Category Archives: End Patriarchy
This picture is being passed around the internet as proof of T.I. being a good father. I have to disagree though. Honestly, T.I. was a horny young boy at one point, too, and I am pretty sure that he has done and said worse to other people’s daughters. One need only listen to his music to see that he has said far worse. T.I. comes off as the typical patriarchal father who is less interested in his daughter’s disrespect, and more interested in his male ego and beating his chest. It has always struck me as odd that certain men don’t want their daughters and sisters to be treated the SAME way that they treat other people’s daughters and sisters. I’m sorry, but T.I. isn’t impressing me in this instance. He can keep all that patriarchal male bravado.
I keep noticing this tendency whereby patriarchal men imply that men who advocate for feminism wanna be women. Which they see as insulting. Conversely, they think that women who advocate for feminism want to be men. Which they also see as insulting. Which boils down to feminism being an insulting movement, because how dare we challenge patriarchy.
What single moms really represent is a threat to the patriarchal order. The idea of women free from male control, shaping the way that children view the world (potentially raising them out of patriarchal mentalities). It is usually for this reason that single mothers are so virulently attacked.
Michelle took a chance on a man who worked under her, and Barack took a chance on a woman who was his senior. Let this be a lesson to those of you who subscribe to gender stereotypes. There’s nothing wrong with a woman earning more, being more educated, or being in a senior position over her boyfriend or husband. There’s nothing wrong with a man earning less, being less educated, or being in a lower position than than his girlfriend or wife. Don’t let gender stereotypes keep you away from a good person.
It baffles me when people who challenge gender stereotypes complain about other people who challenge gender stereotypes. Example, men attracted to other men (defying gender stereotypes) get mad when some men arch their eyebrows (defying gender stereotypes). I don’t get it. It’s like people who take showers thinking they are better than people who take baths. You’re both in water!
Christian patriarchy teaches us that our mothers wombs are defective, that we must be “born again” via a *male* savior. A lot of patriarchy can be boiled down to men being resentful of the fact that women birth children. A lot of this mess come from that.
I have long been concerned by the number of Black people who believe that reproductive freedom is somehow a threat to Black freedom. There have been various instances of conservative Blacks group who perpetuate the false notion that Black women exercising reproductive freedom is somehow antithetical to Black freedom, and the overall progress of the Black community. What I read within these conservative agendas is the notion that Black women’s reproductive freedom is a threat to Black patriarchy and White supremacy. These two entities conspire to relegate the Black woman’s reproductive freedom to a location of betrayal, simultaneously posing a threat to the control that patriarchal Black men and racists White want to hold over the Black woman and the Black community.
I have long believed that reproductive freedom is one of the primary ways in which we assert ourselves as free people. As the great-grandson of a Black woman who was forced to have an abortion, I have always known, or rather sensed, that there was something important and revolutionary in our ability to control our own bodies. Reproductive freedom is one of the main freedoms on which all other freedoms rest, and without it we are forever vulnerable to the forces of oppression. I speak openly about the fact that Black women’s writing has been one of my primary pathways to feminism and feminist movement. Enter Toni Morrison. In her foreword to Beloved, Toni Morrison outlines the questions that propelled her to write her critically acclaimed work. One paragraph stands out from the others in its articulation of the struggles that Blacks, in particular Black women, have faced within this racist and sexist society.
Toni Morrison writes,
“In the eighties, the debate was still roiling; equal pay, equal treatment, access to professions, schools…. and choice without stigma. To marry or not. To have children or not. Inevitably these thoughts led me to the different history of Black women in this country–a history in which marriage was discouraged, impossible, or illegal; in which birthing children was required, but “having” them, being responsible for them–being, in other words, their parent–was as out of the question as freedom. Assertions of parenthood under conditions peculiar to the logic of institutional enslavement were criminal.”
In one short paragraph, Toni Morrison poignantly articulates many of my own sentiments about the role, and necessity, of reproductive freedom in Black life. The powers who conspire to deny Black women of bodily autonomy don’t want us to remember the not so distant past in which Black women, and Black people, were the victims of their anti-choice institution. Sexist and racist America depends on Black people not understanding the degree to which they were denied reproductive freedom, and why our control of our own bodies, our right to make our own reproductive choices, is one of the most important aspects of any Black freedom movement.
In my mind, there is no question as to whether or not Black women, Black people, or any people should have control over their reproductive decisions. How could I look at the past and ignore the many ways in which this sexist and racist society thwarted Black reproductive freedom? It becomes clear me to me that aiding in the denial of reproductive freedom only furthers the marginalization of Black people. White supremacy and Black patriarchy have long been in cahoots. This becomes clear to me when conservative Whites and conservative Blacks unite in an effort to deny Black women reproductive freedom. Those Black people who are interested in Black freedom must think deeply about the ways in which their participation in the denial of Black reproductive freedom functions to further oppress Black people. Our notions of freedom in a White racist society should begin with our bodies. Reproductive freedom is Black freedom.