Monday, August 13, 2007

"Sisters" and Friends?

BW in interracial relationships can often cite a number of incidents during the course of their relationships where BM have responded to their choice of partner with puzzlement, contempt, hostility and even aggression. For the most part, we understand the racial/sexual politics of American society, and recognize that the effort of strangers to make our personal relationships part of their larger battlefield is simply one of the expected complexities of choosing a life unrestrained by the prejudices of others. However, we often have more difficulty coping with the judgments that we sometimes encounter from other BW, who often seem especially eager to establish their "pro-black" bona fides by making it clear to BM critics that they are just as angry about BW/WM IRRs as they are about BM/WW IRRs.

Why would our own sisters turn on us? They live in our communities. They see the women struggling to raise children alone--they often ARE those women. They go to the churches where the only men are the preacher and the deacons, i.e., the one's collecting all the money and making all the decisions. They feel the fear of walking down the street alone, of being harassed like dogs, of locks on windows and doors, of never feeling safe. They turn on the radios and the televsisions, where we are invisible except as objects of derision and ridicule. They know the drama and the pain of "hood romance," where not only marriage, but fidelity, mutual respect, trust, and honesty are all considered absurd "bougie" conceits--where relationships are open warfare in which the goal is to play them before they play you.

If they're lucky enough to have mothers, aunts and grandmothers who struggle and sacrifice to get them to college, they know that the "brothas" start opening up their options right there on those college campuses where they're outnumbered by sisters 2- and 3- to -1; today, those same "brothas" probably started opening up their options in junior high and high school. How often were they mocked and ignored for not having long, "good" hair like the "Spanish" girls? How early did they learn to accept their place: to be first in line to attack other BW for being too obese, having too many OOW babies, having too much fake hair, being too picky in our choices of men, being too lax in our choices of men, being too ________________?

And yet, these are the very "sistas" who now warn that the "black community" is in danger of disappearing due to the threat of IRRs. So this "community" will somehow thrive if the majority of its women continue doing what they're doing now--spending their lives sporadically alone? Forgoing love, companionship, security, stability--and not incidentally, depriving their children of these crucial elements of healthy development? Remaining silent in the face of their own obsolescence?

The answer that these sisters give when pressed is typically a variation on the theme that "Black Love is what continues the Black race" and IRRs = racial suicide. As one sister recently described it, "IRRs are a plot by the white man to eliminate Black love and eventually the Black race." I addressed the irrationality of this argument in Point 5 of my "Questions and Answers" blog from August 5; but the bigger issue to me is the extent to which black love continues to exist independently of IRRs. After all, if the continuation of the black race is dependent on BM and BW marrying one another, than IRRs are essentially irrelevant--even if we accept the logic of this rationale, IRRs don't equal racial suicide, the unwillingness of BM and BW to marry each other equals racial suicide. Why then do these sisters point to US as the "problem," instead of addressing all those complaining, unmarried "brothas" who have suddenly discovered the critical importance of "black love" to the health of the race? Isn't "black love" not only about marrying BM, but about our relationships with each other, and ourselves?

We are indeed in danger now. But that danger arises from us marching like lemmings to our own demise by trying to police each other's behavior--for whose benefit? Our own? Our children? The "community"? Sisters are dying of AIDS, diseases arising out of sedentary lifestyles, poor diet and stress, domestic violence and violent crime--we are dying from lack of care. Has the "community" stepped up to provide that care? The "sistas" who choose to put their energy into mourning the "black prince who got away" and chiding BW who won't stay in their place will unfortunately end up on the dust heap of history. It is WE who choose loving partners and who choose to care for ourselves, who set a positive example for other sisters. It is in providing that care and leadership that WE will survive and ultimately insure our survival as people.

53 comments:

pioneervalleywoman said...

Greetings, Aimee!

Women who are loyal to the community "agenda" will always try to make points by pandering to those they wish to impress.

Their greatest enemy are the women who are independent-minded thinkers, who refuse to go along with group-think. It's about controlling "wayward" women! They see their role as women to police other women who "get out of line".

Perhaps they are afraid to go out on their own and be independent-minded, because they will feel as though the community (men) won't support them, and they will be all alone.

For many, the ideal of a "community" is all they have. It's all in their heads, though, as you are indicating: community behavior and standards have in many respects been anti-woman.

Some women will do whatever they can to maintain that loyalty and do what is required, and as has been discussed recently on Halima's blog, the black churches can have a role in helping define this.

Women are told: their role is to be subordinate, supportive, suffering is noble, that it is better they hope for the hereafter, rather than be concerned about the here-and-now.

Women will remain loyal even though it is to their detriment and sacrifice themselves to the altar of devotion. They will play therapist and social worker and date in order to try and heal men who should be healing themselves.

They forget that social workers and therapists do not sleep with their clients, because to do so will erase their boundaries and drag them down in their clients' muck!

Aimee, you mentioned something about colleges I found interesting. In what ways might black women's college experiences lead them down the path of thinking in this way? I'm thinking about the role of black campus groups and the imbalanced male-female ratio. Do the groups on college campuses foster this type of group-think?

gatamala said...

PVW In what ways might black women's college experiences lead them down the path of thinking in this way? I'm thinking about the role of black campus groups and the imbalanced male-female ratio. Do the groups on college campuses foster this type of group-think?

[screams] YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

I'm at work, & can't respond to you in detail. I went to Spelman, where I believe we are the best equipped to deconstruct gender issues. But there is still a bm FIRST mentality that undergirds so much. We did have classes together from time to time.

We had fora discussing IRR (dubbed IRR # 5632 by one of my professors). I remember the facilitators "calling out" those involved in IRR with whites. They made a specific point of listing Johnetta Cole. A biracial (white mom) student was made to feel less than with some of the nonsense going on. I walked out after 10 minutes.

Let's not even talk about how polygamy (spec, polygyny) was discussed as a viable option.

Combine this w/ the hyperreligiousity of black folk and you have a toxic environment for black women.

My experiences regarding "Morehouse Men" were so negative, that I will not permit my son to attend that school.

felicia said...

Their greatest enemy are the women who are independent-minded thinkers, who refuse to go along with group-think. It's about controlling "wayward" women! They see their role as women to police other women who "get out of line".

That's it right there. In their minds, we're a reminder of the freedom and confidence THEY lack. The freedom that they themselves may be interested in achieving but are too scared to try to achieve.

And sometimes it's downright jealousy too. Those of us "watered down" looking sistas can attract hate from our darker more Afrocentric looking sistas period. And when we're with our white husbands and boyfriends, and biracial children, the hatred can be intensified with insecure BW. Many of us can attest to this experience.

This colorism thing is still a BIGGIE. Throw in the IR aspect and it can get combustible with some folks.

Perhaps they are afraid to go out on their own and be independent-minded, because they will feel as though the community (men) won't support them, and they will be all alone.

Exactly. It's too frightening from them to realize and except they're all alone anyway. Many of them.

For many, the ideal of a "community" is all they have. It's all in their heads, though, as you are indicating: community behavior and standards have in many respects been anti-woman.

True, true, and true. Sad as Hell, but true.

pioneervalleywoman said...

Funny, Gatamala! I love your howl!

