Monday, January 07, 2008

generalize

how do some people just make blankets statments like ' i could never date a [this race or that race] man or woman? i seriously don't get it. i had a small dinner party a few nights ago and us girls were sitting around the table talking. one of my newer friends (who is black), who is recently divorced started talking about some guy that she had been set up with. he's white.

so anyway, she's going on and on about things she didn't really like about the guy and just as my eyes started to glaze over she goes, ' i just don't think i could be with a white man'. first of all, isn't that kinda rude in my presence? i mean maybe i'm oversensitive when it comes to that because my husband is white. i don't know. but aside from that, why couldn't she be with a white man? do all white men smell like cheese? or, are they all square dorks? that's just as bad as me saying i could never date a black man. it's not any worse just because i happen to be black. sure, i think i have a preference for attractive white men, but that doesn't mean that any old dirty, dorky, ignorant white guy will do, just because he's white. and it doesn't mean that (if i were in the dating scene) i would totally rule out any other race.

i think alot of black women kind of stereotype white guys as being all stiff and dorky, etc., etc.,and some of them are. but so are some black, asian and hispanic, too. no one's suggesting that you date the dorks of any race, unless you just want to.

it seems like such a tired cliche for black women to say that.--'i just don't think i ever could date a black man.' just because they're white. period. so even if the perfect package guy came along, she'd reject him because he's white? i personally find it hard to believe any woman that says that they think a whole race of people are unattractive.

people should be clear on what they mean when they say things like ' i could never date a white man' . why not just say, 'my preference is black, but any decent guy that's got A, B, and C, is worthy trying out? or, this person is just not my personality type? attractive is atractive (and i'm not just talking about looks). and yeah, you can obviously have your preference (who doesn't?), but to just rule out a whole race?

that's so racist, and somehow it's okay to say it to other black women, as if we all will understand. like we expect each other to say that. and i know if i heard of a group of white women or men sitting around talking about how 'they could never date a black woman', i'd be kinda pissed and think they were idiots.

39 comments:

tar baby said...

I don't think it's being racist because she said, "I just don't think I could be with a white man." I've said that before, too. I've dated white people (men and women) and for me, as a black woman, the cultural differences and expectations were myriad and I really didn't have the patience or desire to put up with it. Is it so wrong to want someone who shares a similar background as you? Maybe that was her reasoning. Or maybe she just doesn't find white men attractive.

And i know if i heard of a group of white women or men sitting around talking about how 'they could never date a black woman', i'd be kinda pissed and think they were idiots.

Just go to the personals section on craigslist. I'm sure you'll find your share of idiots. It pisses me off, too, but I can't chide anyone for their preferences, no matter how prejudicial they may be. That's just a waste of time, imo. Plus, not everyone clings to the notion that white is right.

Anyway, I've been reading your blog for awhile. This is my first time commenting. It's interesting, to say the least...

Terell said...

tar baby,

Can you do me a favor and expound on the last part of your comment, "not everyone clings to the notion that white is right"?
Maybe I am reading a little too much into this. But it sounds to me that, after you give some reasonable explanations as to what this woman could have meant, you turn around and make a comment with the same sort of malice that she suspected of this other woman.
Again maybe I willing to admit that this may be about me. Were you speaking against the general Eurocentric beauty standards that folks have to deal with in general?

-T

Natalie said...

Some people just aren't comfortable dating outside their race. Some are. I don't think it is necessarily a racist thing to be more comfortable with certain people. If she had said "I don't see how any black woman could be with a white man" it would have been different but personal preference is something totally different.

Lee said...

I agree. I find it weird that someone would exclude a whole race of people. But is it really so hard to believe that every woman isn't attracted to white men? I'd honestly like to know what's so great about them. Just like you prefer white dudes, she prefers dudes who aren't white. No big deal. And tons of guys would date any woman EXCEPT for a black woman, so it's not like this is only something that black women do.

You also have to remember that everyone isn't whitestruck like you are.

That Black Girl said...

