Something dawned on me today when I was driving into work and listening to a morning radio show. The DJ, a SIS, was defending black womanhood against a brother – and I use that term loosely – who suggested that 60% of all black women are angry.
I can’t deny that I have met one or two sufferers of Angry Black Woman Syndrome in my day; but, there are far more well-adjusted, peaceful, happy sisters out here. However, as the DJ tried to defend our often-attacked demographic on air, her voice was a bit agitated, and I realized that her passion might be misconstrued as anger. I wanted her to speak more calmly before the caller snapped back that she’d proven his point.
So, that’s when this question caused me to slam on the brakes, figuratively: Is the whole ABW theory just a way to keep sisters quiet about all the negative stereotypes and criticism we get from society?
Think about it. If someone accused you of being disagreeable, you might not protest because doing so would just be handing over more ammunition.
So, when a SIS is attacked for being angry and having attitude, her initial reaction to passionately defend herself – which I think is natural – may do more harm than good. Is keeping silent the answer? Is silencing us “the plan”?
As I pondered this, I thought about the caller using a black woman’s anger to justify his decision to date outside the race. Of course, this is poppycock, but I did start to wonder whether women of other races have to deal with the negative stereotypes that black women have to.
Are they being perceived as irrational, materialistic, inherently unattractive, angry and undesirable by society? More importantly, are women of other races getting this from their brothers?
Maybe these women are being hated on by the men in their communities, and I just don’t know about it, since I’m on the outskirts. However, that’s really irrelevant.
The point is that if someone is bold enough to look you in your face and slander the majority of your demographic, then he or she shouldn’t be surprised if you choose to respond with equal conviction … even if that means throwing in a neck roll.
I don’t consider that anger. That’s just human nature. I mean, what type of person allows such disparaging remarks to go unchecked? I wouldn’t expect any dude to keep silent as someone questioned his manhood. So, of course many black women respond when we’re confronted with negative stereotypes. If that labels us as angry, then so be it.
My take: I’d rather we be a bunch of “angry” sistahs who stick up for ourselves and combat society’s negative images of us than silent women who let others define and openly insult us. Besides, who else is gonna stand up for us?