If I had a dollar for every time a black man made a comment along the lines of, “That’s why I date white women,” or, “If black women keep it up, I’m going to start dating white girls,” I could probably retire at 30. But with the influx of women toting similar statements about how and why white women are “winning,” I might be able to reduce that number to 29.
I was over on the site Madame Noire (Bossip’s sister site) the other day when I came across the article, White Women Are #Winning, Step Your Game Up, based on a similarly titled article published in UPTOWN Magazine, Love: Why White Women Are Winning. Both articles address black women’s perceived attitudes, unwillingness to cater to our men, declining value in the institution of marriage, hesitation to date interracially, and lack of expectation for finding a man—basically stating white women are our polar opposites and are therefore not unlucky in love as we are.
Now if you truly feel that you need insight into some possible reasons to explain why you are single (in case you haven’t heard enough already), then, by all means, take heed to the advice presented, as that is not necessarily where the problem lies. The issue is the fact that black women have jumped on the “white women are better because of x,y,z” bandwagon.
My first thought when I saw the article was that this was a case of irresponsible publishing. Why, as websites and magazines that are supposed to be a service to black people, and black women in particular, would you publish something that places white women on a pedestal? None of the character traits mentioned in the article are true of all white women, just as not all of the negative stereotypes that are perceived to be holding black women back from finding their mate are true. Could either author not have written (another) article simply highlighting characteristics of women in effective relationships/marriages? It’s articles like these pitting black and white women against one another as two entirely different species that have the potential to revive black women’s ill feelings toward black men dating interracially—although we’ve been told time and time again to get over it or join the movement.
I think there is something inherently dangerous about making these sorts of comparisons. It’s not enough that blond hair and blue eyes are revered as the ideal standard of beauty by society as a whole, and that some black men will gladly step up and let everyone know why they prefer white women to loud, ghetto, hyper-independent black women, but now black women are telling one another to look up to white women as examples of how to be successful in relationships. What message are we sending ourselves when we make statements like, “white women are winning,” which implies we are losing?
It’s no wonder, as the UPTOWN author mentions, some younger generations believe that marriage is for white people. Maybe it’s because we’re propping up white women to black men and telling black women, you’re not her and the only way to have what she has is to be like her. This is not to say that the underlying principles of the article may not be useful (or that this is just a case of a black woman not wanting to hear what she needs to hear), but what is not helpful is reinforcing stereotypes within and outside of the black community that make black women feel inferior.
It is sort of amusing when we think about how perming ones hair or wearing a weave are signs of self-hatred and conforming to white standards of beauty, but it’s ok to conform to white standards of love. There are times when I think black people can overcomplicate issues of love and marriage, but articles like these remind me of just how complex our relationships are.
You can’t outright compare white and black women’s approaches to love no more than you can compare white and black men’s. I hate to introduce my own stereotypes here, but traditionally white girls are brought up to be someone’s princess and white men are groomed to provide financial stability for his family. Black women on the other hand may be told to provide for themselves because it’s not likely that someone else will do so, and black men may be told to watch out for goldiggers. These are huge differences in upbringing that black men and women don’t just leave at the door when they get googly-eyed for someone else. These beliefs affect the way we approach dating and it’s unfair to suggest either gender (although black women are the target) can easily drop this baggage and subscribe to the mainstream (white) school of thinking.
Personally, it’s a slap in the face whenever a black male counterpart makes explicit overgeneralizations about why he prefers white women to black women, but it’s an even bigger slap for black women to reinforce these notions ourselves. We have to be careful about the ideas we’re putting out into society. We’ve already opened a can of worms publicizing the plight of the single, educated black woman who can’t find a man, let’s not add putting white women on an even bigger pedestal as well.