Society’s Misconceptions of Black Women Promote Ignorance
The other day, my friend and I were discussing what we call the heterosexual “dating ladder.” On this ladder, white women are put at the top and black women tend to be placed at the bottom. Some men view black women as a difficult task they do not want nor have the time to tackle. They say we always have attitudes, we are too stubborn and do not know how to behave in public. These negative stereotypes make it very difficult for black women to find a suitable date.
Many black men immediately write off a woman once they learn she is black. Our biggest struggle is getting them to see us past our skin color.
In the past, black men have told me I am pretty “for a black girl.” Why are some black men shocked that black women are beautiful in their own skin? They determine what a good woman is based on her race, and put black women at the bottom time and time again, labeling us as too loud, too opinionated and lacking class. I’ve seen black men using hashtags like #whitegirlsrule, promoting race-based separation between women. Not all black men do this, but many of them do.
MyBlackMatters.com is a community blog where young black women share their experiences as black women in today’s society. In a recent article, writer for MyBlackMatters.com Alexis Ditaway examines the struggle black women face in the dating world.
“Many black men have decided that dating black women is ‘not worth the trouble,’ and have deliberately excluded us from their dating pool, seeking the attention of women of other races, primarily white,” Ditaway said.
Studies have shown that amongst the black community, black women are less valued by their own black men. When black men are asked if they like white women the common response is “yes,” but when asked if they like black women they either respond with “no” or “it depends on what type of black woman.”
It’s disturbing how a black man can be born from a black woman and yet feel so entitled that he has the audacity to belittle black women. I have black male friends who explicitly say they would never date a black woman, and when I ask why, they list things like “black women do not know how cater to their man,” “black women are too ghetto,” and “white girls are more fun.”
Contrary to what people may see on television, black women are sophisticated, beautiful, headstrong women. The media drags black women through the mud by giving us a disturbing misrepresentation. Shows such as “Love and Hip Hop” or “Basketball Wives” are scripted “reality” shows that do not accurately depict a black woman’s character.
In the end, I blame society for the way some black men view and treat black women. From the time we are little, society tells us that you must be blonde with blue eyes and white skin to be appreciated. We are conditioned to believe white skin is the ultimate symbol of beauty. Growing up, the white Barbie dolls always had better hair and better clothes, and commercials featuring white families and white hair care products were broadcast on every television station.
I am 100 percent in support of interracial couples, but this type of mentality is what leads black women to feel lesser and believe that our beauty is not up to par with society’s standards. I applaud the black men who do not dismiss black women for our curves, out-spoken nature and intelligence, but to the black men who do, you do not deserve our respect.