Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Attack of the ABW...

Q: Why do many black women always seem like they are pissed off or bitter?

A: Each morning Loretta has to mind her temper. Many things can "Set it off" on the left AND the right for her. It's almost as though she served herself a bowl of Cheerios with "Vitamin B Pissed" fortified milk. Sometimes the milk is sour and you get an extra evil dose of ABW - "Angry Black Woman".

Loretta knows she's particularly cranky. "LAWD, don't let me go off on this man. He better stop talkin' to me like he ain't got no sense. I don't wanna snap his got-damn head off!," Loretta says in her internal dialogue. "His punk ass better not ask me for another got-damn thing!", she mumbles as she glares at the man behind the counter. You see folks, Loretta is angry. Not because of the shitty Cheerios, but because each day she is reminded of the things she wants to transcend. Debt, family issues, a job she might not like, or just the everyday struggle of being black in America. The women associated with this type of behavior are often those who were never taught how to have more control of their emotions and are usually suffering from deeper personal issues.

"But Dennis, what would cause a woman to go all ABW on me? I've done nothing wrong", you ask. You might not have done anything wrong. You might have been cordial as a mutha fucka - but this makes no difference to a woman in ABW mode. You say, "Good morning, Ma'am." and they look at you like you have three heads and now asking for a fourth like the greedy mofo you might be. You tell a black woman in ABW mode in any form of the word, "no" then you best be prepared. It's like they're in a constant state of PMS.

Pissed-off at Men Syndrome or PMS if you will, is the culprit of many an instance of ABW behavior. Black women are pissed off at men for a number of reasons. You have your Don Imus like folks callin' black women "nappy headed hoes". You have husbands cheating on their wives with both women AND men - D.L. doesn't just stand for driver's license, download, or down low - it also stands for dick lovin', but I've digressed. Sometimes she's a mom, single or otherwise, who is at her wits end. Maybe she's having a hard time at work. An ABW will blame the fact that she broke her nail on a man. Had she not been trying to attract a man, she wouldn't have gotten her nails done... and had she not gotten them done, she wouldn't have broken her got-damn nail!

When you think about it, ABW should just stand for Angry, Bitchy Women because all women can get quite angry, evil and hard to deal/work with. What would we call a white woman who is pissed off and not gonna take it anymore? I guess just a bitch, huh? We don't say that WHITE bitch.. we just say bitch. Well, actually, some people will say white bitch... but that's another topic.

Let's take a peek into the lives of Heather and Melissa as they have an argument. (the video is SO worth watching... it's ghetto fabulous)

"Oh My God Heather! Why do you have to be such a bitch?", Melissa shouted at her cousin.

"Because you're the biggest bitch I ever met and, and, and your boyfriend felt me up that night you were passed out in the bathroom floor. That's why I slept with him - because you're a bitch!", Heather retorted.

If you paid close attention, you see the word bitch several times without regard to race. It would be quite silly for them to call one another an Angry White Bitch. Doesn't hold as much "ooomph". Another silly thing is that they're fighting over a man - and while both may be bitchy, one is definitely a ho - sans the nappy head.

The thing that separates a black woman from her other racial counterparts is the culture in which they were raised. I know women who were raised to be very independent and direct with what they want. I also know women who always had to defend themselves verbally and physically, which lends itself to a more aggressive attitude. Just like Miss Sophia who had to "fight all her life." A lot of times these very women aren't even meaning to get "'bout it" with you - that's just the tone of their voice and how they've adapted their communication style. As the receiver of whatever question, request, or information they provide, you may interpret it based on your own experiences.

This concept of personal interpretation reminds me of some my interactions with Asian women. These aren't Asian Americans. These are interactions with Asians whose first language is NOT English (not that there's anything wrong with that). These interactions with them, be it in a restaurant or elsewhere (but typically in a restaurant because I LOVE Asian cuisine) always make me feel they have an attitude. Their body language and quickness to spurt out an answer in broken, mumbled English makes me feel as though they could not really be bothered with my dumb ass order and want me to just hurry it along so they can scoop up another spoonful of fresh, hot fried rice from a steam tray.

"What you like!?", the lady says as she holds her serving spoon in her right hand and the styrofoam (and environmentally UNFRIENDLY) container in the other, with what appears to be attitude.

I must add that it also looks like she is forcing a smile which makes me suspicious of her authenticity.

As I tell her what I want, she tries to predict my choices by preparing to scoop up the rice. She has no idea if I want white or fried rice or maybe lo mein! After she hears my choices, she hustles the food in the box. I'll give her credit, she ALWAYS tries to make sure I have equal amounts of entree but the manner in which she took my order and placed it in the box said to me, "Here you are fat mother fucker - eat all MSG and die. Just make sure you pay on way out! Would you like drink with that? Large? Soy Sauce?" as she giggles at me because I look confused. Do we have an AAW on our hands?

My friends, being angry is not something unique to black women. I think the term was coined by a white man - but it's oral history has been lost in translation and interpretation. Men and women of all races get bitchy and angry too but what name do we have for them? Asshole? Son of a bitch (which goes back to women)? Well that's not gonna cut it. Hateration also crosses into sexual orientation. Gay men will get "Rainbow Brite"on you in a heartbeat if given the opportunity and cut you with some quick sarcasm. You won't even realize they've done it until minutes (or days) later. What do we call them? Oh yeah... Gay (among another word that rhymes with maggot). However, the gay men you see doing this are typically white.

So don't believe the hype. Anger and bitchiness surrounds us. Black women don't own the exclusive rights even if they're typed cast to be an ABW (Omarosa, Coral from The Real World). The next time you're ordering food from a Japanese/Chinese/or other Asian establishment - pay close attention. I betcha you'll bear witness to an AAW.... shiiiiiiiiiiit.

Links used in this entry:

Angry Black Woman
Heather and Melissa
Miss Sophia
Rainbow Brite (pay attention to her sass in this clip - that heifer!)

Other useful links:


brittany said...

wow that was deep and I do agree that they do have deep issues but at the same time I feel that with a ABW it's soo easy for them to take out all their anger on everyone but when it comes to a black man that's treating them like issh they're all like coming back to them and are nicer to them than the people around them! which is really weird!!...

brittany said...

wow that was deep and I do agree that they do have deep issues but at the same time I feel that with a ABW it's soo easy for them to take out all their anger on everyone but when it comes to a black man that's treating them like issh they're all like coming back to them and are nicer to them than the people around them! which is really weird!!...