Dating And The Plight Of The Black Woman – Part I

dating-plight-black woman-love

When dating, the plight of the black woman is like no other. This isn’t intended to diminish the challenges and obstacles of any other race of woman. This is also not written to attack the opposite sex.  It’s written to bring awareness, understanding and empathy for a culture of women that has to overcome not only the unfavorable stigma attached to their pigment and the texture of their hair, but also, the negative character portrayal and barrage of stereotypical images of black women in the dating world.

Stereotypes of the Black Woman

To name a few:

  • The black woman doesn’t care about her body.
  • She doesn’t like her own hair.
  • They do not listen to their man.
  • The black woman is not marriage material
  • Black women have bad attitudes
  • Black women have negative attitudes
  • They don’t get along with other women
  • Black women hate white women
  • The women are gold diggers
  • She is always angry
  • Black women are ghetto and ratchet
  • She talks too much
  • Black women are bitter and heart-broken
  • They are lazy baby-makers
  • Black women can’t keep a man

Of course, none of these insidious and damaging characterizations of black women are true.  However, it is important for you to realize how these stereotypes (or any stereotype) impact the dating landscape and the overall psyche of a black woman.

Origins

Black Woman-Dating-Thinking-Plight

Based on a study conducted in the winter of 1999 by Laura Green of Virginia Commonwealth University. Sambo, Jim Crow, The Savage, The Mammy, Aunt Jemima, Sapphire and Jezebel are major causalities that result in stereotypes centered around black people and black women.  In addition, the stereotypes of black women go as far back as slavery days and have stalked black people like a specter and/or evolved into modern-day thought.

Negative Polls About Black Women

Black women are beauty personified. However, black women have been degraded since slavery. Even so, by their own men.  In video poll conducted by Buzz Feed researchers, called, “Do You Have A Racial Preference…” 2.4 million heterosexual interactions from the app, “Are You Interested.,” were used to determine preference. Users were classified by their gender and race.

The study revealed:

  • Black women are the least desirable among all women.
  • Black men responded mostly to women of other races, even though black women were 3 times more likely to respond.
  • Black women are the least replied-to group.
  • Black women are also the most likely to respond when compared against other races of women.
  • Black women respond 25% more than other women.
  • A similar survey by OkCupid revealed that black women were the least replied-to group.
  • 1 out of 2.9 men respond to black women

 

More on that OkCupid survey

Back in 2009, the basics of race and attraction looked like this:

men
—non-black men applied a penalty to black women
—while black men showed little racial preference either way

women
—all women preferred men of their own race
—but they otherwise penalized both Asian and black men

Here’s how the exact person-to-person statistics look: Focus on the Black men rating and then look at the Black women rating.
I gather a few things from these numbers.

  • Black men are willing to seek love outside their own race willingly.
  • Black women are not as willing to do so.
  • Black men rate black women least desirable at -3%
  • Black women rate black men, “most” desirable at 16%
Dating-statistics-Black women
Photo Credit: OK Cupid

 

Some things never change…

  • Black men are still willing to seek love outside their own race willingly.
  • Black women are less likely to do so than they were in 2009
  • Black men rate black women least desirable at 1%. Which is a slight jump from 2009
  • Black women rate black men, “most” desirable at 23%. Which is a 7% jump from 2009.
  • Black women are the only race to rate black men, “positively.”
Black Women-dating-statistics-black men
Photo Credit: OkCupid

Continue reading “Dating And The Plight Of The Black Woman – Part I”

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Women Of Color – Beautiful For So Many Unrecognized Reasons

Black woman-African American-Afro-Dark Skinned

That being said, me being a creative man, I gravitate toward things that are colorful and vibrant. By colorful, I mean that literally and figuratively. Women of color just astonish me. That means, Indian, Native American, African, Latin, Arabian, Polynesian, Asian and anyone else I left out.

Why do I Love Women of Color?

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Not just because of a skin color, but because of the heritage, the culture they all come from and the history of said culture.

From the beauty and vocals of Dorothy Dandridge, to the dancing grace of Maria TallChief.  Or, we can easily tout the powerful presence of Eva Peron or Tejano vocalist Selena Quintanilla-Peréz. What about the eminence of Hatsheput or the Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement Rosa Parks? I find all of them the most attractive. Not just physically but on a much more profound level.

