*Specifically addressing p.73-74*
In this essay, Mikki Kendall explores the expected role of Black Women in the home and how that submissive identity has been shaped over the decades.
I found it to be a ripple effect stemming from high rates of incarceration of black men - creating a “pick me” culture (paraphrasing from p. 74) that has shaped and molded this identity and expectation that black women are to “offer to work, take care of all household duties, to be submissive...the list is more than any two women could reasonably be expected to do.” What I summarized that as is the competition for men has become so fierce that women are essentially sacrificing their identities, their sense of self, in order to fit the “perfect mold” of what a partner is expected to be in order be the one that is chosen. All of this stemming from astonishingly high incarceration rates of black men.
So then - is part of the solution prison reform? The incarceration rates have far more reaching effects than this, of course, but does our work begin with demanding change there? Where do we begin? How do we start the fight for regaining the individual identities of women of color?
I am curious to know your thoughts on this subject...because it riled me right up reading this and it was like a lightbulb clicking on. Especially when discussing feminism, especially inclusive feminism, identity and a sense of self should be at the top of our radar. How do we begin to tackle all other areas of need if women of color first can’t control their own identities???