Girlfriends Wasn’t For Me
During its heyday, I took a two-year hiatus from watching the television show, ‘Girlfriends’ while it aired in regular rotation on UPN, and then on The CW. I was continually disappointed with the show, which like ‘Friends’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother.’ was nothing more than a varied spin-off of ‘Living Single.’
The primary reason for my disappointment in the show was due to the writing because it continually fed into the prevailing stereotypes of Black women. In light of our history as Black women, I personally found the perpetual use of the B word by Joan, Toni, Maya, and Monica, who were supposed to represent professional, educated women, just as offensive as the use of the N word.
The prevailing, derogatory stereotypes of Black women – the Jezebel, Mammy, Matriarch, Tragic Mulatto, Aunt Jemima, Sapphire, Welfare Queen, Angry, Petty, Immature, and a B – continues to serve the needs of the dominant power elite structure in society, and is perpetuated through the media on an everyday basis. As long as Black women are subjugated to a subordinate class, subjugated to being labeled a b-, triply oppressed through their race, class, and gender, the hierarchal structure can remain in its superior place without fear of being threatened. The social problems within the black community has been placed squarely on the shoulders of Black women (or b-) and serves as a justification of the hierarchical controls over the defined spaces, reproductive rights, and images of Black women.
I was appalled by the fact that the leading women on ‘Girlfriends’ continued to contribute to the inferior images of Black women by calling their “best friends” a b-.
Please people, wake up. N- and B- are not terms of endearment!
I understand the need for artistic expression, and I know Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks, Persia White, (Jill Marie Jones), and Keesha Sharp needed to work at their craft, but they were on the air long enough to speak up to the powers that be.
I don’t know about other women, but anyone who calls me out of my name is not my friend. I try very hard to support Black television shows, Black artists, and Black movies, just as long as my intelligence isn’t being insulted because ignorance is not bliss. My level of tolerance had reached its limits, and I had no choice but to boycott ‘Girlfriends’ from being aired in my household.