Sunday, February 1, 2009
Erase all notions of positive stereotypes. They benefit the status quo. Because there are "positive" stereotypes in addition to the negative ones in every group, people "claim" the positive side because at least it's better than the negative. So people try viciously to prove the "positive" or accept it, and don't eliminate either. So quite clearly, both effectively stay in tact.
One of those we don't think about is the fact that black women can "sing" more strongly than white women. Seems "positive", so positive in fact that we get upset when white female soul singers come out. Actually, those white female soul singers are doing us justice. They show that black women are NOT genetically stronger in vocal range. Because, unfortunately, one cannot embrace the "positive strong black singer" stereotype and deject the "black women are loud" stereotype. They come from the same "stock".
I love Mary J, Jennifer Hudson, and a variety of other "strong" vocal singers. But when we contrast them against Mariah Carey, or other falsettos it is clear that stereotypes have created a DEMAND for a particular type of black female singer. Mariah, being lightskinned, and a "high pitched" singer plays into her femininity where as Mary J being a dark, "bold", and "strong" singer plays into the opposite.
Black women being "soulful" strong singers SUPPORTS the argument that our natural voices are louder, our bodies are stronger, and that "strength" is the justification for how we deserve to be treated. We can't escape that.