Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What the hell... this?

I can't figure it out. Here are my fledgling ideas on what we are meant to learn from Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll's inane comments:

1) Your long-time single friends are probably gay. (Hey! Stop looking at me! :-)

2) Only black women who look a certain way "engage in relationships like that."

I don't know what that means exactly. At first I suspected she was referring to possibly two things

A) herself as attractive, thus recycling the stereotype that lesbians are "ugly" "man-hating" women who are really gay and bitter because they can't "get" a man and

B) herself as a fairer-skinned (at least fairer-skinned than the woman who says she saw the Lt. Governor in a "compromising position") woman of color, which supposedly marks her as "more" attractive and desirable, bringing us back to point A.

But there is so much more going on in Carroll's words and expressions and laughs. The larger point, I believe, is that she is asserting that people who have "those kind of relationships" look some certain, identifiable way.

And it is not the way "normal" people like her--you know, people who have spouses and children and are physically attractive or whatever--look. Her knowing glances and smiles undergird that--I get the feeling she is saying, "Come on! You know what I mean!"

But what does she mean? That black lesbians aren't mothers or political leaders or don't fill myriad other "normal" roles that are apparently the domain of heterosexual women?

I still don't know what the hell Carroll is saying exactly.

But I do know that, whatever she means, it speaks to a long, hurtful history of othering.

1 comment:

Jay said...

Seems to me she's saying that conventionally attractive Black women (read: meeting White appearance standards) can get men, and so they don't end up as lesbians. Because of course lesbians would be married to men if men would have them...and of course women who don't look like her can't get a man....and of course this is just a catfight because women are stupid critters who get all upset over not having a man.

That's a lot of hurt crammed into a few seconds of soundbite.

Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...