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Pioneer1

Masculating The Image of Black Women

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Understanding the Controversy Over Caster Semenya

news_bCaster%20Semenya-250.jpg

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/20/sports/caster-semenya-800-meters.html?_r=0

 

This is another stronger example of the original point I was making in reference to the behavior of Leslie Jones and how Western society has a long and documented history of not only trying to emasculate the image of Black men, but on the flip side masculate the image of Black women.


Here you have a "female" who obviously looks like a male....a fully matured young male.

I understand that some people are born hermaphrodites and of both sexes.
It's relatively rare, but it happens.
I'm also aware of the fact that no one is 100% male or 100% female, we all carry a balance of both natures at various points on the spectrum.
However this is an artificially contrived "controversy" because it could easily be solved and put to rest....but it's not.
They keep wondering whether or not Caster is a "real woman" or a man pretending.
Yet they refuse to do the obvious tests of checking the genitals and other basic tests that will determine what sex Caster is.  They've already found that Caster's testosterone levels are as high as a man's and was forced to take testosterone suppressing medication before competing in the Olympics.

This is where critical thinking comes into play.
The real purpose of this story isn't the interest it peaks in a public who is desparate to figure out what sex Caster is, but the REAL purpose of keeping this story going is to humiliate Black women and have the public subconsciously question their femininity.

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I don't know anything about this story other than what you've posted here Pioneer.  If you are saying this person is competing in the Olympics as a woman, I'd be pretty confident that she is a woman.  I think they check the gender...

I missed this story, but I suspect the REAL reason it is kept going is that the media propagating the story are making a lot of money.  I bet the ladies of "Black Twitter" are making the owners of Twitter richer as a result as well...

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Troy and Sara

You guys make my point.

There ARE tests that can easily determine what sex a person is, but they either AREN'T doing them on Caster or they HAVE done them and aren't making the results known.

Something is very suspicious about why they are keeping this controversy going because it's not that hard to prove whether or not a person is real woman.

Hell, they only have 3 choices:
Male
Female
Hermaprodite

And even if Caster is shown to be a true hermaphrodite with both sets of genitals and an even balance of hormonal chemistry then he/she should be disqualified from competing with the women....period.

They're keeping this going....I believe...as a slight insult to Black women.
It's also a way of attempting to "normalize" the masculine image of Black women in the public eye while keeping the image of the White woman feminine.

And Sara.....
What you're seeing is the "sister" AFTER he/she was given hormonal treatment to suppress the large amount of testosterone he/she was producing that kept him/her from competing!

They didn't do any decisive tests that would have put to rest any doubts about his/her sex, but the little testing they DID do had clearly determined that his/her testosterone levels were that of a MAN!
So in order to compete he/she had to take medication to suppress it and bring it down to withing the "normal" range for females.  So that photo is AFTER the treatment.  There's no telling WHAT he/she looked like before the treatments.

This entire thing is a farse and insult as far as I'm concerned.

I'm in no way blaming Caster Semenya (even his/her NAME has "semen" in it) for being born how he/she is. He/she can't help it and there are indeed people who are hermaphrodites.
My problem is with the sports media who is exploiting his/her condition and using it for a negative agenda.

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If she was a feminine looking hermaphrodite who wanted to compete with men in a track and field event like high jumping or pole vaulting, would the men feel resentful?  

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No.  But the question is moot, because "she" would not be competitive with male athletes--certainly not world class athletes.

 

 

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 LOL  I think the men would be resentful if she was a  hermaphrodite who had a pretty face and chose to wear her hair long, but had a male body that would put her on a par with men athletes. Men are always resentful when women compete with them.  Black in the 70s gay tennis star Billy Jean King played male tennis pro Bobby Riggs in a much publicized tennis match, and beat him, something he never lived down.

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This is really a non-issue. Throughout the Olympics I only heard about the Simones, Gabby, the shot put sister (sorry I don't feel like looking up names) and the women's track team. I honestly didn't see this woman at all until Pioneer brought her up. 

I don't think Black women are being masculinated. I think that may be one of the most reaching discussion points I've seen. Leslie is an anomaly, and I still don't consider her behavior masculine... it's a role. Honestly, I don't think anyone can show me the promotion of masculine women anywhere. I think women are actually depicted as oversexed objects most of the time. I literally can't think of one woman that is promoted in mainstream media that looks masculine. Not one.

Now if you say you are seeing more lesbian women who dress like guys around in day to day existence then I would be completely in agreement with you.

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I don't think black women are being masculated. I agree that their being sex objects is more the case. 

But I do know that normalcy is boring and people are riveted by abnomalcy. Freak show always attracted large crowds at carnivals because people are drawn to what's bizarre.  At the Olympics, runners in a race are introduced and the camera focuses on each one of them during this ceremony.  Watching the race that Caster participated in, I was startled as to how much this runner looked like a man when they showed her.  Apparently a lot of other people had the same reaction. This is not unusual or should it be surprising that her appearance became a subject that sparked  internet discussion. 

