By Kiara Morgan
I grew up in a world where I was indirectly being told that being a black woman was a curse. It literally seemed like everything a black woman was or did was condemned. It was as if we were to blame for all of the ills in our community. That our womb was cursed and that we should be ashamed of what comes out of it, because black fathers choose to walk out on us. That our bodies were for everyone to objectify and rate. I have become conditioned to be called the b-word or a thot, trick, chickenhead — anything but my name. I grew up fearing that I would be cheated on because our culture is known for it. I sometimes listen to my male relatives laugh about how they cheat on their girlfriends and how they’d lie to them when they found out.
Throughout my years in school, I watched black girls be put on display for their physical traits, good or bad. Girls with big butts were harassed, touched or praised, all in a degrading manner. They would protest irritably by pulling away or screaming out, “stop” but they were ignored. Girls with flat butts were ignored or ridiculed at the hands of young men. Any rebuttal would result in being called a bi**h. Black girls were quite accustomed to being disrespected. Black boys emulated rappers, misguided fathers and their peers in order to spew their hate. They smacked butts and pulled down their pants in order to assert their manhood. They modeled racist ideologies by telling the girls that only the light skin or mixed girls were beautiful. I remember a particular girl was always being picked on for having very dark skin and short hair that was always puffy and damaged. They would make fun of the fact that her hair was so kinky and had problems growing. They would say, “you’re ugly, bald headed and burnt.”
I could see how much it hurt her to be harassed by her own people for having melanin in her skin. That the dark skin that teen boys teased her about was the same skin tone as most of our ancestors. That self-hate is rampant in our community; therefore, she should expect to be penalized for exceeding the level of color to be expected. One of the darkest boys in our school dated a girl with green eyes and curly hair. He would always play in her hair. He jokingly teased her by saying that she really wasn’t black because her mother was biracial. He loved that about her, that her skin was so pale, that she had inherited all of her mother ’s features that our society deems beautiful. She was his treasure, as if dating her bleached away his own color. But because he had been so full of hatred and patriarchy he cheated on her with another mixed girl. He, like many black boys, thought cheating was a right of passage. He believed black men were always supposed to ignore their feelings and act upon their carnal desires.
When I went to college I watched young men flirt with women even though they had girlfriends at home. I saw them try to analyze black women to see who was promiscuous based upon their rules. They’d sleep with these women then complain about how easy it was to sleep with them, yet they never questioned their own philandering. They’d gossip about their latest adventure then go on a rant about the girls who called them back.
I’ve heard stories about young black women being choked, slammed or slapped by their boyfriends. I couldn’t explain why words escaped these men, yet their hands overcame them. I had my own experiences with black men who never hesitated to call me stupid or belittle me in front of a crowd. They always made me feel like I wasn’t worthy of their time, as if they had bestowed favors upon me by answering my calls. They loved to make me feel like I was nothing. And when I stood up for myself, they would call me ghetto because a black woman is suppose to drown in her pain. Some black men glorify white women because they allegedly “act better” in comparison to black women. Translation, they believe that white women won’t protest to their abuse.
So now I’m single, too afraid of the damage of misogynoirs. Too upset by the stories on the news where black boyfriends shoot their girlfriends. I’m in pain. I’m so tired of living in a sea of black men that tell me I’m ugly, that my hair is too afro-textured, that I’m supposed to endure abuse and cheating. Or that I should hate myself if I venture into motherhood, and that successful black men will never date me because I’m not light skin.
A world of black men who take out all of their insecurities on their own women…
I’ve given up on my search for the “few good black men” who apparently exist. I’m tired of black men blaming black women’s failed relationships on our failure to date men of higher caliber. These men ignore the fact that black women have dated black doctors and lawyers who have treated them badly. Many educated black men believe they can treat black women like crap because they are a prize. I’m living in a world where most black men are misogynistic and it needs to stop.
Kiara Morgan is a writer, who enjoys writing about issues in the black community. She has been published in Those People magazine and Blavity. Follow her on Facebook.