Opinion

Misconstrued: The Black Female Sexuality

By:Jade Haselrig

Kisses for the boys! By the second grade, I had become a professional smoocher. For a mere fifty cents per peck I was making every boy on the playground feel like a man under the long tunnel slide, until my operation was busted by the snoopy middle aged PE teacher, warning my single mother to keep close watch on me, for I was doomed to be the Jezebel type. With my unacceptable behavior, this was also the year that I received the talk.

The good ole ‘birds and bees’ talk that many of our parents awkwardly tried to pitch to us, that is if the talk about sex was given at all. Growing up, I didn’t know much about the logistics of sex and America’s perceptions of the black females’ sexuality. During the painful transition of adolescence to adulthood, sex education and advice isn’t discussed in depth as much as it should be in the black community.

Yet even being just a child I remained curious about my body, and found it necessary to live up to the “standards” of being sexy and wanted. “Don’t get pregnant and wait till you’re married”- that is exactly what most black girls are told, and more commonly that is the only thing we are really informed on. We’ve been forced to shape our own awareness around the reality of preconceived notions, and stigmas that have been surrounding us for centuries.

As much as I questioned if I’d been a little too curious at times in my youth, the influence was aimed for young girls like me. After all, Sexualizing kids has become almost normal today,as a study performed  revealed that 30% of girl’s clothing is sexualized. Not to mention the over sexually praised images of our women in hip hop videos and other exposures of black media that caters to pop culture overall.

There is the notion that objectifying sex onto the youth of black America to ultimately to keep the image of the white woman asexual, pure and angelic, mirroring the mother Mary, whom according to the bible was a virgin who gave birth by immaculate conception.

Rarely discussed in the black church, Mary was never even considered to be apart of the holy trinity The father, Son and the Holy Ghost. The christian views,in my opinion minimize the importance of women in terms of reproducing altogether. What did this teach us? Sex, if you get married and have it, is for procreation not recreation otherwise talk of it should be suppressed and desires are considered sinful and shouldn’t be discussed. This is in contrast to Ancient West African beliefs where sex was considered sacred and there was even a ritual to pray before sex. It was viewed as a spiritual act where men and women were complimentary sexes not opposites.

Western culture has long regarded the BW sexuality with condemnation as well as fascination, In the 1600s when the first of the African people were captured against their own will,Colonists misinterpreted the semi nude African women as lustful with a certain animalistic magnetism.

Point blank, these women were hypersexulized and their “fascinating” bodies wound be taken advantage of from being raped on ships and plantations well into Jim Crow. Rape and other methods of abuse was also used to terrorize BW during the civil rights era. Black women have been subconsciously inheriting struggles to find acceptance in the world while carrying the shame for their unappreciated bodies.

While banking off of its depiction of our sisters, the film industry often exploits BW through these three stereotypes, there is the Mamey- the nurturing, usually oversize lady that is always too busy taking care of everybody else that she forgets to focus on her own issues. There is the sapphire, aka the angry black woman that finds thrill in talking back to her man, then there’s my all me favorite, the Jezebel- promiscuous, as well as always being scantily dressed and assumed to have sexed every man she’s ever crossed paths with.

These ill presentments contribute to the overall demonetization of the BW sexuality by keeping the image of positive representation and potentiality in the dark. Adopting the eurocentric approach is not the only thing that has taken away the science behind the powerfully rooted sexuality of the black woman. There are problems within our own society and what we are accepting from the men in our lives.

Because we still live in a world where male dominance is the norm, most of the language of sexuality is male dominated. Phrases like “This is my pussy”, “Whose your daddy”, “Yeah I hit that,” are based on violence and objectification as if we aren’t the rightful owners of our own damn vaginas.

Most heterosexual men think that what pleases them also pleases the women they are intimate with. Yet surprisingly, a lot of black women in their 20s are putting up with very bad sex, due to their guys having no basic understanding of the female anatomy, and overall no understanding of themselves.

These faults could possibly be the result of your guy being a total fluke in bed or something way deeper, such as the results of him living with beliefs rooted in white supremacy views, street harassment and assumption of partners. By continuing to gain deeper insight into the expectations that surround the black female sexuality, I aim to live in a world where I can be sexual with whom I choose versus living in a world where someone else’s sexuality is imposed on me. With that being said,always remember to be safe, know what you like, be with someone who reciprocates and respects you for the queen you are. Embrace your black Female sexuality.

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