The Problem With The Word “Sophistiratchet”

October 12, 2017  |  
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Remember being the Black kid who happened to like a song created by a White person and scrambling to explain your love for that song as the exception and not the rule? Because God forbid you like something White and the entirety of your Blackness be questioned. That’s kind of how I feel when Black women call themselves sophistiratchet.

There is this desire to be known as classy and generally acceptable in society, to distance yourself from the “thots,” “hoes” and “low-class” women of the world. But you can’t deny that you enjoy some of the fruits of that life, of that culture. So what do you do to let the world know that you’ve graduated from college and read books but also, on occasion, wear bodycon dresses and do a struggle twerk to songs containing misogynistic lyrics? Call yourself a sophistiratchet.

But really, when you think about it the term isn’t exactly helping anyone. While it may seem like a unification of upper, middle and lower classes, it’s still a way to “other” ourselves from those that society–including people in our own communities–deems unacceptable.

Good question. I would argue that men are allowed to be multidimensional human beings in ways that women, especially Black women are not in society. We’re still fighting to get out of boxes.

I don’t agree with the tweet, but in light of recent comments, I understand the sentiment.

Still, there’s nothing wrong in offering a bit of sympathy to women who have tried to describe our complexity…even if catchphrases didn’t exactly capture it.


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