Race & Women In Rastafari

Written by Staff Writer

In original Rastafarian doctrine, Babylon and white people were one and the same. Also, all other races were black except white people. White people were seen as the oppressors who took the Black man away from Africa. Some Rastafarians call white people pink, as they will say their pigmentation is not white. White (Pink) people were seen as evil as they have created the Babylon system and have constantly denied the rights of blacks. The denial of the Black man’s rights, slavery, the images of a White Christ and Euro-centrism associated with Christianity in the past, is one of the main contentions of Rastafarians with White (Pink) people. As the archeological evidence in recent years continue to reveal a less Euro-centric biblical times, many have taken a moderate position to White people.

Three of the 6 foundations (see link) that were set forth by one of the founding fathers of Rastafari, Leonard Percival Howell (see link), are very Afro centric and racist.

1) Hatred for the White race;
2) The superiority of the Black race;
3) Revenge on Whites for their wickedness;

There is also the writing in the Holy Piby (see link), also called the “Black Man’s Bible”, which is one of the most revered books of Rastafarians, that emphasizes the destruction of white “Babylonia” and the return of the black Israelites to Africa.

In recent years Whites have joined the sect and are judged on an individual basis and their sympathies to the Rastafarian cause. Today white (Pink) Rastafarians are acceptable but called “African at heart”. The intermingling of white & black was taboo in the original Rastafarian movement but has now become acceptable. The majority of these interracial marriages are between black Rastafarian men and white women. Be aware that that many men who may appear to be Rastafarians are not and use the Rastafarian movement to marry foreign (mainly white) women in search of overseas visas.

Roles of women
The women in Rastafari are normally referred to as Queens. Many of the Rastafarian marriages are informal (common law). Even though things are changing, originally a woman’s role in the Rastafarian sect is basically regulated to housekeeping, childrearing and to pleasing her King. A Rastafarian woman is a Queen and must keep different standards than the women in “Babylonial” society or Western culture. Some of the standards include, no make up, no dressing in short skirts and they cannot use chemicals in their hair. Many Rastafarian women cannot use any form of birth control, as it is not natural and also seen as a Euro-centric way to control the African population. Rastafarian women are expected to nurture the community but know her place. The Bobo Shanti order is the strictest when it comes to the role of women, as they adhere to the strict bible principles of the Old Testament. Abortion is also not an option for Rastafarian women as it is seen as murder as in many other world religions. Women play a very secondary role in the sect and are to stand by their King.

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  • $parkle Puss

    Isn’t it ironic that all these religions created by men “just happen to” oppress the **** out of women?

    You can’t be opposed to slavery & classism while simultaneously treating women like 2nd class citizens & relegating them to perpetual pregnancy/domestic servitude. ALL religions put women below men and only slightly above dogs in their hierarchies of power. A real man would not be afraid of his woman showing her hair, wearing makeup or leaving the house to follow her own interests. These pathetic guys want a dependent servant, not a “Queen” worthy of true respect. That’s what religion is about: maintaining control through hierarchies of power. Men control women; certain races are “God’s Chosen People” while others are mongrels. It’s mind control, plain and simple.

    I feel for women living in parts of the world where they have no say in the course of their lives. When you’re constantly pregnant or nursing a baby, you have no freedom of movement or time for yourself. Men are free to run wild and act any kind of way. “God” didn’t intend it to be that way; man did. Insecure, controlling and hypocritical men who cry about oppression while perpetuating it in their own homes in front of their sons & daughters. Shameful.