What About That Look?

That being said, I can’t leave out the physical aspect. The facial features, the various skin complexions, tones, contours and hair textures. Did I mention the accents? There’s nothing like a Latin woman born in the Northeastern section of the United States. Or, a woman born in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic or Costa Rica. What about the culture and beauty of an African woman from Nigeria, Somalia or Ethiopia? The storied history behind those countries’ women and all that comes with the heritage. What about an African-American women from all-over the United States? They themselves bring a certain uniqueness that I find most sexy.

From their  level of intellect, charisma and fortitude, to their independent yet humble nature. That melanin carries historical perseverance and pride, while the tensity of their hair represents the strength of their people. How can you not find that beautiful?

 

These women are more than just a beholding of beauty to me. They are the very definition of perseverance and inner strength. Which, is so much more significant when you view women of color.  You must look beyond the surface.

Women of Color Are Profound

Think of the native African or even the African-American woman and what they or their ancestors endured and continue to encounter in today’s society. Slavery, War, Segregation, Racism, Sexism, Discrimination, Genocide are all trials embedded within their beings. When you look at a woman from these cultures, you have to see more than a face. More than pulchritude. More than sexual commodity to be had. They are the essence of overcoming an oppressive state of being.

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Photo Credit: Marc de Groot

Women of color are born into a world where they are automatically at a deficit because of their gender. Even with the feminist movement and the rapid advancement of women’s rights on the rise in the United States and other countries. Women are still at a bigger disadvantage than their male counterparts. Add to that, a lot of these women are born into cultures where they are beneath the men and have to scratch and claw their way to prominence. There’s a certain beauty in that… a certain sex appeal. And a definite strength.

 

The Deficit

In a earlier blog I spoke about, “Dating and the Plight of the Black Woman.” I highlighted the literal canyon of obstacles black women have to overcome just to be seen as intelligent, desirable and beautiful in the dating world when compared against women of other cultures. To give you a small example, I want you to do something for me:

  1. Pull up another window on your phone, tablet or laptop.
  2. Do a google search on, “beautiful women.”
  3. Click on images.

What did you see? What did you notice?

5 out of the first 100 images are of women of color. I would’ve gone farther, but I chose not too. You have already received my point. Women of color are not considered, “as-beautiful-as…” white women.  This is the deficit that women of color face. They already have to work 5 times harder just to be viewed as beautiful. Can you imagine how difficult that is, in the world of modeling and fashion alone? That is unacceptable. However, as shown above, it’s a harsh reality for women of color.

Hadley Freeman from, theguardian.com states in her article about black women and fashion…

Black models never, with single-digit exceptions in a decade, appear on the cover of major fashion magazines, because, as the black model Jourdan Dunn told the Guardian last year,“people in the industry say if you have a black face on the cover of a magazine it won’t sell.”

 

Jourdan Dunn-Quote-Black Woman-Dating-Love-Beautiful-color

 

My Final Take

That is how black beauty is viewed the world over. Vogue, Elle, GQ, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, L’Officiel, Harper’s Bazaar, and more… rarely place women of color, let alone black women on their covers.

I for one, believe that all women are beautiful in their own unique way. No matter how they pull up in a google search or if they regularly grace the cover of internationally syndicated fashion magazines. Women of color will always be beautiful to me, inside and out.

A Letter To My Ex Girlfriend

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He’s bitter

No… I’m a man who’s just irate…  and a letter won’t cure the nausea I’m feeling—because of all the bullshit I-ate.

You fed me lie after lie, line after line, and I was mouth wide open thinking you were mine.

That’s fine… this letter is for my time.

You need some damn help. I tried, I fought, I cried, I wasted good years… it’s time to put you back on the shelf.
Even though I am a fighter, I get sick of bobbin’ and weavin’… besides, we got this baby on the way, and I ain’t leavin’ (even though you said I would)

Or maybe I should leave? I’ll be judged though… as a man, they always do. To be honest? I’m tired of hearing about what women go through. Men go through things too! We deal with bull from women all the time. I guess they think we’re immune because we don’t cry… [in the open], write breakup songs, and whine.

We carry this shit.

