2009-02-12

A Hope That Black Women Could Be On Equal Footing With Other Women


you kno, it's not so much about *him* or my feelings being hurt. i think it's the shattering of a developing concept. a hope that black women could be on equal footing with other women.
- Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair summed it up perfectly in her comment section on her post about a white co-worker talking negatively about her natural hair. The cold hard realization is that black women aren't on equal footing with other races of women, at least here in America. To be considered on equal footing, you have to be the exceptional black women, thinner, taller, more beautiful, more in shape, and the longest straightest hair possible in order to be considered an option to men, sometimes including our own men. I remember back in the day, I would hear white men say they would love to date Vanessa Williams and that would be the one black women they wouldn't mind dating. How many of us look like Vanessa Williams? I don't have light skin, sandy brown hair, or blue eyes. My nose is broader, my lips are fuller, and my hair isn't straight, but rather curly. I don't see many black women who look like Vanessa on a regular basis, not to say they don't exist or shouldn't get recognition, but honestly if I used those comments as a gage to determine if a white guy would even consider dating me, I wouldn't have ever thought to date a white man, and I think that is why when I was approached by white men, I often was shocked, taken aback, and was trying to figure out what their ulterior motive or fetish was. I grew up knowing that men in general prefer blondes, then brunettes, and if they don't date white girls it is obviously always an asian or hispanic women, never black women. I knew that white women were pretty, and that asian and hispanic girls could be pretty, and that black women were never considered pretty.I knew I was probably in most instances the last resort or not an option at all for most men.

We always assume as time progresses and as the youth grow up, this would change, as race relations have improved right? In post racial America, the scales of equality should be equal, but they aren't.

So my questions that I can't answer is, I know that I am supposedly the bottom of the totem pole, the last resort; how do I ensure that in the future if I have a daughter, that they won't feel the same way? I can't protect them from mainstream media forever. I can put them in diverse situations, but I sure as hell can't prevent them from being exposed to negative stereotypes and racism 100%. How do we change this? How do black women evolve to be considered on equal footing with other races of women?