Black women’s families had more objections to interracial relationships than
their Black male counterparts. Many relatives of Black women (especially male relatives) tried to protect their daughters/sisters/cousins from White men who
they felt would sexually exploit Black women. Given the history of White male
sexual violence against Black women this is not surprising. However, family
opposition also has the affect of denying Black women’s agency because their
judgment is held up to much more scrutiny than Black men in interracial
Quote from RachelsTavern.com, a blog devoted to discussions of Race, Gender, and Sexuality from a Sociological Perspective
As a black woman in an interracial relationship, I am familiar with the discomfort often expressed by family members at the prospect of a beloved daughter/cousin/niece dating a non-BM. Though my family has come to love and respect my fiance because of his unmistakable love and respect for me, they certainly had more initial reservations about our relationship than they did about my prior relationships with black men.
Even more intriguing to me, however, is the issue of black male response to BW/non-BM interracial couplings, which it doesn't appear has been formally studied. The popular perception is that it is only envious, embittered BW who resent interracial relationships, while BM not only eagerly participate in such relationships, but liberally accept them regardless of who the participants are. This is surely the case where the relationship involves a BM and a non-BW.
But virtually all BW who have dated or married interracially know that BM are not nearly as accepting of their choices as they are of those of their "brothas." Certainly, sisters in the blogosphere know this to be the case, as even the briefest perusal of sites devoted to BW interested in interracial relationships reveals a consistent thread of hostility and anger from Damaged Beyond Repair ("DBR") BM directed at the very concept of BW seeking non-black companionship.
This hostility is expressed not only in outright attacks, but in subtler forms as well. Often, BM will simply insist that no other men are interested in BW, and that BW's efforts to date non-BM will thus fail. Sometimes they will encourage BW to seek BM from Latin America, Africa, or the Caribbean for relationships, instead of dating non-BM in their own communities. Often, dark hints are made of the "harm" that BW will suffer at the hands of Scott Peterson-type WM (who can also be found in abundence among BM, of course).
Often, the "brothas" making these complaints assert that they really don't care who BW date, but they don't want BW to criticizing BM as an "excuse" for our choices. However, as an initial matter, that doesn't explain why they would seek out blogs devoted to this subject in the first place, before they have any awareness that BM are even mentioned--obviously, no one goes to http://dateawhiteguy.blogspot.com/ unless they are interested in either dating a white guy, or interested in those who do want to date a white guy.
Secondly, our society is still largely segregated by race--socially, residentially and religiously in particular. That being the case, most adult BW who are seeking to date interracially will come from an experience of primarily dating BM--and no one can move forward into the future they seek without coming to terms with the past they are leaving behind. BW who want a different experience must figure out in exactly what way they want their future experiences to be different--which means they must look critically at their past experiences, and the people they shared those experiences with.
Above all, many BW most cope with substantial, well-documented social pressues if they seek to date interracially. Much of that pressure will come from other black people, male and female, who will deride her decision as "self-hating," "disloyal," and "selling out." For BW who have coped with less than respectful treatment from DBRBM, it is difficult for them to come to terms with the external pressure to conform to a version of "self-love" that often endorses standing by males who treat you badly, and decries pursuing relationships with men who will treat you well. Very often, the same family and community who stood by silently while their daughter/sister/cousin was being abused or exploited by a DBRBM will be quite vocal in their disapproval of her relationship with a good non-BM. Too many sisters learn the hard way, in the immortal words of Chuck D., that "every brotha aint a brotha."
As Halima of the Black Women's IR Circle has pointed out, many BW have had their internal compasses confused by such manipulations. They no longer recognize what their own interests are, and what behaviors they have a right to expect and a right to reject. Our community has become dependent on BW accepting a status quo that is essentially exploitative--that places disproportionate burdens and responsibilities on the shoulders of BW. And that is the real reason that so many "brothas" troll these blogs, full of vitriol and frustration: they see BW with options shrugging off the role of "mules of the world" and putting ourselves first for once. No longer are we content to wither away as a "reserve army" of spinsters and babymamas, ready at a moments notice to provide sex, support, mothering, shelter and anything else a DBRBM may require, with no expectation of reciprocity in return.
Unfortunately, as more of us free ourselves, the recrimination will only increase. Fortunately, what we will gain in meeting our own needs will far outweigh the momentary distress of an caused by an anonymous plaint.