Uncle Ruckus other pearls of wisdom includes “Black women don’t want to be happy” and “A black woman’s body is the temple of doom” and finally “Black women don’t jog. That way they don’t sweat out all them industrial strength toxic avenger chemicals they use to straighten out their hair.”
Eventually Freeman meets Ebony, the perfect Black woman – and by perfect I mean a Black woman who exercises regularly, doesn’t have any children, educated yet submissive and not materialistic. She is so “perfect” that even Uncle Ruckus abandons his anti-Black women rhetoric and falls in love with her too. Finally finding his match, Freeman then proceeds to sabotage his relationship with his own insecurities. And eventually he scares the perfect Black woman away. Here we the viewers are supposed to learn just how much of fault Freeman is for his failure to have a healthy and stable relationship with a Black woman. However, what is more obvious is that Ebony has to be the “perfect” representation in order to be appreciated. This plays into the whole idea that Black women with children, that are overweight (even as 71 percent of Black men too are statistically overweight, a point that I will keep reinforcing every time a Black man mentions weight and Black women in the same sentence – even if it is a cartoon character), or have any other “flaws” are undesirable, and it plays right into the whole meme that these so-called attributes are the reason why Black women, by far and large, are undesirable or unworthy of affection.
Maybe I’m making a lot more of this than I should. I still love The Boondocks but I just can’t help but to feel uncomfortable at the apparent sexism in the show. In fact the only regularly featured “black” female character is Jazmine Dubois, the naïve, cherub faced biracial sweetheart, who constantly struggles with her multiracial identity. While her character is probably one of the better representations of women in the series, she also fits into certain favorable and agreeable personality archetype about lighter skin toned women in the Black community.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
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