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Reported by April Taylor
Living as a woman presents its own set of challenges; however, living as a black woman can be even more challenging due inequality and prejudice. A recent article by the Atlanta BlackStar highlights some statistics that illustrate just how different being a black woman is than being a white woman in America. They do this by pointing out five significant things that white women get away with that black women cannot.
The first area of difference is that statistics show the justice system does not support the notion that black women should be able to defend themselves in the same way that white women do. A study conducted by the Urban Institute of Washington D.C. revealed that incidences where a white woman killed a black man were determined to be justified 13.5 percent of the time; however, for black women, that number drops to just 5.7 percent for the exact same type of incident.
The second area where black women do not reap the same benefits as white women has to do with how their sëxuality is viewed. African-American female celebrities who have dealt with leaked dirty tapes have had their careers and image negatively impacted, whereas white women are more likely to receive a boost to their fame for such an occurrence. Jayne Kennedy, an African American sports broadcaster, had her career demolished after a dirty film involving she and her husband leaked to the public. On the other hand, Kim Kardashian, Pam Anderson, and Paris Hilton all saw rewards such as clothing lines, perfume lines, and TV Shows come from their leaked dirty films.
Black women are also revered as hypersëxual and animalistic in a way that makes her objectified. White women do not have the same generalized type of derogatory images projected onto their sëxuality.
These negative stereotypes about black women’s sëxuality coexist with the media’s presentation of black motherhood. An example of the backlash from this negative media depiction is the criticism Michelle Obama faced for choosing to focus on raising her daughters while also traveling the world to promote her platform advocating for such issues as health and education, instead of more politically charged issues.
Last but not least, the cultural history of abuse, violation, and exploitation experienced by black women has created the cultural expectation that black women will always possess an almost super human sense of emotional toughness. This expectation has meant that black women are not culturally given the same permission as white women to be emotionally vulnerable or to make her emotional health a priority. In summary, black women must fight stereotypes and cultural prejudices about who they are and what they are allowed to be or do that white women do not have to.