Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ratchet Begone!

Let's start with a definition from the all knowing Urban Dictionary: 
Ratchet: A diva, mostly from urban cities and ghettos, that has reason to believe she is every mans eye candy. Unfortunately, she's wrong.
Although you may have only heard about the term ratchet (or at least the meaning I'm about to talk about in this post) in recent times it appears to be just a new word for a concept that has been around for a long time. Essentially what are talking about is sometimes referred to as a "hood rat" or "ghetto". It's been bad enough that this stereotype has haunted black women (and hispanic women to a degree as well) for so long but now it seems rather than being dealt with it's gone to a whole new level.

Have you ever watched "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"? Like so many other reality shows it is basically a "day in the life" type of show in which the housewives are filmed doing the things that they do. Charity events, carrying out business opportunities, spending time with family, and....acting a damn fool.

Seriously I've seen a few episodes of this show and just like nearly every other show its the drama that gets most of the attention on the show. From two of them (I forget their names honestly) arguing over who came up with the idea for an exercise video to one trying to force a man into marrying her. Stuff is just out of control and as a result things like the charity fashion show that a few of them got together and threw was forgotten as soon as it was over.

Yeah that's not cool and Michaela Angela Davis thinks something needs to be done about it.

Recognizing how this Ratchet Culture is affecting black women she is starting to push back against it with her Bury the Ratchet Campaign. Aimed at counteracting the normalization of fighting and getting into trouble as hallmarks of being a black woman, Davis plans to get a conversation going about the damage that is being done.

Also she will making it a point to call out the various forms of black media (blogs, radio shows, and magazines, etc.) who are not just not decrying this behavior but are actually embracing it.

I have to say she has a point. The image of the "ghetto queen" has been a specter that has long loomed over black women (like the "thug" image has loomed over black men). Yes there are black people that actually live up to those images but we are facing a problem now where other people have not only come to think of this ratchet as a true representation of black women but have managed to figure out a way to make money off of it.

And actually getting women to act out the stereotypes on camera!!!!

I haven't found a solid date for when she will kick this campaign off but when I find it I'll share it.