Many have heard the stereotype imposed on white women in interracial relationships. You know the one… white women are meek and mild. They do whatever a man (or more specifically, a black man) wants. They don’t talk back. They cook and clean and know how to make their man happy no matter how he treats her. HA! As a strong, intelligent, and independent white woman with many similar pigmentally challenged friends of the female persuasion, I can say this is a CROCK! However, when it is espoused by some* black men (usually to black women) it is presented as some sort of attribute, a complement even. LOL So, I often wonder, why is it put out there? What is the purpose of the stereotype?
I have black women friends that tell me that they have heard this stereotype told to them many times by some* black men who date white women. The men, I am told, often say this in context of “explaining” why they date white women (like there needs to be an explanation). In promoting this stereotype, they often also stereotype black women as unusually demanding, loud, unsupportive, etc. So, when we look at this, it is actually a huge dose of sexism levied at women in general. I have never spoken personally to a man that pushes this theory, but I would like to, because I would expose it for what it is, flawed and filled with ignorance. Does this mean that there are no white women that are weak-willed? No. I find that when women are insecure about themselves, they may have a tendency to be more tolerant. Does it mean that there are no black women that can be loud and inflexible? No. However, you find this in reverse as well. Why do black men, who have felt the sting of negative stereotypes themselves, feel compelled to advance them against their women, white and black alike? Additionally, for this article I am not even addressing the same types of things, but magnified, said about Asian women.
So, back to my question regarding the purpose of the stereotype. I am not a black man that promotes this thought, so I can’t really know why it is done. However, I’m going to throw out a few theories for your consideration.
- Black men that support the stereotypes may feel that they need to explain why they would date outside of their race. They have to find something wrong with black women, to justify them being with a white woman. If this is the case, it appears it would come from a place of insecurity about their decision to date white women. I don’t think I would want to be with a man that is feeling these type of conflicting emotions over being with me.
- This stereotype may be used to manipulate black women by targeting their need/want to be in a relationship with a black man. Possibly there is the thought that if these black men keep talking about their choice of white women because they are more docile, this will encourage black women to behave in the same way.
One of the main detriments of this stereotype, in my opinion, is that it pits women against women. White women in interracial relationships know that some of the more piercing looks of disapproval regarding their relationship often will come from black women. Can you blame them? I know if I was constantly told that the men that I wanted a relationship with were not with me because they thought white women were “better” I wouldn’t react in a positive manner either. Additionally, possibly because of that hurt and anger, some black women turn the stereotype around from a (false) positive to a negative. Thus, the white woman whom the black man says is sweet/docile regardless of what is done to her, then by black women become labeled as doormats and “can’t handle their business,” spineless, etc, while the black men that are with them, become labeled weak because they “can’t handle a REAL woman.” Ohhhhhh, it gets ugly, doesn’t it?
These stereotypes need to come to an end. They need to be challenged. They are detrimental. White women, it is not a complement. Black women, do you really believe this mess? Black men, if you are dating only white women because you “think” there is something flawed about black women, you need to check yourself. Women, remember when we were young and we vowed to our girlfriends not to let boys divide us? Well, that was good then and is still good now.
*emphasis made to note that this writer is only referring to black men that engage in this stereotype and is fully aware that this does not pertain to most black men and should not be interpreted as such.