Disclaimer: All images used in this post are from the “Black Voices at Harvard Share Their Experiences with Racism” by Rebelle Magazine. The images are a part of the “I Am, Too, Harvard” campaign, revealing the experiences faced by Black students at Harvard.
Please, visit both Rebelle Magazine and the campaign sites by clicking on the highlighted links! By the way, almost all of the pictures relate to my experience while at Stanford–I hope the students there will do something like this as well.
Also, I use the word “we” often, not to say all Black women are in agreement with me, but to express my solidarity with those who do have shared similar views.
Now, on to the post!
Today, I came across the 2011 article “Why black women are justifiably bitter: The bleak relationship picture for African-American females” today. While the article was far from shocking, it really laid out in a clear and undeniable manner the reality that many Black women face in trying to make gains in the dating market.
Plus, the article was far more favourable than the now-withdrawn 2011 Psychology Today “Why Black Women Are Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women” (links to a Psychology Today rebuttal of the argument).
The article follows on the 2009 blog post by OkCupid, “How Your Race Affects the Messages You Get,” that indicates that Black women were, for the most part, shut out of the online dating world, being the users who sent the most messages while receiving the least replies. Black women were also the most likely to respond to messages. Black men as well as other races, OkCupid’s statics showed, do not consider Black women as relationship material.
Feeling depressed yet?
Well, it gets worse. It follows that if Black women are not considered relationship material, then surely marriage is out of the question. That is where the article comes in and eloquently explains why Black women have every right to be angry/bitter in general. Because although we are not considered for marriage, we are surely considered for sex. As the article points out that “7 in 10 black children are born to unmarried parents.”
I am not surprised given the dating statistics. Of course, given the grim statistics on incarceration and African-American men, it makes sense that marriage would seem unlikely. Nothing wrong with having had a bad moment in life and having had to go to jail/prison, but it does make getting married more problematic.
So, why I am writing about this?
Well, because I am frankly tired of reading the negative online commentary about Black women, whether it is about our hair, our skin colour, or weight, or our strength of character and fearlessness (a.k.a. our masculinity).
Men who have a problem with strong women, ought to avoid dating Black women, in my opinion. Black women are not raised to be cowed by anyone. We understand clearly where the dominant society has decided to relegate us and how some (apparently a majority) of our male counterparts view us. (Let me not get into this statement: “black men who, according to social science data, are more likely than any other group of men to maintain relationships with multiple women.”)
We understand clearly that a good portion of our male counterparts are eager to mobilize themselves by marrying up and thus marrying light. We get it. We get it that the kinkier and nappier our hair, the broader our thighs, the bigger our lips, bottoms and hips, the louder our voices, the more likely others will to try to shut us down or shut us up. We get it.
The thing is…
We don’t give two cents about it.
Unworthy men and women (for our LGBTQ population), please continue to ignore us. Please, continue not to respond to messages. Trust me, it’s much better this way, because we won’t be wasting our time on you. And who would want to? I am beginning to feel really sorry for those who do.
You see, while some people may see Black women as available (sending so many messages) and desperate (responding to so many messages), the fact is some Black women simply won’t do two things:
- Wait for permission to say what we want, and
- Be impolite to someone just because we don’t like them.
Have you ever thought about that? Have you thought about the fact that some Black women simply own our sexuality and are polite?
Can people get beyond the need to assign to us the roles of either
- the gold-digging concubine or
- the food stamp baby-making mammy?
Can we get beyond this already?
What? No, we can’t? It’s far too important for maintaining the status quo?
Oh, well, forgive me. I thought it was okay to be seen as human.
Of course, this is all just my personal opinion.