How the Modern Day Black Woman Has Dissociated from Tradition

As women’s rights movements have progressed over time, women have received partial autonomy over their bodies and lives. Unfortunately, in the black community, this autonomy is typically not obtained without sacrifice; without being willing to lose familial connections and potentially let down a God that the family has served for centuries. It is because of this new found autonomy that the modern day black woman has different values than the traditional. Her ideals now focus on her individual wants and desires rather than those that seem to be very misogynistic in nature. Research has shown that women refer to this new set of ideals and characteristics as “alpha female” energy. In general, the term alpha female was taken from the animal kingdom and bestowed upon women exhibiting specific characteristics that go against those that a traditional woman embodies. In nature, the female alpha is known for her leadership abilities, so modern day women have applied this term to themselves in an effort to eradicate the traditional association of being a follower/servant of the household.

An alpha female is defined as a woman who “has a confidence that is contagious, which leads others to respect her as an equal, has extremely high ambitions, and believes her ability to achieve is limitless” [1]. Modern day women, especially Gen Z, have fully adopted this term and its corresponding characteristics into their everyday lives. For example, role reversal - which is defined as “a situation in which someone adopts a role the reverse of that which they normally assume in relation to someone else, who typically assumes their role in exchange” - among young women and men is more popular within certain communities than it has ever been. Unfortunately though, the black community is not one that has taken kindly to this new wave of women empowerment. Both men and women who follow tradition in the black community look down on those who are more liberal in their acceptance and approach to role reversal. These men and women believe in what has previously been discussed: men working outside the home and women working in it. The possibility of these roles being reversed often leaves a sour taste in their mouths despite the fact that role reversal can be as innocent as the woman paying to take the man out or her being the family’s main [or sole] breadwinner; in conjunction with the man who stays at home with the kids full time and does not work.

Role reversal comes in not-so-innocent forms as well such as the relatively recent popularization of the female dominant. Typically, men reigned as the sexually dominant partner, but this standard is quickly changing. This is why it is important to discuss role reversal's specific linkages to the sexual liberation of women. There are a variety of reasons why older generations are somewhat reluctant to entertain such thoughts, but the main reason within the black community is one-sided abstinence-only education. This stigma leads to generations of women that know nothing about their own bodies or their sexual turn-ons and offs. With pre-marital sex being so frowned upon within the community, women, specifically those termed alpha females, have begun to exercise role reversal in the bedroom which has resulted in the [relative] normalization of sex before marriage as well as women being more dominant behind closed doors. It is because of this that women have started to take pride in having multiple sexual partners and being open to sexual exploration. Which poses as a great introduction to subsections of the exhibit that follow.


[1] About Science of People Our mission is to help you achieve your social and professional goals faster using science-backed, About Science of People, Our mission is to help you achieve your social and professional goals faster using science-backed, RandomReader, Frank, Ln, April, et al. “The Alpha Female: 9 Ways You Can Tell Who Is an Alpha Woman.” Science of People, October 25, 2021. 

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