Sis, are you problematic? ‘Dear Culture’ unpacks Black womanhood

Sundus Hassan
·2 min read

From explaining “pick me” culture to underhanded transphobia in our communities, it’s time we take a good look at the mirror and start off Women’s History Month with accountability

The Dear Culture podcast is back to regular programming with our talented theGrio hosts Shana Pinnock and Gerren Keith Gaynor. This week, we’re starting off Women’s History Month with a bang.

From explaining “pick me” culture to underhanded transphobia in our communities, it’s time we take a good look at the mirror and start off this month with accountability. That’s why we’re asking: “Dear Culture…sis are you problematic?”

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“You might be…unconsciously perpetuating racism in a certain way and you might not be aware of [it],” says Pinnock to Gaynor.

As much as there is great love for our sisters and Black women in general, it’s time we unpack some things. Pinnock notes that it’s amazing we live in a time where we’re uplifting Black women, but culture has moved in a way where “Black women are beyond reproach.” When actually, we too “can be problematic” and the entire situation is something worth addressing, according to Pinnock.

“Not only do you buy into this idea of how it should be, it’s like you’re walking dead. Until someone is able to sit you down and be like, ‘Sis, this is wrong,'” says Gaynor.

It’s really important we stop the generational cycle of internalized misogyny and transphobia within the Black femme community. Gaynor points out that when you are the “most disrespected” individual in a culture, your reality and “mentality can be warped” in a way that makes cultural abuse the norm. Whether trans or cis, IRL or in reality TV, Gaynor reminds us that “Black woman spirit” needs to be handled with care at all times.

(Photo: Adobe Stock)
(Photo: Adobe Stock)

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“I wasn’t on that level, I wasn’t confident. I would have hateful thoughts in my mind about other women,” says Pinnock.

Black women hating each other is “all incendiary” and rooted in respectability politics and misogynoir politics. Hating another femme for what she’s wearing or blaming another woman for actions they could not control are rooted in self hate. The self hatred is rooted in racist systems that are tailored to “make us fail” in society, our hosts say. Giving energy to that “rulebook” that “sets up hierarchies” is the opposite of self love, Black love, and femme power.

Tune in to Dear Culture, the smart, reliable Black news podcast. Now streaming on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher.

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

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