Lee,

i don't find it hard that everybody is NOT attracted to white men or any other race. there are white men that i am not attracted to. what i'm saying is i find it hard to understand how someone can just say that *all* men of any race are unattractive to them. a good looking/acting man is a good looking/acting man in any race.
also, i wouldn't classify myself as being color struck. i don't think white men are attractive just because they are *white*, and just because they're white doesn't make them attractive. that's just my preference. doesn't mean if i were single i wouldn't give someone of another race a chance.

boinka said...

Lee,

Amen.

captured shadow said...

I think Natalie nailed it. It is a personal preference thing. But I would never say never. I did not think I would fall for a religious Muslim woman, but then I did so I will be trying to avoid writing off any other groups.....

: JustaDog said...

Have you even thought that perhaps you're a bit obsessed with race?

I see the personality, the smile (or lack of one), the scent (I avoid stinky people), the talk, etc. of a person -- I don't even think about their skin color.

Sparkle said...

Hmmm...interesting. Normally i would never say I could never fall for a (enter race) man. I usually like to look at individual characteristics about a person first and foremost. However, like lee said, they are guys who would never consider black girls as dating options so I don't think your friend is bigoted for saying what she said. Also, she did not make a direct reference to your husband or you but probably assumed you would understand what she meant though you were uncomfortable about it. Other than that, if she blows the guy without even trying to make it work, it's her loss. Nothing to lose sleep over.

Anonymous said...

Hey TBG

First, I am addicted to your blog in the 'watching a train wreck' kind of way. Regardless that 90% of the time I disagree with you, I can't help myself from coming back...which to me is a sign of a great blog.

First, it is not racist for your friend to say that she could not see herself with a white dude.The power dynamics in North American make it impossible for the prejudicial thoughts of a black person to have the same voracity as white folks. If that is her preference, so what? I think that she might have some valid reasons for her preference that do not mean that she thinks that she is superior to white men. Trust me there are a whole lotta folks that would not want to date us because of true racial bias and ill-conceived stereotypes.

As someone who was raised in a predominately all-white environment - which makes Portland look like Compton -I can totally understand that for some black women, it is not the astheics(sp?) of a white guy that is unpleasant, it is history, a history of being surrounded by people who look at you like a dog - if they even look at you at all!

I'm not really doing a good job at explaining myself, but I have black female friends who have dated white men and the lack of cultural understanding, the emotional baggage of being verbally and physically harassed because of racism has made their decisions to date 'their own' one that will preserve their sanity, their self-esteem and awareness. Hey, I have dated a lot of white dudes in the past and no, you cannot paint everyone with the same brush, but maybe for some people, they feel uncomfortable with the idea of turning over in bed and seeing the face of someone who reminds them of the kid that punched them in the face and called them a nigger when they were a kid.

Plus, why should black folks always have to be so open to change and forgiveness when others do not grace us with theirs?

keep it real said...

It is not all about you! Your friend was not being racist toward you, she was just stating her preference in her taste of men for whatever it may be it works for her and that's all that matter.

cardiowhore said...

I THINK THE PERSON WAS JUST FLAT OUT RUDE! I DONOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE FACT THAT THE PERSON DOES NOT WANT TO DATE OUTSIDE HER RACE! NO PROBLEM!!I JUST FEEL THAT THIS FRIEND OF YOURS WAS VERY INSENSITIVE TO YOU IN YOUR OWN HOME!!! HOW TACKY! I EXPECT MORE FROM PEOPLE WHO ENTER MY HOME AND YOU SHOULD TO, FRIENDS DONT MAKE STATEMENTS LIKE THAT A FRIEND WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE DIPLOMATIC IN THE MANNER SHE WOULD HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU, CRASS RUDE PEOPLE ARE SIMPLY THAT! JUST TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS ME, I DONT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH A PERSON NOT WANTING TO DATE OUTSIDE OF THEIR RACE, I AM OPPOSE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE INSENTIVE TO OTHERS , ITS LIKE GOING TO SOMEONES HOUSE FOR DINNER AND THE MEAL IS HORRIBLE, YOU DONT SAY YUCK! i JUST CANT EAT THAT CRAP, YOU GRACEFULLY DECLINE THE OPTION TO EAT THE FOOD! ITS THE SAME CENARIO IN THE CASE OF THIS FRIEND IN YOUR HOUSE