I'm at home, supposed to be working on syllabi for the fall, but I'm ... procrastinating. :)

It’s a shame, though, what you said about Spelman and Morehouse, especially Spelman. They can do better than that! As with other HBCUs, they were once THE place for educating the “talented 10th.”

In my question, I was thinking about this topic in the sense of some of what I have seen, and heard in various university environments I have been a part of, both as a student and a faculty member.

Here, my focus is on some of the black sororities, black student clubs, and Afro-Am studies departments.

It seems to me that in these college environments, it is the place for young black men to shine as the "burgeoning leaders" and intelligentsia in the making. They are looked to as the leaders and spokesmen of the black student community, even though the female students might very well outnumber them. The women subordinate to them, especially in the sororities, the sister ones in particular. The men set the agenda, and it is usually framed in terms of the men’s interests as bm.

The men become the shining princes all the women want, when the guys see it as a cool numbers game--all these women competing for them, plus they have women of other racial/ethnic groups, what do they have to lose?

On the other hand, many young women go to college hoping to find a boyfriend and future husband. What they get is something else...hooking up, getting played and dumped, man-sharing, and fierce competition to get the “good brotha.”

As for the Af-Am studies departments, many colleges and universities require students to take certain requirements, and Af-Am studies classes can fill those.

Many of these departments are run by, guess what: 60s and 70s black nationalist type men, and we know what that is about: "My brotha this, my brotha that," but not all of them wanted to hear from the female colleague interested in gender questions, because feminism was a white girl thing, antithetical to the interests of the community.

However, I guess the men of af-am studies didn't mind sleeping with feminism, since a few of them were quite happy to do the pillow talk with the white female women's studies professors, and at least one I know of, whenever I see him, he's always got a newer white woman on his arm.

So it is in some of these Af-Am studies departments that students get indoctrinated in male-dominated black nationalist thought and practice, which, as you mentioned, had already been inculcated for many in the black churches. The agenda of male domination comes from EVERYWHERE, so the first step, as Aimee suggested, is to liberate our minds and our lives will follow!

EmergingPhoenix said...

Great Post Aimee!! First time commenting here, but I have been reading and I love everything you have to say. I have seen some bw do and make some silly mistakes all in the name of "black love". In addition, most of the ones who are married, are in questionable relationships with black men of lower educational status, who are carrying a lot more baggage than the bw, and/or who cheated on a VERY significant other (fiance) to be with them. And all of these women consider these men to be "good black men". Some bw have also tried to encourage me to stay in relationships, where I had clearly identified that the person was toxic to my well being, all b/c the guy was "good on paper". I do not feel that bw know what a healthy relationship is anymore, nor can they truly counsel and offer good advice to other bw, when they themselves are in less than ideal relationships.

You are exactly right, that "racial suicide" has nothing to do with IRs and more to do with the current relationship among bw and bm. People get that confused, due to the sometimes true notion that some black folks date IR due to self-hate and/or to escape their blackness. However, there is no real unity among the sexes in the bc, yet it is the rhetoric that is fed to bw that keeps them on the "nothing but a black man" train to nowhere. Bm do not receive anywhere near this same type of social conditioning, so they feel free to do what they want. However, bw are yoked to the proverbial "community".

@Gatamala - WOW!! Polygamy? In an established Univ.? Are u serious? It doesn't surprise me that this warped mentality is present in HBCUs curriculum. The women I am referring to above, ALL went to HBCUs, and the one exception (who went to a pre-dom white univ. with me), is the only one who wouldn't settle for a scrap or piece of a man, nor would she encourage me to do that.

roslynholcomb said...

Misery loves company. I must say though, that I haven't really encountered this phenomenon. Most of my friends are married to black men, but they've never given me any grief about my mating/dating choices. Of course, folks tend to leave me the hell alone because they know if they come at me crazy they'll get it back by a factor of ten. I don't play that isht. If you're going to be in an IR you'd better develop a thick skin and stop paying attention to the nonsense folks spew at you. Otherwise you will be a miserable ass.

Aimee said...

pioneervalleywoman said...

In what ways might black women's college experiences lead them down the path of thinking in this way? I'm thinking about the role of black campus groups and the imbalanced male-female ratio. Do the groups on college campuses foster this type of group-think?
___________________________________

Good afternoon PVW! Please forgive this long answer, but your question brings back a LOT of memories:

I think college is really a turning point for a lot of young BW. It is the first time many of them have lived in a diverse environment, usually the first time that they have lived independently of their families, and the first time that they will encounter on a personal level the consequences of the demographic "shortage" of BM.

I think that these factors coalesce, along with the leftover macho black nationalism that is common among many of the black faculty members that black students look to for leadership, to create an environment in which BM students come to view their roles as natural leaders, special and entitled, and BW students are encouraged to view their roles as secondary, submissive, and supportive.

I think this is also where "guilt-tripping" kicks into full gear: why are there so many BW here and so few BM? The implicit message becomes: there are TOO many BW on campus; BW are somehow wrongfully usurping roles that are the rightful property of BM--they should be thinking of ways to correct this "imbalance" by reducing the numbers of BW present. Teen-age black girls are told that THEY, not an array of complex social forces that have nothing to do with them, are responsible for taking opportunities away from their "brothas," simply by working hard, being smart, and achieving.

White students dismiss their presence as the largesse of "affirmative action" (which never gets mentioned in connection with the WW students are the more likely beneficiaries). Too often, black girls are left to muddle through on their own at an incredibly vulnerable point in their lives.

At my Ivy undergraduate school, it sometimes seemed more important that we have FEWER BW than MORE BM. And, of course, the few BW who dated IR and refused to compete in the BM lottery were viciously mocked. "Brothas," of course, were free to do what they wanted--which was to exclusively date biracial, Asian, Latina and white women.

The results were predictable, and probably typical. One of my best friends--who though lightskinned, had two black parents, was unmistakeably black, and thus, was invisible to the BM on campus--dated a street-level pharmaceutical salesman from the projects where she grew up, until the morning some of the white guys from the school football team who lived in our dorm had to pull him off of her (echoes of Boitumello McCallum--except somebody was there to save her). By the way, she stayed with him for three years afterwards.

For the two years I spent at the university, almost all the energy of the BSO was devoted to vindicating an obnoxious BM who had started a fight with a bunch of white guys at a campus pub, and who then tried to parlay his ass-kicking into a cause celebre. A black professor at the law school who figured out early on exactly what happened and counselled that we redirect our energy to something more productive, was of course labelled a "sell-out," and smeared with (irrelevant) gay rumors. And so on.

For me, this was where I became very turned off to many of these organizations. I could never accept that my role as a black woman was simply to be one of a flock of interchangeable hens, available for a one night stand to support a "brothas'" morale or to attend some meaningless candlelight vigil, but never to be taken seriously as a leader, or a romantic partner, in my own right. I knew I deserved better.

For many sisters, however, this is where they first accepted the mantle of mule. And many sisters in their 30s and 40s are still wearing that mantle, and will die wearing it. The more young sisters we can encourage to look as critically at this organizations and their motives as they do any others, the better.

Aimee said...

gatamala said...

