Fuck anyone who thinks otherwise
This is a really intriguing statement to me, and I’m thinking it through trying to figure it out, but my brain’s not making the connection. What am I missing? I can see the “progressive” part, I think, since it tends to mean the central female character is black. But how is it feminist? I’m not meaning that in a challenging or confrontational way. I am genuinely interested.
Kerry Washington, on her role as Bromhilda in Django Unchained
On playing the damsel in distress: Look I can see how it’s not particularly feminist [for white women] to play the princess in the tower, waiting to be saved. But as a black woman – we’ve never been afforded that luxury. There was no man coming to save you; it wasn’t part of the story. In some ways, this telling is a statement of empowerment.
It’s feminist when it’s viewed through the intersection of race because all women aren’t treated the same and never have been. Things a white woman views as empowering (like being a “strong independent woman who doesn’t need a man”) isn’t empowering for black women, as we’re expected to always save/protect/defend/care for ourselves (and everyone else) and never have anyone saving/protecting/defending/caring for us.
Exactly. We don’t get to be saved. We’re too busy being portrayed as saving everyone else. In EVERY. FORM. OF. MEDIA.
Even in the supposed fairy tales, we save ourselves *glares at PATF*
Note how the fandom SCREAMS AND HOWLS when Black women are romanced. They whine and cry about ‘ruining the character’ because they ‘wanted a female character who was badass and didn’t need a relationship’
That character is always black. ALWAYS. We are expected to be devoid of any and all sexuality and feelings. We dont get love. We don’t get affection. We don’t get to be vulnerable and saved by a knight in shining armor.
And because Blackness is the polar opposite of whiteness, and whiteness has sole control over womanhood, we are denied femininity, delicacy, and fragility.
Black women being saved is EMPOWERING because having to save my damn self from white supremacy is not a selling point.
This is what I meant the other day when I was talking about how I would love to get down with the “empowering female characters through independence and lack of masculine relationships” but until the stereotype of Black women being these strong, mammy, magical negro types in narratives are squashed, I am all for writing Black women characters who are vulnerable, delicate, and damsels-in-distress who get the hero at the end of the story.
All the luxuries white women have been afforded from the beginning is just a showcase of privilege. Their brand of feminism is “We’re tired of being portrayed as ONLY feminine, we can be masculine and strong too!” but for Black feminism, the breaking of seemingly inextricable chains is vastly different.
WE ARE PORTRAYED AS THE POLAR OPPOSITE OF WHITE WOMEN. Where white women are portrayed as soft-spoken, excellent diction, and pleasant company, Black women are portrayed as loud, AAVE-using, disreputable company and unpleasant to be around.
Feminism means different things to different women, but our brand of feminism is breaking our own stereotypes and stigmas which are different from the ones white women have to face. We ALL face sexism, but you have to be able to intersect those with how race factors into it and how it is an integral part of how you are viewed and treated as a woman.