Anger Is Only Acceptable In Shades Of Whiteness

Jack is full of rage.  From her child her trauma to her most recent imprisonment, Jack is justified in her anger.  She is allowed to swear and threaten her crew mates, because she is anger.

What if Jack was a femme of color?  What if she were a black femme?  Depending on what her racial background was, she would either be deemed as “feisty” or “an angry black bitch”.  Black femmes don’t get cute labels when they are more than justified for their anger.

Black femmes can’t show any emotion, in fact.  From sadness to rage, black femmes are told to always “be strong” for their (sometimes imaginary) children, their families, their communities.  Black femmes are told that they’re too emotional, while at the same time being told they aren’t doing enough emotional labor (for free, at that) to educate people who want to “learn” about the misogynoir they face.  Black femmes can’t even sigh without someone telling them to be quiet.

If Jack had been a black femme, there would have been a bunch of musings about how that’s all black femme know how to be, ignoring her history.  There would posts about how Jack just needs to calm down, her trauma was so long ago, she just needs to get over.

Jack IS black femmes all over the world.  Being told to be quiet, while having to replay their trauma for years to people who just want to “understand” what being abused is like, as if the pain black femmes experience is something you can get on PornHub. Black femmes are told that their trauma is what makes them strong and that they should be GRATEFUL for it, as the trauma made them who they are.

The angry black femme trope has been around since the 1900s and even though white women and other women of color react the same to trauma as black femmes, black femmes are still seen as a negative when it comes to emotions, let alone anger.  Black femmes are supposed to be Superwoman, a mammy and a mule all at once. Black femmes are supposed to be quiet in the face of their many oppressors (sometimes being other femmes, if a femme is trans), they’re supposed take punch after punch, bullet after bullet, death after death quietly, they’re supposed to wait their turn for rights.

When black femmes who happen to be Jack say “fuck it, I have every fucking right to be pissed off” go out in the world, unapologetically showing off their emotions, their oppressors (even those who are also marginalized) will tell them to knock it off.  They will tell black femmes to tone it down, tell black femmes they aren’t mourning right, will tell black femmes they are doing too much.

Black femmes, take comfort knowing that you are being silenced and gaslit because your emotions, especially your anger, is the thing that your oppressors fear.  Your anger is a flame that they always try to throw sand on, but the heat from that flame dissolves the sand.   Use your anger as a shield to protect yourself and those around you.  Use your anger to make your oppressors so uncomfortable, they forfeit the game of trying to control you. Use your anger as a weapon to harm those who mean to do you harm.  Channel your anger into a wave of “miss me with that bullshit” and knock over anyone who tries to put that bullshit in your face.

Your sadness, valid.
Your happiness, valid.
Your off days, valid.
Your anger, valid.

Your emotions are valid and don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.

 

 

 

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