G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Steve Sailer blogged what I initially believed, and even Jezebel has confirmed: it has been mostly black women who were griping at Gabby Douglas for having an unkempt head of hair during her Olympic performances a few days ago. I suspected that I was like most people (and, to a greater degree, white men) in that I didn’t notice anything wrong with Douglas’ hair. Of course, this can’t be about black women being unfair to a young black girl. White patriarchal supremacist racism is to blame.
From Oneka LaBennett at the feminist Ms. blog:
Before blaming black mothers for needlessly putting their daughters through these hair-straightening ordeals, we must understand the importance of a well-kept head: Black girls face additional, oftentimes unfair scrutiny. In a larger culture that undervalues black beauty, a neat-looking girl might be regarded more fondly by her teacher, or might enjoy a greater chance of landing a job. Consider that in 2009 the conservative blog Free Republic deemed then 11-year-old Malia Obama’s hair twists inappropriate for an official visit to Rome, and who can forget Don Imus infamously referring to the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos”?
Too bad none of that scrutiny applied to Douglas, except from black women. If black women feel pressured to keep their hair up to a certain standard then they, before anyone else, should understand the unique pressures that Douglas would have faced. And if they don’t, then how is that my problem?