Shades of White

Ren asks:

I know this is old, but I’m very curious about this topic. You grew up with significant exposure to predominantly black environments, so it makes sense, to me, that you like black men and/or black women. But I’ve been noticing more and more that many white lesbians are interested in black women, which is stunning to me because I thought white people were…racist (in the US)…and thought most of us are unattractive. And still think that, which is probably the reason why I am really struggling to understand the attention I get from white women and the reason why I’m pretty much always very suspicious of it.

I wouldn’t doubt it if you’ve experienced some suspicion, especially from black women. Black men usually just turn flips when a white woman is interested, but black women are hardly that simple. But considering that white women have never really seemed interested in even being friends with me as adults and almost never showed that interest while growing up, I can’t fit that and the experiences I had with white people growing up with the fact that probably 80% of the interest I get and have gotten all of my life has been from white women sexually/romantically, a little more than 10% has been from Asians (generally Indian women and usually not from the US, i.e. online) and less than 10% has been from black women. I mean, 10 years ago when I tried to chat with white lesbians online they didn’t want to talk to me 95% of the time, especially after finding out my race! Basically, I’m looking for plausible explanations as to 1) if these white women seriously are interested in/attracted to me, 2) if so, why, and 3) why don’t black women seem to be interested in me (because, honestly, I prefer black women).
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<br />I’m not asking you, but that’s how I got to this post. It’s very easy to find tons of articles and videos online about why white women like black men–there’s tons of focus on that. But you can’t find the same thing for lesbians, really, and what you do find is usually something like “race doesn’t matter,” “there are attractive black people, attractive white people, unattractive black people and unattractive white people,” and “I don’t know why I like black women, I just do” (i.e. your post). I don’t know–looks like I need to consider white lesbians since that’s who I attract in my country, but, at the same time, I don’t really want to start dating one and find out it’s all a huge joke, a big sex experiment, a fetish or they’re bringing me to the KKK for a hanging…sorry, but being real, and if you’ve seen Donald Trump and his supporters, you should understand, lol.

I know you’re “not asking” but you kind of are, so here’s my answer as best I can give it:

First of all, I see what’s going on with Trump and it’s terrifying. I’m writing this right now because I need a break from my FB and Twitter feeds.

Secondly: racism is a spectrum. Racism is so woven into the fabric of this country that everyone is racist to some degree, even if that racism is a form of self hate.

White women are also a spectrum. Now, we know 56% of white female voters voted for Trump. Let’s break that number down: 64% of the elligible voters in the country voted, and if we assume that half of them were women that puts the white woman Trump voters at 28% of the country. Still fucked up, but that’s a little perspective. (Hashtag #NotAllWhiteWomen)

Now, while it’s possible that these white women approaching you are white supremacist fetishists looking to tie you up and call you their “dirty negress”–it’s pretty unlikely. 

It’s much more likely that the white women expressing interest in you are on the left side of the spectrum. Probably somewhere between “I don’t see color” beige and “woker than you” white.

As to why are they attracted to you? Probably because you’re attractive. Why now and not before? I have no clue.

I spent a lot of years thinking that no one could be or was attracted to me–until one day I realized that almost everyone I’ve ever been attracted to reciprocated my feelings to some extent. I’m not saying everyone has a that experience (I’m certainly not attracted to everyone who’s expressed attraction to me) but attraction is weird, and many people are attracted to characterizes far different than the ideals the media feeds us.
So should you try dating a white woman? Only if you mean it. If a white woman approaches you who you genuinely find attractive and seems like a good person, then why not go for it? Could you get hurt? Absolutely. But isn’t potential hurt intrinsic to the beginning of any relationship?

Now I’m not saying that these white women wont ever say something ignorant, but chances are that that just by being interested in you they’ve self sorted to be someone who genuinely is trying to not be racist and has made it a good distance down that path.

As far as experiments go: won’t she be your experiment? Life is about experimentation. Some experiments are a success, some fail, but that doesn’t mean the intentions aren’t good.

Many of the black women I dated were at best experimenting with me, or at worst using me until they could find someone of their “own kind”. Ouch. That hurt! I still don’t regret trying though. 

As far as black men go. Maybe more conventionally attractive women get backflips, but most of the black men (my sweet late BF excluded RIP) who have dated or expressed an interest in me had a kind of entitled attitude that I owed them sex and money. The title of this blog arose from those moments when MOC I dated reduced my hurt feelings (at their bad behavior) and legitimate perspective to being “just another white woman.”

As far as fetishization goes–that’s kind of a hard one. Where exactly is the line? If I’m attracted to women with big foreheads and wide noses–is that a fetish? Or just a preference? 
I felt the most fetishized when a white trans man I was dating showed me a picture of his ex–and she looked almost identical to me. That was creepy!