We had fora discussing IRR (dubbed IRR # 5632 by one of my professors). I remember the facilitators "calling out" those involved in IRR with whites. They made a specific point of listing Johnetta Cole. A biracial (white mom) student was made to feel less than with some of the nonsense going on. I walked out after 10 minutes.

Let's not even talk about how polygamy (spec, polygyny) was discussed as a viable option.

___________________________________

This is exactly the kind of mess I'm talking about. We forget that these are basically KIDS, girls becoming women, being led like lambs to slaughter. They are being indoctrinated to accept self-sacrifice and second-class citizenship as "normal." And worse yet, they are being taught to watch other sisters for signs of rebellion, the way a house slave was taught to peek out the back window and make sure none of the field negros were running north. How revolting!

Aimee said...

felicia said...

Those of us "watered down" looking sistas can attract hate from our darker more Afrocentric looking sistas period. And when we're with our white husbands and boyfriends, and biracial children, the hatred can be intensified with insecure BW. Many of us can attest to this experience.

I've seen this work both ways. More than once I've heard BM claim that darker BW are more likely to date IR--primarily, I think, because non-BM who are attracted to BW are generally less likely to have the same hair and color obsessions of BM, so you see a broader array of BW in IRRs than they would expect. I think this belief also somehow justifies their own colorism, because they can argue that dark women just want WM to have light babies with or out of self-hatred. The poison of unaddressed colorism infiltrates the way so many us view every interaction, including interactions between BW/WW.

This colorism thing is still a BIGGIE. Throw in the IR aspect and it can get combustible with some folks.

BINGO!

It's too frightening from them to realize and except they're all alone anyway. Many of them.

This is the saddest part. All of that effort put into courting BM approval--and for what?

Anonymous said...

This blog is smoking hot! The discussion here is top notch, top notch!

pioneervalleywoman said...

Good afternoon PVW! Please forgive this long answer, but your question brings back a LOT of memories:


My response: No problem for the length, I like reading your posts, but part of this discussion is for women like us, in our 30s and 40s, like you said, to explain how things were for us in college 15-20 years ago, so that other young bw who are there now can go in with their eyes wide open!

Aimee said...

EmergingPhoenix said...

I do not feel that bw know what a healthy relationship is anymore, nor can they truly counsel and offer good advice to other bw, when they themselves are in less than ideal relationships.

You are exactly right, that "racial suicide" has nothing to do with IRs and more to do with the current relationship among bw and bm. People get that confused, due to the sometimes true notion that some black folks date IR due to self-hate and/or to escape their blackness. However, there is no real unity among the sexes in the bc, yet it is the rhetoric that is fed to bw that keeps them on the "nothing but a black man" train to nowhere. Bm do not receive anywhere near this same type of social conditioning, so they feel free to do what they want. However, bw are yoked to the proverbial "community".

___________________________________

Thank you for sharing your insights with us EmergingPhoenix!

Unfortunately, I am seeing more and more of this in the bc. Fewer people are being reared in households where they see healthy, positive adult relationships between men and women modeled, and they simply do not know what such relationships are supposed to look like.

All too often, they glean their understanding of how men and women should relate to other from their peers and popular culture, and lord knows that those messages are far from healthy. If I hear one more "sista" insisting that "all men cheat," or talking about going through her "man's" voicemails, I'm going to scream. How sad is it to feel compelled to live your life this way? And these are the first women trying to give "advice."

Evia said...

I think a big factor in this bw vs bw dynamic is due to ENVY and insecurity on the part of some bw. Not all of it is due to that, but definitely some.

There are some really lonely, unhappy and insecure bw out there--duh!-- but some cover that up with this "nothing-but-a-bm line." That's the most miserable group of sistas out there. When they see a sista who's in a loving relationship with a wm, or if you even talk about broadening options, those sistas try to keep you in line because they don't believe they can get a desireable wm or desireable anyman. If many of those sistas even thought that desireable (non-racist, nice, well-employed, reasonably attractive, loving)wm or other appealing men wanted relationships with them, their attitudes would do a flip.

This has ALWAYS been my experience, so I've helped some of those more receptive sistas to make a hookup (usually online) with wm or other non-bm, and all of them have done a 180. They thought I was a magician when all I did was point out a man who wanted a woman to a woman who wanted a man. LOL!

We should never underestimate the mind tricks played on bw. Take a lot of lies, sprinkle in a little truth, and a gallon of fear, and you can control a person almost forever.

gatamala said...

There are some really lonely, unhappy and insecure bw out there--duh!-- but some cover that up with this "nothing-but-a-bm line." That's the most miserable group of sistas out there

I can think of two women I know who are like that. 1 is a newlywed, whose husband disrespected her at her wedding. The other is divorced. She gave me so much hatred for IR talk, and effectively stopped speaking to another friend for her white boyfriend! Sadly, her ex husband encompasses all of the DBR traits: a "musician" whose career was going to take off

working on a BA on the 6 year plan while his wife has a JD & a MA AND brought home the bacon

he cheated on her

he stood her up

...YET when you try to encourage her to date out, she refuses. Sadly she's of the phenotype that is prized least by bm.

EmergingPhoenix said...

roslynholcomb said...
"...If you're going to be in an IR you'd better develop a thick skin and stop paying attention to the nonsense folks spew at you. Otherwise you will be a miserable ass."


@Roslyn - Actually, I don't think it has anything to do with developing a "thick skin". Most black girls develop that just to deal with daily occurences, and they shouldn't have to do this in the love department. I think you need a clear sense of individual identity and a framework for what you want out of life and a life partner. If I didn't have that, I would have stayed with the men my friends thought were good for me. Instead, I was able to see for myself that these men were not for me, and laughingly ignore the bw who thought I was crazy.

Aimee said...

"I think college is really a turning point for a lot of young BW. It is the first time many of them have lived in a diverse environment, usually the first time that they have lived independently of their families, and the first time that they will encounter on a personal level the consequences of the demographic "shortage" of BM."


@Aimee - First, thanks for the welcome. I agree that college is a big turning point. Before college, I was surrounded by a vast majority of promising black people. Although I was always open to any man, it never seemed like an issue that some women would choose to only be w/ a bm. In college, there was a big disparity in bm and bw numbers, so it became a natural thing for me to find myself in relationships with some wm or other men. College students are just getting the chance to define themselves outside of their family structure, and they are just as impressionable and vulnerable as any other child in our society. Of course some mature faster than others, or at least think they do. I was telling women to consider dating other men, before I even realized how much of an issue the "nothing but a black man" thing was. It just seemed obvious, that if they were complaining about bm, and there weren't that many around (that we didn't know EVERY DIRTY DETAIL about), that they should consider men outside of our little "black circle".

flowergirl said...

Reading the post and all of the comments tell me one thing; we as a community, we as women, have made no real progress in the 21 century. We are still clinging to the baggage and BS of old, the ignorance/arrogance of our grandparents and their forefathers, not wanting to use our brains and look inward and really question the validity of our belief systems. Instead, we don't mind our own business and take care of our well being, make up stuff like "racial suicide" which could never, ever happen (there's no scientific evidence to back that up anywhere), therefore making it seem like we are the most insecure people on the planet. It seems that the black community doesn't want to change or move forward, and that makes me very, very sad.

