In the comment section of my Musing on Harry Allen post, two Black men stated that they agreed with my date, that he should? be able to walk on the outside, etc.
This kind of thinking goes to the heart of patriarchal ideals which basically says that “because I have a vagina” I should be treated a certain way, which is problematic. Full stop.
As Black people, We don’t want to be patronized or treated a certain way (protected like children, dominated like women) by White folks because we have Black/Brown skin, right?
The same rationale applies here. Just because my body looks a certain way does not mean that I should be deemed “protection” or “domination” worthy.
There is a thin line between protecting someone and dominating them. Word to popo.
Patriarchy (institutionalized sexism) turns on the fact that the features of your body determine how you are treated. When in reality the fact that you are a human should. Full Stop.
Speaking of patriarchy, it is Black feminism that has helped me to articulate that a Black man is NOT his pay check.
Meaning that in our society, dominant manhood is rooted in this get a job, bring home the bacon narrative. You and I both know that employment has been and continues to be trife for Black men in this country. You remember that article in the NY Times last December about how Ivy league educated Black men are scrubbing the negroness from their resumes, because they can’t get jobs. #ummhmm.
I long for the day when Black male Humanity isn’t rooted in this White, get a job and a paycheck notions of BEING.
Don’t get me wrong, we all need to work to surivie, eat, live and support our families.? I am talking about tying a person’s sense of SELF into their paycheck here.
Both my daddy and my brother were human beings and men whether they were hustling, working, unemployed, barely getting by or getting major dough.? Full stop.
This is one of the reasons why I remained committed to writing about the troubling aspects of Beyonce’s cannon of work. As many of you remembered I was very clear about “Why is a lightskinned, middle class, Black girl from the Dallas suburbs continually singing about needing a soldier or a baller?”
In many ways,? I saw that she normalizes these transactional,? a man is only worth his paycheck ideals, which is really a problem for? Black folks and our families.
bell hooks offers a great analysis of Black masculinity and patriarchy when she writes, in We Real Cool,
Patriarchal socialization says your responsible if you get a job, bring your wages home, and provide for your families material well being. Yet poverty and lack of opportunities have prevented many males from being responsible in the patriarchal sense of the term. Many Black males accept this definition of responsible manhood and spend their lives feeling like failures, feeling as though their self esteem is assaulted and assailed on all sides because they can’t acquire the means to fulfill this role.
So yeah. You can walk on the outside. But unless you superman, that shit is absurd to me. Now if we in the deep east Oakland/Brownsville/Richmond/St.Louis/NorthPhilly, and you holding something..then yeah..I can see THAT kind of protection.#ummhmm. #praticalbearAintStupid.
You still believe that you should be standing on the outside?
If yes, what investment do you have in holding onto this idea?
Can your body mitigate the impact of? two ton car?