It's Time to Stop Hypersexualizing Black Women
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Politics and Activism

It's Time to Stop Hypersexualizing Black Women

Black women are so much more than their sexuality.

It's Time to Stop Hypersexualizing Black Women
Black America Web

Nobody likes racial stereotypes. All they do is perpetuate harmful generalizations of people that can affect them greatly in their day to day lives. One of these stereotypes is the hypersexual black woman. This is the idea that all black women are licentious and have an insatiable sexual desire. As you can imagine, this hurts black women both socially and physically. We need to grow out of this outdated mindset as soon as we can, to avoid harming them any further

Let’s begin by establishing some historical context. The history of black women’s hypersexualization goes as far back to the mid-1400’s when Europeans began to enslave Africans. The slave owners started the myth that black women were lust-driven and enthusiastic to any and all sexual advances. This absurd notion was used to justify raping them, as well as forcing them to reproduce with the male slaves. By portraying their sexuality as animalistic, any moral qualms that one may have had were little to none. However, as I'm sure many of you are aware, this demoralized perception of black women didn't end when slavery was abolished. Like slavery, it simply started to adapt to the changes.

Now, the idea of the promiscuous black woman continues to spread through the media. Whether it's through television, music videos or photoshoots, they continue to be portrayed as nothing more than sexual objects. One may argue that influential celebrities such as Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé reinforce this stereotype, but that’s simply not true. There are many white female celebrities who are just as, if not even more provocative than black celebrities. Likewise, there are many black celebrities who don't fit this promiscuous stereotype that they're expected to fill. When Miley Cyrus was twerking and humping sex dolls, none of that was attributed to the fact that she was white. As a matter of fact, people were constantly saying that she was “acting black”, heavily implying that the expression of sexuality is already viewed as something that's inherently black.

Even in the adult entertainment industry, where one might think is a place where black women can prosper due to these hypersexual stereotypes, they are shamed and seen as being of less value than white porn stars. This is seen clearly in the fact that black porn stars are paid half to three-quarters of what their white counterparts make. Why? Well, it goes back to the logic that slave owners gave to justify the sexual exploitation of their female slaves: They want as much sex as they can get. So why should they get paid more for it?

Unfortunately, hypersexual stereotypes aren't just affecting the way black women are paid and perceived, they're also responsible for the amount of sexual violence in the black community. According to the National Organization For Women, nearly 60% of black girls experience sexual violence before they reach the age of eighteen. To put this in perspective, if ten little black girls were in a room together, SIX of them will be assaulted before they can even reach adulthood. To sexualize someone against their will is disgusting enough, but there's no words that can possibly describe how abhorrent it is to sexualize a CHILD. A child is unable to consent to any kind of sexual activity, and depending on how old they are, doesn't even know what you're doing to them! It's not the girls that are lust-filled and immoral, it's anyone who has the audacity to sexualize them solely based on the color of their skin.

Overall, we need to acknowledge the fact that the hypersexualization of black women is a serious problem. Black women aren't just creatures that were made for sexual consumption. They have hopes, dreams and interests that are just as valid as anyone else’s. Until we stop using these stereotypes to undermine them, we can't say that our mindset has evolved from the 15th century.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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