I used the term "we" as a generalization, I realize that this forum obviously consists of forward thinkers with open minds.

Regarding the "brothas" and "sistahs" that have issues with me dating white men, I say screw em'. I answer to no one and my loyalties are to myself and those who love me.

Anonymous said...

felicia said...

That's it right there. In their minds, we're a reminder of the freedom and confidence THEY lack. The freedom that they themselves may be interested in achieving but are too scared to try to achieve.

And sometimes it's downright jealousy too. Those of us "watered down" looking sistas can attract hate from our darker more Afrocentric looking sistas period. And when we're with our white husbands and boyfriends, and biracial children, the hatred can be intensified with insecure BW. Many of us can attest to this experience.


I believe colorism should not be. Just because you may be light does not mean that everyone darker is hating on you. I am dark skinned and get stares, myself. I am a beautiful dark skinned woman.(i.e. look at Gabrielle Union, Naomi Campbell etc)Women will be women no what shape, size or color. This is just a part of life and womenhood. We need to accept each other for who we are. Please women everything does not have to be about and determined by skin shade.

We as women just have to have our own minds. Everyone should just be allowed to do what they want to do, whether dating solely black men or nonblack men. It does not matter. People make their own decisions. Even though, I believe that we should be open to all of our options. Its all about just being you whether you are in an interracial relationship or not. Just be proud of what you do.

Felicia said...

I believe colorism should not be. Just because you may be light does not mean that everyone darker is hating on you.

True. I would never suggest any such thing. Sometimes it is a factor, and sometimes it's not.

I am dark skinned and get stares, myself. I am a beautiful dark skinned woman.(i.e. look at Gabrielle Union, Naomi Campbell etc)Women will be women no what shape, size or color. This is just a part of life and womenhood. We need to accept each other for who we are.

So true.

Please women everything does not have to be about and determined by skin shade.

I realize that.

We as women just have to have our own minds. Everyone should just be allowed to do what they want to do, whether dating solely black men or nonblack men. It does not matter. People make their own decisions. Even though, I believe that we should be open to all of our options. Its all about just being you whether you are in an interracial relationship or not. Just be proud of what you do.

That's it right there. Everyone loving themselves and having self pride and self-respect in spite of what anyone else out there thinks about their relationship.

I don't disagree with anything you've said anonymous.

Evia said...

Just because you may be light does not mean that everyone darker is hating on you. I am dark skinned and get stares, myself. I am a beautiful dark skinned woman.(i.e. look at Gabrielle Union, Naomi Campbell etc)Women will be women no what shape, size or color. This is just a part of life and womenhood. We need to accept each other for who we are. Please women everything does not have to be about and determined by skin shade.

You may not be aware of this but many dark-skinned women DO hate on lighter skinned women. I'm not dark or light, so dark skinned people feel comfortable talking around me about how, "so and so thinks she so cute just because she's light." Some dark-skinned people constantly think that a light skinned person doesn't like them or is trying to look down on them, when I'll bet the light skinned person is not even thinking about them. LOL! I have been amazed about the super-sensitivity of some dark skinned sistas when a really lightskinned bw is around, especially if the light skinned sista has euro features and hair. Omagoodness!!

On the other hand, I have known dark skinned women (2 friends of mine) who have lived a mangy dog's life simply because they're dark chocolate. I believe that if these women were light, their lives would have been totally different. So I agree with the ideals you stated, but this is NOT the case in the AA community where colorism is still very rampant but is STILL swept under the rug by people saying that complexion doesn't matter and 'can't we all just get along?'

There are still many dark skinned women who do hate on light-skinned women or are jealous of them simply because they're light and they believe that light skinned is preferred. Like I said, you may not be aware of this, but it is still raging in every AA enclave I've been in.

Yes, Gabrielle Union is beautiful, but every darkskinned sista doesn't look like Gabrielle and shouldn't have to look like her in order to get her share of the perks. It's not Gabrielle's doing that she's beautiful and it's not the light-skinned sista's fault that she's light, and neither is it the dark skinned sista's fault that she is dark and doesn't look like Gabrielle.

Black folks need to have the courage to bring this colorism monster out into the wide open and discuss it honestly and deal with it.

Daphne said...

No problem for the length, I like reading your posts, but part of this discussion is for women like us, in our 30s and 40s, like you said, to explain how things were for us in college 15-20 years ago, so that other young bw who are there now can go in with their eyes wide open!

Quite true. Don't forget those of us in our 20s! I'm 29, 30 in a couple of months, and I am SO glad I found these blogs. I can imagine how difficult it is for so many young women to "go against the grain" given the human need to be accepted.

I recall being in college - Spelman , as a matter of fact - and seeing my fellow students settle for no good men because they were "Morehouse" men. One of my roommates maintained a long-term relationship with a man who fathered a child by another woman, made a physical pass at me (as in, pinning me to the bed and almost kissing me because he wanted to show me I was attractive), all the while telling me that she didn't put up with any mess and she only wanted the best, etc. Heh - I remember being confused by what appeared to be a conflict of her values and her reality.

It's so strange - I grew up relatively poor among Southern blacks, with the "nothing but a brotha" mentality implied but never directly stated, and attended an HBCU. Yet I recall wondering why some BM always got a pass for their behavior, never being held accountable, while BW were constantly scrunitized. I wondered why I could never get into the black nationalist groups, or sororities/fraternities, not realizing my inquisitive nature and my tendency to question the status quo. I even had a hard time at church, because the pastor insisted on building up black men, and telling women to pray for those black men and basically settle for less than the best because you can pray a man into "excellence." I used to think I was half crazy, and mentally beat myself up over why couldn't I just fall in line and not be different, and not wonder why I had to pray a man into "being a man" and why couldn't he have his stuff together and be responsible and treat me with respect when I met him and why this same pastor didn't tell men to "pray" their women into excellence and basically implied that women should be chosen on their looks first, then godliness second, and not think the guy, who happened to be white, I saw at Georgia State's library was really cute because that's certainly not helping.....

Fast forward years later, and I'm more comfortable in my own skin, I eschew religion, I see the movie Something New, and - despite its flaws - immediately buy the DVD, start Googling interracial relationships, and BAM! Evia's blog, Halima's blog, Aimee's blog, Classical One's blog -

Yay! I'm not crazy.

kara said...

You may not be aware of this but many dark-skinned women DO hate on lighter skinned women. I'm not dark or light, so dark skinned people feel comfortable talking around me about how, "so and so thinks she so cute just because she's light." Some dark-skinned people constantly think that a light skinned person doesn't like them or is trying to look down on them, when I'll bet the light skinned person is not even thinking about them. LOL! I have been amazed about the super-sensitivity of some dark skinned sistas when a really lightskinned bw is around, especially if the light skinned sista has euro features and hair. Omagoodness!!

I hear you and I agree.

The only thing that worries me is the perception that only dark-skinned women are doing all of the "hating".

I happen to be darker. I don't know if I'd categorize my like Gabrielle Union - but I do turn the occasional head.

