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Naima Ramos-Chapman

 
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Why the "Shit Girls Say" Meme is Sexist, Racist and Should End

Posted: 1/9/12 01:21 PM ET
 

 

 

crossposted from Campus Progress


I arrived late to the new meme "Shit Girls Say," but my family members were quick to fill me in over the holidays. They showed me nearly every iteration of the original video series, hoping I would laugh wholeheartedly at the absurdity of watching men in drag speaking a nonsensical "girlish" language that irks, who else, but the men who have to put up with it.

I laughed -- but only with half my heart.

When the meme got a racialized twist with Billy Sorrell's "Shit Black Girls Say" version, I choked mid-chuckle. Both videos refer to adult women as "girls," and portray them as weak, stupid, silly, bad with technology, and helpless. And in Sorrell's version, a part about black women being stuck in abusive relationships is too disturbing given that they are more likely to be victims of domestic violence than white women.

The Internet has responded with even more -- one page of YouTube results alone show spin-offs called: "Shit Asian Girls Say," "Shit Drunk Girls Say," "Shit Single Girls Say," "Shit Gay Girls Say," "Shit Black Guys Say," and "Shit Girls Say to Lesbians," to name a few.

Just when I was ready to begin ignoring the viral Internet video jokes, I came across the latest spin-off: "What White Girls Say ... to Black Girls."

In Franchesca Ramsey's version, she dons a blonde wig and ticks off a barrage of seemingly innocuous comments that, she claims, white women say regularly to black women -- comments that people on the receiving end of them know to be racist.

In a Huffington Post column, Ramsey explains her personal experience dealing with the very real and complicated racial tensions women of color face when dealing with social grace:

After I entered high school, the teasing subsided and my circle of friends grew to include girls from all walks of life; but I always seemed to fall in with the white girls from upper middle class families. I quickly became the "token black girl" in my group, which came with a whole host of awkward questions and first experiences for my peers. Unfortunately, the awkward questions and comments didn't stop after I graduated from high school. Throughout college and even today, in corporate America, I find myself fielding inappropriate questions and swatting hands away from my waist length dreadlocks.

Over the years I've found that dealing with white people faux pas can be tricky. If I get upset, I could quickly be labeled the "angry black girl." But if I don't say anything or react too passively, I risk giving friends and acquaintances permission to continue crossing the line. So I decided to create my own parody, "Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls," to make all people laugh while, hopefully, opening some eyes and encouraging some of my white friends and acquaintances to think twice before they treat their black friends and associates like petting zoo animals or expect us to be spokespeople for the entire race.

 

(Ramsey creates other parodies, too, like this great "Student Loan Countdown," a cover of Beyonce's latest hit.)

Hopefully this "shit [adjective] girls say" buzz has now run the gamut and this is the final harvest of a meme initially, and continually, seeded with sexist ridicule.

 
 
 

Follow Naima Ramos-Chapman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@naimaramchap




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

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