We still have to discuss interracial relationships in 2015 and that’s a little bit sad. Perhaps that’s because we think they should be more prevalent than they are. However, social scientists don’t lie and we are simply more likely to spend time around those who look like us, especially in terms of race and class.
One statistic that always seems to be talked about is that the least coupled interracial group are Black Women and White men. Considering that this match has one of the least chances of divorce, if they were to tie the knot, it still seems that there is a sort of invisible wall that prevents us from seeing this couple in higher statistics. I asked a few people what they thought about this, and I’ve come to conclusion there are five major reasons we’re not seeing more Black women and White men dating:
1. Black Women Are Spoiled
Black women are spoiled mostly by having grown up around Black men. And I think most Black women can attest to the reality that Black men are simply more forward about their interest. Of course, this does not apply to every single Black man on the planet. But in general, Black men have no qualms about walking up to a woman and immediately informing her of their interested. In my personal experience and in my societal observations, White men do tend to be a little more conservative about this. I’m not saying this is true for all White men, but it might be true, generally speaking. All that said, Black women are culturally used to being approached and the lack of approach indicates to them a lack of interest. (Even if that’s not actually true).
2. White Men Are Intimidated
Black women do not like to hear this, but we can come off intimidating. And if you ask many (American) White guys, they will in fact tell you they are intimidated. I notably say American because I have noticed that White men from other parts of the world do not get intimidated in the presence of Black women. Perhaps it has more to do with expectation that reality, but many White men seem to feel that asking Black women out has a high-risk, low-reward likelihood. So perhaps there is some loss of intercultural cultural communication in how Black women and White men view each other as potential dating partners.
3. Stereotypes & Representations
Ah, stereotypes. We can never seem to get away from them. On both sides I would say that Black women and White men have inaccurate stereotypes about each other. Many of them have to do with attraction. But the bottom line stereotype is that White men are less likely to be attracted to Black women, and even when they are, it’s only a “certain type of Black women.” And the same goes for Black women–that they are uninterested in White men because they are not attracted to them. Or there’s a wrong notion that White men may only be interested in Black women as fetishes. Well, I’m here to let the cat out of the bag: White men are attracted to Black women, Black women are attracted to White men. And we all need to do better at admitting it.
4. Politics & History
Everything is political. Now it may be an uncomfortable truth, but especially as far as Black American women are concerned, there is a negative historical relationship that exists between them and White men. Historically situated as oversexualized and/or caricatured in the most demeaning ways, those cultural memories are not to be treated lightly. Because like it or not, history affects perceptions to this day. This is probably the most serious of the reasons, and maybe it is the one that all of America, needs to consider discussing more. The more honest we are about this, the more I think, it is likely to be overcome on an individual basis.
5. Black Women’s Hair
Oh Black women and our hair. We know all too well that it doesn’t define us and if we don’t, we should. Many of us do not want to have to explain the wonders of our hair. We always slightly hope that somehow a person of a different racial or cultural background just knows. Truth is Black hair comes in all different textures and while it is understandable why we can be so defensive about hair, we need to recognize that a lack of knowledge on the part of White men does not equate to a lack of wanting to know. And maybe we too can do some soul-searching ourselves about why we would hesitate to teach someone who we’re romantically involved with. Because really, at the end of the day, they’re guys. And well, guys don’t care about our hair as much as we do. And I’d say, that’s a good thing.