In “Scratching the surface: some notes on barriers to women and loving,” Audre Lorde points out that strong Black women face opposition from both Black men and fellow women. Black men usually want them to toe their line and will at the first instance label those women that hold a different opinion on the place of women in the society all kind of names (Lorde32). They may be called lesbians and sluts among other names. This is in line with the traditional beliefs that a woman’s place should be to satisfy a woman and cook in the kitchen. The expectations on the role a woman is supposed to take are well highlighted by Judy Brady in “I want a wife.” She says that she wants a wife who will “cook and clean the house, take care of her physical needs, keep track of her appointments, and take care of her children” (Brady 2). This expectation is too much that women also turn against fellow women who appear to be shunning the ideology and belief that they are capable of being strong, independent, and opinionated women. The opposition stems from the belief that women belong to men and must strive to win his affection and support among other things. Women will, therefore, fight for the few men available and in the process increase their hatred against each other. Anyone who seems to distance themselves against this point of view may be seen as a threat to the satisfaction and wellbeing of fellow Black women. Women are supposed to be second-class beings after men, so why would you try to assume this position and be above us in the social hierarchy? This point is well supported in Kincaid’s “Girl” where the girl’s mother emphasizes that the girl must behave as the society demands her to do. She is for example not to “squat like boys when playing marble, and is to cook for the man.” (Kincaid 1). The mother calls her a slut and insists that she has to remain pure for her man. Men, on the other hand, see strong women as a threat to their continued dominance and satisfaction and therefore do anything in their position to bring down these kinds of women when in the real sense women pose no threat to man as argued by Talley in “Op-Ed: Black Men, are we doing enough to stand with Black women? Feminism is for Black Men too”. He argues that women pose no threat to men and therefore men should also support women in their quest for equality (Talley 2). According to him, men also face some problems/issues which they struggle to deal with. One of this is racism. Both men and women of color will face almost the same level of discrimination by color even if back at home, the man may not be questioned by anyone and especially by a woman. It might, therefore, be in their best interests to come together and deal with the issues they face collectively. Both Tally and Lorde give crucial insights into the issue of gender discrimination. While a man may be a woman’s enemy, a woman may remain her worst enemy. It would be important for women to stop seeing each other as a threat and instead work together to slay the demon of gender inequality. Men, on the other hand, should stop seeing women as threats but instead focus on the issues facing them. If that becomes the case, all people will achieve what they want and be satisfied with their achievements.
Brady, Judy. “Why I want a wife.” As appeared in Ms (1972).
Kincaid, Jamaica. Girl. San Francisco Examiner, 1991.
Lorde, Audre. “Scratching the surface: Some notes on barriers to women and loving.” The Black Scholar 9.7 (1978): 31-35.
Talley, Aaron. “Op-Ed: Black Men, Are We Doing Enough To Stand With Black Women? Feminism Is For Black Men Too. – The Feminist Wire.” The Feminist Wire. N.p., 2013. Web. 3 Nov. 2018.
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