I have all kinds of female friends, including black women of all shades, and I have experienced bias from light-skinned women. It wasn't the "woman" thing Felicia described - there's a difference. It's the opposite of the "oh-she-think-she's-cute" syndrome because they are telegraphing that they believe you to be inferior.

Some also pre-judge you and ass-ume" that you will "hate on them" because of their look.

Believe me, I was very shocked by it because I didn't expect it and I don't look for it. It was almost like being in a time-warp.

Naturally, all of this foolishness needs to end, but I didn't wan't to leave the perception that this issue is unique to dark-skinned women.

Evia said...

Naturally, all of this foolishness needs to end, but I didn't wan't to leave the perception that this issue is unique to dark-skinned women.

I hear you, Kara. I have never felt that a light skinned person was looking down on me or hating on me and neither have I felt anything really strong from a dark-skinned person. So this is one of those experiences that I can not report on from personal experience. The closest I've come to it was because of my close relationship with these 2 women. Some of their experiences were just unbelievable.

sara said...

sometimes it's the why does she think she's cute type of attitude from light skinned girls. I am a very pretty bw (wouldnt nes. say beautiful although people often tell me i am) and i have always gotten alot of attention and many times light skinned women are shocked and look at me as if to wonder who the hell i think i am since i have very high self esteem, think i am great, and never feel less than because i am dark, i love the beautiful brown of my skin and would not have it any other way. (My family loves dark skin- so maybe thats why i never felt less) and anyone who thinks they're better, prettier or whatever i just felt was deluded and stupid. Of course there are prettier women than me in this world but there is no woman in this world who is better than me....

Anonymous said...

Polygamy!

Only in America Ladies...
(and yes, a bm)

Married Man Sues Florist for Revealing Affair - Man Sues for $1 Million After Wife Discovers He Bought Flowers for His Girlfriend

http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3464095

Evia said...

sometimes it's the why does she think she's cute type of attitude from light skinned girls.

I don't doubt that this happens, but NOT EVERY light skinned woman thinks on this low level. Some light skinned sistas are far above that kind of backwards thinking. There are many sistas of all skin shades who think on a much higher level than that. They have a heightened state of consciousness about these woman vs woman issues.

Some of us clearly understand why this happens--or why we're constantly pitted against each other. It's all about sexism and the patriarchy.

I think Aimee asked a profound question when she asked 'why do bw turn on each other?' It is so important for black women to realize that we're actually being pitted against each other by the sexist, patriarchial system that is oppressing ALL of us women--to some extent--and elevating men at our expense. We KNOW this happens in the black community but it's also what pits ww against bw, and thin women against fat women and upper income women against lower income women, etc.

So there are some light and dark skinned women who are tearing each other to pieces over a few scraps of attention from men. Why should women have to compete for men in the first place? Well, it's because men rule the world or let's say it's because women have "allowed" men to rule over them. The power is in the hands of the patriarchy, but only because the majority of the women in the world have been conditioned to believe that men should have the power to rule over women.

Men decide who's pretty and who's not, or which woman to look at and which one to ignore. Therefore, SOME women--who men look at more-than--think they're better than the ones that men look at less-than, when actually we're all being looked at like pieces of meat. LOL! I mean, typical men are not looking at us to give women our share of the power.

A sista at my discussion group last night was saying that it really irks her that even the most FUGLY bm thinks that the most beautiful and accomplished bw should pay attention to him. This is because even homeless men KNOW they have the power to validate a woman's beauty or lack of it, or in essence--her worth. It's the patriarchy that bases the worth of a woman largely on her "looks."

However, instead of women scraping over these tidbits of attention or whatever other crumbs that men throw out, I think women need to actually be focused, almost singlemindedly, on how to position themselves as a gender so that we can get POWER. On a very basic level, this means to me that we bw should NEVER fight each other over scraps because we will only weaken ourselves and each other and only end us with scraps to show for all of that infighting. LOL! We should not be concerned with who gets the most "stares" or because the eddie murphys of the world f&ck over light skinned sistas too. I mean, do Mariah and Halle get treated any better than Whoopi? Do they get more POWER or do they just get squeezed more? It's degrading for women to be fighting each other to get into the position to be squeezed more.

I mean just look at how so many bw have helped to keep other sistas in line. Men could not oppress women without a LOT of help from women. We see this happening in any black community 24-7, but just look at the deplorable state of the lives of so many bw. You would think that we would have all been so greatly rewarded for helping to keep the status quo in the black oommunity. Instead, the state of the lives of many AA women is in in the sewer! We've got to get smarter than this and stop fighting each other for these scraps!!

So it doesn't matter to me whether a sista is lighter than me or thinks she's better or so-called prettier than me because that's stupid thinking to me.

And insofar as this notion of people looking "down" on other people, I think it's important to realize that no one can look down on a person unless the person is "down" there. It's all about where you think you are. The voice of my self esteem never tells me that I'm "down" there, so absolutely no one can look down on me.

kara said...

i have always gotten alot of attention and many times light skinned women are shocked and look at me as if to wonder who the hell i think i am since i have very high self esteem, think i am great, and never feel less than because i am dark

Yes! Yes! Yes!

You named it! You articulated it much better than I did.

There was an article in Essence a few years ago in Essence called "Marrying Mr. Big" and the hypocrisy was palpable. The article was about women who marry the perennial (black, of course) "Mr. Big" - the IBM (Ideal Black Man) and the problems they have getting respect from other women, etc.

The article interested me less than a very salient letter that basically cut the b.s. on the whole article. Here is the letter:

AN EYE ON MRS. BIG In "Mrs. Big" [March 2001], Erica Kennedy points out the "grass is always greener" logic that most people observing the rich and famous seem to subscribe to. But she overlooks facts I witness every day as a member of the Hollywood community.

First, in search of Mrs. Big, an African-American Hollywood mogul or celebrity only looks at Black women with certain attributes: high yellow, with long wavy hair, thin. These women often seek out such men knowing they fit the requirements. Second, many women capitalize on the wealth and security the men provide while claiming to be career women in their own right. Bottom line: The situation is win-win for both parties until the allure of wealth and beauty is no longer enough for day-to-day living.

Name Withheld Hollywood, California

gatamala said...

Hey Daphne

I'm c/o 98.

When I was accepted to SC, the first thing that came out of the mouths of some people was, "oooh those Morehouse men!" Not congratulations.

I had a friend who was raped by a Morehouse man. A family friend's Morehouse dad used to abuse and cheat on her mother. A Morehouse man who was denied entrance at visitation b/c his girlfriend didn't want to see him shattered the door of our dorm (HH). I had a drunk Morehouse "man" come up to me w/ a story on how some girl disrespected him. He asked me whether he should, "slap the bitch".

Yet, we were to fight over these scraps? This is the cream of the crop?

Oh yes, they favored non-black women and lighter-skinned too!

That is not to disparage light women; sometimes I don't think they really get how it feels to be overtly ignored. But then again, I've had lighter women say they stopped dating black men b/c they were tired of being a skin tone...

Ladies, we have to do for self

kara said...

Evia said The closest I've come to it was because of my close relationship with these 2 women. Some of their experiences were just unbelievable.

I definitely believe that. It does happen.

