Don’t run screaming away in terror – or anger. It’s a valid inquiry. The same question could be asked about all non-black males, but for many black women born in the United States who’ve been influenced by limiting views (often double-standards in comparison to the males) within their homes and communities there seems to be extra confusion, questions and angst about potential couplings with WHITE MEN.
At the Dating While Brown site, Interracial Dating Coach Jeremy Nelson was taking reader questions from black women concerned about the mating dance between black women and white men.
It’s like the Wham song “Careless Whisper” but worse!
Careless Whisper excerpt –
I’m never gonna dance again (read that as EVER: with a WM)
Guilty feet, I’ve got no rhythm [I modified the actual line from: ‘Cause guilty feet have got no rhythm’] (I will NOT be friendly)
Though it’s easy to pretend (I continue to prop up black males and their sense of entitlement)
You know I’m not a fool (But really I am for being a “Race” woman)
….wasted chance that I’ve been given
So I’m never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you (As if being kicked around and discarded as a collective is fun)
Initially, I questioned the long-term usefulness of women taking advice from men because of the way black women tend to flock to projects appropriated by black males full of bad advice who are questionable characters to begin with. I also felt somewhat protective of those who may be in vulnerable state asking for help with dating white men even if the person offering advice is a white male because there are so many folks lining up to take advantage.
So….I had to at least read his responses first, but as always because black women must not engage in unreciprical relationships and we have many examples of how that imbalance leaves us at a disadvantage, I would still want to make sure we’re not letting other people control or benefit from our conversations.
Anyway, I liked his responses though I didn’t agree with his assessment that white men don’t approach women for dates. I’ve had plenty of white men ask me out and it seems the comment section bears that theory out with a key caveat.
There are men who’ve identified themselves as white and in relationships with black women who wanted a clarification. They tended to not have a problem asking women out in general, they felt it was a potential minefield to ask black women out specifically.
Reader David left a comment which I’m excerpting here:
“You know, not to pile on here, but I’m also in agreement with Anon and Nija. There are millions of white guys with white families that somehow managed to ask their wives out on a date, and it continued from there. There are also a great many white guys with Asian and Hispanic wives in the United States.
White guys with black wives? Not so much. I think shrugging this result off to your opinion that white guys have trouble asking any woman out just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
First, it has been my experience that a fairly high percentage of black women just don’t date outside of their own race. My guess is around 70%, just based on my own experience. (Perhaps he’s been reading all of the stats being bandied about as well).
White men either know this from experience like me, or guess it intuitively, and so a lot of impulses about asking a black women out on a date get tamped down pretty quickly after a moment of reflection. Many black women have this hard look on their faces all the time, and it is not exactly conducive to a guy engaging in conversation with them. I understand what it is; it is the body language armor that a lot black women wear because of where they come from, etc., and my girlfriend did the same thing. She wasn’t even aware of it; it just became part of her public face a long time ago. It’s almost like they think you’re running some kind of game on them, or, they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, the one that’s going to prove that you really are a jerk.
And like I said, I understand where that comes from. But, to a lot of white guys, it serves as a clear signal that black women are not interested in conversation with us.
So, again, more lost opportunities there.”
That’s a rather damning assessment don’t you think? This reader is in a relationship with a black woman but he’s laying it out that more black women could choose men from other backgrounds if they were open to it! There were a few other helpful comments as well, talking about how it would probably be easier for more black women to let their guard down if they were participating in events where there was a mix of people. So hop to it!
Even the most of “aware” of us do have to catch ourselves from time to time. Now that I’ve decided to make sure I’m specifically being open and friendly and more social I’ve noticed a difference in my interactions with random men. I was at a Charbucks the other afternoon headed to the coffee station after making my purchase. I was close to the exit when a man was entering. He stopped to hold the door for me and I made sure to smile at him and say thank you even though I was headed in the opposite direction. Yes, I went out of my way to be extra polite and slightly flirty and even tilted my head to the side and batted an eyelash or two. This is my new mantra: I AM WOMAN, ALL WOMAN.
It also does wonders to your self-esteem to see yourself as an attractive, desirable woman regardless of immediate payoff.
I’m not expecting to get a marriage proposal from saying hello, but I’m making some other internal adjustments that will positively impact my external appearance and demeanor. I know this will benefit me in the long run. Sometimes, we get so busy trying to survive (or address injustices) life we forget how to really live (and have fun).
