Black folks all around the world have fallen victim to racial and harmful stereotypes that only extend hate and discrimination. One of those stereotypes is the hypersexualization of Black and African American women. In “It’s Time To Stop Hypersexualizing Black Women”, the author argues that the hypersexualization of Black women perpetuate[s] harmful generalizations of people that can affect them greatly in their day to day lives… As you can imagine, this hurts black women both socially and physically,” (2017).
Unfortunately, the hypersexualization of Black women is a common occurrence that can be seen throughout history. We can look back to when the first slaves were brought to the colonies, the Jim Crow Era, Civil Rights Movements, and all the way up until modern ages. African women were and continued to be raped, assaulted, and killed due to the hypersexualization of their bodies, or the idea that all Black and African American women are lustful and desire any and all sexual advances.
According to Patricia Hill Collins, “this Black gender [and sexuality] ideology also draws upon widespread cultural beliefs concerning the sexual practices of people of African descent. Sexuality is not simply a biological function; rather, it is a system of ideas and social practices that is deeply implicated in shaping American social inequalities,” (Collins, 2006).
To put this into perspective, a Black woman may be told to go home and change when wearing a knee-length dress to work because she looks “too sexy” or because “she’s showing too much skin” due to her curvier body shape. Whereas a white woman can be wearing the same dress and be told she looks professional. Black and African American women go through this on a daily basis at work, school, the store, and even in their own homes.
This can be related to Megan’s lecture on kinks because Black and African American women are often fetishized due to the false idea that they are all hypersexual and want to have sex with everyone. The fetishization and hypersexaulization of Black and African American women is also related to the high sexual assault rates of women who identify as such. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, about 1 in 5, or 22% of all African American women will experience sexual assault in their lives, (2011). Seventy percent of rapes are not even reported, (McNamara, 2019) and this number is even higher for Black and African American women because their attackers are often not charged with a crime.
I believe that the Black and African American women in this country and around the world are severely mistreated and objectified. Although the practice of hypersexualizing Black and African American women is one that began many centuries ago, it does not mean that we can not try to begin to repair the damage that has been done. It is time that Black and African American women start being treated like actual humans as opposed to sexual objects whose only purpose is to serve white men.
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Anon. 2019. “About Sexual Assault.” Victimsofcrime.org. Retrieved June 3, 2019 (https://victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/past-programs/dna-resource-center/untested-sexual-assault-kits/about-sexual-assault).
Collins, Patricia Hill. 2006. Black Sexual Politics. New York: Routledge.
Howze, Khalila. 2018. “The Hypersexualization Of Black Women.” The Minority Report. Retrieved June 1, 2019 (https://theminoritysexreport.com/2018/05/18/wokeish/).
McNamara, Megan. 2019. “Kink And Paraphilias, And STI’s..”
McNamara, Megan. 2019. “Sexual Violence..”
Rajnauth, Amanda. 2017. “It’s Time To Stop Hypersexualizing Black Women.”. Retrieved June 1, 2019 (https://www.theodysseyonline.com/time-stop-hypersexualizing-black-women).