No one should be surprised to read the title of this article. It’s something Black women hear often—and from a variety of sources. Twerking is relegated as a fun pastime of low-income Black women. A Black female thespian giant of screens large and small is reduced to being less classically beautiful. Stay-at-Home-Sons of Twitter take every waking moment to remind Black women of their position on the totem pole. Armchair psychologists even jumped in the fray, asserting that Black women have a lower level of physical attractiveness.
Maybe you’ve stumbled here because you remain unconvinced that Black women are the worst. I’m here to give you 5 more reasons why it just might be time to call Becky with the good hair.
They Don’t Know How to be Quiet
You can Google Black women are loud and know why black women are constantly criticized for being loud and abrasive. We can’t even go on a Napa Wine Tour without getting kicked out for being too loud. Never mind that often as women, particularly Black women, our concerns and opinions aren’t heard until we embody the Angry Black Woman trope. Who has time to consider complexity of Black Womanhood, a narrative where we’ve historically had to place our survival above our femininity? Nawl. All that neck rolling, lip smacking, loud abrasiveness is why 25% of Black men married outside of the race in 2013.
Our loud, abrasive, unabashed boldness is also why conversations of police brutality against Black bodies is being heard. Loud Black Women created the #BlackLivesMatter phrase that you love to espouse while adding your own terms and exclusions. Black women carry our loud asses in the streets first to lead protests and marches for our fallen brothers, even at the criticisms of Black men for not allowing them to lead. But please, by all means, let us learn how to be more quiet so that your oppressors no longer need to fret about being held accountable by loud ass, movement-leading Black women.
They Are Gold Diggers
It’s no secret that Black women are gold diggers. Kanye wrote a whole song about it. These women actually dare to require that men be providers of the household or at least financially stable. A standard that is traditionally accepted in every other race is labeled as selfish and money grubbing for Black women. How dare she demand so much of a Black Kang? Does she not know that the system is set AGAINST this melanated Kang? And those women who don’t choose to partner with men? Well I’m sure they’re gold diggers in some mansplained universe too.
Meanwhile, in reality: Black women are digging gold—of their own. Black Female Entrepreneurship is the fastest growing group in the US. The number of businesses owned by Black women increased by 322% since 1997, about 1.3 million businesses generating about $52,600,000,000 (that’s $52.6 billion for those in the school of common core math) annually. And bruh: even though we both make less than white men, Black women still only make 90 cents to your $1. Black women are the worst—at putting themselves first. Those gold-diggin’, college educated Black women are so loyal to Black men that they tend to marry down in financial and educational status to the tune of losing $25,000 in household income annually. Welp.
They Make Bad Dating & Parenting Choices
Black Women are literally the worst at relationships. They constantly choose bad, broken, and inept men and boy do we never let them forget it. Wherever there is a Black woman in the midst of a breakup with a Black man, you can find a sea of explanations for how she was wrong. We’re told to give the “struggling” brother a chance, but then told we should have never settled for less when he fails to rise to the occasion.
Women should be understanding of his stunted emotional maturity but then faulted when his childish ways manifest into harm towards us. Y’all gotta be wholly open but completely cautious when dating or dealing with Black men. We’re told “not all Black men” when we voice our frustrations, but those supposedly “exceptional” Black men rarely stand up on our behalf. Black women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t when it comes to dating. And if she has a child with the aforementioned fuck boy Fallen Black Kang? She’s committed the most grievous of errors.
23 year-old Korryn Gaines’ murder at the hands of the Baltimore Police Department was met with high cynicism—primarily from Black men. She is criticized as a bad mother and accused of purposely endangering her children. Meanwhile, her 39 year old, unemployed, abusive partner—who was on the lam for assault charges stemming from a domestic violence incident where he slapped Gaines—largely escapes the same critical examination from those same Black men.
And Lord knows that Black women don’t catch a break even when they try to make better decisions.
