What follows is a response to an article titled, “Do You Want to Date a White Guy or a Guy Who Just Happens to be White?”
A while back a friend of mine suddenly announced that she was going to start dating white guys—
Some black women have always been open to interracial relationships and never let the opinions of others stand in their way. But not all black women have that gumption. Fear of being ostracized, losing friends or some other consequence keeps them silent on the subject. Unless they quietly test the waters with friends to see if they can get any type of support regarding their interest.
“The minute he asks you what you do with your hair at night, you’re going to rip his head off and go on a rant about why is it that you know about his hair, but black people been in this country 500 years and he is still ignorant.”
She laughed because she knew I was right.
About her friend; not all black women are hung up on our hair and what non-black people think about it. Some of us don’t freak out if we get caught in the rain. Some of us are avid swimmers. Or we simply don’t need or expect a guy to know everything there is to know about our hair. She may have been right about the mentality of her particular friend when it comes to IRR dating (getting caught up in superficial BS that means squat in terms of actual relationships). However the implication seems to be that yet again, black women have to jump through “special hoops” if they’re going to be courted by some man who’s not Tyrone.
You know what? I agree that a black woman who is interested in interracial dating should expand her social circle and be open to things not necessarily deemed “black”. Black women tend to be among the self-segregated of all women socially, which certainly can get in the way of meeting that non-black love interest. But it’s not just about knowing white women and holding certain beliefs about white people, etc. It’s about where your heart is and whether or not it’s open to being loved by someone who’s simply not black. If you don’t have that, everything else is meaningless. Ladies, you could meet the love of your life on a train tomorrow. It happened to these persons. It happened for reasons which had nothing to do with prerequisites or understanding how black hair works. The truth is that some black women will be alone the rest of their lives because God forbid a man does step to them who doesn’t know the first thing about cornrows, weaves, and lace-fronts.
And while they collect dust somewhere in the corner, other women will be making the decision that a man was worth loving because he was willing to prove it through actions that meant something. Like insisting on marrying you before impregnating you. Maintaining the financial stability of your household through a willingness to work. Being a father to his children 24/7 and giving them not only his name, but his love and support and 50% of the child-rearing responsibilities. Things that ensure your future health and happiness in the romance department which have absolutely nothing to do with racial stereotypes. These are things that so many black women pass on because they look at the skin first, and everything else second. If those things get so much as a glance at all.
It was like my old co-worker, who happened to be white, who had a black fetish and would go on and on about the first time she visited Washington, D.C., and there were “so many beautiful black men everywhere.”
“Don’t you think black men are beautiful?” she said to me, all breathless and starry-eyed.
“Some of them are,” I said.
“I just think they’re so gorgeous and sensual.”
“Um … my dad is a black man and my grandpa is a black man and all my uncles are black men. I went to school with a lot of black men. Black men are kind of just ‘men’ to me. Some of them are good-looking, some are nice. Some are complete assholes. I mean, they’re people.”
She looked so disappointed after I said that. She really wanted to someone to join in her brother-love fest.
I am missing how this scenario is anything like what happened with her friend. Her friend said that she was interested in dating interracially. Interest in dating someone outside of your race is not hero or deity worship. It is certainly not a fetish either. A sexual fetish is generally defined as being sexually stimulated by something ordinarily not seen as desirable. For example, a woman is fixated on the color blue and can only have sex on sheets of that color. Yep, sounds like a fetish. Or you have a man that enjoys the smell of old shoes and is turned on by foot odor. Again, definitely a fetish. But finding another human being sexually attractive? Not a fetish.
When does it become a fetish? When you are completely incapable of being sexually stimulated by that person apart from their skin tone. You fixate on it to such a degree it’s clear that the person in question doesn’t matter, just their skin tone.
While I do think the co-worker in question was laying it on rather thick, there is nothing abnormal about being interested in interracial dating or finding persons of other groups attractive. Unless it becomes obvious that they are expecting a head-pat or a cookie.
How can someone date white men, but not like white women?
Define “like” first of all. Do you mean want to skip merrily through fields of sisterhood and friendship? Or do you mean the general assumption that black women hate all white women because of racism
aka those sorry white jezebels won’t stop taking all the good black men and now I’m going to go in the corner and “wince”?
Having women friends from other ethnic groups can be useful in meeting men who are also a part of those ethnic groups. Or they can be the biggest c*ck-blockers on the face of the Earth. Black women have commented here in the past about black men who went out of their way to “block” them from getting with white guys. Just because you consider someone your friend does not automatically mean they are receptive to your interests. They may let their own biases and beliefs get in the way of your happiness. And these things may not manifest until the subject comes up. And then….you aren’t friends anymore. But as your relationship plans weren’t necessarily the first thing out of your mouth when you started developing that friendship, is it something you see coming? Certainly not. Because that’s often not why people become friends in the first place.
Also, you don’t necessarily need to ingratiate yourself with the white female collective because you will be dating one of “their” men. Social skills are definitely desirable, but your focus should be on the man you want to be with, not trying to pass some sort of acceptance test so that your relationship is approved.
1. She could date a white guy if she wasn’t the first black woman he ever dated. (That way she avoids the “is he clueless or is he racist” divide.)
2. If that’s not available–black are men still men, but without the pesky hair explanations.
And that’s it. Wait, where is the part where we figure out whether a woman wants to date a white guy or a guy that just happens to be white? Here, it seems like the best case scenario for the friend is to either assume all white men who haven’t dated black women previously are clueless twits or racists or stick to black men, because even if there are more pertinent levels of dysfunction she needs to be avoiding, the most important thing to this particular friend is that he gets her black-woman-esque hair.
Do we not regularly see rants about black men making “good hair” comments and having “pool tests” to distinguish which kind of black women are desirable? Just because a black man gets why a woman is all wrapped up in her hair doesn’t mean he’ll offer emotional support. In fact, some DBR black males are not above contributing to the mental complexes some black women have.
The fact is, a man of any race should not be so overly invested in your hair and your skin tone. Furthermore, not all black women are slaves to their hair or FIXATED ON THE LOVE AND APPROVAL OF PEOPLE WHO HATE BLACK WOMEN. Some black women elect to go into the interracial relationship arena expecting to have to find a mate among a sea of bigots and are looking at who is racist and who doesn’t want them. They do this rather than focus on characteristics of a man that signals he loves and appreciates her for who she is, characteristics not beholden to race or ethnicity.
“What if he’s racist?”
Don’t date him. End of story. Time for tea.
“Do you want to date a white guy?”
“Do you want to date a guy that happens to be white?”
Judge that man by content of his character, and not the color of his skin. And expect him to do the same to you.