Are You Suffering from Angry Black Woman Syndrome?

December 22, 2010  |  

Months ago, I was having dinner and conversation with a few male and female friends and acquaintances. We were discussing relationships and issues among black men and black women. And while the conversation was initially relatively low key, one of my guy friends decided that it would be a great idea to put on what he described as “ a really good movie.” The movie was “Diary of a Tired Black man.” And within the span of a few minutes and few scenes of the movie, he turned our discussion on relationships into an outright battle of the sexes.

Before watching the movie, I had never heard of the term “Angry Black Woman Syndrome (ABSW).” It’s definitely not an official clinical diagnosis or something I learned in medical school. But despite the movie’s negative depiction of black women in relationships, in my opinion, ABWS goes beyond just the dynamic between black women and black men. In fact, after watching the movie, doing a little research, and observing the attitudes/behavior of some black women, it seems to me that the term ABWS is just a more long-winded way of describing a black woman as a word that starts with the letter “b” and rhymes with the word “itch.’

That being stated, I’d like to address the term ‘Angry Black Woman Syndrome’  because it is something that ignites strong feelings among black women.  And while I do believe that the the movie “Diary of an Angry Black Man” is a bit overly dramatic, I do believe it highlights issues within a subset of black women. There are black women out there that need to seriously check themselves- particularly black women who think it’s cute to be bitter, argumentative, man-hating, and generally angry females. She’s that woman who frowns or rolls her eyes when smiled at,  brands all men as being “dogs” and “no good,” and she’s the woman that thinks it’s necessary to curse out a chick if she bumps into her at the store even after she’s received a sincere apology.

It’s unfortunate when black women have attitudes and behaviors like I described above, because it’s this type of female that sometimes gets acknowledged as the PR representative for all black women. But at the end of the day, the vast majority of black females don’t suffer from ABWS. I know I don’t- and my girlfriends surely don’t. And for every black woman out there that feeds into the stereotype of being bitter and antagonist, they are still outnumbered by black women who are smart, classy, and engaging. Truth be told, when I saw “Diary of a Tired Black Man” I laughed for many reasons. And at the end of the day I believe ABWS should be replaced with the term “Angry Woman Syndrome (AWS)” – because Lord knows (and men of all races can attest) that angry women come in all colors.

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