I am writing this post in response to a sister’ by the name of Feminista Jones that was published on The Root titled “The Cock Shaming of Toxic Masculinity.
She like others believe that men and women who are noticing the social engineering taking place are mislead silly people who believe in “mass conspiracy.” That we are also homophobic. No and Nope sis.
Feminista had issue with the image below which I first became aware of on Twitter. It simply broke down the image from the perspective of semiotics.
She like others need to understand the history of gender manipulation of Black people from a historical perspective but more on that in a minute.
Note how on other covers of Vogue couples are featured. Man in front of his wife/woman or side by side.
The starting point to understanding much of what is happening today around Black people in media is to understand it from a historical perspective. During slavery in the United States, the manipulation of gender and geneder related roles as it pertained to Black men and women was controlled to maximize financial return and minimize fear.
Women were masculinized so they could be worked as hard as men and so they would not be seen as women. If they were seen as women that would humanize them and they would be mothers and not breeders. Breeders who should be ready to give up their children at birth or anytime after. They were all property and slavery was a business.
Black men were emasculated physically and psychologically as a way of imposing total domination. The psychological process of breaking and controlling a man had to instill an operating system (like computers have) so that self-perception would be another means of control.
It has even been stated that this self-perception of powerlessnes manifested itself as Black men calling each other “baby,” referring to Black women of sexual interest or who they were having sex with as Momma.
Lewis Clarke a former slave stated that if a Black man “fancied” a Black Woman and this was noticed it could lead to her rape. He also talked about children being hung and we know their fathers could do nothing. When I talked about recent movies removing Black men from the role of protecting I was told repeatedly what’s wrong with presenting strong women. I say nothing if you do it without making men weak as was done in recent movies we will explore later.
Feminista says this is a figment in the minds of Black men. That we are being made effeminate and weak when a Black woman is made strong. I would refer her to the other Vogue images of couples and look at them closely!
Back to the past. Physical emasculation ranged from chaining for long periods, forced prolonged stress positions, castration, and of course lynching. It should be noted that Black men were castrated due to hypersexualization that took place in the white psyche. Black men were also castrated because we were seen as mentally inferior and closer to animals. This is why the term “Buck” was so often used to describe us.
When a black man was accused of rape or even looking at a white woman for too long he was castrated because his virility must not extend to white woman and once castrated he could not produce children period. Remember this, it will be connected to a very important point later.
Psychological castration took place in many forms. Besides knowing you could be sold or killed at anytime there were other methods.
Black men could do nothing if the master, his sons, or even a white man working on his plantation wanted a man’s wife or his children sexually and had permission. He could not protect his family but we all all know that. Louis Clarke a former slave stated if a Black man even showed he “fancied”a woman that put her in jeopardy of rape in itself. Even children were Black men could do nothing.
Still, we have issues with seeing Black men who see themselves and want to be protectors of their families and communities. his never seems to be an issue with other races. Based on many responses I read to the pushback on the image of the couple with the added text, many women and men preferred that pic and justified him in the background as opposed to even seeing there was the alternative of them being side by side.
What many are unaware of is Black men and boys were forced to wear shirts that hung over them like dresses with no pants and in many cases straight up dresses. This has to do with the practice of breeching boys in America and Europe. Boys were often not allowed to wear pants until they were percieved as mature enough to start more masculine pursuits and journey out of boyhood. Keeping black men and boys unbreeched and looking effeminate was symbolic, another form of castration. Upon my first quick first glance at this photo, I thought it displayed three slave girls and a younger boy.
In reference to the Jonathan Major’s photo below, when I first saw the image online, the size was small. It immediately looked to me as though he had breasts due to the way the light hits his pecs. Next, I noticed the protruded lips, then the pink shawl, and the jeanboots that seem to be one piece with pink highlights and legs crossed.
The brother can act and due to his physicality, recently he is consistently put in roles that are considered manly where he is whippin ass and takin names. This was after his debut in the brilliant movie The Last Black Man in San Francisco. This image of the virile and aggressive Blackman to this day must be neutralized. It must not be allowed to take root in the Black man’s psyche for the same reasons Black men we emasculated and castrated just a few hundred short years ago.
Much of what we say is masculine and feminine is a social construct. There is nothing wrong in itself about the things I noticed in the Majors photo (minus the pecs to breasts). However, put in a larger context it does become problematic. Still, I believe people should be able to express themselves however they feel even if I think they may be participating in something they are not fully aware of. I would never tell a rapper for instance that he or she can’t say something. I would just ask that he or she think about what they are putting out in the world especially if they are highly visible.
Communication always has a goal. If the goal of the Ebony cover is to communicate a rejection of the white patriarchal world view, this presupposes that people have already bought into the social construct of what’s masculine and what’s feminine. Also changing clothes does nothing significant to challenge the white male created status quo and operating systems.
Communication always has a goal. If the goal in the pic is to communicate a rejection of the white patriarchal world view and notions of masculinity including toxic masculinity, this presupposes that people have already bought into the social construct. Also changing clothes does nothing significant to challenge the white male created status quo. Unified action does.
