I Ain’t No Queen: NWAs and The Queen-Ho Dichotomy

Disclaimer: if you don’t like the “n-word”, this rant might upset you.

Like many intellectual negroes with internet access, I did something to acknowledge Black History Month. I used my Facebook page’s cover photo slot to share names and faces. It’s something nice, simple and quick. Sadly, as I expected, some folks just had to do the complete most with the least. Niggas with Ankhs (NWAs), as they are affectionately called on the interwebs, usually act a fool but they lose whatever was left of their mind in February. I have been subjected to negroes posting random instragram memes and social media rants about how Black women don’t conduct themselves as “queens” all dang month. They typically use revisionist history to juxtapose women of the past to women of the present. In a typical NWA picture, a scantily clad Nefertiti rip-off is compared to some random screenshot of a twerk team video.

This shit right here….

In other words, this propaganda promotes a ratchet ass version of the virgin-whore dichotomy except Black men tend to put their own spin on it so I call it the queen-ho dichotomy. The queen-ho dichotomy comes in different forms. The stupid Facebook Alex H comics that are supposed to shame black women into acting in a way that NWAs deem respectable. They hide their misogynoir and benevolent sexism behind the queen label and imaginary pedestals. They praise natural hair and shame women that choose to wear their hair in a weave, relaxed or straightened. They rant against Eurocentric values but are extremely homophobic and claim queerness is European creation even though there is evidence of the opposite. They are patriarchy in a dashiki and they only believe in a one-dimensional black womanhood. NWAs are the enemy and shouldn’t be trusted.

These fools are the reason I don’t trust any dude that constantly refers to me and other black women as queens because that title tends to come with conditions that I refuse to meet. Yes, I have an afro that stretches to the sky and I dropped almost 80 bucks at a bookstore yesterday but guess what? I like to twerk, listen to Nicki Minaj and sometimes, I like to wear clothes that show off my assets. If that excludes me from queendom, I’d rather be a hoe because my black womanhood is multidimensional.

How ’bout that?



5 thoughts on “I Ain’t No Queen: NWAs and The Queen-Ho Dichotomy

  1. Jenai says:

    YES! I have been going back and forth with how I feel about being referred to as a queen. I have realized that to be a queen, there are rules you must follow…rules that are created by others and that don’t seem to allow much room for you to move around in. It’s like, in order to be a queen, you must fit into this box and stay in this box all. the. time. I don’t want to be confined. I am a black woman, a human…not some perfect character that people have created in their minds.

  2. Jontae Grace says:

    While I agree with this stance, I also believe in speaking life into one another, and elevating each other through the use of words. That’s kinda what my writing is entirely based on. So I would say that the use of these ‘titles’ without the proper action behind it, makes a person an NWA. But I’ll probably never use the word Queen again LOL. Great piece Ashleigh!

  3. Alexandria Adair Vasquez says:

    Love this, and I agree! I like that I can sit around and read bell hooks out loud with my friends and get intellectual with it, but I like shaking my booty at the club. And I don’t think that makes me any less respectable!

  4. Grown Folks' Business says:

    I agree! This whole thing drives me crazy. What’s more annoying is that it’s so hard to talk about, especially with the older generation. You did a great job articulating my frustration.

  5. Brittnay says:

    Good read! I’m happy to see someone highlighting modern issues of belittlement in the black community. I cringe (and sometimes laugh-I’m human) when I see these ignorant memes of black women and men alike because our kids are also seeing these images. They’re growing up learning to attack one another before they really get to explore each other as people and formulate their own opinions on being a black man/woman in America. Sometimes, I refer to myself as a Queen and my son as a young King. I associate the liking of the terms with African history and self respect. Other people’s vision of what a Queen is and what she should represent does not stop me from twerking, listen to trap music or getting sexy when I feel like it. I define what a Queen is, and to me she is a woman and just like all the women I know she is multidimensional.



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