That Black Girl said...

justadog: i'm not obsessed with race. i think about it frequently, sure. but obsessed, no. this blog is a blog that i set aside to blog strictly about race. that's why i don't blog daily, because i don't encounter race issues every single day. when i do, i blog about it.

Hoopskidoodle said...

I'm curious, TBG, how you feel about this true statement regarding myself, a black man...

I could never be in a serious relationship with a white woman (well, perhaps had I been born in Canada or France but certainly not having grown up in these United States)

I'm just not the least bit physically attracted to white women. I have no aversion to them as people, nor even to their cultural affectations (excepting food issues.) As an atheist, Broadway-loving snowboard enthusiast, it would probably easier to find a white woman who shared these interest. I can tell you from personal experience that, more often than not, when you tell a black woman that you have no use for Jesus, it isn't pretty. However, there just aren't any sparks (at least not emanating from my direction) when I interact with a white woman. Conversely, when I merely see the sway of a black woman's hips as she walks down the hall, or the fullness of her lips, I'm gone. And then there is the consanguineous affection that I automatically feel for just about any black woman who I encounter, which stems from virtually all of my loved one being (or having been) black women. A black woman's beauty, mannerisms and predilections are normative for me. Everything else is, to a greater or lesser extent, alien.

cardiowhore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cardiowhore said...

Hoopskidoodle said...
I'm curious, TBG, how you feel about this true statement regarding myself, a black man...

I could never be in a serious relationship with a white woman (well, perhaps had I been born in Canada or France but certainly not having grown up in these United States)




I think you are missing to point! I think its great that you have a personal preferenc for black women ! right on! But that is not the argument. The point was about a rude comment made in the home of TBG who is obviously married outside her race, The comment made to TBG by her supposed "friend" was stated in a way that seemed that she was repulsed by TBG's personal choice! It was not an issue wether or not the friend in question should date outside her race, it simply was the issue that the friend was not sensitive to TBG in her own home, adults are to be tempered when they speak!!

Wed Jan 16, 07:45:00 AM PST

Hoopskidoodle said...

I think you are missing to point
... But that is not the argument.


You missed the point of my reply. I had no interest in commenting on whether it was appropriate for a black woman to express her personal disinclination for white men. Personally, I don't see what the big deal was. But, I was sufficiently disinterested in that aspect of the post that I refrained from comment.

In another post, TBG expressed a dichotomous distinction in the way that she views bf/wm and bm/wf interracial relationships. Upon reading this entry, it led me to wonder if she would have reacted with such outrage had a black man stated that he had zero sexual interest in white women. Thus! my inquiry.

cardiowhore said...

Hoopskidoodle said...
I think you are missing to point
... But that is not the argument.


That makes sense! I understand now!!

Anonymous said...

I do not think your friend's statement was racist, but it was rather inconsiderate.

Anonymous said...

I'm a black woman and I would never date a white man. That's just disgusting. I did it when I was young and stupid. Life taught me a lot. As the Israelis say - NEVER AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

I'll date anyone who treats me well and has decent manners and takes care of themselves and those around him, especially me.

Oh, and also has a job!

THESE are the important points! Not ones like skin color! !

Golden Silence said...

"I'm a black woman and I would never date a white man. That's just disgusting."

Now that's more offensive than the story relayed in TBG's post. It's one thing to say "I prefer to date my own race," it's another to call it "disgusting." That's crude and racist.

I have no problem dating outside my race, and anyone who doesn't like it can kiss my behind. I wish there were a day when we can get past race and judge people for who they are and not what color they are.

cardiowhore said...

