You are here

Playing a sexy mas or mask?

Published: 
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Diary of a Mothering Worker - Entry 96

It’s hard to know where young women’s empowerment begins and ends.

 

Take Patrice Robert’s recently released Hold on Tight video. It attempts to show her as sexually commanding, her stilettos shaking the ground, her youthful body taking control of men’s minds whether awake or asleep.

 

The video highlights what kinds of language are available for young women, especially young Black women, trying to turn sexuality from a source of vulnerability to authority. It highlights, just as Carnival does par excellence, that there is no pure place for such resistance and assertion of young female selfhood.

 

Executive produced, edited and directed by Afro-Caribbean men, the video shows Patrice through the eyes of a white man’s wet dream, including his vision of her as first winer girl, then leopard, then native in a forest. 

 

We shouldn’t be naïve. Black women came to be seen as naturally hypersexual and animalistic because hundreds of years of slavery mixed White dominance with such desire. It’s unthinkable violence that made it normal and everyday.

 

This very fantasy justified slavery’s rape and pimping of African women, and the definition of them as less than equal, less morally respectable or civilised than White women, less valued for their minds than their bodies, and less concerned with their political and economic rights than their freedom to be promiscuous. Streaming such a fantasy 50 years after our independence says much about what Carnival’s possibilities for decolonisation can and must continue to mean.

 

Disclaimer

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.

Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.

Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.

Before posting, please refer to the Community Standards, Terms and conditions and Privacy Policy