Note: Some may take offense to this post. My goal with this post is to be honest.
That white men don’t desire black women as romantic partners is a concept accepted –in fact, promoted– by many black Americans, without questioning. Ask a random black person in the United States what they think of relationships involving black women and white men and you’re likely to get responses which lead back to this theory; the theory that white men simply aren’t attracted to black women.
As a black woman who has been in relationships with men from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds, and whose current partner is white, I was at first puzzled by these statements. Besides that I was completely unaware that as a woman of African descent I was supposed to be considered undesirable to men I was regularly involved with, two aspects of this phenomenon impressed upon me. (1) It wasn’t only racist whites who were encouraging the notion that white men aren’t attracted to black women, but blacks; even black women and (2) not only did blacks believe this idea, but they forcefully try to convince anyone who disagrees that their belief is the set in stone truth.
But why? Why are blacks spending so much time advocating this idea? I’ve analyzed this phenomenon and have concluded that its basis lies in three major areas:
- Internalization of Eurocentric Beauty Standards
- Black Women as Competition
- Control of Black Women and Black Women as the Backbone of the “Black Community”
Internalization of Eurocentric Beauty Standards
Among racially aware blacks there is much talk that standards of beauty are heavily centered on a European appearance; that this is one of the main reasons why white men aren’t attracted to women of African descent. But what is less mentioned is the extent to which blacks themselves have internalized these standards.
Many blacks have adopted Euro-centered standards of beauty for women. Due to this, blacks do not believe the average black woman can compare to most non-black women, when it comes to attracting white and other non-black women as partners. Since they think that black women are inferior to non-black women in looks they reason that everyone else, especially white men, also believes this. So much so that they will argue with white men who speak to the contrary.
Black Women as Competition
In face of the gains that black women have made in education and career, some black men have begun to view black women as their rivals. Since interracial marriage was legalized in the United States, black men have inter-married in greater numbers than have black women. Some have taken this to mean they are more desirable than black women on a large scale – and they would like it to remain that way. If black women were to date and marry white men in larger numbers, it would mean that black men lose their self-proclaimed position in the “racial hierarchy.” It is to their advantage to have black women (and everyone else) believe that black women are undesirable to white and other non-black men.
The Control of Black Women
As with most groups in the world, black Americans adhere to patriarchal standards. Black men are granted privileges that black women are not, including the privilege to date and marry interracially with less backlash from their fellow blacks. Black women are the “mothers” of the race; its backbone. Various ways of control are used to make sure that black women stay in this position, one of the most prominent being the idea that white men won’t seriously involve themselves with black women anyway.
Some black men see black women are their territory and property. Black women are theirs only, not to be touched by other men — especially not white men. What better way to guarantee that other men do not gain their property than to promote the idea that black women are unattractive to these men? In this way, both black women and white men are discouraged from being involved with each other. Two birds killed with one stone.