RIGHT ON!! GOLDEN SILENCE!!!

Hoopskidoodle said...

I wish there were a day when we can get past race and judge people for who they are and not what color they are.

You might want to address that to the people who initiated that dynamic at the inception of this country built on trafficking in human bondage, and have maintained it ever since as--first a de jure and to this day a de facto--apartheid state.

In the meantime, don't hold your breath.

Keep it real said...

Dating white guys is disgusting?? damn anonymous! now that's a rasist statement. maybe you need to start your own blog site.

cwayne said...

Sorry I didn't catch this right after you wrote it. Two things--that person was rude to blurt that out around you. But it may not be racist, it may be just like Anonymous said--they may not be able to handle the idea of rolling over in bed and seeing someone that looks like the kid(s) who called you nigger and beat you up. Or threatened to have you lynched.

chris said...

I don't think she was being racist, racism implies hate, and just becuase you won't date a person of another race doesn't mean you hate them or hate that race. Some people feel more comfortable with what they know. I've seen cute white guys but I am not attracted to them, I have more in common with a black man: culture, history, experience--I would just feel more comfortable; saying you have a "preference" almost implies the same thing. It is true that black woman stray less from their race when it comes to dating/marrying than some other groups. It is natural for people to be more comforatble with what they know( not that I'm implying that the opposite is unnatural).

chris said...

That black girl, you stated that " good looking/acting man is a good looking/acting man," but have you every given a good looking/acting black man a chance?

Musings said...

Look, men are men. I don't care what color they are. Though I am married to a black man, I dated outside my race and guess what? That were the same. Different hair texture, different color skin...It is sad that some people just are not open enough to see things differently.

Hoopskidoodle said...

Though I am married to a black man, I dated outside my race and guess what? [they] were the same.

I can't speak directly to the issue of differences between men. However, the differences between black women and white women that cause my romantic interest to be exclusively oriented to the former, are more significant than just skin color and hair texture. In addition to those not insignificant aesthetic differences, there is body-type, facial features (thin lips leave me cold), and more importantly, culture and consanguinity.

It's 2008. People are free to date whom ever they please. As long as we're not talking about my daughter, I really don't care. However, I don't stipulate to the assertion that the differences between black (in my case) women and white women are limited to hue and hair.

Allie said...

Although I say I could never see myself dating a white guy, I feel that I still leave the option open. It's just that I've never met a white guy that I found compatible with my personality (dating-wise not friendship-wise). But I'm not saying that one doesn't exist. If I were to meet that guy, of course I wouldn't completely blow him off because of his race. But it doesn't seem that I'll meet that guy. If that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal...she was offended (rightfully so) because this person made that statement to her while being aware of the fact that her spouse is white. Does anyone (besides a few people) not comprehend this?!

It is normal to have preferences. It doesn't sound like this person was simply being honest about her preferences. She was being insensitive and bitchy. I'm biracial and I look white. My husband is white. I was in an abusive relationship with a black man before I met him. I'm okay with having black men as friends but I would never be romantically involved with one again...not only because of my painful experiences, but because I'm more compatible with white men on a whole. I also couldn't deal with my black ex-boyfriend's family or friends anymore. They were extremely hostile towards me. That doesn't mean that if I'd met a decent, kind, loyal black guy that I wouldn't give him a chance. However, that never happened. I don't fit well with black men and that's how it is. My husband happens to be a white American guy and he is a wonderful person. And sexually speaking (if I can be frank) my husband blows my mind like no black man ever could. Maybe it is also because I love him for who he is and the fact that we connect on other levels, too. We both love books and we love sports and we love to travel. We like the same types of music and movies. We complement one another nicely.

