Thursday, August 13, 2009

Interracial Dating

The following is a response to a blogger asking why white men don't date black women. This is an old post, and since this time I have seen mixed couples, like mine, all over the place. Maybe the movie "Something New", had an influence, but I'd rather think that I'm simply a huge trend-setter.

You can read the original blog post and follow the conversation from back then, but I thought this could be entertaining over here as well. We are a slightly different audience.

Now before we get too far I must add one thing that usually ends up irking" me when discussing interracial dating. Dating is a game of individuals and we should be very careful when interpreting the actions of one as a societal problem rather than a personal one. In other words, sometimes the two of you don't get along, or there is no mutual attraction, and it ISN'T race.

I said it, now here we go....

"Wow, I get to speak for all of us!
I'm game but just wait as I'm sure C1 or one of your many other readers will follow behind and disagree with me, completely blowing my spokesman status, not to mention the idea that all us white folk stick together (remember that is the secret to our success).

Now if that opening hasn't stirred up enough dust to distract you, I'll address the issue.

Rather I should say this is a whole bundle of issues. Race, gender, sex, and you even threw in age. We can not boil down an individual’s behavior in this/these instances to one issue or the other. They are all in play.

Different types of guys approach women in different ways and for different purposes. (remember I have been out of the game for 9 years now). "Type" can mean; white or black, marriage material or fling, shy or aggressive, racist or open minded, on and on and on.

A scuzz ball will proposition anyone/thing they think they have a chance at, and a few they think are out of their league. This is a guy who has no long term plans and as a result has little time for build up flirtation and gets right down to business. He may get shot down often and does not mind as much, he’s playing the numbers game in hopes it will pay off. This white guy will probably approach a Shaquanda, Becky, Ming Lee etc. and usually do it in some potentially offensive or sexual way. Now it should be mentioned here that I have known many white girls, who confuse a direct approach from a black man with the scuzz ball, earning said black man a style of rejection he may not deserve… or a measure of success with the types of white girls he isn’t quite ready for.

I will admit here, in this section, that Scuzz ball may very well be more inclined to ask Shaquanda than Becky. I have heard white guys say or imply black women are looser than uptight little Becky. Of course these are rarely guys who have any first hand knowledge, pride themselves in simply not being afraid to “tell it like it is”, and in regards to their racism I must repeat, THEY ARE SCUZZ BALLS.

You say the guys you are actually attracted too insert themselves into the “friend zone”. I am usually skeptic of any man who is great, close friends to a girl/girls. I know I’m a jerk, sexist. Whatever, but in my experience these guys are usually just lurking, waiting for their shot at someone in the group. Not lurking in a shark way but in a Duckie way. They are a little afraid, awkward maybe, but generally good guys that just don’t quite exert themselves like other alpha males. Rather than flexing the shoulder, they offer it for you to cry on. You call him a pansy, he may be, but at some point in life, most guys have dabbled with the friend zone and learned from it.

Can race play a role here? SURE it does. It may not be right, but white people are ingrained with the idea that black people hate us. This friend guy is already not the type to meet social challenges head on within his own race, so of course he isn’t going to do so cross-racially. Is he racist? I don’t know, that is a whole other conversation about how much greater society’s racism and connected responsibility filters down to an inexperience individual. But the friend zone guy lacks some confidence and social finesse. Race would naturally magnify that.

Now we will take what for lack of better terms I will call “normal” guy. The guy who may have actually enjoyed high school, has had a girlfriend before, may or may not have dabbled in the friend zone and or the scuzz ball stage, and most likely fits your ideal white guy caste. He may have been a scuzz ball and is now tired of that scene and ready for a real relationship. He may have dabbled in the friend zone and got his shirt sloppy with mascara, followed by a handshake and the door. Now he finds himself in a high stakes game where rejection may be a little more personal, the pay off is long term, and catching someone worth keeping may be tricky. –I should insert here that “old guy” may be a scuzz ball, or a scuzz ball who played around during his prime and now finds himself a bit desperate, tired of games and more willing to take a risk, or once again…a scuzz ball. I mean to a scuzz ball, young+black must = easy right???-

Back to normal guy.

Most white guys, if they are used to white girls who don’t like scuzz balls, are forced to play a little cat and mouse game in an attempt to show interest, but not desperation, all the while trying to prove they are not a scuzz ball. This is the ploy of the movie Swingers three day rule to call a girl (of course T is a scuzz ball trying to pose as a normal guy while Mikey is trying to bust out of the friend zone mode). Call too soon = scuzz ball. Normal guy usually has options as well. Of course he does, or he should appear that he does, because no girl worth having should feel she was a last ditch effort, or the figurative last one picked for kickball.

