A few days after news broke about BET anchor TJ Holmes getting pulled over by the cops, I wrote an article for Ebony describing my own recent “Driving While Black” experience.

In it, I described how those situations have become so engrained in our (“our” in this sense means “Black males”) collective consciousness that for many of us, you’re almost shocked when you see a cop and you don’t get pulled over.

Surprisingly, being racially profiled didn’t annoy me too much. Getting stopped and questioned by the cops is basically the Black males’ Bar Mitzvah. The stories are so ubiquitous that you’re almost surprised when it doesn’t happen to you.

After it published, I received feedback from several different sources; some friends, some comments on our Facebook wall, and even a few emails. After a couple dozen or so of these replies, I noticed that the type of feedback I received was mostly split along gender lines.

(The typical response from the men)

“Damn, dog. I remember when that shit happened to me. Glad you at least lived to share the story.”

(The typical response from the women)

“Did you get his badge number? File a report? I would have cussed that motherf*cker out”

Now, I know that the men who read the story also felt anger, just as I’m certain that the women were also glad that I made it home in one piece. But, whenever you hear stories like this, stories about Black men getting harassed by the police, you usually see the same pattern, and the stark difference in the base reaction wasn’t anything new. And, while there are many possible reasons why this occurs, one stands out a bit more than the rest:

Black women just aren’t perceived as immediate threats in the same way that Black men are.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. “Duh, motherf*cker. Of course not.” But, besides the obvious, the fact that Black women just aren’t perceived as threats in the same way allows them certain leeways. One of these leeways is that their antagonism in this type of situation probably won’t cause most cops to react the same way they would if we were just as antagonistic. Basically, they’re much less likely to get arrested/beat up/shot/killed after cussing a cop out than we would be. And, while we’re thinking “I should probably chill right now and address this later because one false move could make me the new Sean Bell,” this lack of negative reinforcement allows them to think “This wrong is going to be righted right now.”

Obviously, this theory is based solely on anecdote. And, I’m (obviously) speaking from a collective sense. Every Black woman and every Black man won’t react in a gender-assigned way. Also, I’m (obviously) biased. But I think I’m a bit more right than wrong with this, and I also suspect that most of you would agree with me.

Usually, when these types of discussions/conversations — where someone compares the plight of one plighted entity to another — take place, they’re prefaced with some variant of “I’m not trying to start the Oppression Olympics or anything, but…” — a statement which lets the people involved with the conversation know that the conversation starter knows that playing the “Who has it worse?” game is pointless, impossible, and even insulting.

You will see no such sentence from me today.

Regardless of the topic, much of the conversation we have here ends up basically coming down to the men stating that the women just don’t understand how it is to be a (Black) man, and the women arguing that what (Black) men collectively experience pales in comparison to the obstacles (Black) women have to overcome to survive and succeed.

So, instead of imploring each other to take the gloves off and try and find some common ground, today I’m interested in seeing exactly how people feel and why. Considering all factors — sociological, biological, cultural, psychological, whatever — whose navigation through life is generally more hazardous: Black men’s or Black women’s?

And, most importantly, why?

Let the Oppression Olympics begin!

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Filed Under: ,
Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Amos Banks

    Black women by far have a harder way to go.

    • Amos Banks

      Danielle Belton wrote a great piece about Black women holding it all together (I can’t find it after searching 10 minutes). After reading that I realized Black men have their own stuff to deal with, but Black women have it harder. Not like 11ty billion times harder, but harder nonetheless.

      • Iceprincess

        Co-sign. Black women are on the bottom of the totem pole cuz they’re a double minority: black AND female.

        • Iceprincess you need to start preachin on that one. I didn’t fully understand that until I took a Black People and Society class in college. Eye opener and more I tell you.

        • That Ugly Kid

          I disagree, being a woman is actually what keeps black women from being at the bottom. Because, regardless of race, you’re still a woman. So, you are a lot less likely to have violent acts inflicted upon you, than if you were a “big, scary, black man.” Why? Because it’s immoral to be violent towards women. Am I saying it doesn’t happen? No. It does. But not NEARLY to the degree it happens to black males. Statistics prove this.

          Same thing with walking in a neighborhood “you don’t belong in.” Sure, people might preceived you as ghetto, single mother, angry, wh0re, etc. But more times than not, these stereotypes won’t brings others to act aggresively towards. Snide remarks? Maybe. But other than that, you’re relatively safe. But let ME walk the same neighborhood. Now all of a sudden, I’m a threat. I’m dangerous. I’m a criminal. And now I’m getting harassed by cops.

          Basically, being a woman is what allows yall to “get away” with certain things. A luxury black man don’t have at all.

          • You hit a homerun with that one TUK.

          • I don’t know about that one.

            I mean, a lot more guys think they can win a fight against a lady, which means that they’re more likely to attack a woman in these situations. I think a Black guy walking through a rough neighborhood with a mug on his face will get ignored, or the standard nod and keep walking. But a lady doing the same will get flattering remarks, and depending on how she responds and the mood of whoever said it, she’s more likely to be approached and bothered.

            • Rewind

              So you assume. A black guy walking with a mean mug on his face in the wrong neighborhood also gets the cops called on him, or gets a George Zimmerman on his ass.
              Tuk is right, though women are still the victims of many crimes, on a usual basis you will not face the abuse, scrutiny and embarassment a Black man will face simply for being a Black man. If a Black woman dates a White man, though rare and some people may question or show distaste, usually things will go smoothly, especially as a high powered couple. Black man & white woman? That crap is so rampant today and it still gets people death threats.

              • Point taken about Zimmerman, but I think the hooting and approaches that women get are a lot more common though. Or to a larger extent, the number of times they get groped in a club. For guys, we (for the most part) try not to touch other guys cause (a) that’s gay and (b) you don’t know if other dude’s had a bad day and is looking for an excuse to fight.

