Essay Example on Politics of Respectability

Published: 2023-01-04
Essay Example on Politics of Respectability
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Race Women Racism Politics Discrimination
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1825 words
16 min read

Women have been marginalized throughout history with the greatest challenges experienced towards the 20th century when the revolution for equality and respect for women started. However, black people were also significantly discriminated in the white society especially the United States. Racial discrimination had a lot of challenges in society in social and economic avenues (Cohen 28). The political arena also depicted massive challenges for the discriminated people. Women faced more challenges than men due to the societal stereotypes that discriminated women based on their social responsibilities. Considering that black women belonged to two marginalized groups of people in the societies of being women and being black, they were deemed inferior. In this regard, they had to device a way of showing distinction from the black men as well as the white women. Black women in the US society in the 20th century had to demonstrate their ability to fight the social ascriptions. These women were significantly ascribed as peculiar derogatory with such images being painted significantly in the societal legacy of racism and sexism (Bay 30). In this regard, various revolutionists started their involvement in fighting for equality and fight discrimination based on sex or race. This brought about the politics of respectability especially on black women who were significantly affected by the discriminatory challenges. The politics of black women respectability involved the philosophy of promulgation especially by the black elites as they sought to uplift their racial social status. In this regard, the 20th century was marked by the politics of black respectability especially for women which had massive social, economic, and political impacts as people worked to facilitate and accommodate neoliberalism. This era was marked by the massive rising of social inequality as well as declining economic mobility for most of the Americans.

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The politics of respectability in the US were promulgated as philosophy by the black elites who sought to uplift the social status of the race. This impacted even women significantly who faced more discrimination including that of gender. In this regard, different researchers have demonstrated various opinions regarding the concept of these politics and the impact they had in society. According to Weekly (204), the politics of respectability of black women are configured in the tasks that are tasked upon women especially with the hope of seeing what happens especially when women are placed at the center of the major issues in history. In this regard, the demonstration of women to be an important figure in societal activities including politics and economic activities was an imperative aspect regarding the development of the philosophy. In this regard, women were being encouraged to take part in activities that were thought to be masculine initially including education. In this regard, Smith (3) deconstructs that the analogy of respectability is what caused an increased body of educational scholarships that aimed at women in education. According to the researcher, the issue of education is what shaped the 20th-century politics of black women respectability. This is demonstrated in the progressive era notions that brought pervasiveness even in African American politics in the US. The church also played an important role in these politics. For example, it was established that the Black Baptist Church advocated for equality and condemned the black segregation of women by terming it as promotion of cleanliness of people and property.

Smith (5) established that the politics of respectability was first used in the efforts in which black people distanced themselves from the community stereotypes and disrespect that was propagated against them. In this regard, the politics of respectability influenced the behavior of the marginalized as well as the white individuals who were deemed to be superior. In this regard, the analysis demonstrates that politics sought to influence the hegemonic standards regarding the means of being respectable. The community had propagated a notion that black people were lazy and were more concerned by the issues of immorality, violence, and intellectual inferiority (Bay 45). To deconstruct these notions, black movements had to be developed to support black people especially women in education and facilitate an equal chance to show their intellectual abilities. In this regard, respect was the most important thing that was being sought by the politics of black women respectability. The challenges witnessed by black women were also associated with various studies as a high burden of mental disease regarding the black people assimilation behaviors (Choudhary 345). In this regard, the researchers suggest that the politics of respectability should analyze the impact of such notions on mental health. During these periods of the 20th century, schools started advocating for equity regardless of race or gender. In this regard, teachers could even encourage students to mingle especially with the black middle class which would implicate a social justice for black people. Besides, encouraging women in education was important in facilitating the development of respect in society.