Thousands of men walking around out there feeling like crap. Feeling like no one understands them. So we carry it all like a stomach ulcer (don’t date us though… cause it’s a trap).

But we can handle it all because we are a man right?

No.

Like a rusty sword stuck in its sheath, No matter how hard we try to pull out, we’re a mess underneath.

Dripping sweat, selfish sex, and lack of reciprocation. So what’s next? You roll over and act like me pleasing you is all I get. SHET!

Lost because this man, staring in the mirror is-not-me. Who is he? He’s changed, with the heart of a man defeated by a woman who stole his destiny… selfishly.

“You’re the selfish one, not me.”

You say that, and you’re definitive. Your innate narcissism is apparent each time you speak. Each utterance of that trash makes me feel pain in my [peen]. I can’t even get it up when I think of the fact that I have to deal with you til’ he’s 18.

I hate you! No, I love you, No… I hate you.  No… I can’t stand the woman you became. The woman who blames everyone for everything but refuses to acknowledge the pain [you] brought to the game.

You don’t trust me? Chick you’re just insecure. And I damn sure don’t trust you! All we have is time. But the baby is coming, and your lack of communication makes me believe the baby isn’t mine.

Call after call, you don’t answer. You don’t return the messages you receive. How can you blame me for feeling the way I do? About a broken relationship that never became whole, and was fake as hair weave.

You better believe… I wanted to break up. The day you called and told me you were pregnant, I planned to leave you in the dust… no fuss, no more lust.  Just realness from a man that had enough.

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Photo Credit: Sam Burris

No support, no encouragement, just selfish ambitions of a ring.  So blind to the fact that I needed YOU more than anything.

I dropped friends, never hung out, stayed at home, shared in the [responsibility] despite what I was going through… what the hell did you want from me?

You never listened, always did things your own way. Then, when everything blew up in your face, you want to cry and say… some slick shit that only pushed me away.

Fakin’ like you’re a good woman. Based on what—cause you cooked? That’s not a good look—[understand] when you’re in relationship with a man like me, it’s your ability to feed my soul that keeps me hooked.

When I found out about the inappropriate text conversations, planned late night visits, and lunch dates with the friend from your past… I almost lost it. Listen, it was only 3 months after our son was born, I came at you calm, asked you to confess, but your complete narcissism wouldn’t let that last.
Always redirecting and transferring energy back on me, I wanna cop a plea, Just let me be…Lord, let me flee! Please release this self-imposed pain from me.

I tried to lead you, but you’re un-lead-able. You have to be in control… un-believable.

I’ve been gone…

No, I don’t feel wrong…

This is my swan song…

Would’ve done this from the start…

I forgive you regardless…

And it’s coming from the heart.

***********************************************

Jay Thomas is an incredible blogger that commented on one of my posts last year and we’ve been following each other every since. He’s an incredible writer and lover of love. Isn’t that amazing? I love love too so it was awesome to realize that we have a lot in common. He will be a featured contributor to my blog in 2018 and I wanted to give you an idea of this man’s perspective on love. He’s real. He’s true. He’s open. To read more about Jay and to follow his blog please click here: Relationships Etcetera

Open Letter to a Friend

There are many titles that describe me:

Woman, Mother, Feminist, Womanist, Career Oriented, Ambitious, God fearing, Black.

Too many more to name, but I wear many hats daily. Life is not simple. History teaches us that if we don’t know our history we are doomed to repeat it. That is a fundamental fact. God is in everything we do and breathe, but that doesn’t mean that because I love God I can’t love my race and want us to be better. Race separates us and Gender separates us. That is the point that I’ve always tried to make. You can’t speak about being a woman just because you love God and treat everyone the same. You are a man. You will never know what it is like to give birth, have breasts or a cycle every month. Doesn’t mean you can’t empathize with me about these things, but you can’t speak on them from experience because you haven’t experienced them for yourself. And I can’t speak on being a man. I can’t speak on being Jewish. I can’t speak on being gay. I am none of those things. But, I can empathize with injustices that are done to each and every group. Because I am human. However, I can speak on being black and being a woman because I am both.

