African Women Voices
“African-American women, during and after enslavement, were often at pains to prove that they were not sexually “immoral” because our women were commonly labelled as such by their enslaves, who used this as a justification for raping or prostituting African-American girls and women.”
This comes from an interesting blog post on Ancestral Energies that describes in details a new book called Soul Survivors
and that collects stories of enslavement told by African women. How much were those women African is a silly question as they were the direct descendent of the first wave of Africans enslaved in the US. Call them African Americans or Africans, it doesn’t matter since the question that came to my mind was: how much of that stereotype remain today? How much of this stereotype is used to sexually harass African women?
I’ll start from my own experience in European countries: in some areas if I’m calmly walking down the street to reach a metro or meet a friend, men feel automatically empowered and justified to harass me verbally. And I call harassment even cat-calling as I don’t appreciate such behaviour. Now, one could argue that in Europe this kind of behaviour comes from the unfortunate circumstances: a certain number of African women are victims of trafficking and arrive in Europe without knowing they will become prostitutes. This means that men are used to see black women working on the streets and since they never relate to other black women in another way, a terrible thought grows into their minds: Africans and Black women in general, are prostitutes, ergo they feel entitled to tell them (to tell us) whatever comes to mind.
Now, the American history is long distant from the European one, which translates in a different origin of all the stereotypes turning around Africans and Black women and we all know those too well. But the best thing to do is always to share, so what’s your story?
I absolutely love what you have to say, and I am excited to read more from you. I was wondering do you feel that all women are subjected to harassment by men? or do you think that black women receive it worse than other women?
Thanks, I always love sharing. I hardly think the whole world is harassing black women but that it really depends on the environments. There are some countries where black women are particularly targeted but then in other countries other women are such as South Americans and women from Eastern Europe. About men, I think you should tell me as being a woman I obviously notice more the attitude towards my genre. It’s true though that women have been undermined for centuries compared to men, but really I’m curious to hear from men about this.
I personally believe in respecting women; so, I try not to do or say things that I feel would harass or make them feel uncomfortable. However, I do feel that violence and harassment for all women all around the world is problem. I definitely think that minority groups, like black women, are greatly affected by this harassment.
Respect should definitely be mutual in order to avoid that a genre or a minority starts to be considered too weak, which they are not