Written by Nicole
As black women, we have quite strong spending power. It is estimated that black women will push Black spending power to $1.5 trillion dollars by next year. That article was published in 2017, so obviously it did not consider what the pandemic would do to our spending habits.
In any case, the fact remains that we have the money, and not only that, we set the trends. And yet, with all that power, collectively, we are quite cheap. It’s not a nice thing to hear, or say about a group I belong to, but hear me out.
Black women require very little from the world around us. As the analogy goes, we are the rose that grows in the concrete. Our standards are quite low, and every group sees it and plays that to their advantage. Being cheap in this way hurts us all, and it is high time we make it known in all four corners of the globe that those days are over. It’s time to get expensive. Very expensive. And here are four arenas where we can start.
The race loyalty that black women have is something that should be studied. This race loyalty means a black man can do anything, from kick a puppy, to rob a bank, to rape and pillage his community, and somehow, somewhere, there will be a black woman to not only defend him, but hide the figurative (and in some cases, literal) bodies as well.
Take for instance the latest incident of abhorrent behavior that came across my newsfeed recently. An 18-year-old black male was arrested for raping a 7-year-old girl while she was at virtual school. The microphone was muted, but the camera was on, and the teacher saw the assault happen. One would think that such a repulsive crime would mean instantly being cut off and letting prison justice do what it do, but no. Black women are loyal to predators they don’t even know, and seek to excuse make for his actions.
Here is one such example, posted in response to the 18 year old rapist from the news story above. In one breath, prepubescent little girls are grown, and in the other, legal adults are “young ass kids”.
That loyalty is cheap, and quite honestly, rather disgusting. In fact, it could be classed as pathological. That loyalty is what causes sexual abuse in the community to be so pervasive, and yet, kept so quiet. Sometimes, you just have to stop trying to find the good in people, and let Bubba from Cell Block D have a look instead.
It is all too easy to be granted access to most black women. All someone would have to do is be black. He could be the dustiest, ugliest, brokest dude, and by merit of his blackness, he deserves a chance. That’s why I say, access to black women is too cheap. And specifically as it pertains to:
As mentioned above, for the most part, black women will give a mediocre black male the time of day simply because his melanin content is similar to her own. This is a multipronged attack though – if black women dare to put some barriers for entry in place, then she is labeled as uppity or snobby, or in some cases, a bedwench. The frequently seen struggle hypothetical on social media acts as a litmus test to see how low the bar will go, and aims to browbeat other women into accepting less.
Cheap access is not something unique to black women dealing with black men, either. We export this dysfunction to other groups, too. We as black women need to evaluate why we have let access to us be so cheap, and make different choices. Interracial dating is not a solution, but merely a tool.
Contrary to popular belief, marriage is not just a piece of paper. And yet, so many black women are entering the challenge of motherhood without the protection being married first provides. Black women need to completely overhaul our approach to motherhood, because as it stands, we are not doing as good a job as we could. And part of the problem lays in who we allow to be fathers. The same dusty-do-nothing that was granted a relationship in the scenario above, will very likely apply that same lackadaisical attitude to fatherhood. Giving a man a whole human baby, genetic immortality, for no reason at all other than “it feels better without the condom”, is yet another reason that cheap access to us as black women is not the way.
This year has shown that for many black women, marching and being on the front lines is a favorite pastime. It is all too easy to get a black woman to do the heavy lifting. Black women started the Black Lives Matter movement, which incidentally focuses heavily on the male lives. Black women are expected to fix the world’s problems, for nothing in return. Because our labor is so cheap, from birth til death are we expected to haul ass to the frontlines of whatever the movement of the moment is. And because it is so widely accepted, black women who say “Thanks but no thanks” are seen as traitors, as selfish, as less than. If you want black women to work for you, pony up the payment that will make it worth our while first. Until then, stay home.
Getting away with disrespecting us should not be as easy as it is. If you disrespect other groups, rest assured, your retribution will be swift and relentless. Or, to use the modern parlance, you will be #cancelled. Picture this: the next black male comedian who takes a liberal shit on our image was dropped by all major networks, and disappeared into obscurity, because black women made such an act expensive. The cost of our disrespect – a career.
Or how about this: black women have high maternal mortality rates, and in fact, our entire experience in the healthcare system leaves much to be desired. If we are fortunate enough to survive, then we need to make the cost of our medical disrespect very expensive. Lodge formal complaints to not just the healthcare facility you were disrespected at, but also to your state’s board of medicine, sharing your concerns. Go to local news outlets, in print or in video, about your experience. The cost of our disrespect – a medical license, or the reputation of a hospital or medical school.
We use our voice for everyone else’s issues, it’s high time we use it for our own. Demand documentation of your neglect. And if all else fails, file a malpractice lawsuit. Make it known that disrespecting our health will not come cheaply.
The world at large views black women as a foregone conclusion. Any group anywhere can rely on black women to take up the proverbial arms for movements and causes that have little to do with us, and no return on our investment. The time is up for black women being the world’s uncompensated errand girl, whipping post, go-fer, and bottom bitch. The time is now to make access to you, in any form, very expensive.
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.