I’ve spent most of my life knowing that I had two strikes against me: the color of my skin (black) and my gender (a woman). I have always told you that the difference between me and the next person is that I wanted it bad enough. Doesn’t make me better than someone else. It just shows that I am ambitious with a fighting spirit. I get discouraged at disappointments. I get heartbroken, but I keep pushing forward. I love and respect everyone, but I will always want my people, black people, to do better. I don’t blame the “man” for anything, nor do I believe that every person who is not black is against me. That is not true.

Belief. What do I believe? I believe that we are still fighting in some areas to be heard and to be treated equally and fairly as black people and as women. I believe that there are many myths that black women are trying to change, avoid and defunct on a regular basis. These include being ghetto, angry, a chicken head and promiscuous. I don’t believe that everything is equal and that racism doesn’t exist. We are better than yesterday and I pray that we continue to get better. But, alas we are human. I know you may say that I seem to have a great career and make decent money, but I had to fight and prove my worth in everything. Nothing was ever given to me. I earned it, but I believe that Affirmative Action is part of the reason and wonder where I would be had there been no Affirmative Action?

I wish the success of everyone, but as a black woman raising a black man, I will never let him believe that racism doesn’t exist. But, I want him to know that his attitude towards it and his people will play a part in his future. He can’t sit idle and watch his brothers take the wrong path without speaking up. He can’t be discriminated against in school without speaking up. He can’t go to medical school or travel the world without knowing that he is somebody divinely created by God, but that the color of his skin will always matter to some people. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best in his “I Have a Dream Speech.” He said, that “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

That day has still not come as long as there is racism in this nation. We have made significant strides as African Americans but there is still work to do. I will always fight for equal pay, equal education and benefits for those that don’t have them. We may not agree on what is important in this world, but I as a human being, a black woman can’t sit by and do nothing. I don’t ever want you to treat people differently as a supervisor. Hire and fire based on your company’s policy and not bias.

I want you to know that I support your ministry and you deserve to reach the masses from the pulpit. I will try to continue the footwork and knowing that in order for our churches to be successful, we as a people have to be successful. Not a black thing or white thing, a human thing. I just need you to understand and accept me as I am. A black woman fighting for her people and for God.

OLYMPICS BLACK POWER SALUTE

Never Stop Marching

I am a woman. I am black. I can’t change the color of my skin anymore than I can change the fabric of my gender. I have so many complexities to who I am that I sometimes have to consistently remind myself of which battle I’m fighting today. With that being said, I’m addressing the post, Why I Will Not March for Eric Garner written by Kimberly Foster, founder of one of my favorite blogs “For Harriet”. I read each word of her post with pain in my heart. I was hurt that one of the women that I admired in regards to feminism was saying that she would cry tears and mourn for him, but that she would not give empathy to black men when it is not returned to black women.

I was sitting at my computer in tears reading this piece. I had to comment. I had to say something. I had to try to reach her with love and pleading in my heart. Would she read it? I don’t know. The comments had been amassed to 973 by the time I wanted to post (24 hours after posted), but still I posted. I couldn’t understand how we could ever deny the fact that all life matters and we should all fight for one another. We are a nation divided and how can we explain that to the younger generation? How can we not support or march for Eric Garner or any man that is tragically murdered in a questionable way?

So, I literally typed “I don’t agree with this. I understand your choice to choose battles, but as a human being, all life is valuable. I have one child. A son who is six. I can’t imagine losing him to foolishness (i.e. Eric Garner or Trayvon Martin) and I would never want another woman to tell me that she will cry for him, but won’t march for him (if he were killed senselessly) because black men aren’t there for black women. We are all one and I can never understand that. I birthed a king and I pray that through my educating him on Malcolm, Martin, Mahalia, Maya, Assata Shakur or the many other important black men and women in history that he will march for black women because his mother is black and he respects and supports the struggle for black women.” There. I had said it. I said what I felt was the truth. We are women. We are black. We matter.

I am the giver of life and I know how the death of this man has sparked a fire in our community once again, but we can’t continue to turn away from each other and stand divided. I have a son. I have to protect him. I am a woman. I am black, but more importantly I am a mother and I will always choose to march and protect the rights of everyone. If not me then who? I know that the author was just tired of the black men who may not defend us. I could hear the despair, but I have your back and so do a lot of other women. Hold my hand when you get tired, but we should never stop fighting or marching for one another because we are all God’s children.