Thursday, March 4, 2010

Everybody Hates Black Women


I always knew that black women have it bad. And this statement isn't coming from a place of self-loathing or self-pity. I'm just a black woman who has lived in virtually every environment there is to live in-- from all white, to predominantly white, to all black to predominatly black. I've been among the rural and the urban, the rich and the poor. I've seen it from all angles.

And from this I've been able to convincingly conclude that black women have it bad.

The first piece of validation and confirmation that I had for my theory came in 1992, when I heard Ice Cube's "True to the Game."

"Cause soon as y'all get some dough, Ya wanna put a white bitch on your elbow..."

I clearly wasn't the only one who felt like black women were not the priority choice for any successful black man. Then came Wesley Snipes' comments (back when dude was relevant) about how "aggressive" and therefore unattractive black women are. Next up was Cuba Gooding, Jr. and his...well, very existence. Taye Diggs, Michael Jordan... this list goes on and on. But really, I had sort of accepted it. I mean, successful black men regularly chosing white women (or women of another race period) was just part of the game. Their excuses (the social circles are different so white women are more accessible, etc, etc) were still pretty shallow, but easy for me to brush off. 

But then, things started to switch. It seemed as though regular black men started not wanting us too, on many different levels. My validation for this thought came from working in the rap industry. Suddenly artists started thinking it was necessary to have a random white woman validate them. They started passing over black publicists, marketers/promoters, even writers, in favor of white women, who with few exceptions, didn't really even understand the culture or the music. I have a few specific incidents I could share, but, eh.

Still, I sort of shrugged it off... until recently. My buddy, Kevin Johnson (who loves his black wife) sent me this study the other day:

Race and Romance: An Uneven Playing Field for Black Women

"Men (including African-American men) write back to African-American women at about a 20% lower rate. This result is somewhat reminiscent of the famous resume study done by Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan, which found that employers who place want ads were less likely to respond to resumes from people with African-American sounding names."

In a nutshell, it indicates that black women, based on a study of messaging statistics, are lowest on the desire totem pole for men... even men who claim that they have no racial preference. Sheesh. With so many different types of black women to chose from these days, I would've imagined the desire level would've gone up.

If everyone, including black men, find other races of women more desirable than black women, what does it mean for us? Seriously? Are black women the plague? Are we honestly unattractive to men (doesn't Beyonce, Keri and Halle refute that theory)? What is the issue, dude? Like, I really want to know. And don't come with the "black women have high expectations and are too angry" theory either. Been there, done that--- I need something new and current.

It's sickening to me, the stigma that black women apparently carry. And it's even more sickening that when everyone else finds us "undesirable"... black men can't even come to our defense.

Sigh.

Dude, I'm sooo going back to South Africa where I'm viewed as exotic.

It's just nice to feel wanted.