So should you date a white woman?

If you want to? If you are genuinely attracted to her. If you can put aside your preconceptions. If you can be prepared to possibly have to do some educating. 

Who knows, the love of your life could be an amazing white woman and you’d never know it without exploring it!

Or not. I wouldn’t fault anyone for preferring to date black women. Y’all are so beautiful! I don’t know what the “scene” is like where you live, but there’s a small but vibrant black lesbian community here in Boston that I wish I could introduce you too!

As far as why BW aren’t expressing interest in you: maybe their shy? Maybe they’re waiting for you to make the first move or don’t think *you’re* interested?

TL; DR: if you’re interested in someone–regardless of race, give it a try! Go get em! No reward with out risk! 

End the Frame-war on Racism

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If you ask most white people to define racism they’ll say it is racially based prejudice.

If you ask most people of color to define racism they would tell you that racism is hegemonic systemic white supremacy based on a formula of prejudice+ power.

So who’s right?

Drum-roll please….I’m about to give a brilliant definitive answer…

Both! Neither! It doesn’t matter!

Wait…where are you going? Stick around and let me explain.

First of all, English is a flexible language, and if enough people use a certain word in a certain way–that becomes a legitimate usage of the word!

For example: If enough people use the word literally to mean figuratively–boom! it literally means figuratively–and not in a figurative way.

I would argue that despite either conscious definition, most people use racism fairly fluidly between both definitions, with people “getting” which meaning is implied through context clues. There’s an excellent episode of Blackish (Season 1 Episode 10) that illustrates this nicely. (If you haven’t watched Blackish I highly recommend it!)

But regardless…or irregardless…my point is, that now that we know that both usages of the word are, we can stop frame battling over them, move past the argument of whether or not “black people can be racist.”

Since there is no Black Hegemonic Systematic Oppression, the important conversation is not whether the word racism includes white systemic hegemonic oppression, but what are we–all of us–going to do to make this world a fairer, freer egalitarian society with equality, liberty and justice for all?

What are we going to do to stop cops from killing unarmed kids? Or at least prosecute and jail them if they do? What are we doing to make our schoolrooms and our board rooms representational of the beautiful diversity of this country? What are we doing to acknowledge or privileges and challenge our prejudices?

White people: when you hear a POC say “Black people can’t be racist” just…let it slide. Even if you prefer the first definition–now you know the second one–replace racist with white supremacist in your head and see if you still want to argue  the point. I know, I know, I grind my teeth every time my 12 year old daughter says she “literally died” but you know what, it’s not a battle I can win, or that’s even worth fighting.

If you want to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem, you will accept this second understanding of the word racism, and move on to more constructive conversation.

POC: if you really want to argue with a WP who has just described being beaten up every day at their minority-majority school while being called whitey, latte and snow-bunny that that wasn’t racism–I mean, be my guest–but dismissing peoples lived experiences as just being mean or just prejudice is unlikely to win them over to your side or do much besides give you a headache or a smug feeling of being right.

Post Script: I explained all this to my Girlfriend: Her reaction: “But the first definition is right! It’s in the dictionary!”

Me:

kitty_rage_quit_table_flip_by_shadethenighthunter-d6qs9le

 

Getting Though

A black friend on twitter has asked for help trying to “get through” to his white friend, who has expressed a number of troubling ideas that display blind white privilege at best, outright racism at worst.

After a number of people told him to she was a lazy racist who would never be a real friend, he still was looking for answers.

“What do you think I could say to make her understand? ” He asks.

This post is my response, since I couldn’t fit my thoughts into tweets:

First of all: there may not be anything that you can say to make her understand, understanding requires an open mind, and unless your friend is committed to opening her mind, it may not be possible for her to understand.

Your friend is actively engaging people of different races, and doesn’t understand why everything has to be “all about race.” Now I can’t think of a POC who would not like for everything to stop being all about race. Unfortunately, white people won’t let them. POC have responded by creating their own spaces where instead of being marginalized, their voices are honored and privileged.

Based on what I saw, your friend is one of the statistically few white people who has gone beyond the ubiquitous “black friend” and actually entered POC spaces. Once inside POC spaces she realized that within POC spaces, POC voices are privileged. Not only that, but that some POC made assumptions about her based on her race and may have been pretty mean about it. She has discovered what it feels like (within the narrow confines of POC dominated spaces) to be the minority, to feel silenced, denigrated, and (somewhat) oppressed.

Being the only white person in a POC space is an opportunity. An opportunity to learn what it actually feels like to not have your voice privileged, and sometimes an opportunity to see what it feels like to be on the other side of racial animosity. (Prejudice against the people oppressing you seems like a pretty natural reaction to me) But it’s just a shadow, a pale reflection of the white supremacy that POC face every day.

