It seems that Black men cannot stay out of the dress long enough to respect Black women. Martin Lawrence and Jamie Fox are getting together to star in a movie. Apparently they play the role of “modern independent women, trying to make it one bank robbery at a time.” Other than being birthed by a woman, what the hell do these two know about life as a woman? Of course, this is all comedy, so we should just look the other way.
Black men have a history of donning the dress, to specifically demean Black women. Being the same race does not excuse the inherent sexism in this action. Foxx intends to breathe life into the Wanda character made famous on In Living Color.
Can there be any doubt, that a movie involving this character will be nothing more than another genderized minstrel show?
For his part, Martin Lawrence intends to breathe life into the hideous character of Sheneneh .
When damaging stereotypes of Black women are repeated, we need look no further than Black men, to see them supported and accepted. Head swinging, proper ignorant, and masculinised, is exactly how we have been constructed. When racism rears its ugly head, Black men are the first to demand our solidarity. We need to uplift the race. We need to challenge White hegemony, but they are not above reducing us to comedic routine, if it means they are able to express the same patriarchal power as White men. Movies like this prove that Black women have no institutional other. Even as we are reduced by racism, sexism rears its ugly head to ensure that whatever is left of our dignity is destroyed.
What kind of partnership can possibly exist, when Black men make sure to inform us that even within the marginalized community, we are decidedly inferior. This is not comedy, it is designed specifically to be reductive and only in a world in which women are devalued, could this be considered even remotely amusing. By saying that there is truth in the stereotypes aimed at Black women, Black men are enforcing the same on themselves. This is cutting of your nose to spite your face. Sexism and Racism are very much related and each is damaging. That Black men may not face sexism, does not mean that they do not know what it is to be demeaned. The fact that they are willingly participating in this reduction, speaks of the ways in which they have internalized oppression as a path to power.