Images and films that may give rise to Black men protecting themselves and their communities from white hegemony is a no-no. This is the reason why we see two of the most recent Black films showing the Black women as protector. Woman King and Wakanda Forever.
Tell me right now. What movie or TV show with all that is streaming can you think of a show where a Black man is protecting a large community or nation. Prolly not.
Images that promote Black men providing and prospering is a no-no. We must like other Americans be willing to accept the increasing wealth gap and the fact that it is harder to maintain the same standard of living as food and gas prices rise among many other things rise
Black procreation must be controlled as well. The Black birth rate has increased 30% since the year 2000. This is not a good thing for those who want to keep the status quo especially in light of the fact that the white birth rate is below it’s death rate. This is also the real reason immigration is problematic for non whites in America now as many know.
One must understand that white men are the apex predators not because they were able to establish physical dominance but because they were able to implement and maintain belief systems.
They knew and know that in order to create and maintain a status quo they had to create operating systems like the framework in which your computer operates. The software controls the hardware. They started out with religion which they spread around the world and it worked exceptionally well on Black people in America for generations. Now new operating systems are being amplified in mass media which no doubt supports white male domination. Let’s look at some of the newer operating systems dispersed. Actually, they are not really new. Just 2 and 3.0 versions.
The form of dress combined with his position in relation to his white male partner displays submissiveness. Black men no longer have to be submissive to white men for survival but it is displayed in front of large audiences that it’s being chosen now. The Oscars is arguably the world’s most popular film award ceremony. I don’t even know why he is there but that’s not saying a lot or maybe it is.
If the dress is the way you want to express yourself OK. I wore a tutu to a party once with army boots. I almost got into a fight with two young brothas so I understand where some are coming from to an extent. I just don’t see why even with the dress on he could not have locked arms with his partner in a way that demonstrated equality. Not the I’m your bitch pose. To those with common sense this will illustrate that I am not homophobic. Many of us who are historically knowledgeable and literate in the area of semiotics will no doubt retain this label.
I simply don’t trust making Black men the poster children for all that’s gay, cross-dressing or trans. I don’t trust any type of social engineering. It usually supports the white male status quo.
I have checked in with other Black men both straight and gay and they have confirmed that my observations are not off. Gay men seem to attribute it to different reasons than I but they even acknowledge an imbalance in media representation in some areas. I believe it’s because of the same reasons Black men were castrated long ago as described earlier.
Sadly today Black men call Black women dude and man. I have heard Black female teens refer to themselves as bruh. If you don’t believe this transfers to the real world in any way I think you are sadly mistaken. In high schools now it seems as though young women are fighting more than boys.
People are saying that gender and gender roles are based in colonialism and white male hegemony. I do not agree.
For eons, people all over the world have attributed certain characteristics to men and women. Those characteristics stem from biological, mental / emotional differences. Yes, there were cultures that had genderless languages and there are always exceptions to rules.
It used to be that sex and gender were two different things. Your sex was your biology and your gender was how you identified. Now it seems as though people are saying that their sex is purely based off of how they identify. Seems like one of Trump’s alternative facts.
For some attire is used to signal that they are gay or to signal that they reject white patriarchy and it’s gender based hierarchy. Some use different pronouns to demonstrate they do not accept the aforementioned. Lets look at signaling the rejection of hierarchies through dress and pronouns. Do they really effect white supremacy? No in my opinion. Challenging and dismantling capitalism gone amok does, becoming less of a consumer does, becoming environmentally conscious does, spending time in nature does, resting does, creating group rituals that establish collective thought and elevated vibes outside of religions does. While I have not been to the Oakland Black Joy Parade it has been described to me as a ritual where Black people bathe each other in Love. Challenging the “i” mentality as promoted with devices (iPhone, iTunes, iCloud, iPad etc.) and promoting collectivism does. Realizing that rugged individualism is a myth and rejecting it does.
If you think white men are still in a place of dominance by chance you are sadly mistaken. They continue to broadcast messages, present images and amplify trends (The Root’s parent company is white owned) which create operating systems (controlled perspectives/social opinion) which controls behavior that benefits them!
I believe social engineering is real and it’s consciously done. There are very powerful conservative white think tanks with lots of influence. Dr. Francis Cress Wellsing, however, believes it could be unconsciously done as well but nonetheless racism and social engineering is to prevent white genetic annihilation.
We see racist, excuse me, conservative politicians, the rise of racist, damn I did it again, I meant Far Right groups in America like those that stormed the capital making real moves. Recently white racist groups have planned to attack and have attacked power grids in major cities. We also see America slowly becoming a nation of more haves and have not as the wealth gap widens. All of the above affects Black and Brown people so we must continue to think critically about what we see. Just as America and the world is becoming darker due to the birth dearth anything is on the table.
I believe that what we see in mass media definitely affects people. As stated earlier gender swapping as far as dress and in other ways has historical significance that is relevant even to this day. The pic below is my response to people who say that concern about gender roles and dress is rooted in fear of powerful Black women and homophobia. Maybe this young woman is an example of Feminista Jones’s self determination.