Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Black Masculinity

Throughout all the different ideas that have been discussed on Masculinity, I have made the mistake of lumping all men into the same "masculine category". After watching the movie on Black Masculinity in class last week I see that I should not have done this. One of the main concepts I am understanding is that men are automatically able to be seen as leaders in society, but it never occurred to me that this is not always so for the African American man (and that definitely means its harder for the African woman also). This movie had many responses towards black masculinity and they were things such as, "Black masculinity isn't a privilege, it is earned", and "the black man has to work twice as hard to receive the same status as a white man". I realize now I should never assume that all groups of people (men) should be lumped into a single category. There are obviously numerous types of categories for different groups, even men.
Interestingly enough in another class I am taking, (Sex, Gender, and Philosophy)we are reading Black Sexual Politics. Today actually we discussed the oppression of African Americans and the stereotypes they must endure today that can date all the way back to slavery. One stereotype of black men is "the Buck". Which is another way (dating back to slavery) of saying that the African American man is "big, strong, and stupid". It is a way that made it justified to treat black men as subordinates to the white man. Now I have begun to wonder, and I honestly think I already know the answer, but does society still hold this viewpoint towards the black man and really the black community as a whole?? I think YES! It is no wonder the African American men (and women to, not to leave them out just because they are women) must work so hard to overcome these ideologies in order to achieve the same "masculine status" as a white man. And it is also not surprising that some of theses men turn to a life of violence and crime, because all they are really trying to do is achieve a status for themselves, and unfortunately our society is not treating these men (at least not consistently) as equals. It gives me even more of a reason to question what real masculinity is... From my viewpoint no man or woman should ever have to work twice as hard to achieve the same things as another man or woman. I hope the rest of society will soon discover that as well.

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