Bridget Jones is having a baby! YASSSS.
So many of you will know of the Bridget Jones films. White ,middle class woman,relationship problems – typical hollywood stuff. Now, there is a new film out in the saga. The story – in a sentence, is that she is pregnant but doesn’t know who her baby daddy is.
Stress ina my left breast right? Wrong.
This tale is different to many similar like it because Bridget Jones is a white woman.
Narratives surrounding absent fatherhood and single motherhood are narratives that have often been associated with black women by white supremacist,patriarchal mass media. Discourse surrounding black single mothers are often perpetuated by conservative agendas to convey black women as being pathologically inferior to that of the dominant white race. Similarly, political new right propaganda have attempted to place blame on this same group for high rates of crime in black communities. These narratives have been so pertinent within recent history they have largely shaped perceptions of black women so much so that racialized sexist policy has been the result, the examples of this are endless.
In 1962 Civil Rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer went to the doctors to have a tumor removed from her stomach. When she left the operating table she was later to find out that the doctor has removed her uterus instead. Similarly,the controversial depo-provera contraceptive pill was distributed in the masses to African American women in poor communities which left many of the forever infertile. Actions such as these and many similar stem from narratives surrounding black inferiority and have historically and continue to prove extremely damaging.
The physical damage caused to black women as a result of such discourses is one end of the conversation,however it is too important to consider the impact such narratives have on the psyche of black women in terms of their portrayal in mass media and the roles that they are seen as fit to play and the stories bestowed onto them.These narratives are used to stigmatise,demonise and disenfranchise black women.
Clearly we see that the effects of narratives are powerful.
All this said we must then ask the question: Why is it when a white women is associated with this all too familiar narrative it is glorified?
Let’s juxtapose for a minute here.
There are many layers to the discourse of the single black women. Largely associated with the concept is the notion of black single motherhood is the idea of the ‘strong,independent,black woman’ who ‘don’t need no man’. Such discourse has often been used as a mechanism to de-feminise black women. Bridget Jones on the other hand, a white woman beginning to adopt a similar narrative is still upheld as the epitome of
femininity,love and romance. Happy and romanced is Bridget Jones, vilified and demonised is the black woman.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Narratives are powerful. Please critique them, always.
‘We have to constantly critique imperialist white supremacist patriarchal culture because it is normalized by mass media and rendered unproblematic’ – bell hooks