Written by Penelope Farthing
Before today, I didn’t know who Ari Lennox was. My first introduction to this beautiful black woman was some idiot on Twitter comparing her and another prominent black woman, Teyana Taylor, to rottweilers. I don’t know much about Teyana Taylor either, other than her body is incredible and I one day hope to attain abs of that quality.
It’s like ten minutes into 2020 and we’re already on some bullshit.
But since I am trying not to be annoyed by nonsense in 2020 (at least not until March), I’ll just say a quick piece summarizing my thoughts on the wider implications of these discussions.
Please note that I, Penelope, am saying this, not any of the other writers on the platform. Please do not direct hate to them for my opinion.
At the heart of it all, I think this is a huge contributing factor. Like a week ago, some sports guy compared black women to bulldogs. Black men are increasingly referring to black women as “female” on social media and in real life, stripping us of our very femininity, the things that makes us women. “Roach” has been picking up steam since last year. And of course, all our features unique to us, like our hair texture, nose shape, and full lips, are fair game to be picked on.
Historically we have been compared to all manner of animals, coupled with colorful epithets and slurs. And more recently, degrading and denigrating the image of black women seems to be a prerequisite to enter rap and hip hop, so in addition to the animal parallels, black men call us hoes, skeezers, busted baby mamas, thots, freaks, chicken heads (another animal, yay), with smelly vaginas only good for a pump and dump, or worse. What I am about to say next may come as a shock, or something completely crazy, but stay with me a moment and allow me to explain.
Men who actually cared about their race of women will actually call out the men who see fit to liken the mothers of the race to animals, with a lot more frequency than the handful of dudes that show up to the dragging session that follows these sorts of incidents. If black men actually liked black women, a lot of the negative statistics that follow the community around, would be a lot better, and some idiot’s rantings on social media would be the least of our issues. If black men collectively actually liked black women, they would come out in support of the black women who get tied up in these issues, before issues happened. Those with a platform and seemingly “about black empowerment” would discuss the ills that come as a result of diminishing and dehumanizing the womb of the race, instead of whatever it is they think they are doing.
The black male hatred of black women is a widespread problem. It seems like at least every other week that some black man with a platform and three working brain cells says something foul about the image and archetype of woman who birthed him. 99.9% of the subsequent outrage is from black women defending their own honor. 0.1% remaining are black men, with 0.08% showing up to post memes and reaction gifs, and add little of value. The remaining 0.02% might provide some form of defense of your honor, but don’t hold your breath.
Because the collective doesn’t like us, messages that should only get one or two retweets on social media, are proliferated the whole world round, with others eager to share what they agree with, or find funny, or to rile the masses.
You know how else they don’t like black women? In their preferences for black female beauty. They’ll say to lose the weave, ditch the heavy makeup, and drop a few extra pounds (but not in the ass, though!). Ari and Teyana are both stunning women, and they STILL got likened to one of the burliest dog breeds out there. But they don’t wear tons of makeup and weave and their bodies are on point, so which is it? Not being found attractive by these feculent losers on social media is no loss, but the fact that no matter what you do, it won’t be quite light, er, right, for them, so what’s even the point? Embrace your OWN features and go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.
This is another harsh truth in this whole debacle. It was nice to see this guy get dragged, scalped and whatever other verb the kids are saying in 2020, in his comments. I’m sure the thread is only still up to chase the clout he anxiously awaits, and I admit this blog post is adding to his stores. In my defense, I’ve only included screen shots because his profile needs no further traffic.
But through all the dragging, there were still black WOMEN agreeing with him. Some said it had nothing to do with Ari or Teyana’s features (it does), or that not everyone will find someone attractive and it’s not due to their race (true, but not the case here). One bold black woman, possessing the VERY SAME features that landed us here in the first place, even went to shoot her shot with the original tweeter, calling him sexy in the comments. If I had a Twitter account, I’d DM her with some local optometrists and a therapist because, girl…
The fact that black women can see a black man tear other black women down with no remorse, and still find something in him to be desirable, is insane to me.
