Wednesday, May 06, 2009

...feeling the need to go against the carefully constructed grain...

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. I'm tired of this world, I'm tired of my life. I'm tired of trying to be someone constructed by others. I don't want to be the norm. I want to rebel. I know by my age I probably should be at least starting to get the hell over myself, but I can't help it. I crave change.

And aren't we supposedly in the era of "change". I look at the identities that society has constructed for me...and somehow, something doesn't match up, they aren't me. So who am I? Where are the voices of those like me, where the hell is our story, why have we been ignored for so long?

You see, this is exactly why I ♥adore♥ Michelle Obama. Because she breaks the mould, she is everything she isn't supposed to be, and you either love it or you hate it. Me, I'm lovin it! Finally there is an alternative to the stereotype. Someone young women can admire and strive to be like. She most certainly may not be perfect (even though in my eyes she is), and the fact so few black women who exhibit these same characteristics are basically ignored is just pathetic - but its a start.


She just has so much damn class! She manages to be strong, beautiful, and feminine; a privilege almost never extended to the black woman. We can be strong, sure we can even sometimes be seen as beautiful...but feminine? It seems like the only time I see a woman like myself represented, her image is skewed in someway to fit neatly into some category: she is the Mammy, the angry black female, or the Jezebel whore. Michelle so far has proved herself to be none of the three. It's about fucking time.

Even at the scholarly level when black women are the subject, and the authors too are black, it still feels like the story is missing for women like me. Take some of my favourite books, Mama Day, I, Tituba Black Witch of Salem, or There Eyes Were Watching God. Sure, they are all stories of "black" women...but they are of European ancestry as well. The conditions in order to be deemed worthy of having your story reproduced seems to be, a) be anything but black, or b) be mixed, or at the very least male. Don't get me wrong, I love these books and I am grateful to the authors who produced them for letting the products of their creativity out into the world...but where is my story?

This... not my story.

Every now and again, I come across a bit of positive truth on the youtubes. Considering Youtube has got to be one of the most damaging places on the Internet to the psyche of a black woman, I am always shocked to say the least when I come across something that doesn't follow this painful norm.

Well now, talk about some truths some people are really not gonna want to hear. These are facts, that can't be disputed - colour them and twist them all you want to make them more palatable. Its truths like these that make some people squirm. Take the other day in class. The question was asked whether one could conclude that in black hip hop and dance hall culture the black female body was exploited for the sake of the otherwise powerless black males elevation of self, and why. The answer is obvious: because in society, black people really don't hold any true power. The white girl beside me cringed when I said this. Later, when I made the point that white people need to get over the violence in hip hop because the white privilege they rely on on a daily basis was seized through means of a very bloody and violent past that exploited and raped pretty much every other group in existence, their was more cringing and squirming around the room. I think I pissed off some white girls that day. whoops.

Now the issue of the environment is extremely interesting to me. It is no secret that the destruction of the environment was due to the "rise of the West," which really is code for the rise of the white man. As a student who is studying this as her major, I am constantly having this fact repeated to me over and over again. Their is a duality which seems to exist in the persona of the white male environmentalist. He elevates himself above everyone else, and yet feels guilty for doing so at the same time. Apparently, not guilty enough, since the conditions of our planet remain on a path to destruction to a future that looks starkly bleak. A small group of rich white men make decisions that affect a large number of impoverished women of colour. And again I repeat, the future looks starkly bleak.

It is also no secret that with the "rise of the West" came the restrictive bindings of patriarchy. I am tired. Have I said so before? I never considered myself a feminist before taking the time to do some research into the concepts of Ecofeminism, but I guess now I must make this consideration. I just want to be free. I just want to be heard. I just want my story told, as a woman, as a person of colour, as a human being. Because I am important, and I will not be forced into some neat little category, to be filed away, and forgotten...

Right now I'm listening to:


ace liburd said...

I foound your blog through a link on Blackplanet. I understand why you feel the way you feel especially in regards to stereotypes of black women in society i never thought canada was as rascist a place as the US, but although everything you said is true in regards to the second video you posted about ugly truths no one group of people has monopoly on intelligence so by emulating the good aspects of all cultures you can become a better more well rounded human being whether it be asian, european, latin or african cultures when take from the best you can improve upon what you do. why do think white people have abused so many other cultures because they wanted to be the dominant culture by any means necessary.

Ms Beauty Soul said...

I'm loving Michelle too. I'm loving that the President of The United States Of America is a Black (well half but you know one drop and all) man married to a black woman. I'm happy that she is smart, beautiful and inspiring. You are right. It is about time... I hope this presidency will bring about the beginning of a new era...

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