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Stereotype Essays 1 - 30 Anti Essays
Q: I read your article on the and I must take exception to your assertion that the Jezebel stereotype is "the dominant image of Black women in American popular culture." The image of Black women as hypersexual beings is not as common as you argue. Your mention of Black women's representations in the pornography industry (used to support your point) ignores the fact that the pornography industry is a niche industry devoted almost wholly to the objectification of White women.
-- Bevins Thomas, Minneapolis, Minnesota
A: I will begin by conceding your first point. When I wrote the Jezebel Stereotype essay in 2002, I was trying to compare and contrast the Jezebel portrayal -- the seductive, hypersexual Black woman -- with the Mammy Caricature -- the asexual, physically unattractive Black woman. In recent years I have gained a deeper understanding of other racial caricatures of African American women, most notably, the Sapphire -- an angry, loud, man-hater -- and what might be seen as the female version of the Coon -- a lazy, conniving, Welfare Queen. All of these caricatures debase and demean real Black women. They are vulgar and unfair depictions. If I were writing the Jezebel essay today, I would say, "The Jezebel, the Sapphire, and the Female Coon are the dominant caricatures of African American women today."
I disagree with your assertion that the representation of Black women as hypersexual deviants is not common. One need look no further than the music videos that are shown on television, for example, Music Television (MTV) and Black Entertainment Television (BET). In many of these videos young, nearly-naked African American women are used as visual, sexual props. These women are portrayed as seductive, beguiling, and lewd; in other words, they are portrayed as Jezebels whose only value is as sexual commodities.
In some instances the sexual objectification is, in a word, raw. BET Uncut, which ran from September 2000 to July 2006, showed videos that not only bordered on being pornographic but pandered to historical racial stereotypes. The show, rated TV-MA, reinforced the stereotype of Black women as one-dimensional sexual vamps. One particularly galling example was rap musician Nelly's video Tip Drill. In the video Nelly swiped a credit card through a woman's buttocks. In another scene, men threw money on a woman who lay with her legs spread. The symbolism is stark and unambiguous. Black women's bodies were treated as merchandise: laughing, grinning, butt-shaking commodities. Throughout the video, full-figured Black women, wearing little or no clothing, simulated sexual acts as fully clothed Black men insulted and demeaned them. This is the African American woman as whore. William Jelani Cobb, a History Professor from Spelman College, speaking about hip hop artists generally and Nelly specifically, said:
Native American Stereotype Research Essay by Cynthia Govea on Prezi
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