About a month ago, I was on the tele with a male acquaintance. We were having a lighthearted discussion about dating, joking back and forth about why each other’s gender was to blame for all love woes. Then, he paused to make a serious point mid-conversation: “In my experiences, Latina women are really loyal though. Like, really loyal.” Hmmm, I thought to myself. Interesting. A few seconds later he made the infamous “And Black women be havin’ them attitudes” argument. I wasn’t offended in the slightest, but just fascinated at his and other (but not all) Black men’s logic supporting their appreciation for non-Black women.
I’m not one of those who get all bothered and tight when I see one of ours with not one of us. But I do find it a little odd and at times humorous when the reasons are “Black women nag too much,” “Y’all quick to run when things get bad,” etc. Every black woman has heard and can recite the 101 Reasons Why Black Women Aren’t Datable list. It always makes me chuckle a bit because every time I hear one of the justifications as to why my gorgeous range of vanilla to ebony-black sisters and I don’t meet some lost soul’s dating criteria, it’s complete and utter bull with no substantial backing. I have not the time, or the permission from Clutch due to the excessive word count it would take, to rebuttal each and every reason, but I do want to address our “attitude” and “disloyalty.”
What trips me about the words “nagging” and “attitude” is they’re usually said when we call you out for your questionable behavior: not coming home last night, frequent conversations on the statement from an unfamiliar number, slacking around the house. If I lose my cool after you accidentally pocket dial me while having a more than friendly conversation with another woman, that’s not nagging; that’s holding you accountable. Black women birth Black men, we raise Black men, we grow up with and befriend Black men. We KNOW Black men! We can note the smallest nuances in your body language and voice and know when you’re telling the truth and when you’re B.S-ing. A woman of another makeup may believe that your phone died, you got drunk, and you passed out at Terrance’s house until 6 a.m. and not give you any flack for it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s not a nagger. It’s more than likely a matter of she doesn’t know you and your slick game the way your own does, so therefore she doesn’t know there’s cause for nagging—a.k.a hounding you until you provide an explanation that actually makes sense. Additionally, Black women are very expressive and are conditioned early on to be vocal and intolerant of disrespect. In a study by the Washington Post, Black women ranked higher than white women, Black men and white men when asked how much they valued being respected by others. We also outnumbered white women when asked if we strongly agree with the statement, “I see myself as someone who has high self-esteem.” In instances where non-Black women may let your slipups slide, our confidence and demand to be respected just won’t allow us to do the same.
As far as disloyalty is concerned, it always boggles my mind when you can even fix your lips to say such a thing. We’ve all personally known a significant number of black women who’ve supported and stood by their men through money lows, infidelity, and every other trial and tribulation imaginable. Even when we fly off at the mouth about how you hurt us once again, we stick around when “loyal” others would have long ago left the scene. We’re the same women who will single-handedly raise your estimated 5 million fatherless kids, and then encourage them to forgive you and cultivate a relationship when you decide to show up 20 years later. When a deranged neighborhood watchman or racist Ferguson police officer decides to murder you with no just cause, we’re the majority standing with you and rallying in the streets. Not the faces of your “loyal” Kardashian-esque gems, whose privilege, by the way, has them so out of touch that they genuinely see no harm in fiddling with their phones while the world aims to bring awareness to your injustice. Meanwhile, the only support you showed for mercilessly murdered Black women and Aiyana Jones was watching “Crooked Smile.” But we don’t trip about that though, because we, in all of our disloyalty, see the bigger picture and understand that in many social contexts, society has already served your plate a surplus of struggle.
I say all that to say, if you have a thing for non-Black women, cool. But don’t justify why by downplaying us. Just admit that your unaddressed issues of self-hate made you more inclined to value disproportionate beauty standards, or that you like being able to “do you” without someone constantly checking you, or whatever the reason may be. Yes, we have our issues, as do all women, as do you, as do all people. But the ones you so often speak of aren’t reflective of our shortcomings. Instead, they suggest that your vision has fell victim to society’s false depictions of our beauty and character attributes, which, ironically, you helped to birth and shape.