The Double Standard of Black Women’s Emotions

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The Double Standard of Black Women’s Emotions

Panel 1

[Caption] Being raised in a violent, abusive household… As a teen I had trouble in social situations.

Panel 2

[Image] A young black woman with her arms crossed, and a frown on her face. She is facing two silhouettes, one of either side of her.

[Caption] I always thought my troubles outside of the home were because of my attitude.

Panel 3

[Image] A young white woman with blonde hair in the same position – arms crossed and frowning. She is facing two white people, one on either side of her.

[Caption] … but when other people displayed the same anger as me:

White person 1: It’s okay. You’re just going through some emotional issues.
White person 2: We’ll set you up with a counselor who can help you.

Panel 4

[Image] The same scene as Panel 2: the black woman facing two people. Instead of silhouettes, they are revealed as two white people.

[Caption] When I got angry:

White person 1: Ugh. These people.
White person 2: It’s just the way she is. We can’t help her.

Panel 5

[Image] The black woman, looking at a white man who is facing away from her. Beside the woman is a white woman of similar age. Hearts are emating from the black woman and she is smiling.

[Caption] One time, I was interested in a man but it wasn’t mutual.

Panel 6

[Image] The black woman with a sad expression. The white woman is whispering in her ear.

[Caption] I’m ok with someone not being attracted to me. But then I found out why.

Panel 7

[Caption] “He doesn’t date black girls. He thinks that black women are violent and irritating.”

Panel 8

[Image] A closeup of the black woman. One eye is covered with a label reading “VIOLENT”. Her mouth is covered with another label reading “IRRITATING”.

[Caption] …violent? …and irritating?

Panel 9

[Image] The black woman pulling the label off her eye. She is standing atop a large pile of other labels.

[Caption] There are many more stories like these.

Panel 10

[Image] The black woman flicking the last label off her face, and dropping it down onto the pile on which she is standing. More piles are behind that one in the background.

[Caption] It makes me feel like people instantly deem me as worthless just because of what they assume about me. I feel like I am not allowed to have access to the full range of human emotion, just to get a chance to prove I am worthy of human affection and friendship. I can be angry, but that’s not ALL that I am.

Panel 11

A series of images of the black woman in closeup, each with an accompanying caption.

[Image] Grinning broadly
[Caption] I also feel happy

[Image] Crying, a tear streaming down her cheek
[Caption] I feel sad

[Image] Looking wistful
[Caption] get lonely,

[Image] Eyes closed, looking tired
[Caption] feel exhausted,

[Image] Smiling with eyes closed
[Caption] have moments where I am content,

[Image] Smiling and blushing
[Caption] fall crazy in love

[Overall Caption] and feel every other emotion granted to human beings.

Panel 12

[Caption] Why is it that just because I am in this skin, it is assumed that I am born with a bad attitude instead of having a bad day?

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Let me start out by admitting I have an attitude/anger issue. Being raised in a violent abusive household, as a teen I had trouble in social situations. I always thought it was because of my attitude that I couldn’t make friends or attract a significant other.

But I’ve noticed that if women of other races display the same anger that I have, people assume they have a mental or emotional issue. When I get angry, it’s seen as “just the way I am”.

While I was in school, I saw a young white lady stab a girl with a pencil. She got to see a counselor. When I was in a fight with my cousin over a pencil and the pencil was snapped in half but no one was injured, we both got in-school suspension.

On another occasion I was really interested in a young man but he didn’t seem interested. I thought that I was just unattractive to him, but someone clued me in that it was my skin color. Hearing this didn’t hurt my feelings – it wasn’t until I found out WHY my skin wasn’t his preference that I became offended. Apparently being black meant that I’m automatically violent and too much of a hassle. I watched him date a girl that would constantly scream at him IN PUBLIC and humiliate him, but it was understandable and “ok” because she had mental issues and the right hue. He never bothered to get to know me because of what my skin supposedly meant instead of getting to know me as an individual.

When I think about those instances, as well as others, it makes me feel like people instantly deem me as worthless just because of what they assume about me. It makes me angry because I feel like I am not allowed to have access to the full range of human emotion just to get a chance to prove I am worthy of human affection and friendship. I can be angry, but that’s not ALL that I am. I am compassionate, I am determined, I am a protector, and I am very passionate. I also feel happy. I feel sad, get lonely, feel exhausted, have moments where I am content, fall crazy in love, and feel every other emotion granted to human beings. Why is it that just because I am in this skin it is assumed that I am born with a bad attitude instead of having a bad day?

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3 responses to “The Double Standard of Black Women’s Emotions”

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  1. Christelyn says: |
    April 28, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Hi there! It’s Christelyn Karazin, a blogger and vlogger for Beyond Black & White. I think you’ve touched on a very significant issue that I’d like to expand on. With your permission, I’d love to use your illustrations in an upcoming video response.

    • Tak says: |
      April 28, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      Hi! Thanks for your interest – we’ll send you an email. 🙂

  2. Just like you says: |
    April 28, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    I feel very much the same. I am just labeled as an “angry Black woman”, and “funny” by my non-black friends, acquaintances, and associates. I am more complex in my emotions than that, but is all they see. I have a white female colleague who I really like. The troups rally around her when she is in distress, but when I am in distress, all I hear is, I’m so sorry. She cries and is comforted. I cry and they just stand there and look at me, so I no longer share my deepest sorrow with them because I have realized that my tears don’t matter.