The politics to respectability came to counter the anti-respectability politics that had been propagated in the American society in the earlier years. In this regard, various movements were developed not only to promote respect, but also to create a platform in which the black women would participate and feel acknowledged in society. An example of such a movement is the black lives matter. It should be noted that the politics of respectability did not only sought to promote peace and cohesion, but also deconstruct the notion of equality. According to (Noltemeyer et al. 2) some people took the side of opposing any development that sought to establish racial equality in society. In this regard, the researcher pointed out that politics should not be looked at from only one single side of those who promoted equality. Others were totally opposed to the issues hence promoted the segregation that existed as they believed gender roles are different and black people cannot be equal to the white people. Therefore, the black lives matter movement was seen as a response to the killing of the unarmed black teenager in his neighborhood. Such a killing is considered to be an agenda to show the differences in the society that existed (Cohen 28). However, the movement sought to fight against such menaces. However, some scholars have argued that the development of movements like this one was one of the major reasons for the promotion of politics which led every group to react differently. The Africans raised their voice while those opposed to the agenda fought back by showing more discrimination to the black people and especially women who were more vulnerable.

Women in the world are defined by certain qualities depending on the gender-based roles and the societal values accorded to them. In places and societies like the United States, some gender qualities have been used to define respectable behavior for both men and women. Historically especially before the 20th century, the respectability of women has been defined by the specific attributes that should be followed to get certain rights as well as benefits from the society (Gray 2). These qualities included the adjective description of being simple, neat, quiet, and modest among others. However, black women were considered to lack these important qualities that their white counterparts possessed. This was a massive challenge which differentiated the politics of black women respectability from other societal politics such as the politics of LGBT respectability. In order for black women to be respected, it was demanded that they behave according to the social stereotypes of femininity while the aspect of being black was ascribed to the black failing to abide by the stereotypes that were associated with them. Obasogie and Newman (544) argue that one-way women could abide by these politics was through fashion and dressing. The dressing of a woman has a significant role in the societal perception of that person. In this regard, the dressing of black women played an important role as being indicative of the level and place of respect acknowledged to them. This would also impact their chance of admission to political and social institutions.

The politics of respectability of black women in the early 20th century demonstrated the social, economic, and political progress that the black Americans achieved through radical struggles in American society. Researchers like Gray (4) demonstrate the challenges they went through and how they respond. According to the researcher pieces of literature played a vital role in politics as it was one of the ways they could use to communicate too many masses about the abilities of black women. In this regard, the writings by black women in fiction work were not ideally fictional but an illustration of what black people especially women went through during this period. In this regard, the researcher demonstrates that the writings were perceptively about the precise infections. This argument is acknowledged by the fact that the oppressed in the society during the 20th century such as women and black people had to use the only available method of airing their social and political grievances (Richardson 20). Since black women were being accused of poor mental intellectual abilities, using the literature work was an important aspect in representing the social differences. The writers during this period, therefore, focused primarily on responding to the representation of criticism that they underwent for the black women culture in America. These women can also be noted to have taken various status and mobility to deconstruct the stereotype. In this regard, it has been demonstrated that the language used in these literary works was coded to represent the position of racial discrimination and gender social bias.

It has been established that the politics of respectability have a significant appeal across different social classes and not only the directly affected people. The research by Richardson (4) argued that the appeals to uplift the black communities especially women who faced more oppression showed a mass appeal in the communities across different social status which would later develop as an elite ideology regardless of race and gender. The use of discriminative words like "ghetto" were being refuted in the 20th-century generations since they were used to describe the poor social status of black people which led to segregated behaviors. In this regard, research has demonstrated that economic power was needed to develop the course and leverage the political power to all in society (Bay 56). However, the researcher points that the manner in which the politics of black women respectability were propagated by some people and the mainstream media was an emancipatory strategy that would neglect the discussions about the structural forces that hinder the mobility of poor black women. In this regard, even the movements of the elite in colleges and institutions of higher learning demonstrated the negligence of important issues. An example shows that the talks neglected the mention of the opportunities and lack of including the high rates of unemployment for black women. Landor and Barr (331) illustrated that the politics were only used to acknowledge and not to take measures for black women societal achievements.

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