Blackness and Womanhood
By Jaylin Paschal
I'm a black woman.
Too often I'm asked to consider my blackness without my womanhood; my womanhood without my blackness. I'm asked which is better, which is worse, which is easier, which is harder, etc. As if I can even for a second disregard one of these core aspects of my life.
My melanin and my extra X chromosome shape my experiences and impact my daily life. Racism could kill me like misogyny could kill me. I don't take off my "woman" hat when I say "black lives matter." I don't take off my "black" hat when I say "protect women's rights." The Fifteenth Amendment was dope and all, but all of me wasn't represented until the Nineteenth Amendment. Fifty years separated the entirety of my identity. Saying "equal pay for equal work," is dope and all, but I also have to acknowledge that black women make even less to the man's dollar. (White Men/White Women = 100/78. White Men/Black Women = 100/64.)
I don't switch into and out of glasses to alter my perspective. How I see things is directly tied to my black womanhood. There are things I will face because I am a woman who is black; because I am a black person who's a woman. All of these issues collide headfirst to put me exactly where I am and how I am. I will always identify and be identified as both. Intersectionality is more than an ideological concept for me. It's my whole world.
Stop trying to make me put my blackness before my womanhood and vice versa. I am both. Simultaneously. All the time.
This body I navigate the world in--I operate with--is black and female. Don't ever disregard that and.