The hypocrisy takes a different form when turning to other social media platforms, like YouTube. Female pro-black YouTubers have been getting tagged a lot lately, as the chickens of their dismissal of this side’s valid complaints have all come home to roost. Commentators who built their whole platform tearing down messages that Christelyn and Kendall and others had to say, are now inching ever so close to our points of view. They finally “understand” why a black woman would entertain another race of man after incident #50-11 of black women getting done dirty by the sons of the community. Now that they have received a little more insight on the problems those pesky swirlers have been going on about, only now have they given the go ahead to the literal hundreds of thousands of followers to seek love wherever they may. And they hit the mic dropping these pearls as if Christelyn and co. haven’t been saying these things for years. It’s like a caveman discovering fire, while everyone else was onto electricity, but treating fire as if it was this hot, new revelation. The hypocrisy, while unsurprising, is staggering.
One would think that after all these hits to our image, we would stop prominently centering black love as the end goal. For all this chatter about black love this and black love that, only one half of the equation needed for heterosexual black love seems to even care.
But no, black women double down on black love, existing in a paradigm where, yes, many/most black men are colorist or have colorist ways, or have some other red flag that merits a deposit at the reject pile, but also believing that she specifically will find her Black King who will ride off into the sunset with, so she can say “I don’t know what’s wrong with you hoes, I got my black man!”
One would think that black women with a platform would stop featuring these dudes as love interests in their music videos, especially since black men in the industry have long since stopped. But no, Black Love will continue to be a focal point when the two parties needed for Black Love are on completely different wavelengths. If black men were not centered as the be-all-end-all option, then they would eventually see they don’t corner the market on the black womb.
In addition to this dog comparsion flap, some no name black male and white female writers found it within themselves to pick on a child’s looks in search of attention they so desperately sought. The black features she possessed, because, you guessed it, she’s black.
This is another unfortunate truth. Hatred of black features is taught in the home, often by the mothers (we are not innocent, believe me). Colorist and anti-black woman language has been adopted into the culture as a routine part of the language, whether used as a negative descriptor (black and ugly) or an admonishment (don’t bring home no nappy headed girl). Black women allow the sons of the community to speak this way, and perpetuate some of these jabs on our features as well, be it through a mermaid weave, stupid-colored contacts, or complaining that Lashana Lynch was too masculine to play 007 in the next James Bond franchise.
Through all this, in Ari’s video she was pretty much begging black men to care. Other black women in this sector on YouTube were doing similar. And while they should care, they don’t, and it’s too late in the game to change that without some drastic measures on our part. Why would black men, who have it easy as far as black women are concerned, do anything you ask of them, when they never suffer any consequences? After this blows over, no one will remember this height-deficient moron, so let’s use more prominent examples. Chris Brown, despite beating Rihanna and telling you exactly the only kinds of “bitches” he likes, and Kevin Hart, who believes that black women of his own complexion can take a punch better, and have bad credit for being dark, STILL HAVE BLACK WOMEN LINING THEIR POCKETS. Of COURSE they’ll talk sideways, since the collective of black women don’t do anything but get angry on Twitter for 17 hours and move on to the next thing. Begging black men to show up as men is not the way to get the desired results, ladies.
In Kendall St. Charles’ legendary (and frequently misconstrued) “Stop It” post, she describes, at length, how to enact the kinds of changes we want. Begging black men to stop something they’ve gotten away with for decades, is not the way to go. In order for these internal slights against our image to end, we have to stop dealing with these dudes in any capacity until they show the desired respect. No concerts, no money, no romance, no sex, none of it. Basically choose better, by choosing heavy metal over rap, by choosing to stay home instead of marching, by being a different kind of ride or die chick: riding for your damn self, and dying when you’re old and grey, with all your edges intact because you left that begging black men to do right thing back in 2019.
Here I am, nearly 3 hours and 1900 words later, after saying I would only be brief. Whoops.
What are your thoughts on the first viral internal insult against black women in 2020? Whatever will they compare us to next, I wonder. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Penelope, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.