Iâ€™ve been reading â€œIs Marriage for White People?â€ written by Stanford law school professor Ralph Richard Banks and all I can say so farâ€”because Iâ€™m only on page 60 as I write thisâ€”is that everything he is saying is completely on point. And if you donâ€™t believe anything he says donâ€™t worry because he has graciously provided the reader with ample notes and a bibliography for you to check his facts. If you have any interest in the relationships of black men, black women, and the relationship market in general, â€œIs Marriage for White People?â€ would be an excellent resource for you to check out.
As I was reading, something that Banks said stood out to me and reminded me of some posts I had read here at BB&W.
On page 61, Banks writes the following:
â€œIt is in this way that options outside the relationship influence behavior within it. The quality and extent of those options exert their force simply by the fact of their existence. Neither party needs to invoke the options for them to have their effect. All thatâ€™s required is for the man and woman to both have a sense of the abundance or paucity of opportunities awaiting them if they donâ€™t reach an agreement.â€
As black women are becoming more vocal and discussions are taking place in public spacesâ€”on blogs, on the news, in books such as â€œIs Marriage for White People?â€â€”about the dating market that black women face, other people are also becoming aware of the situation black women at large find themselves in. Black women have the lowest marriage rates and highest out-of-wedlock birth rates of any other group in the nation; black women professionals are more likely to be celibate and unmarried than other professional women.
A positive effect of all of this public discussion is that more and more black women are beginning to wake up, take stock of their situation, and behave in a proactive fashion to change any facet of their lives that they believe needs to be changedâ€”including, but not limited to, availing themselves of the option to begin dating non-black men.
A negative effect of all of this publicity regarding the relationship market for black women is that predatory non-black men who are looking to exploit black women are now priming themselves to do so. And black women may be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
Non-black men interested in black women are reading the same papers, books, and blogs as everyone else. They men know that many black women are single, successful, and looking for life partners. Non-black men who are interested in black women know that there are growing numbers of black women seeking non-black mates and in turn these men are situating themselves to take advantage of the increasing numbers of black women who are open to dating them.
As all of this relates to BB&W, there have been several posts as of late where a black woman recounts the story of a non-black man playing with her in a pseudo-relationship, often for an extended period of time, and then the man turns out to be a stone-hearted player. Basically, there seem to be increasing numbers of non-black men who are looking to exploit the dearth of marriageable men available to black women just as black men have done.
In the past black men and women knew the score. Now that plenty of non-black men know the score too, black women have to keep in mind that â€˜men are menâ€™ and that just like she can be used by a black man there are plenty of non-black men who will gladly use her too, all the while proclaiming how much they adore and prefer black women.
Iâ€™m not saying that black women need to heighten their fear of entering an interracial relationship. Iâ€™m only saying that a black woman needs to use standards and good judgment no matter what color man she chooses to date. I donâ€™t want black women running from the wolves only to jump into bed with the foxes.