Written by B. Clark
One of the most vicious civil wars in human history are being fought with little to no bloodshed, and has reached a crescendo over the past 40+ years. This is the best way to describe the continual struggle between the Black man and woman.
In light of the well-publicized women’s march on Washington that occurred almost immediately after the presidential inauguration, it’s no secret that some of the most ardent supporters of this movement were Black women. It was quite an easy feat to gather legions of disgruntled Black women across the United States after the highly-heralded Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election, because she represented what many Black women have deemed to be a symbol of a renegade woman who goes toe-to-toe with the “old boys’ club” — the boogeyman of an establishment better known as patriarchy here in the States.
The fanfare that Clinton received during this most recent presidential race from Sisters is merely a byproduct of the axe that they’ve had to grind with Black men for decades now. In many (not all) schools of thought throughout Black female society, the long-running narrative is that Black men have only served to be the bane of their existence, acting as this proverbial monster who breathes fire under the guise of harsh words for Black women, and whose immense stature represents a mechanism of immovable oppression that bans them from any upwardly mobile progress.
However, much evidence exists that proves otherwise. In a story that was featured on Black Enterprise last year, Black female business ownership has grown exponentially more than many other groups of people who own businesses. Sisters also sit among the most educated demographic in this country. To further elaborate on the topic at hand, the very term “patriarchy” was originally intended to define the man’s traditional role in the familial construct. It was not meant to be used as a term to be categorized with other words, such as white supremacy, racism, ageism, etc.
Although the aforementioned term served a neutral purpose to merely describe a gender role, it has been taken out of context, and has been misconstrued to portray men–in this case Black men–to be the oppressors of their women. In Black society, nothing could be further from the truth. For the sake of this topic, “patriarchy” as it is referenced by some women in today’s time could very well be used to describe the longstanding devices of neglect and oppression that white supremacist males have not only used against their women (look up the witch hunts of the Middle Ages, or King James’s disdain for women), but to all people on a global scale. This very reference of ‘oppressive patriarchy’ by Black women should be left with women in other racial groups, because it is clearly not a Black female plight.
With the large number of households led by Black women with no man in sight, key supervisory roles in corporate America occupied by Black women, and the super influential mainstream media’s hand in ensuring that the Black man is virtually useless in this society, we’d be hard pressed to conclude that the Black man has the wherewithal to keep his woman down in this country.
Black women are our mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and our best friends…our slaves and stepping stools they are not.