If we assume he does have options race will probably come into play big time. Once again I go back to the notion that black people hate white people. Add to that the scarcity of WM /BF couples. If we back out the WM who is interracially experienced or specifically seeking out a black woman, this would seem a large hurdle to overcome. If he has other options the easy way out would be to go there, or, this must be an Alpha male indeed who is looking to prove something, or, this black girl must be unusually HOT and worth the risk. (my wife is/was unusually hot)

All this being said there will always be the curve ball guy who doesn’t fit any category. I cannot account for him. The games we are forced to play in trying to lure a mate may be different from one geography to another, the same it may be from one culture (be it class or race) to another. In the culture I was raised in the only acceptable way, to not be a scuzz ball, was to play the long drawn out flirtation dance over a period of time, be it hours days or months.

The first time I saw a black man use the verbal, direct, or in my view at the time, overly forward approach, and not get the scuzz ball treatment, I was astounded and a bit jealous. This was not part of my culture in either the presentation or the reception. When I met the woman who would be my wife and I decided to give it a try, I could not bring myself to attempt the, what in my mind was the overly direct/forward approach, because it was not me. I could not try to be something that is not me, especially when it comes to attracting someone you really hope will be attracted to you.

This has been the longest response in history, you are probably sleeping, and you asked for it.

I know here it comes…. Bring the heat.


The Knickerbockers said...

Did you hear the report on NPR about interracial dating?

lyric said...

the "friend" guy - in my experience - was just a guy comfortable around the girls. Or maybe just comfortable with me - and maybe that was just because I was perhaps more "one of the guys" than a regular girl.
Oh I don't know. But the guys I hung around that were capable of being a friend were the ones I admired and respected and ended up marrying.

I think you're a little weird about guys that can be friends with girls.

And funny - most of the IR couples the I know are WM/BW. Although I see a whole lot everything around here. Nice to see. In the generation younger than me. Gives me hope.

Claudia said...

If I were single, I would resign myself to permanent spinsterhood after reading this. Wow, what a dating game!

brohammas said...

Sure I may be a little weird nut notice I did not say "friend' guys werent capable of being friends. They can be friends and still lurk... notice you said this was the type of guy you end up marrying... EXACTLY! See, they lurk as long as needed till you come around. Thank you for helping me prove my point.

SOILA. said...

"If he has other options the easy way out would be to go there, or, this must be an Alpha male indeed who is looking to prove something, or, this black girl must be unusually HOT and worth the risk."

So, what I gathered is that the general assumption that WM do NOT date BW is right seeing as, for a "normal" WM to date a BW she has to be unusually "HOT" and worth the risk. Scuzz ball going after Shaniqua, Becky and Ming Lee doesn't count as he is, well, a Scuzz ball and I'm sure "normal" BW wouldn't want. The "friend" who is normally a "normal" non-macho dude will also be going for the unusually "HOT" and worth the risk BW if he ever even does. Hmmm!

brohammas said...

SOILA, Hey, I didn't say it was cool, I just said thats how it is... or was. I haven't been in the dating scene for about ten years now. I see WAAAAY more WM/BW couples out on the street than I used too.
Remember, we (white men) have always been taught black people hate us, which would mean black woman hate us. If that is what you assume than why would you try? That is where the guy only takes the risk for a super hot BW. Its like playing the lottery... you know you arent going to win, but if the pot gets up to like $400million, people will buy a ticket because if somehow you do win... WOW!
so, a white guy asking out a black girl is like playing the lottery. White guys assume they can't win, but if she is hot enough you gotta try. Odds are you get shot down but if somehow you win... WOW!

Lindsey said...

Let me just add that I am SO SUPER GLAD that I am NOT in the dating game anymore!!! Also, your wife is totally hot and well worth the risk. Thanks for bringing her to the Montgomery side of life. loves.

lyric said...

and also thinking if something happened to my Mr. Wonderful I'd be happier not even trying to get into the dating game. Almost 20 yrs of marriage and I still have nightmares on a regular basis that are about dating.

Corbie said...

I don't even know where to jump in here but I will say two things: A) Men suck and B) Your last comment there about the lottery made me laugh.

SOILA. said...