                • Rewind

                  I can’t deny women have it hard with how grossly offensive many men are when trying to get a woman’s attention, or how possesive they become if they have a woman’s attention. In the same breath though, a shoulder bump warrants a bullet to the face in some places. Scuff some guy’s shows, and 30 of his friends will whoop your ass. If your waitress is a bitch, you can’t say a damn thing or you’re being a sexual oppressor, you’ll need your girl/wife to handle that situation for you. Speak your mind around men, and maybe a fight might start. Speak your mind around women, and yo’ll get sued. The cons and pros are endless for both gneders, so nobody is a winner in the end.

          • Tiffany

            Although you said a violent act, it seems that you have excluded the act of rape, which is a clearly an act of violence akin (and even worse) than being attacked in the street. This was clearly stated from the male perspective, which just points out the double discrimintation black women deal with. Not only racism, but sexism and misogyny as well.

          • SweetSass

            No. You wholly ignore domestic violence, sexual assault, and rape. Those are all acts of violence which routinely happen to women. And don’t just happen when there is a bar fight. But whenever a woman comes home.

            • That Ugly Kid

              “You wholly ignore domestic violence, sexual assault, and rape. Those are all acts of violence which routinely happen to women.”

              They happen to men too. In fact, statistically, men are just as likely to be raped OUTSIDE of prison, as they are inside. The acts you named happen to a lot of the male populace as well. So, think about that.

              • SweetSass

                But at a fraction at the rate it happens to women. Guys don’t walk around worrying about that stuff.

          • Not Your Friend

            *You are very ignorant about what life is like for women.

            *BLACK men are a threat to BLACK WOMEN. Most Black women can’t even walk down the street without being harassed by a Black man.

            • yeah. i agree with you. i think for a lot of men, we don’t view those things as that big of a deal. or we don’t have any mechanism to relate to the daily bullsh*t that happens. we get one big ass event like Trayvon Martin. women get daily bullsh*t.

            • That Ugly Kid

              “Most Black women can’t even walk down the street without being harassed by a Black man.”

              Most black men can’t either. Your point? When you get harassed, in most cases, you face embarrassment, ridicule, unwanted sexual advances, but other than that you end up fine. If a black man gets harassed, there’s a good chance I’ll end up hospitalized, or dead. I’ll let you decide who runs the greater risk here.

              • Rewind

                TUk, you need to remember something. You’re a man. Despite being a minority, you’re still part of a majority…MEN. We live our lives without worrying about certain things, that women on the other hand fear for on a daily basis. We as men will never understand it because we don’t experience. You can’t forget that when having this argument because you have to look at all sides of the spectrum.

              • Not Your Friend

                *Sucks teeth* Your male privilege is showing.

                • That Ugly Kid

                  Yea sorry, as a young black male living in Chicago, I’m still trying to find this so-called privelage that I have. It’s nowhere in the house. I would look for it elsewhere, but the minute I step outside I’m afraid I’ll get arrested or killed. Oh golly! I’m sooo privelaged that society sees me as a menace!

                  • SweetSass

                    If you dress a certain way and carry yourself a certain way, you aren’t going to be feared. A lot of it is about choices.

                    Guys who wear saggy pants, tatted up, oversize t’s, fitted caps, and other hood paraphanalia then wonder why people fear them. Smh. Well, if you wear the gangsta uniform … don’t be surprised if people fear you.

                    If you walk around looking like Tiger Woods in polos and khakis, I guarantee you won’t inspire as much fear. Ridicule from other ‘hood ninjas’ but less like a target on your back. Depends on who you care to impress.

              • AfroPetite

                I have to call bs on that statement. Unwanted sexual advances definitely lead to physical assault/death as well don’t get it twisted. As many women that get snatched up in broad daylight just for possessing breasts and a vag…. 0___o

                • Marcus Antonio


              • Marcus Antonio

                Thirsty black males and broke niggas are trying to get their phone number OMG call the president ohh no wait call the NATO we have a problem…looooooooll
                If u cant see the disrespect in that statement abot blk men harrasing them then…loool

          • i agree to a certain extent. i’m trying to decide how much i want to elaborate on this downthread since i planned on writing a whole post on how much it must suck to be a woman at times. damn you Champ!

            • mena

              You have a different perspective simply b/c you have a daughter.

              I don’t care if someone’s mama, sister, aunt, girl cousin, etc is attacked on a daily basis, when you see that this crap can happen to your little girl, things get serious real quick.

          • You done wrapped up the entire episode in the first five minutes No, that’s not what she said :o) Anyway, there’s really nothing left to add.

      • Rae
        • Amos Banks

          Yep, thank you!

      • Considering who Danielle Belton writes for I’m inclined to say there’s a little bit of bias in the piece…but that’s just me…

        • Not Your Friend

          A website you would leave comments on frequently.

          • Correction: I used to. I haven’t posted anything there since May. There’s too many “young people” and not enough “grown folks”.

        • she’s alos like the editor now and trying to clean the place up. she also writes for really respectable outlets as well. she’s not some Clutch Mag crackpot.

    • B

      This is a hard one. I believe both genders of the black community have a hard journey to embark upon. Yet, there is a difference. I think black males face their hardship (most of them) publicly. Where as black females often encounter their hardships behind close doors and in the public eye. As a black woman, speaking from my experience and what I have observed, because I am not seen as a threat I am viewed as weak. The combination of my race and sex comes across as “weakness”, which brings forth hardships of different forms. Now, I’m not saying that black males don’t experience distress away from public’s view, but I feel as though black women get a double whammy. All in all, you are are right. I, as a black woman, may never know how it feels to be pulled over by cop and be harassed because of my race, but hope that my black brothers know that I will try to understand. So, with that please try to understand our case, as black women, and lift us up while they rest of the world tries to put us down and we’ll do the same.