Ciara left a bad relationship with her son’s father, found a partner who accepted her child and her, and is being treated like she made captain of #TeamBadChoices. Twitter fingers flew with scathing opinions. Folks (again, largely Black men) were all #FutureHive, especially riding hard on the rappers remarks that “you don’t bring a man around your son.” Strangely enough, Black men were absent once more for the critical analysis that Future had Ciara playing sister-wife with the mothers of his other children. Who has time for seeing both sides when there are Black women to blame?
But despite this, clearly we’re the worst at abandoning Black men all together. Seeing as only 12% of Black women married outside of their race in 2013, most of us won’t be trading Tyrone for Todd any time soon.
They’re Too Complicated
Who knows what bag you’re going to get when dealing with a Black woman? Monday, she’ll be your Angry Black Woman. Tuesday, she’ll be the Strong Black Woman who don’t need no man to complete her. Wednesday-Thursday, she’ll be reminding you that she catches flights, not feelings, cause it ain’t nothin’ to cut a dude off. And somewhere around the weekend, she’ll be reading 50-11 think pieces about why she’s in the number of Manless Black Women. There’s a whole survey that has defined Black Women as extraordinarily complicated.
No one is quicker to remind us of this complexity than eligible Black bachelors.
We are definitely complicated
But it is only because we are no longer solely focused on dating and mating. We have traditionally spent more time playing a role in the health and wellness of everyone but ourselves. Now, Black women are less likely than white women to view marriage as important. More than ever, Black women say being wealthy is very important—and their wealth is no longer attached to or obtained by marriage. We are told that we are angry and our tolerance is low. Yet, nearly half of black women fear being a victim of violent crime, compared with about a third of white women. To be clear:
- The number one killer of African-American women ages 15 to 34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner. [Source]
- Approximately 40% of Black women report coercive contact of a sexual nature by age 18. [Source]
- Black females experienced intimate partner violence at a rate 35% higher than that of white females, and about 22 times the rate of women of other races. [Source]
We are complicated because our fight is complicated. In our corporate careers, we are seen only as workhorses at best and domineering bitches at worst. In our personal lives, our men lament that we have forgotten their struggle in a system set against them. At every front, we’re fighting to be seen as nuanced and have our complications accepted as part of our humanity.
But who’s got time to consider alladat?
They’re Promiscuous Prudes
They say Black Girls are Magic. Nothing is more magical than how Black women can manage be too modest and too loose at the same damn time. Somehow, Black women have managed to be hypersexual animals willing to screw anything with a pulse and a phallus while also being less sexually open than every other race of women. We’re criticized both for performing and not performing oral sex [note: this sentence was much more crass in its original form. But I’m trying to walk in the light]. They get pestered to slide those nudes in the DM and then, if exposed, are berated for sending them in the first place. Who usually remains unscathed in the ordeal? The
hoe ass person who exposed them in the first place. Yet, somehow, we also get bashed for choosing to impose 90-day celibacy on new relationships. We get bashed for choosing to protect our sexuality in an attempt to prevent hurt in intimate relationships.
Black Female Sexuality is complex.
Don’t take my word for it:
One also has to understand the racist and sexist roots of stereotypes about black female sexuality. Black women and our bodies were hypersexualized to justify white men raping us on the slave ships, on the plantation, and during Jim Crow. In fact, as in any war-torn country, rape was used a method to terrorize black women and their families well through the Civil Rights era. What was natural to our bodies — our hair, our lips, our hips, our thighs — was deemed dark and lascivious and worthy of plunder. Black women were the original poster children for slut shaming.
You can’t lament our difficulty in maturing into our sexuality without considering history and present social conditions. I wrote a whole post that touches on the present social conditions, so I won’t rehash that. We can be labeled as a hoe whether we’ve slept with one man or a thousand men. Who can win with those odds? Who can blame us for not trying?
The tl;dr of it all
In the event that sarcasm and reading comprehension are lost upon you, Black women are indeed not the worst. To think otherwise is a lazy overstatement of the reality that all women are complex. It also ignores the historical context and socially-motivated nuances of how Black women navigate and survive life.