Fear Is The Greatest Enemy Of Feminism
“So de white man throw down de load and tell de nigger man tuh pick it up. He pick it up because he have to, but he don’t tote it. He hand it to his womenfolks. De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.” Zora Neale Hurston “Their Eyes Were Watching God”
As a black man, my relationship with feminism is an odd one.
Let me qualify that. It frustrates me that whenever I try to understand a subject or to explain it I do so through the lens of being a black man. In other words, I find it difficult to vet myself as a human without attaching my color. In this instance my experiences are seen through a certain lens and perspective.
That perspective and lens is the examination of the relationship between right and wrong, rich and poor etc. My quest is to just be… to just exist in a system and a world that wants me to emote under the veil of color blindness, while the rules never allow me to forget that I am Black. So in an attempt to embrace alienation while simultaneously trying to eliminate it, from now on when I say ‘as a man’ I’m including all factors. Most important for me, being Black.
This brings me back to my relationship with feminism. I grew up with all types of men who never cared to amalgamate how their words and deeds equalled to repression. They were men, and their fathers taught them the lessons that had been passed down. Most knew they were wrong in action and deed, but they all seemed to pre-occupied or lacked the personal courage to be the impetus for change.
Luckily, through world travel and being a Marine, I have learned to strike down the stereotypes and unproven fears that serve to stymie the progress of women. Women are just as much our equal. Even though they make less money than we do and have to work twice as hard as men to prove their mettle.
My brothers, friends and family members, continue to rebuff my renaissance ideas about women and their, women’s, relegated place in society. I can not blame them. I used to be one of them. The idea is as old as time.
There is, I think, a deeper reason for men who shun feminism as some hyper-liberal form of women wanting to be men. I think it is rooted in the survival instinct of all of those who have the latter chromosome. It is this: if women have every right, advantage and privilege that men enjoy, what trump card will we hold when all factors are made equal? It is this need for dichotomies, no matter how false or sopho-moronic, that helps them control the arguments which usually disintegrates into marathon bitching and moaning sessions.
It is a shame. Too many people fail to realize that if all people were treated as equal then the quality of life on this planet would increase. Not kings. Not bitches. Not dummies. Just human beings. Simply being born without a penis should hold no disadvantages for women save for the ability to stand up and pee.
Women, not just black women, are the mules of the world. They carry our expectations, shortcomings, requirements, ridicule, and failures on their back. Most women never complain. The too have been brainwashed by the old guard of men who have done the work to poison the sown seeds of prosperity it is high time that someone spoke up for these unsung heroes.