      • Rewind

        Black women do have a double whammy. But that whammy comes from the same factor for both of your roles: Being black and how the problem with Black people always holds us back, and being a woman and how women hold each other back. Think about it. As a Black person, especially through all the things we talk about on VSB, there are problems from our past that we should be able to overcome by now but refuse to (skin color issues, nig-gaz vs. Black people, one Black person representing all Black people, etc). On the other hand, you have the problems that come along with being a woman (rampant jealousy, being bombarded by the media and society about beauty, the hair topic specifically for women of color, the prejudices men give women, the inability to be seen as a person instead of a sexual object or a mother, etc). I’d never deny that’s a lot of weight to hold on to. But when your local police chief decides to go to war against the poor black folks, it won’t be Black women dragged off in handcuffs, mug shot plastered on the news, and given a shytty trial just to prove a point. It won’t be a Black woman stop and frisked at a random moment because TOO MANY Black women are standing on one block. It won’t be Black women that gets shown as an average thug on tv and movies and rarely as an intelligent being (although I’m not going to pretend Black women get it much better, but thanks to reality shows, at least yall get to be in $3000 heels while being stereotyped). The list goes on and on. I can’t even call it about who has it worse, my question is who recovers quicker and gets back on their feet?

    • It is not even a close competition, but you have to give the edge to the black male. We are the “threat”, the most dangerous of the two. We have more of a propensity to die at the hands of another person. That makes it no contest.

    • Bebe

      It’s not a competition so much as a comparison, I guess. As a woman, I remember the upbringing that cautioned being ‘appropriate’ to the place and circumstance always. I suppose the thinking was we would not be perceived as threatening in any manner if we always seemed to fit in. That doesn’t translate that well professionally, frankly. And historically I believe the dominant culture is educated to be fearful of black men, even if they’re children. I used to get the “stop the black lady in the suit sans jewelry and make sure she didn’t steal that car or prostitute her way into it!” I also used to get the dumb arsed inquiries at work about why I never wore my hair in braids too, though. Try explaining tender headed to the uninitiated. Just try.
      And yeah, officers responding to any security system quirk at my house always were stunned to see me answer the door. (Then they demanded proof that I lived there. And naturally they objected because my name is not even a morph of my husband’s surname. Just their way of saying, ‘You don’t belong here,’ I’m sure.)
      I remain reluctant to send my nephews forth in my community without me. And the whole fit in bit is a staging that doesn’t translate well beyond my generation of born just down the road from the Civil Rights Act and its’ impacts.
      Hell, the kids down the street catch grief for driving a black and black Escalade and their father is a state policeman. But, I think all that most policeman see when they observe them driving their mama’s chariot is blackness.
      Personally, I am little inconvenienced by the disruptions any more. And I know it only means one thing: I am not the threat at 40 that I was at 30. I have gone Claire Huxtable and that just don’t happen with men folks.

    • I agree. Malcolm X even said himself that we are definitely at the bottom of the barrel, being a minority AND female. Going to the blog a couple days ago, we are defintely SURVIVING, as opposed to living. *shrugs* whatcha gonna do…

      However, specific to the driving while black scenario, men definitely have the short end of the stick here. Just this summer I went ape s**t on a cop, to the point afterwards, I was in tears on the way home thinking how I could have let my temper result in me calling my kids from the clink telling them that they’d had have to make thier own dinner tonight lol. I mean, the cop deserved it, because he obviously was having a bad day and projected some previous experience on me at that particular moment, but I completed that ish in such a way that would make the Lady of Rage proud.Your girl got out of the car and came into the road where this hot head cop was standing and told him to f*** himself, his mother, and if he didnt like his job to go apply to walmart for a greeter position, etc, his fat a$$ needs exercise, how he’s piece of s**t…ALL occurring in a well off JEWISH neighborhood.

      SMH…obviously not one of my proudest moments. But rightly so, if a black dude acted the same…well…we’d be lucky if jail time is “all” that would result…as in R.I.P. black dude.

  • This is a tough call. When it comes to the cops, obviously Black men have it harder, since men of any race are perceived as being dangerous.
    Within the Black community, I’d say women have it harder. We have to be virtuous, we’re treated like h0es, out hair is never right, we’re all single mothers, we can’t get married…

    • Val


    • Kandi

      I would go so far to say that women are impacted by DWB to a greater extent than we are aware but the extent has been suppressed because when fighting for rights its really been the rights of the collective (prodominated by men) and when they get on then we will worry about gender equality/women’s issues

      • mortal


    • “Within the Black community, I’d say women have it harder. We have to be virtuous, we’re treated like h0es, out hair is never right, we’re all single mothers, we can’t get married…” This will always be based on the loud minority in our community who has manage to grab the spotlight and create the problem and an easy example is L&HH or RHoA.

      • Black women have the upper-hand over Black men. The statistics prove this. They are more likely to finish high-school, more hold degrees, they are less likely to be imprisoned, have a higher employment rate, etc. etc.

        The Black community is also very matriarchial which means that Black women run most households and thus hold more power in the family structure.

        Just my two cents…

      • Black women have the upper-hand over Black men. The statistics prove this. They are more likely to finish high-school, more hold degrees, they are less likely to be imprisoned, have a higher employment rate, etc. etc.

        The Black community is also very matriarchial which means that Black women run most households and thus hold more power in the family structure.

        Just my two cents…

    • I think those two play off one another. I mean the police treatment of Black men has a direct impact on society treatment. Once a cop deals with me and figures I look like the description he just heard on the radio of a “Black male in a tee shirt” who committed some crime, suddenly I’ve got a felony. Now its hard for me to get a job, without a job I can’t pay for school, without school, I can’t really do much and hold down long term work, etc. Its a chain reaction. At least Black women are getting jobs and phds and all that.

      • Rewind

        True. Consistently treat someone like crap and reject their humanity at all turns, and yup, they will lash out on the world. That’s the plight of Black society, all we do is rip each other apart while the enemy keeps a tighter grip on the idea of peace and success.

