With September in full swing, school season once again graces everyone in America. The summer, much like that family in the South that visited when you were young, will be a jubilant spirit that vows to hug you next year. Gone are those vacations and school is in session.
School Spirit arriving on time in 2016 brought us an Atlanta Georgia-based educator named Patrice Brown. At the expense of possibly sounding like a fool, just know that Patrice Brown is fine as a muv.
Wearing Brown a form-fitting carnation pink knee length dress, Patrice Brown quickly became known as #TeacherBae, and as she broke the internet we all got to see the timeless American tradition of policing black women’s bodies take place.
The first thing that happened was stark criticism on how Patrice Brown was dressed. People wanted to suggest that a teacher shouldn’t be dressed as she appeared in her carnation pink dress. Others wanted to play in the hands of rape culture and suggest that she would cause a stir among horny children. While I feverishly want to demolish anyone who engages in victim-blaming concerning anything looking like rape, I want to bring attention to the real thing that people had a problem with — her body. Her beautiful, black body.
You want the Truth? (You Can’t Handle…)
The truth is this — had Patrice Brown looked like a dog-faced, no-ass having Renee Zellweger in a body formed dress we seriously would not be having this conversation. At all. Seriously. If Ms. Brown looked like a bowl of ligament soup there would be no concern over what she was wearing. So the truth is how America has a problem with a black woman looking good. The truth is how we as a people cannot stand it when a black woman brings her slay-mode. And that my friends is pathetic, and painfully devoid of common sense.
So why attack a woman over her gorgeous body? Something she doesn’t have control of? What is she supposed to do? Chop her chest and posterior off? Just to freakin’ teach in a school!?
The Oppression of Black Women
One of the things about how black women exist in America is the constant disdain of their presence. If a black woman isn’t breaking her neck over a white man (I’m looking at you, Olivia Pope, Scandal) there is a general disdain for her presence. If a black woman wants to be a pillar in the black community, support her own and love black men unreservedly… she will be anathematized as the rest of the black community. For some strange reason, Patrice doesn’t register as a professional educator in the eyes of the public. It’s almost like had she looked like a drug addict, that would be acceptable, but if she looked like a professional (as she already does) the system of society rejects that image like a bad blood transfusion.
It’s almost like black women aren’t allowed to win.
“I just wish they would respect me and focus on the positive and what truly matters–which is educating the children of the future generations and providing and caring for them.” ~Patrice Brown
It’s a shame how America is more focused on what she’s wearing versus how effective as an educator she is. Out of all the criticism she gets, no one ever thought asking the question, “Is she good at her job?” The fact that no one asked that, and everyone assumed that her wear and appearance is attached to her skill as an educator, and then from there acted like she’s a horrible person is painful to witness, and can be traumatizing depending on who you are.
Cut black women some slack folks
When it comes to those who want to criticize #TeacherBae, one should keep in mind that the children in that elementary school often goes home to a household that has females present, who may dress in any range of the modesty spectrum. Other things to consider is the fact that these teachers and educators are people too; often young in their twenties spending the prime of their lives with your children. One should not expect every single teacher to be a white haired fluffball in grandma sweaters. When you realize the reality of how teachers are, one should realize that teachers don’t look (or sound) like Marge Simpson. These teachers are often young professionals in the prime of their lives doing a thankless job that politicians on all levels seem to hate.
So let’s cut her some slack. Let’s cut black women some slack.