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Fanon's 'Black Skins, White Masks' - Book Report/Review Example

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Fanon's 'Black Skins, White Masks'

The catastrophe of slavery and subsequent racial discrimination perpetuates a disease with many victims with black women bearing the brunt of mass brutalization and terrorization.
The complexity of the relationship is as follows: Seeing the black woman soiled and ravaged by the white man, the black man in turn wants to sleep with white women not only for retribution but also for the desire to attain what he sees as the inferiority of the black woman. This in turn forces the black woman to adoring those who don't really much care for them, giving every last bit of themselves to men who come with nothing more than slight interest - the white man.
The history and circumstance that has soiled the Black woman's image continues to direct the Black man's mind away from that desperate sight toward that which he has longed to be recognized. Where does this low regard for black women by black men come from Most of black women have their fist job experience as 'dancers' which further decreases her desirability. Interest, respect and concern are halted at her loins. He finds it hard to connect with the Black woman, outside of sensation, since she serves as the symbol of his failure. By giving birth to him she represents the synthesis of his circumstance, the precious gift of life once cherished now become a curse, her womb a graveyard as life became death. Furthermore, many white women rationalize their jealousy of the sexual relations between their men and black women by calling them "dark temptresses" that "seduce" white men - a notion that overlaps into the mind of the Black male.
Down through the ages the more the Black woman was soiled, the more the white woman was deified. Consequently, Black women spend much of their lives vainly fighting for acceptance. Black women embark on an epic search for something that cannot be found, while the Black male and many others benefit from all she has to give. Too often she becomes part of a half-ass relationship that caters only to the whims of her 'man." In the end, as Ken Singleton in "Broken Silence" observes, many Black women "tolerate poor treatment hoping that if they hold out long enough, the negative behavior will stop... Women feel unworthy of love and stay in abusive situations trying (desperately) to make themselves more appealing..."

Simone de Bauvoir
De Beauvoir's Second Sex takes on the paradigm of existentialist philosophy with the discussion of the dichotomy between Self/Subject and the other. He defines the Self as masculine while the Other as feminine and thus starts the discussion of the female as secondary only to males in both concrete activity and subjective consciousness. The Other is not an equal complement to the Self/Subject, but rather serves as a projection of everything the Self/Subject rejects: immanence, passivity, voicelessness. (De Beauvoir, 1993).
In the gender dichotomy that De Beauvoir has proposed, womanhood becomes defined in their relation to men. The sexual relation seems to be perceived as the most important role in this relation. Thus women are seen as primarily sexual.
Any group defines itself in part by those who are other. There are always those outside a group. Normally, however, members of a group are themselves others: those they make others make the group others in turn. Determining Self and Other is usually a reciprocal relationship. Self to one is Other to the Others. One can usually discover ...Show more


In his important work, Black Skins, White Masks, Fanon (1993) refers primarily to the white male colonizer and the black oppressed male. There is little analysis of neither the plight of the black woman in the society nor the impact of oppression on the white men and women who perpetuate it…
Author : vpowlowski
Fanons Black Skins, White Masks essay example
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