  • Black Men have it rough because from the start I think we are seen as suspects. We never have the opportunity to really rise out of the “field negro” life. We are always assumed to be liars, cheaters and just downright horrible people even if we have not wronged a single person in our lives. I learned from a young age that a white person’s word will be believed over mine even if I tell the truth, that it is okay for me to be tailed in a mall even if I have not entered a store yet and that I just might fit the profile of a criminal even if I have not been on the street yet. Black women have a lot of challenges but navigating through life is much harder for the black man as he has many more rules to follow

    • Black men have more rules stacked against us while black women have us stacked against them. Use all the examples you want. Black man in jail, Black father died, Black father left, BLACK FATHER DONT GIVE A DAM etc.

      • DQ

        Whether we started it and there’s a whole chicken or the egg thing to discuss, at this point I think it’s fair (and probably more accurate) to say that we (black people) are stacked against each other now. We neither give nor receive unwavering support from black women (nor vice versa).

        • DQ I see you. Black folks the only group of people I know that tries to segregated each other on skin color (light or dark) and whether you can call yourself “Black Enough” or not (I dealt with this alot in school because I went from the Westside schools with Black and Mexicans to the Northside schools with nothing but Whites)

          • eye(c)ande

            Black people do not have a monopoly on the skin color issue (see India, Mexico, Brasil, etc…)

            • Educate me eye(c)ande. What you talkin bout?

              • AfroPetite

                India has always favored fair skinned women over darker skinned women. I believe skin color is loosely related to the caste system as well.

                • Just read up on that. Apparently whiteness is seen as the “best” in all South Asian cultures.

                  • Rewind

                    Not just there. Same thing is South America in coutnries like Brazil, Belize, & Honduras.

              • eye(c)ande

                Yeah, basically what AfroPetite said. And Brasil likes to pretend like it doesn’t have a race problem but they have tons of names for skin tones and lighter tones are preferred. Here’s an interesting read: http://www.economist.com/node/21543494.

                • Brazil was the first place that I was ever considered light skinned. Some girls called morena and then I was called coffee with a little cream -_- At least Im just black in the US. Living in East Asia and int the coutryside I’ve never seen this kind of resentment for dark skin. I see people walk around like damn ghost with powder white make up to appear lighter. And many of the cosmetics have bleach in them.

            • The three racial groups all their above/below the equator complexion issues. If you complexion is darker, you seem to be on the bottom of the totem pole.

            • Word! India has Black America beat big time when it comes to color consciousness. It’s to the point where when my mom brought home soap from India, I had to check the labeling because most of the soap has skin bleach! Meanwhile, Brazil has “blanquiamento” aka “whitening” where anyone who can claim a White relative is considered mixed or even White. Even then, with enough $$$, all of a sudden, that great-great-grandmother of yours can suddenly look lighter, if you get my drift.

              • Val

                You can add the Dominican Republic to that list. Also most Asian countries. Have ever seen Asian women walking around with umbrellas on sunny days? That’s so they won’t get dark. White supremacy has colonized a lot of minds in this world.

                • “You can add the Dominican Republic to that list.”

                  YUP! We have different color categories. A person who is considered Black here would be a completely different category in DR.

      • Good points.

    • Amos Banks

      I feel you on the mall tailing, but not so much on the other stuff.

    • Val

      Black women are followed as much and sometimes more (than Black men) in malls and stores.

      • @Val real life example please?

        • Val

          Real life examples? I’m one. It’s happened to me. It’s happened to almost every Black woman I know.

          • Example: when I am buying a gift in a women store, it is easy to see security position themselves to track somebody they see to be a concern.

        • Ms. Bridget

          One thanksgiving holiday I stayed at school instead of traveling home. Thursday morning I went to Dollar General. I was the only person in the store and the attendant started aggressively following me. I saw that the store didn’t have what I wanted so made a game of hide and seek out of it. I got away from her and used mirrors in the store to spy the lady, staying just out of her line of sight. She got frantic. Actually picked up her pace up and down the aisles looking for me. After about 5 mins I grew tired of the game and made my way to the door. She bolts to the door and asks to check my bag. I reply no and leave.

      • Iceprincess

        @val- Thats precisely why i love being white sometimes. While they busy following black ppl around the store, i swoop in & boost the hell out of all their stuff! Lol. I be tearing they azz up & smiling in their face lmfao

        • Val


          I have always thought that would be a perfect strategy to get away with shoplifting.

          • Iceprincess

            Yep. Thats what they get for profiling *kanye shrug*

          • demondog06

            when i was in the 5th grade me and my white friend ira would steal an insane amount of transformers and go- bots using this strategy while i played the bait, he would fill his

        • erika

          @iceprincess In the remake of Oliver Twist that exists only in my mind, Fagan exploits racism in a similar vein–by pairing a white and black kid together. The black kid is always followed closely while the white kid busily lifts all the goods.

      • msdebbs

        This happens to me more often than I’d like to admit…the people that do it are some very sad and delusional individuals

    • “Black Men have it rough because from the start I think we are seen as suspects. We never have the opportunity to really rise out of the “field negro” life. We are always assumed to be liars, cheaters and just downright horrible people even if we have not wronged a single person in our lives. ”

      And sadly, that perception comes from virtually everyone with a pulse…

  • i guess black women have it harder.

    it’s easier to die by the bullet of a crip or a cop, than to live through being accosted/raped by ‘us’.

    it is what it is, i’ve adjusted for the expendable-ness of my life.

    *practices Dominos*

    • Breezy

      “it’s easier to die by the bullet of a crip or a cop, than to live through being accosted/raped by ‘us’.”

      This is exactly what I was about to say. Thanks.

    • It’s not really about who has it harder.

      The real question is who wields more power in the world?

      Does the Black man or the Black woman hold more power??

      The more and more I read this post, the more I become disguisted with the idea of oppression olympics and discussing who has it worst because that leaves everyone with a victim mentality and excuse for not accomplishing or reaching one’s full potential.

      Maybe I am taking the idea too seriously, but how’s about we determine ways of taking our place in the world and gaining power.

      I’m done being preachy….

      Back to my original question: who holds more power in the world???