I wrote a message on Facebook last week wondering how did I ever hesitate about dating nice guys who weren’t black when as a teen and in my early-20’s all of my favorite groups were fronted by white males that I used to gush over (i.e. Duran Duran to U2). Yes, I know it was the indoctrination but dang it!! It makes me mad to realize I was wasting time and passed over a few potential gems. I didn’t have the same consternation about dating Puerto Rican guys and I was very fond of a Chinese Malaysian artist I’d met on the streets in New York whom I stopped to inquire about his painted leather jacket. So while I have always dated guys I found appealing regardless of race or ethnicity I have to admit there has sometimes been a “hurdle” to overcome when it’s come to white men and it’s mostly self-reinforced.
I can attest to the hidden and open pressure black males try to exert over our dating choices. I’ve had some random Negro make comments or react with envy once or twice when I’ve been out in public with a white male. It didn’t matter if we weren’t dating or he could have been one of my gay male friends but all they saw was skin shade and they wanted a return to the status quo that favors them: black women solely focused on what they’re doing and keeping us out of direct, albeit a one-sided competition for white male attention.
**This is why I thought it was very clever for the writers of The Good Wife to throw that bit of underplay into their storyline about a black woman running for office who went to the black church for support and was initially turned down because the pastor knows she’s married to a white male while he’s counseling her opponent.
This hesitation/barrier behavior is not such an issue in other countries and with black women who are not African-American but the problem is we have made it into an issue, a public relations nightmare so to speak. The lack of exposure to a variety of life experiences is crippling us far more than we realize. From the never-married rats, to the OOW rates to the companion limitation WE ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMIES.
There are any number of women who have not even ventured to date a black guy from a different ethnicity (though that’s often the strawman argument that they claim to be looking for ALL viable black males from the entire diaspora). It’s total BS! I’m thinking of one blogger who specifically said that when she donned her best “Race Woman” outfit in opposition to interracial dating. She also went on to state publicly in her opposition to addressing OOW births that marriage for black women was a Middle Class value. It all ties together readers trust me.
Between the public declarations of wincing over random black males who’ve chosen non-black women (Jill Scott), to the hemming and hawing about their choice of a mate (Halle Berry – which is especially perplexing considering she’s half-white!) and other collective unsavory behavior really is it any wonder why some relationships may never get off the ground or later go caput (as with Halle) for the “ordinary” black woman?
The other side of that hesitation equation is for those black women who are still rating their attractiveness based on the narrow definitions of beauty defined by racio-misogynistic black males. Still. We need to realize we’re basing our vision of our beauty based on males that hate their blackness and despise all the women who most closely resembles it. Other women taking their cues from this hateful behavior only reinforce that damage amongst each other. We are admired and wanted and should be focusing our attention on the positive and affirming.
When white males either by intuition, instinct or the result of reading and hearing from some black women they need not bother, it’s an issue. According to reader Greg:
….the overwhelming majority of white men in the U.S. have it drilled into their heads from boyhood onward that you DO NOT push yourself on a woman, that it is ALWAYS WRONG to be aggressive in any way towards a woman, no matter what the circumstances. There is simply no excuse in that culture for a man to do that…. (Now many of us can attest to the fact this is NOT the case with your average black male as many of us had to go into protection mode at the onset of puberty and perhaps even before due to the prevalence of sexual coercion and violation!)
He continues —
….some of the problems black women mention about getting white guys to ask them out can be traced back to (surprise!) black women. Yeah, some of it is due to cultural and historical crap, and some of it is due to statistics showing the overwhelming majority of African-American women (unlike their men) do not want to date outside their race, but a lot of it is due to a white guy getting visual and verbal cues that he reads as, “Don’t bother”. So he doesn’t. He says to himself, “It looks like she’s not interested, and I don’t want to be a jerk and keep pressing the point, so I need to just back off.”
WOW! Look at the damage other black women (and we can see they’re savvy enough to realize which BW are the most challenging) are causing. We cannot let this stand unchallenged. Reader Dawn also wrote a very detailed comment to another black woman about how our being challenging is hurting us – not white males.
We must reevaluate our view of the world as we “know” it constantly to ensure our continued growth and to spot every opportunity to elevate ourselves. Those who are truly open and available to seeking their companionship with a qualified man from a diverse background need to change the station from static noise to Come On Over, Baby. Or I’m thinking about Maxwell’s song, “Welcome”.
We have to separate ourselves from so much nonsensical behavior and thought patterns of others who cannot imagine or don’t want ALL black women strolling down the Road Of Prosperity and we will continue to chip away at these false ideologies that would do us in. Carpe diem!