I learned something about myself tonight. I'm still working through it, so bear with me....
On some subconscious level, I feel uneasy speaking negatively publicly about white women. Today, on good authority, I learned that white Southern women have the highest divorce rate in the country. This news was released in response to the popular topic of "what's wrong with black women."
And yet, despite the ease with which the major media outlets speculate and report on the "trouble" with black women, I hesitated -- a lot -- to tweet what I had found out. Why??? That's problematic. Perhaps it my Southern upbringing. Perhaps I hesitated because I felt like I'd get backlash. Maybe I hestitated because I wondered if I had the right to comment on such a thing. And in some respects, I'm still not sure that I do. I mean, two wrongs don't make a right. I don't want to start bashing white women because I feel attacked.
However, I do think that my hesitancy is actually very illustrative of exactly why I needed to post this fact. Why is the nation so fixated with and feel so comfortable with publicizing the "ills" of one particular group? Why are we -- black women -- dragged through the mud without a second thought? Why are our supposed love woes fodder for ABC Nightline, while the white women's plight remains buried on NPR-like outlets. (No diss; I'm just saying.)
I've said this before, but it bears repeating:
Black women aren't seen as delicate and fragile like white women, are we? We can be yelled at, dumped on, degraded, by people of all races and genders, even our own, and we are supposed to shake it off and not take it personally, not be too sensitive. Like other remnants of slavery, this stereotype that we can handle anything works to our detriment and results in our being used as the "mules of the world." Well, dammit, I'm sensitive and fragile, too! Protect me. Respect me.