“If” Black Women Were White Women
August 23, 2009
In “If Men Could Menstruate,” Gloria Steinem makes the persuasive argument that “Whatever a ‘superior’ group has will be used to justify its superiority, and whatever an ‘inferior’ group has will be used to justify its plight.”
For too long the definition of racism has been a fight between white and black manhood or “who’s the bigger man”, so to speak. We’ve trivialized the existence of gender between both groups of men in favor for discussion of the “bigger issue”.
This has historically enabled white female supremacy—the most unchallenged form of white supremacy—to escape any critical thought.
What if suddenly, instantly, the power of white femininity were transferred to black women?
The answer is clear: Black women would represent value, purity; and based on their natural traits would be worthy of protection and instantly become the objects of universal desire. White women would represent the opposite.
“Beauty tar potion” would become globally popular to get the “black look.” “Dove” would be replaced with a black soap called “Raven” to help exfoliate the skin and bring out subtle hints of melanin.
White female features would be declared violent. Their “jagged” thin lips, “knife sharp” noses, and “harsh” jaw lines would be nature’s way of expressing why men have a natural preference for the soft features of black women. Soft lips, soft cheekbones, and soft, round noses would be proof of natural femininity. Full, pink lips and large, dark eyes would become associated with virginal black girls whose purity must not be compromised. Black female features would thus be said to represent youth.
Straight, blond hair would be considered “wild and unruly” because when the wind blew, it did not stay in place. Women with naturally straight hair would hide their “unruly” and “wild” stick-straight hair in public. The desire for “lightweight hair” that defied gravity would permanently end the use of blow dryers. Keeping one’s natural blond hair wild and straight would become indicative of a political statement.
The anti-aging properties of black female skin combined with soft, curvy bodies would be proof of the overall reproductive health of black women. Scientists would argue that black women were naturally preferred as long term mates and mothers because they were “healthier.” Men’s attraction to women is based on overall health and fertility, after all.
Suddenly, biracial women would be “in” because the hard features of white women wouldn’t prevent the fragile genes of “black beauty” from peeking through. Men would suddenly have the desire to date “ethnic,” non-black women since they would look “closer to black” than blond women—at least they wouldn’t look like white women.
Statistics would equate the fact that white women make up the majority with their “overpowering” and “strong” population. This would be proof that they could handle unsafe neighborhoods. The “strong culture” they would have created amongst themselves would enable them to withstand their lack of protection from predators and criminals. Statisticians would argue that men were attracted to black women innately because they made up a small percentage of the population. “We tend to value what is rare,” they might say.
Men would proclaim that white women deserve sexual objectification because “flat buttocks” allow for deeper penetration. In ghettos across America, men would stand on street corners and yell “Damn! You got a flat ass!” to remind white women of their sexual status in society.
Upper class women would be afraid that their “asses looked flat” since it would represent animalistic and sexual deviance, like white women. Black women’s buttocks, said to protrude farther from the body, would prove that their natural vulnerability made them “less equipped” to handle hardcore sex and rape like white women could.
“I need a strong white woman!” would become a popular “empowering” slogan for exploitative men who rationalized the emotional, financial, and sexual overburdening of white women.
Overweight white nannies would become the “acceptable white women” in popular culture as they do not pose a threat to black female superiority and privilege. Conventionally attractive white women would serve as a sexual threat to black women for single-handedly breaking down the beauty hierarchy.
Hip hop videos would feature men throwing money at “white bitches” bent over in front of the camera to showcase their white asses, eager for deep penetration. Entire songs would be devoted to hatred of “white gold digging bitches” who believed that they were entitled to the financial security in marriage to which black women were entitled. “Penetrable white asses” and “pale-faced hoes” would become the cash commodity for selling entire musical genres.
White women’s “hard” bodies would be deemed more “capable” of fighting off sexual attackers, while the soft curves of black female bodies would become worthy of police protection. White women, despite being at high risk of being victimized by violence and sexual crimes, would not “need” police protection.
Movies would feature black women as the main objects of men’s desire across racial lines while stereotypes of evil, bitter, and oversexed white women would further prove why men of all races simply did not prefer blonds. “We can’t help those to whom we’re attracted,” men would say. “Preference” would become an unconcealed acceptance of discrimination against white women. White women’s anger towards and sadness about the status quo would show their unreasonable jealousy of the innate superiority of black women.
Republicans would ban abortions to protect the virtue of pure, black motherhood and liberals would advocate increasing the number of abortion clinics in “low income” neighborhoods where white women would be the majority. Liberals would claim that white women had “culturally” approved of sexual objectification and were “safe enough” without outside help since they were warned not to touch “in-group issues” with a ten foot pole.
