Dana Chanel, who has dubbed herself the Christian Entrepreneur with the launch of her app Sprinkle of Jesus, found herself leading an interesting conversation online recently.
It all started with this Instagram post.
Well…. I’ll get crucified, but as an Afro Latina I truly believe it’s a poor and degrading representation of the power of a black mans talents, who I am, my family and my kids will become. You are actors capable of being the next Denzel, the next Michael b jordan. You guys are capable of taking your talents beyond social media. This is not cool. Propaganda at its best, destroying and feminizing the black mans image. This is the “sunken” place. Lol and its disheartening so many people support and encourage them to act like females when they are saying that’s how they see “us” as women and think it’s funny.
A post shared by @ danachanel on Jan 8, 2018 at 8:14am PST
This is not an argument we haven’t heard before. Hoteps are often going on and on and ON about the “feminization of Black men.” And gay Black men and those who dress as women, though entertainers of every race often do so, are often on the front lines.
I read the post and immediately rolled my eyes. And here’s a detailed list of the reasons why.
“poor and degrading representation of the power of a black mans talents”
Yes, there are plenty of Black men imitating Black women. But that’s hardly the only representation of Black men’s talents. It’s one of many. Furthermore, it’s nothing new. Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, hell, Flip Wilson all made household names for themselves dressing as women. White male comedians like Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams have done the same and were beloved for it. Mrs. Doubtfire is a classic. The same can be said for Black actors. The characters they created not only well conceived, they were incredibly executed. In the recesses of my mind, I know Sheneneh and Mama Payne are Martin Lawrence. But when I watch them, I perceive them both as women. While it may not be Chanel’s particular taste, their performances don’t represent a poor and degrading representation of talent, it’s just talent.
“feminizing the black mans (sic) image”
I’m always wary of women who use the word feminine or feminine attributes pejoratively. As a woman why does another human being taking on characteristics of women irritate you so much? Aside from these entertainers specifically, why are Black men berated for expressing anything outside of toxic masculinity? I mean, there was a whole discussion about Black fathers not hugging or kissing their sons. Y’all, the destructive and detrimental way men have been acting for centuries, it would be helpful for them to take on some more feminine characteristics. As we’re seeing play out, more than a few men could stand to be more patient, nurturing, compassionate and empathetic.
Her real issue might be homophobia.
“they are saying that’s how they see “us” as women”
If there was a point that Dana Chanel made that I could vaguely understand, this would be it. The women these men portray are loud, often angry, physically aggressive, have attitudes etc. And while I understand that it may be frustrating to see this representation repeatedly, most of us know a Black woman who would, in the right circumstances, behave as these women. Furthermore, while the representation of Black women on television may be uneven, there is no shortage of images and experiences of diverse Black women and their interests on social media. We’re all here and accounted for.
Furthermore, while some will argue that Dana Chanel was just expressing an opinion, stating that someone’s work, their art is embarassing or detrimental to the Black community is a personal attack, especially when you include pictures of them. It’s judgmental and not the best representation of Christianity, honestly.
But those are just my thoughts. Here are what a few people, including the comedians she singled out, had to say about it.