Your friend can leave POC spaces, and return to the white dominated spaces that take up the majority of the country. She can easily find white silos where she can speak as frankly and with as much racism as she likes.

Meanwhile, while your voice may be privileged in POC circles, but as soon as you step into the rest of White Supremacist America, it is not.

I would encourage your friend to take these feelings of silencing and racial persecution, and multiply them: multiply them by ten, by a hundred, by a million. Imagine the experiences she has had expanded beyond words and hurt feelings to include poverty, violence, death,  or the threat of all three.

By gaining entrance to POC spaces, with the concurrent mixture of welcome and antipathy, your friend has a wonderful opportunity–an opportunity for empathy. But only if she can use her imagination, opens her mind, and get over herself.

 

I Married a White Woman

White hands with wedding rings.

Well not really married…who can afford to lose free health insurance and food stamps by getting married? Committed to, living with, what have you.

Although I have been open to dating all races, for years I lowkey thought I’d end up with a black woman. But when I found myself falling hard for a kind, smart soft white butch. She gets my jokes, she puts up with my faults, and she pays most of my bills. (Nothing + nothing equals nothing, ok?)

I tried to tell myself she’s not “white-white.” her Guayanese co-worker calls her “one of those hood-ass white girls.” She was one of the only white girls in her school growing up, her 20+ year best friend and her ex and her son are all black. But her outlook…it’s still very white.

The first worrying moment was fairly soon after we moved in together: we were trying to choose a movie, and for whatever reason I was feeling the black cinema offerings (out of the admittedly crappy selection on Netflix). She confronted me afterwards, referring especially to a movie I lingered over about drug dealers in the Hood.

“I’m white. I don’t relate to the hood” She told me angrily. “It’s not my experience!”

I was flabbergasted. First of all–she basically did grow up in the hood, if not the drug dealing part. (Although her sister sure is an addict) And second of all–it’s the point of a movie to bring you into things outside of your experience. I’ve never been to South Africa, but I was able to enjoy White Wedding I’ve also never been to space, or the distant past, but I was able to get into Star Wars.

Then recently she asked “who’s Floetry”

Increduous Face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Followed a few days later: “Who’s Nina Simone?”

Really Incredulous Look

“Do you even hang out with older black people?” I asked.

Her: “No why would I?”

Me: (why wouldn’t you?) “Let me learn you something!”

So I made her watch What Happened Miss Simone

Ok, so our shared black media experience starts when we fell in love with Hip Hop in ’92. I could get used to that.

But then I made the mistake of talking to her about Sandra Bland.

Photo Of Sandra Bland

Now, it took me a day or two to even click on a link to find out what happened to Sandra Bland. She was just so beautiful, I couldn’t bear to think of her life ending pointlessly in a Texas Jail cell. When I look at her I see someone I would have wanted as a friend. I see my aunt. I see my cousins. I see a vibrant intelligent soul. I see one more victim of the horrible scourge of white supremacy that gives police near impunity to kill black people and get away with it.

I was so depressed after reading the details of her arrest and death that I could barely get out of bed. Barely made it to physical therapy.

Despite my melatonin deficiency, this video sums up how the news and my Facebook/twitter feeds have had me feeling lately.

So I made the mistake of talking to my Boo about Sandra Bland. She agreed that Sandra’s death was wrong and the fault of the cops. But apparently HER facebook feed was full of different stories from mine. HER feed promised “incontrovertible” “video evidence” that Sandra took her own life.

I still haven’t read one article that backs this claim, but the most striking thing from our conversation was this: she’s not angry. She doesn’t feel the deep, abiding anger in her bones. Just this overwhelming violent angry rage and sorrow as black person after black person gets modern-day lynched for the most imaginary of offense.

When I asked: “What if this was your son?” She asked:”Why did you have to take it there?”

Because she doesn’t look at Sandra, Treyvon, Tamir, and see her son. Even though the cops sure as hell will one day. She sees all these incidents as wrong, but ultimately as single incidents.

She sees these incidents as a white person, a white woman.

I married a white woman.

OMG I Soo Don’t Even Talk Like That!

So, not to sound racist, but this is so fucking funny, watching her, it’s almost like she’s not black! She’s kinda cute for a white girl. She could get it!

To see more of Chesca Leigh’s videos, go here. I know I am!

Say What Now? (Meet DB Pt 2)

Start the night here.

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In this post I violate Rule #1. Don’t try this at home kids!

Sitting there in the car in the dark, DB told me there were some words she wanted me to say.

“You want me to do what?” I responded, grimacing distastefully.

“I want you to say it.”

