The sexism and sexual oppression of women throughout the world is evident. However, in this discussion, analyzing the use of the word “Ho,” and the perception of Black Women as seen in mass media and popular culture, is crucial to the understanding of the term and it’s use as a controlling and oppressive image of Black womanhood and femininity, used to justify the sexual oppressive acts and behaviors that target Black women. The black woman’s experience within the U.S. is one that is unique and different from the intersecting oppressive forces amongst women of different cultures. The oppression is different, not of higher value or lesser value.Therefore, as a result, we can not minimize the differences of the African American female experience by trying to place it amongst a broad homogenous struggle of women. In doing so, we refuse to acknowledge the unique and indiviual experiences of not just African American women facing sexism, but the unique and individual experience of all women facing racism in the world.Confronting the controlling images forwarded by institutions external to the African-American community remain essential, however, it is equally important that we examine how these same controlling images are being perpetuated in the African -American community and create the appropriate solutions and acts of resistance. So the question becomes, if we do not discuss the unique forms of oppression aimed at Black women or that often effect Black women, how do Black women as a collective resist intersecting oppressions as they affect us and the communities we live in? How do U.S. Black women indentify the specific issues associated with controlling images of Black womanhood without safe spaces within the Black community where we can talk freely? And, how do we contest and resist these images if we do not first identify the language being used within their oppression?
- She saw something spreading out of her in a large scarlet pool at her feet...
- Sister Mary: Indigo, the Lord's called you to be a woman.
- Then Sister Mary Louise rose, her thin body coated with Indigo's blood. She gently took off Indigo's clothes, dropped them in a pail of cold water. She bathed Indigo in a hot tub filled with rose petals; white, red, and yellow floating around a new woman. She made Indigo a garland of flowers, and motioned for her to go into the back yard.
- Sister Mary: "There in the garden, among God's other beauties, you should spend these first hours. Eve's curse threw us out the garden. But like I told you, women tend to beauty and children. Now you can do both. Take your blessing and let your blood flow among the roses.. Smile like when God chooses to give you a woman's pleasure. Go now, like I say. Be not afraid of your nakedness.
- Then Sister Mary shut the back door. Indigo sat bleeding among the roses, fragrant and filled with grace.