Gender Conflict

South African Woman Gives Us a Peek on Cultural Double Standards

It’s always nice to get another perspective.

Hi Christelyn,

I’m a 23 year old black woman from South Africa and I love your work. I’ve been reading your blog posts for the past month and I co-sign a lot of what has been written. I don’t have a question but I just wanted to say something.

I watched the Google hangout entitled “Are black women unredeemable?” and although I am not a black American, I could draw so many parallels to some of the experiences shared on the hangout. Much like Adriane, I caught on at a very young age on the double standards of black men and it didn’t sit well with me.

Thinking african woman with dreadlocks in the city with buildings in the background

I grew up in a Christian home but my parents rarely attended church. I was baptized at the age of 13 and church was like my second home. My parents were not super strict but my church was. One time I witnessed at church a defellowship (they announced that she was getting kicked out of the congregation) of a young woman who had fallen pregnant out of wedlock and what baffled me was that there wasn’t any answer as to what was going to be done to the man who impregnated her. That was the first and last time I attended such a church meeting. As teenagers, we were discouraged from dating and it wasn’t until I finished high school that I noticed more of the double standards.

Black men would tell us they hated makeup and weave and still date and lust after women who wore makeup and weave. They were against skin bleaching but that didn’t stop them from chasing after light skinned women. I am expected to be a virgin until marriage, but the men aren’t held to the same standard. There’s virginity testing for women and nothing for men. Some of my cousins have babies out of wedlock and they were harshly judged and criticized as if they got themselves pregnant. One guy told me he wouldn’t date a virgin (I’m still a virgin and saving myself for marriage)
because he wanted sex, but would like to marry one. Huh?? A PK (pastor’s kid) I dated briefly would emotionally blackmail me into sleeping with him but I refused. I found out he had a baby and I broke up with him immediately. Soon after the breakup, I was told that he has girlfriends and baby mamas in many places and is notorious for changing girlfriends like clothes. I was told to date within the church but I was seldom asked out, if at all.

Many male childhood friends of mine dated outside the denomination altogether, while I had to avoid every guy outside my denomination because we were “unequally yoked”. I lost out on potentially good relationships with amazing guys and eventually I became jaded. I had to be a good cook for someone who wasn’t even checking for me. Don’t dress sexy or too nice because you’ll be a stumbling block to men, yet if you clicked on the Facebook pages of said men, you would see that he’s dating the SAME GIRL you’re discouraged from being. I was bothered by this and in 2014, I started questioning everything I believed in as a Christian. I read the Bible on my own and realized that what I believed was a lie. As a result I renounced the denomination altogether. I realized that Christian men didn’t have to go to my church or be baptized into my denomination for me to date them, or consider them for marriage. That if I relied on waiting for someone in my congregation and denomination to ask me out on a date, I’ll be single for a very long time. I also realized I had a part to play in my love life, and not just pray and fast in the hopes that my future husband would magically show up on my doorstep or sit next to me in church lol. That my God-given curves were nothing to be ashamed of, and most importantly, I HAD OPTIONS TOO!

Since then I’ve opened myself up more to interaction with men of different backgrounds and yes, even different races. My dad told me that he has no issue with interracial dating and marriage. As long as the guy loves me, cares about me and treats me well, he’s happy. Isn’t it funny how I could have made my life easier if I consulted my parents more instead of running to the church? Lol, anyway I just wanted to share my experience with you. My apologies for the long essay I just wanted to get everything out.

I love you and your work and I hope God blesses you and your family.



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