I can never know what it is like to be a white woman, (because I’m not one) but I can say I can relate to majority of their experiences. However I don’t think white women can relate to the experiences of black women.
They can’t relate to the fact that in addition to seeing whether I’m the only woman in a room, I first and foremost check if I’m the only black person in the room.
They can’t relate to the fact in addition to worrying about whether my opinion as a woman would be taken in consideration in the room, I worry about being perceived as angry for expressing it. It pains me but this is a very too real experience that happens way too often. It pains me that when another white strong woman voices her opinion, it’s seen as “yea you go Kate” but when a black woman does it, it’s “oh what’s wrong now, what is there to complain about now”. 1. A lot. 2.This continuously happens (I have even observed it happen with other minorities as well) that when voicing for change it is perceived as anger. Our opinions are encouraged, but are silenced because of the false perception of anger by others.
They can’t relate to the fact that when in power, in addition to our position being questioned as women, people question whether we are deserving (or undeserving) because of our skin color.
They can’t relate because in addition to tackling the stereotype of women being emotional, we are not allowed to be anything else but strong. “Because black women are strong, Adjoa, we have to be, if we are weak for one second, that is all they will see”. We are expected to do better, be the better person, because they expect us to do the contrary, they expect us to fail, and we cannot give them that satisfaction, we have to show them that we are worthy.
They can’t relate because in addition to hash tagging #metoo, we are screaming #handsupdontshoot. We fight for our black brothers. I’ve seen various accounts of black women protesting, urging to stop the killings of innocent black men, protecting black men. Same with the #metoo movement (or feminism), we lend our support (as we should as women) to a movement that mostly, however, translates into benefits for white cis-women and fails to include us. For example, the history of feminism is a prime example of how black women supported a movement that was supposed to uplift all women but that largely failed to include their needs until recently (third wave feminism- and such is even arguable).
It is unbelievably toxic that society carries such opinions and behaviors against black women. We are expected to be strong, voices for justice and equality. But yet we are never uplifted, protected or cherished. Even so we are and continue to be a graceful, strong-willed, unwavering force of nature. And that’s on that.
Book of the month: still reading Les Miserables; so Book Recommendation: “Small Great Things” by Jodi Piccoult
Article to read: “Every 3 hours a woman is murdered in South Africa” by Ashraf Hendricks Al Jazeera #AmINext https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/3-hours-woman-murdered-south-africa-190905103533183.html