Sunday, October 30, 2011

When black women "white knight" for black men....

According to that wacky and sometimes rather accurate site "Urban Dictionary", white knighting is usually what happens on blogs and forums when a male poster comes to the rescue of a perceived "damsel in distress". Often without even understanding why she is getting pwned, this person butts in and defends her to the virtual death. This practice is, ironically, not looked on particularly favorably. The reason? Often, the person has been called out for saying something rather stupid. So how stupid does the white knight look by coming to the defense of someone clearly not worthy of that sort of digital dedication?

One interesting, or rather disturbing, phenomenon is the reverse happening for black men on the internet. Among the BWE (black women empowerment) collective, this action is known as "sista soldiering". According to blogger Evia, the definition is as follows:

"A sharp-tongued AA or similar black woman who considers it her prime responsibility to fight all racial slights or other forms of racial inequality even when her black male peers express apathy and supply no help".

The above was quoted from one of Evia's wonderful books, all of which I've bought and highly recommend. You'll find them via her blog.

So basically you have women "manning up" to save and defend the race, most of the time on their own. These women are firm believers in "black love" and rather than go to places that support it, will make time to go on interracial dating sites and blogs targeted at black women (note, WOMEN and not MEN) defending the honor of all black men to the death and attempting to shame black women away from getting with "white racists".

Oh, brother.

Even though I've seen this, I feel that in some instances, "sista soldier" is not enough of a specific label for what I see, so I go with "white knighting".

The role reversal we've seen in the black community with black girls raised to anticipate the role as head of household and to be "strong" and "the bread winner" makes this approach make sense to me, because black boys today are often raised in an entirely different fashion: spoiled, coddled, and babied. In today's black community, they are a precious treasure; the "little princess" their sisters can never be.

So what has happened is this reversal means that black males are now viewed in some twisted sense as "damsels in distress": When their honor is attacked on the internet, it is not enough to let them handle their business as men, and rise to the occasion (which, as with the case of the generic scenario never really happens). No, these black women must "white knight" for them, and defend the honor of their slighted ladies.

The thing that bothers me about this isn't just the fact that if the reverse were true, I sincerely doubt we would see this same level of defense of "black love" and dark black women and victims of black male's expressing negative opinions of black women. I've long ago accepted the fact that such a thing will never happen within our racial group as this consideration will never be mutual.

What bothers me is that these women who do this "white knighting" remain unaware of the fact that no self-respecting black man would ever willingly want to think of himself as a "damsel in distress" who needs to be rescued from women, by women. That such men would call on black women to "defend their honor", or allow black women to shield them and protect them as if they were delicate helpless things is itself absolute proof of a complete departure from masculinity. And I suspect this has not gone unnoticed, so even as these persons allow black women to act as their faithful attack dogs, I'm willing to bet they hate them for it just the same.


About said...

Excellent post! Cause I just called out a troll for as a sister solider, White Knighting is a better term. Thank you!

WomenAreGamechangers said...

I read your post. I'm just a little confused to what sister soldier and white knighting are? I do agree that some people who defend black love are the ones who don't get that same support reciprocated back to them. Love transcends all bounderies if it's pure and real. As always love

Toni said...

@ womenaregamechangers

Sorry if the definitions were a little fuzzy.

"White Knighting" is an internet term that was traditionally used to describe the behavior of male posters coming to the defense of female posters who had been attacked on a blog or forum (though the attacks were usually for having said something stupid). Despite the fact that the woman being called to task may have deserved the backlash, these male posters treat her as a "damsel in distress" and defend her against other posters.

My post was basically witnessing the reverse on BWE.

As for "sister soldier", the definition is provided in the quote after the second paragraph.


I'm finding that "white knighting" seems to fit what I'm seeing a bit more than "sister soldiering" in some cases, so I agree, it's definitely more applicable at times.

Thanks for visiting!

WomenAreGamechangers said...

Oh Ok. I've never heard of the two. I don't really allow myself to get into comment wars with people who refuse to see both sides of an arguement. Anyway, I do think black women need to stand up for themselves because not often men take up for us. But I can't say I will blindly pledge my allegiance to a group of people especially if they don't treat me with the same respect and care I treat them. Interesting post.