On black women, our femininity, and right to be feminine
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Black Women: Yes, You Are Liked....Yes, You Are LOVED!
“How do ________ men feel about black women?”
I’ve never written any posts asking the above question because I understood the idea that results vary. Not everyone feels the same way. No one is obligated to feel the same way. But curiosity is a human condition and people will satisfy it anyway they can. In this case, by posting generic questions on the internet and hoping for the best. But the internet is full of all kinds of anonymous people and questions like this draw honest feedback as well as out-and-out evil. When a black woman makes her curiosity (and indirectly, her vulnerability) known, it tends to brings out the worst kinds of persons. A hopeful black woman is a delicacy to poisonous people who cannot wait to tear her down.
For that reason, I stay away from such discussions, which often take place in hostile environments. BWE/BW-IRR centric safe spaces on the internet are rarer than we appreciate. Outside of these communities, the conversation can be biased against the best wishes and self-esteem of black women. Even such spaces are not immune to people showing up that are determined to erode the confidence and well being of black women who want more for themselves.
Needless to say, such persons get indignant when they cannot spread their poison and are promptly shown the door. Likely this sense of entitlement comes from being used to boards and blogs where they can tear down black women with gusto and no one says anything. And if a black woman is lacking in self-love and confidence, it can be devastating seeing so many people line up to put you down for no other reason than because you are a black woman.
But, there is a more basic and more fundamental question that’s being asked whenever these questions pop up:
“Do people think I’m worthy of being liked and loved?”
There is a fear that racism will cloud the judgment of the whole Earth and being a dark-skinned woman of color will set the universe against you. There are indeed a great deal of people who love nothing better than standing on the backs of black women; doing so makes them closer to the top of the pile. Looking for the love and approval of such persons is pointless because (1) you’ll never get it and (2) anyone who would rather stand on you than love and support you is not someone you should be trying to be loved by anyway. They are certainly not worthy of your love.
One mistake SO MANY black women make is that they make racism the focus rather than love. They worry about accidentally falling in love with a racist. They worry that if they consider interracial dating, they’ll have to find true love amongst a sea of bigots that hate them. It’s mind boggling that some black women ignore racism aimed at them by self-hating members of their own ethnic group. And yet at the same time, focus on racists when it comes to interracial relationships rather than qualities and and characteristics that already signal that a man is ideal, regardless of his ethnic background.
When you are conditioned to prioritize your skin color to such a degree and are taught that it is the most unlovable thing there is, it’s no wonder that you become so full of self loathing, shame, and fear.“If being a black woman is such a terrible thing to every other ethnic group….does anyone out therereally love me?”
To the women who ask themselves this or if you know black women who ask themselves this, please pass along the following:
YES, you are likable and lovable and your skin is never a deterrent among people who are truly caring towards you. Do not get caught up in the idea of your skin color getting in the way of being loved or the skin color and culture of someone else getting in the way either. All humans want to be loved and well thought of. It’s practically part of the way we are formed. We want to be well thought of and cared for by others, and it’s an absolutely normal desire.
It’s first important to allow yourself to view this desire as normal, and to understand that you are worthy of being loved for who you are. Let go of this feeling that race is the most important factor in determining whether you are capable of being seen as a lovable human being.Let go of the assumption that race is a valid reason to care about the opinions of other people that serve only to keep you immobile in a corner. It doesn’t matter if those people are white Americans, Eastern Europeans, South-East Asians, or members of your own ethnic group. Those who would harm you mentally, emotionally, and physically can all be counted as persons whose opinions you need not concern yourself with and whose love you need not be seeking to validate yourself.
This does not mean you can’t speak out against or combat racism. It’s just that when it comes to matters of love, so many black women have been taught to treat it as something that they must concern themselves with in all things when dealing with other people or how they expect those persons to seek to interact with them. For them, consideration of interracial love begins from the point of view of seeking a non-racist in a pile of KKK members, rather than seeking a loving man of another race. It’s like they don’t know how to “turn off” or “flip the switch” and focus on something other than skin color and ethnicity. Ironic, right?
If there are men of other ethnic groups you are attracted to, understand that just as you are not a monolithic black woman they are not monolithic either. Just as you desire to be loved, so do these men. Before saying, “Do _______ men, like/love black women?” say, “I am a black woman worthy of being loved. And I am a woman who will concern myself with individuals I feel are worthy of my love and whom I am worthy of being loved by.”
If you have qualities and characteristics in mind regarding what kind of person you want to be with, that should always be the top priority. Do not make interracial dating about seeking a partner in order to affirm whether or not you are worthy of being loved. This should be a given. If it is not STOP, please, and make that something you work on. Otherwise you are approaching the idea of a loving relationship from a deficit and you will not be capable of being an equal in whatever loving relationship you are seeking. It’s kind of hard to find love if you go into the dating world not believing that it’s something you are completely worthy of.
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Thanks for reading. I’ll be taking a tiny break from blog writing because I NEED to get to work on my book or it’s just not going to get done. Have a wonderful week everyone!