There’s a long history of Black women’s bodies being policed and a Houston-based doctor recently joined that list.
Already aboard an American Airlines plane with her 8-year-old son, Dr. Tisha Rowe was forced to deplane and cover up because they considered her colorful romper inappropriate.
But something far more insidious was at play here.
Deeming her romper inappropriate - which it wasn’t - was coded language. The REAL issue the airline had was with her Black body.
Because the world has a sick tendency to hypersexualize Black girls’ and women’s bodies.
The hypersexualization of Black women has roots in pre-colonial Africa when Europeans first set foot onto the continent. Seeing the varied body shapes, cultural dances, and minimal clothing worn, the sexualized and savage stereotype of Black women began to take shape.
This perception continued on into American slavery, where it was used to justify the rape and abuse of enslaved Black women. It continues still today.
“If I were a white woman, you would have not asked me to get off the plane.” These are the words a humiliated Rowe uttered to a flight attendant. Because her removal from the plane had nothing to do with the romper.
It had everything to do with racism, the hypersexualization of, and discrimination against Black women’s bodies.