No Disrespect Black Women And The Burden Of Respectability: Reading Analysis

1031 Words 5 Pages
Sabrina Coccia
Women Images & Realities
Reading Analysis #2

Although, most people assume feminism is just about being against ‘the man’, it is more than that. Usually, when individuals think of feminists, they immediately think of white feminists but what about the colored feminists. Colored women have to endure racial based problems more than white women. Colored women have to endure white supremacy oppressing them. In “No Disrespect Black Women and the Burden of Respectability” by Tamara Winfrey Harris and “Ideals and Expectations: Race, Health and Femininity” by Margaret A. Lowe, these writers talk about the ways in which ‘politics of respectability’ is forced upon and the effects on women of color especially on their bodies.
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Harris uses Hollywood to illustrate the politics of respectability on black women and their bodies. However, white people are giving the black female students a ‘respectable’ image of what a black woman should be like. If they successfully embodied that image, they are given the title of being a ‘lady’. This doesn’t unify colored women at all, instead of being brought together, one might look at another colored girl and think they are better than them just because they are considered a ‘respectable’. Respectability politics just being a way to oppress colored women and make it seem like racism is not a problem. Meanwhile in reality, if one receives the title of a lady, it doesn’t mean that they have earned a spot in the white society, it only enforces the fact that a colored women has to try harder to be ‘white’ and only to continue to be the ‘other’. Black women have enough of a battle when it comes to the stereotypes that white society labels them with. A black women is usually associated with being sexually active, too sexy, pregnant and not married, exotic, loud and the list goes on and on. Harris used Beyonce and Eryah Badu as examples of respectable and not respectable. Badu had children outside of marriage with several fathers which was immediately deemed as a ‘ho’ which made her a example of a bad example of respectability. However, Beyonce announced that she was pregnant with a husband and she immediately became ‘respectable’. There is only the ‘right’ way for women and if it doesn’t fall inside of traditional, heterosexual and patriarchal model created by white people than the woman is ‘wrong’. Black women in the entertainment and production industry have to convince the white

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