Evia said I don't doubt that this happens, but NOT EVERY light skinned woman thinks on this low level. Some light skinned sistas are far above that kind of backwards thinking. There are many sistas of all skin shades who think on a much higher level than that.

That's true, but we are only speaking about the women that do participate in that nonsense. Just like there are also some "blacker than thou" dark women, there are some "I'm light so I must be right" light-skinned women. They are very much aware of the "light-skinned" priviledge we have spoken about so often on these blogs (and that they tend to be the favored ones with black men) and they take full advantage of it.

gatamala said That is not to disparage light women; sometimes I don't think they really get how it feels to be overtly ignored. But then again, I've had lighter women say they stopped dating black men b/c they were tired of being a skin tone...

Interesting. A very good friend of mine, a light-skinned woman, told me this very thing. She said it made her sick to her stomach. And she definitely noticed the hostility she got from black men who saw her with her white dates.

Evia said...

When I was accepted to SC, the first thing that came out of the mouths of some people was, "oooh those Morehouse men!" Not congratulations.

Yeah, I dated a Morehouse man once and he was SO boring--couldn't even hold a conversation. I was never so happy for that date to end!

Yet, we were to fight over these scraps? This is the cream of the crop?

Yep, major infighting over the scraps. LOL! So many sistas do it every day. (Other women do too, but this is a bw blog.)

And it's women to blame for pumping these men up and making them feel like they're the 'cream of the crop.'

Aimee said...

roslynholcomb said...

If you're going to be in an IR you'd better develop a thick skin and stop paying attention to the nonsense folks spew at you. Otherwise you will be a miserable ass.

Hey roslyn--and congrats again on the article and the mike and juliet appearance!

I agree that part of being a grown up, regardless of the choices you make, is to make peace with the fact that some people aren't going to like you no matter what you do. But I've seen too many sisters let a thick skin develop into a thick skull, and lead them straight down the path to living someone else's script of "Angry Black Womanhood"--yeah, you've got everybody "told," but do you even understand why you are where you are? Can you be genuinely at peace with your life without that understanding?

For many young BW, the only model of IRRs they have ever seen will often be BM/WW, who sometimes very explicitly make their choice to be together based on some "Mandingo/Missy Anne" fantasy. That's certainly their right; but if you're a young person with self-respect, the prospect that you may subconsciously be entering a relationship on such a foundation would be disturbing. When they are confronted by their "own" encouraging them to believe that this is what any and all IRRs are about, it can be easy to believe that is the case if that is all they have ever seen.

Youth is when you figure yourself out--it is the point in your life when you SHOULD question yourself. I would encourage young women to look closely at their own motivations, and really understand WHY they are making the choices they are making--not so they can provide answers to others, but so they can provide answers to themselves.

When you have that kind of insight into yourself you don't have to hide under a guise of "toughness"; you're at peace with yourself, and the opinions of others really can't control you. If anything, you can offer THEM an alternative path, if they will only take it.

pioneervalleywoman said...

Daphne said:

Yet I recall wondering why some BM always got a pass for their behavior, never being held accountable, while BW were constantly scrutinized.

My response:

Some excuses for irresponsibility: "the dog in him," or "the woman made him do it" (Eve's temptress daughter). A woman he's with becomes pregnant: "Well, it's her fault; it's not my problem! It probably isn't even mine...I wasn't serious about her anyway..."

On the other hand, women are responsible, not only for themselves, but for the behavior of others: "you chased him away to go find someone else;" "you didn't try hard enough to help him;" "you didn't stand by him;" "what did you do to make him so angry that he beat you up?"

Can anyone say dysfunctional?

Evia said...

That's true, but we are only speaking about the women that do participate in that nonsense. Just like there are also some "blacker than thou" dark women, there are some "I'm light so I must be right" light-skinned women. They are very much aware of the "light-skinned" priviledge we have spoken about so often on these blogs (and that they tend to be the favored ones with black men) and they take full advantage of it.

Kara, thank you for bringing up this key aspect of this issue.

So the question is whether a light-skinned woman should use her light skin advantage in a system where dark skin sistas get shafted because they lack light skin.

Hmmm--colorism is such a weighty issue that it warrants a blog all by itself.

I had a colleague whose father was an American Indian and her mother was black. My friend's children were very light skinned and she told me she was going to send them to college down south because as she said, "you know how those southern negroes LOVE light skinned black folks. My kids will be able to get over down there BIGTIME!!"

This is the exact same situation that we're talking about here. Should a light-skinned bw use her light skin to manipulate a bm who's fool crazy over light skinned women?

Well, I'm not light skinned, but I'm considered slim, which some people also consider to give me advantage in a weight conscious society. I've dated higher status bm, wm and other men who I know would never have dated a fat woman. So, was I using my slimness to manipulate them? Were they fool-crazy over slim women? Should I have not dated them after I found out that they discriminate against fat sistas, some of whom are now saying that their African genes make them retain weight?

I mean, is a slimmer body shape not associated with AA women these days to the extent that we can say that these men discriminated against other bw who are not slim? Has body shape/weight become a racial characteristic these days?

Aimee said...

Evia said...

I think a big factor in this bw vs bw dynamic is due to ENVY and insecurity on the part of some bw . . .There are some really lonely, unhappy and insecure bw out there--duh!-- but some cover that up with this "nothing-but-a-bm line." That's the most miserable group of sistas out there. When they see a sista who's in a loving relationship with a wm, or if you even talk about broadening options, those sistas try to keep you in line because they don't believe they can get a desireable wm or desireable anyman. If many of those sistas even thought that desireable (non-racist, nice, well-employed, reasonably attractive, loving)wm or other appealing men wanted relationships with them, their attitudes would do a flip . . . We should never underestimate the mind tricks played on bw. Take a lot of lies, sprinkle in a little truth, and a gallon of fear, and you can control a person almost forever.

Hey Evia!

I have sometimes heard these women admit that they don't believe that they and other BW are actually attractive to non-BM. And I've certainly heard plenty of the "they don't want you!" propaganda that is spewed BW's way, often by other BW--because they themselves clearly believe that nobody really wants BW--including BM.

That also underlies their almost hysterical reaction to BM who date and marry out--the fear that as BW, they can't compete with other women for BM, and at the same time, that they are limited to competing with other women for BM--so if BM are free to pursue whoever they want, they will have no options at all.

It is truly ironic how much fear and low self-worth lies at the root of so many of these "proud, pro-black" declarations about "racial suicide" and "black love."

Aimee said...

Morning Daphne!

I know exactly what you're talking about when you refer to the entitled mentality of many BM students at elite universities--really any university today. They are sent a constant message that they are a precious commodity, a "prize" to be coddled and fought over. In a way, we almost see a reversal of roles, with BW courting and competing for these "homecoming queens." It's quite ridiculous, and I would add, unhealthy. I sincerely hope as many young BW as possible can be informed so that they can enter such environments with their eyes wide-open, and leave them with their self-respect intact.

I know plenty of black folks would have a holy ghost fit if they thought we were trying to tell their young daughters to date "de white man." LOL! But my only message is: don't settle. You don't have to.

Anonymous said...

