The Ten Black(Woman’s) Commandments

Over the past few months I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the amount of misogynoir I’ve experienced.  Even my more intellectual and conscious brethren are not immune to engaging in it. To borrow a line from an old Queen Latifah song-Dimunitive Diva’s had it up to HERE! As tempted as I am to proverbially show my ass and unleash my wrath, I think a cynical post on my experiences is better. Below you will find my sarcastic instructions to fellow Black women, gleaned from my crazy thirty three years of life in the good ole United States of America. 😉

  1.  Remember that you are not a white woman. I know, you’re probably wondering why bother stating the obvious. But it’s important for you to keep this in mind, as throughout your life you may make the mistake of expecting to receive the humanity and dignity are conferred upon your white sisters at birth.
  2. Everything that’s wrong with the Black family is your fault. “Broken” homes? Your fault. Grown ass black men who refuse to grow up and be men? You must take responsibility for that as well. The Black men who marry, impregnate and leave you alone to raise boys on your own have absolutely no culpability here.
  3. You have an unhealthy, abnormal obsession with your hair texture. Oh you ain’t know? All black girls emerge from the birth canal with hair issues. It’s a fact: when black baby girls are born they have a pack of Indian Remy in one hand and a Just For Me relaxer kit in the other. White Supremacy, the Black community’s internalization of Eurocentric beauty standards have NOTHING to do with it. Black women have issues with their just…because!
  4. If you’re a dark-skinned  Black woman accept that you will be invisible in all media-whether said forms of media are controlled by Blacks or Whites.  As Black men have pointed out to me many times-no one, even Black men, wants to see us darkies held up as attractive women. There will never be room for you in Black America’s family picture. You dark-skinned women must be kept out of sight. Hollywood would rather have a light-skinned Black actress darken her skin to play Nina Simone than just give the role to one of you.
  5. If you’re a  brown-skinned or dark-skinned Black woman Colorism is a dirty word for you.  Don’t ever speak up about that or anything. ‘Cause that would like, make you a ‘hater’ who is just ‘insecure’ and ‘jealous’ of all the pretty light-skinnedded Black women.
  6. Race first. Remember sistas: when in doubt, race takes precedence.
  7. BOE-brothers over everything. Your husband or boyfriend breaks your jaw or blackens your eye with his fist?Beats you to a bloody pulp? A black boy at school grabs your butt or pulls you into a corner and tries to sexually assault you? Don’t trip and DON’T call the police and press charges. ‘Good black women don’t get black men caught up in the system, as the system is unfair to black men. You just stay silent and take that abuse in the name of the race.
  8. Feminism is forbidden. That too is for white women. Brothers ain’t trying to hear that. Everyone knows Feminism is really just the white man’s ingenious plot to destroy the Black man, and by extension, the Black family. Besides what do black women need equality for? If Black women would just learn their place, submit to patriarchy and acknowledge Black men as their natural rulers and overlords things would be all good. We could return to the African Eden that we had before the white man came and got us!
  9. Don’t expect black men to defend you. Again, you’re not a white woman. The whole dignity, womanhood thing-not for us. Brothers ain’t got time to hold you down. And finally…
  10. Always ride and die for the black man.  No matter how often he tells the world that you black bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks, no matter how often he declares to the world how worthless you are, no matter how often he leads the way in mocking you, no matter how silent he is when you are attacked, you owe Black men your allegiance. Yes I know what you’re saying-that’s not fair and it’s not equal. But remember #8-equality isn’t for you. We are Black women; the mules of the world.

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A native Seattleite and East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been.

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