The old newspaper credo about a man biting a dog being more newsworthy than a dog biting a man still stands. And why shouldn't it?  I don't think people should be reprimanded for gawking at or following stories about oddities. A healthy amount of curiosity never harmed anybody and can be enlightening as was the case on this thread.    

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Cynique

If she was a feminine looking hermaphrodite who wanted to compete with men in a track and field event like high jumping or pole vaulting, would the men feel resentful?

They'd probably see it as a joke.
Certainly they wouldn't resent it because the lower testosterone levels of a hermaphrodite would pose less of a serious challenge to their competition.
So some of them would probably WELCOME him/her.

Caster easily won that race with those women beccause he/she probably ISN'T a woman.

 


Troy

No. But the question is moot, because "she" would not be competitive with male athletes--certainly not world class athletes.


Excellent answer.
Men obviously have more testosterone than women which gives them a natural edge in strength and endurance....which is why they are generally not allowed to compete together.

Now if Caster is indeed a male or even a hermaphrodite....it would be unfair for him/her to compete with other women because of that obvious physical advantages of testosterone production.

Which is why it doesn't make any sense to me why if you KNOW an individual is producing more testosterone than they naturally should....why haven't you just BANNED them....instead of putting them on some sort of hormone suppressing medication?

That's like letting a heavy weight boxer fight a light weight but making him lighten up on his punching power and be sure not to use his body mass to wear down his opponent.
Hell, if he's gotta do all of that just for it to be "fair"...they have no business fighting in the first place. Find another lightweight....or put him with a heavyweight.




CD


I don't think Black women are being masculinated. I think that may be one of the most reaching discussion points I've seen. Leslie is an anomaly, and I still don't consider her behavior masculine... it's a role. Honestly, I don't think anyone can show me the promotion of masculine women anywhere. I think women are actually depicted as oversexed objects most of the time. I literally can't think of one woman that is promoted in mainstream media that looks masculine. Not one.


Ok, let's start with the oft repeated term for the past 50 years, "Strong Black woman".
How many women of other races have you heard repeatedly described as "strong"???

Then we get into how the media makes a big deal over Michelle Obama's arms and how toned and muscular they are.

The media constantly promotes and glorifies the muscularity of Serena Williams.

And just look at this photo of our beloved Simone Biles and her teamates in bikinis:

Image result for simone biles bikini


All they could do was talk about how "nice" and muscular those girl's abs are.

Surely there are those IN the main stream who are promoting the masculinization of women in general and especially the Black woman.

Let me be clear.......
I think a woman should be allowed to dress however she wishes to dress and a man should be allowed to do the same.
If a woman wants to imitate a man and vice versa.....it should be allowed.

But that doesn't mean I have to ignore it or not be supicious of the reasoning BEHIND the promotion of such confusion.

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So the term Strong Black Woman is a sign of masculinity? I just don't see it. There are references of strong, black women throughout literature. I bring up literature because literature has always reflected the times. I mean if you consider one of the best novels of the last 100 years Zora's "Watching God" and many of her short stories feature women who had to be strong. These women were representative of how Black women had to adapt to an oppressive society. I can't tell you what you see, but this one picture and a short blurb on the First Lady's arms being strong are not signs that Black women are being Masculated.  

I just don't see it. Serena is muscular as most women who play sports. If being muscular is considered masculine, then I guess men who aren't muscular are made like women? That's some off logic to me. When you say Black women in America these are the names that pop up in mainstream and in any discussions people have: Oprah, Halle, Beyonce, Serena, Kerry, Queen Latifah, and the list goes on and on and to me there isn't one woman on that list of popular women who can be considered masculine.

Now to get back to your statement of how many other women are called Strong, the most famous picture of World War 2 is a picture of a White Woman making a muscle to show that women can do the work of men. So you can miss me with this idea that only the Black woman is being labeled as strong. The imagery of strong women has been around since the suffrage movement. It shows up throughout White and Black poetry and Native American poetry. Joy Harjo, Toni Cade Bambara and Anne Sexton, Native American, Black and White women writers have been crafting the images of women being strong since women had the ability to have their own voice, but this isn't any more prevalent than in Zora's short story Sweat. 

Women are strong and there is nothing wrong with it. The imagery of the strong woman was not begun in the last 50 years. I don't see any agenda and your few examples have done very little to convince me of an agenda against the sexuality of Black women. However, if you stated that there is an agenda to make Black women look oversexed then I wouldn't even attempt to argue against that.

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CD

I didn't say there was anything "wrong" with women being strong.

But seeing as how physical strength is primarily a MASCULINE trait among humans, it only makes sense that it wouldn't be a desirable trait for most women to have.
It's what women look for in men, but not necessarily what men look for in women.
Most men who are looking for "strong women" are looking for someone to take care of them... LOL.
But I'm not going to qualify or disqualify it from a moral point of view.

