Poet/Filmaker/Activist Cecile Emeke tackles misogyny and racism in her poem, “Fake Deep.” The poem criticizes men’s treatment of black women in relationships, focusing on the deceptively innocuous forms of micro-aggressions men commit in a patriarchal and White society.
“He’s the kind of guy that’ll Instagram a picture of a lion or some other African mammal, hashtag: ‘every lion needs his lioness.’ Meanwhile, he’s left a smoking hot trail of manipulated, exploited, and broken women with no address because females are disposable during your never-ending period of immaturity.”
The poem voices the concerns of black women that are far too often ignored in our society. It’s a valuable poem for everyone, especially black women that can benefit from being made aware of some of the micro-aggressions they may be experiencing in their relationships.
“It’s all a guise you see–sophisticated and subtle oppressors–playfully dehumanizing micro aggressors–masquerading comrades kindly providing everyday stressors–obscured yet incessantly mundane nerve pressers.”
By simply being human, we have our own assumptions and preconceived notions on people making it easy for us to close our minds and dismiss the life experiences of other sexes and races. White men have the most representation and power of all in our society. They are the most privileged group. The poem serves as a ‘sit down and listen’ wake-up call–a reminder that their own life experience no matter how positive or negative it is, cannot be compared to the life experiences of members of groups that are in the lower rungs of hierarchy in American society. The obstacles facing each of these groups are completely different. Therefore, as the most powerful group, it is important that white men don’t act or speak on matters where their eligibility is due. It’s best to actively listen and understand, the best that they can, what others have to say on issues regarding sex and race. This advice goes for everyone really, however it’s apparent one of the main target audiences of Cecile Emeke’s poem are white men.
“I collect male and white tears mixed with some orange juice and drink them for breakfast.”
None fall victim to misogyny and racism more than black women in the United States. They have the least amount of representation and power. There’s few opportunities for them to voice their thoughts and experiences which leads to a society which doesn’t fully consider them to be human beings with feelings and intellect. This leaves them vulnerable for physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive relationships, an inferiority complex, and a negative self-perception.
“What abuse will I suffer in a male-dominated world if I do A, B, or C? And don’t forget that melanin, so I definitely can’t do X, Y, or Z.”
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