      • Ms. Bridget


  • Val

    I think Black women have it harder because not only is the larger society working against us but many Black men as well. Like I Am Your People said above we’re treated like and thought of as hoes by many Black men. And not only that but we have to contend with Black men in the media talking trash about us. I’m sure most of us can recall many Black male celebrities talking trash about Black women in the media either in interviews, twitter rants, youtube rants or in hip hop. But can you think of Black women celebs talking trash about Black men in the media? I can’t.

    We have to deal with a lot of bullsh*t on a daily basis.

    • DQ

      I think the meme of black men being no good has been propagated just fine by ordinary black women. I don’t think it’s less damaging based on whether or not it’s said by a celebrity. Actually now that I think about it, it might be worse coming from the population at large as they reflect more of the life experiences that we all share (you could at least dismiss a celebrity as “out of touch”)

      • Val

        When a well known person speaks millions hear what they have to say. When a hip hop record sells millions of dwnloads and plays on the radio thousands of times, millions hear those misogynist lyrics aimed at Black women. A voice in the mass media is a million times more powerful than a single non-amplified voice.

        • That Ugly Kid

          “A voice in the mass media is a million times more powerful than a single non-amplified voice.”

          The problem is, it’s not just one single, non-amplified voice saying black men ain’t worth sh!t. It’s way more than that. So many in fact, that even the media echoes the sentiment that black men are deadbeat dads and violent. Black men may not catch much shade from black women celebrities, but we catch MORE than enough shade from black women in our own communities.

          • Considering that black women essentially run twitter and the blogs, their voice is more powerful than what a slim thugg has to say

            • Marcus Antonio

              for now

        • DQ

          It’s still only one voice Val. And it’s outnumbered by the voices that you hear around you in your day to day interactions. And again, it can be dismissed as an out-of-touch celebrity (if you’re inclined to do that kind of thing). But hearing constantly from the people around you? That you can’t dismiss so easily; the celebrity doesn’t know you, these people do.

        • LarryLegend

          ZThe facts are thay most records are bought by Black women, and White people.

      • DG

        D@mn, folk…you’re saying everything I’m thinking…cosign.

        • mena

          This is why i can’t tell yall a part now. Add an extra letter to your name, puh-lease!!

          • DQ

            You trying to say all black men’s avatars and screen names look like? See? We even got Blog Oppression. Proof that men have it hard… and yes… that is what she said. LOL :)

            • mena

              Yes, yes i am. Either put up some type of picture so that i can tell who i am agreeing or disagreeing with or add onto your name.

              • DG

                No…we’ve been doing this a long time, me and DQ…no sense in changing it up now.

    • I think this is a real good argument. I mean look no further than Gabby. She freakin won a gold medal and minutes later (if that) Black folk on twitter talkin about her hair. I mean really?

      • Val

        True. They went after Gabby with no mercy.

    • “But can you think of Black women celebs talking trash about Black men in the media? I can’t.”

      Does the name Terry McMillan ring a bell?

      • SweetSass

        That was more than a decade ago…

        For every McMillan… there are twelve Snipes, Harveys, Harts, etc. doggin’ black women.

        • Val



          • Marcus Antonio

            eff terry mcmonster

  • Val

    And another thing; there have been and unknowable number incidences of Black women being beaten and shot and killed by police, going way back.

    • One of my women’s studies classes had the Incite! Anthology as one of the required readings – it’s a book of essays written by women of color (including Aboriginals) and their experiences with violence. It’s amazing – and painful to read- for anyone who has an interest in women and violence studies.

      • Val

        I haven’t read that. I’ll have to check it out. We Black women and Women of Color have dealt with a lot of brutality from day one in this country and around the world.

        • Rewind

          That’s not being denied, but then again, both genders no matter the color suffered SEVERE ATROCITIES in this country. Every history class or psychology course that teaches prejudice always ended with the same thing: every person of color staring a hole through any white person in the class. (but we all know they aren’t at fault, and it is good that they learn a truth they never knew before). So many lives were lost that never got their voices to be heard, and it still happens today.

  • liz

    You stoopid for this.

    Black women have it harder. If I wanted to oppress any civilization I’d start with the women and attack them. This goes for any race, not just black. Therefore, we’re losing the most.

    I do agree with you about how black men have it harder than black women in society. I learned this a lot from my dad who put me up on his bank game. One time I had to write him a check to cash in the bank and I wrote the check out with a shortened version of his first name. Not really a nickname, just truncated his full name. He had me rewrite my check with his full name as it is written on his driver’s license. I asked why and he said because if the check isn’t what it says exactly on his ID the bank will jam him up and give him no leeway on cashing it. I said really? He said yes, this is what it’s like being a black man in America. He needed his IDs on him at all time, and everything better match up perfectly, if anything is wrong–then that would be a problem. SMH. I think that’s when it did hit me that black male experience is different than mine. You still can’t convince me black men have it harder, but…it’s just different.

  • DQ

    Too many factors to a complex situation to provide a simple answer that is accurate. So I’ll go to the default (and virtually meaningless) answer of “it depends”. It depends on what factor is most at play.

    Dealing with the cops – black men
    Dealing with drunken revelers – black women
    Dealing with accusations of impropriety – black men
    Dealing with being not taken serious in Academia/Politics – black women

    I could go on and on, but you get the point. At the end of the day, I’ve always felt like we were all in the same dungeon, just chained to different walls. It’s hard for everyone, just for different reasons.

    • Lola’s Mambo

      I fully agree and support this. I feel the Puerto Rican plight is exactly this.

    • Yeah, this is how I’d do it. I mean, a woman in a sports conversation is largely ignored. A man in a fashion conversation is the same.

      • Not unless said man happens to be gay, of course…

        • Rewind

          Or the woman speaking happens to be both hot and actually knowledgeable about sports.

