As I was scanning YouTube, I came across this video by Kevin Edwards Jr. For those of you who didn’t watch the above video, Kevin addresses why he and other black men don’t (or haven’t) date black women in a while. He addresses how some black women are ignorant. They are always loud, ghetto and looking to fight. Some black women believe the world is out to get them so they are always on the defensive and too proud for their own good. He also addresses how black women are ill-mannered and don’t really dress, or for that matter behave, to make a positive impression on others.
In the annotations and through context, Kevin says that he was talking about SOME black women in his area. Despite this, as a black woman, I found this video hurtful to ALL of us, good and bad.
Throughout my dating and relationship experience, I’ve always been told I’m not a “normal” black girl. I’m not loud, I don’t like to argue or get into physical fights, and I don’t dress in a manner that is disrespectful to myself. This would always offend me because not all black women are the way Kevin and other men think we are. Just because this is the way black women are portrayed and stereotyped, doesn’t make it true.
The statements made in this video are generalized and stereotypical. Let’s face it. The type of woman Kevin mentions in his video comes from classic stereotypes of black women that have been around since slavery. These stereotypes are not endearing, but an unsuccessful attempt to excuse negative behavior towards black women by people of other races and black men.
The Jezebel: Named after an evil queen in the bible, a Jezebel describes a woman with an insatiable sexual appetite. She wants it. She needs it. She’ll give it to anyone. In addition to this, she uses sex to get what she wants from men. This could include money, power or to destroy the men she’s sleeping with.
Sapphire: This is the “ghetto” stereotype we’ve all come to love. She’s loud and overbearing. She’s deemed hard because she never backs down, makes everything a fight or is always putting her man down. Because of this, she is undesirable, driving men away and always ending up alone.
The Welfare Queen: Originating in the 1970s, the welfare queen is another stereotype that has become prevalent. She is an unwed mother who has a lot of children, many of which have different fathers. She’s dumb, dull, lazy and over sexed. All she wants to do is have as many children as possible so she can live off the government.
Yes, some black women do fall into some of these stereotypes. However, people hear what they want to hear. Just because you throw in the phrases “some black women”, “black women around here” or the “women in my area”, doesn’t mean that this will register with all viewers. In my opinion, Kevin basically helped to perpetuate these stereotypes and generalizations black women are faced with every day. To make such generalizations about black women is disrespectful and ignorant within itself.
What if the roles were reversed? What if a black woman made a video discussing why black women don’t date black men? What if she stereotyped black men just as badly as black women were stereotyped in this video? Would she be labeled bitter? Ghetto? Ignorant? A mad black woman who was taking out all her pain and aggression out on black men? Would she be receiving ridicule or praise? Odds are, she would receive all the former, rather than the latter. After all, apparently it’s harder being a black man than it is a black woman.
There are good and bad women in every race and background. The same goes for men. As soon as we acknowledge it, the happier we’ll all be.
I’m honestly not mad at Kevin. I will probably continue to watch his videos. After all, this video is his opinion. As an old saying goes, “Opinions are like ass holes; everyone has one”. However, I do think it’s irresponsible for black men to bash women in such a manner. I also find it irresponsible for black women to do the same to black men. Let’s face it. Black men AND black women are still faced with great prejudice and have much to overcome. This gives us more reason to support each other, not tear each other down.
The only way to erase these stereotypes is to not perpetuate them or to act them out. We all need to do better and the only way to do that is to rid ourselves and others of these negative images.