"A sista at my discussion group last night was saying that it really irks her that even the most FUGLY bm thinks that the most beautiful and accomplished bw should pay attention to him. This is because even homeless men KNOW they have the power to validate a woman's beauty or lack of it, or in essence--her worth."

knockoutchick says:

Hello All,

Great postings here!

The above just cracked me up and reminded me of a situation last summer. I ran out of the apartment to grab a bagel ...in jeans, t-shirt and flip-flops, as I rounded the corner a black guy about 40 who appeared homeless made soem comments about how he thought I looked nice and he liked my jeans.

I responded with a mild smile. I guess since I didn't jump up and down at his "compliment" and head running over to him. He felt insulted. As I kept walking ...he yelled out "You ain't my type anyway. I like my women to be all did, and your feet ain't right...you ain't even done your toes."

A man who looks like he has not been close to a bath in quite sometine...yet he likes his women fully made up and with spa pedicures only. LOL!

So true, A man in any position in life feels he can really sting a woman by commenting negatively on her looks.

Why???? because we GIVE them the power. I am not saying we should dismantle male-female roles...but some changes are in order within US.

roslynholcomb said...

Interesting. I dunno, I think of black women being remarkably thin-skinned especially as it pertains to IR dating. After all, we've been letting the narrow-minded opinions of others keep us shackled for quite a while now. I think we're obsessed with what other people think and maintaining an 'image' even if we go bankrupt in the process. Nope, like the matriarchy and hoochie-mamaness, this is just another myth about black women.

roslynholcomb said...

Interesting. I dunno, I think of black women being remarkably thin-skinned especially as it pertains to IR dating. After all, we've been letting the narrow-minded opinions of others keep us shackled for quite a while now. I think we're obsessed with what other people think and maintaining an 'image' even if we go bankrupt in the process. Nope, like the matriarchy and hoochie-mamaness, this is just another myth about black women.

Aimee said...

Evia said...

It is so important for black women to realize that we're actually being pitted against each other by the sexist, patriarchial system that is oppressing ALL of us women--to some extent--and elevating men at our expense. We KNOW this happens in the black community but it's also what pits ww against bw, and thin women against fat women and upper income women against lower income women, etc.

Good lord, this ain't nothing BUT the truth. Alice Walker actually wrote an incredible essay on this very subject called "If the Present Looks Like the Past, What Does the Future Look Like?," discussing the frustration and distance so many very light and very dark BW experience from one another, primarily because of the unaddressed colorism that runs rampant in the bc.

I remember years ago my mother mentioning to me that she saw a grade school friend of mine in a local boutique, and in catching up about her life, learned that her H.S. years had been hell--she is biracial, and went to a "magnet" school that was approximately 30% black. The black boys pursued her relentlessly, and as a result, the black girls hated her with such intensity that a group of them actually surrounded her one day and pulled out her eyelashes one of many assaults.

Of course, what the black girls REALLY hated was their own invisibility when this girl walked in the room. They hated that the boys who shared their hair texture and skin color either mocked or ignored them for looking too much like their own mothers and sisters. They were devastated that they were invisible to the larger society, and the same boys who expected them to support their egos and provide them the respect and identity that they never got from the mainstream, turned their backs on them just like everyone else.

And of course, they never, ever would have considered "selling out" and dating one of the white boys who slipped notes in their lockers. Instead they took the first steps into "strong black womanhood," where you never shed tears or show vulnerability, but you sure know how to express anger. And they turned on a sister--of course. Who else could be a more appropriate target? There's always something wrong with us.

And of course, there were all those light girls who WERE convinced they were better, who were happy with the status quo where lightskinlonghair makes you beautiful, no matter what you look like, who were pleased to join the black boys in laughing at the "ugly, baldheaded bitches" with their bond weaves and blue contacts.

As with everything else, WE have to face this, and WE have to put a stop to it. The "community" aint gonna do it.

Stardusky said...

Evia said:

I remember years ago my mother mentioning to me that she saw a grade school friend of mine in a local boutique, and in catching up about her life, learned that her H.S. years had been hell--she is biracial, and went to a "magnet" school that was approximately 30% black. The black boys pursued her relentlessly, and as a result, the black girls hated her with such intensity that a group of them actually surrounded her one day and pulled out her eyelashes one of many assaults.

Of course, what the black girls REALLY hated was their own invisibility when this girl walked in the room. They hated that the boys who shared their hair texture and skin color either mocked or ignored them for looking too much like their own mothers and sisters. They were devastated that they were invisible to the larger society, and the same boys who expected them to support their egos and provide them the respect and identity that they never got from the mainstream, turned their backs on them just like everyone else.

And of course, they never, ever would have considered "selling out" and dating one of the white boys who slipped notes in their lockers. Instead they took the first steps into "strong black womanhood," where you never shed tears or show vulnerability, but you sure know how to express anger. And they turned on a sister--of course. Who else could be a more appropriate target? There's always something wrong with us.


Amen, Evia, Amen.

Anonymous said...

knockoutchick says:

Hello Aimee,

Many of us are still wearing our school yard scars! Things said to us many years ago that still sting. It is very sad. We need to talk about it.

We need to ask ourselves...why even when we know better...words like "black" and "nappy headed" were considered insults.

We have to talk about it with each other but especially with our young girls.

Those of us who KNOW should prevent our daughters from having these convos 20 years from now.

Evia said...

Stardusky, I didn't say that last quote. Those were Aimee's words and powerful ones too.

Y'all we've got to let other sistas know about the existence of these blogs. These blogs will save countless bw from MUCH agony!

If nothing else, copy the names and blog URL's of each of our blogs on colorful paper along with a brief and catchy gist of what each blog is about and just hand the paper out to any sista who has access to the internet, and tell each sista that these blogs may not only change her life for the better, but her daughter's life too.

Does anyone else have ideas about how to get the word out to black women?

gatamala said...

Instead they took the first steps into "strong black womanhood," where you never shed tears or show vulnerability, but you sure know how to express anger. And they turned on a sister--of course. Who else could be a more appropriate target? There's always something wrong with us.

This is so accurate it's frightening.

I was not that light-skinned girl. I am a dark brown upper middle class girl w/ "long" hair who "talked white". After my light-skinned friend, I got the residue (my very dark-skinned friend got none). They guys slept w/ the poor girls, but I wasn't into that at ELEVEN years old. I was freaked out. The girls HATED me. I was quiet and did nothing to arouse ire (internalizing the blame). But that male attention....nothing could combat that.

Back in undergrad (this is an HBCU for you), some Morehouse students made tshirts that said in part, "Morehouse men write with pens". SC was the same. Then it said "Clark students write with pencils; Morris Brown's with crayons".

The school that lost out, that was excluded was SC. MC made the shirts, but they're "commodities" so they got a pass. When "brother/sister" pairings-up were created, there were MC/SC pairs and Clark/MC pairs. Clark wouldn't pair with us, nor would MBC.

My point of this sojourn down memory lane is to show how our interactions were governed by what was convenient for the males. All of this...in SPITE of what we tried (w/ some success) to accomplish at SC. In spite of it all, I'd say we were more "aware" of gender issues than anyone else. But even at that level, we had/have such a far, far way to go.

LaDonna said...

They are sent a constant message that they are a precious commodity, a "prize" to be coddled and fought over.

