Gender, Race, and Self-Confidence

For Harriet has a great post up by Bee Quammie about how difficult it is for Black women to express self-confidence without being perceived as egotistical, arrogant, or angry:

Nearly every Black woman I know has had an experience where she’s expressed confidence or assertiveness, and has been labeled as “egotistical,” “angry,” “vain,” or “rude.” And nearly all of those women have uttered a statement like, “…but if I was White/male, it wouldn’t have been a problem,” at some point in her story. In a patriarchal, white supremacist society, Black women are seemingly missing the very attributes that designate our worthiness to others. As such, there’s a sentiment that we’ve resigned ourselves to this doomed existence, with the intersections of race and gender converging at a weak point in the very essence of who we are. Unless we’re given a compliment or told we are worthy, the world doesn’t expect us to be able to deduce that on our own.

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