Sunday, March 2, 2008

Getting on my soapbox...again

Time to get on my soapbox again.

This quote comes from Halima's blog, at Black Women's IR Circle. Excuse me while I roll my eyes at some of this:

The emphasis on white men (not exclusively though) is because wm are the largest group of men available to black women. There is no getting around this fact and it would be another form of sabotaging bw relationship ambitions, to direct them towards men who are less likely to be physically available and who might also be culturally unavailable to them. I much rather focus on the 'surplus' group while also pointing out that IR means more than just black and white.

There is also a subtext to this argument. When people say 'if you cant get with bm etc, why not try Asian and Hispanic, I usually detect its simply the 'anything but a wm' argument. Its all about avoiding wm at all costs and sustianing the histporical fued with wm/the white race. Since I am really bothered little about continuing this fueding, I choose to approach the IR idea differently.

Let me also say that I do not detect from bw any strong aversion towards other non-white men if they are open to IR at all. There is indeed no historical basis for bw to have deep 'issues' with HM, AM, NAM and so there is no need for me to 'work' on bw opening themselves to these others.
A couple of comments I have to make about this.

1. White men are the surplus? Depending on where you are in America, they might be the minority. In Texas, especially where I am, Hispanics are becoming the majority. In certain parts of New Mexico and Arizona, there are plenty of Native Americans of various tribes around. Hell, in chocolate cities, there are more black people around than white.

2. Culturally, I'm sure white men are not one homogenized group. They have their own cultures that black women have to deal with as well. Just as I must understand where Mr. Salt comes from on certain topics, as did Diva when she married her husband as well.

3. The "anyone but a white man" argument may have its points with some black women who think dating out is betraying the black race, but it is also a cop out to those who feel that the whole black women IR community is pushing white men above all other men. As I said before, we should be glad when any black women breaks the cycle and marries (or does what she wants to do with) her true love regardless of their race. We, who did not marry a white man, are not sustaining the feud with race just because of who we married. We married who we loved. And granted, while Mr. Salt and I do get the whole "Living in a white man's world" due to our understanding of what has happened to both our races (and Mr. Salt even more so), it only serves as a survival tool at best. I did not marry Mr. Salt just because I wouldn't consider white men.

4. Even though there shouldn't be any issues between black women and other minorities, it doesn't mean that they do not exist. Even certain members of Mr. Salt's clans had issues with me that they probably would not have had if I where white. I have not personally dealt with them, but I know I have Mr. Salt support at the expense of his family. Not that I would want it to come to that, of course. I also have SaltMama and Sister, so that's all it matters to me.

So in conclusion, just because I and other ladies didn't marry white, doesn't mean we had it easier, or that it's more acceptable. We still get stared at, we still get comments, and we all have issues we both have to deal with. We do not want what happened between black women and black men to happen between black women and white men just because they are presented as the only acceptable or most sought after people.

Love is for everyone, regardless of race.



caligirl94117 said...

I agree with your 4th point. As someone who has dated more Latino men than any other group (including white or black men), I often wonder if dating white men might not be a little easier. I've found nonwhite men (especially immigrants) have such strong familial ties that many of their cultures make it impossible for that man to choose the black woman he wants. I know white families are strong too, but in CA, it's very easy to find whites who are more individualist and willing to do what your husband has done by choosing you despite family challenges. Most of the whites here are transplants, so their families aren't involved in their daily lives.

I've had several long-term relationships with Latino men who could never cut the apron strings or bring my black self home to family.

I'm playing around with these ideas as I think about my future dating options. I know it's unfair, but I've wasted a number of years in relationships with Latino men (my fault) and I wonder if it might not be more expedient to move along from dating them.

Ms ABC said...

With you all way here DineBoo. IMHO surplus is controlled by supply and demand. If all black women who wanted to "date out" sought white men exclusively then your chances of marrying a white man goes down expediently, therefore hurting your chances of getting married at all.

It boggles the mind that black women who have taken that first step towards opening their options have limited themselves to a specific race once again.

I think this attitude is reinforced by the false notion that it can only be IR if the people involved are black and white. I guess in some cases expanding your dating options isn't the same as expanding your mind. Great blog post :)

Sandra77 said...

I went back and read the whole of Hamila's article, and I don't get what the fuss is about here. She doesn't seem to be saying to only date white men, but that there are lots more white men in the U.S. than any other group - that's a statement of fact. The fact that this may or may not be so in Texas doesn't really negate that (especially considering that Halima is, I believe, in the U.K., I don't really expect her to know the peculiarities of the Texas population). I don't even think that any other state in the U.S. that has a high latino immigrant population is in the same situation as Texas that you've pointed out. I think each person has to figure out the circumstances of where they live (i.e., their dating pool) and act accordingly. But I don't read Halima saying to ignore men from other groups. I know my own situation - I encounter white men all day, and can count the number of black men, latino men and asian men that I see in a given day. However, the situation may be different for someone else.

diva said...

-So in conclusion, just because I and other ladies didn't marry white, doesn't mean we had it easier, or that it's more acceptable. We still get stared at, we still get comments, and we all have issues we both have to deal with.-

I totally agree with this point. As far WM being the largest group 'available'-I can't find any actual facts to back that up so I just ignore it. For me the issue is not about availability, it's about encouraging BW to make the best choices for themselves, to set standards for themselves, and to be confident in who they are re: of the ethnic group of your mate.

CW said...

My desire is to find true love...If one has a preference, that's fine...But there is a whole big world out there...Make it your oyster : )