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Tweets Is Watchin’: ‘thingsblackgirlsdo’ Edition

by Starrene Rhett Posted Nov 10th 2010 2:40PM

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The mother of all potentially offensive Twitter trending topics is number one for the time being. We’re talking about “#thingsblackgirlsdo” a subject that’s unleashed wanton ignorance in the black Twitter-verse and inspired countless other users to attempt stem the tide of stupidity. Starrene “GangStarr Girl” Rhett give us her take on the controversy.

I’m no Mo’Nique but I thought jokes that played off of extreme cultural stereotypes were supposed to be well-informed and funny. However, based on one of the latest trending topics on Twitter, I was wrong.

I clicked on #thingsblackgirlsdo, expecting to be extremely insulted since black women are typically de mules uh de world–in the words of Zora Neale Hurston– and it’s common for us to be viewed negatively and more harshly scrutinized than our white, Asian, or Latina counterparts. Instead of simply feeling insulted, I found my self disheartened by a trending topic that encourages people to Tweet about the stereotypical idiosyncrasies of women like me.

In situations like this, I expect to laugh a little because I see myself in some of the jokes but this wasn’t the case. Sadly, several of the tweets are just inane, ignorant misconceptions and ironically most of the worst offenders are–judging by their avatars–black.

I hope, based on tweets like @Ruude_Rellie‘s, “have 3 kids by the age of 21” and @CharlesGriffin3‘s “I blame Tyler Perry for making you broads all sensitive about this #thingsblackgirlsdo,” that a lot of these people are under 18 because then there’s still hope that they’ll grow up and acquire better perspectives.

Surprisingly, despite extreme negatives like @4Recognition’s, “pay $800 for a Lace Wig but there Kids goin to School bare foot” (wrong usage of “there,” by the way), and @KillahCam062’s “Gold dig and wanna argue all da time!!” most of the tweets were trite like @EricSmithCMG’s, “Take forever just to put on some jeans” and @gorillaBeef’s “disrespect good guys.”

@CanOnlyBeNini was smart enough to observe this and added, “Many of the #thingsblackgirlsdo TT can be applied to all races…so #getreal.” I agree. However, I saw a few tweets like @220992_SBU’s “braid someone’s head the whole day,” and @MaChiaFahRia’s “spend a whole day getting their hair done in the salon,” which takes me back to my point about cultural stereotypes being well informed and funny. While it’s not fair to generalize, one thing we know about black women culturally is that no matter what, we are into our hair whether natural or permed, and maintaining it is a process.

There could have been more jokes along the lines of wearing headscarves to bed or even about not going to the gym out of fear of sweating out our new do’s, which would have made #thingsblackgirlsdo a little more bearable. Based on other asinine trending topics like last December’s #ifSantaWereBlack and July’s #ghettobabynames it’s obvious that Black people have major influence on twitter (refer to Slate.com’s August article, “How Black People Use Twitter“). But my question is: Why aren’t we using it for more positive or informative purposes? If my theory on most of those said hashtag offenders being under 18 is correct, then what do those of us who are over 21 need to do to make sure that we do better on Twitter? And for individuals over 21 participating in absurd hashtags with misguided tweets, my heart goes out to you because you will most likely never know better.

Bottom line, hashtags can be fun but e-stupidity in general is not cool. FollowersFriends don’t let friends tweet foolishness.

Starrene “GangStarr Girl” Rhett is the creator of the award-winning blog GangStarrGirl.com, where she muses about pop-culture, lifestyles and women in hip-hop — but with an edgier less vapid voice than most women’s Websites. Her goal is to find a happy medium between entertainment and education. When she’s not ranting on Twitter or pretending to be a shotgun-toting B-movie heroine, she’s probably writing for other outlets like VIBE magazine, BET.com, Juicy magazine, XXL magazine and here on TheBVX.

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