Last week on another forum a gentleman asked this question:
Do White Women Care?
Started by Q.
I’ve noticed that when it comes to interracial couples, but some black women seem to get furious when seeing a black man with a white women. It’s as if they have been betrayed or something.
My question is: do white women feel betrayed when they see a white man with a black woman? I’ve never noticed this myself, but does it happen?
I know that, as humans, there is a natural tendency to look for differences between people. Sometimes I just feel exhausted from all the differentiating. Why can’t we just all get along?
Oh yeah, because we can’t. We are human. So here was my response to Q:
If you look at this from a “spectrum of privilege,” why would white women care? Some will care because they think “races shouldn’t mix,” and some will care out of outright jealousy or for a variety of other personal reasons. But interracial coupleship is not a topic of discussion in the white women’s community (if one could ever be so monolithic) because they get more dating options in interracial dating. There has been a lot of literature (of the academic variety) on why it is that african american women are so angry about interracial dating and it seems to come down to a limitation of choices. More african american men are willing to cross racial lines in dating than are white men. And therefore that limits the available african american men for african american women (in heterosexual relationships). And lets not get into the politics of quality, datable men (and the numbers of convicted african american men disproportionate to white men)!
Think about all the african american women who are heads of households and cannot find men they feel compatible with. Just as recently as a few months ago Steve Harvey had a bestseller book and tv appearances encouraging african american women to lower their standards! No one is asking a white women to do that in a book or otherwise. Q went on to post this:
The stereotypical black woman is portrayed as a drama queen (on every single reality show), but that’s far from the truth in reality. While a lot of them are strong-willed, it seems, I do know there is definitely a belief that all black men think white women are easier to get along with than black women. In fact, one of my best high school friend subscribes to that belief. He actually shies away from black women because he says they have attitudes that he doesn’t wish to deal with on a regular basis. He says white women will at least be cordial with him even if they’re not interested while black women tend to be dismissive if they’re not attracted immediately.
It wasn’t so long ago that white women were considered dismissive or secretive about their attraction to black men depending on what part of the country or world you live in. And if a black man expressed his attraction to a white woman it was dangerous and potentially lethal! But times have changed in many communities across the united states. Q asks this question to see if he can address the issue of interracial dating in his community circle. But I wonder, given all the profitable Othering we do as humans, if it is even possible to overcome the very real social stigmas of interracial coupling. And by the end of the forum discussion, what I found most interesting was the many (presumably white) women who happily posted that they didn’t care a wit about interracial dating and moreover really appreciated the blending of interracial children so that it was hard to discern cultural backgrounds in the next generation. They seemed to foresee a time where all these blended children would just make racism go away. A lovely idea I suppose…
I am not one to say that the races should not mix (far from it!), but I was also a little alarmed at the idea that obvious lightened skin of mixed-race children was revealed to be an added benefit of interracial parenting. There has been a well documented history of light-skinned or high-yellow african-americans as being more revered in the african-american community for nothing more than their “whiteness.” Which makes me consider the plight of dark-skinned african-american women feeling like they are marginalized in dating/mating options and having to overcome the large burden of african-american men, like Q’s friend, who views them as being difficult.
I really don’t think the matter at hand really does much matter to white women, but I think a rather interesting question might be, “Why do African American women care about interracial couplings, and how can we support them or otherwise resolve some of their concerns?”