So yesterday, I was sitting here, minding my own business, not knowing that I would soon be incredibly pissed off!
I should start at the beginning. I went searching online for some hair advice and stumbled up one of those ‘list’ websites with articles like “Things you didn’t know about bananas” or “Celebrities who are right handed” and other brain-clogging information. I wasn’t looking for trouble at all. I clicked on this article which lists the reasons why Black women don’t date White men and the more I read the more annoyed I got.
I always get disproportionately angry when there’s anything about ‘Black women’ as if the only Black women in the world are the ones that live in the US with their specific set of problems. What about Caribbean women, African women and others in the diaspora? Black women in America have their issues and life has not always been easy for them, but I just don’t like it when they speak for all of us happy Black women in the rest of the world.
What I’m about to say is based on the article I read. If you’d like, please read that article. You may have a completely different take on it and we can hash it out….or don’t read it and just read my reply to it in isolation.
In the Mind Maze, you are free to do whatever you want!
The writer opens with saying, “I recently did a survey on a group of Black women regarding their reasons for not dating men who are not of color.” By show of hands, how many of you think that she just asked her girlfriends if they’d ever date a guy who’s not Black one night over a bottle of wine a la Waiting to Exhale?
From the outset, the survey doesn’t seem scientific nor does it seem to cover a wide range of Black women. Articles based on real surveys would say, “I interviewed 100 women between the ages of X and Y and asked them these specific questions.” Now the fact that she did not outline this doesn’t mean she didn’t run a legitimate survey, but if she did, wouldn’t she have said so?
When I began reading, I decided to assume that it WAS a diverse range of Black women and she presumably asked someone like me. I didn’t want to be hasty. I wanted to hear her out.
Let’s look at the reasons presented why Black women don’t date White men. *takes a deep, cleansing breath*
1. Body image
Apparently White men won’t like our bodies. So every Black man likes every Black woman’s body? According to the writer, “Thinner is usually all around better within the White community. This is naturally engrained in both African American and Caucasian people’s subconscious.” Oh really? Can you prove that?
I don’t get it. Black women tend to have curvy bodies – hips, butt, big thighs – but not all of us do. We don’t all look the same. Haven’t we been insisting on that for forever?! What about the non-curvy, thin Black women? Can’t the White men like those?
Oh and here is where we find out that it was 6 Black women between the ages of 25-40 that were surveyed. I wasn’t one of them. I would have wrecked her survey AND probably her article. Without her article though, I wouldn’t have mine, so it’s all good! (You know I’m the eternal optimist!)
Okay, so this one may have a tinge of truth to it. Having said I, personally, laugh at hair ambiguities. I very casually explained to a curious White man last weekend the difference between a weave and a wig. No biggie!
Most guys are clueless about hair anyway. Even I don’t know the difference between lowlights and highlights! Also, the comment “A white man on the other hand is used to naturally unenhanced straight hair that he gets to run his fingers through.” Hmmmm….really? White men don’t date curly hair women or women with hairsprayed hair or women with short hair? Who are these White men? Do ALL White men have a need to run their fingers through their women’s hair? Is it a genetic thing? Can I get a consensus from 6 White men please to speak on behalf of White men everywhere?
Yes, Black hair is not a simple thing to explain because, yes, it is different from Caucasian hair or Asian hair. It’s not always straightforward, but it can be easily explained and understood. As with anything else, either he can accept it and can experience the pleasure of dating you or he can bounce! He decides that, not the kind of hair you have. It’s ridiculous that I even have to clarify that!
[Okay, after I read #3, I had to walk away from the computer, get a glass of water, then come back to read #4.]
So apparently successful White men will only want to date “a woman who is as successful or at least in the same class as himself” and “Because the Black community doesn’t have as many advantages this leaves desirable Black women to a minimum.” (She’s not serious, is she?)
I guess in the writer’s reality, gold diggers and sugar Mamas don’t exist. Every relationship is ALWAYS equal. Oh, I see.
There is so much more I can say on this, but I think her comments themselves speak volumes.
4. They are never approached by White men
What if these 6 women live in one of those infamous predominantly Black neighbourhoods we see on TV where there are no White people….ever, then I guess it makes sense that White men don’t approach them since there ARE no White men around. If she would have asked me, I would be lamenting that I never even see any Black men, let alone get approached by one and even less likely to be approached by an eligible one!
(Hmmm…..yes, I do think it’s better that I wasn’t in the survey. It might throw the whole thing off.)
She also brings up here the fact that “the majority of Black men nowadays marry outside their race.” My question is, if the Black men are out dating all the non-Black women (according to the survey), wouldn’t it stand to reason that the odds of being approached by a White man will increase since we’re the only ones left to date?
5. Just not attracted to White men
“Four out of the 6 women said they were simply not attracted to White men” so there you have it. Most of the article is “Why White men don’t want Black women” only to close off the article saying, “Well, Black Women (well, 4 out of the 6) didn’t actually want White men in the first place.” So if you don’t want them, why are you going on and on about them not wanting you?
Apparently White men lack ‘confidence (swag) and sex appeal’. If the writer thinks that if Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling were to show up at my front door (clothes on OR off!!), I’d close the door talking about no sex appeal, she is sadly mistaken! (I’m sweating just thinking about if that were to happen!)
There are a lot of Black men who lack sex appeal. I have two words to say to that: Flava Flav…..and he seemed to like Black women just fine!
The closing paragraph goes on about how love should be colour blind and we shouldn’t turn down chances and be happy and if a White man comes into your life, you should snatch him up.
Having said all of that, her last words were: “Let’s not ever allow stereotypes and judgements determine who we can fall in love with.”
Hey, you started it!