Why I Think Black Women Can’t ‘Slut Walk’

Last week an author whom I respect BIGTIME, Janine Latus, bestselling author, domestic violence advocate and flaming feminist came on to protest that not all feminists are JEZEBELS. Thanks, Janine, for offering to lie down in the street so I could have the right to swirl. I appreciate that. She’s also a BIG FAN of No Wedding No Womb, so I know FOR SURE she’s on our side.

Pero, es un poquito problemo. She’s active in the ‘slut walk’ campaigns and I had to explain a very hard truth to her: No matter what we wear, black women are labeled “sluts” by default. Here’s what I told her:

Here’s a key difference between white feminists and black womanists–we can’t slut walk, because the media already calls us “bitches” and “hoes.” Black women are often stereotyped as Jezebels (lol) and rape and domestic abuse runs rampant in some areas of the black community. As a white woman, you have a certain level of privilege that black women don’t have, no matter how we dress, our men call us “hoes, tricks and bitches.” It’s sort of like how in the old days when feminism was about women being able to choose to work instead of being stay at home moms in their gilded cages? Black women never, ever, had someone say, “don’t worry your pretty little head.” We only wish. Black women have always had to work–we were the maids (that were the side-pieces for the husbands who freely took advantage because BW couldn’t say “no”), the nannys/mammies, the servers etc. Do you understand what I’m saying? That’s kind of what inspired the Jezebel post–sometimes I feel like white, mainstream feminists simply don’t understand the privileges they have that we will never have, at least in the near future.

Another thing I didn’t mention to her is how black people–for whatever reason, LOVE to blame the victim. Get hit by a bus? “Why yo dumb ass walkin’ in the streets?” Get robbed? “I told you about going to the library.” Get hit? “What did you do?”

So when a black woman is raped by another black man, it’s often her fault for being at the wrong place, smiling at the wrong dude, whatever. You can be an 11-year-old girl who dresses “like a slut” so then you deserve to be raped by a dozen boys.

Slut walks don’t work for black women. A black woman walking down the capital in stripper clothes will invite some serious clowning from black men, who will just laugh and say “Well finally, you embrace what you are. Hoe!

This just isn’t our fight ladies. Maybe when we run out of stuff to protest against, this is going to have to go on the waiting list because we’ve got more pressing, life or death issues that we’re battling with virtually no support from any outside organization. We’re out on our own in a blizzard, no shoes, long pajamas with a torn out ass-flap.

The Man Myth