Surprise! I’m a black woman. I am two minorities mixed into one. Actually, I’m three. I’m a mixed woman, which is a whole different animal.
Why am I telling you this?
Well I’ve been thinking about feminism and minorities lately, and I have a few things to say specifically to the feminists and minorities:
- Feminism has gone a step too far. In an attempt to secure equality, women have swung the pendulum so hard that it’s suddenly acceptable for women to be bitchy, hurtful people. They can say whatever they want about men, treat their own bodies like objects and violently riot in the name of equality. It’s not cool.
- Minorities (including women) are so concerned about being treated equally that they think everyone is out to get them. Your boss looks at you sideways and he’s declared to be a sexist, racist asshole. Your neighbor doesn’t laugh at your joke and it’s clearly because she hates black people.
- Being a victim is a state of mind. A lot of women and other minorities are victims because they choose to be victims. They are victims of verbal abuse. They are victims of hate. Victims of sexism, racism, prejudice. They can’t get ahead. It’s always because they’re a woman. It’s always because their black. It’s always because their Hispanic. You see what I’m getting at?
Ok, so now that I’ve stepped on everyone’s toes…. Let me say one more thing.
I believe a person is a person and I want to treat all people like people – with dignity, respect and equality. But there comes a point when you can’t blame your circumstances on your sex or race any longer. You can choose to be a victim or you can choose to be the best version of yourself ever! You can choose to be discontent with your circumstance, or you can choose to find contentment in all situations.
And in case you’re thinking I’ve never encountered racism or sexism so I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, here is a little back story:
Growing Up Mixed
Like I said, I’m a mixed woman. My mom is white, my dad is black.
When I was growing up, I knew one other mixed girl named Ashley. I didn’t start meeting other mixed people until I was a high school upperclassman and then in college.
This caused a few problems: 1) I didn’t fit in with the black people, 2) I didn’t fit in with the white people, 3) No one else looked like me.
So I had lots of conversations that started out like this:
“Is that your mom?”
“Are you adopted?”
“What are you?” … I’m a giraffe, thanks.
“Since you’re mixed, does that make you gray?”
I didn’t understand black culture, and, while I understood white culture, was often made fun of (by both races) because of it.
Lots of, I mean LOTS OF, my peers said variations of this sentence to me: “You’re not really a black person. You act white” or “You don’t even know how to be a black person. You’re so white, Rachel.” I even had my friends say this to me in an endearing way like I was some kind of precious, secretly white, chocolate conundrum.
I was never inwardly ok with this kind of talk. I thought it was stupid and ignorant. As if the color of my skin has anything to do with the type of person I am.
But altogether, I was quite used to these types of comments. I used to write angsty poetry about not being a color, but just being myself.
Aside from ignorant comments from those who had never seen mixed people, I also encountered my share of actual racism.
In middle school, I was in Stomp group where we basically just banged on trashcans. There were white and black kids in the group. But there was this one particular kid, let’s call him Spencer, who made it known that he did not like us black kids.
He would come into the practice room and yell “BLACK TO THE BACK” and other assorted, intelligent things.
One time, on a band trip, Spencer pushed me against a brick wall when I got off the bus. He got all in my face and started telling me exactly what should be done with me and where my place was in society.
I don’t remember being scared. Maybe because before I could react, another boy named Kyle ripped Spencer away from me, slammed him against the wall by his neck, and told him if he ever spoke to me again that Kyle would kill him.
Funny… Spencer never spoke to me again.
Strangely enough, adults were always conveniently missing at times like this.
Anyway, I’ve never had a hate crime committed against me or anything. But I felt the sting of racism even from a young age.
Women in the Workplace
When you grow up in the church, things like women in leadership, women in the workplace, women as the head of the household… are talked about all the time. No one knows what to think about it, so you get a million sermons about women’s roles. It’s kind of annoying to me really.
I grew up with a mom and a sister. No dad in the picture. No idea of what a male leader looked like in the home. My mother is strong and independent and what feminists today would call “empowered.” She doesn’t need help from anyone. She’ll take care of it herself.
So I was much of the same as I entered high school and college.
I rarely encountered sexism though. Maybe it’s because if someone has an issue with my sex or wants to objectify me because I have boobs, I’ll just flip them the bird and go along my merry way.
In fact, I never worried about sexism until I got one of my first big girl jobs. I had a white male superior say these words to me: “You will never be equal in any position you hold. You will always work for someone not with them.”
He wasn’t giving me a kind word of advice for me to keep my eyes open. He was telling me to realize and stay in my place.
And at the time, I didn’t think anything of it pertaining to me being a minority. I just thought he was an asshole to people in general.
I realized it was an issue when I told my husband about it.
“He said that you?” Jordan raged, “What idiot would say that to a black woman? You’re as minority as it gets.”
And I thought, oh. Yea. I am a black woman. He said that to a minority minority. Wow.
The Victim Mindset
So I get it ok? Sure, I haven’t had the most heinous crimes committed against me. No one burned my house down because I’m black. No one fired me because I’m a woman.
But as far as I’m concerned, other people’s opinions of me don’t define me. I’m not a victim and I never will be. Even if someone strikes me down because of my race or sex or both, I will rise above. I will maintain my dignity. I will choose kindness over violence and love over hate. I will take responsibility of my perception and my reactions.
I will not stoop to the level of the offender, and I will not take on the victim mindset.
4 Character Traits of the Victim Mindset
- The victim never takes responsibility. It’s because I’m black. It’s because I’m a woman. It’s not my fault. Somehow all their painful circumstances are because so and so hates them…
- The victim uses other people’s prejudices to excuse poor decisions and ugly behavior. For example, a male coworker says women are overly emotional and incapable of leading. So a female coworker keys his car or passive aggressively spills coffee on him.
- The victim uses violence done to them to make generalizations. A black man mugs a white man in the alleyway. That white man then decides he was right about black people after all, they are ruthless animals. He’ll have to teach his children and grandchildren to be careful around those blacks. They’ll mug ya soon as look at ya.
- The victim functions out of a place of negativity. This is a problem, that is a problem. Don’t do this. Rather than functioning out of a place of “What can I do to make it better?”
The victim spends their whole life blaming other people for their shitty circumstances. This brings me to my next point.
Don’t Be a Victim
It’s your choice. You can choose to be a victim of your circumstances or not. You can choose to take responsibility for your actions, reactions and perception. You can live a fulfilled and content life even if everyone really is out to get you… but they aren’t.
So if you’re a feminist, that’s fine. Just don’t use it as an excuse to be a bitch. Don’t use it as an excuse to hate men or hurt others.
If you’re a minority, ain’t nothing you can do about it. Rise above if people hate you for it. Just do you and let them do them.
A person is a person. LGBTQ+ are people. Black people are people. Women are people. White people are people. Men are people. All should be treated with kindness and respect.
And honestly, it’s not all fun and games for the white guys. That’s like the most unlucky status you can be in if you’re going to college in the U.S. Oh, you’re a white male? How about you pay full tuition? Oh, you’re a black female, hmm, free pass for you, my diverse friend. Sure, white males get paid the most after college, but still.
Done ranting now.