Re: African Freedom and Male Arrogance
Posted By: Ras Tyehimba In Response To: Black Male Patriarchy a Threat to Willie Lynchism *LINK* (Pianke Nubiyang)
Date: Sunday, 22 August 2004, at 3:55 a.m.
In Response To: Black Male Patriarchy a Threat to Willie Lynchism *LINK* (Pianke Nubiyang)
The paradigms of European development has contained two clear patterns. These patterns have been the domination and degradation of Black and non white people, and the domination and degradation of females. In seeking liberation for Africans, people should not be hypocrites and still perpetuate the abuse of women. In desiring freedom for ourselves, we must also desire freedom for others.
Recognizing the Eurocentric domination that Black males have copied from their oppressor and used in their relationship with African women should never be seen as attacking the African male. It is about African males realizing their double standards where they exist and working on them to strengthen themselves and the community. It is only by recognizing the damaging patriarchal tendencies and working on them that males can move in harmony with females, and the wider environment.
Pianke, in the Americas, in the Caribbean and even in Africa, there is no special Black Patriarchy that is so different from the abusive European patriarchal patterns. Africans everywhere have inculcated and been forced to accept (through the processes of slavery and colonialism) a lot of bogus European ideas.
The neglecting of the female perspective by egotistical males is one of the primary reasons for the limitations of the drive to change this corrupt system. This is also the main reason for the wars, the pollution and other social ills. It is the thought the male brute strength/arrogance is all that is needed to solve our problems. The perspectives of Black women are infinitely important is creating a new way of doing things, and any attempt to circumvent this, runs counter to the values and principles that Africans have known for thousands of years. Because Black females have experienced the worse of what the system has to offer through having to exist with both white arrogance and male arrogance, they have a great depth of experience that allows them to be sensitive in ways that males can never be. This is why people should never take the role of females lightly. They do this at their own detriment.
Pianke Nubiyang, the story of Willie Lynch should never be used as an excuse to downplay the reality of Black male arrogance.
Just as the struggle for African liberation should not mean the same system, just with Africans on top and white below, the struggle of Black women should not aim to subjugate, possess and dominate males, the way males have treated females.
Furthermore there is your misrepresentation of Cheik Anta Diop. You said ‘Cheikh Antah Diop presents a rare type of African family where women were in complete control. THIS IS THE TYPE OF FAMILY THAT FEMINISTS AND THE SLAVEMASTERS HAVE TRIED TO IMPOSE ON THE BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITY FOR CENTURIES.”
Diop in his book The Cultural Unity of Black highlighted the domains of matriarchy and patriarchy in Classical Antiquity, and shows how patriarchy is a northern/European pattern while matriarchy is a south/African trait. To understand this properly matriarchy should not be seen as the opposite of patriarchy, the same way that Afrocentricity is not the opposite of Eurocentricity. Diop “matriarchy I not an absolute and cynical triumph of woman over man; it is a harmonious dualism, an association accepted by both sexes, the better to build a sedentary society where each and everyone could fully develop by following the activity best suited to his physiological nature. Diop further noted that “ a matriarchal regime, far from being imposed on man by circumstances independent of his will, is accepted and defended by him”. Though it was not totally perfect the best example of equitable male/female relations are to be found in ancient Africa thousands of years ago.
African males must respect females, not in an abstract superficial way, but in a practical meaningful way that allows them to define their own role, and be mistresses of their own destiny.
On this board, there is a lot of discussion of race issues, and that is good, however the issue of male domination and arrogance and how that contributes to upholding the corrupt system is often neglected.
The biblical/white male doctrines will have us believe that it is the duty of male to possess and dominate the females: that males must lead, and female must follow blindly and meekly. It is all these bogus Eurocentric ideas that Africans need to break free from, if ever we are to harness our full potential.
Given that the patterns of male arrogance and domination have been so dehumanizing and painful to African women, it is not surprising that some may speak out very strongly against male arrogance. Thus the same way whites should not dismiss the strong voices of Blacks, Black males should not dismiss lightly the experiences and perspectives of females. Blacks males like whites should observe their tendencies to react defensively, and really listen to what the suppressed voices have to say. Because they will speak the half that has never been told; the half of African abuse and concomitant female abuse; the half of White arrogance and concomitant male arrogance.
Males must take responisbility for their actions, and must come to terms with their own abusive patterns towards females and how this contributes to the institutional abuse and possession of females. By this, male and females can engage in higher interactions that allow both parties to realise their full potential and avoid the pitfalls of abusive European constructs.
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