    • I co-sign this comment. Just because our struggles are different doesn’t make one harder. It is hard being either for a multitude of complex reasons. Walking down a dark alley late at night in an unsavory neighborhood is hard for both a man and a woman for different reasons. Both will struggle against whatever is coming against him or her but to tell a rape victim that her plight is less because a man was beat and left within inches of his life or vice versa is just plain stupid. Life is difficult and one must learn to effectively navigate his/her given ocean.

      • Ms. Bridget

        Hmmm, that wasn’t snarky at all.

  • Royale W. Cheese

    Warning: Controversy starter

    Theory: Assuming a white male dominated power structure, black women ultimately have it “easier” in a way…because of (potential) sexual access to white men. Black male access to white women only brings that man up to a tier below white men.

    *ducks shoes*

    I went on a date with a white guy during my freshman year in college. He got pulled over, told the cop who his dad was, then took off speeding again. That happened three times.

    *ducks shoes*

    Of course, people look at black women dating/ marrying “out” for these reasons as sell-outs or just the white man’s jungle booty. However, black men, unless they are gay and end up in a gay marriage with a white man, don’t even have that much. The “access to white men” idea is something I wanted to put out there mostly because I believe that a lot of black men might actually agree with this.

    • DQ

      I have seen the paradigm be used successfully by black women to move up the corporate ladder. Not sleeping their way to the top mind you, but using the attraction dynamic to establish a rapport/relationship/connection with leadership to create pathways to advance.

      The most virulent racist still has no defense for curvy hot chocolate. And btw, I don’t begrudge black women at all for doing it nor do I think it’s underhanded or trifiling. It’strategic. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and everyone (in their own way) is looking to establish allies in key places by whatever means are available to them. I think black women are SMART for doing it (when it’s available to them). Ironically I think black women struggle mightily if their leadership is filled with white women instead of white men. But it’s based on anecdotal evidence.

    • That Ugly Kid

      “Of course, people look at black women dating/ marrying “out” for these reasons as sell-outs or just the white man’s jungle booty.”

      Really? I’ve never heard this. Usually it’s the opposite. When a black woman dates a white man, she gets praised by other black women. They go on to bash black men by saying she doesn’t have to worry about her man being a deadbeat dad, how she doesn’t have to worry about being broke, etc.

      However every single time a black man dates a white woman, black women lose their f*cking minds. All of a sudden he’s a sell-out, he hates himself and all of Africa, they start trying to do a bogus azz pysche evaluation on the dude, talking about “Well he’s OBVIOUSLY conformed to America’s Eurocentric personification of beauty…”, etc. The only time black males complain about a black woman dating outside her race, is if she does it repeatedly (see: Halle). But for us, all it takes is ONE time and we’re self-hating dogs..

      • Kandi

        Yep this seems to be the case. However, for many cultures and for centuries it has been accepted for women to practice hypergamy. So if one is generalizing by stereotypes, the any woman/white man relationship is a form of elevation (if its assumed white men are at the top of the totem pole) and any woman/ black man relationship is a decline. To further flesh it out, with regular people (non-celebs, non-politicians) the very, very few black woman who marry white men are highly educated and so if there partner whereas the with black men there is more variety in the socioeconomic background. I rarely hear about the praises for dating white men (probably just my lack of experience) but for many immigrants having a white husband is a status symbol.

      • Reason

        Gosh, I’m so tempted be flip with you like “Please stop watching marathon sessions of Jungle Fever.” It’s so ridiculous… There are plenty of BF/WM couples who could describe the hostility they receive from black men (and wome). But the Angry Black Woman trope is just a lot more sexier. I’ve read observations about how BM/WF couples are more likely to live in black or mixed neighborhoods. So if black women’s hostility towards such couples are so unbearable why aren’t these couples choosing neighborhoods where they’re more likely to run into black women. Also, historically white parents were the ones who disowned they’re children for dating outside the race, yet I have rarely heard any such anecdote of black female family members disowning the black men in their families for dating out. Yes, some black women may be hella passive aggressive with their disapproval but black women have proven to be paper tigers. I found it so refreshing when I once read a black man in an interracial relationship revealed to an interviewer that the hostile black female stranger was blown out. Even I find myself having to be extra nice to BM/BF couples to dispel any notion that I’ve got a problem. It’s 2012 not 1992.

        • Rewind

          What she said is not a huge generalization. You’re right, the Angry Black Woman issue is blown out of proportion, but don’t dare deny it is not based in truth. No one is negating that interracial relationships in general cause discord for someone, but what’s most famous is the wrath of Black women against Black men for choosing any woman who is not Black. And as stated earlier, usually if a White man is with a Black woman, she is nearly his equal in intelligence and success. On the other hand, Black dudes wife up anybody, for any reason, and rarely see the fault in it. We can’t judge it all at a case-by-case scenario, but it has to be known how these beliefs have played out after all this time. Yea, some black guys might bitch about not being able to have Halle Berry, but that’s just some loud mouth broke dude talking, not a man of success. BUT, when it comes to the Black man that interracially dates, no matter what social class, the fury and fire of quite a number Black women exists, from the ugly hood chick in curlers talking shit with 5 of her fat friends at the salon about Kobe to the $2500 Jimmy Choo wearing group of single ladies at some high end bar angry that barely any Black men are in the same place. Sure some generalizations were made, but then again, these things HAVE ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

          • Reason

            I’m starting to see black men and white women are getting off on these black boogeywoman tales. A few years back in my area a black woman riding in a car with her white boyfriend had her head blown off by a white supremacist. Unless a BM/WF couple can come up with a story that mirrors that in which the perp is a black woman then GTFO. Again, I don’t co-sign any negative behavior towards interracial couples but BM/Wfs are getting lame with their tales of victimization. Give something better now. I want to hear about black female suicide bombers or something.

            Also, that ridiculousness about only poor black men caring about black women in interracial relationship is just that.

            • Rewind

              You need to reread what I said. I never said anything about poor black girls being with poor white guys. I was talking about SUCCESSFUL BLACK WOMEN…as in women making a lot of money and realizing they can find a white man nearly in the same position as them and make it work from there. Mainly because that’s where those two groups are noticed the most.