It's no more "wrong" for a woman to be masculine than it is for someone to be lazy, obese, or stupid.....
These are generally undesirable characteristics that often put people at odds with their social surroundings, but I'm not the one to say whether or not they are "wrong".




As far as Black women being oversexed.
I don't think Black women are actually promoted ENOUGH sexually, especially in a positive light.
And there ARE positive and negative sexualities.

White women's bodies are show far more often than Black women.
Almost every movie has them getting naked showing their breasts, butt, and even pubic hair. Their sexuality is promoted far more than Black women. But it's usually done in a posivite light that promotes and glorifies them,
while Black women are often portrayed in slutty prostitutish ways that make them look vulgar and desparate or like trifling gold diggers.

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Bottom line: A strong woman doesn't have to be muscular, loud and aggressive. She can be supple, subtle and reserved.  Strength can come from within, like the proverbial "steel fist in a velvet glove".  

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I have to admit that I don't particularly find strong women attractive.
Whether she is physically strong or just has a strong personality.

This is not the case each and every time because every now and then I find a woman who is very athletic or has a strong personality that I'm attracted to, but for the most part I have a desire for a woman to NEED me for something. I don't care how attractive a woman is physically, if she's strong and can defend herself or doesn't have a desire to call on me for emotional support from time to time (not ALL the time) it lowers my level or attraction for her.
On the other hand, women that I didn't find particularly attractive, when something happened in their life and I saw them crying or acting a little vulnerable....it made me attracted to them and it built up a desire for me to rush to their aid or give them a shoulder to cry on.

I know a few other men who feel similarly.

Women need to understand that not all men are looking for "strong" women.

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@Pioneer1 I hear what you're saying, but I beg to differ slightly with your feelings of uselessness when a woman doesn't "need" you, in effect. Even the strongest of women are vulnerable in some manner, just like the most muscular and macho of men can be vulnerable. What you're really saying is that you need to be made to feel "strong" by the woman being weak. With all due respect, for the sake of discussion, that is not a sign of masculine strength. That's kind of a cop out. It's like when brothers say, "Let me be the man." If the man has to ask, then he's exposing that he isn't one.  I think men need to feel needed. I get that. But sometimes, what we want is a partner. Ride or die. Not a savior. But I think there's something in the genetic make-up that makes men want to rescue women. A man can "rescue" a woman by being thoughtful - yes, FLOWERS; cooking a meal, massaging her feet. There are so many ways to provide support to a "strong" woman. Asking how her day was and actually listening. Some men are just too insecure to think outside the box. This is no diatribe against you... but to raise the discussion, because you are so thought-provoking.... :)

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I think what both sexes appreciate and look for in a partner is somebody who has their back.  Being good at offering moral support during a bump in the road is a trait that doesn't discriminate when it comes to strong or vulnerable people.  Anybody can be sympathetic and loyal to someone they care about. 

The ego can be a man's downfall. It can be over-inflated to the point where it exposes his inadequacies as opposed to displaying his capabilities.  it is also a perfect target for a manipulative woman who is good at playing dumb  ;)

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“When brothers say, ‘Let me be the man,’ he’s exposing that he isn’t one.” Thanks VL, I'll have to use this one.

 

 

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VL

I'm not sure what to say because in a way you're right, I..and many other men.....love feeling  strong and needed. 
Because of the testosterone factor that generates feelings of pride, ego, aggression, and competition (in line with the original theme of this thread)...men generally a stronger desire to feel needed, to feel like they're in charge, that they are the strong ones.

This is one of the reasons most men are reluctant to ask for help when looking for a particular item in a store or ask for directions while driving while most women see no problem with it.

Men desiring to feel strong is just, nothing can be done about it unless nature itself changes.  No amount of social engineering or conversation will be able to "change" most men.

As Cynique pointed out, a wise woman knows how to stroke her man's ego and make him feel needed and loved instead of trying to change him.  And in turn, like you said men make a woman feel needed and loved by giving her attention, sincere compliments, massages, and just showing her over all love and affection.  Thus both know how to play thier part in the game of love and live in harmony with eachother.

 

 

 


Cynique

I agree with you that an ego CAN be a man's downfall.
But more often than not, a man's ego is one of the building blocks for his success in life..

It's far better for a man to have pride and ego than not.
And from personal experience, despite what they may SAY....most of the women I've been with found egotistical men FAR more attractive then men with no sense of pride or respect for themselves.
Oh they may make funny faces and talk about how proud and arrogant and egotistical a man may be among themselves; but they they'll still find him fascinating, interesting, manly, and show him a measure of SEXUAL respect.....as opposed to the man who has no pride or ego but is a good "friend" who will always stay in the "friend" or "nice guy" zone...lol.

A man's ego is the foundation from which his ambitions are built upon.
Take away his ego, and you take away his ambition....his drive to accomplish things in life.

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