All over Black social media there are discussions, memes and debates that reinforce the idea that black woman can only exist on opposite sides of the respectability continuum. A black woman can either be a hoe or a housewife, a thot or a lady, ratchet or classy, a bitch or a queen.
Black women are pushing back against this narrative with the #icanbeboth campaign.
The hashtag was actually conceived a year and a half ago by Tumblr user BrownGirlBlues.
But it’s picked up steam recently, as black women are becoming increasingly vocal about casual sexism and misogyny within black culture.
Check out some of the images from the #icanbeboth campaign.
@jawnthebaptist For#NationalWomensDay, I’m joining the#ICanBeBoth bandwagon.
People love to police Black women’s bodies, our minds, our behaviors. People tell us that our autonomy is a sin, that we can’t be sexual, ratchet, hood and educated and valuable all in one. We can either be queens or hoes, never both.
Oh but bitch. I stand before you.
A queen, a ho, a college graduate, a fried chicken lover, an educator, a twerker, a poet, a potty mouth.
I can be both and it’ll STILL be above your pay grade to say a damn thing about it. I will twerk with “Still I Rise” playing in the background.
And you don’t know naan ho.
@naturallykinky_pt **Don’t Judge Me For What I Do.…..I Can Be Both** #icanbeboth#mommylife #mommydaughter #graduate #intelligent #wife #wifelife #poleaddiction#polelover #blackgirlspole #dowhatyouwantwhenyoupoppin #imdifferent #naturallykinkypt#getyouanatural
@evamystique I can be a marketing and events specialist for one of the most frequented restaurants/venues in DC and also be a sultry burlesque artist who embraces her sexuality.#ICanBeBoth #blackgirlmagic
@left_handed_gemini Sometimes I might get be in the mood to #ShutShitDown with my people or speak on state sanctioned violence and how f’d up this system is. Other times, I might twerk the night away with my girls and/or walk around around showing off this glorious skin with no cares in the world. There is no box to fit me in.
@kandykinz Happy International Women’s Day! ? There’s a misconception that women are either laid back, professionals… Or vibrant party going females. Society forces us to choose. I wear baggy scrubs and crocs at work to stick veins… but I can wear skin tight, open back dresses and heels and go party while still being the same ME.#happyinternationalwomensday #icanbeboth
@kali_neko “I can work in corporate America for a multi-million dollar RPO, and I can be a novice seductress/exhibitionist with a penchant for geekdom in tune with her body and expression.
Some women pointed out #icanbeboth is itself limiting because women are not binary.
— Kayla Reed (@iKaylaReed) March 11, 2016
So true. But salute to these women for kicking off a much needed dialogue.