29 August, 2016

I Guess Brown Sugar Doesn’t Do It For You


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I guess brown sugar doesn’t do it for you


The complete disregard of the black woman by the black man is hidden under the guise of ‘preference.’ Society has conditioned black men to hate black women, the sexism brought towards black women incessantly, the derogatory slurs lurking on our timelines beg the question, when will you lighten the burden of Black women who are often the first to carry yours?


Feminism is not a disregard for men. I care about the issues of men. I care about the fears men have. Feminism calls for dismantling patriarchy. Feminism is welcoming of you, and to you. It sees you as a human being, steering you away from the reluctance in which patriarchy makes you bask in, accepting of creeds such as “indoda ayikhali” (men don’t cry). And while I touch on the rise of feminism and believe that everyone should be feminists, allow me to delve in the reality of the black man’s detestation of the black woman.


My outrage erupted when I overheard a black guy in conversation saying that he would not marry a black woman so as to avoid the typical black, ululate-up-and-down the street kind of wedding ceremony. The arrangement that the white bride’s wedding costs are often taken care of by the bride’s family was appreciated over the process of uLobolo. Furthermore, reason was given that according to him, he found black women “very ghetto,” continuing to put white and other non-black women above black women.


We need to tread lightly here. Ethnicity and identity are quite intricate things, and image plays such a major role when it comes to identity. We put on weaves/extensions, and relax our hair to embody your preference only to not cut it, to not be good enough. Why do black men not like black women? And we, the very women you hate so much are the ones crying ‘black men matter’ ‘black men you are loved’ in support of you, Iagos of this world.


Now it must be clear when discussing these matters that one does not over generalise or oversimplify the issue. And I certainly do not wish to suggest that all Black men hate Black women. But patterns in society exist, and when we make general statements about observable realities, it is to reflect what these patterns are showing. My own deductions about why this particular phenomenon occurs has to do with the racist ideology that Whiteness equates to purity and the further away one is from that, the worse off one is.


The racist white man is the devil I know. My battle now lies with my own fellow brothers who don’t hold my blackness in high esteem. So utterings such as, “I would never marry a black woman” and “I connect better with other races” have painfully been accepted. Date someone because you like the person they are, without attaching any race to it. Because they have the mental capacity to keep you intrigued. They have ideologies aligned with yours.  Not because “black women are just not good enough.”


I am not bashing interracial relationships. No. I am bashing the black man who treats the black girl with complete disregard and disrespect. And while we black women collectively often either maintain our silence or lift our voices and get to work when you (Black men) need us, we have learned to be our own heroines, faced with the abyss of your prejudice. So let your boys high-five you and congratulate you for dating a white girl, let your misogyny flag fly high as you connect better with your vanilla honey. Because brown sugar just doesn’t cut it for you.


Lesego Makgatho