A few years ago, I was in a fitness group with a few women and was the minority in that group. While we were working out one day, someone made passing comments that I needed to “let my aggressions out” because I was working out “too hard.” She also pointed out that I enjoyed more aggressive workout routines. Almost every Black woman has been labeled as aggressive, angry or downright monstrous at some point. Here are seven reasons that the notion is uninspired and lazy.

Black Women Don’t Owe You A Stereotype

Quite often, when a Black woman is self-assured, unwavering and unapologetically firm, it is unsettling to outward society, especially within traditionally non-Black communities. Immediately a Black woman is aware of her self and knows her stuff, she is then immediately labeled as “confrontational,” “difficult,” or my personal favorite a “strong personality.” By now, we are fully aware that the word “strong” as it is used towards Black woman isn’t necessarily a compliment, but rather, a stereotypical word that is often used to condescendingly put Black women “in their place.” The problem with this reasoning is that Black women do not owe society a stereotype. Many times, when Black women challenge a patronizing, micro-aggresive action, they are immediately labeled and attacked, whether or not they were provoked first or not.

Black Women Are Humans, Capable Of Human Feelings

The notion that Black women are macho, masculinized beings void of human feelings and reactions is problematic, but unfortunately, that is the view that many people hold. That is why it is so easy for people to easily dismiss a Black woman as “angry” or “agressive” when she expresses her discomfort after she is provoked or wrong. The idea that Black women should soak up whatever crummy treatment is tossed at them without complaining is what contributes to the dehumanization of Black women in the public eye.

Photo by Leighann Blackwood
Photo by Leighann Blackwood

Black Women Have The Right To Question And Disagree With You

Many people who immediately characterize Black women as problematic often disregard the fact that Black women have the right to challenge opinions, have dialogues and disagree with conversations that don’t fit in with their brands. As opposed to viewing Black women through the lens of negativity, it might be worth investing the time to understand that just because a Black woman does not bend over backward to agree with a person does not immediately make them aggressive or unlikable.

Photo by Calvin Lupiya
Photo Credit: Calvin Lupiya

Many Black Women Are Empowering Themselves

There was a time where quite a few Black women shrouded in shame because of their external experiences with negative labels. In more recent times, Black women are standing their ground and opting to advocate for themselves by standing firm in their understanding of self. What this means is that Black women refuse to be controlled, intimidated or boxed into a narrative, and they are doing something about it without fear of reproach.

Photo by Engin Akyurt
Photo Credit: Engin Akyurt

Black Subservience Is Dated

Gone are the days when many Black women would attempt to shrink themselves so that they would not be seen as “too much,” or walk on eggshells in white spaces  to feel accepted. Resorting to petty antics and passive aggression no longer have the impact that they used to on Black women they used to, and that pattern is showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Photo by Humphrey Muleba
Photo Credit: Humphrey Muleba

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

Black women are intricate beings, with amazing prospects, talents and passions. Boxing women into a small, negative category robs people of the opportunity to learn about and acknowledge who Black women inherently are at the core.

Photo by Nappy
Photo Credit: Nappy

Black Women Will Continue To Be Secure In Themselves

Age-old tactics to rob Black women of their dignity, confidence and self-worth worked for a while, but the time is up. In this era, Black women are applying the pressure, by remaining authentic to themselves, regardless of the condescending comments or gaping stares. When they step into any room, they will continue to heartily stand out in spirited exuberance, and command the room, as they should.

Photo by Rodnae Productions
Photo Credit: Rodnae Productions
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