As a former public relations executive, I can tell you without any doubt that the media sends us messages–messages that we expect, messages that reinforce, and messages that influence. So when I saw a magazine cover show up on my Facebook timeline, complete with a message from Kola Boof, I began to really try and examine why some of my sisters get upset when they see magazine covers like this one, featuring men black women are conditioned to want, desire, fight for and covet. However, the very men that we are taught to covet, often do not covet us. Many of them are involved with non-black women, or black(ish) women about 1/80 African American. However, when you take a look at publications geared toward black men, the covers often look like this… Depictions of women of all races are presented as romantic options for black men. Women from all walks of life are presented for the romantic fantasies of their audience. And when a publication that claims to be dedicated to black women pulling shenanigans like omitting white men married to black women from their covers in favor of the black men who may or may not (most likely not) involved with black women, then I think it’s valid for some black women to cry foul. Kola, who is unapologetically a womanist and married to a Jewish man points out the hypocrisy. “Black America is a SHAM. The black community is actively against Black women because our wombs produce dark nappy-headed babies. Yet after waiting diligently for that RARE Black man who desires and respects Black Women….I’m castigated for accepting a White Man’s marriage proposal, even by lonely ass Black women who share men or haven’t had one in years.”
So Why the Angst?
If black women as a collective weren’t the most single of all women, the most likely to have a child without the benefit of marriage, while simultaneously being force-fed that we MUST find only black men as desirable and the ultimate brass ring, then I think this wouldn’t sting so much. It stings, because you see a man on the cover and it’s like it’s taunting, “Hey look, black chick! Look at another black man you can’t have!!”
What is more, the media message is unbalanced and unfair. Black men can have a United Nations of romantic partners of juicy images to lust over in the bathroom, but black women are offered only ONE image, and ONE image only. A black man, and NOTHING but a black man. And woe to you if you aren’t the “ideal” dime chick–extremely light, with long, flowing “good” hair. You just better be lucky if you can be a sperm dispenser. That’s why sites like this are so important. Black women need to get the memo that the Unite Nations of Romance is also open for business for us, too.
*As a pro-interracial dating site, it is the position that black men can date and marry whomever they wish. But guess what? Black women can too. :-)*