I can relate to your feelings because I too would be offended. Preferences are OK, but I would wonder what reason she would've had to say that if she knew that my husband is white. It isn't about being "whitestruck" as one person foolishly stated above. It is natural to feel defensive about these things. She might not have been criticizing your marriage to a white man, but it felt like it. Your feelings are valid. And if a person is unwilling to be open-minded because they don't want to "roll over to see the looks of the kids who called them nigger"...that person needs psychological/emotional help. They should realize that there are truly good white people in the world and that while preferences are subjective, one shouldn't discount the thought of being with somebody based on color or culture. Not every white person is out to burn a cross or lynch you upside down or call you names. Let's treat people individually instead of judging them collectively.

I've had some terrible experiences with black men and black folks in general who mistreated me because of my Caucasian appearance and the fact that I speak well. I still feel hurt and angry when I remember certain incidents. Black people have alternately claimed and rejected me at different times in my life. However, this doesn't mean that I would be unkind to all black men or make unfair statements about them. In adulthood, you should learn to move on. Be honest about your preferences and your prejudices.

My husband does not see a "nigger" when he looks at me. He doesn't see a "black woman". He sees me. I don't see him as a "white boy". He is playful, smart, fun, kind, loyal, and one of the most admirable people I know. In all fairness, because of my looks, most people wouldn't see us as an interracial couple anyway. The problem is that most people like your friend have preferences and that is fine...but often there's deep-seated racism behind certain preferences. It's worth looking into.

Anonymous said...

anonymous has mad a valid point


ur friend was rude to say that, I think she was just rambling on and forgot her atmosphere, but Im a 17 yr old blck female and I've had to deal with little statements and issues of that sort. When i was younger, it seemed as if i was solely attracted to black guys but around 14 or 15 I noticed i developed a physical attraction to white guys, i went through the stages of eww , why this, whatever. I told mt cousin and best friend how i felt, and they reacted the same way, even making wise cracks that the signs were there and they knew id be the one to date/marry a white guy. Even when i should them a pic of my boo they reacted like "ewww, he so.... white", needless to say it hurt and made me realized alot of things about myself and ... them. pretty even if its not "your thing" having an open mind and the experience will help you grow, better than being ignorant about it.

justamixedgirl said...

first i wanna say I absolutely LOVE your blogs && i would really like to talkt o you sometime.[tifflovex0@yahoo.com] im a mixed girl in highschool. mixed with indian, black,venezuelen white & chinese. and people autmtically assume that im black.one thing that annoys me is that i can never get a guy. black guys only like their black girls to be 'thick' and ghetto. the only black girl that a white boy would be attracted to has to be preppy, have long hair & be stuckup. i fall in between. i like that forever 21 look but then some hollister. and from all the ralxers i went through with my mom trying to get me to be white my hair has broken up and looks nappy.

michael said...

"Is it so wrong to want someone who shares a similar background as you? Maybe that was her reasoning. Or maybe she just doesn't find white men attractive."

Thank you! I don't find white women attractive; no matte how they try to push their so called "beauty" in my face.

Razzaq66 said...

Wow, I see that Brothers & Sisters have more issues in Portland then it just being a "white" city. Is interracial relationships prevalent in Portland? I've been in Oregon for several months an will be relocating to Portland for work & business. I dont date outside my race. Nor do I find anything at all wrong with it... no matter if "love" was a factor or not. It is of no concern of mine. I'm only disappointed when the relations is based upon some myth or fable. Love is Love. Love Reigns.
Peace & Blessings.

Phone Sex said...

Nice And awesome blog you have held here I have no problem dating outside my race, and anyone who doesn't like it can kiss my behind. I wish there were a day when we can get past race and judge people for who they are and not what color they are.

Anonymous said...

I'm a white male, late 30's, good looking, successful and quite well off from Houston, TX. I don't date white women. Why? Because I don't find them attractive. Granted there are many beautiful white women but they don't do anything for me. I typically date black, latina, or woman with mixed backgrounds.

The running joke amongst my friends when I say I had a date is "what shade was she?" Since they know she wasn't white.

I was married to a viet/black woman for 10 years until her passing. A result of the US presence in S. Vietnam during the war. She had 3 vietnamese sisters, 1 mix sister and brother. Large family, very multicultural, even though her dad hated white people, including me.

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