I remember seeing that bullshit last year and being just as disgusted as I am at this moment. I am truly disheartened that people have the audacity to bring it up again this year. Will this be an issue annually? Black women have extremely limited platforms to shine and we lack programs catered to us. For Black Girls Rock to get the kind of publicity it receives is an unparalleled accomplishment. But instead of some our white counterparts being a) happy for us and supportive or b) quiet, they turn the attention on them yet again. What else can you white women ask for? What else could you possibly want? Black women need to support each other because we live in a society that completely shuts us out. These are six reasons why black girls need institutions like Black Girls Rock and what these #WhiteGirlsRock supporters need to remember as fact:
White women shut us out of the equal wages discussion.
You complain about only earning seventy-seven cents for every dollar a white man makes but black women have to deal with earning even less than ya’ll (sixty-four cents) but that is not a part of the white feminist discussion. On top of that, you want us to drop our oppression and lift you up…although you’re currently doing significantly better than the average American black woman. You want us to give you our undivided attention? Baby, black women are busy! Oh and by the way:
White women primarily benefitted from affirmative action.
People love to think that being of color is a huge benefit these days thanks to good ole affirmative action. Being a person of color, especially a woman of color, means that the floodgates of opportunities have opened up for us because universities and private sectors alike are just itching to fill up that quota! But finding loopholes is the American way and white women have ended up being the main beneficiaries of affirmative action. So yes, white girls rock and we have the data to prove it. No hashtag needed.
You appropriate our culture.
For example, a certain white woman can “discover” twerking (and be crowned a feminist for fucking dancing badly) and have it become a worldwide sensation when black women have been doing it across the diaspora for decades.
You are the reigning standard of beauty…
Look around oh weary white women of the twitterverse! Turn on the television and the commercials selling anything geared towards women features you! Open any magazine and you’ll see the same thing. If you see a drop of blackness and find yourself bitching you might just be racist. Women of color are taught from birth to straighten their hair, pray/wish/hope for lighter skin, and to be thankful their noses don’t spread from ear to ear. If you’re born with typical African features then God bless you because chances are you’ll be ridiculed by your own race and outside of it alike. But white women are offended that for one night of the year black women decided to celebrate ourselves? Good day, bitch.
…But pick and choose which ethnic features you deem sexy.
For a long time the figures of women of color have been an object of ridicule. Thick hair, Full lips, wide hips, protruding backsides, and thick thighs were deemed unattractive to say the least. It was all about being white, tall, blond, and thin up until very recently. I remember my own grandmother reminding me to “pull in my bottom lip” because it hung too low. However when white women decide to adopt the features that come natural to women of color, then they are gorgeous. Full lips didn’t get societal attention in my generation until Angelina Jolie hit the scene. Ironically, black women (even when our features are en vogue) may still be considered unattractive while the likes of Kim Kardashian are put on a literal pedestal.
You decide what the difference between being respectful and “slutty” is.
I heard a lot of black women express disdain in regards to Miley Cyrus’ antics and I witnessed it fall on deaf ears until white people published it on blogs. Annie Lennox can come out of fucking nowhere and proclaim Beyonce as “feminist-lite” for performing on stage. A black woman did what black women have been doing for years on a world stage where women are expected to (especially black women due to respectability politics) behave a certain way and received praise. That in itself is an achievement, but still Beyonce could only do that once her reputation was cemented. Yet when a white woman opens her mouth about it, the internet explodes with think-pieces.
These six examples fished from a sea of maltreatment and neglect that women of color face on a daily basis is exactly why Black Girls Rock is something we need. It is not simply a hashtag created to make white women feel shitty; believe it or not this has NOTHING to do with you! We are reminded of you every day and it kills our identity and self-appreciation. Programs like BGR is a necessity to fight the daily reminders that we are not enough. For #WhiteGirlsRock to even be a thing viciously mocks black women into “remembering our place.” And we do. We are the progenitors of civilization fighting to remember and honor our queenhood.