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Controlling Images and Black Women's Oppression

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on 5 June 2014

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Transcript of Controlling Images and Black Women's Oppression

Controlling Images and Black Women's Oppression
"Mammy"
- The faithful, obedient domestic servant
- The public face that Whites expect Black women to assume for them
- Symbolized the dominant group's perceptions of te ideal Black female relationship to white male power
- "Loving, nurturing and cares for her White children and 'family' betters than her own"
- Remained poor because they were economically exploited workers in a capitalist political economy
- Were often hired by many White families as a source of cheap labor
- Black women discouraged their children to avoid domestic work
The Matriarch
- Symbolizes the mother figure in Black homes
- Opposite of mammy: the "bad" black mother
- Considered as black women wh dared reject the image of submissive, hardworking servant

- Spends too much time away from home, could not properly supervise their children, allegedly emasculated their lovers and husbands

The Jezebel, Whore, or "Hoochie"
Discussion
Object vs. Subject
Objectification is the process described as the "separation of the 'knowing self' from the 'known object'
- As objects, one's reality is defined by others, one's identity created by others, one's history named only in ways that define one's relationship to those who are subject

As subjects, people have the right to define their own reality, establish their own identities, name their history
- When we deny black women of "fully human" subject status, we objectify them as "Others"
Black Women's Sexuality Today
From
urbandictionary.com
A hoochie is female who appears to match a set of characteristics including: trashy, often inappropriately tight dress (with or without pudge overflowing waistband); eyebrows shaved and penciled back on in dramatic fashion; heavy, mostly monotonic makeup with dark lipstick; large, gaudy, costume-grade jewlery. Frequently accompanied by multiple children from different fathers (see baby-daddy).

Example
:
"Damn, did you Estela's sister at the sideshow last night? Sportin' a camel toe through her jeans, cornrows, you know she's a straight-up hoochie"
Popular Culture - Artifact
Kanye West - "Gold Digger"
Now I ain't sayin' she a gold digger
But she ain't messin' with no broke niggas
...
But you stay right girl
But when you get on he leave your ass for a white girl
"True" Womanhood
Traditional family ideals believe that "true" women possessed four cardinal virtues
1. Piety
2. Purity
3. Submissiveness
4. Domesticity
Binary Thinking
- Categorizes people, things, and ideas in terms of their difference from on another
- white/black, male/female, culture/nature, etc.

- Shapes understandings of human difference
Acceptance of Such Controlling Images
- African-American men and women alike do not challenge these and other portrayals of Black women as "hoochies" within Black popular culture

- Some argue that such nature/acceptance have long been expressed in Black culture
- Acceptance validates the message; the more it circulates, the more credence it is given
Welfare Mother
Black Lady
- Constitutes a class-specific, controlling imaged developed for poor, working-class Black women who make use of social welfare benefits to which they are entitled by law

- Like the matriarch, she is considered as a 'bad' mother but not as aggressive

- Portrayed as content to sit around and collect welfare, shunning work and passing on her bad values to her offspring
- Refers to middle-class professional Black women who represent a modern version of the politics respectability advanced by the club women

- Routinely compete with men, deemed too assertive; that's why men do not want to marry them

- Allegedly take jobs that should go to more worthy White, especially U.S. White men
- Represent a deviant Black female sexuality

- Excessive sexual appetite masculinizes the jezebel because she desires sex just as a man does

In what ways does this video enforces the concept of 'hoochie'?

By portraying women this way in the video, do you think society has come to accept this ideology of women?
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