And so on and so forth.
The most important reality is that black feminists would eventually grow tired of being seen as innocent and vulnerable in patriarchy and would fight to erase the commodity of black femininity. “The innocent, submissive, and vulnerable representation of women is what puts us in danger. The rigid category of femininity has contributed to our oppression,” they might argue.
In the back of every black feminist movement we would hear the quiet and dignified pleas of radical white feminists. “But, we do not represent femininity. We are considered strong, incapable of feeling pain, and sexually deviant—but all this has done is increase our likelihood of being in danger. And aren’t we women too?”
As Gloria Steinem wrote, “In short, the characteristics of the powerful, whatever they may be, are thought to be better than the characteristics of the powerless - and logic has nothing to do with it.”
What remains universally evident is that the many justifications for power and privilege are always inherent, always scientific, and always permeate society to the point that they remain deeply buried within our collective consciousness.
Until someone challenges them.
Before I begin, I’ve already accepted the fact that because I am defending Caucasians, my comments will be deemed racist, even though I am standing up to racism. I’ve been called a Nazi I don’t know how many times simply because I have pale skin & blue eyes, & despite the fact I am of Polish/Ukrainian descent, my grandfather fought Hitler & The Third Reich in the Red Army, my grandmother escaped Auschwitz & I stand for the equality of all races, ages, genders & sexes, as well as the rights of the downtrodden, poor, elderly, sick, disabled & anyone & everyone who has ever been oppressed, abused or discriminated against.
So here goes. I don’t know who wrote this tripe but I will address them directly.
Oh, yep, mmhmm. White female supremacy. Sure sure, white women are seen as “valuable, pure & worthy of protection”. Y’uh huh. That’s exactly why they are constantly degraded, dehumanized, brutalized, beaten, raped & murdered every single day. Got to love delusional racist cowards who can’t get enough of cashing in on the fact that white people are the only accepted race to bash & slander with incoherent rants. If a white person used a racial slur against any other race in public, they could be arrested for “hate speech”. Yet anti-white hate speech like this is completely acceptable, even to the point of exclaiming all white people should be violently tortured & exterminated just for being white, & I can’t count the number of times I have personally heard other races joke - in public - about how much they love degrading (or at least attempting to) white people with slurs like “cracker”, “honky”, “round-eye” & “gringo”. Hooray for hypocrisy! The best way to prove your point & be taken seriously is, of course, to become exactly what you’re fighting against, right? I’d love to see a white person get away with saying [x race] all look the same the way you claim all white women have “jagged thin lips, knife sharp noses, harsh jaw lines, straight blond hair, hard bodies” &, my personal favorite, rape-beckoning flat asses. “Objects of desire” are the first ones to be dehumanized, oversexualized & abused. So if the argument is that white women are the most sought after sexual mate, then logically white women are the most abused race. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. I also challenge you to prove that anyone in a position of educated authority ever said white women are “preferable” as a sexual mate over black women because they are “healthier”. Fabricating facts weakens your argument. I’m sure it will please you to the point of orgasmic ecstacy to know that despite your “preferred mate” & “majority of the population” fantasies, Caucasian is the only race dying out & becoming extinct, & we now qualify as a “visible minority”.
Oh & newsflash: men DO proclaim that white women deserve sexual objectification. & the fact that you made not one but MULTIPLE references to how hungry for rape white women’s flat asses are sure portrays you as a sick psycho who agrees. As if a large ass prevents rape; unfathomable idiocy. Since you seem to be contradicting yourself & harping on “male sexual preference” nonstop as if you’re jealous you aren’t objectified more, let me just say that if it were up to me, I would be the opposite of a man’s desire. Please, by all means, take the “dudes”, the “guys”, the “bros”, along with perverts, predators & rapists. You can have them. All of them. I would consider it a utopian paradise to walk the streets everyday knowing I am not being lusted after by mouth-breathing degenerates & sexual deviants.
It’s adorable that you believe these struggles you cite are unique to your race. For you see, the harsh reality is that ALL women are emotionally, financially & sexually overburdened; not just black women. ALL women as a gender are slandered & degraded in rap music, pornography, movies/tv & the general media; not just black women. ALL races of women are objectified, dehumanized, oversexualized, discriminated against & subjected to police brutality; not just black women. ANY woman can have acid thrown in her face, be tortured, flogged, stoned, circumsized, maimed, enslaved, raped & slaughtered through pointless savage barbarism like genocide, “honor killings”, sex-based abortion & domestic violence. Yet you refuse to pay attention to the brutality ALL women suffer every single fucking day this earth spins around. & that same earth does not revolve around you & how obsessed you are with your race. ALL women need to stand together because ALL women of ALL races deserve equality, freedom, respect & a life free of abuse & oppression. Stop attacking & tearing other women down just because they’re a different race than you & you perceive they have it so easy when you’re completely oblivious, self absorbed & ignorant; it discredits your entire point & turns you into the intolerant racist bigot you’re complaining about.
