Social and Cultural Anthropologist and contributor Scherin Barlow-Massay

Social and Cultural Anthropologist and contributor Scherin Barlow-Massay

Community news. From the onset of slavery, European men have exploited the African female body and many concepts remain firmly rooted in the misleading ideology of African male and female sexuality.  Saartjie Baartman suffered daily humiliation as curious spectators, who thought she was an oddity, probed her body for an extra fee.

The media controlled by white men still stereotype African women as more sexual than their white counterparts. This juxtaposition has to work in order to elevate white women, who too, are stereotyped as beacons of excellence in respectability and virtue. It is only when this myth is exposed as a falsehood that those in the media create ructions.

Now, the image of the hypersexual African woman has been set to music and exploited by African males. Nevertheless, what many of those men fail to connect with mentally is that they too are conforming to the stereotypical view of African manhood. They demean themselves by playing into the conventional view of black men as propagated by European society. Not only that, but in portraying African women as ‘bitches and hoes’, they are undermining the collective experience of their female relatives who emerged from enslavement as rape victim survivors.

Instead of helping to raise the African woman up and in so doing elevating themselves, they play a part in disrespecting and bringing her down. Maybe that is an indication of the self-hatred that has developed within their psyches for themselves and their African sisters and mothers.

Unfortunately, many female artists have bought into the hypersexuality mould so use their bodies salaciously to promote their voices. Surely, if the voice is good enough to be in the public domain, then where is the logic in singing in underwear?

Beyonce Knowles, called a 'whore' by UK Metro Newspaper. Photo courtesy

Beyonce Knowles, called a ‘whore’ by UK Metro Newspaper. Photo courtesy

Young girls permitted to dance in such a sexualised manner reflect the mental attitude of their parents and the social group to which they belong. Social influence form a part in making something acceptable, in turn, individuals internalize that behaviour pattern as the norm. Young girls exposed to such practices are desensitised as the guidelines for what is acceptable behaviour is blurred. That sort of sexualisation of children opens them up to child prostitution, child rape and other forms of deviant behaviours by those who see nothing wrong in the abuse of children.

By not having any kind of moral guidelines in which they raise their children, some mothers are at best guilty of neglect or at worst grooming their children for all sorts of emotional, physical and sexual problems. A young child exposed to its mother dancing in such a manner, experiences shame, humiliation, anger and sadness; normal emotions before it is desensitised into thinking that what he or she is witnessing or dancing is right. Click here to read Part III