black Woman will forever be one thing.