& let me be clear: I am not saying black women do not struggle. I’m saying their struggle is no more or less important than any other woman’s because regardless of our skin color, we are all WOMEN fighting the same fight & we SHOULD be fighting it together.
Playing the victim & demonizing a group of women has nothing to do with feminism; this tangent is clearly written by a female chauvinistic pig. It truly doesn’t get any more pathetic than a woman who is willing to become a misogynist & declare war on her own oppressed gender in a desperate pathetic bid to prove a deranged hallucination.
This person has no respect for women, & I unfortunately in turn stoop to their level & have no respect for the author. But maybe, just maybe, “if” ALL women looked at each other as equal, supported one another & treated each other with respect instead of arguing about which ethnicity has it worst, we’d be far better off & way further along in our quest for equality. How can we expect men to respect us as a gender if we can’t even respect each other? All that energy you put into trying to victimize a group of women who (you perceive, wrongfully) have no idea what you felt like, you became your own definition of an abuser by deeming those women “unworthy of protection”.
What remains universally evident is that the many justifications for baseless racism & volatile hatred directed at white people & delusions of white supremacy are always inherent & always permeate society to the point that they remain deeply buried within our collective consciousness.
Until someone challenges them.
You seem to have completely missed the point of the original post. Men have male privilege over women, white people have privilege over POC. Privilege also intersects, which is what the original post was illustrating; the fact that feminism claims to address issues of male privilege but largely misses the specific struggles that women of colour face. Female white privilege is largely unacknowledged. White women and WOC face some of the same struggles, but WOC have additional and specific struggles because they not only lack male privilege (like all women) but they also lack white privilege. In addition to this, these two things (Being female and a person of colour) create specific discriminations because of their intersectionality, such as the stereotype that black women don’t need legal protection from domestic violence because they’re strong enough to fight back (in a Caucasian Australian and even i’ve heard this stereotype, so it’s clearly a global phenomenon). This racism also exist in Australia against Australian Indigenous women.
The original post never said that women aren’t sexualized or don’t experience violence etc. What it DOES say is that WOC, in this case specifically, black women, are deemed less in need of protection from these things because they are naturally aggressive, physically stronger etc.
If whiteness is associated with virginity and puritiy (which it absolutely is) by default darkness is associated with being dirty, impure, and sexually available. While white women are held up as the beauty ideal, black women are considered more sexually available because they are the opposite of the virginal white woman. Have a look at religious artwork and iconography; almost every single image you see will be of a white person despite the fact that historically, if these individuals existed they would have been POC.
There was nothing hateful about the original post; it was a contemplation on how different things would be if White privilege was reversed. Further examples would be that Bandaids would be brown or black instead of beige and casts for broken bones wouldn’t be white, either.
As for “reverse racism” in terms of words like “cracker” etc.
Racist language used to degrade and demean POC reinforces white privilege and their status over POC. These terms are loaded with history; histories of oppression, violence, degradation, rape and abuse. Really, if someone calls you a ‘cracker’, what does that mean to you? Does it remind you that you have no way to trace your history because you or your ancestors were removed from your family and forced into slavery? It’s a meaningless term, get over it. Seriously.
I went to Thailand a few years ago and stayed in a rural village. When I spoke English with my family, everyone would turn around and stare. Kids followed me down the street yelling “money? money?” and merchants and the local shops overcharged me for everything I bought. You know what happened then? I got on a plane and went home, and now look back on it as a strange experience. I was treated differently because i’m white, but was I oppressed? Hardly. In fact, every pharmacy in the village had skin creams that supposedly whiten ones complexion, and I was constantly compliment on my “big eyes”. That’s how pervasive white beauty is.
You have an enormous amount of privilege being white, and POC have every right to resent that. I don’t want to speak for anyone, and I will never fully understand since I’m white myself, but if you are constantly having to explain racism and white privilege to asshats who don’t listen I can see why you’d get to the point where you’d be too fucking pissed off to even try. And really, no one is obliged to explain these issues to you. It’s your job to educate yourself. I’m sure you can relate that to your own experience as a woman trying to explain male privilege.