I completely agree with this statement. In high school it was a even playing field because the # of bm = bw but when we got to college the men no longer wanted to have girlfriends because they had so many opportunities to play the field. It was extremely rare to see black couples together yet I saw other races and bm with ww all the time on campus. As women we need to be open to love no matter what color it comes in.

Danielle said...

Hey ladies,

I just love reading these blogs where you ladies (aimee, evia, halima) have done such a good job of promoting ways to help black women look at themselves as the beautiful creatures we are. On reading some of the comments, I'm glad I went to a college that was mixed. The world we live in is different. Black colleges were supposed to help empower black people to be effective in making a difference in society and there is some of the that still going on. But as some of you have pointed out, the cultural dogma of black women having to be "loyal" to the race and that keeps so many black women "trapped" into thinking they have to be loyal to the black community.

Going to a mixed college gave me the opportunity to not only get a good education, but the opportunity to date the white men I'd always preferred. Now I have a wonderful white man who is the best thing to have happened to me. I'm so glad that you ladies are leading the way to show sistas that it is a beautiful thing to be loved and cared for by white men. I wouldn't trade if for the world. I don't actively try to promote IR relationships amongst black women who only want to date black men, but there are sistas who've wanted to date white men and have been hesitent to do so because of their cultural upbringing. In my IR groups, I encourage them to read these blogs. The more we can encourage them the better it will be for all black women. Black women who date white men can enjoy the IRRs they've always wanted and the BW who are with BM will hopefully get appreciated more for the "wake-up calls" that BW/WM relationships will give them.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading along for the past few days. I am just blown away.

Something just struck me. I don't have a conscious preference for darker skin, but there may be something sub-consciously. This maybe because when I was in college the light-skin bw seemed less approachable. I don’ t know.

Evia said...

Of course, what the black girls REALLY hated was their own invisibility when this girl walked in the room. They hated that the boys who shared their hair texture and skin color either mocked or ignored them for looking too much like their own mothers and sisters. They were devastated that they were invisible to the larger society, and the same boys who expected them to support their egos and provide them the respect and identity that they never got from the mainstream, turned their backs on them just like everyone else.

Aimee, this invisibility of dark skinned women or in some cases the outright disdain for them by BLACK MALES is what's killing bw self esteem and it's also what's driving a lot of the current behavior of bw towards getting long flowing weaves, going blonde, using makeup that will lighten their skin tone a shade or two, or bleaching their skin in some cases. Some sistas are even getting surgery these days to get more euro noses.

I remember Arsenio Hall made this comment in an interview that when he dates a bw who is 'foine,' he wants to meet her mama and her sistas to check out their noses. Isn't that just the most ignorant thing--as if a non-euro nose keeps a bw from being naturally 'foine'.

Yet so many black men continue to say that skin shade doesn't matter in their selection of women, or that they want a sista with "natural" hair or that they love the way bw look. Yeah, right!!

Many bm have nothing but nasty things to say these days about bw with weaves, yet these same men salivate over lighter women with long flowing hair! This is such hypocrisy!! Are most black men schizo or what? LOL! Don't they know that bw notice the women who bm look at the longest and that bw pay CLOSE attention to the women that bm say are "foine"?

I constantly do informal research re this. For ex., I watch closely at my church when folks go up to put their contibution or tithe in the basket. I notice which women the black men of all ages look at the most. You know it!! LOL! They tend to look at well-endowed sistas the most, but MORE so the sistas with the least broad facial features, who are lighter and with the hair. But, a light skinned woman with the hair and with basically no curves draws their eyes every time.

It's so clear to me that MANY of those black men who can afford to discriminate against dark skinned sistas DO discriminate. If many of these "brothas" with darker wives or girlfriends ever got their hands on a lot of money, they would trade to a lighter/whiter woman. Not all--but many. This is why I stand behind that comment I made in the AP article. I KNOW that the majority of the brothas these days would not choose a chocolate sista to lie around his swimming pool!

Yet, like you say, they would expect these sistas to come out and support them in whatever they're doing and protest discriminatory treatment against them by de evil wm. (smh)

One thing for sure is that when you're with a white man, you can be sure that he's not with you for your light or white skin shade or your hair because if he just wanted a light or white skinned woman with long straight hair, he could get that with a ww.

Anonymous said...

"Many bm have nothing but nasty things to say these days about bw with weaves, yet these same men salivate over lighter women with long flowing hair! This is such hypocrisy!!"

knockoutchick says:

Good Morning All!

As Evia pointed out above...Many BM openly voice disdain for weaves, yet as we know many white female celebs and society women have weaves as well. Therefore I say, it is really the "nappy" they can't stand. I think this also plays into why many BM shave thier heads...fear and hatred of the nappy.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, what the black girls REALLY hated was their own invisibility when this girl walked in the room."

knockoutchick says:

Everytime I read these blogs they are so dead on it brings back images of exact experiences in my life. All women seek exceptance from men and validation of thier beauty. This is a double edged sword for BW since the BC and therefore BM have accepted the larger white society's perception that only fairer is beautiful. So many BW never receive that validation from BM.....or ANYONE.

I can remember some years ago I was in Il Cantorini in New York and Cindy Crawford walked in.

At the time I was there with a male friend, but there was an attractive blonde at the bar area who had been the absolute center of attention for all the men, she was sitting and preening and flinging her hair and generally enjoying the attention. Now when Cindy Crawford walked in, who by the way was absolutely stunning in person, all the men in the room started salivating over Cindy. She seemed very normal about all this ....I guess it happens all the time. She did not to encourage further attention, simply had her drink and chatted with her companion.

But the real fun was the blonde at the bar who went into overdrive, flinging her hair and leaning over to expose more cleavage, adjusting her seat and skirt. Oh Lord! And the looks she gave Cindy Crawford!!! Whew if looks could kill, Cindy would have blown to bits on the spot.! LOL

It reminded now of the hair commercial where the brunette girl gets whiplash from flinging her hair around in competition with another woman. :-)

Anyway I'll never forget that story! But what I know is the blonde woman was upset because she was USED to be the center of attention. Now if she had sense she would have just left that bar, where the competition was just too fierce and went across the street where she could have been Belle of the ball and gotten all the self esteem boosts that many women crave.

Yet, the sad truth for many young dark skinned BW is there is no place where THEY are the "Belle" in the BC.

Riley said...

Is there really a black community? Answer that...b/c I dont believe there is...

Anonymous said...

"Is there really a black community? Answer that...b/c I dont believe there is... "

BINGO...if there is, it exist for the benefit of black men.

Anonymous said...

knockoutchick says:

Agreed! There is no "community" as in a group of people supporting each other with common interests...but there is a large number of people who share skin color and history.

foreverloyal said...

But the real fun was the blonde at the bar who went into overdrive, flinging her hair and leaning over to expose more cleavage, adjusting her seat and skirt. Oh Lord! And the looks she gave Cindy Crawford!!! Whew if looks could kill, Cindy would have blown to bits on the spot.! LOL

No matter how attractive you are, how clear your skin or shiny your hair, etc., there is always, ALWAYS someone prettier than you. We need to have more going for us than our looks.

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