STEREOTYPES: Black Women With Attitude (BWWA)

woman-with-attitudeThe past few weeks at work have been kind of weird for me. Aside from dealing with the ins and outs of a new position, I have also been dealing with being stereotyped by management.

Shortly after moving into the position and being introduced to my new supervisor, he basically accused me of being a typical black woman with attitude, citing that I roll my neck when I talk. Seeing as how I am one of the most laid back black women that I know, those around me will vouch for that and that’s never been a complaint I’ve received, his observation was completely inaccurate. So I addressed it with him and we moved on.

Fast forward a week or two, he overheard me talking on the phone to a client and stated that I sounded like I had an attitude. Again, a feedback I’ve never received before. When I attempted to discuss it with him, he decided to try to prove a point by calling me into his office to listen to the call. Once there, he flipped the script to a different issue he had within the phone call, which had no indication of attitude whatsoever. In an effort to clear the whole thing up once and for all, I politely said to him:

“Let’s go back to what you said first and start from there.”

As if I were a child, he says:

“No, you’re going to start where I say we’re going to start.”

By this time, I was absolutely livid on the inside, trying to figure out where all this hostility was coming from, especially since he’s one of my own. However, I remained calm, said what I had to say, let him say what he felt he needed to say and dismissed myself from the meeting.

I’ve always said the thing that bothers me the most about my race is the fact that we are the only group of people who can’t seem to work together. I often hear black men complain about the struggle of being misunderstood but I don’t think they realize just how much black women are misunderstood as well. Oftentimes by their hand, which makes matters worse.

The whole ‘BWWA’ stereotype comes up in many different conversations and I will admit, some of it has been known to be true. But what I have to say to that is, not all of us are the same. Just as we understand their plight and have to be mindful not to put all black men in the same category, so should they be mindful not to do it to us. After all, we are some of the very same women who have held them down throughout the years and refuse to give up on them regardless of what society says or past experiences have proven.

Generally speaking though, one should never go around making assumptions or offensive comments based on what they’ve heard or previously experienced. Instead, allow yourself the opportunity to get to know each individual for who they truly are and move forward from there. With that being said, it’s off to work I go.

Wish me well!

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