“Um, ok…” I leaned forward, admiring her tight fade and the contrast of her diamond earring against the smooth dark curve of her neck, inhaling her warmth as I hesitantly whispered the words she had asked for in her ear, barely pushing the words out;

“Give me that big nigga dick daddy.”

I leaned back in my seat, searching her eyes for a reaction.

“How did that feel?” She asked me.

“Um,” I made a face “It went against everything I believe in. Did you like it?”

“No,” she considered, “I didn’t have to work hard enough for it.”

I was relieved, frankly. Yes I’m usually attracted to black women, but I think it’s because they’re beautiful, and maybe because of early childhood conditioning, not out of some perverse racist desire to violate taboos.

“That word does get in my head though, from twitter and friends.” I confided.

“Like, how’d you mean?” She asked, leaning back casually in her seat.

“Like, I’ll think to myself…I haven’t talked to my Dad in a while–I should call that nigga!”

She threw her head back and laughed.

Just then her sister got home…

This Time Last Year

So, um, last year this happened:

This is a re-post of Feb 5th, 2011. At the same low-key event I went to this past weekend. Only that night was packed with people waiting in line three stores long. Start the night here.

A man and woman spotlighted grinding on the  dance floor

Like This But Not

I made my way to the stage, where there was a spot waiting for me. I tuned out the world–riding the beat.

Before long a couple studs and a femme came onstage. The bigger stud was dancing nearby with her girl, and the smaller stud took up a post almost directly behind me. Now Instead of tuning the world out all I could think of was her behind me, hopefully admiring my ass.  It felt like such a primal mating ritual, me dancing for her, but I couldn’t stop. Finally I got tired of waiting for her to make a move and danced up to her.

She pulled me almost immediately into some of the hottest grinding I’ve ever experienced. My hips locked against hers as we moved against each other–energy pulsing back and forth between us.  Before I knew it my leg was between her thighs and her hand was on my ass…my hand was on hers, seeking desperately to touch her through her clothes.  Our bodies arched frantically with the music, although every time it sped up we backed off a bit and bounced with it, pretending that we were doing something other than  fucking right there on the dance floor!

Before I knew it I was asking if she had a girlfriend and she was telling me she had her apartment to herself for the weekend.

Before I knew it my lips were locked with hers, my hips gyrating with hers, tongue rolling with hers.

“What are you going to do for me? She asked. I didn’t know how to take that question, so I slithered down her chest suggestively. Although she was putting more effort into downplaying them than showing them off, I could tell she had nice titties. She pursed her lips commandingly at me, and I attempted to meet them with my own.

I say attempted, because she had her hat down low, and was about four inches shorted than me. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever kissed someone who is significantly shorter than you and is wearing a low hat brim forward, but it’s not easy. I had to contort myself around her lid.

“I can’t do this.” I told her, “It keeps hitting me in the head.”

“I can’t take it off,” she said, taking it off. “I gotta big forehead.

“Well, I said, surveying her wide forehead and sweat thick smiling face. “I like it.” I kissed her on the forehead and she got all bashful, putting it back on, but this time cocked to the side. Yay, I thought now I can kiss her without getting wacked. But somehow when her head turned back to me the brim was back in front.

I turned around and pressed up against her. The music raced to a feverish pitch and I came along with it–right there on the dance floor!

I paused to fan myself with my hands. I don’t know how she wasn’t hot. The whole underside of my hair was soaked, and I was wearing a tank top. She had on a blue and white flannel and a white down vest.  (Yes she was wearing plaid–but it looked fly on her.)

“Would you like to go to the bar?” She asked me.

“What are you trying to say?” I responded cautiously.

“Would you like a drink?”

“Sure.” We started walking towards the bar. She actually led me by the hand! No one ever did that to me before!

“Oh wait,” She paused. “I don’t usually come here…is there an ATM nearby?”

“There’s one next door.”

“Could you…?”

“I don’t have any cash either.” (Totally true, I brought $12 and that already paid for two beers and a generous tip.) “I am really thirsty, though.”

“Some water?”

“Sure.”

She ordered me a water and thoughtfully handed me a napkin to go with it. We talked for a moment, then she looked up across the room.

“I gotta go talk to my friend. “

“Okay, I need to visit the Ladies…meet you in a few?”

“Sure, I’ll be over there.” She motioned with her chin.

When I got out of the bathroom I didn’t see her immediately, but I didn’t worry about it unduly. I pulled my friend outside to chat. Heat steamed off our bodies in the icy night.

“So I saw you grinding with that stud.” She smirked at me.

“Yeah, I’m supposed to meet back up with her in a minute–“

“Oh really? Because I think I saw her leave–“

“You what?”

I raced back inside. But it was true, she was gone. In the three minutes that it took me to squat over the toilet and wash my hands, she had dashed.

Continue the adventure with “Second Chances