Once again, those with sizable platforms are using those platforms to spout the same old sexist nonsense.
But let me backtrack a bit. Ayesha Curry, wife of basketballer Steph Curry, shook things up when she shared her views on fashion via Twitter over the weekend. A brief recap:
Twitter blew up, with many users rushing to applaud Curry for standing up for “classiness” and playing a rousing game of respectability bingo in the process. There were others, like myself, who couldn’t help but wonder why yet another instance of slut-shaming was being celebrated. And because so many people couldn’t seem to comprehend how her comments shamed other women – and I don’t blame them, because women building their self-esteem on the backs of other women has long been normalized in our society – let me break it down for you.
She chose to preface her comment on preferring classiness (a concept itself that merits ample unpacking) over trendiness with “Everyone’s into barely wearing clothes these days, huh?” She made the decision to first bring up how other women dress as a way to highlight how she doesn’t dress. Essentially patting herself on the back for not being like those who “barely wear clothes” is slut-shaming at its simplest. (If you don’t think slut shaming is wrong, you’re not pro-woman, in which case feel free to exit stage left).
What I found more disturbing than Ayesha’s comments was the type of support it inspired. Ashy Twitter came out in full force with the shared goal of tearing down as many women as possible. There was little room for actual discussion on how misguided notions of respectability affect the way women view themselves as well as other women.
Because here’s the thing. The idea that married women’s word is gospel because they’ve achieved what every woman should want to ultimately achieve (a ring) is ridiculous. The idea that if you disagree with what married women say about what other women should do and think then you’re just jealous is not only painfully childish, but ridiculous.
Because where is the logic? Yes, Ayesha is married, but so are plenty of “hoes” (women who have at some point dressed or behaved in a way that some wouldn’t agree with). This idea that if you just dress right and don’t do anything random dudes on Twitter could consider hoe-ish, ou’ll be rewarded with a ring… Like, there’s so much wrong there, it genuinely makes me sad. Good girls get married. Hoes get married. These are all false categories. The idea that you need to dress a certain way to be worthy of respect or love (or basically what many people think should be a woman’s greatest concern: male approval) is rooted in the desire to control women.
I know shitting on black women is the preferred pastime of the black community, but black twitter needs to do better. Can we introduce some basic feminist ideas into the larger cultural narrative so that our community can stop being a pillar of oppression for black women?
Imagine if the black community uplifted its women with the same passion with which they rush to tear them down and degrade them, often hiding behind the egregious claim that it’s ok because they did it to themselves first by dressing/acting/breathing a certain way?
What a world that would be. In the meantime?
#Ineedblkfeminismmbecause we still out here drawing a line between hoes and good black women, even though all black women have been disrespected at some point no matter how “good” they tried to be.
#Ineedblackfeminism because black women are fighting the same damn battles but still let the male gaze divide us into arbitrary categories.
#Ineedblackfeminism because ya’ll for real discounted any argument with “you’re just mad cause you’re a hoe” like this is the seventh grade.
#Ineedblackfeminism because we’re still out here discounting a woman’s opinion based on her relationship status. If ever there was a time to log off, fam…