Black Women Are the Newest Mascots
The views and opinion expressed in this post solely belong, to BlackGuy
Remember those Chuck E. Cheese days, before technology took over the younger generation? Do you remember how the Chuck E. Cheese mascot would come out and prance around for all of the children’s entertainment? Well, the same thing is being done to black women by individuals that are not black women.
Throughout the course of time, black women have been stigmatized and stereotyped as ‘ghetto’ —as a whole—for their hairstyles, black features, and fierce personalities; however, people that are not black women are reclaiming these stigmas and stereotypes as their own — utilizing them for entertainment purposes, just like those silly Chuck E. Cheese mascots.
What does Shanaynay from the Martin Lawrence show and Shanaynay, played by Youtuber, Shane Dawson, have in common? They are both cisgender men, and neither of them has had to endure the struggles of being a black woman. Evidently, both Shanaynay’s are an embodiment of how men, black or white, view black women — angry, feisty, and excessively ‘ratchet’, which ultimately is the stereotype of black women. Observe the image below of Lawrence and Dawson as Shanaynay.
Martin Lawrence and Shane Dawson are not the only men that are guilty of reinforcing negative stereotypes of black women. Let’s take a good look at Tyler Perry as Madea. As a young black writer, I can appreciate Tyler Perry’s playwriting process. However, I can’t help but shake my head at some of Madea’s antics. As a black person, we are already stereotyped as unintelligent individuals that resort to violence to get our points across. Why is it that Madea is usually the wiser in every Perry film, and she speaks in broken English, uses excessive violence, and creates a comedy that desensitizes the struggles of the struggling black woman in his plays? Don’t get me wrong—I do love myself some Madea!
Emmanuel Hudson… I know, you’re all thinking “Who the hell is that?” But he’s that guy that did the thing, on the thing and somehow went viral. Hudson and some other guy made a video back in 2012, entitled “She Ratchet” accumulating over 12.9 million Youtube views, which ultimately paved the way for his success — landing him a spot on Nick Cannon’s Wild N’ Out. In the video, he implies that women that receive public assistance are, indeed, ‘ratchet’. I know it was meant to be all jokes, but his disdain towards black woman is made very apparent in his tweets. He refuses to refer to black women as women, but “females” which is offensive to a lot of black feminists. If you don’t care about black girl feelings, why are you so hell-bent on impersonating them? (Check out the images below!)
As a black male, I know that I am not allowed to speak over or for black women. I recognize my cisgender privilege, and I want to use that said privilege to lift the voices of my sisters. Nevertheless, we are all guilty of sharing a ki or two about these cisgender men prancing around, impersonating black women, but not using their privilege to lift the voices of black women. As a white person, you definitely do not have the right to call yourself a Shanaynay, wear bad weave, and embody negative stereotypes towards black woman — that deserves a punch right in your white privilege.
What do you think?