              And I don’t really find rich black men bitching about rich Black women not wanting to be with them, I mainly hear it from poor Black guys. Your opinion, while it might be valid, aint nothing if you’re not taking into account that I’m speaking from my experiences. If you’ve seen something else, by all means, tell your story, but don’t deny mines when you weren’t standing next to me when it happened.

              • Royale W. Cheese

                “And I don’t really find rich black men bitching about rich Black women not wanting to be with them, I mainly hear it from poor Black guys.”

                That makes sense. From the standpoint of a poor black man, a well-off black woman marrying the white devil instead of a good Christian poor guy is a violation of the Tyler Perry code of honor.

              • Reason

                I don’t know how your first paragraph relates to anything I’ve written, so I’m just going to have to ignore it.

                Now, I wasn’t discounting your experiences so much as I’m combating the past its sell-by date trope that black women are the biggest threats to interracial couples specifically BM/WFs. Again, yes, black women may give BM/WFs the business but at a certain point one has to ask isn’t that what those couples only want to see and focus on? I’ve constantly made the following point to black women bothered by interracial couples: You’ve probably let 15 black couples escape your consciousness in a day but allow that one BM/WF into your head. Likewise, I would bet that the white people who have given BM/WF couple undercover shade throughout the day go ignored for that one or two black women that get out of pocket. And I’m going to be honest I don’t care about your experiences with respect to this specific subject. The black woman I mentioned having her head blown off went to my college. That’s real life. The black men complaining about black mean girls who roll their eyes, suck their teeth, and maybe even get loud (basically hurt your feelings). That’s high school. That’s all I’m saying.

            • where was this?? i would like to look up the story…

        • That Ugly Kid

          “There are plenty of BF/WM couples who could describe the hostility they receive from black men (and women).”

          I’m sure there are. But I bet I can find even more BM/WW couples who face just as much hostility if not more.

      • talking about “Well he’s OBVIOUSLY conformed to America’s Eurocentric personification of beauty…”, etc.

        I’d love to see these chicks, then show them my (White) rap sheet. Unless by Eurocentric, you mean Jenna Shea and Kelly Divine, I’m far from it when it comes to White women. LOL I like my White women built like sisters, and the body types between the races are about what and what. :)

      • Third Of August

        Or, for some of us, all it takes is orders to Korea.


      • Royale W. Cheese

        “When a black woman dates a white man, she gets praised by other black women.”

        Maybe on blogs, but not in real life. As a black woman who has seriously dated a couple of white men, I have been laughed at, gossiped about, and pitied by black “stand by your black man” women, and given the stank eye by black men. But this is low-level pettiness. Nothing on the levels of oppression, so I’m not complaining. That kid of flack is nothing compared to black men being lynched and harrassed for having romantic relationships with white women.

    • Val

      “Theory: Assuming a white male dominated power structure, black women ultimately have it “easier” in a way…because of (potential) sexual access to white men. Black male access to white women only brings that man up to a tier below white men.”

      This doesn’t stand up to statistics as Black women are the second least likely group to date outside of their ethnic group. Only Asian men date outside their ethnic group at lower rates than Black women.

      • The keyword with those stats are MARRIAGE. Just because a White man isn’t willing to marry a Black woman doesn’t mean he isn’t willing to give the ol’ high hard one. Also, there’s the fact that men act differently around women they are attracted to, irrespective of race. Even if sex isn’t in the equation, they might be willing to give someone the time of day in terms of other matters.

    • “Of course, people look at black women dating/ marrying “out” for these reasons as sell-outs or just the white man’s jungle booty.”

      Not to the black girls I was raised around. First their mothers told them they want them to marry or be with who they love. They said color ain’t nothin but color. They prefer their daughters to marry/ date black men because that’s where they came from but they ain’t hatin if sistah girl bring home a Chicano or a White Boy. HAHA sell outs you say!?! Naww neva that! They call that a come up!

      Now flip the script: If I a black male was to due such thangs!?! It’s called . . . .(y’all already know)

      • Rewind

        In all honesty, it’s been super rare that I’ve seen Black families raise their kids to appreciate all races and cultures.

        • @Rewind. Real talk you don’t know many black people raised that way?

          • Rewind

            Not at all. I’m from a Carribean community, and I’d like to think my family wanted us to be universally accepting of all people, but the first time I brought a white girl home, my mom & sister went through the damn roof. The parents in both sides of my family all gave lip service to their children about what they wanted for their children in terms of love and relationships, but when they went to pursue these ideals, it came down that their parents really just wanted them to find other Carribean people to be with.

            • As someone half-Bajan and half-American, I can attest that there’s even intraracial hatred. People still give my dad shade for marrying and American woman, and my mom is clearly Black. I can only imagine if he had brought home someone of a different race.

              • Rewind

                See Todd, you know. I’m part Bajan, part Grenadian, all parts fawked up in the game, and that’s just how it was meant to be from the looks of it.

    • You nailed it. Ain’t patriarchy a b1tch.

      Though as an aside, you reminded me of an incident that happened while I was dating a White woman at the time. On my way to her house, I managed to get busted for driving while Black…twice. After finally making it over to her house and explaining what happened, she was so sympathetic to me that I literally got brain on the spot. Not that I minded of course, but the concept of a boyfriend literally being harassed like that was so beyond her day-to-day that she felt super sorry for me.

    • WIP

      I can understand this even in a non-s.e.x.ual way. Black women can gain access to white male power through the “mammy” role as well. I’ve seen this play out- white superiors damn near in love with their black female subordinates but it’s not romantic love, it’s a motherly love.

      • Kandi

        great point, I never considered this aspect

      • Royale W. Cheese

        Very good point.

