Black women are burdened by what I call a triple consciousness. Prose written by W.E.B. Dubois defined double consciousness as the veil under which citizens of color in the U.S. live, due to the contrast of their separate identities. He explained that his identity as an American was separate and individual from his identity as a black man, simply because the two facets of himself had different needs and faced different injustices.
For years, women of color didn't have the option to be feminists because their needs as African American citizens were more prevalent at the time. In 2018, as we stare into the eyes of a black girl revolution, it is clear that things have changed. Though my rights as a black American are constantly trampled on, I, unlike my ancestors, have been given the option to also fight for my rights as a woman. But time and time again, the world reminds me that this fight for the rights of my triple consciousness will not come without some war wounds.
Issa Rae recently shared some new details about the upcoming season of Insecure, and mentioned that the show would tackle a subject that is rarely discussed in mainstream media. Issa told the Hollywood Reporter:
"I don't want to give anything away! But I love black masculinity as it relates to black women. I think that's something interesting that we haven't gotten a chance to explore yet — and specifically toxic male black masculinity as it relates to black women. I'm trying to find a way to explore that and get a rounded storyline that isn't preachy."
She also shared that the characters in the show would reveal show some dynamic growth on their path to true adulthood. Though we all go through periods of 'insecurity', this season will focus on each character discovering accountability for their actions. She continued:
"This season is about adulting in a new way. I think we've watched our characters really fumble and fuck up — and in some ways in your 20s you are allowed that — but this season is about not acting like you're naive anymore or that you don't know better. So it is about, what does it look like to know better and to do better?"
When I first heard the news, I thought like most of you did: That's f*cking lit. Toxic masculinity is a major issue among women of color, which in my hometown has led to the destruction of lives and a number of deaths of young black women. I was relieved to hear that Issa and the other writers of Insecure had read my mind and would spark a conversation that's been needed for a long time.
But wait, let's not forget. It's our place as women of color to be black first, and women second. At least according to the internet. One user wrote in a thread:
"Issa Rae teases Season 3 "Insecure" will be about black masculinity. A topic I bet she thinks she's an expert on. My guess is she'll follow the trend of other prominent black women producers/directors/writers in filmmaking and promote some sort of fuckery about black men."
He goes on to talk cash money sh*t about prominent black women like Shonda Rhimes and included some homophobic and misogynistic commentary which further iterated that the toxic masculinity that women of color experience is extremely real.
Little did he know, he was in for the clapback of a lifetime, because Reagan Gomez and Jay Ellis had the time. The former Parent 'Hood actress mentioned that not only is Insecure's showrunner a black man, but the show also has black men as a part of their team of writers. In a series of tweets, Reagan tweeted:
"I thought ya'll were team Lawrence? Loved that he had options. Ya'll loved that season 1 finale but now that they might discuss toxic masculinity, ya'll think it's about the Black woman agenda?? Which is it?"
"Nothing about the show suggests that the men are horrible. They really aren't. From Lawrence to Daniel to the banger (always with his daughter, teaching her her ABB's). Well, Lawrence's lightskinned honie is kinda horrible but…they're all tryna figure it out. So why…"
"…would toxic masculinity be off limits? Take Lawrence, he immediately went from Issa, to Tasha, to Aparna. Takes all of his baggage with him in each relationship. When he has that threesome with those random white women who I SWORE were gonna rob him & was OPENLY…"
"…fetishized, he felt like shit but had to lie to his homie (the light skinned one😂) about how dope it was…while sitting outside of Issa's house. We can see him fuckin & cussin Issa out but can't go into toxic masculinity? Please."
"Larry Wilmore is one of the friggin producers. All of this info is out there but sure. Black women/FeminisT agenda. K."
Jay Ellis followed suit, tweeting:
As a black man who was a part of the first two seasons of @IssaRae and the very diverse writing staff of “Insecure’… https://t.co/trlOwL6oJ6— Jay Ellis (@Jay Ellis)1528807617.0
"As a black man who was a part of the first two seasons of @IssaRae and the very diverse writing staff of "Insecure's" work, I'd have to say STFU! …btw pick your pants up, your toxicity is showing."
And, it's hella unimpressive.
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