Friday, July 11, 2008

Interracial Dating 101: Begining of your strategy

Why do black women end up with the ‘black man only’ precept for dating?

Black social programming is mostly responsible for this mind frame.

It’s not just what is said to black women from an early age, there is also the whole culture and interpretations that prepares black women to focus on black men exclusively for relationships, and apart from structural obstacles like segregation, a combination of fear, duty, fostered outrage at white men, lack of familiarity, notions of acceptable behaviour, will secure black women to the idea of dating only black.

Sometimes you will find black women being taught the ‘black men only’ ideology (because it is a full ideology) outside the family. Black women lured into this attitude might feel they are doing their bit for the race, they are showing themselves strong and proud black women because these interpretations have been place upon black-black dating and black women often dont question these set definitions seen as sacred.

Often times black women themselves manufacture terms and ideas (many which black men show very little interest in) which end up imprisoning them and their choices. For instance the concept and ideology of black love is largely maintained by black women irrespective of black men’s willingness and participation.

What do you mean by black women being ‘self advocates’ to achieve their relationship?

I used this term in my last entry. The term advocacy is clearly from the word advocate which means to speak up on behalf of another. In the Roman Empire, hundreds of years ago, a man standing accused before the emperor could lift up his eyes to the gallery and recognising a notable statesman, orator, well positioned or influential person could say ‘friend could you come and speak on my behalf’. The man would then come and stand with the accused and argue his case. The actions of this advocate could make the difference between life and death. Self advocacy in the respect I use it here, means looking out for yourself, legislating on your own behalf, looking after your needs even in the face of the lack of consideration from other quarters because if you are a black woman, the chances are that no one but yourself will be really concerned about you ending up alone.

This is why I believe it is so very important for black women to be self-advocates; vigorously looking after their own interests and needs, because unfortunately black women as a whole, are in a state of friendlessness. Our position in society is one in which no one rallies round us to defend and ensure that our interests are secured (rather everyone wants to harness black women as a resource employed in the furtherance of their own goals and black women get nothing out of the arrangement).

The trouble is that often times the general lack of respect and consideration from other quarters can corrupt ones ability to be considerate to oneself. This is a big problem at the moment with black women, who seem to have lost a lot of the ability to treat themselves fairly and with consideration and mimick the ways the society treats them. Notice however that same black women are quick to grant consideration and concession to non-black women.

Why don’t Black women advocate for their fellow women?

It is one of the things that grieves me dearly, that our young girls in particular cannot find keepers in their older sisters. Their older sisters have grown up being told by the reactions and rebuffs they received whenever they tried to highlight their concerns, that their needs are trivial, of less urgency or have no place in the grand scheme of things and that they should shut up and put their efforts towards other issues (read: black men’s issues) . After repeatedly being told that their needs mean nothing, I do believe that a good portion of black women have become self-spiting. This is very evident in the way black women respond to their own fellow black women’s cry for help and assistance; harsh, uncaring, unfeeling. A reflection of how they feel towards their own needs.

I must add also that in terms of relationship and broadening the dating scope, some black women prefer not to share their understanding with other black women who are struggling. Many claim it should be an individual decision but this reluctance to enable their sisters share the solution they have discovered might be because deep down, these black women are still of the feeling that the interracial choice on a whole is still a wrong/anti-black one, thus are not happy to spread their beliefs.

Why do black women easily forsake their own concerns and self care?

One key reason is that they have been prepared to respond this way by their community. It’s a learnt behaviour. We grow up seeing our mums, aunts and older sisters forget their personal needs and concerns in the pursuit of what we have been told are ‘more pressing issues’, that sometimes black women can know no other ways to be but self-sacrificing. They have also been indoctrinated into thinking that doing this is very honorable, and the actions of a good and true black woman. There is thus the emotional reward (we feel internally) that secures us into a life of self-sacrifice.

The community has been very effective in breaking down what should be an instinctive reflex for self-care in black women by selling self-abnegation as a noble and transcending act. I believe without this effective 'black training' black women would long since have abandoned the unrewarded activities they rush into in, in the name of the community.

People can easily exploit the fact that black women lacking in validation and approval can often displace fundamental needs and interests in favour of emotional rewards from a pat on the back.

What is the first step for ‘self advocacy’ in the area relationship?

I can’t overemphasis the fact that you do need to be able to observe your situation as it stands and then make accurate judgement on what you see. This is an area where I am afraid black women are trained to look and not see, or to discount their observations or never to join the dots to produce an effective picture of their reality which is essential to guiding subsequent decisions on dating. We are trained not to do all this so as to maintain our rosy outlook towards the black community in the face of the ugly real picture. By not joining the dots on marriage resistance among black men, colorism etc we are able to maintain ‘faith' in the outcomes we are instructed to hold for the black community even when all the indicators are spelling out something different. Put in others words, black women would have long since abandoned the idea of ‘building only with black men’, if they really took note of the reality playing before their very eyes and from this, did some important calculations and deductions about black men's position on the idea of 'building a black nation through black marriages'.

By not ‘joining the dots’ or being disallowed by the injunctions within their community to ‘join the dots’, black women dont pick up the reality of their situation indeed that which stares them in the face, that black men are not (and have not for decades) showing any interest in building a black nation hand in hand with black women (perhaps but with the lightest of them all and others). Without this realisation black women are prevented from making broader arrangements for having relationships.

Like I have said, black women are carefully taught to discount what they see and so not deviate from the ‘hopeful theories’ they are instructed to have of the black community. And this is why you find black women who are PHD’s, scientists and those who know how to observe and make judgments that lives depend on, still faltering in this area of their life. Indeed women who manage millions of dollars marketing departments and who know how to spot a trend still have such problems decoding their individual situations. Its clear that this is because the essential parameters for making sense of the black dating situation have been 'yanked' from them!

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