    • RWC you speek the truth

  • That Ugly Kid

    Depends. I’d lean more towards black women POSSIBLY having it harder within the black community. Mainly because how they are treated by men and women alike. However, outside of our own community, black men have it undoubtedly worse. Because we’re feared and ridiculed for no reason other than being a black male. Oh sure, black women have problems with people not acknowledging how beautiful that are, with skin tone, hair texture, etc. But that PALES in comparison to being so hated and feared that we (black males) get hunted down and murdered because we “look suspicious” while wearing a common article of clothing. Sorry, but I’d rather be called ugly (peep the handle), then to get arrested/beat the f*ck up/KILLED just for walking through a “pristine” neighborhood.

    Not to mention that black males lead the country as victims of almost every major crime, the only exception being rape, I believe. So even just trying to live to see the gotdang sunset is a monumental task for us.

    • TUK you said it right there. I’m trying to see the next sunrise and sometimes in the day of a life of a black male that ish ain’t promised.

    • That Ugly Kid

      And in my first paragraph, “possibly” is supposed to be “undoubtedly”. Don’t know how the f*ck that happened.

    • Pretty much. When the two greatest blacks of the 20th century can’t make it to 40, and 2 of the the greatest rappers ever can’t make it to 27?


    • While I will not dispute that black males live in a police state/apartheid system, in my day to day life, I face more consistent oppression from Black men enforcing and Black women reinforcing patriarchy.

      I don’t care about standards of beauty, I dont care about the hair, skin color debate. Black women are enslaved in a catch 22. Youre a heaux if you do and a heaux if you don’t. Everything is your fault. Including his decision to use, abuse, beat and abandon you and your kids. If you do everything “right”, you’re stupid and crazy. Whatever you are is not good enough.

      But I could even get past that. Ignore what people say. When it comes to me reaching my goals, who stands in my way, trying to put me in my place? Black men. In my experience I get the most hostility and sabotage from Black men when I succeed at anything. There is this constant “you need to be humble” theme. You act like you don’t need a man. Men trying to get me to slow down my life so they can feel in control. So they can feel smart, strong, needed.

      A lot of women will truncate their lives so men’s egos are pumped up, so they can get that man. I don’t have time for that bullsh*t. I’m constantly dragging some tired mofo behind me trying to slow me down or pushing one aside standing in my path. That is my daily struggle.

      • Not Your Friend


      • If this is what oppression is, there has never been a human being in existence who wasn’t oppressed. Shoot, even billionaires can claim being oppressed.

      • That Ugly Kid

        And I understand what you’re saying and I actually agree. Problem is, a few women on here are so quick to state that black men are a threat to black women. True, but black men are an even bigger threat to other black men. And that isn’t opinion, it’s a statistical fact. My biggest reason for saying it’s harder to be a black man is all about violence.

        Depending on what you (women) wear, you may face objectification, scrutiny, etc (although, being a black woman, you’re unfortunately gonna face these things regardless, how you carry yourself just exacerbates things). Me on the other hand, like black women, I’ll face scrutiny and ridicule regardless of what I do. However, MY choice of wardrobe, as well as other black males, could be the difference between life, imprisonment, or death. And that sh!t sucks.

        • How often are you actually facing death or prison and how often are you being mad about the potential? Count.

          How often do I have to deal with a Black man who feels compelled to get in my face and try to stop my progress. Honestly, couple of times a week. And that’s not counting all of the abuse and mistreatment, denigration and general bullshi*t we deal with from men. All day every day compared to a few times in your life.

          • That Ugly Kid

            “How often are you actually facing death or prison and how often are you being mad about the potential? Count.”

            I notice you seem to write off potential. A lot. Potential means everything. And it’s way more important than you give credit to. It’s the reason why women desire strong men because there’s a higher chance (read: potentially) that he can protect and provide for his family. If potential didn’t mean anything, you all (well, most) wouldn’t prefer alpha males, because the chance of you all ACTUALLY needing protection from a threat is slim. However, you desire Alpha males. Why? Because. Just. In. Case. That’s why. So don’t ever write off potential like it means nothing. To ignore potential is to ignore caution. To ignore caution is to embrace death.

            • Worrying about what might could happen is a waste of precious time. I protect and defend my damn self. If I had to depend on a man for that there’s a good chance I’d be SOL. If you want to spend your time lamenting what could happen, that’s on you. I have too many things to do.

              • That Ugly Kid

                “I protect and defend my damn self. If I had to depend on a man for that there’s a good chance I’d be SOL.”

                No you wouldn’t. Because I’m here *reveals large, emblazoned “S” on his chest.*

                Spiders and centi/millipedes though? Yea sorry, that’s my kryptonite.

                • My hero! But how you gon rescue me from allaway over there in Chi town? Come over here. They’re not shooting black men nearly as much over here. Pretty much just one small neighborhood. And there are a couple of decent places to live where I the cops leave you alone. Mostly. So I’m told.

      • Rewind

        I get what you’re saying, but the part that’s harder for you is mainly being a woman. I think plenty of people already mentioned the idea of all the abuse Black men suffer from outside the Black community circumvents back inside against Black women, and then we are pitted against each other as enemies instead of compatriots. But yes, as a woman, despite your color, there will always be some man in your way when it comes to success. You could have been born Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, or Caucasion, and the idea of you being a woman in her 40s making 6 figures and experiencing life on her own rules would HAVE STILL GAVE YOU THE EXACT SAME BS to deal with.

        • Well…..you’re probably right. When you put it that way, I guess its kinda equal. Separate but equal. Lol.

          • Rewind

            Trust me love, I may not be a woman, but I’ve put enough thought into all the work I’ve done that I know no matter what race a woman is born, a man is cockblocking her somehow.

            Seperate but equal…reminds me of that Little Brother mixtape.

            Yay we finally agreed on something.

      • Adonis

        @Wild Cougar
        Simple, it is a power play on the BMs part.

        We know as you grow more in status, we have a harder attracting you (throw out the fact that you are 40+). So we do not welcome it. It is all subconscious.

        Now if women could be successful & maintain their attractiveness to their men, then men would change their tune.

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