Understood even though I think this whole WM don't date BW is specific to the US. Not so much of a big deal in other countries. It still boils down to race and relations in America and whether admitted or not, racial groups here carry waaay too much baggage and pre-conceived notions against each other. This is stuff that most of other countries seem to have gotten over and the whole "My family/friends wont be accepting of my spouse because she's black" doesn't come into play when WM decide to date/marry BW. It's not a big deal though.

RE: Dating being a nightmare: I think this happens mostly when one is actively pursuing something and it doesn't work out as they'd have liked it to. There things in life that I feel are best left to work themselves out such as dating/marriage. From observation, seems to me like this always works itself out best when left to take it's own course.

Sorry for rambling on.

brohammas said...

Soila, this is a place where rambling on is encouraged. I would love conversing, so bring it on.
You are right about this being an American issue. We are the ones with Jim Crow in our history. That being said, other countries have their own issue. I have heard horror stories about a friend trying to date a gypsy (sp?) in Hungary.

Corbie and Lyric, I live to make you laugh... yes, I am a clown.

SOILA. said...

I'm not saying that other countries do not have their own issues. I'm sure there are bigots or just men who BW aren't their cup of tea everywhere in the world but, WM in the US seem to have much more "issues" than WM in other places. I would totally get it if one just wasn't attracted/interested in BW but I cant begin to tell you how many times I have heard "family/friends" is the reason why a WM wouldn't pursue a BW who he may be interested in. I cant get my head to understand such people.

The fear of loss of power, position and privileges by some American WM who may be interested in BW is just beyond me. Dating, loving and being with someone shouldn't be this big of a deal. People should be able to be with whoever they please without all the unnecessary pressure, hypocrisy and crap that seems to be the order of day here.

Let me just add that, some of the men who are sooo afraid of daddy (family) and want to please their friends are the ones you'll see chasing after 20 yr old Black girls when they are 50 and daddy is six feet under and their friends views are not that important anymore. It's bloody disgusting.

SOILA. said...

Western (Mainstream) Beauty standards are based on Caucasoid looks. This is the same medium used to gauge/rate BW's looks. Even for WM who date BW, if you asked what BW they found attractive, you'll hear the list of the Beyonce's and the Halle Berry's. The "diluted" African (Caucasian features) look seems to be the only acceptable/ preferred look by a majority of WM who'd consider dating BW. You hardly ever hear Alek Wek being the "HOT" preferred look.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the Halle Berry/ Beyonce look but, this may be another reason that most WM in America don't date/marry BW. A majority of us look nothing like Halle/Beyonce and are just too "African" looking for the liking of some (most)...

Ok, I'll stop now. Enough said.

lyric said...

Actually - from the people I know and the limited experience I've had - in many European countries racial problems are couched in nationalist terms and are much tougher to deal with than here in America.

Abagond said...

Great post! I wrote about it on my blog:

Siditty said...

I just want to say I am a black woman married to a white man and I am not what you would call "hot". I am dark skinned with natural hair, people often question why my husband is with me or assume my husband must be a "black acting" white man. I have been approached predominantly by white men, but that is because I have always lived in predominantly white areas. I will say I caused controversy when I went with a white guy to prom in 1994. No one could understand how he could like me, especially when there were plenty of white girls with more standard beauty ideals than dark old me.

I guess I am saying is you don't always have to be a supermodel to get a white guy.

OneBrownSnowPea said...

In response to Soila, While it is true about black women's looks being judged according to white standards. However, I've heard some white men say they like the Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington types. At the same time, alot of white men don't even know who these women are since they aren't A-list like Beyonce or Halle.

I think America has an issue with an attractive dark women. They only feel comfortable with the mammy type (Oprah, Queen Latifah) or the very light skinned black women (Beyonce, Alicia Keys). My friend once brought up the question, "If Oprah looked like Jessica White or Kerry Washington, would middle/upper class white women still be interested in her show?" I said no. I think it would mess with their upbringing that they are more beautiful solely based on their whiteness.

Anonymous said...

BIG CLUE: non- or anti- assimilated women of any color DON'T PLAY GAMES. Ask her out or don't. DONE. This applies to everything, not just dating. Evasion & deception are white social values, as far as the US is concerned. -americans don't really do that crap.

brohammas said...

Evasion and deception are white values? Are you serious?

To say white people are more evasive and deceptive would be wrong, but a possibly understandable missconception, but to say it a value held by whites shows you don't know what you are talking about and display yourself as an example of how far race relations have to go.

hue said...

Interracial dating is dating and happy hormone buzz. It's really up to the couple to be self confident enough to
see beyond and racial line and realize they're are in love if they really are.Interracial Dating is a great resource
for all races looking for new loves.