Friday, March 12, 2010

Status-Conscious African-American Women

This NYTimes story about Desirée Rogers made FLG think about the subsection of African-American women who are massively status conscious. A sort of ostentatiously put together patina, usually complimented with a graduate degree of some sort, that is only a very thin shell that even the slightest criticism or even sometimes asking reasonable questions shatters to reveal a very insecure and irate person. The quintessential example of this has to be Omarosa.

This description obviously applies to some people in any racial or gender group, but FLG thinks there's something particularly unique about the African-American women who exhibit this behavior. In fairness, FLG has two sympathetic explanations. The first that African-American women are members of two minority groups (obviously, African-Americans and Women), and so it's understandable given their personal experience and the history of our country that they'd be sensitive to certain things. Second, perhaps FLG has subconsciously rationalized some sort of aversion to assertive black women in the historical sense that African-Americans shouldn't be uppity, which if you put it bluntly and simply -- the second explanation is that FLG is subconsciously racist.

While both of these are possible, although FLG vehemently denies the second explanation, there's something very sad about a status-conscious African-American Woman who becomes distressed by the slightest questioning of what FLG'd call a facade. This isn't to say that there aren't extremely confident, capable, and highly-educated African-American women. There are millions of them and FLG has had the pleasure of working with countless of them. There's just a certain correlation among African-American women who are extremely status and appearance conscious and deep insecurity that is unfortunate. Getting back to the two sympathetic explanations, FLG believes it's largely due to the first.

If we acknowledge that the society is still biased toward males, even if there's been huge progress, and further that the ideal of female beauty is summed up best as a teenage Swedish bikini model, then it's understandable, but nevertheless unfortunate.

So, to recap, FLG thinks that African-American women get a raw deal and that it's sad when a select few manifest their resulting insecurity through what he deems to be facade, bluster, and anger. He wishes he had some better answer, but he doesn't.

Now that he thinks about it, FLG finds insecurity in general pretty damn sad.


Withywindle said...

"Particularly unique"?


Not to respond to the substance of your post at all.

Alan Howe said...

He means more unique than the similarly unique ones. Heh, heh.

Anonymous said...
"Women of all races bring home less income and own fewer assets, on average, than men of the same race, but for single black women the disparities are so overwhelmingly great that even in their prime working years their median wealth amounts to only $5."
Yikes! I mean, yes, likely this is from failing to save, etc., but, wow, these women are going to be desperate in their age. dave.s.

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