Joice Berth talks about the construction of affections of black women
Note from BW of Brazil: I can never tire of exploring this issue. Because, in my view, the ongoing split between black men and black women in Brazil today is in essence about the survival of a people of a country that the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade most populated. The country that could have had the largest black population outside of Africa, but the fact is, if we’re honest with ourselves, this is probably not the case. And this is because, not only does Brazil continue to kill black folks at an extremely alarming rate, but after centuries of the promotion of the lack of value of the black body, many of Africa’s descendants in Brazil choose to mate with persons who don’t look like them and within a few generations, their offspring barely look as if their ancestors were in fact from Africa. But today’s post doesn’t only focus on the outcome of these choices, but the root cause of why so many seem to flee from creating more people who look like those enslaved Africans that were forcibly brought to the land that would later become known as Brazil.
In Lídia Michelle Azevedo’s review of a piece by architect Joice Berth, we are forced to look within to identify an inner pain that eats away at the self-esteem of a people that don’t realize how an illness instills in them a deep-rooted desire to be accepted by the very people whose racist behavior they consistently complain about. The very people who instilled in them this deep sense of self-hatred and desire to escape an undervalued racial existence. And until we deal with this inner pain of self-rejection, we cannot heal a divide between the black man and his partner, the black woman.
Joice Berth talks about the construction of affections of black women today
By Lídia Michelle Azevedo
Black feminism is on the rise. This finding is not only due to the fact that the publishing market seems to be increasingly open for black authors to speak of their intellectual and ancestral knowledge, but mainly because they see black women increasingly “louder and darker”. The exaltation of this shift in position, however, cannot hide important issues that are happening within the feminist movement.
Affection has always been a difficult feeling to be constructed in the life of black women and the advent of social networks, which at first seem to facilitate the creation of relationships, started to have a quantitative and therefore commercial logic which causes the reproduction of behaviors of deficiency and superficiality observed in offline life.
“Women, in general, are always looking for affective crumbs that, through communication via social network, would be liked, shared, visualized, etc. And often they fail to realize that this is a new instrument of manipulation not only in affective relationships. Interactions via social networks have become an instrument of power: if I like you, I “like”, it if I don’t like you, I ignore you. Number of followers became currency of exchange and followers are not people, they are numbers to be negotiated with companies. Unfortunately, there is not the slightest care with the human behind the screen. There is a dangerous game of narcissism coupled with material ambition that fuels the possibility of exhibitionism,” explains Joice Berth, architect, urbanist and author of the book O que é empoderamento? (What is Empowerment?).
She is keen to emphasize that despite the protagonism that black feminism and its support groups have won, there is still a long way to go in building an affection among black women:
“Thinking about the racial issue and its effects on the black population, it has the self-hatred manifested in the relationships through boycotts, invisibilization and erasures, relationships that we think are friendships, but they are utilitarian and of self-interest.”
This lack of self-esteem and self-understanding before understanding each other in the middle of the whole will affect, consequently, the love relationships, which in the digital age, according to the author, follow a formula of manipulation through interaction crumbs. Some black women believe that investing in relacionamentos afrocentrados (afro-centred relationships) will make them escape such situations by expecting the black man to be more consciously involved. But Joice Berth deconstructs this idea by saying that not all movement is experiencing the same debate.
“I don’t think interracial relationships are being debated, they are being attacked with a strong appeal of machismo, because these attacks are only for interracial relationships involving black women, black men remain very quiet with their white passports being in all spaces. The black woman is passed over and/or pressured to accept any hoax in the name of afrocentrated love. This is nonsense. Because I don’t see Afrocentric relationships around here. I see the black population fighting itself, mistreating itself, in an internal conflict that seems veiled, but is not, fighting for the acceptance of branquitude (whiteness) and negotiating their dignity for it. Generally speaking, because I don’t limit myself to speaking only of the racial issue, we live in a moment of a crisis of affection, people are very much lovers of themselves and leaving aside the possibility of personal growth that comes with the diversity of social interactions.”
Personal growth, by the way, is the key to the construction any kind of relationship and what will make the concept “solidão da mulher negra” (loneliness of the black woman) a thing of the past. It is important to point out that for the intellectual, this debate is not only about women’s self-esteem, but also about the self-esteem of the men who surround them.
“This matter is not one-sided. It does not just depend on our awareness to resolve itself. It is a racial agenda, although everyone who studies and deals with the racial question pretends not to. We need the black man to be able to purify the racism he has internalized, to cultivate the self-esteem he lost centuries ago, and then to be able to look at the black woman as a potential partner. I am not and have never been against interracial relationships. They are not a problem in themselves. The problem is the intentions and structural contexts in which they happen, especially when they come from the black man,” problematizes Joice Berth.
She recalls that she had dated men of different ethnicities than hers, and that at no time did she question herself about her own blackness. For her, the issue is not in the struggle “Afrocentric relationships x interracial relationships” but in how you are with your identity and the identity of the movement of which you are a part.
“I’ve had black, white, Asian boyfriends. For me they are men and do not influence the relationship I have with myself as a black woman. But it would be troublesome if I only had relationships with white men…What is overwhelmingly common with black men, the numbers and studies are there to prove what we are talking about. But in addition, relations between black people are deteriorated and need to be reviewed. Often, in the relations between black man and black woman, the violence and disrespect that comes from the expression of self-hatred are fully present. I don’t see black men valuing black women ever. So it is not the interracial relationship the problem, it is the mentality of these men that is compromised,” explains the architect, who issues an alert:
“We need to demand of the white women, especially those who position themselves as feminists, an attitude in relation to this, because it involves them as well. After all, a man who is sick with racism and who seeks her with other intentions, which has nothing to do with love and affection, at any moment will turn the relationship into something abusive, in this case, on both sides, as I see a lot there.”
Source: Notícia Preta