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By November 30, 2011

Do Black women believe stereotypes about White men?

Dear Ms HeartBeat:
I have a question regarding interracial relationships. The thing is, I would like to start dating interracially, but I’m not sure or not if my reasons are good or bad. I mean, I have read websites that discuss why Black women are dating and marrying White men and men of other races. And as far as I know, my reasons aren’t bad.  But here are the reasons I would like to find a white man who prefers dating black women:

#1 Because I don’t want to be treated like a girl off one of the videos.
#2 White men are more accepting, and don’t expect you to always start drama.
#3 White men seem to be more easy going and don’t play games.
#4 I would like to be able to find someone that truly cares about me, and not how much I make so they could go off and spend it on drugs or alcohol.

I hope those are good reasons. But just to let you know, I’m not at all opposed to dating Black men. I’m Black myself. But change would be really nice. Thank you again for your help and thoughts.

Opening the Door to Love

Dear Opening:
I hate to burst your bubble, but dating “White” is no magic pill to cure the attitudes you describe above.

Though there are many White men who are attracted to and prefer to date Black women, many non-Black men have limited real world interaction with Black females. Instead, their opinions about who and what we are based largely on what they see television or in print in newspapers or on the web.

As we all know, the video hoochies are neither a realistic nor a first-class example of Black womanhood. Video girls are nothing but a male fantasy, an overt sexualization and bastardization of femininity. Rather than make any sort of sweeping generalizations about an entire race of men, you would do best to talk honestly and openly to the particular guy in question. Dialogue with him about race and gender to get a feel for what his attitudes are about Black women. You need to make sure he is not forming his opinion about you based on his VH1, BET or MTV viewing.

Though I grew up in San Francisco and interact with people of all races and ethnicities, I cannot say that White guys are “more easy going” with regards to their stereotypes of women’s attitudes and behaviors, especially when it comes to Black women. Many hear garbage about Black women from Black men they are either buddies with or work with. Or they see the loud, aggressive, neck working, finger pointing, hand on the hip Shenaynay types portrayed on television and are quick to believe that must be the way ALL black women are.

Others have expressed to me that Black women are “too strong” and would be a challenge to their manhood. From the stories told, these guys felt that Black women would resist being “handled” in the way they were used to “handling” White women.

Stereotypes about Black women abound and for some reason they tend to be overwhelmingly negative. I don’t understand though why men are so quick to choose nasty associations rather than positive ones. Why not believe that ALL black women are like Mrs. Claire Huxtable – sophisticated, educated, strong, classy and STILL sexy and loving to her man?

Women of dozens of ethnicities have written to me over the years – White American women, European women, women that can barely write or speak English that reside in other countries all over the world. And I can say without a doubt that men of all nationalities are alcoholics, abusive, liars, cheaters or drug addicts. Men of all races act stupid sometimes! Men of all races run away from responsibilities. Men of all races take advantage of women financially and sexually. These are common threads. The negative behaviors you describe are not at all limited to Black men!

Black women like you need hope, so you choose to believe that the cure for your pain and confusion will come from a man of a different race. In reality, it is going to come when you learn to make different choices, and assess the men you meet using more stringent criteria. In reality, it is going to come from a man of a different MINDSET, and he may or may not be White.

The San Francisco Bay Area is rich in culture, with foods and opportunities to enjoy the lifestyles and people from every corner of the world. The options for finding love here are plentiful. So while I agree that you should increase your options and open the door to allow the love you seek to come to you from a man of any race, I want you to be realistic.

Men are men.

Do not assume that just because someone is not Black that he is going to be better, play fewer games, be more honest, less hurtful, or that you will automatically have a better relationship with him.

Stereotypes of all sorts are dangerous.

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Relationship and dating advice columnist of Ask HeartBeat! Has enjoyed dishing out insightful yet hilariously funny advice, tersely worded reality checks and "let me slap you upside the head" wake up calls to men and women around the globe since 1991.

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Posted in: Interracial Dating

About the Author:

Relationship and dating advice columnist of Ask HeartBeat! Has enjoyed dishing out insightful yet hilariously funny advice, tersely worded reality checks and "let me slap you upside the head" wake up calls to men and women around the globe since 1991.

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