Observations of an Invisible Woman

Required Reading for Black Women

Black Male Privilege Checklist

         Leadership & Politics

  1. I don’t have to choose my race over my sex in political matters.
  2. When I read African American History textbooks, I will learn mainly about black men.
  3. When I learn about the Civil Rights Movement & the Black Power Movements, most of the leaders that I will learn about will be black men.
  4. I can rely on the fact that in the near 100-year history of national civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and the Urban League, virtually all of the executive directors have been male.
  5. I will be taken more seriously as a political leader than black women.
  6. Despite the substantial role that black women played in the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement, currently there is no black female that is considered a “race leader”.
  7. I can live my life without ever having read black feminist authors, or knowing about black women’s history, or black women’s issues.
  8. I can be a part of a black liberation organization like the Black Panther Party where an “out” rapist Eldridge Cleaver can assume leadership position.
  9. I will make more money than black women at equal levels of education and occupation.
  10. Most of the national “opinion framers” in Black America including talk show hosts and politicians are men.Beauty 
  11. I have the ability to define black women’s beauty by European standards in terms of skin tone, hair, and body size. In comparison, black women rarely define me by European standards of beauty in terms of skin tone, hair, or body size.
  12. I do not have to worry about the daily hassles of having my hair conforming to any standard image of beauty the way black women do.
  13. I do not have to worry about the daily hassles of being terrorized by the fear of gaining weight. In fact, in many instances bigger is better for my sex.
  14. My looks will not be the central standard by which my worth is valued by members of the opposite sex.Sex & Sexuality
  15. I can purchase pornography that typically shows men defile women by the common practice of the “money shot.”
  16. I can believe that causing pain during sex is connected with a woman’s pleasure without ever asking her.
  17. I have the privilege of not wanting to be a virgin, but preferring that my wife or significant other be a virgin.
  18. When it comes to sex if I say “No”, chances are that it will not be mistaken for “Yes”.
  19. If I am raped, no one will assume that “I should have known better” or suggest that my being raped had something to do with how I was dressed.
  20. I can use sexist language like bonin’, laying the pipe, hittin-it, and banging that convey images of sexual acts based on dominance and performance.
  21. I can live in a world where polygamy is still an option for men in the United States as well as around the world.
  22. In general, I prefer being involved with younger women socially and sexually
  23. In general, the more sexual partners that I have the more stature I receive among my peers.
  24. I have easy access to pornography that involves virtually any category of sex where men degrade women, often young women.
  25. I have the privilege of being a part of a sex where “purity balls” apply to girls but not to boys.
  26. When I consume pornography, I can gain pleasure from images and sounds of men causing women pain.Popular Culture
  27. I come from a tradition of humor that is based largely on insulting and disrespecting women; especially mothers.
  28. I have the privilege of not having black women, dress up and play funny characters- often overweight- that are supposed to look like me for the entire nation to laugh.
  29. When I go to the movies, I know that most of the leads in black films are men. I also know that all of the action heroes in black film are men.
  30. I can easily imagine that most of the artists in Hip Hop are members of my sex.
  31. I can easily imagine that most of the women that appear in Hip Hop videos are there solely to please men
  32. Most of lyrics I listen to in hip-hop perpetuate the ideas of males dominating women, sexually and socially.
  33. I have the privilege of consuming and popularizing the word pimp, which is based on the exploitation of women with virtually no opposition from other men.
  34. I can hear and use language bitches and hoes that demean women, with virtually no opposition from men.
  35. I can wear a shirt that others and I commonly refer to as a “wife beater” and never have the language challenged.
  36. Many of my favorite movies include images of strength that do not include members of the opposite sex and often are based on violence.
  37. Many of my favorite genres of films, such as martial arts, are based on violence.
  38. I have the privilege of popularizing or consuming the idea of a thug, which is based on the violence and victimization of others with virtually no opposition from other men.Attitudes/Ideology
  39. I have the privilege to define black women as having “an attitude” without referencing the range of attitudes that black women have.
  40. I have the privilege of defining black women’s attitudes without defining my attitudes as a black man.
  41. I can believe that the success of the black family is dependent on returning men to their historical place within the family, rather than in promoting policies that strengthen black women’s independence, or that provide social benefits to black children.
  42. I have the privilege of believing that a woman cannot raise a son to be a man.
  43. I have the privilege of believing that a woman must submit to her man.
  44. I have the privilege of believing that before slavery gender relationships between black men and women were perfect.
  45. I have the privilege of believing that feminism is anti-black.
  46. I have the privilege of believing that the failure of the black family is due to the black matriarchy.
  47. I have the privilege of believing that household responsibilities are women’s roles.
  48. I have the privilege of believing that black women are different sexually than other women and judging them negatively based on this belief.Sports
  49. I will make significantly more money as a professional athlete than members of the opposite sex will.
  50. In school, girls are cheerleaders for male athletes, but there is no such role for males to cheerlead for women athletes.
  51. My financial success or popularity as a professional athlete will not be associated with my looks.
  52. I can talk about sports or spend large portions of the day playing video games while women are most likely involved with household or childcare duties.
  53. I can spend endless hours watching sports TV and have it considered natural.
  54. I can touch, hug, or be emotionally expressive with other men while watching sports without observers perceiving this behavior as sexual.
  55. I know that most sports analysts are male.
  56. If I am a coach, I can motivate, punish, or embarrass a player by saying that the player plays like a girl.
  57. Most sports talk show hosts that are members of my race are men.
  58. I can rest assured that most of the coaches -even in predominately-female sports within my race are male.
  59. I am able to play sports outside without my shirt on and it not be considered a problem.
  60. I am essentially able to do anything inside or outside without my shirt on, whereas women are always required to cover up.Diaspora/Global
  61. I have the privilege of being a part of a sex where the mutilation and disfigurement of a girl’s genitalia is used to deny her sexual sensations or to protect her virginity for males.
  62. I have the privilege of not having rape be used as a primary tactic or tool to terrorize my sex during war and times of conflict.
  63. I have the privilege of not being able to name one female leader in Africa or Asia, past or present, that I pay homage to the way I do male leaders in Africa and/or Asia.
  64. I have the ability to travel around the world and have access to women in developing countries both sexually and socially.
  65. I have the privilege of being a part of the sex that starts wars and that wields control of almost all the existing weapons of war and mass destruction.College
  66. In college, I will have the opportunity to date outside of the race at a much higher rate than black women will.
  67. I have the privilege of having the phrase “sewing my wild oats” apply to my sex as if it were natural.
  68. I know that the further I go in education the more success I will have with women.
  69. In college, black male professors will be involved in interracial marriages at much higher rates than members of the opposite sex will.
  70. By the time I enter college, and even through college, I have the privilege of not having to worry whether I will be able to marry a black woman.
  71. In college, I will experience a level of status and prestige that is not offered to black women even though black women may outnumber me and out perform me academically.
  72. If I go to an HBCU, I will have incredible opportunities to exploit black womenCommunication/Language
  73. What is defined as “News” in Black America is defined by men.
  74. I can choose to be emotionally withdrawn and not communicate in a relationships and it be considered unfortunate but normal.
  75. I can dismissively refer to another persons grievances as ^*ing.
  76. I have the privilege of not knowing what words and concepts like patriarchy, phallocentric, complicity, colluding, and obfuscation mean.Relationships
  77. I have the privilege of marrying outside of the race at a much higher rate than black women marry.
  78. My “strength” as a man is never connected with the failure of the black family, whereas the strength of black women is routinely associated with the failure of the black family.
  79. If I am considering a divorce, I know that I have substantially more marriage, and cohabitation options than my spouse.
  80. Chances are I will be defined as a “good man” by things I do not do as much as what I do. If I don’t beat, cheat, or lie, then I am a considered a “good man”. In comparison, women are rarely defined as “good women” based on what they do not do.
  81. I have the privilege of not having to assume most of the household or child-care responsibilities.
  82. I have the privilege of having not been raised with domestic responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, and washing that takes up disproportionately more time as adults.Church & Religious Traditions
  83. In the Black Church, the majority of the pastoral leadership is male.
  84. In the Black Church Tradition, most of the theology has a male point of view. For example, most will assume that the man is the head of household.Physical Safety
  85. I do not have to worry about being considered a traitor to my race if I call the police on a member of the opposite sex.
  86. I have the privilege of knowing men who are physically or sexually abusive to women and yet I still call them friends.
  87. I can video tape women in public- often without their consent – with male complicity.
  88. I can be courteous to a person of the opposite sex that I do not know and say “Hello” or “Hi” and not fear that it will be taken as a come-on or fear being stalked because of it.
  89. I can use physical violence or the threat of physical violence to get what I want when other tactics fail in a relationship.
  90. If I get into a physical altercation with a person of the opposite sex, I will most likely be able to impose my will physically on that person
  91. I can go to parades or other public events and not worry about being physically and sexually molested by persons of the opposite sex.
  92. I can touch and physically grope women’s bodies in public- often without their consent- with male complicity.
  93. In general, I have the freedom to travel in the night without fear.
  94. I am able to be out in public without fear of being sexually harassed by individuals or groups of the opposite sex.

