Despite the steamy scenes on ABC's hit show, (and yes, I am a fan), most single black women are not dating white men (and certainly not hunky white men who hold high government offices and are willing to risk all they have achieved for illicit love).Many single black women are instead finding themselves ignored in today's dating scene.White men are the most sought after dates by women of all groups (except for African American women, who, researchers speculate, may rule out white men due to the fear of being stereotyped).
Try as I might to suppress the reaction, I experience black men's choice of white women as a personal rejection of the group in which I am a part, of African American women as a whole, who have always been devalued in this society.
Certainly my reaction links back to a few bad apples in my own young dating years.
One of my male relatives brought home a date for Thanksgiving who could have been Barbie's twin sister.
She was blonde, thin, big-bosomed, and even had a Germanic name.
Most striking to me in recent sociological studies about interracial dating and marriage, is that on every measure, African American women seem to come out at the bottom of the pile.
Black people as a whole intermarry with whites less frequently than other people of color do; and black women intermarry far less than black men.
White women are less willing than white men to date outside of their racial group, but heavier-set white women are more willing to date black men, because, researchers Cynthia Feliciano, Belinda Robnett, and Golnaz Komaie of UC Irvine posit, of "racial-beauty exchange theory" -- the notion that a white woman who is less attractive by the measure of dominant Euro-American beauty standards is willing to "trade down" on the racial hierarchy by dating a black man.
By the same token, black men who date white women are "trading up" on the American racial hierarchy.
But personal moments of rejection are not the driving force behind my resentful feelings about black male-white female relationships now.
The driving force is, instead, my awareness of all of the (straight) African American women -- beautiful, smart, good women, some of them my own family and friends -- who might not have a honey to bring home this Thanksgiving holiday because they cannot find a date, even as rising numbers of eligible African American men will be wooing white women. Individuals would choose each other for kindness, intelligence, perseverance, courage, and a host of other mysterious reasons that make attraction so magical.
Another of my male relatives brought home a woman for Christmas who seemed like a modern-day, socially progressive southern belle.