Source:  http://jewelwoods.com/node/9


Key Notes:

  1. It’s mostly (violent) sexual in nature
  2. It’s all the woman’s fault
  3. Never once did the article mention building and providing for their community

This article needs to be passed to every black woman possible and discussed PRIVATELY. I personally love it when people tell me the truth.

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6 thoughts on “Required Reading for Black Women

  1. YES to all of this. Especially young BW need to read this. So many lives would have been different if this list had been available 20 years ago. Thank You!

  2. @ madame

    Please do pass this on.

    As more of us wake up, lives will be saved and mistakes will be prevented.

  3. Peace Sis!

    I came looking for your store but don’t see it in the sidebar.

    This looks interesting so I’ll read it tomorrow over a podcast. I’m not a fan of privilege talk so this should be interesting. I read a little and thought–yeah–we need to explore this.

    Good to see you are active!

  4. Hi @DOAN….a bit off topic…do you believe in the idea of group/collective karma? This is an old video a woman made on Youtube around the whole controversy with those two black men that were arrested at Starbucks a couple years ago for not doing anything. She is contending that what happened to them was karma as a result of how many black males publicly degrade black women, abuse, etc and how other black men don’t hold them accountable. It’s a long video and she rambles a lot (lol), but the argument starts at 16:00. I’ve heard this word ‘karma’ being thrown around especially with the recent Jonathan Price shooting. I’ve always thought karma was something you reap individually, not collectively. Would love to know what you think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCOlMS84URg

  5. @ sophia

    I do believe in Karma. both as an individual and ancestral group Karma. The children of the Moors, whom are modern day ” black Americans”, are reaping a harsh Karma for what their forefathers did. And the fact that they STILL continue to perpetuate the same actions against their women and children leads me to believe that their Generational Curses will never end.

    Karma is simply the Ether giving you what you gave Her,

  6. Layla Melodie on said:

    Adulona, a very admirable black woman did a video on why the Orishas didn’t save us from enslavement. The premise is this: it was a punishment to black males for betraying the image of his Mother in ancient times–the once most enlightened male figure of the world will now be the footstool to all other men–the laughingstock. The Great Mother is giving black women a way out as she sees black males will never learn from the punishment, but unfortunately, black women as a whole are rebuking her, standing in the way, so she will get hit too.

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